Ojo: The "Cholo Word Of The Day" is simply for fun. This is not an academic exercise, therefore I do not spend much time checking for espelling or grammatical errors. Most of the words are not only used by "cholos," but by many people in S. Texas - and their usage can vary. c/s

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Cholo Word Of The Day

I decided to go with a Cholo word of the day instead of the "Spanglish" word of the day.

I'll do a couple:

Canton: house
c/s: con safos - and what, or untouchable
Pinta: la pinta

For instance:

Rumaldo says "oye chief, a donde vas?" Jaramillo replies, "pues voy al canton a ver a la jefa."

Rumaldo wants to know where Jaramillo is going. Jaramillo says he's going to the house to see him mom.

Tirburcio says, "De donde vienes." El Borrego answers, "vengo de la pinta. Es que me dieron muchos tickets, y no los pude pagar."

Tirburcio asks where El Borrego is coming from. El Borrego says he's coming from jail because he didn't have enough cash to pay his tickets.

Daily Texican

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

No Tacos Today

The Dallas Morning News is running an article titled 26 Indicted On Drug, Money Laundering Charges in tomorrow's print edition. Those indicted all have ties to the Gulf Cartel. This Cartel is hard core. And I write this because the only time I ever feared for my life while covering a story, was when I was asking questions about the Cartel's leader, Oziel Cardenas Guillen.

From June 2001 until December 2001 I was a t.v. reporter for the ABC Affilate in the Valley. When I first arrived at the station, I started doing research on the Cartel and began talking to a local professor about his own research. In small markets like this one, not many people do research, so this automatically made me the resident expert. So, there I go. The story broke in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, that the Police Chief had been assasinated. The Chief, and two other men had been gunned down in plain daylight. Inside the car, next to the bloody bodies, there was a duffel bag with thousands and thousands of dollars. I don't exactly remember how much.

I jumped at the chance to do the story and even though I wasn't the repoter closest to that city, I got sent out there. I arrived to the Matamoros police station, to find most of the police department out of the office. Everyone was in shock and nobody wanted to say anything. On the street, in front of the station, was the car the 3 men were found in. The blood stains, the broken windown, and bullet casings, were all still there. A yellow tape was placed around the car, but since we were media, and since we were in Matamoros, we of course ignored that. While my photog did his thing, I walked around trying to talk to whoever would talk. I'm pretty good at small talk, so some cops, in a very hush-hush fashion, talked to me a bit - off camera of course. None of them were too exited I was asking questions. Then I bumped into a "reporter" from a local Mexican radio station. I had noticed him watching me for a little while, so I struck up a conversation. Then I asked him about Oziel Cardenas Guillen. He gave me a double take. I asked again and this time I added if he knew where Guillen had houses in the city, because I wanted to drive by and shoot some video. I was a cocky bastard. No one had ever intimidated me, not even when the Sheriff in Web County cursed me and called my station to fire me. This time, I was playing with the big boys though. The "reporter" looked at me straight in the eyes and said "If you want to come back tomorrow, you'll never say that name again." I just stared at him and he repeated "If you want to come back tomorrow, you'll never say that name again." I thanked him for his time, called my photog and told him we had to get the hell out of dodge. No tacos today I said. Let's get back to the U.S.

That night, my story came out pretty good, and in my closing tag, I said what the "reporter" told me. The station loved in, peopled called in to commend me on the story, and even cops later commented about it. That night though, as I walked out of the station, I made sure that I looked at every car that was parked next to my truck. Maybe I was being paranoid, but man, was I scared.

Spanglish Word Of The Day - Quitear

Quitear - to quit.

"Nombre, ya voy a quitear esta chingadera porque nunca supe como hacerlo."

This was common when referring to homework, work, or well, just about anything.


A new friend, from Sensory Overload, gave me this one yesterday: Sanwich or Sanwiche

You guessed it. A sandwich. Ham or cheesse, Aguacate with ham or anything else.

"Quieres un sanwich?" "Si, me anda rumbando la tripa, dame el sanwiche."

