"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Too drunk to be patriotic: A Year of El Chuco in Men's Health Rankings and More Summer Reading Lists.

Bookmark and Share

Wed, July 21

Unveiling of Lalo and Lola Delgado portrait and 
Inauguration of Aberlardo "Lalo" Delgado Collection, 
6 PM @ McNeely Room, Sixth Floor, UTEP Library. 
Information: Chicano Studies: (915) 747-5462


When I was typing in the summer reading lists a few days ago, I could not find this bookmark**  from the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read. Well it turned up again. It was hiding in one of our reader's books, I won't say who.

**for those of you youngans, back in the day and still today, we had this little 2 in X 4-6 in cuts of hard paper that keep you place in your book so that you can pick up reading from where you left off if you took a break from reading, similar to the bookmarks on your browser.

Two of the books on the Big Read List are of interest, one well known, and one requested especially for the Big Read.

Bless Me, Ultima is actually the first one listed in the publicity bookmark. 

Now, this book, of course, it familiar to anyone with knowledge of Chicano(a) Literature, but for our readers who don't know our literature too well, this Rudolfo Anaya book is one of our literature's classics.

It one the Premio Quinto Sol national Chicano literary award in 1973. The description given is "a young boy in New Mexico in the 1940s...." The description says it has sold more than 300,000 copies in paperback since its 1973 debut: ""...classic Chicano coming-of-age novel chronicles the story of an alienated New Mexico boy who seeks an answer to his questions about life in his relationship with Ultima, a magical healer."

The other book on the list is Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories by Jorge F. Hernandez. "Sun, Stone and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories has the distinction of being the first book published expressly for The Big Read Program. Its stories, selected with U.S. readers in mind, represent a remarkable array of Mexico's rich and vibrant literary history. Sun, Stone and Shadows is a catalyst for cultural understanding and conversation between the people of Mexico and the United States. --Dana Gioia, Chairman. National Endowment for the Arts, U.S.A.

Jorge F. Hernandez was born in Mexico City in 1962. He grew up in Washington D.C. and lived there until 1976. He is a novelist and short story writer who has published, among other titles, "La soledad del silencio" and "La emperatriz de Lavapies". He is currently a tutor of creative writing at Fundacion para las Letras Mexicanas, A.C.

I was at Barnes and Noble this evening and saw Aaron Michael Morales featured in Poets and Writers. He is the author of Drowning Tucson. From reading the review, it looks like Drowning is written like Garcia Marquez or The Mixquiahuala Letters. Congrads to him. I didn't buy the magazine (too poor, hey it was coffee or a magazine, I need the caffeine now days), but I ripped off the subscription cards as I let my subscription lapse years ago.

I check out the bestseller rankings on the Small Press Distribution website. The rankings for June are out, and Jump Jump the Boogie by John Murillo (Cypher Books) is at #6 bestseller in the poetry category.

The last rankings they have for fiction works are from March/April. At #11 bestseller is Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories by Lorraine M. Lopez (BkMk Press). Congrads to Lorraine and John!

This is neat because small press-published  book typically run maybe max 1,000 prints, maybe more. If you remember Carlos Cumpian's article, Without Reservation, that Pluma Fronteriza published some years back on Chicano(a) publishing. If you weren't/aren't Trinidad Sanchez, Jr., it is very hard to push book sales. Ah, the tribulations of writer, first to get published and then to sell.


With exception of the El Paso Chicano(a) writers who are hiding from me, I have all their emails and I occasionally send stuff to them. A few years ago, before Facebook, I sent out how El Paso was ranked the "Sweatiest City" in the United States. 

The ranking was solely based on our temperature highs. I lived in Kansas City at the time, so I know it was bullshit. The humidity. I emailed the news item to the El Paso writers, and Dr. Oscar Martinez responded disagreeing with the survey noting El Paso's dry heat and elevation. We actually got a few writers entering the conversion. I remember the late Jesus Tafoya responding, Victor Macias, Octavio Solis, Carlos Morton among others. Anyway, aside from the story in the El Paso times of the cow loose in Interstate 10, that news piece about the Sweatiest City garnered attention. 

In fact, let me just go off on a tangent here. When I forwarded the story of the cow loose on I-10, in the subject title I put "Only in El Paso." The photos in the paper showed the steer loose on I-10 and then a commuter roping the steer with police standing in the background. Lucy Fisher-West responded that this probably happens in other cities, but only in El Paso would somebody be carrying his lasso in his car and rope the the steer.

