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How my search for a Mexican snack restored my faith in Facebook

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When Facebook was launched, its mission statement was to make the world more open and connected. Last year Facebook change that mission to this one:

“…to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

For me, and probably most people, Facebook’s newsfeed can be overly voyeuristic, which leads to unhealthy browsing and, most importantly, a waste of time.

During horrific events, such as a mass school shooting, my newsfeed will have the full range of 2nd amendments supporters, along with their inaccurate memes, and those on the opposite side, who at least try to back their arguments with data.

But those experiences don’t make me feel like I’m getting “closer” to my FB friends, so I removed the Facebook app from my phone, and never felt happier for doing so.

Until a few days ago, when I woke up with an urge to eat a Gansito.

What’s a Gansito? It’s a Mexican snack filled with strawberry jelly and sweet cream. It’s also covered in chocolate, chocolate sprinkles, and it’s similar to a Twinkie, but better. Its logo includes a cute baby goose and it’s a popular snack among Mexican children.

It’s been over 11 years, around the time I moved to NYC, since I’ve had one. They are nowhere to be found in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Manhattan? Forget about it. I’d have to travel north of East 116th street to potentially find them, and I don’t have the time for a scavenger hunt.

So, because of my Gansito cravings, I broke my own Facebook ban and wrote a post asking my West coast friends to send me a package of Gansitos. I was surprised by the response I received, since I didn’t think anyone would even see my post. Even the 2nd Amendment bros stepped up and offered to send me the snacks.

One gun-loving friend even offered to leave the comfort of his Westwood home and drive East to get me the snack. I was touched by his generosity. Another friend offered to drive to Tijuana to purchase and send me an assorted mix of Mexican candies.

In the end, a friend who lives in South Brooklyn found them in a small Mexican grocery store in Bensonhurst. While there, she bought a Gansito for me. Later her, her husband, and I met up for coffee and, obviously, to pick up my gift.

I finally got my hands on the nostalgic snack.

After eating the Gansito, I realized it tasted differently to what I remembered. However, the snack no longer mattered. My quest to find it brought me together with this couple, two people who moved to New York from El Salvador and, as I discovered during our reunion, they’re also triggered by nostalgic urges from their childhood.

So I wasn’t craving a snack, but some connection to my past. Thankfully my friends — from various political inclinations, to be fair — immediately jumped at the chance to help me, and it happened through Facebook. Now, because of all this, I can’t be entirely dismissive of Social Media.

So, uh, thank you, Facebook? Still, stop spying on me.


Tizoc Schwartz co-wrote a short film on the word ‘Chingar’ and has written other stuff you’ve never heard of.  He’s a carb enthusiast, and dislikes social media.


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María Rubio was so good as Catalina Creel, an iconic telenovela villain, the role ruined her career

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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:

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Traumatic advice from aunt Rosa: “Don’t torture your Care Bear, Mijo. Or else.”

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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.


Felix III – Journeys the cosmos via Holy Hands Vol. 2. Rents a one-bedroom on Neptune. IG: @Futurefelix / Twitter: @thefuturefelix


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