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GasStationMakeoverNovela

So here’s my take on Episode 2 of the Great GasStationMakeoverNovela “Looking For Frida” on Telemundo!!

“BUSCANDO A FRIDA”/. “SEARCHING FOR FRIDA”
Episode 2

It’s a sad day for a mother when she finds out that not only has her perfect teenage daughter staged her own disappearance, ruining her father’s birthday and driving up the cost of police overtime,
but she gave herself a makeover in a gas station bathroom.

And that’s exactly what Frida Pons has done.

She has apparently rejected beautiful clothes, living in a mansion, and a private-school uniform that miraculously makes everyone look BETTER, for a grey hoodie, and having to use questionable bathrooms.

But, as always, in every telenovela where there is a gas-station makeover, she now has great bangs.

When Covid exploded here in Mexico, and I couldn’t get a haircut, I gave myself an Air BNB makeover here in my bathroom using scissors I bought from a paper store in Mexico City. I was confident that I could do it, based upon the multiple gas-station makeovers I have seen in telenovelas.
Inspired, I cut my own bangs.
All I can tell you is that my bangs looked nothing like telenovela bangs, which might be because the foundation is weak – I don’t have telenovela hair.

A long time ago, a friend of mine was reading a romance novel called “The Rich Are Different,” and she kept insisting I read it. And I told her then what I would tell her now – I don’t need a book to tell me something I already know.

And it’s like that for telenovela characters – they are different, and the difference starts with their hair.

Enough said.

So Mr and Mrs Pons are confronted with the fact that Frida seems to have willfully absented herself from her family, and sure doesn’t seem to have been kidnapped from the disco. But that fact matters not to the Pons, or the Police. They are still treating this case like a kidnapping until they have reason to suspect otherwise,
which might have to be a :30 ad in Prime Time from Frida telling her parents that she left voluntarily and was not kidnapped, although even then Mr. Pons would probably insist the police find her because he is the richest man in Mexico City and a very important architect.
Architecture is very important in Mexico City.

But the fact that Frida still looks alive, with a new, edgy look, has definitely taken some pressure off of the Pons Extended Family, which means they can go back to fighting, and behaving as badly as they always do.

For example, one of Mr. Pons’ sisters, Rafaela, is married to Salvador, and they are the parents of two of Frida’s Disco Cousins Tomas and Ingrid.
Mr. Pons other sister, Gabriella, is married to Antonio, and they are the parents of the Kissing Cousin, Diego. They are all hiding Secrets and Lies, which is not easy to do when you live in they middle of the forest, next door to your siblings who you also work with all day.

Let’s start with Rafaela and Salvador – they work together at the Pons Architectural Dynasty, like everyone else in the family. But It’s clear that Rafaela would prefer Salvador stay home with the kids because apparently he is better at laundry than architecture. Rafaela has very severe, super-straight hair, and wears a lot of black, which is how we know she is more interested in her career than her family. Frida’s disappearance has not stopped them from arguing and insulting each other all day, or from trying to claim that they are not better at grocery shopping than their spouse.

The other Pons sister, Gabriela, is more of a free spirit, and we know that because her hair is soft with a loose wave, and her clothes are colorful and unconstructed. Her husband Antonio looks exactly like the President of the Tight-Ass Club, and if I had to guess after just two episodes, I would say that somewhere along the way, the sisters either intentionally switched husbands, or accidentally mixed them up.
Gabriela and Antonio don’t bicker, but don’t seem that interested in each other either. They seem like two people who are seated in the same row in an airplane. Polite, but they’d rather not talk to each other. Their son Diego apparently feels the same way, because he spends most of his time at home either stoned in his bedroom, fist-fighting with his cousin Tomas, making-out with his cousin Frida, or ignoring his cousin Ingrid, Tomas’ sister. But that’s ok, because if this show had a sub-title, it would be “Everyone Ignores Ingrid,” which makes Ingrid a Prime Suspect in her cousin Frida’s voluntary disappearance.

Everyone is a suspect in Frida’s voluntary disappearance except for Frida herself.

So not only is everyone back at work at the Pons Architectural Dynasty the next day (except for Friday’s mom Mrs Pons, who is finding more and more excuses to visit Det. Handsome at the police station, and we know she’s sad because she wears a sweater over her dress).