El Paso

Waste size

September 09 ranked "Urban Waistlands" ranking fast-food addiction. Surprisingly, El Paso was only 39. I'm not sure if the surveyed the Eastside. Arlington got #1, with 1 being bad, and 100 being good. Here, Men's Health tallied the number of McDonald's, Burger Kings, Wendy's, and Taco Bells per capita; factored in the percentage of people who visit fast-food restaurant (Experian Simmons) and those who consume fast food seven or more times a month (SimpleMap). "Finally," says MH, "we went to the CDC for the number of people who are obese, and to see who's eating the fewest fruits and vegetables."

DrunkFest of a City

The March 2010 caught people's attention because it ranked El Paso 24th "Drunkest Cities." Fresno #1, Riverside (CA) #4, Lubbock, TX # 8 (isn't Lubbock in a dry county?); and Tucson #9. This was based on "death rates from alcoholic liver disease and booze-fueled car crashes, who was binge-drinking in the past month, the number of DUI arrests, and the severity of DUI penalties."


October 09 ranked the most accident-prone cities. "...we crunched ...fatal workplace accidents (Bureau of Labor Statistics); accidental deaths from car crashes, poisonings, drownings, falls, and fires (Center for Disease Control and Prevention); emergency room visits (American Hospital Association); and ...bandage sales (SimpleMap). El Paso ranked 43 with 100 being the most accident prone. Burque was 92 by the way. I'm up there this weekend.

Swine Flu Central?

In the November 09 issue, the magazine ranked El Paso on a scale of 1-86, one being most likely to catch swine flu and 86 least. El Paso was ranked #6. Philly, Buffalo, Corpitos, Tucson, and Milwaukee were ranked worse in that order. "We crunched health department data on the number of people who've already been infected or killed by the virus as of the middle of July (2009), as well as stats from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on the percentage of people with heart disease, diabetes, or asthma, which may put them at risk for serious complications of the bug. Finally, we researched the CDC numbers on places where seasonal influenza strains have a history of infecting residents." I better run down to the Tigua Clinic.

Use of cars

April ranked the most car-crazed cities this past April. Arlington, TX rank #1 again. Wow, just drive through. Austin #8. El Paso #70. I guess they haven't driven down I-10 at 8 in the morn. I won't bother you with the how and why.


You know we weren't #1 or even in the top #10 of fast food lovers, but in May we got #3 for Fatest Cities in the US. Yikes.  Four other Texas cities ranked in the top 10. This was based on the calculation of the "percentage of people who are overweight, the percentage with type 2 diabetes, the percentage who haven't left the couch in a month (CDC Behavioral Risk Factor surveillance System - yes, there's camera's in your TV); the money spent on junk food (Bureau Labor Statistics - aren't they suppose to be studying...labor?); and ...the number of people who ate fast food nine or more times in a month (Mediamark Research)."

This is where El Paso get hit and what pisses me off because anytime diabetes if a factor, El Paso makes the top 10. Yea, any city with has many Chicanos and Mexicans as we have is going to have large numbers with diabetes.


June ranked us one of the least likely cities for divorce.  We ranked 98 out of 100 with 1 being the most likely city you'd get a divorce in (Cheyenne, WY) and 100 being the least likely (SanJo, CA).


Then this last issue ranks us 99 in being patriotic with 100 being the worse. Let me see what this was based on: "...calculated the percentage of registered voters who turn out for state and federal elections from 2004 to 2008 (Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections); money spent on military veterans per capita (Dept. of Veterans Affairs); percentage of residents who volunteer, participate in civic activities, and/or work with neighbors (Volunteering America);..sales of fireworks and U.S. flags (SimplyMap and American Flags.com).

Well shit, there a county-wide ban on firework sales due to brush fires. Is how much the government spends on veterans the city's fault? 2004 to 2008, elections? Wasn't Sheriff Leo Samaniego setting up roadblocks or something like that?

I'll have to poke holes in these later this week, I'm tired. Mimi time.

The link we share with you today is: Wow Wow Wubbsy.

Your calo juarense for today is: como te la jalas - Te haces el tonto; te crees muy bueno - You sure play the fool; you think you are really something.
                                                          -Glosario del Calo de Cd. Juarez, Ricardo Aguilar Melantzon

Bookmark and Share

No comments: