Monday, January 19, 2015

To Bean or Not to Bean: The Plight of the Gringo Mexican

Some of you may not know, but the co-creators of this blog are both lifelong sufferers of an identical, uncommon disease. No, it's not alcoholic liver failure. Nor is it feline leukemia. No, you see, for all of their youngish lives Bryan and Brandon have lived with a severe psychological identity crisis, stemming from the fact that they are each half Mexican. But if you look at them, you'll see that they don't look Mexican at all. They both just look like a couple of whiteboys.

So what's the problem, you say? It's the best of both worlds, right? Tacos AND burgers? Hip shaking rhythm AND white privilege? A green card AND a credit card? What's to bitch about? Well, let us tell you, it's not all that easy being a bleached tortilla. And here's why.

When you grow up in a largely uneducated farm town that's roughly 50% white folks and 50% brown folks, you learn pretty quickly that racism is easily accessible on both ends of the spectrum. And rather than serving as a happy medium that everyone on both sides can learn from, the result is that everybody hates you, at least a little bit.

But really, it's weird not quite fitting in to either "group." We're not very hip on Mexican culture, but for being as pale as paper, we both suck at being white people. We think Starbucks coffee is awful, and that Taco Bell is neither Mexican food nor is it actual food. You won't catch us dead in cardigan sweaters or polo shirts. And we didn't think Friends was funny... at all.

In other words, we are the worst white guys ever.

Sorry, guys, but our skin color betrays us. Tennis is boring, neither of us have ever baked a tuna casserole, and we both agree that Iggy Azalea sucks major ass.

But alas, that doesn't mean we're any better at being Mexican. No, in fact, we're pretty shitty Mexicans, too. Instead of tanning into bronze gods, we awkwardly burn until we look like blister-covered lobsters. We both love spicy foods, but neither of us have the intestinal fortitude to handle it, and even the medium-est of salsas is enough to make us feel like we got punched in the stomach by God himself.

And worst of all? We can't speak a word of Spanish.

In other words, we suck at this whole "race" and "culture" thing, but at least we have our own club, chock full of spicy hot enchiladas and American craft beer, simultaneously broadcasting hockey and Mexican weather forecasts. And for us, it's pretty damn awesome.

We're sure we can't be alone. Does anyone else suck at their own culture? Does your skin color betray you?

Cheers and stay classy, es├ęs,

Music: Juan Mayer
Beer: Lagunitas

Monday, January 12, 2015

I, Cat Lady

Hey, guys - Bryan here - and I have a confession for you all today. I hope you're sitting down for this. If not... stop standing at your computer. It looks stupid.

So here it is. I am not what I appear to be. No, I'm not two midgets standing on top of each other in a raincoat. I'm actually a crazy cat lady disguised as a young (ish) dude. See, ever since the tender age of 10, my parents and I have had a habit of taking in stray and unwanted cats that were dumped off in our neighborhood. And during all those years I lived with my parents, we took in a grand total of 11, one of which is still alive and well in my parents' backyard.

I thought I escaped the cat lady life, but just like the thug life, it follows me wherever I go. Once I moved out and got married, the wife and I adopted a cat of our own, one that had been burned in a fire (she looks fine now) and took years of patience to get her to trust people again.

Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment.

And yet, it seems that still wasn't enough, because I've added one more to my number of ridiculously adopted creatures, and further cemented myself as this century's Doctor Dolittle. I've befriended hawks, I've taken in baby snails, and as of last week, I've taken in a bengal. The housecat, not the tiger or the football team, but don't tell her that. She's convinced that she's a linebacker of a tiger trapped in a 2.8 lb body.

This wee one was originally a (very stupid) Christmas present for a small child. See, apparently the family bought this cat - which was the result of crossbreeding a housecat with an Asian leopard, mind you - thinking it was just going to sit there like a cute little doll and never do anything.

So, no kidding, they gave her up... just three days after Christmas. Three damn days, and she was already kicked to the curb and listed on Craiglist. So like the closeted cat lady that I am, I took her in. She's feisty, she's clumsy, and she's very affectionate, and I genuinely can't understand why anyone would give her up. Then again, I can't understand why anyone would give up any animal like that.

Which brings us to the topic of today's post (sorry, it's not endless pictures of the new cat being goofy... this is a comedy blog, after all, and not the entire rest of the Internet). There are some people who have to give up their pets for genuine reasons - health, moving, aggressive behavior, what have you - and then there are the assholes who abandon their animals because of stupid, selfish reasons. And taking in our new cat reminded me of a time, long ago, when I may or may not have made a child explode into tears because of the latter.

