Bottom of the 9th

I’ve been to a lot of Dodger games, but this one was the best one ever.

It didn’t start out so well. We were down 2-1 and the Cardinals brought in closer Ryan Franklin (who does not deserve #31) to earn the save. The first two batters he faced, Andre Ethier (who hit a homerun against Matt Wainright in the 4th) flyed out. Manny Ramirez flyed out too.

Two outs.

And then comes James Loney. He hits a simple fly ball to left center. Matt Holliday goes for the catch and drops it, making a big error and likely hurting more than his ego. Loney hustles and reaches second on what should have been the game ending out.
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Naming names

The emotional complexity of that cultural changeover means that parents don’t just switch from Latin names to English ones in a single go. Rather, says Jasso, they may pass through a three-stage process, “with bilingual names becoming popular for a while. Those are names like Hector and Daniel for boys and Sandra and Cecilia for girls.” [Time Magazine, Adios Juan and Juanita: Latin names trend down]

When my parents, Carlos and Luz, chose baby names, they picked names that would sound good in English and Spanish. It made sense to them. They were born in Mexico, but emigrated as school-age children. Although they are fluent in their native and adopted tongues, their parents barely spoke English. Thus, they avoided names that would be mangled by their parents and chose Daniel (well, Grandma chose that name), Cynthia, Laura and Adrian.

I like their approach. I’m not sure mom and dad saw themselves in some sort of “cultural changeover,” but their names as well as the names they chose for their children fit into the three-stage process.

As I read Jeffrey Kluger’s article on Latino names trending downward I wondered about the general premise: distinctly Latino names are dying out as the percentage of foreign born Latinos diminishes and those who are here become more assimilated. Kluger cites data from the Social Security Administration on changes in popularity for baby names.
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DIY Halloween series (coming soon)

I love October. It’s got baseball playoffs, the World Series, loved ones’ birthdays, and at the end we dress up and celebrate Halloween.

In case you don’t know, I’ve always loved Halloween. I’m pretty sure it’s genetic, as my parents dressed up in some crazy/silly get-ups in their youth. (There’s a photo floating around of my dad in drag. No, I won’t post it.)

As a kid, my mom would ask what I wanted to be. I’d pick something and she’d proceed to make the costume. (Mom also used her sewing talents to make some of our clothes.)

One year, I embraced gender duality and told my mom I wanted to be the bride/groom I’d seen in Big Top Pee Wee. She proceeded to cut up the dress I wore as a flower girl in my tía Nellie’s wedding and at my First Communion (we were into recycling before it was trendy). She got an old suit that belonged to my cousin Danny and pieced together my greatest costume ever.

I won first prize for that costume.


October is also the time when I post the series on low-cost, DIY and culturally-relevant costumes. You can find costume ideas from 2008 and 2007 here. I’ll be back with more for 2009.