Sometimes, I’m So Cheap

How long has it been since I wrote a blog post? I was having a classically nonsensical conversation via Facebook Messenger with my husband, and guesstimated that it had been a solid year since I put fingers to keys for fun. Turns out it hasn’t been quite that long, but it has been a long while either way. I wish I could say that I forgot I had a blog. That my life became so whirlwind busy, that I just forgot. My life is busy, who’s isn’t, but I didn’t forget. In fact, I still occasionally checked to see the number of readers my posts were getting.

I’m sitting here now, though.

I don’t write a whole lot about work, because I talk a lot about work, and that seems like overkill. However, it feels appropriate to say that I have made a step I am proud of in my career. I accepted a promotion at work, and starting in July, I will officially be the weekend anchor at my station. This means I will be working weekends for the first time in my career, but I’m ok with that because this is the right step for me. During the other three days of my work week, I will continue to be a consumer reporter. I get the best of both worlds, and that’s pretty cool.

I could go on and on about all the exciting and serious ways this makes me feel, I could go on and on about my thoughts on where journalism is going, and how I want to steer my little ship, but what I will go on about, at least right now, is how sometimes, I’m so cheap. I’m no financial guru, but doing as much consumer reporting as I do now, has made me see how I handle my finances in a different way. However, I still eat out too much, like way too much, and to make myself feel less guilty about it, I try to save in the most ridiculous ways. For instance, I have had the same make-up brush for the last five or six years. The same brush. I wash it semi-regularly, but it is outright falling apart. It’s not even an especially nice make-up brush. It’s the kind you get for free when you buy one of those Bare Essentials foundation and bronzer packs.

I used it for foundation, and highlighter, and bronzer, and blush. I went to a MAC make-up class with friends once, and the instructor totally said that was a smart thing to do, so you can stop gasping. Anyway, the thing has been on it’s last legs for a while, and I have started breaking out a little after using it, so I finally, finally, bought two new brushes.

At nearly 32, with my newly minted title, I decided I was going to buy more than one make-up brush, and they were going to be fancy. However, after heading to the beauty store, I was astonished to see how expensive make-up brushes can be. I opted for two different NYX make-up brushes, because the cost seemed less ridiculous to me.

It’s so strange to me that, considering what I do for a living, I don’t flinch at a one-hundred-dollar bill for dinner and drinks, but a fifteen-dollars beauty buy gives me the vapors. So, now I’m about to pull those little suckers out of their cases, and get my make-up on before tonight’s newscast. I expect to look thirty-dollars prettier for the next six years.

Mireya Desk

Yeah, This Actually Happened

It happens to everyone. I’m talking about that moment right before a live report when a woman in a wheelchair gets stuck directly behind you, you help her, and then get stuck in her wheelchair– so you miss your live report as a result. Yeah, it happens to everyone.

Let me rewind that for you:

Tuesday afternoon I was rushing to meet my photographer at City Hall for a live report on an upcoming public hearing on the potential implementation of security cameras downtown.

Script– written. Soundbite– fed. Liveshot– set.

It was close, but I was ready. Then, 5 minutes before the report, all things fell apart.

An angry man approached me. I know he was angry, because he was yelling, a lot. He was angry at the military, specifically soldiers who were “committing crimes” and “making his life miserable” and (wait for it…kids close your eyes) “saying he is f-ing his dog, all over the internet.”

Yeah, this actually happened.

Four minutes to live report.

After that, he yelled at me about how I ruined the occupy movement, was lumping occupiers with the tea party movement, and I was the reason soldiers were being terrible to him.

This whole time a woman in a motorized wheel chair is trying to get around him and me. I would have told the man, but he was so busy, you know, yelling at me. The woman, seemed to have found her way around, and then I heard a thud.

The man stomped off as the woman got suck in some hole in the side walk.

Yeah, this actually happened.

Three minutes to live report.

I ask the woman if she needs help, and quickly realize she cannot speak very well. I can see she does need help and deadlift her and the motorized wheelchair from the uneven sidewalk.

Impressed? You should be.

However, the woman decided to drive her wheelchair forward before I had stepped away from it.

Did I mention that I still had the microphone in my hand? Because I did, and then the cable was rammed into one of her tiny wheels, wrapped around my legs and nearly threw me on the ground.

Yeah, this actually happened.

