Sunday, May 17, 2015

Who's the Coolest Avenger?

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Infinite Wisdom From El Guapo's Brain.  If you are new here please don't feel intimidated.  Yes, I am El Guapo, award-winning (not in writing) blogger and radio show host.  You are in for a treat today.  Why don't you kick off your shoes, get in those comfortable reading pants, and find your best chair?  I'm gonna take you on a word adventure.  If you've been keeping up with Infinite Wisdom on the NBA, which you should, you know it's playoff time in the NBA.  That's where a majority of blog posts have been directed at.  But I'm not a one dimensional sports writer.  I have other interests like movies, and models, and Migos and Round Table Pizza.  And that's just the surface.  This is my original blog, the one that started it all, before I did my short-lived Boardwalk Empire blog and my NBA blog.  Well it's time for me to give it some attention and tend to the fire I originally started.  On Mother's Day I wrote a touching and moving ode (my words, not hers) to my mom, Claudia.  A week later I'm back to finally give my input on The Avengers: Age of Ultron, kind of.

I could do a basic run of the mill movie review like any other blogger, but that's not the Guapo way.  One of my first blogs highlighted my affinity for choosing style over substance.  I don't go from point A to be B.  I take the scenic root to the kitchen.  I saw Terminator 2: Judgement Day, then The Terminator, then Terminator 3: I Feel Bad About My Dad Paying For Our Movie Tickets But I Was 10 Years Old And I Really Liked T2 in that order.  On purpose.  So we'll get to my review in a minute but before we do that let's get somethings out of the way.  Yes, I promised a Fast 7 review.  Didn't get around to it.  By the time I did, the movie was already irrelevant.  (I decided it was irrelevant when Post-Chicken-N-Beer Ludacris made an appearance on TNT's Inside the NBA.)  At that point I decided to scrap it.  Sue me.  Second note, I decided to sit on this post because I didn't want to spoil it for anyone.  Two things Guapo hates is Sacramento and spoilers.  But before we get to the review we need to settle something once and for all: who is the coolest Avenger?

The Avengers are a really cool team of super heroes that join forces to save the world.  Some people like Iron Man because he's snarky and a billionaire.  Some people like Captain America because he's a great leader and a true patriot.  Hulk is a good choice for those who like demolition.  I see a lot of people going the Thor route because he's a demigod or whatever.  Black Widow is Scar-Jo.  And I've never heard anyone say they thought Hawkeye was the coolest.  There's one way to settle this debate and it's not quite by the book.  See, when you examine coolness you look at attitude, ability, style and the eye-candy attached to the arm.  We know the Guaps is cool because of his demeanor, his uncanny ability to write the Truth like his name was Paul Pierce, his unparalleled fashion sense and the fact that his girl is bad.  And I don't mean she feeds the dog human-food bad, I mean she's a baddie.  We're going with that test in what is most likely my most blatantly misogynistic blog post since Top 10 MILFs On TV.  Let's get started.

Iron Man

Gal: Pepper Potts
Don't like her name.  Pepper is a condiment not a person.  But let's move past this.  Pepper is cute and clearly smart.  Makes up for her name.  There's something about her attitude too.  She's able to keep Tony Stark grounded which I don't imagine is something easy to do.  Sometimes you just need a girl to hold you down, knock some sense into you when your ego gets out there.  However, there's a time to stop and I would imagine Pepper doesn't know that time.  Plus, she can't hold her own and needs to be rescued.  Too time consuming.  And needy.  On the other hand she runs Stark Enterprises and you need a girl who is business savvy.  Kind of like Martha Stewart, I guess.  Blonde hair, blue eyes, typical white girl.  You get the gist.  Skinny build if you are into that.  Is Pepper your dream girl?

Captain America

Gal: Agent Peggy Carter
She has her own show, Agent Carter, which I've told myself I would watch, just haven't gotten around to it.  That's much more than Pepper can say.  Pros: she's an agent who can clearly hold her own.  I like strong independent women.  I need a woman who will challenge me on all levels, except for basketball and golf.  She's in the army so she's tough and strategic.  She's British if you're into accents and all that.  She's also dead so you don't have to worry about arguments.  Cons: She's dead, so no sexy time.  But let's say you went back in time for her.  Well, she's a bit intimidating and she's in the army, so she's probably seen things.  Last thing you need is to be woken up in the middle of the night while she goes full Wolverine: Every War Ever Vet on you.  Is Peggy your dream girl?


