Sur

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(Click any cartoon for the full embiggenation experience.)

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As I mentioned yesterday in a Facadebook post, Olive Oyl and I moved Rancho Bizarro to Mexico a couple of days ago. I’ve been working ahead on Bizarro for many weeks, and for months O2 has been attending to the 785 zagilliobytes of information that must be researched, filed, signed, processed, and anticipated in order to move your life, pets, and possessions to a foreign country. So even two days later, we feel a bit like we’ve just collapsed at the end of a marathon. Although when people run marathons they usually don’t bring their cats.

We don’t have TV or wifi yet (we hope to have that solved in the next few days) so at the moment we’re living like early settlers of Central America, having to depend on cafes with free wifi to communicate with the world.

To answer the question everyone is asking, we planned this a few months before the “election” so, no, our move wasn’t about politics, but yes, it sure seems like an even better idea now. We’ve said all along that we want to be on the other side of “the wall” should it ever get built and I, for one, will happily don a hardhat and pitch in to build it.

One of the biggest reasons we moved was that we felt we were falling asleep to life. For us, the convenience and predictability of life in America was beginning to seem sterile and without passion. Here in Mexico, strangeness and passion are oozing from every pore. Salvador Dali once said that Mexico was more surreal than his paintings. I agree and have found a lot of artistic inspiration in this country.

The Sunday title panel above with the cabbage car was cobbled together from this old cartoon from 2012. The comic below it about frivolous lawsuits touches on one of my pet peeves about American culture these days: what I call our new national pastime of victimhood. In a world where so many people are displaced, running for their lives, striving their entire lives just to eat regularly and remain safe, Americans spend far too much time complaining about the lack of perfection in their lives. In my old neighborhood in Pasadena, we had an email group where neighbors communicate about various things. Virtually every week someone is grousing about something utterly inane. One person complained that they can see their neighbor’s trash cans next to their garage (What can I do about this eyesore?! isn’t there a city ordinance about this?!) or that someone they don’t recognize is walking down the street (I just saw a teenager in a red T-shirt on my street. Does anyone know him?!)  I wish I was kidding.

I know that’s not the same as frivolous lawsuits but I suspect it stems from the same kind of spoiled mentality. Yes, I can be cranky and O2 is a saint for putting up with me.

Because I’m out of pocket today and not able to prepare this blog as quickly or easily as I normally do, (f-ing spoiled American!) I’m going to cut it short and get back to the cartoons from last week in another post in a few days when I have wifi. To finish today, here are a few photos and comments from our new home.

sanmiguelstreet

Above is an average street in our new town of San Miguel de Allende.

sanmiguelmexcal

I’m a big fan of Tequila and Mezcal and you can get the really good stuff here for super cheap. That should come in handy. Here’s a local brand I found yesterday that is delicioso!

courtyard

This is a shot of a part of our courtyard and house. Mexican houses are built with a big wall around them and you never know what is behind them: could be a millionaire’s mansion, could be a vacant lot with trash, stray dogs, and donkeys. None of those options is behind our wall. Our house is lovely and spacious, but for the price we paid for it, in Southern California you could only get a small fixer-upper next door to a sewage lagoon.

katrina

This is our new calavera catrina, created by a popular local artist whose work we love. It was our housewarming gift to ourselves and has a prominent place in our living room. Here’s another shot of her with our cat, Boo. 

negros

Mexicans are less politically correct than Americans are these days. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

As I mentioned above, as soon as I get wifi at mi hacienda, I’ll post the rest of last week’s cartoons along with hilarious and informative comments. In the meantime, have a grand and groovy week, Pepino en Vinagre de Jazz, and don’t forget to give everyone on your holiday gift list one of my new coloring books. Children, adults, and even family pets will find the drawings inspirational and amusing. 

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77 thoughts on “Sur

      • Oh darn now I need to find the fifth one :) And on your photo questioning Mexican political correctness….
        Frijoles Refritos Negros Black Refried Beans
        But I’m sure you know that and were making a point about how seeing a word can make the English speaking person make an incorrect assumption.
        Felicitaciones por su reciente mudanza a San Miguel de Allende Mexico. El atrio de tu casa parece encantador. (blame Google Translate for any of that that is poor Spanish)

  1. San Miguel de Allende is a lovely city. We visited there a few years ago and look forward to returning. Our house is still heavily decorated with the art we bought during our visit.

