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The Man and the Scarf

28 Mar

As a born and raised Venezuelan I was a total stranger to cold weather until I moved to the Midwest in 2005.

My first snow experience happened December of that year and it was really fun. The short walk to class the next morning? That sucked. My idea of winter apparel at the time consisted of layering….sweaters. After all, why would I ever buy any cold gear or accesories when in Venezuela, temperatures under 70F are as a common as a short trip to the DMV.

Late last year, I ran across the Youtube channel of Real Men Real Style  and instantly, it was like hiring a personal style and fashion counselor…at no cost. The man in the videos is Antonio Centeno, a former US Marine and the founder of RMRS and A Tailored Suit.

RMRS has become one of my favorite websites for men’s style advice. The amount of free material available on there is truly astounding. The Youtube channel alone will keep you busy for days. You will be surprised how much you can learn from a 4-5 min clip. In fact, chances are whatever question you may have he already answered. Definitely give them a watch go.

Now, getting to the scarf business. For those of you that know me (all 4 of you, thanks for reading), it comes as no surprise that I have healthy obsession with scarves. I don’t own 45 like women own pairs of shoes (nobody is judging) but I do have several that I like to rotate over the Fall and Winter seasons. Where did my extreme liking for scarves come from? I’m not quite sure. But the notion of being able to protect yourself from the cold while looking awesome, to this day, is simply too good to pass.

In any case, I leave you with the great job Antonio did explaining the essentials,

History of the scarf:


Why to wear one:


How to choose the right one:


See? Be a man, it’s cool. Wear one.

(Unless it’s 80F outside)

Learning Venezuelan Slang (Part 1)

7 Mar

NOTE: This is an updated version of Learning Venezuelan Slang Part 1, first published on my very neglected Spanish language other blog in 2010.

Today y’all get a chance to learn some Spanish. Not Castellano-Spanish, as one of the six official languages of the United Nations, nor the Spanish you think you’re speaking when you try to insult somebody by saying “Pinga tu madra.” (Sadly, you are not even saying it right! Ask a Mexican buddy to correct you).

I’m talking about real, legitimate Spanish from Venezuela. Join me as take you through the first edition of Learning real Venezuelan slang with a native Guaro.

I know everybody loves to learn insults and cuss words in different languages, but there won’t be any insults to your mother or sexual references here (internet people still have families, you know?), but this will be a great start:

Note: Alphabetical orders are boring. Leave those to Oxford and Merriam-Webster.

1. Burda/Sendo(a): (bur-dah/Cehn-doh) A lot. Very. Plenty. Hella. Tremendous.

Ex1: I have burda of hunger.

Ex2: The Colorado Rockies have senda Venezuelan representation this Spring Training 2012 with Marco Scutaro, Ramon Hernandez, Rafael Betancourt, Carlos Gonzalez, Jhoulys Chacin, Edgmer Escalona and Eliezer Alfonso!

2. Na’Guara: (na-gua-ra) local thing from Guaroland. Meaning: wow, no sh*t!, really?, etc.

Ex1: Naguara, current New Orleans Hornet and former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez lifted his team over the then future NCAA BB National Champs in both his Junior and Senior years.

Ex2: You ate a 3lb hamburger? NAGUARA! I don’t believe you. (Yes, I did. By the way).

3. Chimbo/Pirata: (shim-bo/pee-ra-tta) when something/someone is of shady quality or simply sucked. Sketchy.

Ex1. Did you go to that concert? Yes, but it was very chimbo.

Ex2: That personal trainer is pirata like no other. (More common than you’d think).

4. Arrecho: (ah-rre-sho) when something is awesome or astonishing. Also used when someone is mad or pissed off.

Ex1: Did you see that dunk by Lebron? That was so arrecho!

Ex2: Mel Kiper Jr. spent the whole 1st Round of the 2010 NFL Draft arrecho because nobody picked his boy Jimmaaay Clausen. (Not updated, for posterity)

5. Pana: (pa-nah) friend, buddy, bro. Also used to indicate somebody is a good person.

Ex1: My pana Athlete Creator says Target is known worldwide as the store where all hot women shop. I concur.

Ex2: What do you think of your new boss”? He’s cool, very pana.

6. Tipo: (tee-poh) guy, dude, man. Not quite endearing as pana.

Ex: That tipo kicked me and my panas out of the club for being too awesome for the place. That guy was very pajuo.

7. Ladilla: (la-di-lla, lla pronounced as fo-llow) Something that’s extremely boring or a complete pain in the ass. Unwanted chores.

Ex1: I have to go to the DMV again? What a ladilla!

Ex2: What are you doing right now? I’m so ladilla’o(a). Let’s go out.

8. Pajuo(a)*: (pa-who-oh/pa-who-ah). When somebody is not helpful or purposely goes out of the way to not help or assist. Also to indicate wrong doing.

Ex1: She asked her roommate if she could use her frying pan, and she said no. She’s so pajua.

Ex2: I went to the gym to do some squats, but this pajuo came in and started doing biceps curls in the squat rack.

9. Papiar: (pa-pee-ar) to eat well. Derivative from papa (potato), a very good meal. Origin of the word papiado (pa-pia-do), which is to be swollen, muscular, well fed.

Ex1: What is there to papiar today? I’m super hungry, I want to eat a tremendous papa. Have you papiado yet?

Ex2: I rather look papiao than look like one of those pansy A&F/AE/Aeropostale models.

10. Chevere/Chevre**: (Che-ve-re/Che-vre) Nice. Cool. Good. etc

Ex1: How was that Royals game, I heard they lost again? They did, but I had a good time, it was chevere.

Well, my panas. There you go, the first batch 10+ words and verbs that I hope can enrich your non-existent Venezuelan vernacular. Trust me, as much as it’s fun to try to pronounce them correctly it will be even more fun when you use them in proper context. Also, guess what? You were just speaking Spanglish and you didn’t even notice! Go you!

Any questions, concerns, complaints? Have the distance affected my Venezuelan slang? Go ahead and leave a comment. Let me know.

* I must add, the English language desperately needs a word for this. You could technically use a-hole, but I’d like to use a more concise, clear word.

** There is some controversy as per the actual country of origin with this word. Boricuas, if you want it, it’s all yours.

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