Gal: Jane Foster
This one would appear easy, right?  It's Natalie Portman for God's sake!  But let's take it easy and examine this through.  Clearly she's beautiful.  I'm not arguing that.  She's also some kind of scientist which I don't remember because the Thor movies don't quite measure up.  But she is a scientist and clearly she's smart.  She's probably the smartest out of anyone's girl.  But what if she's too smart and starts using big words when you guys argue and then you start feeling insecure because she's acting like she's Will Hunting and you feel like the other Affleck in the same movie?  (BTW Stellan Skarsgard is in both Good Will Hunting and Thor.)  What if one day she's working on some experiment and out of curiosity you ask what it is and she gets impatient when you can't explain it to you?  She also appears to travel a lot and while that may be fun for a while, it probably gets really lonely.  Those long hours and months away will pile up.  Then again, it is Natalie Portman.  Is Jane your dream girl?


Gal: Black Widow
Yes, for those of you who hadn't watched the movie, Hulk gets with Black Widow.  Scratch that.  Bruce Banner gets with Black Widow.  The Hulk gets with no one.  I know some might be thinking, "Contest over!  It's freaking Scar-Jo!" I implore you to think deeper, just like we did with Natalie Portman's Jane.  While Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff is clearly on fuego, you gotta think with your big head here.  Let's get the good stuff out of the way.  Again she's on fuego and she's a seductress.  And I'm not trying to be crass here, but I'm sure she would blow your mind if you were ever lucky enough to accompany her to the bedroom.  But it wouldn't work if you were a jealous guy.  She flirts a lot and most guys I know would not be OK with that.  That's not the bad part though.  Think about this:  Scarlett Johansson cannot kill you.  Black Widow can.  She's an assassin.  She kills people as a job and she's been employee for the month for a while now.  When my girl gets mad at me she might give me the silent treatment, or yell at me or whatever.  If you get Natasha mad your life is effectively over.  Why even take that risk?  I guess it's OK because it's the Hulk, but any other non-gamma exposed humans should steer clear.  But it's your life, not mine.  Is Natasha your dream girl?


Gal: Laura Barton
Stay with me on this one.  I know it's tempting to dismiss Hawkeye as the coolest Avenger because he virtually has no power other than great accuracy, which would probably have made him a Hall of Fame quarterback if he went that route.  And you might be thinking, "His wife does nothing!  She doesn't run a business for fight evil.  Why is she even being discussed?"  My response to you is: how dare you?!?  She let the Avengers into her home to hide out, but that's not enough is it?  How about this?  She has the toughest job of any Avenger's significant other: she's a mother and a wife.  The fact that she's able to hold down the fort while her husband, the Hawkeye, or as she calls him, Clint, plays 6th fiddle on the greatest super-squad since the 2013 Miami Heat is absolutely remarkable.  She raises the children and is as a supportive of a wife as you can ask for.  She is a partner to Clint Barton.  She supports him in his decisions and provides valuable insight when he's feeling down.  You might think I'm crazy, but Laura Barton is the girl for me.  Hawkeye is the coolest avenger.  (Side note: Linda Cardellini, who plays Laura here, played Velma in the live-action Scooby-Doo movie.  It's my favorite "Holy shit, no way!" moment from my research.)

Now the actual review.  The first Avengers movie was an action-packed, adrenalyn-filled event, not a movie, that blew my mind.  This movie was like that, but on cocaine.  The movie was less messy than the first one.  This time around these characters are familiar with the deal and have this whole dynamic.  Ultron was a cool villain, which is a must for a successful superhero movie.  Call me crazy, but I would pay $12 for a one and a half hour film of Ultron and Tony Stark exchange snarky dialogue.  Loki is a lovable villain that draws flocks of fangirls (and boys, it's the 21st century) and is the only other Marvel villain in the pantheon.  Hawkeye finally got more than a cameo role.  The great thing is that this movie has been built up to for the last few years, and the film itself is still just building up to more films down this long ass story arc.  I still hold the position that the individual movies (e.g. Captain America: Winter Solider, Iron Man) are much cleaner and smoother.  The big ensemble can still be a jumbled mess, but it's a fun mess.   I wouldn't have it any other way.  This movie isn't the greatest to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it's as memorable and as important as any other so far.  If you somehow still hasn't gotten a chance to see, stop wasting your life and go smell the roses.  And by go smell the roses I mean go pay $12 to spend two hours reverting into a child while you watch superheroes destroy cities while they attempt to save the world.  It's been a stressful week.  You owe it to yourself.  As far as superheroes movies go, it's earned itself a solid Guapo.

