Chespirito Died? Mexico’s Iconic Comedian Whose Death Reminded Us of Connecting with Our Families

Chavo

I watched Chespirito’s stadium big funeral on TV with my coworkers during lunch. I do not think I have seen any memorial service so big where most of the people attending are dressed like his iconic characters that he created for his his popular TV show, “Chavo del 8.” I guess in English that means little boy from the 8th apartment, although in the show, this little boy was an orphan who lived in a barrel which was played by Chespirito himself.

Chespirito’s birth name is Roberto Gómez Bolaños, whose nickname came from his friend who would call him “Little Shakespeare,” due to his talent in writing successful stories so fluidly one after another.I did not know his real name until today since in Mexico, nicknames tend to be more important than the real name, and even he himself said he was fond of his nickname.Chespirito studied Engineering, but followed his passion for writing stories for television and movies instead. His stories were immensely relatable with the working classes in Mexico. His show was so different from the other programs in which it did not have sex or violence, or a longing to marry into wealth like all Telenovelas, but was about the day to day life of a poor community from a comedic point of view.

 

The Superhero Logo for: Chapulin Colorado

You’ll be seeing this logo around a lot more these next couple of weeks. Chespirito also created a superhero that was so clumsy, under the name “Chapulin Colorado” meaning “Crimsom Grasshopper.” He was funny and memorable character who would show up when there was conflict between the characters. This character ended up inspiring the Bumblebee man in “The Simpsons.” His programs were family friendly and clever and there has not been anything like it ever since.

I was shocked that people were crying since he had stopped doing his show for a long time and so far we had been watching reruns. I was thinking very superficially, until I accidentally said it out loud and one of the ladies watching the service, Araceli, said, “I can’t hold it in, Im going to cry.”

Instead of telling me how she is going to miss Chespirito, she starting sharing how she has not seen her mom in 10 years and misses her so much. Another friend, Yolanda, told me than an episode she never forgot was when the little orphan boy, Chavo, was hearing his friends telling him that their parents took them to school, so he came to the conclusion that he needed parents to take him to school too. So he just waited for someone to pick him up to take him to school with no success. Yolanda said that as a single mother, she was encouraged that at least, her kids had one parent that loved them and took care of them. Other people starting talking about their childhoods, and how his shows aired when TVs were not very common in their neighborhoods.That is when I realized that Chespirito’s passing breaks people’s hearts because it is what they used to watched during their childhood with their families, and made people nostalgic for those days when they would watch the show every Monday morning before going to school. A lot of the people I work with cannot go back to their birth countries to visit their parents because then they do not have the paperwork to come back to the United States. Chespirito’s passing represented a wake-up call to appreciate the people we care for the most while they are still here and to appreciate what we have, which ironically, he died a day after Thanksgiving Day.

Eating his favorite foods in heaven

In the Huffington Post, there is a good article that shows just a few of the illustrations that people did to reflect how they feel about Chespirito’s passing away. Above, it depicts Chavo (the character Chespirito played)  in heaven, who is being received by the cast that have also past away, with a table full of his favorite food: ham sandwiches.

 

Ain’t got no Love, Culture or Faith But I’ve Got Life- The Vulnerability of Nina Simone

Nina Simone

I remember the first time I heard this song. It was two years ago, and I stumbled upon it on Youtube because I was going through deep depression and felt like I really had nothing. I was also recovering from a prior abusive relationship. I had read in books working at a library that post graduate depression was common, especially if you do not have an internship or a job waiting right after. It hit me pretty deep, I lost 15 pounds in 4 months, I was a double zero in size and in mind: zero things to do, zero energy… But  I remember when I came across this song, ” Ain’t got none, but I’ve got Life” by Nina Simone. Made me put my priorities in perspective:

I ain’t got no home, ain’t got no shoes
Ain’t got no money, ain’t got no class
Ain’t got no skirts, ain’t got no sweater
Ain’t got no perfume, ain’t got no bed
Ain’t got no mind

Ain’t got no mother, ain’t got no culture
Ain’t got no friends, ain’t got no schooling
Ain’t got no love, ain’t got no name
Ain’t got no ticket, ain’t got no token
Ain’t got no God

She starts by naming material things, family, culture and class, things that are important to every human being that she does not have. Then lastly, she admits that she has lost her faith even though she was a preacher’s daughter and was raised in the church. The piano is hitting low notes, and you feel her sadness. When I read her biography, it stated that despite her musical talents, she was rejected from a prestigious university and a full scholarship because she was black, and she knew that very well.

