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Interview with 'Loteria Chicana'

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Welcome back to 'Better Know a SoCal Blogger' on KCET.org! Every week we will be featuring one of the city's many fascinating and first-rate blogs. This week we are speaking to Cindy Mosqueda, who blogs about L.A. through the lens of family relations,
Chicano culture and loteria.

The Basics Blogger Name: Cindy Mosqueda Official Name of Blog: Loteria Chicana When did you start blogging? November, 2001 Do you have a day job? Yes, I'm a PhD student in education. I also work for an academic support program for college students in the sciences. How many hours do you spend online/ on your computer? Too many. Where do you do your blogging from physically? I do most of my blogging from home. Sometimes I'll get an idea at work and will post from there. Do you have a picture of your desk? I don't have a photo of my desk. It's way too messy. [It's okay Cindy, our desks here at Pixeltown are not so tidy either!] What are you reading? I just finished reading David Sedaris' "When You Are Engulfed in Flames." Now I'm reading "The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English" by Mark Abley. He interviewed me for a section on Spanglish, so it's fascinating to read what I said a few years ago. Do you have a link to your first post? Here. I later purchased my domain and moved my blog [to loteriachicana.net], the first post is here.

The Lowdown:

What is your blog about?
My blog is mainly autobiographical with a sprinkling of some opinion and news about current events. I love re-telling stories about events in my and my family's life. I also like writing about little known aspects of Mexican and Chicano culture. For instance, I recently wrote a post about "arracadas jerezanas" a typical earring worn by women from Jerez, Zacatecas. I also post a lot of photos.

Who is your ideal reader?
That's tough to answer. My ideal reader would hopefully be engaged and be able to relate to the topics I write about. He/she would also comment and continue the discussion. I really enjoy the feedback. In a sense, it keeps me going.

Why did you start blogging?

I've always enjoyed writing and have kept a journal since I was in middle school. I liked the idea of blogging and the quickness with which I could write something on my computer. If I tried to write as fast as I typed, I'd get a hand cramp. I'm a pretty open person and enjoy sharing, so blogging seemed like a natural fit.

Loteria is a game comparable to Bingo, do you feel that blogging is just another version of journalism?

My first instinct is to say no (but there are parallels to opinions writers). Journalists strive for objectivity, but as a blogger I don't feel the need to cover all sides of an issue. If I want to talk about immigration, I'm going to discuss my family's story and experience. I don't need to include a quote from some conservative anti-immigrant group. Most blogs are not filtered by an editor and most bloggers do not get paid for their words. Many of us don't run ads.
In some sense, there are parallels. Bloggers are telling stories about their communities and covering events that might not be covered by the mainstream media.

Besides yours, what is your favorite Los Angeles blog?

Chanfles! and Chimatli . I also really enjoy LAEastside (I'm also contribute to this group blog).

What is the one misconception people have about you from your blog?

That I have it all together.

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You family pops up on your blog a lot, how much do they influence what you write about?

I have several family members who regularly read the blog, so I steer clear some of topics I don't feel like sharing with my mom or uncles. I also consider their thoughts and feelings when I write about something family-related. Sometimes, I'll fact-check in an effort to do a little triangulation and make sure my I'm retelling the story as it happened.
They also provide a lot of material and sometimes suggest "you should write about the time that we..."

Where is the Chicano movement heading now?

I'm not sure. There was a lot of momentum a few years ago in the push for immigration reform. It's died down a little bit, but hopefully with the new administration it will begin again. I think Chicanos are still facing many of the same issues we faced at the height of the movement. Workers are still exploited. Our schools are still underfunded. We're still underrepresented in state colleges and universities. On top of that, there's new things to address, like the physical health of our youth. We've made inroads in electoral politics, but we need to keep our representatives accountable.

Do you still play Loteria?

Yes! Last time I played was on Father's Day. We played for money (a quarter per game) and I won a few dollars.

Pixeltown would like to thank Cindy for contributing to our 'Better Know a Blogger' series! Check out her colorful blog here.

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