Sandwiches are very common anywhere I think, but we could make a "sanwich" out of anything. I remember having egg sanwiches. I used to joke around that I would eat, tortilla con huevo, frijoles con huevo, and huevo a huevo.

Elephants and The DNC

I headed home from work at about 8pm last night to eat my dinner, watch the 1st place Texas Rangers (where I've applied for a p/t job as an usher), and call my friend on her b-day. I was driving my motorcycle so I noticed there was a lot of crap on the street. Litterally dung. I just went around it and didn't think twice about it. Then, I look out through my kitchen window and there are about 8 elephants walking down the street! I forgot, the Ringling Bros. & Barnun & Bailey Circus is coming to the AA Center across the street from me! I took pictures, but I left them in my camera. I should have known there were doing a parade. I'm taking my lil' bro -Big Brothers Big Sisters - on Thursday.

After that I started watching the DNC. Then my roomate showed up so I felt obligated to swich over to last comic standing. Not everyone likes watchig PBS. We, needless to say, I got bored of some of that boring "comedy" so I changed it back to the DNC. Now, it was time for a man I had only read about, because his name sounded so much like Osama Bin Laden - it was Barack Obama. This guy was fantastic. He spoke elegantly and passionately. He was articulate and educated. He talked about uniting America. I wish his speech would have been on prime time. We knew President Clinton could deliver, but this new guy, he was a treat to see. I can't say I'm a Democrat. I'm definitely not an elephant. This guy was great. Then I finished watching the Rangers get pummeled.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Pleasing Mexican Parents

The other day my friend Daniela and I were having a conversation about
something or other that quickly turned into a discussion on pleasing Mexican
parents. That is, when attempting to go out with their kid. In some families, the protocol to follow, is more important than in others. I would venture to say, and I may be wrong, that it has to do with the number of years a family has been in this country. Daniela and I are both 1st generation Gringos - she may even be a 1/2 generation (born in Mexico - raised en los Unaiteds). My folks crossed the bridge - had me at the clinic - then went back to Reynosa- so I'm a 1st.

I'm simply cutting and pasting the conversation, because it was pretty good via IM. We'll see if it works out.

Carlos says: if it's her house phone am i going to have to say: si, senora. disculpe habla carlos. no se encuentra ****.
21 days till (ip) says:wooo. que educado mijo! i raised you right boy!
Carlos says: i've got practice
21 days till (ip) says:i'm impressed
Carlos says: dude, the parents always love me. it's the girls that i have to work on. mexican parents like me because 1. i have a job 2. i make fun of myself 3. i have some manners 4. i always agree w/ them
21 days till (ip) says: yeah parents always love me too. perfect! you know how to scmooze them
Carlos says: yup. carlos garcia, mucho gusto..... para servirle or:a sus ordenes
21 days till (ip) says:wow!  my favorite is wih the mom: " en que le ayudo señora?"
Carlos says: that's good. fantastic
21 days till (ip) says: or i talk about cooking, like ask them about the recipe that way they know i know how to cook and their son is going to be fed and taken care of. we're the perfect person for parents
Carlos says:that's awesome
Carlos says:de donde es usted? a si, de mexico. yo tengo un tio que que vive en tal y tal. or..no, mis papas son del rancho
21 days till (ip) says:haha. lol. que bonita su camisa señora, donde se la compro?
Carlos says:holy shit. from walmart
21 days till (ip) says:hahah. we should write a book
Carlos says:i'm over here laughing my ass off
21 days till (ip) says:me too. haha

Spanglish Word Of The Day - Washateria

Washateria: This has to be one of the best words I've heard, because it's even been introduced into the maintstream. Drive by a laundry mat in Oak Cliff or East Dallas and it says: Washateria.

Oh my god, that's awesome.