Once upon a time (6 years ago) I was in line at the grocery store, and the woman in front of me was buying kitten stuff with her son - litter box, tiny collar, kitten food, etc. So the cashier said...

And without flinching, the little boy said...

The boy, who couldn't have been more than 6-7, said this like it was just the most normal thing in the world; the cat turns 2 years old, and you get rid of it. And even though the cashier looked like this...

And behind them, I looked like this...

...Mom just kept rattling on and on about how exciting it was to get rid of their "old" cat and replace it with a new kitten that would invariably grow up to receive the same treatment.

I don't know which made me angrier, the woman's indifference to throwing away a perfectly healthy young cat, or the way her kid had just come to accept this as a regular part of life, but either way, I saw red. And without thinking twice, I said something equally fucked up to the little boy.

And then, I made sure to stare the mom in the eyes as I said...

The kid... went absolutely ballistic. I mean, we're talking about that ugly cry that involves a river of snot.

He started bawling, and asking his mother a slew of questions like where she was going to take him and if he'd ever see her again, and she stared daggers at me while she dragged him and her new purchases away.

I have no idea what happened after that, but I'd like to think that what I said still comes up in mom's therapy sessions to this day.

And while it probably wasn't the best way to handle the situation, I don't regret it, either. I can only hope that those two felt, even just for that one moment, the same pain their cats feel when they're ripped out of their home and dumped off at the pound like yesterday's garbage.

So ultimately, even if I'm destined to be a damn cat lady, I look forward to giving my new cat the happy life she deserves. One where she will always be loved, and will always be treated with patience, and will never be cast aside once she gets too big and too old to be considered 'cute.'

Her name is Gemma, because she's a badass bitch like Katey Sagal on Sons of Anarchy

She looks like this right before she does her impersonation of an Alien facehugger

Even my cat facepalms my stupid decisions

Gemma's dad (20 lbs), captured here in between eating Labradors

I look forward to never accomplishing anything at my computer ever again

Cheers and stay classy, fellow cat ladies,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Beer: Lagunitas Pils
Music: Porcupine Tree

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Divergent Maze Runner Games Saga Part III

We've written a few novels in our time, novels that have sold well and gotten acclaim from people that are not our mothers or close, personal friends. And through it all, we've dabbled in a few different genres. We've done post apocalyptic zombie humor, we've done literary satire, and we've even done a short horror story collection. And that's just our collaborative stuff. But one thing we haven't yet tackled is YA, or Young Adult fiction, specifically those teen thrillers that young and old alike can enjoy, such as the Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, and so on.

And for us, we just figured it'd be an easy paycheck since they're all the exact fucking same. So today we wanted to take you through our creative process* as we flesh out the next great American YA novel.

*drunken yelling

1. The Nobody That Saves Everybody

First off, we need a protagonist. Now, this can't be a buff, seasoned war veteran. That would be ridiculous. No, we need a puny teenage girl who's going to take down the entire muh-fuckin' establishment, and she's not going to do it with a gun or a grenade launcher. No, those kinds of weapons are for those peon soldiers that she's rebelling against. She needs to fight the system with something archaic and stupid like a bow and arrow, or throwing knives, or hey, I know, what about a slingshot?

Watch out, Big Brother! Your plated armor and assault rifles are no match for our protagonist's feisty teenage attitude!

2. A System In Which To Rebel

YA books are all about rebelling against the system, man, so instead of fleshing out something like a 'plot' we figured we'd just put them up against the meanest adults uh I mean government we could possibly imagine, who want to enslave teens and make them do housework uh I mean make them kill each other for our sick, twisted amusement.

And this will go on for hundreds of years, without question, until our protagonist steps forward and changes EVERYTHING.

3. So. Much. Angst.

Sure, there's going to be some kind of huge war going on, but at any given time that should take a permanent backseat to an angsty teenage romance that involves love triangles, forbidden love that is not to be, and an impossibly handsome, muscular farm boy that despite being built like a bronze god is never quite as good of a fighter as our puny teenage girl protagonist.

But worry you not, reader, what he lacks in fighting ability and overall personality he more than makes up for with sweet, sweet angst. Yes, that's right, we don't need a second protagonist, we need an angstagonist.

And in the end, the rebellious teenagers shut down an entire government with nothing but hand weapons and sweet, fiery angst, and they all lived happily ever after... until the next YA dystopian 'flavor of the month' book comes out. Then it starts all over again! Yay!

Cheers and stay angsty, folks!

Beer: Sofie
Music: Jeff Beck

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