Gabriela has just welcomed back an old, very handsome friend named Angel Olvera, who she hugged and kissed about a thousand times in front of her husband Antonio, which tells you a lot about their marraige. I am just not sure what yet.
After Gabriela spent all morning kissing Angel, he stopped by her office at Pons Architectural Dynasty, where she started hugging and kissing him again, even though they just broke apart apart an hour before.
Angel also seems to share a secret with Antonio, and it’s not just that his wife likes to kiss Angel an awful lot.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pons has received a mysterious call from a stranger who claims to have Frida, and wants One Million Pesos for her return. He and Mr. Pons called each other “Disgraciada” a lot on the telephone, and then it was a draw. I am pretty sure Mr Pons’ friend and partner got the money out of the company for him to pay the kidnapper, and Mr. Pons didn’t tell the police or his wife that he was about to pay someone 1,000,000 pesos for Frida’s return. I am not sure why that amount was so high, because clearly the kidnapper didn’t spend any money on the kidnapping.

When we last left Episode 2, Mr. Pons and his Briefcase Full of Cash were at an old factory, where the kidnapper insisted they meet. Somehow, the police got wise to the ransom meet, because they are there too. It is quite possible that the only person who is not at the Secret Ransom Drop is the Ransomee herself, La Frida.

Additionally, the police uncovered a message on social media, where someone anonymous (not for long) predicted that Frida would be dead soon. They are investigating that by going to visit Ingrid, which is probably fine by Ingrid because she doesn’t seem to have many friends, and an interrogation is better than nothing.

I have my own theory about why Frida disappeared:

  1. She probably has no privacy because her aunts, uncles, and cousins are always hanging around; and
  2. She has the awful, scary Mexico stairs in her house that are so treacherous that she can never do the Crazy Teenage Girl Storm-Out, because she’d fall going up or down those stairs. (These stairs, that are all over Mexico, are the most dangerous thing in this beautiful and complicated country.)

I predict that when the Pons sisters find out that their beloved brother took $1,000,000 out of the company they won’t be happy. They were teenage girls once themselves, and know that Frida probably isn’t worth it.

Don’t miss Episode 3 tonight!! This novela is off to a great start, and like every great novela, it’s just going to get better!!

See you there!

Telemundo

BuscandoAFrida

Telemundo
Telemundo Internacional
Argos

Scene of the makeover…
These stairs would drive anyone to run away from home!

PANIC AT THE DISCO, aka “BUSCANDO A FRIDA”

“LOOKING FOR FRIDA?” – “BUSCANDO A FRIDA”

So last night was one part of a Double-Header Premier night from Telemundo, and the new MysteryNovela is “BUSCANDO A FRIDA,” which means “Looking For Frida.”
I’m already hooked, and I’m going to guess that after a few episodes we will learn so much about Frida and her Family that we will wonder why they are not grateful she’s gone.

That’s a Novela I’d like to see one day – “We’re Grateful She’s Gone.” Basically, in my version, a teenage girl disappears and her family spends the rest of the show trying to keep her gone.

So in BAF, basically, Frida is a teenage girl who leaves her father’s birthday party early to go to the disco with her cousins, and disappears from there.
The only clues to her disappearance are that her phone and red cold-shoulder disco dress are found in a park in Mexico City (where they live), and she also made-out like crazy with one of her male cousins while the other male cousin spied on them jealously, and her female cousin danced alone and complained later that she thought Frida was staging the whole “disappearance” for attention, which seems odd because if there’s one thing Frida has no shortage of, it’s attention.
Or bad cousins.

Frida’s father, Mr Pons,left his own birthday party to take Frida and her cousins to the disco, which seemed ok with him.
I found this very odd because they live in Mexico City, and I lived in Mexico City for awhile, and if there’s one thing I know about Mexico City (besides the abundance of delicious Tacos Pastor), I don’t care where you are going or what time you’re going- you are going to be stuck in traffic. Forever.
When I lived in Chicago I was pretty much always late for everything, but when I lived in Mexico City I was always early, but that’s because I always added two extra hours to however long Uber said it took to get there so I would not be late.

So I’m not sure what kind of daughter asks her father to leave his birthday party to drive her to the disco in Mexico City, but if that was my daughter I’d think her disappearance would add years to my life.

The fact that Mr Pons was willing to leave his party and get back into Mexico City traffic to drive the teen cousins to the underage disco tells you one of two things:

  1. The adults at the party couldn’t wait to get rid of the teenagers; or
  2. The adults at the party were so boring that being stuck in traffic was better than being stuck spending more time with them.

I vote for #2 and here’s why:
Mr & Mrs Pons, their three daughters, and housekeeper live in a gigantic house in the middle of a big park, and the other two houses belong to Mr Pons’ sisters and their families.
And it looks like they are all together all of the time, which might be why Frida and her cousin seem to be in love.
(It’s a little of “Flowers In The Attic,” except the Kissing Cousins are in 3 pretty big mansions inside of a big park inside of the biggest city in the world. So they do have other options.)

So if I’m Mr Pons, and I’m spending another night (my birthday) with my sisters and their husbands again, I might volunteer to drive the kids into the city too.

Mr Pins is clearly a Captain of Industry, and his sisters are like his Lieutenants, and their husbands are like enlisted men. Which I predict causes no small amount of tension, because the husbands are like the Invited Guests at the Officer’s Club, but their wives are members, so they have more privileges and sign for everything. This means that the husbands have to pretend to like their wives even more than they have to pretend to like their brother-in-law.

Mrs Pons stays home and pretends to help her housekeeper run her house.

When Mrs Pons and one of her sisters-in-law goes to the disco to pick up Frida and the cousins, it might be a good thing Frida is missing because I’m not even sure where they would all fit.
Plus, with the cousin make-out that happened that the other cousin saw, the tension level in that car was going to be fierce.
Plus, it was going to be a super-tight fit, which could go either way.
Better that Frida disappeared, and one cousin was stoned out of his mind when his aunt found him sleeping in the Ladies Room.

The whole family is now sad and frantic, and probably wouldn’t be cheered up at the bright side, which means a lot less driving.

Mr Pons is so powerful that their own detective has been assigned to Frida’s disappearance, and we can tell Det. Cabrera is very troubled because he has a punching bag in his cool loft, and a dog who spends most of his day watching him punch the heavy bag.
And that’s pretty much it.

Plus, Det. Cabrera has the kind of haircut that a wife or girlfriend would never tolerate, unless of course they wanted to make sure other women looked the other way. I think that his haircut might be inspired (or caused by) quarantine, but because there was is no social distancing happening in the show, I’m guessing the series was filmed pre-Covid, which means that there’s no excuse for his haircut other than the fact he is a troubled bachelor who is too troubled to get a decent haircut.

Det Cabrera is a detective unlike any detective I have ever seen (and I’ve seen a few) because he drives his own car everywhere, and never talks to his partner about where they are going to eat lunch.

So he’s assigned to The Disappearance of Frida, and as soon as he met the Pons family he fell in love with Mrs Pons.
And her with him.
The disappearance of her daughter might have slowed her down a bit, but I’m pretty sure we will watch their romance unfold faster than the Missing Person’s Case he’s opened.

At the end of yesterday’s episode, Mrs Pons spotted Frida’s Red Disco dress at the same park where her phone had been found.
And Mr Pons got a chilling phone call from someone who claims to have Frida.
Since it was just the first episode, it seems unlikely he really does have Frida, unless BAF is setting a record for the shortest telenovela in history.

“Buscando A Frida” is an updated, new version of one of my favorite novelas “Donde Esta Elisa?,” which was a remake of a Chilean novela of the same name.
The original series is more than 10 years old, so there’s lots of space for changes and new material!
Perhaps the entire case will be solved on Toc Toc, so I can finally learn what that is.

The series was created by Pablo Illanes and this version was written by Sandra Velasco.
The series has great genes.
And so does the does the cast.
Everyone is beautiful, which always adds tension.
In a family this good-looking, no one is taking a back seat to anyone, or letting the mysterious disappearance of anyone interfere with their spa appointments, Keratin treatments or Pilates.

I’m going to be watching and telling you all about it, and I hope you’ll join me for this new fun ride from Telemundo!

buscandoafrida

telemundo

@TLMDPR @

Searching For Frida

EPISODE 4

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES … AND MURDER & MAYHEM!”

When we last left off yesterday, GINA was at the door of the Ciderville ‘El Generalissimo’ General Store, and GABI was not happy to see her, while LUPITA was still reeling from the events of the day so far,and she had only been in town for a few hours!

Gina is holding a snowglobe filled with Dalmation puppies, and still in her Christmas sweater.

An angry Gabi asks her “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!? (What are you doing here?!?)”

Gina responds that she is there to see FERNANDA. Lupita insists she is not Fernanda, and wants to know why everyone keeps calling her ‘Fernanda.’

