maná rules

Went to the Maná concert last night at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands.


I seem incapable of saying anything else right now. Maybe later, after I’ve come down from my little cloud of musical contentment (is that a word) I’ll be able to say something critical or semi-coherent about the concert.

Right now I just want to ramble on and on about the Mexican rock group that pretty much pushed the rock en Español movement to where it is today. A group that not only gave a great 2 1/2 hour concert to thousands of screaming devoted fans, but also took the time to advocate the support of greenpeace, encouraged the fans to use condoms always and talked about how great the audience was.

For those of you who don’t know this, the Pavilion is an hour drive from my house. It’s north of Houston, and looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s an outside theater, which means that I was hot all evening. It’s a very nice theater, very aesthetic and a lot of fun. I’d definitely recommend it to someone else.

So I’m on the way back and my car overheated. That’s something it’s never done before. I mean it literally started to smoke so I immediately turned it off and turned on my blinkers. And, of course, I didn’t have any water on me. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I carry everything else, even jumper cables, but for some reason I never carry water. And my cellphone was dead.

A truck full of people pulled over and the driver asked if we needed help (my younger brother was with me; my sister, her husband, my little sister and her date were all in a car that had left us behind). Good Samaritans. They gave me the little water they had and let me use their cellphone to call my sister so that they could come back for us. All in all, everything turned out all right. Even though I had a one-hour drive back to my house.

In spite of the obvious car-related setback and the heat (I’m an indoor person) I’d do it again. Even knowing in advance that I wouldn’t get home until after 2 in the morning. Even knowing that I’d have to worry about my car and rely on the kindness of strangers. It was, after all, Maná.

dance with me

DANCE WITH ME is the new movie starring Chayanne and Vanessa Williams.

It’s a tame little movie set primarily in a dance studio in Houston. In case you see the movie, that skyline is ours — Houston has a very impressive skyline and I want to make sure that you understand that the one in the movie is ours. That said, there is no chemistry between Chayanne and the talented Ms. Williams. They do a good job with their characters, but I never believed that the romance was real. And before any of you think that “it’s a movie, girl” thought that you’re bound to go through, I know that it’s a movie. But I pay good money to watch and, for the moment, believe that what’s going on might be plausible. And a romance between the stars of this movie just didn’t make the cut. I’ll admit that maybe, just maybe I was too harsh — I did just see HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK last week and the chemistry between Stella and her young lover was sizzling. DANCE WITH ME suffers by comparison.

As a writer I also have to point out that there are major holes in the writing of this movie. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but I will say that the plot is just an excuse to set up some elaborate dance scenes. Dance scenes that I enjoyed very much, thank you. Vanessa can really move and I love salsa and merengue. Just listening to the music makes me want to get up and dance. Did you know that Vanessa refused to use a body double for any of the dance scenes? There are some complicated and dangerous moves you really need to see to believe. The dance scenes alone are worth a matinee viewing.

The sheer enthusiasm Chayanne demonstrates in this role is almost enough to get me to commend his performance. Almost, but not quite. Chayanne isn’t an actor. I don’t think that a seasoned actor could have done more with the two-dimensional character we were shown, but there was an awkwardness to his performance that could have been ironed out. To his credit, his scenes with Vanessa were very natural and his dance scenes were exceptional. Also to his credit, he didn’t cop out and do a singing scene. For those of you who have never heard of him, Chayanne is a Puerto Rican singer, an ex-Menudo. And if you need to have someone explain who Menudo is, then I wash my hands of you right here and now. You are beyond help.

I am, of course, recommending to all of my friends that they go out and watch the movie. And I’m not encouraging them on the basis that the movie is entertaining or that the dance scenes are incredible or that Vanessa Williams looks great or that Chayanne has this boyish charm thing going. Nope. I’m telling people to go to the movie so that the numbers for the movie look decent and when the next producer goes to a studio to do a “Hispanic” movie the studio can’t use bad ticket sales on this movie as an excuse not to fund it. Unfortunately, as a Chicana I have to look at the big picture.