Then she questions the importance of her existence when she does not have anything. What things define a person? If you do not have family how do you build your identity? Even while having nothing, there are still things that you can be happy and grateful for, such as your health, your body, and your mind. Your mind being one of the most important as your ideas about yourself and your esteem affects your overall health and body dramatically.

And what have I got?
Why am I alive anyway?
Yeah, what have I got
Nobody can take away?

Then the piano starts sounding more positive and she lists all of the things that she does have that have nothing to do with social status, culture, class or wealth. Not even fame, the most unstable thing of all that most people desire. She becomes grateful for her body, for her healthy organs and her life. She is grateful for her sex, which made her a double minority as she experienced racism and sexism. She is also grateful for her freedom, which she truly protected as she was very involved in the civil rights movement.

Nina-SimoneGot my hair, got my head
Got my brains, got my ears
Got my eyes, got my nose
Got my mouth, I got my smile
I got my tongue, got my chin
Got my neck, got my boobs
Got my heart, got my soul
Got my back, I got my sex

I got my arms, got my hands
Got my fingers, got my legs
Got my feet, got my toes
Got my liver, got my blood

I’ve got life, I’ve got my freedom
I’ve got the life

I’ve got the life
And I’m gonna keep it
I’ve got the life
And nobody’s gonna take it away
I’ve got the life

Thank you Nina Simone for making this beautiful and honest song. I really enjoy exploring this particular song because once you do, you know you’ve grown to appreciate what you have.

What You Did Not Know About Working at a Bakery

I was never able to get those down!

These simple flowers take so much skill to do! I could never get it down.

I decided to work at a bakery because it seemed like an easy job to do. It is actually fun and a happy atmosphere, you meet great people, and you see a lot of talent that you can only see as an employee and not a customer. However, it is not an easy job to do. You are constantly bending down, answering questions, running around and trying to open sticky bins or carrying heavy cakes. It doesn’t stop there though, once you become a cake specialist you can never go back. You will never see a creative cake with the same eyes again! You always get interesting personalities coming into a bakery, but with a cake order, you get to know them on a deeper level. An annoying customer who wants a cookie is a world of a whole lot different interaction that an annoying customer who wants a a cake. “A customer is always right” was the worst thing in the world during those crazy moments.

Anyways, I did not think doing cakes was a big deal until customers made it a big deal.

1. You are surprised by the things people complain about!

I opened the box to show the customer how her cake turned out but she said she did not expect the frosting to be so dark. This lady showed me a picture of what she was expecting, a white cake with gold accents for her party but she chose fudge icing on her cake. She did not expect for her cake to come out as a dark brown cake with gold accents. She made a fuss, was mad at us for not pointing out to her that if she chose fudge as the icing, her cake would be brown. We had to re-ice the whole cake.

2. People want us to be like cake boss

This one was one of my biggest pet peeves. Customers would bring in pictures of lavish extravagant decorations which were usually made out of fondant, topsy turvy tiers and movable parts. I would explain to them the extent of how much we could replicate the design and often they would not be satisfied. Then, I would get the managers and cake decorators, we would draw out the design they wanted, and when finally they were happy with the compromise, the whole thing would go to shambles once we added up the total. After dealing with them for an hour, they would walk out with a regular round cake with a printed picture on top.

You will love this cake, but you will not love the price!

You will love this cake, but you will not love the price!

3. Saturday is the worst day in the world

Saturdays are they days you hope just come and go. That is the day of parties and celebrations and several large walk in fridges jam packed with cakes and orders. Most of us are small petite girls who weigh less than those cakes we need to find. Then after finding the cake, and struggling with it or having someone kindly carry it for us, that was only halt of the victory, the next was hoping that the customer actually liked the cake, or you have to struggle with it back to the decorator’s station. I got a lady who started to cry because her cake was misspelled, something we could change right away. Another lady thought her cake was too light blue and she wanted the cake for free and her money back in cash even though she paid with a card. I told her to wait for the manager to come and she responded,

“Well you can tell that bitch to give me my money! I’m a single mother! Open that register and give me my money!”