For the umpteenth time that day (so far) she tells Gina in no uncertain terms that she is NOT this ‘Fernanda,’ and adds for good measure, that she is not here to buy the town of Ciderville, either.

She then adds, to both Gina and Gabi, that she is NEVER going to wear a Christmas Sweater, and that when people in The Big City wear them, they wear them as jokes, for ‘Ugly Sweater’ contests.

Gina and Gabi bless themselves.

Gina asks Gabi for a moment of privacy with ‘Lupita.’ Gabi is reluctant to do so, but Lupita insists it’s ok, and so Gabi goes to the store-room to unpack more Christmas sweaters, which is also an excellent listening post.

Before she goes, she asks if anyone wants any hot cider, but no one does.

Gabi pretends to go into the store-room, but she stands in the doorway, where she can hear everything.

Lupita asks Gina what she wants, and demands that Gina explains why Gina, Veronica and Roberto kidnapped her earlier that day.

Gina reminds her it was more in the nature of an “Unlawful Restraint,” and not a full-blown Kidnapping, but agrees it was wrong and apologizes and begs Lupita for her forgiveness. Lupita says she forgives them, but wants to know WHY??? Gina tells her that the Town of Ciderville is very important to all of them, and they heard that a Busy Career Woman From The Big City Who Hates Christmas was coming to Ciderville to buy the town to destroy, and that she and her partners had decided to hold The Career Woman hostage until after Christmas, so that Ciderville could have “One Last Christmas,” but that when they saw the Career Woman was Fernanda, they just couldn’t do it.

In the middle of the conversation, they hear the screech of tires, and Gabi, Gina and Lupita run to the windows of the shop, where they see the long, black limo we saw at the end of yesterday’s episode has stopped in front of the store. The tall, very handsome, elegant man in a perfectly tailored Italian suit emerges from the back of the car, and again removes his photo of “Fernanda” from his wallet, then looks directly at the faces of the three women in the window. Lupita shows no emotion, Gabi’s face breaks into a big smile, and a stunned Gina drops the Dalmation snow-globe, shattering it into a thousand pieces. And then faints in case anyone missed the point.

The man – LEONARDO – begins walking up the Candy Cane Lane to the shop… Taking his time… Enjoying this moment…

MEANWHILE…

NADIA and OSCAR are still day-drinking, at a different Cantina in town, the “Ciderville Christmas Candle-Inn.”

The Cande-Inn has no artificial lights, is entirely lit by Christmas candles, and the bartender dresses like Santa Clause, the Bar-backs dress as elves, and the waitresses dress like Mrs. Clause. But not a “Naughty’ Mrs Clause – more like a Hallmark Mrs Clause.

It’s one of the most popular places in town, because everyone looks great in candlelight.

In between steamy embraces, in their corner booth, Oscar asks Nadia about the town – specifically, what’s with the cider, and where’s the snow? Nadia is about to answer some of his questions, but changes her mind when “La Murga” comes on the jukebox, and she can’t resist the Christmas salsa music. She pulls Oscar onto the dance floor, and even though the two of them have been drinking all day, they don’t miss a step.

Everyone in the bar begins to clap around them as they take over the floor, yelling “Eso!!”

Just like Mark Anthony.

The music ends with an abrupt scratching-sound, when the doors to the bar open, letting in daylight and two figures of two men standing in the doorway, whose faces are blocked by the sun.

The two men come towards Oscar & Nadia.

Nadia’s eyes open in terror when she realizes it’s JOSE and JOSUE, now in matching Christmas Sweaters.

Jose says to Nadia – “Mira Nada Más” (“Well, Well, Well, Look Who’s Here…”) “Go on, my love, why don’t you tell your new lover about the cider?”

Josue adds, and “And don’t forget to tell him about the snow, too!”

Jose and Josue laugh diabolically and crowd Nadia, who pulls herself up bravely to her full height (approximately 5’3”) and demands to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!?”

Josue brings his face very close to Nadia’s, and tells her “We’re here for you.”

“And for some hot cider,” Jose adds.

Oscar believes this a good time for him to leave the bar, to go find his Patrona Lupita, but Jose and Josue block his exit, which leads Oscar to rethink his exit, and instead orders “Hot Cider all around!!” This breaks the tension, and everyone has a good laugh, until Josue leans right into Oscar’s face, demanding to know “Que Haces Aqui?!?!?!?!?”

Oscar replies that he’s only passing through town with his Patrona,

but Jose corrects him and says “No, I mean what are you doing here with MY WIFE?!?!?”

