Tag Archives: Mexico

Angels in Santiago, Nuevo Leon

Kelly is having a great time in her visit to Grandma Conchita’s house in Monterrey with her Friend Eliza. Her amazing uncles took them to the small, picturesque town of Santiago 15 or 20 miles out of Monterrey. The only thing that was kind of disappointing is that she tried to capture some of the glory of an iconic photograph taken in June of 2014, but I really do not think she has the fashion sense or sheer magnificent presence of the original model. See for yourself (original is inset).

Angels in Santiago, Nuevo Leon

The world at war

There is a very interesting post on the state of war and violence in the world over at the Strategy Page site (h.t. Bayou Renaissance Man). The whole post was very educational for me because it describes the source of violence in a lot countries around the world with ancillary information you can view by clicking the country name. I cannot speak to what is happening in most of those countries, but the site built a lot of credibility because of their spot-on take on what is going on in Mexico. The drug cartels are a thing, but few understand the interplay between the cartels, a corrupt government culture and local militia that has formed to protect citizenry from the horrible violence. When the Mexican government legitimized those militia due to their success, a very important byproduct was the spotlight that got thrown on the culture of corruption that is winked at and/or perpetrated by the government itself. That section on Mexico is worth the price of admission (free), but the whole article is just stellar.

Who owns the definition of what it means to be “Latino?”

I have been disabused of the notion that “journalists” at the New York Times are anything other than doctrinaire race-baiters for a long time, but it is nice to be reminded now and again why I quit reading them a couple of decades ago. As a member of a Hispanic majority family we have experienced, up close an personal the whole “your not really a Mexican unless you are a liberal value, anglo-male hating victim” (see here and here for a couple of examples). The abjectly racist article in the Times is described in an article by RedState titled New York Times Says Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio Are Not Latino. Enjoy.

Betty Blonde #477 – 06/04/2010
Betty Blonde #477
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Mexican Independence Day mustache

Luis LeonardoIndependence Day is celebrated in Mexico on September 16. Well, really, the celebration starts on the 15th leading up to el Grito de Dolores on the stroke of midnight, but that is another story. In my humble opinion, the very best part of the celebration is the ubiquitous and unparalleled Mexican mustache. The dapper fellow in the picture with the mustache is my nephew, Luis Leonardo at a school event in Queretero on September 15. He wears the mustache well–quite dashing actually. The costumes and sombreros everyone wears are beyond cool. All the family in Monterrey got together for a carne asada. I am stuck up here in Oregon while Lorena is eating carne asada and all the ripe mangoes she wants. That is somehow just wrong.

Betty Blonde #404 – 02/02/2010
Betty Blonde #404
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Can you have blue eyes and be Mexican?

Blue-eyed Mexican girlI LOVE Sarah Palin. The following is from her Facebook post about Rachel Dolezal, the white chick who claimed to be black so she could get a good job in the NAACP and the other white chick who claimed she was “native American,” so she could get a good job as a professor at a politically correct university. This is almost a perfect storm. It is old now, but the meme going around the internet right now that goes “An Indian and an African walk into a bar… Just joking, it’s just two liberal white women” really IS funny. Here is part of what Palin said:

Ok, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t laugh… this hard. I know this isn’t a victimless crime, what this white chick perpetrated. But it’s a most crystal clear picture of so many screwed up things we’ve let society adopt as the norm. Namely, the practice nowadays of judging someone not based on character, but on skin color. Our original civil rights freedom fighters are rolling in their graves over the backward steps we’ve taken lately. It’s politically incorrect to call out Elizabeth Warren for falsely claiming she’s American Indian, or dinging Obama for just making up his former multi-ethnic girlfriend, and I guarantee I’ll be branded a racist for laughing at this Rachel Dolezal story. Whatever. Dolezal is an unsatisfied lily white leftist who believes the only thing less politically correct than being a white girl is to be a white guy today.

