Thursday, June 23, 2005



When we talk about words or concepts not translating directly from Spanish or English, this is one of the first things that comes to my mind.

Yes, in English we have the word "detail." And yes, detalle can mean the same kind of "detail" in Spanish as it does in English.

But it goes much, much further. And I wish we had not only the word and the concept in English, but the common cultural practice as well.

Detalles are the little things you do for someone else, the thoughtful gift or action that shows you care and that you're thinking about that person. Detalles show consideration for others and are a way of making the world a better place one detallito at a time.

The word popped into my mind at an odd moment the other night. I was at a local pub (yes, we have a new, fabulous, totally authentic Irish-from-Ireland pub in our little New Jersey ex-urb!), and a friend mentioned to me one of the reasons she knew it was a wonderful place. She said, "Did you see the tampons in the bathroom?" I said no, I hadn't visited the restroom yet. She said, "There's a little basket in the bathroom filled with tampons, and if you need one, you just take one! No fumbling around, looking for change, if you need one. What a great idea! How much could that cost, maybe five bucks a month, but what a difference it makes!"

I never thought of a feminine hygiene product being a detalle, but in this case that is exactly what it was. So the Irish must know something about detalles, too...

A little consideration and a little detalle go a very long way, in business, in personal relationships, and in life.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Los tres papacitos

Well, it is Father's Day, but that's not the kind of papacitos I'm talking about....

If my scanner were working, and/or if it were easier to post pictures or weblinks onto Blogger (I hope they fix that soon!), you would be looking at a photo right now of Chayanne, Alejandro Fernandez and Marc Anthony, who have joined together for a tour across the US this summer. Pop, ranchera and salsa, all in the mix. More and more, Latino artists are working together and blending their styles and genres. It is only a step or two behind what is already happening in this country, in the radio stations and on the streets, in schools and in homes. Television seems even more behind, but it will soon catch up, too.... perhaps with the help of my videos!

Otros tres papacitos are my favorite band, Los Lonely Boys, whom I had el gusto to see in concert on Wednesday night. They were the opening act for Santana, but I have to say, I really went to see them. Talk about papacitos, they have talent and style and just seem like all-around down-home guys to boot. My dream is to see them in a much smaller venue .... but it was exciting to see them in Madison Square Garden playing alongside Santana. I can only imagine how cool that was for them.

Carlos Santana, of course, played beautifully, but my favorite part of his time on stage was when he spoke to the audience about "looking for that place deep down inside you where your light lives." "When you hang out with your light," he said, "great things happen." Beautifully put, and beautifully true.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Táctica y Estrategia

While I was writing my last post, I had to think twice about whether my method of tracking down the titles and artists of Latin songs from the radio should be called a strategy or a tactic. I'm still not sure, but I do know that those two words are forever linked in my mind due to one of my favorite poems by my absolute favorite poet in the world: Mario Benedetti, of Uruguay.


Mi táctica es
aprender como sos
quererte como sos

mi táctica es
y escucharte
construir con palabras
un puente indestructible

mi táctica es
quedarme en tu recuerdo
no sé cómo ni sé
con qué pretexto
pero quedarme en vos

mi táctica es
ser franco
y saber que sos franca
y que no nos vendamos
para que entre los dos

no haya telón
ni abismos

mi estrategia es
en cambio
más profunda y más
mi estrategia es
que un día cualquiera
no sé cómo ni sé
con qué pretexto
por fin me necesites