  2. Dan, my husband and I are really going to enjoy reading your blog and FB posts in the future. For years we’ve been huge fans of your cartoons and it was only when you came to Eugene that it dawned on me that you were on FB. (I know, I’m slow…..LOL). Anyway, your new town looks positively charming, and your home looks lovely. Wishing you and O2 a very happy life there! Should you ever be interested in coming to Oregon for a visit, we have a guest house here and would love to host you both. My husband is a great cook!

    Last time I had Mezcal, it was in Phoenix, 1982. Unforgettable….and not repeatable! LOL. Enjoy!

    • There is serious “country lag” and a 2-hour jet lag since we’re now in Central TZ. We don’t know if we’re coming or going.

  3. I agree with you about that social media site. Perhaps it should be called NextComplaint.

    I’m sure you’ll let us know when you get internet. As for TV, you probably aren’t missing anything.

      • I envy you guys in so many ways. Enjoy the new life and perspectives. If you’re missing TV from the states, you can easily stream channels/shows you miss with a Roku. Don’t won’t need to spend too much to try it out. The Roku stick will run you about $30 and a group called USTVNOW.com runs a service that allows servicemen/women and expats to stream live tv. The crux of the service is you must live outside the states to use the service.

    • NextComplaint in San Francisco is obsessed with neighbors complaining about how they can’t park on the sidewalks without somebody being upset about it, and the imagined psychological failings of their fellow neighbors who have the temerity to leave notes on their cars.

      NextComplaint in Oakland is panicky white people sending out alerts whenever they see darker skin. In Oakland.

  4. Good luck Dan and O2! Those of us too ensnared in The Dream can only hope to live vicariously through your adventures! I hope everything works out for you.

  5. Congrats on pulling off the move! It was all I could deal with to move two streets over (I wish I was kidding too, but you know I’m serious).Cant wait to see it someday. Enjoy the solitude, buddy.

  6. Even though you have moved to a new country, do you still plan on keeping the comics coming far, far, far into the future? I’m fairly certain life would be devoid of all meaning without Bizarro.

  7. Dan, so glad that San Miguel is turning out to be everything that you and Ms. Oyl desire! Looking forward to future photos and posts, and I hope the kitties adjust well.

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the culture of victimhood here in the U.S., by the way. I have to hide so many posts on my FB page from whiny people, it’s ridiculous.

  8. Political correctness more or less has nothing to do with that package of black beans, but you knew that didn’t you?

  9. I’m looking forward to seeing a Mezcal bottle with a label designed by you. Who knows? They may pay you in liquid form – worth looking into.

  10. How wonderful! I lived in San Miguel a few years ago and remember thinking it’s paradise. I can close my eyes and imagine I’m back – the colors, the smells, my God… the FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!! I used to spend a lot of time in the local library, it’s a fantastic little place, or at least it was. And the plaza. Ohhhh Dan! ENJOY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I cannot WAIT to see the ways in which it inspires you artistically. San Miguel AND, I must add, Guanajuato (the city) and surreal in every way. I don’t think I’ve ever taken so many photos of two cities in my life, every corner… every wall! They’re not called Ciudades Magicas for no reason :-)

    • I agree completely! We have been to Guanajuato quite a few times and love it as much as SMA. We were considering moving there but wanted more of a small-town vibe.Both are magical!

  11. Recently watched a travel show. I think it was Joseph Rosendo. Highlighted your new home town. Beautiful area. Might file a lawsuit along the lines of infliction of unintentional jealousy.

  12. I love Mexico. My job required that I traveled to Mexico City every other week for ten years. An exhausting experience, but also a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Enjoy your new home, in good health!

  13. While I agree that Mexicans are not as politically correct as Americans (my wife was born in Sonora, so I have some experience here), Frijoles Negros simply means black beans (negro meaning black in Spanish and the adjective coming after the noun out describes in a much more logical sequence than English). In other words your beans may be refried and they may be black but they are not intentionally offensive. While I live en el otro lado, I have the pleasure of living close to Mexico and enjoying the warmth of her people and richness of her culture. Joy and rich inspiration tip you and the lovely Ms. Oyl.