He then crushes the cider goblet in his hand, never losing eye contact with Oscar…

MEANWHILE-

Back at the Ciderville Village Hall made entirely out of gingerbread, MAYOR LUIS and and SHERIFF RICARDO walk into the small conference room where LAS COLOMBIANAS wait for them, drumming their extremely decorated and very long nails on the table. They are wearing Christmas Sweaters, but because they are Colombian, the sweaters are actually crop-tops that just look like Christmas Sweaters.

The crop-tops are also decorated with small candles that are actually lit, but because Las Colombianas are Colombian, they are not afraid of wearing lit candles.

When Luis and Ricardo walk into the room, Las Colombianos demand to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!?”

To which Luis responds “I work here. The better question is “QUE ESTAN HACIENDO AQUI??!” (Which means, “What are you doing here, (plural)?!?!?”)

Ricardo then tells them to put their sweaters out, because this is a “No Smoking” building.

LA COLOMBIANA points at LA FRANCESCA, The Deputy Mayor and Chief Deputy of the Ciderville Police Department, who is spying on them from the doorway, and smoking. La Colombiana demands to know why La Francesca is allowed to smoke, and Luis explains that La Francesca’s grandmother founded the town, so she’s grandfathered in on smoking. And Ricardo reminds them that Francesca is also the Deputy Mayor and Chief Deputy of the Ciderville Police Department, so she can pretty much do whatever she wants. THE OTHER COLOMBIANA objects to the corruption of the Ciderville town government, and also wants to know if she and La Colombiana can have some more hot cider please.

Luis tells them that they can have as much cider as they want once they explain what they are doing there without an appointment.

Las Colombianas explain (In very fast Spanish, in a very strong Colombian dialect that sounds kind of Chinese to an untrained ear, like mine) that they are there in the spirit of Christmas, and want to work with Ciderville to end waste, and to that end, they have a suggestion: After Christmas, they volunteer to take whatever is left of the Gingerbread Town Hall and ship it all to starving children.

Their organization is called “A Nosh for Los Ninos.”

The ladies add that they want to create a Christmas Talent Competition to raise funds for the organization, which will take place on Christmas Eve, and that since they are very talented themselves, they should not be excluded from the competition.

Luis and Ricardo try to catch their breath from the long and fast verbal assault from Las Colombianas, which is just how they talk. But the Mayor and Chief like the idea.

And they like Las Colombianas.

Luis calls for Francesca to bring more hot cider for everyone, and while the four of them toast happier days ahead for their relationship, Francesca watches from the doorway, smoking, and pulls out her phone.

When whoever she is calling answers, Francesca says “My love, I have some very interesting news for you… But it will cost you… Meet me at the Christmas Cantina. …

No! Not that one, the other one!”

MEANWHILE…

Back at the Ciderville “El Generalissimo” General Store, Lupita is trying to revive Gina, while Gabi fusses over LEONARDO with hot cider and cookies, and she holds different Christmas sweaters up to him, trying to decide what will suit him best.

Leonardo really likes those cookies, and doesn’t stop eating them.

He eats and waits for Gina to wake up, and stares at Lupita. Lupita finally revives Gina, and when Gina comes to, she asks Leonardo, “Leonardo, Que Haces Aqui?!?!?”

Gabi reminds GIna that Leonardo is family – her brother – and the better question to Gina is “What are you still doing here?”

Lupita watches them while they argue, and Leonardo interrupts them both with a “Shut Up,” which they obey immediately.

Leonardo begins walking towards a nervous Lupita, who walks backward as he walks forwards, and she nervously asks him what he wants.

Leonardo responds “You, Lupita, I want you – my wife!”

Gina and Gabi bless themselves, and Lupita slaps Leonardo, hard.

And then slaps him once more, in case he didn’t get it the first time.

STAY TUNED FOR EPISODE 5!!

#Telenovelas

#HallmarkChristmasMovies

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES (AND MURDER & MAYHEM)” – Episode 2!

“A TIME FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES (AND MURDER AND MAYHEM)”

-A combination of a Telenovela and a Hallmark Christmas Movie

-Episode 2 – Lupita Shops For Christmas Plates And Her Own Town …

In the Christmas shop “Ye Olde La Casa de Christmas”, Lupita gradually wakes up and begins to focus on the worried, yet sinister, faces of Gina, Veronica and Roberto hovering over her. Gina lovingly wipes the blood from Lupita’s forehead, while Veronica fixes Lupita’s hair, so that she looks as beautiful as she did before the Christmas bell over the doorway came crashing down on her head, knocking her out.

