All posts filed under: Brown Girl’s Burden

O.G. Series: Ricardo Montalban, a Wise Warrior Latino Hidden in Plain Sight

Top 5 Reasons Ricardo Montalban’s Khan Proved to Be a Badass Villain for the Ages

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Valley Limons

My dad was a postman. Growing up as a kid of a postman gives one a unique appreciation for the awesome capabilities of a daily home delivery service that just seems like it has always been there. Through rain, sleet and snow… Lest I spiral off into a tangent, let’s get back to the matter at hand. The post office?  No — Valley Limons! Now I don’t know if Valley Limons are actually “a thing,” but they are as real as Khaleesi’s dragons in my home.  In short, it’s my dad. He’s got a knack for all things green and animal kingdom.  So it is he who impressed upon me the wonders of the not so elusive, but nevertheless hard-to-find Valley Limon: a unique hybrid of lemons and limes cultivated in the melting pot that is South Texas. Cool! Then, he spoke of the contraband seedling he hauled all the way from the Valley  up to San Antonio and planted in his own yard. Fugitive Valley Limon.  Double cool! Now, we can behold the Valley …

Mother Tongue Tied

I don’t speak Spanish. There, I said it.  It’s out there. Done. Sure, I can say my last name with the requisite rolling ‘r’s, but that seems only to confuse the issue.  Rolling the shit outta that ‘r’ when I introduce myself by full name causes Latinos and non-Latinos alike to assume I’m a fluent Spanish speaker. I am not. Once my ‘secret’ is out, I experience something akin to the (insert number here) stage of grief: shock, incredulity, disappointment or (my favorite) pity. ¡Pobresita! In recent years, my tolerance for this reaction has lowered. So much so that I’ve taken the affirmative step to do something about it. I am the proud (and slightly apprehensive) owner of Rosetta Stone’s Spanish, Levels 1-5. Woo-hoo (Blur-style)!! Will it work? No, I mean, will it really work?  Will I be speaking in rapid-fire (ahem, fuego rapido) fluency by the time I get through Level 5?  The commercials I’ve seen for the past ten years tell me so.  Now, I’m ready to believe it. We shall see. Cards …

What Can Brown Do For You?

Not so long ago, in a distant land far, far away – well, technically a Midwestern college town – I sat in my weekly departmental marketing and sales meeting for the respected university book publisher where I was employed.  As was usual in such meetings, everyone took their turn “updating” the “team” about the most relevant events.    As we sat pretending to pay attention to the others around the long conference table, I was jogged into the moment by THE QUESTION: “What’s the difference between Hispanics and Latinos anyway?” our fearless department leader implored, deep creases knitting between her brows.  That was her look for genuine curiosity and concern. My mouth dropped open and my eyes scanned the room, searching for an ally, or at the very least, someone to share “WTF” eye-contact.  But something was off.  Not only did I find some eye contact, I had it with everyone.  Weird. Then it hit me.  The question was directed at me.  Me?  I mean, why wouldn’t it be, right?  Of the thirteen people in the room, and, come to …