  14. Oh come on,Dan— “Frijoles Refritos Negroes”
    is simlemente Spanish for “Refried Black Beans”
    …….!Dude!,,Tu eres en Mexico now- Get with the
    program!!!= the more palabras you learn the more
    they will like you–and Mexicanos are so simpatico
    they will compliment your half-dozen palabras to the
    skies (as in “Hombre- you speak it so well !!! ‘……
    …….believe me, you’d never from that from a typical
    Frenchman (unless you were a raviahing -looking
    blond babe…)

  15. Taking thing literally—including things deliberately misapprehended—has long been a favored ploy of mine. Using the last word in a package label for Frijoles Refritos Negros as platform from which to toss a throw-away line about political correctness seems to fall into that pattern. Unless it arose from true innocence (fresh ignorance by any other name) of la lengua española?
    Please tell us you actually have some knowledge—or commitment to attain it—of the language of your adopted home and you were just playing with us. You may never become fluent or even begin to enjoy puns (Here’s one: ¿Cuál animal anda con una pata? Answer below.) in Spanish, but tell us you will work on it.
    I will miss you when you retire and I’m too old to stalk you al sud de la frontiera, wall or no wall.
    Be well and happy, you and O2 together.
    The answer is a drake but it only works entirely in Spanish.

  16. I so relate to what you said about neighborhood complaints. I’m in a similar group for my area and recently someone complained about a local issue not getting passed and wondered if they could find out who all the renters are and exclude them from future ballot issues. As if they were assured that all homeowners would have voted the way they wanted the issue to go. I wanted to respond, but thought better of it.

  17. I yam so! so! so! hoppy for zhu y la dama de la olea!
    [That is kind of how some of us talk here on the AZ-SO border.]
    [That was not a joke.]
    Mi casa esta 13 calles al norte de la linea!
    I can hardly wait to see how you work you new town into your art.

  18. HOLA DAN — welcome SMA — was happy to learn of your wise decision to come to SMA as I too moved here from OR (just could not take one more of those winters/falls/springs). You will find life here is easy, and as busy (or not) as you wish to make it! I’ve been here long enough to have a good network of friends, including some interesting artist types and would be happy to introduce you and O2 around…..if interested drop us a note. Would be fun to get acquainted, talk OR, Walls, and new lives of SMA!

  19. Congrats on the move – Mexico looks like a lovely, vibrant kind of place. And yes, build that wall before Agent Orange drags you back! (The Mexicans won’t kick you out; they don’t seem to have nearly as much of an issue with immigrants, legal or otherwise, settling there).

    And if things really don’t work out, come to South Africa, where you will have at least one fan ready to welcome you with open arms. ;-)

  20. Wow! I thought moving to Cincinnati was radical. Wondering how the new vistas will inspire your work. And the Mezcal, too. Good luck.

  21. Wow! My wife and I vacationed in San Miguel de Allande Summer before last and loved it. I was ready to move there immediately. One of the many things that struck me was the number of Italian restaurants another would be the number of ex pat. Americans and Europeans as well as the number of things to do and see.

    Enjoy!

  22. Just Imagine……..

    How much Hot pickled Mexicans style Cabbage you could make out of the one in this weeks title panel. Bet it pairs well on a warm afternoon in your new digs with some chips and mezcal. Seriously though congrats on your move!

  23. So, now that you have shipped Bizarro to Mexico, did Mike Pence offer a bribe to stay?

    The place looks fantastic, get wired up and keep us laughing, we are gonna need for the next 4 or (horrors) 8 years.

  24. Greetings Dan,,, your words resonate through my soul. Being a retired CSW, certified social worker, from central WI on a road trip, living out of a 96 Dodge Caravan, visiting my father in Naples, Fl, the disparity of life is ultra evident. The mainstream attitude here is accumulation and flaunting of wealth, while the folks that do all the hard work are most likely illegal immigrants barely getting by. I am not sure where they live, although having visited Immokalee, Fl I have a pretty good idea of where and how they live. I have consider myself a minimalist and try and get by on as little as possible. I appreciate that you have more or less drop out of the competitive, whinny, self indulging lifestyle or at least the pursuit of that lifestyle and am considering a way to do that myself. Perhaps a cartoon or theme about this disparity of wealth and luxury across our planet. Thank you for bringing some sanity and humor to a world and life that leaves me searching for answers everyday. Hasta la próxima vez mi amigo ,,,mark

  25. Wow! I can’t believe it took me so long to find you here! Not that you are hard to find, I just finally sat down and typed in Bizarro.com. My husband and I enjoy a laugh together every morning before work reading your comic, I can’t think of a better way to start our day. But now that you’re found, I feel we’ve lost you to Mexico…truly envious! Beautiful calavera catrina, thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the note, Beky, and welcome! I post a blog each Sunday that shows all of the comics of the previous week along with humorous commentary and the occasional rant. Hope you’ll stop by. :^}

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