One minute to live report.

I try to get the woman to stop, and she finally does. I don’t have a lot of time, and try to get loose, but quickly realize that the cable that is caught in the wheel will not come out. I still can’t understand how it got stuck in the first place.

I yell out for the photographer, and he tells the producer the live shot is not going to happen, because I’m caught on a wheelchair.

The only way we are finally able to get loose is to find some scissors inside of City Hall, and cut the new cable.

The woman left and I was left yelled at, sweaty, and confused.

Yeah, this actually happened.

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Inspiration With A Latin Accent

I was kindly asked to speak at a Latina Voices event in Colorado Springs. It was put on by the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District.

I love libraries and being Latina is more than just alright, be jealous, so I said heck yes.

Trouble is, I didn’t catch a very important fact— I would be the keynote speaker.

Cue Freakout!

Once I figure this out, I regained my composure, but that didn’t last long…it never does…because I saw this—

 

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My face was in the paper and it said I was going to be inspirational.

Yeah, I know.

Long story short, this event was filled with amazing women, and that made me feel extra nervous.

I can only hope I didn’t let them down.

If you are curious, here is a portion of my speech, below:

¿De dónde eres? 

Where are you from?

Many Latinas and Latinos are asked this question all the time.

I’ve been asked this question ever since I moved away from the Texas/Mexico border, where everyone was a different shade of brown.

It’s a confusing question—

My answer is *long. I’m from Texas. I was born in Laredo. Grew up in Eagle Pass…but my family is from Mexico – because that is what you’re really asking…isn’t it?

What’s In A Name

My name is Mireya Garcia…but sometimes it’s not.

Sometimes it’s Maria, Myra, Mariah, Me-day-uh, Ray-uh….and on a good day Me-RAY-uh.

I never thought my name was difficult to say, until I went to college.

I’ve come to terms with it…kinda.

Actually, some of the decisions I’ve made regarding how I say my name continue to haunt me, make me feel like I somehow betrayed la raza. 

Let me explain.

On Telemundo I say, “Hola les habla Mireya Garcia.

On KRDO NewsChannel13 I say, “Good Evening, I’m Me-ray-uh Garcia.”

I decided to do this because no one could understand what I was saying when I said my name on the English side of the journalism world.

I want to make it clear that it was my decision to do this. I made my choice and have to stick with it, for now.

Would I do it again? I don’t know.

Language: La Cultura

What I do know is that language is one of the strongest cultural identifiers that links us to our roots. At least that’s what I think.

Let’s face it, many Latinas, including myself, are American – like apple pie and baseball, American. The only difference is that those same young women also like tacos and they can understand grandma when she’s speaking to them in Spanish.

And that’s ok.

What is not ok, is the death of the Spanish Language in the Latina and Latino Community.

Cultures start to blend and change, but it is Spanish that keeps us attached to the essence of being Latinas.

Heritage months and celebrations are fun, but sharing a conversation with another Spanish speaker makes me feel more Latina than anything else ever could.

I am finding that bilingual people are becoming a rarity in the United States and that is a shame.

Today, many people are keeping themselves willfully ignorant, be it to blend or out of laziness. The reason is irrelevant.

Granted, the past is a different animal. Filled with racism, ethnocentrism and hate.

It is different today. I’m not saying it’s gone, but today, that kind of hate has, thankfully, become despised enough in the United States that it is generally kept to online message boards.  It has evolved in a way that although hateful, is very different.

You can speak Spanish and you can speak English. You should teach your children. Yes, it’s hard, but yes, it’s worth it.

Taking Care Of Business

It was Spanish, after all, that got me my first job.

When I graduated from college, there weren’t many jobs available as an on-air reporter in the area I wanted.

So, I walked into the Univision station in Corpus Christi, Texas, applied, and was hired a week later.

No, I didn’t have any professional experience, just my degree and a goofy smile. What I did have was Spanish and no accent.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

I got the job I have now because I speak Spanish, too. It was originally a position for Telemundo only, but later evolved into the work I do today. English and Spanish and Journalism, everyday.

And that is a wonderful thing in my life.

My name is Mireya Garcia. I was born in the States. My family is from Mexico. I like football and futbol, burgers and tacos. I speak English and Spanish. I hope to be a part of a new wave of bilingual journalists in the United States.

I’m a Latina with a voice.