That was a scary moment. Onlooking customers kept asking me what ended up happening for two weeks afterwards.

4. People who don’t make space for their cake in their car

Oh my sore arms! I have had to hold big cakes right in front of a customer’s car as I am waiting for them to organize their stuff. Its not just one person during the day, but a lot of people who do not come prepared with enough space in advance. I do not care at least one bit how messy and dirty your car is, that car better have some space to put that damn cake! One time a guest came in with a luxury sports car that had no trunk and I  had to bend down almost to the curb to put that cake on the passenger seat. He was picking a cake up for a friend and had no idea how big the cake was going to be.

5. People who order cakes for someone else and are too nervous to make a decision

There are a lot of well intentioned people who volunteer to order a cake for a friend. What was incredibly frustrating was that they had no idea what to order, and would often excuse themselves to send their friend all the pictures of the designs and tell them about the flavors, then come back while I am just waiting for them on the counter as if I did not have a full line of people waiting. One person was on Skype on the phone while making a cake order! This was really awkward. They would say “My friend is nice but you don’t know how picky she is!”

6. People who get your name and threaten to find you if their cake does not come out well. (Because apparently we’ve done it before but they still come here?!)

Yes, when we get these people, we brace ourselves for a scene because no matter how right we do the cake, they will find something wrong with it. One lady complained that we did exactly what she ordered and wanted us to change it because it was too plain.

7. We cannot sell bad tasting or hazardous cakes

What I mean is: we are not going to ice your whole cake in gold and deep red and cover it in pearls that is going to choke the kids at your party. One person ordered their cake with gold swirls as the filling, but they had to bring it back because their guests got stomach aches soon afterwards. After that incident, we had a stricter policy to anything bad tasting. Even if a customer insists that they only care about how pretty their cake will look and not the taste, it looks really bad on us and their guests will think we make nasty cakes.

Also, if you want your cake to be chocolate cake with lemon mouse and fresh strawberries filling we will stop you too! If we made an individual cake that serves one person then fine, pay to give yourself an acid reflux! But do not make yucky choices and bring your guests down with you too.

8. The R Rated Orders

These were kind of fun but a little awkward too. For bachelor parties boob cakes were highly requested and thongs… but we could not do that, we would make bigger bottoms or add a bra. To price a boob cake, I needed to find out how much we priced two basketballs or two golf balls. Customers would start laughing as they saw me look up different round shapes to price their boob or butt cakes. We had a famous rapper’s mom ordered a cake and we could not do most words that she wanted: we could not use the n-word.

This is as far we go!

This is as far we go!

9. Pregnant Belly Cake

This one was just too odd to me! Who wants to eat a cake that looks like a belly with a foot in it! These are so popular and people really love them, but it just never grew on me. It looks like your are eating someone’s breasts or belly, what if you go the foot?

I cannot eat a belly cake... just seems so wrong!

I cannot eat a belly cake… just seems so wrong!

Its like a strange cannibalism. Also, that is one big foot coming out of a mom’s belly.

10. Save the best for the last, people who do not know any information about the cake they are picking up!

They do not know what name the cake was held under, how big, the flavor, the design and not even who the cake is getting dedicated too! How am I supposed to find this cake? The bakery does not have a search engine where you put one word and your cake will magically appear.

Sometimes, people would come in and give us the wrong name on the order. We would look for their cake high and low, in the tiniest and darkest places, to then find out ourselves that they had given us the wrong information. We would come shivering out of the fridges. These customers would even have the audacity to be impatient while we were looking for the cake.”Uh… excuse me but I am late to the party and this is unacceptable! I have 2 people searching for this cake and not one person can find it! What did you say? I’m in the wrong bakery?” If they gave us the wrong info how are we supposed to find their cake!?

Slowly the first girl who started looking for the cake starts hiding in the back while looking for the cake as customers start giving you these evil glares the longer it takes to find their cake. The more glares, the more nervous we get and the longer it gets for us to find the cake. We have to be investigators and do miracles with the information that we are given.

Be that as it may, I really enjoy working at a bakery. I would say these are 30% of our interactions while 60% is full of wonderful people who stop to say hi to us. I’ve gotten gifts from regular customers and one even made me a Christmas stocking with my name on it in glitter.