I Think I'm Losing It

I've been riding my bike around White Rock late on Mondays and Wednesdays in an attempt to appear like I care about my health.  Plus, I ride with this cool friend, so that helps out. She's a gringita, but raised in McAllen, so she's more Mexican than most of my Mexican friends.
Well, we ride and pedal hard, passing up the walkers, while the other riders pass us up. "On your left," that's what I constantly hear. These hard core guys and gals don their U.S. Postal Service attire or their "Once" jersey - and they fly. Wow. My friend and I go to places like What-a-burger or "Cuquita's" after our ride around the lake.

Cuquita's brings me to my next point. I think I'm losing my Spanish or at least my pochoness. And not in a good way. The waitress asks my gringita friend what she wants to drink, she says, water - I say water. I'm eating my tacos al carbon and all is well. Then, my friend, asks for some butter, and the waitress gives her a blank stare, and looks at me. Of course, I'm the resident translator. I don't mind it. I've spoken Spanish all my life, so it's not a problema. But - this time - I go blank! Holy mother of God - how do you say butter. The waitress then says, "ah, mantequilla," as I drop my head in shame.

Is it that I've been away from the Valley that long? I lived in Austin for 4 years and never did I lose the mother tongue. I think it's because I still hung out with Mexicans. Here, in Dallas, I hang out w/ 2 Jews, one Chinese dude, and the "justice league" that I work with. I don't regularly hang out with any Raza. Hmmm, that may be the problem.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Introduction To Anastacio

I wrote this the other day:

I introduce myself to Anastacio and talk to him for about five minutes. “Buenas noches,” I say. “Buenas TARDES,” he politely replies. It’s before 7 p.m. and even though the sun has gone down, I should know better.
Three nights a week Anastacio, his wife, and Anastacio’s older brother, who recently replaced Anastacio’s teenage son as the third team member, walk into our downtown Dallas loft offices to empty the trash cans, sweep the floors, and clean the bathrooms. I swivel around in my hundred dollar chair equipped with back support, make brief conversation and continue working on my laptop. But three times a week, after my brief small talk with Anastacio, I stop to think.

The story of Mexican immigrants taking on the unwanted jobs is not new by any means. Not even the story of the son of Mexican immigrants working on his laptop while Mexican immigrants clean his mess is new. What makes me stop and think, is that Anastacio, the man who wears a Dallas Cowboys baseball cap and has a mustache reminiscent of Emiliano Zapata could easily be my uncle, his wife my mother.

Look at me and you can tell I’m a Mexican-American. I have brown skin, possess Mestizo features, and wear Versace eye-glasses. Acculturated, but not assimilated.  Look at me and I bet you can’t tell that both of my parents work two jobs, not unlike Anastacio, who lays carpet and tile during the day.

I think about how fortunate I am to be in my position. I have a comfortable chair with a back rest and equity in the start-up internet company I work for. I live in Uptown Dallas and my balcony faces the American Airlines Center, where multi-millionaires spend countless hours. And for reasons that make me uncomfortable, I command respect from a man twice my age, who has been in this country as long as I’ve been alive, but has failed to leave his immigrant status. Anastacio never addresses me in the informal “Tu,” but rather uses the formal “Usted” when talking to me.

I say I introduced myself to Anastacio, because that’s exactly what I did. I’ve been talking to him since he started working at our offices three months ago, but I never stood up, extended my hand, and said, “My name is Carlos, mucho gusto.” This week, I did that.

Maybe next time I talk to Anastacio I’ll find out what state in Mexico he’s from and why his son stopped coming to help him, but for now an introduction must do.

Now, if I could only muster up the courage to “introduce” myself to my 20-year old cousin, Edgar, who is living somewhere in the DFW area illegally, I’d be in good shape.

Having Fun w/ Spanglish

Let's have a little bit of fun w/ spanglish. Today's spanglish word of the day is: parkear.

ex: Me voy ir a parkear alla, porque aqui esta lleno.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

My First Day

Today's the first day of my blog. I've been wanting to do this for a while, I've just never gotten around to spending time. What's my blog about? Well, I imagine it's about this Daily Texican. My parents are Mexican - I was born a Texan - and I'm an American. Plus I'm from the border - so that only adds to the challenge.