Roberto pushes the two women out of the way and yells “Que Haces Aqui?!” at Lupita, which means “What are you doing here?!” Lupita, now on her feet, announces that she is there to buy Christmas dessert dishes, and that she heard La Casa de Christmas had the best Christmas accessories in Ciderville. As she looks around the store, which is packed with Christmas goods, her request does not appear to be unreasonable. But then, she realizes the blinds are drawn and the store is closed.

Lupita demands to know if she is being kidnapped. She begs them not to cover her head in a burlap bag, because she’s not sure if they are ever washed in-between kidnappings. Gina explains that there is no need for a burlap bag because you only need those when you don’t want the person being kidnapped to know where they are going, and also adds in a rush that this is not a kidnapping. Veronica adds that what they are doing is closer to the crime of “Unlawful Restraint,: but that if they move her into the stock-room, then that would technically be a Kidnapping.

Lupita demands to know what the three of them want, and Roberto informs her that her days of making demands are over – that they demand to know if Luptia is The Rich Woman Who Has Come To Buy The Town Of Ciderville To Destroy It, Because She Hates Christmas?

Lupita looks scared, and Roberto, Gina and Veronica look like they already know the answer to that question…

MEANWHILE…

Across town, Jaycee is limping his broken bike back home, when a black Mercedes sedan pulls up quickly beside him, but not before almost hitting him, which would be the second time that day he would have been struck by a luxury sedan with tinted windows.

The tinted window comes down, revealing the beautiful yet angry face of BLANCA, who demands to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!” (“What are you doing here?!”). Jaycee thanks Blanca for not killing him, and explains that earlier in the day a different sedan belonging to a different rich woman almost struck and killed him, and destroyed his bike. Blanca’s already kind-of-narrow eyes narrow even more, and she asks Jaycee “Is it her? What is she doing here?” Jaycee tells her that is between Blanca and his father, which is when we learn that Blanca is Jaycee’s mother!! And just to drive the point home, she orders him to get in the car and leave his bike out on the street – she’ll buy him a new one for Christmas.

As Jaycee debates this offer, Blanca’s sinister driver, REYNALDO, gets out of the car and advises Jaycee he had better do what his mother tells him to do. Reynaldo walks over to the bike, takes it away from Jaycee and tosses it on the side of the road…

MEANWHILE…

Back at La Casa de Christmas, Lupita demands to be released. Veronica moves quickly through the store, opening the blinds and the store, while Gina insists that Lupita was never “kidnapped,” they just wanted to show her the “Glow-In-The-Dark Garland that is new this year. Roberto approaches Lupita with the garland, wrapping it around his hands as if it was a scarf he might use to wrap around her throat, but then he releases the garland, cracks it like a whip, which makes the garland light up. Roberto tells Lupita it’s their biggest seller this year, for kids of all ages, and that as a sign of good faith, she should buy some garland. And The Christmas Dishes. Lupita has a staring contest with the three shopkeepers …

MEANWHILE…

Back at the Ciderville Christmas Cantina, Oscar (Lupita’s Driver & Bodyguard) is enjoying another egg-nog, when an attractive woman in a very low-cut animal-print sweater that is already two sizes too tight for her, leans over Oscar with a cigarette and asks for a light. This is NADIA. As Oscar brings his hand close to her cigarette, Nadia takes his hand and moves it even closer, in a subtle yet obvious caress. Oscar is surprised at how forward Nadia is, even though she is alone in the Cantina wearing a too-tight leopard print sweater.

Oscar asks her “You know that move? Even here in Ciderville,?” To which Nadia responds, “Baby, we all know that move.” She then pulls away from him suddenly and demands to know “Que Haces Aqui?!” (“What are you doing here?!”). Oscar tells her that he is drinking as much egg-nog as he can because he loves it, it’s impossible to find after the holidays, and so he is loading up on the best egg-nog he has ever had. From behind the bar, MANNY, the sinister bartender, beams with pride.

Nadia corrects Oscar, and says she means What Is He Doing Here, in Ciderville, because he looks like he is from The Big City. Oscar insists he’s only in it for the egg-nog, but that his Patrona, Lupita, is here in Ciderville to buy some Christmas dishes…

With that, Nadia looks back at Manny, and they share a secret smile Oscar can’t see because he basically has had too much egg-nog at this point.