Kelly is the blue-eyed Mexican girl in our family. The funny deal is that the Mexican side of the family has as many or more blue-eyed, light-skinned people as my lily-white, Anglo-Finnish side of the family. Her first language is Spanish and her mother’s family has been in Mexico for centuries. She has actually gotten called out on here racial insensitivity toward Mexicans by white women at school on a semi-regular basis. One of my favorites was when a girl got offended and told Kelly off because she was not offended by some cafeteria workers wearing sombreros and fake mustaches on Cinco de Mayo. Kelly embraces the affirmative celebration of all things Mexican. How can you not love sombreros and fake mustaches on Cinco de Mayo.

The jokes about these posers are a ton of fun. The subjects of derision could not be more worthy.

Update: Lorena just sent another hilarious one: Click here.

Update II: Found this link to the sombrero and mustache incident (described above). Great fun was had by all!

Update III: This just in from our favorite government school teacher, (lily white) Trisha via text message:

I am thinking about going back to college… I think I can afford it if I claim trans-race. I don’t look it, but I feel Mexican! Affirmative Action and all that. I thought I might claim some imaginery children as dependents…because, although I don’t have children, I fell like I do! I am working on making some salsa and getting a tan! Thoughts?

Trisha, this is a slam-dunk! You are blood related to Mexicans! You EAT salsa and some people you know have kids! You are in with the win!

Betty Blonde #346 – 11/12/2009
Betty Blonde #346
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Vicks Vapor Rub–the über-cure

I have a friend and fellow vision engineer, Ann, with whom we have discussed children, pets and pop culture for years. Her kids are a little younger than ours, but incredibly precocious. One of them has become a big fan of all things that have to do with speaking Spanish including, it appears, Mexican culture. I got a HUGE kick out of our chat session yesterday that dealt with a very, very important staple of Mexican life and health:

So my daughter is obsessed with speaking spanish and all things that go with it. She saw this instagram post about you know you are mexican if you think Vicks Vaporub cures everything. And I started laughing, because I remembered you explaining this to me. She didn’t get it, and she didn’t believe me. Her friends with Mexican Moms confirmed it!!! Thanks for helping me to know more than my teen!! Hope you are having a good week.

Kenneth Chapman
JAJAJAJA!!!! Lorena and the kids are going to LOVE this. In fact, I am going to blog about it!!!
JAJAJAJAJA is the spanish texting version of HAHAHAHAHA!

She also sent me this picture that truly captures the curative powers of Vicks Vapor Rub:

Vicks Vapor Rub cures virtually anything!

Betty Blonde #298 – 09/08/2009
Betty Blonde #298
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I wish this did not ring true – “Packaged” arrest in Mexico

Mexico is such a great country with so many great people it is hard to read articles like this.  It is about an infamous narco-trafficker who got arrested, not after a long and arduous effort by law enforcement agents to find a bad guy, but because it finally became politically expedient. If it really is true, taking the guy off the street probably does nothing with respect to putting a dent in the drug traffic. It all makes me believe maybe the previous Mexican was a pretty good guy, trying to do the right thing and getting hard push-back from the bad guys. Meanwhile, lots of our friends and family down in Mexico suffer as a result. Everyone is touched by it. Mexico is a beautiful and prosperous place, full of opportunity, with lots of good and friendly people. It could be so much more than the level of corruption currently allows.

Betty Blonde #152 – 02/13/2009
Betty Blonde #152
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Cinco de Mayo flame war on NCSU facebook pages

Day 985 of 1000

The commie professor--last day of schoolWhat a great way to finish her undergraduate career–defending her cultural heritage against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  There were some pretty powerful accusations made against NCSU Dining services for featuring sombreros and chocolate mustaches.  Kelly and Christian defended their cultural heritage against these whining, perpetual victims and their racist invective.  It reminded me of the commie professor and was great fun.  Here are a just a few excerpts:

First, the bigoted invective:

To my Wolfpack Family,

Our NCSU Webpage states:
“At NC State, our diversity makes us strong. We will continue to initiate academic curricula and courses, research areas, outreach programs and a campus culture where diversity of ideas and people is embraced.”

