A while ago I was booked to play music at a private event. It was the type of event that doesn’t need a DJ, but New Yorkers have been duped into believing that any boring art opening, fundraiser, PTA meeting, and Union Square protest can be made exciting if a deejay is playing music in the background.
If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. This is the most over-stimulated city in the world — NYC has more bars, clubs, galleries, and theaters than it knows what to do with — so, when tasked with putting on an event, people go all out. They anxiously try to avoid boring their guests and that = gigs for Yours Truly.
The downside is that, at the non-bar or club-related events, a DJ is no more than an awkward prop. People walk past my DJ booth — usually a wonky table with a corona box stacked on the top — and give me nasty side-eyes. “Remember: you’re making stripper money,” I tell myself. But I can read their mind: “I hate New York. Should I move to LA? No, they give reiki to parrots out there. I’ll just continue to tolerate this, for now.”
But something magical happened at the event I started to tell you about. A man, who looked like Ty Cobb, Donald Trump’s lawyer, came up to me to request a song. He had one of the thickest New York accents I’ve ever heard, and he slammed a 20 dollar bill next to my laptop.
“Hey, buddy, play that slow song by the fella on the radio,” he said. I was already getting paid to play music there, so I didn’t want to take his money, especially because I was not going to be able to decipher who “the fella on the radio” could possibly be.
“You don’t have to pay me,” I told him, “I’ll just play whatever you want, but I need a better description. Which fella are you talking about? How does the song go?”
Dressed in an a gray ’80s-style suit, Ty’s look-alike became flustered. “You know — that fella that’s married to the girl with the red hair. He has that song on the radio right now,” he said. I gave him a blank stare, but he wouldn’t give up: “Hold on. Let me get my wife.”
The man brought his wife, a Latina-looking gal half his age, over to my makeshift booth. She also didn’t know the song, so he started yelling at her: “Well, what the fuck do you want?! I’m a 65-year-old asshole. I can’t remember shit. Come on, baby — you know the fucking song we like.”
The woman was completely unfazed by her distraught husband. She kept smiling at me because, clearly, this wasn’t her first time dealing with her man’s spotty memory, or his outbursts.
“John Legend. My husband is referring to his new song,” she figured out. “Give me a moment to download it,” I told the both of them.
The mustachioed romantic took his wife towards the front of the Corona box-turned booth. A couple of minutes later I played their song and they started to slow-dance. He reclined his head on her shoulder, she put her arms around his back.
I still don’t know what to do with Cobb Copy’s $20. Perhaps I’ll use the bill to buy a whole pie of pizza for a special friend.
María Rubio was so good as Catalina Creel, an iconic telenovela villain, the role ruined her career
According to sources on Twitter, and also TvNotas, the holy bible of Mexican gossip, María Rubio, the legendary actress best known for her role as Catalina Creel de Larios in Cuna de lobos, has passed away. She was 83 years old.
Thanks to her role as Soraya Montenegro in María la del Barrio, Itati Cantoral has been dominating the internet with an insane amount of memes, gifs, and even a House of Cards promo special. Itati blew up in the mid ’90s, when older millennials were still teens, and she’s that generation’s go-to character when it comes to Mexican telenovela villains.
Yes, Cantoral was great as Soraya, but the top dog in the telenovela villain game was — and has always been — María Rubio. The Tijuana-born actress was so good in Cuna de lobos that, according to an interview she did with Cristina Saralegui, the role ruined her career:
“[Catalina Creel] was a difficult, beloved character. I enjoyed playing her, but she also hurt me a lot. People completely forgot about María Rubio and now it seems that, after 40 years of being an actress, I’ve only done Catalina Creel.”
Catalina, a murderous matriarch, was known for having some of the best one-liners in telenovela history. But in the same interview with Saralegui, which was filmed over 20 years ago, María proved to be just as cunning and smart as her infamous character, but also incredibly funny:
“[Although I played a villain], I’ve received nothing but compliments, love, and admiration. Never aggression. I think viewers do attack the bad ones — bad actresses, that is.”
If you understand Spanish, check out the hilarious interview below. Watch María viciously own everyone in a panel of full of young telenovela villains:
Traumatic advice from aunt Rosa: “Don’t torture your Care Bear, Mijo. Or else.”
I was 6 years old when I yelled at Tugs, my Care Bear. I put him in time-out for not agreeing to the rules of an imaginary game I had just created.
I built a little time-out fortress for him to stay in while I played with my other toys. Coincidentally my tía Rosa was visiting that day. I urged her to see all my toys when she came into the house. I also explained to her that Tugs was in time-out, to which she replied in shock, “Mijo, mira, You have to be nice to your toys.”
I replied, “Tía, I am nice to my toys, but I’m teaching him a lesson.”
She contested nervously, “No, Mijo, you have to be nice to your toys or they might not be nice to you.”
I wasn’t following her logic.
“Mijo, if you’re not nice to your toys, then at night time they might wake up and crawl into your bed to cut your toes with tiny razors,” she said slowly while staring at my imprisoned Care Bear.
“What?!” I whispered to her while looking at Tugs from the corner of my eye.
“Yes, your toys might do very bad things to you if you don’t treat them good.”
I stared at her in disbelief.
She stood up and walked towards the doorway.
“Mijo, I brought you some tortillas. Come in the kitchen and let’s warm them up,” Rosa said casually.
From then on, Tugs sat on a tufted pillow on my dresser while I slept in velcro shoes for the next year. Growing up in my Mexican-American family meant that everything was possibly alive and watching you.