Monday, December 31, 2012

Feliz Año Nuevo Veracruz Style!

This is it my friends, we made it to the end of 2012! This year has been full of several joyful moments that I shared with many of you, and for that I will be forever grateful. 

I also thank you for letting me be part of  your especial moments through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets. 

On this last post of the year, I would like to share how the New Year's Eve is celebrated in my native town of Veracruz, Mexico. As many of you know, Veracruzanos (people from Veracruz) are very pachangueros (festive) and escandalosos (loud), and we just cannot end the year quietly. 

In many cities in the state of Veracruz, a group of people gather on the streets with guitars, maracas, and drums; and one person dresses as an old man representing the year that it's about to end. We call it "El Viejo," the "Old Man." Then, the "comparsa" (the group of people accompanying El Viejo) start singing a traditional song that goes similar to this:

Una limosna para este pobre viejo, una limosna para este pobre viejo
Que ha dejado hijo, que ha dejado hijo; para el año nuevo, para el año nuevo

Ya se vá el viejo muriéndose de risa, ya se vá el viejo muriéndose de risa
Porque ha media noche, porque ha media noche; lo vuelven ceniza, lo vuelven ceniza  

Give this poor old man a hand out, give this poor old man a hand out;
Because he has left a child, because he has left a child, for the year to come.

The old man is leaving while laughing to death, the old man is leaving while laughing to death
Because at midnight, because at midnight; they are turning him into ashes, they are turning him into ashes.

It's important to remember that every time we talk about El Viejo in the lyrics, we are referring to the old year, and the child well, it's the New Year. 

After all that singing and dancing, right at midnight, we take an old raggedy human size doll and we burn it, symbolizing the burning of the old year. We burn our sorrows, and bad moments with it. That's why on the lyrics it says that the old man is laughing because he knows that at midnight he will burn down to ashes.

And now, for your enjoyment, here are two sample videos of how "Veracruzanos" will be celebrating tonight. On the first video, El Viejo is dancing at the very famous Cafe de La Parroquia, and on the second, professional musicians are playing in downtown Veracruz for the people to enjoy and dance with El Viejo.

Have fun tonight dear readers, be safe and... 


Friday, December 28, 2012

What To Do When Something Like This Happens?

Something like what? You may ask. 

I promise this is my last post about Jose Feliciano, or maybe not. Who knows? What I do know is that many of us social media geeks, nerds, or whatever you choose to call us get crazy happy when a personality answers to our call either on Twitter, Facebook, or our blogs. 

Here, I not only had Jose Feliciano responding to my tweet; he also read my post! How awesome is that? You don't believe me? Well, here is the picture to prove it:

Yes, I am still in awe!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Meeting A Great Artist... Meeting Jose Feliciano.

On Thursday, December 20th, one of the greatest Latino artists came to the Seattle area and I was there, sitting down on the front row, ready to see him and meet him!

He started his concert with the theme song of "Chico and the Man," a TV show from the 70's. He then switched, by his audience's request, to some romantic ballads in Spanish. He gave a big shout to all the Latinos in the Ballroom, which I was very proud to see that there were many, and we all responded with a very loud: Yay!

He obviously couldn't leave out great songs like "Billy Jean," "Oye Como Va," "Knocking on Heaven's Door," "Que será" and others. With the latter, because of the lyrics and because it's a beautiful sad song, I broke in tears.

His unique and well-known sense of humor was also a very important part of the night. He made jokes about anything and everyone. It was hilarious! 

But, enough of the chit chat, let me show some of the pictures that I could take while he was on the stage. If you look closely, on the first two pictures Jose Feliciano was playing some classic rock songs and that's why he is holding an electric guitar, and on the last picture he switched back to his acoustic guitar to keep playing more "boleros." 

After the concert was over, thanks to Lori from the blog talk radio "Real Sisters Talk," we had the opportunity to meet and talk for a little while with Jose Feliciano. I was super excited! 

The moment I entered the dressing room, we all started talking in Spanish! We talked about his visits to Mexico, and I kept repeating over and over again how much I admire him.  I just couldn't help myself! 

When we said good bye, he mentioned to me "I love Mexicans" to which my response was: "And we love you!"

I swear, I will never forget this night!

If you want to keep an eye on where he will be performing next, go to: 

In this picture: Linda and Mark Gordon from My Seattle Night Out, myself and the great Jose Feliciano.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jose Feliciano is Coming to the Pacific Northwest!

What can be better than celebrating Christmas with our very own Latino virtuoso guitarist, composer, singer Jose Feliciano? 

In all my years living in the Seattle area, I can say that I have had the fortune of attending many of my favorite Latino artists' concerts. Oscar D' León, Arturo Sandoval, Michel Camilo, Grupo Niche, Puerto Rican Power, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Oscar Hernández with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, La Orquesta Aragón, just to name a few; but it's hard to express in written words how happy I am to be able to see in concert the great Jose Feliciano! 

