On Inevitability

After turning 30, the universe revealed certain truths to me. One of which is: you ain't gettin any younger, homegirl.

The other day I could no longer fake that I didn't need eye cream (after a brief moment of wait, are those, and wait, aagh?!?) and also could no longer fake that I didn't have an overwhelming urge for...comfortable shoes.

This was an aberration for me, as after a lifetime of ballet, running, hiking, rollerblading and general prediliction for high heels, the thought of not having blood blisters, clinched toes, water blisters, and seemingly permanent discomfort seemed impossible. But then I realized that...it was possible. Because it was my choice. Knowing that if I didn't start taking care of my feet (and by extension, my knees, hamstrings, and lower lumbar) physical discomfort would inevitably become a series of physical problems.

As I biked around today in comfortable sandals, it was nice to know that in taking care of my feet, I'm taking care of  my journey. And that's a good step forward.

Linda and Gal

Who says the US and Brazil don't have much in common? Besides common histories and geographies, some of our cultural icons look alike.

In the case of 70's music stars Linda Ronstadt and Gal Costa, they look startlingly alike.
Here is a young Linda Ronstadt: 

And her music:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58id5JIzFao]

And here is young Gal Costa: 

And her music:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries?index=42&list=PL1DD83DFEAFCE5ECB&hl=en_US]

Gal has the same soft combed out hair and easy-living breeze that made Linda a star. In their times, these mestiza ladies defined music in their countries and throughout the whole hemisphere. The only difference? (According to Gal Costa), when you sing in Brazil, you don't have to wear a bra.

The Rainbow Effect

Pop culture right now is all about Play. Apparently, Rainbow Bright was a Material Girl, and the little girls who grew up playing with her haven't forgotten that.
The look of artists like Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Lovefoxxx (below) is Rainbow Bright, but with a decidedly...erotic twist.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uviwxdcpGSg]
This stuff is an aesthetic sugar rush, a hipster fantasy cracked out on agave syrup. It's excessively sweet, and excessively excessive. Decked out with jobs, adulthood, and real responsibilities, maybe the Rainbow Bright generation just really misses playtime.

The Feminista Mystique: What Would JLo Do?

Positive thinking is all the rage these days. Everyone from Joel Osteen to Suzie Orman to your neighborhood pothead tells you It's Your Time! Stand in Your Truth! Don't Worry, Be Happy!
These mantras are the 21st century versions of the WWJD wristbands of the 90's. Although I didn't wear them then, if I did now, instead of asking about what Jesus would do, why not ask myself...what would JLo do?!
Maybe the best way to live like Jesus is actually to live like JLo: validate yourself to keep doing whatever it is you're doing, and do it well. 

How did she do this? Ironically enough, by having no shame: she publicly burned through multiple marriages, flaunts her gigantic ass, and arrives at awards ceremonies in a see-through peacock robe. She made her performing weakness - singing - her emphasis, and keeps singing in front of thousands of people even though her voice cracks. The melody of "Get on the Floor" is stolen from a 1980's lambada song, and the outfits are glittery versions of footsie pajamas.

But by the looks of it, she - as Tina Fey writes in Bossypants - doesn't “...[expletive] care if you like it!” Her lack of shame is what makes her a feminist and has made her a success. Instead of falling into the female trap of self-punishment for not being perfect, she accepts her flaws and keeps it moving. Instead of hiding her hips, she got them insured for a million dollars. 

Instead of shame, she has swagger - that je-ne-sais-JLo  that took her from back up dancer to millionaire mother, all on her terms.
So similar to how songstress Demi Lovato has 'Stay Strong' tattooed on her wrists, I wrote a makeshift tattoo reminding myself of the power of La Yenifer. She reminds us that whatever it is we do, we, at the end of the day, are doin' it well.


Beyonce Bzzz

Who runs the world? According to Beyonce, girls.

In her new video, the Queen Bee of pop runs a post-apocalyptic country in which cabaret-clad women dance Fosse with chained hyenas. While it might be weird, it’s timely for a week in which the former head of the IMF took a break from "investing" in Africa to assault an African hotel maid, and the former governor of California considered it okay to sleep with his wife and his maid at the same time.

These are times in which we need new visions of the future. Okay so this future is dusty and metallic, but it's good food for thought:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBmMU_iwe6U&w=560&h=349]

Castizo Closets

It's confirmed: Arnold Schwarzenegger's "love child" is half Mexican. Given that he slept with a member of his domestic household staff, I figured that the woman was Latina, and turns out she is. Mildred Patricia Baena, to be exact. Somewhere in Southern California a certain Chicano kid has been smirking on the couch while his friends unknowingly joked, "I'll be back!".
While it's disappointing, a high-level politician cheating on his wife is too normal to really be newsworthy. (After all, nearly all high-level politicos from DC to CA - Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa - have checked that box.) What is newsworthy is how old-school this is.
Schwarzenegger having a love-child with his Mexican maid is straight 19th century. It's casta California, a color-based caste and power system in which European landowners often had children with indigenous women who worked in or around their homes. That's the mission system every California 3rd grader has to re-create with styrofoam as a class project. While Anglo settlers rejected this loose, Latin American social system that allowed for racial mixing, it's a deeply ingrained idea in California's subconscious.
And is perhaps even more so now, because NAFTA has turned the best intentions of both the Minute Men and the reconquista (reconquest) activists on their heads: American corporations have rendered Mexico economically uninhabitable, pushing hundreds of thousands of Mexican nationals back into what was Northern Mexico just 150 years ago.
Who knew that of all people, Republicans would make the reconquista real. California is half Mexican now, and its "centrist" governor has sealed the deal.
In californio California, people wouldn't have blinked if a blond governor had a dark-haired son in the figurative closets of his large estate. Maybe Arnold's most famous line is really the voice of casta California: I'll be back!