Dancing with Selena, memories of childhood, and pepperoni pizza

Three hours into Selena night at the Regent in downtown Los Angeles, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom starts playing.

I feel this deep, animal sense of belonging.

This is my song and I need to be on stage. I claw my way up to the stage and slip in a puddle of what is maybe human sweat.

The hands of my fellow Selena enthusiasts pull me up.

We do what we came here to do: we dance.

Mas…Dancing with Selena, memories of childhood, and pepperoni pizza

English is my third language; I grew up speaking Spanish and Caló

panzonI was born and raised in El Paso in an area known as The Second Ward because of its political designation in city government.

In the greater community, it was most popularly called South El Paso. However, the approximately 25,000 mostly Chicano people who lived there referred to the neighborhood as El Segundo Barrio. It was a barrio that was like an island sandwiched between the Rio Grande Mexican border and downtown El Paso.

In this isolated area, about a third of the families were of second or third generation Mexican descent like ours. Another third was made up of mostly migrant newer arrivals and the rest were in transition. However, it was the Spanish language that served to unite the whole community. Although Spanish was prevalent, lots of exposure to English came through, school, work, movies, radio, music and TV, which was then in its infancy.

Although I love that I am bilingual, I was recently reminded that I am, in fact, trilingual. You see, this third language was unique to our Segundo Barrio culture because it originated there. It started as the jargon for the criminal element in our midst. These outlaws were widely know as “pachucos” because of the Los Angeles bent to their style of clothes. Most of us called them Tirilis and for all intents, they were the precursors of today’s gang members.

Mas…English is my third language; I grew up speaking Spanish and Caló

Angry area youth calls menudo ‘yucky,’ demands pizza

menudokid(PNS reporting from ALTADENA) Javier “Flaco” Hernandez outraged his family Sunday night when he refused to eat his bowl of menudo.

“It’s yucky!” the 8-year-old shouted as he repeatedly banged his spoon on the dinner table and insisted on pizza instead.

Flaco’s refusal ticked off his mom, who had spent hours preparing the beef stomach broth in the kitchen of their tidy suburban Los Angeles County bungalow.

Mas…Angry area youth calls menudo ‘yucky,’ demands pizza

Pocho Ocho ways the GOP can lure back young voters

It’s no secret: The Grand Old Party needs some new blood.

If the Republican Party, formerly the “Party of Lincoln,” is to succeed nationally, it needs more women, “minorities,” and younger voters. Old angry reactionary white people is not a growing constituency.

Here are Pocho Ocho ways the GOP can bring more young voters aboard:

8. Refer to them as “whippersnappers”

7. Say “dang-fangled” as much as possible

6. Promise 72 virgins to new party members

Mas…Pocho Ocho ways the GOP can lure back young voters

Sandra Ramos O’Briant – ‘Chile Tales: The Green Addiction’

Philosophers have often looked for the defining feature of humans — language, rationality, culture and so on. I’d stick with this: Man is the only animal that likes Tabasco sauce.


In Texas, when my parents were still married, we ate fried chicken, mashed potatoes laden with cream gravy, green beans flavored with bits of bacon and buttery light biscuits. Every item on the menu had its own serving dish, and cloth napkins were always used.

“May I have another biscuit, ma’am?” I would say.

“You surely may, Sandra Mae,” my daddy’s mama would reply and everyone would smile. Or we’d have fried pork chops and suck on the salty bones, but only when it was just my mama and me at the dinner table.

In Texas, there were black-eyed peas and ham and all manner of greens and put-up preserves. There was watermelon and homemade ice cream from the hand-crank ice-cream maker. Daddy held a bourbon and water in one hand, and turned the handle with the other, while Mama and my daddy’s mama drank iced tea on the back porch and exchanged polite insults. My grandma didn’t like it that Daddy had married a Mexican.

