Recently, I attended the Hispanicize business conference, where I networked with smart people, snagged some free food, and hung out (however briefly) with Edward James Olmos.

I realize, however, that my post about the conference may not have given you the full flavor of the event. In the interest of rectifying that situation (and because it makes for a pretty easy post to write), here are some of the more interesting tidbits, observations, and general oddities that I heard at the conference.

There are ten of them, but there could easily be more.

“Telenovelas are a cultural touchstone for us. I’m sorry, but it’s true.”

“On the Census form, there shouldn’t be a box to check for race. There should be a color wheel, and it goes from cotton to cinnamon to black, and everything in between. And you just mark your skin color.”

“When we polled people about the top characteristic of Latino culture, ‘emphasis on family’ was number one. Nothing else was even close.”

“I tell my clients who are immigrants, ‘You’re in America now. If somebody rips you off, you say those magic American words: ‘I’m calling lawyers on your ass.’ That’s when they know they’re assimilated.”

“Whether it’s English or Spanish, language is just a tactic. It’s a means to identify a group, but it’s not an identity in and of itself.”

“Univision is now ranked among the top four networks. Isn’t that wild? I think it’s ahead of ABC.”

“Too many Latina moms approach the public schools as if they were holy temples, and they give in to whatever the principal or the teacher says. So no fresh ideas ever get exchanged.”

“That sign is supposed to read Mami Bloggers. Not Miami Bloggers. Damn.”

“Acculturation originally meant a reciprocal process, with cultures influencing each other. But now it just means ‘Give up your culture when you get here.’ It’s become a one-way street.”

“Dude, I say, ‘Let the people just be the people.’ Entiendes?”