Month: February 2012

Thank You, Ms. Houston

The world has lost another talented, yet tragic soul.  Ms. Whitney Houston, I hope the words of the kind-hearted are reaching you in heaven, for the words of all others fall on deaf ears.  I don’t know the troubles that plagued you, or what led you to the path that brought you here but I won’t judge you for them.  I am so sorry for the demons that haunted you and those that will continue to haunt your family.  My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your loved ones.

In light of Whitney’s passing, I have opened my eyes to an unknown side of my own loved ones.  The reactions of people whom I consider close to me have been quite disheartening.  I would like to address the deluge of hurtful and disrespectful comments I have seen and heard as of late.  I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but my heart is big enough to mourn for many, not one alone.  To be chastised for feeling the loss of a fellow human being is petty.  Amidst my tears for Whitney, have I implied that I would not mourn for those less fortunate or those less famous?  Whether you choose to believe it or not, artists can touch the hearts and souls of many and their passing will be felt.

Some argue that those like Whitney, those addicted to drugs, do not deserve respect because their addiction was the result of a choice.  I used to feel that way as well.  We all pay for our mistakes but to say that it is deserved is so unfeeling.  Unless you have felt what these people felt, unless you have experienced the evils that drove them to make their choice, you shouldn’t judge them.  Addiction is a battle that one must fight all of his or her life.  So many people experiment with drugs for a plethora of different reasons but not all are so lucky as to quit at will.  Life is a gift and it’s loss should never be taken so lightly.

You have the right to think what you want and to judge as you choose, but I have the right to disagree with you.  I will mourn for the lost souls who suffer on this earth and beyond, those who suffer with addiction, those who suffer from ailments beyond their control, and all of those who need my prayers.  To friends and family of Ms. Houston, I wish you strength in your time of need.  To Ms. Houston, you will be missed.  Thank you for the tears, the smiles, and the strength that your music brought to so many.  Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.  Rest in peace.

True Life: Valentine’s Day is Sexy

Valentine’s Day is steadily approaching and I have mixed emotions, as I most often do.  I have always battled with the idea of Valentine’s Day.  Should it be any different than a normal day?  Some years I buy into the Hallmark holiday (like my first Valentine’s day as a girlfriend- there was no way I was letting that slip by!)  and other years (the single years), I get angry that people need to be reminded to be romantic.

“You should be romantic every day of the year” blah blah blah.  “Should” being the key word.  Life is so full of work and chores and other annoying obligations that people see romance as yet another inconvenience, myself included.  Am I ashamed?  Of course, but I also accept that life is difficult and busy, so I don’t mind that Hallmark squeezed some romance into my calendar.  Actually, I am grateful that they did the work for me.  I’ve always been terrible at managing my calendar.  So to all of the Valentine’s day grinches out there, I say, get the hell off of your high-horse and let the rest of us enjoy our scheduled mushiness.

I think most of the haters out there believe that Valentine’s day is the one day of the year to show your loved one just how much you love them.  That’s not the truth.  That most definitely should be expressed every day.  I believe that Valentine’s day is the one day of the year where you need to get sexy with each other.  With work, school, kids, whatever your priorities may be it’s not always easy to get sexy, throw some rose petals over the bed and lather each other in whipped cream.  So make Valentine’s day your day to get away, have a lovely dinner, see a show or a movie, listen to some romantic music…and get naked.

There, I said it.

The truth about Valentine’s day has been revealed.  It’s the one holiday where you can expect sex.

And for all the single people out there, my best advice is- celebrate ALL of the significant people in your life.  You have lots of people who love you (and an excuse to buy the best kinds of chocolates!)

Que lastima, Glee- Spoilers Ahead

Que lastima, Glee.  Que lastima.

I haven’t been this disappointed in Glee in quite some time.  I’ve been waiting for Ryan Murphy to capitalize on the show’s huge Hispanic fan-base since the latter half of the first season.  What happened tonight was not merely a poorly executed episode, but a lost opportunity to expose Glee fans to true latin music.  Taking American music and swapping out some lyrics for Spanish, does not Latin music make.  I mean…Madonna?  Elvis?  LMFAO? (Although I will let this one slide because Ricky Martin rocked that song!)  But, really?  The plot was weak and the message seemed a last-ditch effort to save the flop they must have known they were producing.  They could have taken the episode in a completely different direction (plot-wise) with a much more positive outcome and for heaven’s sake, better music.