MEANWHILE…

Back at “La Casa de Christmas,” Lupita has selected a beautiful set of antique Christmas dishes that are The Jewel In The Crown of the store. As she approaches the cash register with the dishes, Veronica quickly takes them out of her hands, hands them to Roberto, and Gina starts crying and announces that they were her grandmother’s dishes, and they are not for sale. When Lupita replies that they were in the window with a price tag of $500, Gina tells her it’s a mistake – they are priceless. Lupita insists they are $500 – and insists Gina look on the price sticker on the back of the plates. Gina tenderly asks Lupita if she really likes the dishes, but before Lupita can answer her, Gina hugs Lupita and whispers that she should get out of town, while there is still time, or else do her Christmas shopping at the rival Christmas store in town, “The Ciderville Generalissimo Store.” Veronica approaches Lupita with some homemade Christmas Cookies and Egg-Nog, but Roberto interrupts and tells them that “they had better make that EggNog to go. Lupita isn’t welcome in “Ye Olde La Casa de Christmas” anymore.

MEANWHILE…

Back at the Ciderville Christmas Cantina, Nadia and Oscar share a cigarette and a lot of double-entendres, until Manny interrupts and reminds Nadia that there’s no smoking allowed inside any of the businesses in Ciderville, for the kids’ sake. Nadia apologizes as she approaches Manny, and dies out her cigarette on his hand. As his screams pierce the Cantina, Nadia suggests to Oscar that they go somewhere more quiet, like the Bed & Breakfast she runs in town. As they stroll outside down the Candy Cane Lane to his car, he tells Nadia that he is here with his Patrona, and they are not spending the night in Ciderville. Nadia accepts this news, walks over to his car, and punctures the tires with a gigantic stiletto she keeps in her purse. “You are now,” she tells him. At which point he takes her in his arms and they make-out like crazy.

MEANWHILE…

Lupita finds Oscar and Nadia, and pulls Oscar away from Nadia, demanding to know where he’s been and yelling at him for abandoning her. She tells him she was kidnapped, threatened, and was not allowed to buy the Christmas dishes she wanted. Nadia watches Lupita, with her hand inside of her purse, caressing her stiletto. Nadia and Lupita are off to a bad start, which does not get better when Oscar tells Lupita that “someone” has slashed the tires to their car, and so they have to stay at Nadia’s B&B tonight. Nadia adds she only has one room available, which means that Oscar is sleeping with her….

MEANWHILE…

Blanca’s sedan pulls up in front of a gigantic mansion, and she and Jaycee emerge from the car and walk up the magnificent front porch. The Christmas decorations are exquisite and abundant. Jaycee tells his mother she outdid herself this year, and she’s sure to win the “Ciderville Christmas Competition,” to which Blanca answers with a sigh and a faraway look, that Christmas is the saddest part of the year for her, and that it hasn’t been the same since … since…

The front door opens suddenly, and standing on the other side of it is a man who looks exactly like Roberto from “Ye Olde Casa de Christmas,” except he is even angrier and scarier, even in his MATCHING CHRISTMAS SWEATER. The first words out of his mouth to Jaycee are “Que Haces Aqui?!” (“What are you doing here?!) to which Jaycee replies “I love here.” “Not any more!,” says his father PABLO. Blana slaps Pablo hard, and demands to know “How many more children do I have to lose?!” Which shuts everyone up.

Then, Blanca’s eyes grow very very narrow, almost too narrow to see out of, and she demands to know of Pablo where he got that sweater from. Pablo responds he found it in the attic!!! This news shocks everyone, even the housekeepers standing by, who bless themselves. When Blanca demands to know of Pablo “What were you doing in the attic,” Pablo responds “I live here.” The housekeepers bless themselves again.

After a long minute, Jaycee extends his hand to Pablo, asks for his forgiveness, for his mother’s sake, and announces that he wants to come home for Christmas.

The housekeepers bless themselves again.

Blanca hugs Jaycee, and Pablo accepts his apology, but Pablo adds that Jaycee is going to need a Christmas sweater. When Jaycee says “No problem, I’ll go find one in the attic,” Blanca screams, the housekeepers bless themselves again, and then Blanca tells him that everything in the attic has been eaten by the moths – let’s go to town, I’ll buy you a new one. She adds cryptically “For Tonight…”

MEANWHILE…

Lupita, Oscar and Nadia stand shoulder-to-shoulder, in front of another Christmas shop called “ EL GENERALISSIMO GENERAL STORE.” Except for the fact that it’s directly across the street from “Ye Olde Casa de la Christmas” it could be it’s twin. As Lupita and Oscar walk up the lane lined with lamposts out of Dickens, Nadia says she’ll wait for them outside. (Basically, if Nadia was a Vampire, Christmas stores would be daylight.)