How to be the Only Happy Person in Your Job

One happy person

Happiness is a choice. The reason I smile when I help you is not because I have an amazing job, or because I get paid a great salary, but because despite the job being simple and sometimes stressful, I decided to enjoy something out of it. It’s the lovely people the come visit everyday, the taste of new products, and making jokes with my coworkers. I do not expect my job to fulfill me or become my dream job. I do what I like outside of work. And this is someone who has a degree, I’m “overqualified” for the job, but the people that come into my job do not even have that and they just complain and complain.

It is frustrating to see young people walk away from their new jobs because there is so much work to do. “This is not what I expected,” they tell me. “I am not getting paid enough to deal with all these angry customers!” Yeah, but neither does your mom or your teacher or the bus driver.

I do not believe that the amount  I get paid should dictate the quality of my service. My service is priceless and I am glad someone is paying me something for it. The customers that walk into the store I work for just want to have a nice experience during their time off and they work hard for their money like I do. That alone motivates me to be helpful and give people good customer service. Sometimes coworkers or customers get impatient and try to treat me like I’m stupid, and all I’m thinking is “Excuse me, but I have a bachelor’s degree, what do you have but just impatience and a stinky personality.” I let it slide and do not take it out on anyone. Then I go and smile at my next customer and give them a good time. Even if my bachelor’s degree did not land me a good paying job, at least it gave me something to draw confidence from.

What Students Really Need to Hear

beautiful:

“Why pass *put your class here* when I will not use it in real life?” Because school is more than passing classes and reading books, it is about building character, building discipline and lots of other things that will not happen if you give up and do not use your resources.

Originally posted on affectiveliving:

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

View original 765 more words

Important Taoist Thought: Seeing Things as They Are.

Is getting a Pooh stuck on the hole a bad thing?I am also borrowing from the Taoist writings, which is a classic work from the Huai-nan-tse which is about the importance of identifying whether something is truly a problem to then decide if you should even try to to solve it. An important Taoist philosophy is seeing things for what they really are.

“An Old Man and his son lived in an abandoned fortress on the side of a hill. Their only possession of value was a horse.

One day, the horse ran away. The neighbors came by to offer sympathy. “That’s really bad!” they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

The next day, the horse returned, bringing with it several wild horses. The old man and his son shut them all inside the gate. The neighbors hurried over. “That’s really good!” they said. “How do you know?” asked the old man.

The day after that, the army came through, forcing the local young men into service to fight a faraway battle against the northern barbarians. Many of them would never return. But the son couldn’t go, because he’d broken his leg.” (172, The Te of Piglet).

 

Te- A Chinese Word meaning Virtue- of the small.

il_340x270.431857240_hm77I am currently reading the book “Te of Piglet” which someone really special recommended to me because it is about looking through the perspective of the weak and small. Piglet, the cute small pink pig who always hung around Winnie-the-Pooh always felt self-conscious of how small and fragile he was, and would often be scared of everything, even things that were not there. However, Piglet has amazing qualities to offer the world which is illustrated in this book “The Te of Piglet,” which represents an important principle in Taoism: Te is the Chinese word that means Virtue of the small.

Below I have placed a passage from the book that puts to question what is really considered good or bad. Things that are considered good, such as being successful, wealthy and beautiful is not always such a good thing:

“Its considered good to be beautiful, but many people through being beautiful have ruined their lives and the lives of others. It’s considered bad to be unattractive, but because of being unattractive, many have come to concern themselves with matters more important than the surface appearance and have gone on to make something Special of themselves- in quite a few case becoming Beautiful in the process.

It’s considered good to be healthy and strong, but many energetic people lose their health and strength by taking what they have for granted, not knowing what it’s like to be old and depleted-and therefore not taking care of themselves- until it is Too Late.

It’s considered bad to be ill and weak, but many have responded to such conditions by examining their lives and changing the ways of doing things, thereby building up their health and strength to remarkable degrees.

Unattractiveness, illness, and weakness have many valuable lessons to teach to those willing to learn from them.”

-“The Te of Piglet” by Benjamin Hoff

This is very encouraging, and we should be happy about what we learn from not having it all. We also should not be quick to judge ourselves so harshly when we do not know how certain things will affect us in the long run.

Blowing a Dandelion