Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cultural differences

After walking around the neighborhood a lot I noticed one thing - there is a large Hispanic community. All of the supermarkets have an Hispanic section, in stores like Sears you often hear the speaker announcements in Spanish, a lot of signs and most manuals are in English and Spanish, ...

I like cultural diversity, so as long as they still explain stuff in English (so I understand it too) I don't mind this at all. I actually find it quite interesting.

I knew that the South of the US had a large hispanic community. My friend lives in Florida and was afraid she wouldn't be able to find a new job because she doesn't speak Spanish. When I helped her look for a job I saw that indeed - most places in Florida want you to speak Spanish as well as English. 

The media has long recognized the market - from what I saw we have at least 10 Hispanic channels and the main magazines like People magazine have Spanish versions. But I saw one thing that I did not expect: Christmas movies.

Every year there is a major romantic Christmas movie coming out. You have seen the "Whitie" versions - The Family Stone, The Holiday, Love Actually ...

This year the major Whitie Christmas movie is "Four Christmases" with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn and it is heavily advertised everywhere. Those romantic Christmas movies usually have one or more of the following components: one of the partners is not accepted into the family of the other, one of the family members is very sick and will either miraculously recover or die, there is some other major family tragedy, in the end everybody is happy because the Christmas spirit - even though it makes everybody fight in the beginning - will eventually make everybody love each other.

Well, right now they are heavily advertising three different christmas movies:
Four Christmases for the Caucasian/white community
This Christmas for the African American community (with Chris Brown! It's actually last year's Christmas movie but I guess now it's out on DVD)
Nothing like the Holidays for the Hispanic community

"Nothing like the Holidays" actually plays in Chicago and has Planet Terror's and Ugly Betty's Freddy Rodriguez (who grew up in the Lincoln Park area in Chicago - not far from where we are living now!) in it. 
From these movies "Nothing like the Holidays" sounds most interesting, so maybe I can convince E to watch it with me or if not, maybe his mom will go see it with me. (One advice - if you intend to watch the movie - don't watch the trailer. It's seems to be pretty much the whole movie in two minutes ...)

Change of subject - so I took a sewing class on Monday. It was fantastic. We were a small group of four girls and one teacher. I brought my own sewing machine and bought the fabric and materials in their shop. The other people were pretty interesting - there was a stylist for some minor Miami detective show who I would like to call "the name dropper" because she kept on making comments like "You know the show Shear Genius? The girl who won the last one is my hair dresser!", the "Military wife/mom" who just moved here from Hawaii and the "Interior Designer who had just changed her career from being a software sales lady to being an Interior designer. Those people were just normal people like me but had followed their dreams and became who they wanted to be. That gave me a big confidence boost.

Sewing wise I was by far the least experienced. I was surprised because the class was called 
"Sewing 101" and was supposed to be for beginners. I hadn't used a sewing machine for about 15 years. I had only just unpacked my sewing machine 10 minutes  before I left for the class to see if it works (by doing that I accidently dropped it on my foot - three days later I still have a blue toe that hurts if I wear tight shoes).

Anyway - the teacher spent the first 2 hours explaining the sewing machine to us and then we spent the next two hours making a pillow with a zipper! Since my previous job was to assess whether something was good workmanship or not I do know that what I did was definitely not great workmanship. The seams of my zipper were very wavy but hey - it's my first pillow case! I am pretty happy with it and will attempt to make another one these days.

That class only lasted this one evening but they have quite a few other classes. So I am sure I will be back there. I am interested in the "Make your own tote bag" class and the "Easy upholstery" class.

Last night I re-discovered one of the silliest, most useless, stupid but also funny videos and I just have to share it with you:
(I don't know how to embed this video so you will just have to go on the link)

(I'll post a picture of my pillow case once I make the second one)


contrarybear said...

I'll watch the Hispanic Christmas movie, sure.


Maria said...

hihi Maybe you will be on Project Catwalk pretty soon! : )