I'm only puzzled about why is it that he is coming to the Snoqualmie Casino instead of a bigger place, I mean, come on! We are talking about Jose Feliciano!

For that reason, I would love to see all of you my friends coming to this historical concert and show our support to Jose Feliciano this December 20, 2012 at the Snoqualmie Casino, 7:00 PM in the Ballroom. 

For more information and to buy your tickets click HERE.

And just so you start enjoying a little of what Jose Feliciano does...

See you on December 20th at the Snoqualmie Casino! 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ice Sculptures Every Saturday at the Seattle Center.

I have always loved the look ice sculptures give to an event, but I have never been present while they are made. 

Fortunately, as part of the Seattle Center's Winterfest celebrations, every Saturday from November 24 through December 29,  outside the Fisher Pavilion, an ice master will carve a different design on ice! This event is FREE and a lot of fun to watch.

The first time I went to witness one of the artists at work, I got there a  little late but I got to see the finished work... A fish.

It seems that the artists like to have a water/sea themed because the next week internationally acclaimed, award-winning sculptor Chan Kitburi, created his own version of a Seahorse. 

It's fascinating to watch these pieces of art come to life because at the very beginning one has no idea of what they will turn out to be. 

First, I thought that he was making a horse but then... I started wondering about when he would start working on the horse's back legs. 

As he continued to work on the sculpture, I noticed that he would not give legs to the horse, instead, he gave it a fish tail! 

It was really amazing to see Mr. Chan Kitburi at work, and now I can't wait to see the next piece of art!

To see all the pictures of this event go to: Artist Chan Kitburi at Work.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Create Your Own Holiday Decorations at the Gifts & Greens Galore 2012.

I love to decorate my house during the holiday season, but I like to do it without going broke. So, when I received an invitation to the preview of the  Arboretum's holiday sale and fundraiser, "Gifts & Greens Galore," I just could not refuse. 

I had a fabulous time exploring and improving my skills on arts and crafts accompanied by some of the most renowned bloggers in the Seattle area like Jess Estrada, Eileen Lambert, and our host Kristin Price among others. 

Kristin, showed us some of the greens that will be on sale during their holiday sale. She also explained that since many of those cut greens are pruned from many plants at the Arboretum, and they also come from donations from members of the community, the prices are very low, which means, you could create a beautiful wreath or many other great holiday decorations at a very affordable price! 

Gifts & Greens Galore will happen these coming Friday and Saturday at the Grahams Visitor Center at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. On Friday, December 7, from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Saturday, December 8, from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. 

If you are a little like me and have a difficult time coming up with ideas of what, or how to make your arts and crafts, then you will be very happy to know that the Arboretum will have special guests featuring many "Do It Yourself" demonstrations and craft activities both days!
  • On Friday at 1:00 P.M., author and outdoor living expert Debra Prinzing will show how to create holiday centerpieces.
  • On Saturday at 11 A.M., Northwest lifestyle and entertaining expert Alexandra Hedin will explain unique ways to use fresh greens for the holidays

Here are some pictures of the ways we can use greens to create our holiday decorations:

During the preview of the Gifts & Greens Galore sale, we also had the opportunity to have a sneak peek at the self-serve coffee bar with coffee from Zoka Coffee Roasters featuring the Arboretum Blend! This coffee bar will also have its grand opening at the Gifts & Greens Galore event. 

All the bloggers at this preview had a fun time, especially when it came down to create our own decorations. Kristin had everything ready for us, all we had to do was to let our creativity flow!

Next, you will see the table where we worked on our master pieces.

These two are Jess' and mine holiday decorations. They are pretty and very easy to do!

Remember, the parking and admission at the event are FREE, and all the sales benefit the maintenance and education programs at Washington Park Arboretum. I hope to see many of you my friends taking advantage of this fabulous event! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LUNAFEST in Seattle Connected Women Through Film.

Last night, I attended the LUNAFEST in Seattle and let me tell you; I believe it's the first time I am truly happy to drive under a terrible stormy night. 

LUNAFEST was established in 2000 by LUNA, the makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women. You could think of it as a traveling film festival where films produced by talented women filmmakers are displayed.  In essence, LUNAFEST is a festival organized by women, for women, about women. 

The proceedings of this event will benefit great organizations like "Reel Grrls," a nonprofit media art and leadership training program for girl’s ages nine through nineteen based in Seattle, and "The Breast Cancer Fund."

The nine films displayed were all fantastic with powerful and thought-provoking subjects. Among my favorites were: "Flawed," "Lunch Date," and... I might be biased on this one but, I truly loved "When I Grow Up."  This last one was directed by Sharon Arteaga and talked about a Latina mother's dream to provide a better life for her daughter in Texas. Very moving...

I did not only had a fabulous time doing what I love to do most which is to watch movies, but I also had a swag bag with many good things inside! 

It really was a wonderful night. Thank you Girl Power Hour for putting together such a great event!