Lupita makes Oscar walk in first, and watches the bell over the door carefully as she walks in after him. The song the bell plays is “24 de Diciembre” by Juan Gabriel. Suddenly, a beautiful woman comes from behind the counter, welcomes them to her store and spontaneously begins dancing with Oscar, who cannot believe the great day he is having.

Lupita joins in, clapping and yelling “Eso!!!” Just like Marc Anthony.

The woman is “Gabi,” and unlike everyone else they have met, she is happy and normal. And Super-Good Looking. Suddenly, the door opens again, and in comes JayCee.

Time stands still when he and Lupita see each other again, and the music seems to slow down. He takes Lupita in his arms, and they begin dancing to the joyful Christmas song as it returns to it’s regular, extremely bouncy beat.

The door opens again, but this time the music makes a loud record-scratching sound.

The dancing and fun stops.

It’s Blanca, who is saying “How long does it take to find a Christmas Sweat-“

She stops in her tracks when she sees Lupita.

Blanca walks up to Lupita and yells “Fernanda!!! QUE HACES AQUI?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

…. STAY TUNED FOR EPISODE 3

I Make Mistakes In México So You Don’t Have To…

I had never before been to Mexico,

I don’t speak much Spanish,

I don’t know The Metric System.

So why not move to Mexico from Chicago to write the Telenovela of my dreams?

What could go wrong….

Listen to my podcast to learn all about my mistake-filled life here, and please give it a great rating even if you have to lie!!

Gracias!!

#podcasts

#mexico

#telenovelas

#travel

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

I Make Mistakes in Mexico City So You Don’t Have To…

I had never before been to Mexico,

I don’t speak much Spanish,

I don’t know The Metric System.

So why not move to Mexico from Chicago to write the Telenovela of my dreams?

What could go wrong?????

Listen to my podcast, NOW ON APPLE PODCASTS, to learn all about my mistake-filled life here, and please give it a great rating even if you have to lie!!

Gracias!!

#podcasts

#mexico

#telenovelas

#travel

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

My Mexican Mistake(s)

I moved here to Mexico City on June 1, 2019, inspired by my love of telenovelas!

And I’d never been to Mexico before a day in my life!

And now I’m making lots of mistakes here, so you don’t have to!

The podcast is now on Apple, Spotify, Anchor and lots of other platforms. It’s somewhat awkward, very silly, occasionally funny, and always commercial-free!

Please give it a listen and a high rating, even if you have to lie.

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

Not One Decorating Or Travel Tip Here. No Recipes Either.

Why You Need to Stop Decorating And Watch “La Reina del Sur 2” on Netflix

One of my favorite series, “La Reina del Sur 2” is now on @netflix everywhere, and coming soon to @telemundointl here in Mexico!

Only GOT beats it in the ratings, which isn’t surprising because basically LRDS is a NarcoNovela GOT, with it’s own cool acronym too.

There is a lot of driving in #lrds2 – and oddly some of it is by a ten-year old girl driving a Cadillac through the winding streets of Tuscany.

You’ll see things in this great series you’ve never seen before, including American actor (and Julia Roberts’ brother) Eric Roberts, speaking worse Spanish than I do.

The show has a wonderful cast, great music (thanks to @flaviomedinal and his back-up singers @robertowoficial & @lincpal) and is a lot of fun and a Truly Excellent Adventure. @calvatwitt as

“Batmancito” is going to break your heart, plus there’s nothing more fun than watching him argue with a ten-year old. Humberto Zurito is a blast as “The Narco Who Would Be President.”

The only real danger of his Presidency would be that Cabinet meetings could get confusing because he calls everyone “Mijo.”

Watch @reinadelsurtv on @Netflix for a very good time!!

#lrds #netflix #gringanovelera

The Aztecs Should Have Been A Little Nicer … They Would Still Be Around And Would Be Bigger Than Marriott! (Hear All About It In My Latest Podcast From México City!)

https://open.spotify.com/episode/06MZIIC5TYT0ZlPayQl8Lp?context=spotify%3Ashow%3A1ASLg55QBXFsSSGnFHN5VD&si=Himx68lzRcK5GrAK7cNHrg