#ChingonaFest Fridays: Lori Luna

Week THREE, Y'all! I'm keepig count because you should be impressed. I usually suck at anything that requires follow-through. Except deadlines. Gimme words to  write and have an editor light a fire under my ass and, for some reason, I hit the ground running. Anyway, I'm loving the energy and feedback I'm receiving about #ChingonaFest Fridays. Have you seen Pili Montilla and Veronica Arreola's features yet?


It seems I’ve added Chingona Cheerleader to my soapbox recently (Mostly by accident but I’m running with it anyway). Each week, I’m featuring one fabulous Latina who’s moving mountains and raising hell because their stories are worth telling. Twenty questions will be presented to each and 15 will be answered and presented here to you in a Q&A format, like the fancy features in magazines, only with more typos and less airbrushing.


Lori Luna's bio speaks for itself. She is the Vice President of Events Operations, overseeing all operational and logistical elements of BlogHer conferences. Since joining BlogHer in 2009, Lori has helped grow the conference business from one annual conference a year to include BlogHer Food, Entrepreneurs and BlogHer PRO, as well as the annual flagship event. With more than 12 years in the event/conference industry and background producing events such as COMDEX, N+I, and ad:tech, Lori has been instrumental in growing attendance for the events, as well as revenue for the company.  

And now! Time for the interview!


me headshot 8.28.30 PM 8.28.30 PM

Pauline Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?  


Lori Luna: Always vanilla, I know that is boring to some but it makes me happy.  Vanilla is so versatile and can make anything taste good.

PC: I'll go with that. Vanilla is kind of the blank canvas of the ice cream world. Favorite book and why: 


LL: Anything that has a political nature.  I love to read autobiographies of political people.  I find it fascinating as to why they do what they do and how they came to where they are whether it was in the past or current.  Another is the Book of Questions…it's an icebreaking book that asks random questions that both starts conversation and generates fabulous discussion.

PC: So you're saying the Twilight series is out. Okay, then..lWhat's your favorite quote?  


LL: Fake it 'til you make it


PC: No wonder we get along. I say that all the time. I won't ask you how I'm doing till I've crossed the finish line. Do you consider yourself a feminist?  


LL: Most of the time.  There are certain things I am passionate about such as equal pay for equal work and then there are things that just don't bother me like they would bother someone else. I guess I am an issues oriented feminist.


PC: Issue Oriented? I LOVE that. *Adds to mental Rolodex to use in stimulating conversation* Describe yourself in third person  


LL: Lori is a kind, generous, thoughtful person.  She has passion and fire and that is both good and bad.  She is fiercely loyal and will live and die on principle.


PC: I like the honesty. My fire isn't always nice, either. Who inspires you?  


LL: Smart people.  When I have the opportunity to meet really smart people who are doing something fabulous I am inspired.  I also just watched the Tina Turner interview by Oprah and wow!  She was very inspirational.  I think I'm inspired in the moment..I don't have a single person that I think, she (or he) inspires me to be "x"


PC: *Blushing* It's okay, Lori. You don't have to talk in riddles. You inspire me, too. Do you dream in color or black and white?  


LL: Color


PC: ME TOO! But I don't remember my dreams very often. How do you feel about Latinas and how we are represented in the media?  


LL: Frankly I am tired of how Latina women are always showcased with an accent. As if none of us were born here and can speak without the accent.  I find it annoying!  Oh and there aren't enough of us!!!


PC: Amen on the accent thing. I don't think I have one, either, except I roll my 'R's' when I say "three". Go figure. Quick! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they've grown and flown the nest…  


LL: I don't have kids 


PC: And let's add "a million children running around in diapers" to the Latina stereotype. I've got one and the last family wedding I went to, I had tias outright ask me why I only had one. Like I failed the Mexican test, or something. Anyway, one childhood memory that has stuck with you…  


LL: One of my favorite memories is riding in the car with my mom and I was about 5 and Ricky Nelson was on the radio singing Garden Party.  My mom specifically called out these lyrics: You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxdiraVxwkI)  Ever since then I live by the idea that you can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself.


PC: Do you think in English, Spanish, or Spanglish?  


LL: Sadly I only speak English, what a pathetic Latina!


PC: Stop it right now. Language doesn't define us. We do, sister. End. Of. Story. What's your favorite dish? Why?  


LL: Anything my father cooks!  He makes a mean chorizo and menudo and oh, that always makes me feel like home.


PC: CHORIZO - yum! MENUDO- *blech!* Do you feel "Latina enough"? 


LL: Not when I'm surrounded by other Latinas who are fluent in Spanish and doing something in the Latin community…then I feel lame.  I am never ashamed or embarrassed by who I am I just feel lame that I haven't embraced my culture as much as I think I should.  


PC: Stop feeling lame, woman! I used to feel the same way, but now I just focus on my own perspective on Being Latina. Also? You like menudo. That automatically means you earned your Mexican card. Now...You have the chance to eat dinner and drink wine with one person, living or dead. Who is it, what do you eat, what kind of wine, AND WHY THAT PARTICULAR PERSON? 


LL: President Clinton! I have had an absurd political crush on him for years.  He is brilliant, charming, charismatic and did I say brilliant?  


PC: It takes a special kind of charm to make us all question the meaning of the word "is", that's for damned sure. Do you chew your ice cream? (Or is that just a Me thing?)  


LL: No. Chew ice cream???


PC: Okay, then. Just me. MOVING ON! Describe your perfect day.  


LL: Any day where I can be with my dog and just relax - Missy first!


And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest feature, email me at aspiringmama@gmail.com or tweet e with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out this week’s Dimelo Advice column on Latina Magazine (this week’s reader hid in her bathroom to email me about the dogshit her mother-in-law left on the carpet. I suggested wine and a bendy straw. Send me your questions to dimelo@latina.com.

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