As a latina, I took offense to this episode; not in the grandiose sense that they have given our culture a bad name but rather, they chose to completely avoid introducing their fans to true Latin music.  Ricky Martin was a feeble attempt to make the episode authentic.  I’ve been in love with Ricky Martin since I was about 13 years old and while I believe that he gave an excellent performance, not even he could save this episode.  I’m not saying that I expected all-out Spanish language songs that an American audience would never be able to relate to but are the writers of Glee so out of touch with pop music that they failed to recognize the numerous crossover artists that exist today?  Or the bi-lingual songs that still exist?  The closest they came to giving their audience some real Spanish music was in the song, Bamboleo/Hero. And while I appreciated Mercedes’ version of Gloria Estefan’s “Don’t Wanna Lose You,” the song was geared towards American audiences even in 1989.  Perhaps it was that these were the only artists who would allow their music to be covered by Glee.  Shame on all of you Latin artists out there, if that is the case!

You have people like Pitbull, Shakira, JLo and Marc Anthony for god’s sake!  Don’t pretend you didn’t have mainstream options, Glee!  And how about American artists who paired with Latin artists?  Alicia Keys performed “Looking for Paradise” with Alejandro Sanz, a rather beautiful song I might add.  Usher just released a single paring up with the King of Bachata, Romeo Santos, “Promise Me”.  Or better yet, dual-language songs like Christina Aguilera’s “Infatuation” or Prince Royce’s “Stand By Me (Bachata).”  I could write a better episode with the songs/artists mentioned above right now.  Why don’t I give it a go?

Actually, how about an outline?  It’s 1am and I have work tomorrow.  Dialogue would just take too long at this point.  (I’m going very basic here and just listing what songs could tie into certain plot points.  Again, I’m tired.  If you like the idea, let me know and I will actually take the time to write a spec script for you.)

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Marc Anthony- “My Baby You”- This could easily tie into Rachel and Finn’s newly established engagement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3jzinThGoc

Christina Aguilera- “Infatuation”- Everyone in that classroom, men and women alike, had a crush on Ricky Martin…may as well sing a song about that lust and attraction (towards a Boricua no less!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2FxmKjNo8k&feature=related

Alicia Keys & Alejandro Sanz- “Looking for Paradise”- This is such a beautiful song about finding happiness.  This could really relate to anyone in the Glee club because each and everyone of them is struggling with one angsty issue or another.  Everyone can relate to this song, characters and audience.  We all want to find a place where we belong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIg7Bo_g-dA

Pitbull- “I know You Want Me”-  You could pretty much throw in any Pitbull song and I’m pretty sure it would work.  It gives you that taste of reggaeton/rap that some people like.  For this song in particular, I could see Puck trying to get this message across.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2tMV96xULk&ob=av2e

Carlos Santana- “Smooth”-  How can you leave out Santana??  Sam could have sung this song to Mercedes and it would have served to show his feelings towards her, but I can’t hate on his version of Hero.  So I don’t mind if we leave that one in there.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXp413NynFk&feature=related

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Santana’s insightful monologue that lead to the climax of the episode did indeed hit the nail on the head, but couldn’t we have started with that realization after Mr. Shu’s awful rendition of La Cucaracha?  Then we could have continued the episode with music by true Spanish artists.  Why did we have to suffer through such lackluster, no-spice music?

On a lighter note, I was pleasantly surprised with how well everyone handled singing in Spanish.  Except of course for Santana, ironically enough, who makes me cringe ever time she opens her boca (mouth).  As the girl who is so adamant about correctly representing latin culture, she struggles with each Spanish word.  I don’t mean to bash the actress at all.  I happen to like Naya Rivera as Santana and I accept that she is the token hot-blooded latina but I just can’t take her seriously with that accent.

Perhaps that was enough Glee bashing for the night.  I love this show and I think the risks they take are fantastic and boundary breaking, but why couldn’t they take a risk and show America how great latin music really is?  I find it insulting that the best they could do was choose American music and add some Spanish words.  Latin music is so easy to find yourself getting lost in.  There is so much more to us than just Pitbull and Shakira!

P.S-  Who else thought it was ludicrous that Mr. Shu is just now learning Spanish?  That was just too dumb to be funny.  Okay, I’m sorry, that was my last jab. Tonight’s episode just really irked me.  I could go on forever but as it is, I’m going to fall asleep at work tomorrow.

Buenas noches a todos!