Mas…Sandra Ramos O’Briant – ‘Chile Tales: The Green Addiction’

Steubenville: I was 16, drunk and stupid too, but not morally bankrupt

I remember being 16. I was stupid…but not that stupid.

I keep thinking about the Steubenville rape case and I can’t get the phrase “What the fuck is wrong with you people?” out of my head.

People aren’t sure who to blame, whether it’s a larger problem that encompasses the parents, the football culture, the entire town. You can chalk it up and say, “Oh they’re just young teens being stupid,” but the truth is, by the time you are 17 you are grown-ass-up enough to know right from wrong.

Mas…Steubenville: I was 16, drunk and stupid too, but not morally bankrupt

When ‘The Hobbit’ took back Aztlán: A Latino nerd reads Tolkien

Today the names Smaug and Thorin Oakenshield will enter American pop culture. Dwarves rambling on a reconquista while Gollum plays riddles will reach a new audience because Peter Jackson filmed the nerd classic, The Hobbit — prequel to Lord of the Rings.

Film has more impact than the written word in today’s society and this version will reach a greater number of people than J.R.R. Tolkien’s book ever will. I am overjoyed that this classic will reach a greater number of gente, but I am filled with sadness that a child’s first encounter with The Hobbit will be in a loud theater instead of a quiet library.

Regardless, I look forward seeing my mental images from the book acted out in the big screen. And remembering the hours reading the book, which played a monumental role in my becoming Eres Nerd.

Mas…When ‘The Hobbit’ took back Aztlán: A Latino nerd reads Tolkien

AZ Gov. Jan Brewja OKs curbs on undocumented youth, apples, twigs

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (photo, right) has signed an executive order directing state agencies to deny driver’s licenses and other public benefits to young undocumented immigrants who obtain work authorizations under the new Obama administration Deferred Action program.

She also signed executive orders dealing with undocumented children and other matters:

Young undocumented immigrants line up to apply for Deferred Action

(PNS reporting from CHICAGO) Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children are applying today for a deportation reprieve under a new program established by the Obama administration.

DREAMers will receive a two­-year deferment of deportation proceedings. If approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, those DREAMers can also apply for a work permit and later reapply for another deportation deferment.

Some of the details of the program are still being ironed out. Eliseo Medrano of Aurora, who was lined up (photo, left) at the Chicago FCIS Office said, “I didn’t know there was going to be a talent portion to the application today. I suppose I can sing “Volver” or something.”

Mas…Young undocumented immigrants line up to apply for Deferred Action

Konichi-wa, homie, from Japan’s cholos, lowriders y Chicano rappers

Invasion, “Asia graffiti & lifestyle magazine,” writes:

Two parts of Chicano hip-hop culture in particular have become popular in Japan:
the music, and the cars. When the Japanese do Chicano rap, they still rap in Japanese
instead of English, Spanish, or some mixture of the two. But the beat, the clothes
and the look are quite matched.

Peep this short video of Japanese lowrider hydraulics:

Mas…Konichi-wa, homie, from Japan’s cholos, lowriders y Chicano rappers

Obama’s DREAM announcement freaks out the right wing racists

President Barack Obama’s announcement today that he is halting the possible deportation of up to 800,000 DREAMERs has the right wing (racist) blogosphere in fits. Example: The Drudge Report (owned by Matt Drudge, who does not love sex with men) was so freaked out, they posted this headline and image but later took it down. POCHO Jefe-in-Chief Lalo Alcaraz grabbed a screenshot first, though. Mira!

Pocho Ocho things those darn kids are doing instead of playing outside

Pochitos: Descubre el bosque

According to a recent study, only six percent of Latino kids regularly play outdoors. So, if they’re not outside “enjoying” nature, what are those darn kids doing now?

8. Usando el Fiesbook.

7. Reading Erí Potter books.

6. Creating top-secret taco recipes they will never share with gringos.

Mas…Pocho Ocho things those darn kids are doing instead of playing outside