Thank you for taking time out of your precious day to read my blog.  But look, that LeBron James kid vine is still there.  I put a lot of hard work and sweat into my writing so I'd appreciate you spreading the love.  Check out my Facebook page and if you're feeling frisky, go ahead and like it.  Follow me on Twitter @ELGUAPO3 and Instagram @CAPTAINCRUNCHTIME.  Don't sleep on my Tumblr page.  Tumblr is still cool.  Add me on Snapchat.  My name is crunchtimemario.  Also be sure to keep updated on my NBA blog.  Every time I see that people are reading, I get more inspired and it gives me the energy to keep going.  Keep feeding me that energy.  Or don't.  I'll keep writing either way.  Stay tuned for more Infinite Wisdom.  Have a good summer and stay Guapo out there!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Mom's Best Catchphrases

Happy Mother's Day!  Today is a very special day.  It's one of the biggest holidays I can think of and it celebrates someone that can't be celebrated in just one day: the mother.  So of course I had to come out with this special edition of Infinite Wisdom.  If you are fortunate enough to call your mother, grandmother or anyone who assumed that role in your life, I implore you to do so.  So before I get started I'm dedicating this to my two grandmothers and of course my mom, Claudia Zucel Rodriguez.  My mother has never stopped being there for me, she has never stopped supporting me, and she has struggled so much to ensure I lived a happy life.  No disrespect to anyone's mother, but I don't think anyone could have done a better job of raising me than my mom did.  She was a mother at the age of 19 and took care of me on my own until she married my dad.  She gave birth to my little sister, whom I adore so much.  My mom understood me, or at the very least attempted to understand me when I felt no one could.  I wasn't the easiest kid to raise, and so the fact that my mom was able to do that, and raise a daughter, and finish college, and work full time, and take my grandma in is just a testament of what kind of woman she is.  I respect her in so many ways and no amount of words I say out loud or right will ever be able to convey just how much I look up to her.  She wasn't perfect.  We had a lot of difficult moments.  But every time things looked bleak she found a way to make things right.  I love my mom.  I wish I could be back home to celebrate this day with her, but this will have to do for now.  So before I continue with this blog, I just want to tell you, Ma, that I thank you for all the sacrifices you have made for me and for just being yourself.  Happy Mother's Day!

My mom always thought that our family belonged on a sitcom.  A lot of people say that about their families.  But our family was borderline ridiculous at times.  We got in crazy scenarios and the situations that we got into were some stuff you couldn't make up.  But the thing that really convinces me that I'm a supporting actor in my family's hit sitcom is the fact that everyone seems to have a catchphrase.  First of all, normal people don't have catchphrases.  They just don't.  My dad says, "Ti!" instead of saying "Si" like a normal person.  He also says "Don't call it a comeback" a lot which was stolen from LL Cool J.  (My dad says a lot of lines from old rap songs.)  "Q-vo!" is something he yells out when he proves someone wrong.  My grandma says "Perro mas perro!" when my dog something bad.  But my mom has a whole pallet of catchphrases to choose from.  She has a Batman-like utility belt of one-liners.  She can practically hold an entire conversation of her catchphrases.  Here are some of my favorite lines my mom says on the reg.  (Note: I never thought I would write a Mother's Day blog post that was borderline NSFW, but unfortunately it was unavoidable.)

A lot of the stuff my mom does is non-verbal, which is usually substituting profane language.  My mom likes to flip me off by running the back of her hand against her throat repeatedly.  In all honestly I started this war years ago and it just caught fire.  My mom also likes to applaud sarcastically by clapping like a sea lion with loose wrists.  Often she accompanies that by saying, "Mira come me applaudan."  When she doesn't care what someone has to say she'll take her index finger and make a tornado motion.  Sometimes she'll gesture that finger upward to tell you to stick it up your... let's move on.

Una Patada
An oldie, but a goody.  When I was a young lad and my sister was still a toddler my mom used to yell this when we misbehaved.  It was basically a threat to kick our butts.  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

No Papa
Don't know how this one started.  I just remember being picked up from school and asking my mom for something and she saying, "No papa!".  I don't know if she was trying to sound Cuban or something, but she kept saying it for a while.  Anytime a simple "No" would have sufficed she felt inclined to add the "papa".  I'm safe now.  I'm in LA.

Leave Britney Alone!
This line actually stems from a viral video we all saw on the Soup.  Basically a guy name Chris Crocker posted a video online begging people to stop criticizing Britney Spears.  (This is around the time she was trying to make her comeback.)  My mom now says that anytime we criticize her.  (We do it more often than we're proud of.)  I would have thought this line would have died out by now.  And I can hear her yelling, "Leave Britney alone" as she reads this.

Pideme Algo
This is one of my favorites and it's one I actually use with my girlfriend.  Basically this translates to, "Ask me for something".  After doing something mean to my mom or not helping her with something my mom would say this line.  In essence, "Ask me for something and see if I'll help you."


Thanks for the Support...
The full line is "Thanks for the support, asshole."  The line originally came from Eminem's hit single "My Name Is" from The Slim Shady LP.  (My family has a tendency of stealing rap lines.)  It stemmed from the time I was going to meet my biological dad for the first time in years.  I was nervous and I asked my mom what I should say to him.  Her response was, "Thanks for the support, asshole."  Now my mom will say that sarcastically to anyone she feels hasn't helped her.  It's a good line.  I said it to my college's financial aid office when they kept losing my financial aid documents.  (CSU Dominguez Hills problems.)  Thanks Eminem.

Our first acronym and you guessed it, profanity is involved.  But this isn't a children's blog so here's what it stands for: Eat Shit and Die.  (Whoa!  Shit got dark!)  Not really.  My mom says the acronym out of modesty (I think?) and it's not as vicious as it sounds.  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

Don't Worry About It
I don't know why this is even a thing, but it is.  The first time I heard my mom say it she picked me up from school.  This isn't even a nice, sweet story of a mother reassuring her son either.  It's a sad story of neglect and deceit.  My mom picked me up from school and I thought we were on our way home.  However, we got on the freeway and it became apparent we were headed somewhere else.  I asked my mom where we were going.  "Don't worry about it."  I was confused and when we got on another freeway I asked my mom again.  Her answer was the same.  I thought maybe it was a surprise party, which would have made no sense.  I asked my mom and her answer didn't change.  I saw the Kaiser building and I asked my mom if I had an appointment.  She said, "Don't worry about it."  Finally we parked at Kaiser.  I did have an appointment.  My mom's reason for not telling me?  She didn't have one.  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

I don't remember the first time my mom said it.  But she says it more often than I can count.  Usually it's after she's talking about gentrification, the government or something else that affects us.  Sometimes she's talking about other people.  It's very versatile, I'll give her that.  I even use it when I talk about my college.

Hombre Sucio
Hombre could be replaces my nino or nina.  Sometimes vieja to talk about my grandma.  Even perro if she wanted to throw Toby under the bus.  Basically anytime somebody did something dirty she would hit us with that line.  But hombre sucio came up the most often though.

Hijo de la Fregada
This is really my mom being modest.  She's cleaned up the language over the years.  This is probably the nicest variation of her line.  Trust me, it could be a lot worse.  But I don't know how to spell the other words she uses.  But most importantly I don't have it in my heart to repeat those words.  (It's mostly the spelling thing.)  I'm safe now.  I live in LA.

Tiemblo, Tiemblo
My mom is very sarcastic.  That's where I get it from.  Say somebody warns my mom of some consequences, this is what they'll get in response.  I guess it would be like someone saying, "I'm shaking in my boots."  My mom also sometimes does a shaking motion with her hands.

We'll Get Through This
In all seriousness, this is a story of a mother reassuring her family.  We've gone through a lot.  We've struggled.  We've been so unsure of the future.  Things have often looked bleak for us.  But in each of those moments my mom has been a rock in the family.  When I hear her utter those reassuring words, I leave my trust in her.  And we've always managed to survive as a family.  I guess that's the best part of my mom.  Yes, she's fun to be with and a lot of the funniest moments in my lifetime have been at her expense.  But when the storm comes and all we have is the family, my mom is one of the strongest people you can meet.

Thank you for reading this special Mother's Day blog.  I hope you call your mother day and celebrate.  before I sign off I just want to congratulate some of my friends on graduating college.  Smoke, you did it.  You're one of the smartest people I know and you're on your way to do big things.  Omar, you've been one of my best friends since the 6th grade.  I wish I could be there to see you graduate, but alas I can't.  Chin, you're my boy.  You and Omar have always looked out for me, especially on my visits to SB.  Really proud of you.  Liz Vera, part of the original V crew at DH housing.  You've been such a good friend of mine at DH and I wish you nothing but the best.  That's it for congrats. If I forgot anyone just know that I'm proud of your accomplishments.  Stay Guapo out there!