Words cannot describe the tremendous pride I felt this past summer when I served as an Orientation Leader with NC State New Student Orientation. I had the opportunity to welcome over 4,000 first year students, transfer students, and their families to our Wolfpack community. We presented an open script play and then led a discussion which focused on diversity, stereotypes, and the community we would like to build at NC Sate. The “Cinco De Case-o” event in which sombreros and fake mustaches were given to students goes completely against NCSU’s statement and the efforts of our students and faculty who are attempting to truly create an inclusive community. A community in which everyone is respected and accepted for who they are.

I know every single student and faculty member at one point or another have felt excluded or ridiculed. I want you to think back to that moment, to relive the emotions and thoughts that were going through your head. That is exactly how the students who associate themselves with the Mexican culture currently feel. The fact that NCSU Dining has reflected and downgraded the rich Mexican culture to simply “sombreros” and “mustaches” is not only “uncool” but completely disrespectful.

It is not okay to make a mockery out of a culture. It is not okay for our institution to support and celebrate stereotypes. We are the future leaders of our Nation. If we are unable to create a welcoming, inclusive environment on this campus how will we be able to create it for our nation?

I hope that we can all take this event and transform it into something positive. I hope this can serve the purpose of making our students and faculty realize that we are far from having “a campus culture where diversity of ideas and people are embraced.”

Yaseline Muñoz

Kelly’s response:

As a Mexican-American woman I find it incredibly offensive that people view the “sombrero/mustache” thing as a hurtful, negative stereotype. It’s fun! It’s not a mockery, it does not exclude or make anyone feel unwelcome. In fact I think it is amusing! It’s a celebration. I figure any positive attention to Mexico, no matter how superficial, is a positive thing. It opens a dialogue about culture. When we start getting offended at something as innocuous and well-intentioned as this, that dialogue shuts down fast.

More invective:

Kelly Chapman if you do not take offense to the Mexican culture simply being portrayed with “sombreros and mustaches” that is good. I am glad that you can look at this issue in a positive manner.

However, the problem here is the fact that we are supporting stereotypes and encouraging them among this university that is filled with scholars and the future leaders of our Nation.

More of Kelly’s response:

Are you saying we can’t have fun with hats and still be scholarly? Oh dear, oh dear, what a horrible stereotype you are making of Mexicans!

Christian’s response:

I for one am Mexican & am outraged at the fact that this isn’t available every day.

At least the Irish get to drink green beer without a bunch of PC moralization on WPS

It went on like this for quite some time.  Kelly and Christian absolutely won the Facebook “like” vote and fun was had by all except the pseudo-victims.

Betty Blonde #108 – 12/15/2008

Betty Blonde #108
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Mexican Independence Day

Day 756 of 1000

Mexican FlagThis is a special time of year for Lorena’s family and friends in Mexico. El Grito de la Independencia is celebrated around midnight, the night of September 15th.  September 16th, Mexican Independence Day is a holiday throughout the country.  We love it for several reasons.  Lorena’s best friend from the time after we were just married is a Puerto Rican girl named Vanesa.  Her birthday is today.  We always fondly remember her birthday and it reminds us of the great experience we had at that time and place.

Add to that the annual church convention in Lorena’s home town that occurs right around this time and we get quite nostalgic.  All of the friends and family with whom Lorena grew up are together for a great time of communion and worship.  I can think of no place I would rather be at this time of year.  We love Mexico in general and Monterrey in particular.  We plan to be there this time next year.

El Cerro de la Silla, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

El Cerro de La Silla, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MexicoI struggled to find a good header for the blog.  As some of you might have noticed, I put up severally cheesy composite images for which I was justifiably berated.  I could not think what to put, but Lorena rescued me again.  She suggested El Cerro de la Silla, the most distinctive landmark in the beautiful city of Lorena’s birth, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon Mexico.  In the header (and the picture with this post), Lorena’s parents live very close to bottom right corner of the photo with the mountain rising behind them.  Cerro really means “hill”.  The literal translation for El Cerro de la Silla is The Hill of the Saddle or Saddle Hill.  If that “hill” were in North Carolina it would definitely be called Saddle Mountain.  It’s height is 5,971 feet.  For now, it is just the right choice for a blog header.