TV Land, Reruns and Classic Movies

I watched the last episode of Seinfeld last night and was a little disappointed. I’d become a reluctant fan of the show and the fact that there was going to be a last episode held a lot of promise. Unfortunately, it was just a thinly veiled collection of the best moments of the show. I think I’ll stick to reruns next time.

On the subject of television, those of you who are addicted to it, like me, have noticed that this is the time for season finales. The X-Files season finale is this Sunday, May 17. Mimi Rogers guest stars and the episode will be the set up for the much-anticipated TXF movie this summer. If you haven’t checked this TV show out yet, watch the movie. Dana Scully, one half of the show’s main attraction, rocks! If nothing else, watch it just to check her out. Another finale to watch is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This Tuesday, May 19, is the second part of the season finale. This show, ending its second stellar season on television, is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Of course, there are no Latinos on it, and the one time they did have one it was a monster Inca Mummy girl, but that issue aside, the show is really good.

Just a friendly reminder: Godzilla comes out sometime next week. I love classic horror films and am going to watch this just to see how they screw it up. Nice attitude, isn’t it? But I’ve never seen a remake of a classic film that’s as good or better than the original. I hope that this one proves me wrong, but I’m expecting the worst.

Hasta luego, gente.

red roses, beads and horses

I didn’t get around to watching The Wedding Singer this weekend, but I did read the review by Girls on Film. But what can you expect from a weekend that has my parents’ anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and the first weekend of both Galveston Mardi Gras and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo? Just trying to keep up made me tired.

My parents have been married for 27 years. This year, to celebrate we took them out to dinner to Churrasco’s, an upscale South American cuisine restaurant. It was a family event, which means that not everyone had fun. My sister and her husband were, of course, late. My other sister became exasperated with the fact that no one was ready to order when she was and my Mother decided that she was not going to order for herself. Still, it did go well. And the mere idea that my parents have been together for that long surprises me. I would’ve thought they would’ve killed each other years ago.

On Saturday my sister and I went to Mardi Gras in Galveston. I’ve never been to the one in New Orleans so I can’t compare it. It was a lot of fun. It was utterly ridiculous the lengths to which people would go to get beads. And yeah, that does include me. There’s something about Mardi Gras that’s uninhibiting. You don’t know anyone there, and the people you do know are behaving worse than you, so you get to let your hair down. Anyway, if you haven’t been to Mardi Gras before, you need to go at least once.

Valentine’s Day came and went and I didn’t get a thing. Of course, I wasn’t expecting a thing either, so that worked out fine. And there’s something about the entire holiday that bugs me — I can’t quite describe what it is, but it still bugs me. My little sister got a dozen roses from her ex-boyfriend. She got phone calls from another ex and a maybe. Not bad, not bad at all.

As far as the Rodeo goes, I’ve been in Houston for 6 years now and I’ve never attended. I don’t know why, it’s just that it doesn’t grab my attention. I probably should make an effort just to say that I went. Maybe next year. Talk to you soon.

en eighties film

MERRY MEMORIES . . . the new movie, The Wedding Singer, is coming out (this weekend I think) and boy has it brought a blast from the past. I can remember poofing up my hair to high heaven, with so much aerosol hair spray that I’m sure there’s an environmental group somewhere with my name on their hit list. I can remember when MTV was a new thing and Madonna and Michael Jackson were all the rage. In fact, I remember all of that fondly, as if it were yesterday. And now there’s an era film about the early eighties. An era film! About the time when I was just becoming a teenager! Damn, that makes me feel old!

My baby brother laughs when I say that that was me, dancing to that music, dressing like that, talking like that — but then, he’s only twelve himself and I reminded him that there will be, one day, a movie that will bring out the nostalgia for him too.

I have to go see the movie, not because I’m a fan of Adam Sandler or Drew Barrymore. The movie itself doesn’t even look particularly interesting. I’m going to see how ridiculous the era was. I’m going to go to remind myself that I am an adult and those years are gone. And I’m going to remember all the fun I had because believe me, I had lots.

Talk to all of you soon.