Archive for the ‘Spanish’ Category

The great work begins

February 24, 2019

(two morning names, of very different type)

Yesterday morning I came to consciousness slowly slowly, as a voice filled my head with the exulting declaration:


(#1) Society6 art print: The Great Work Begins by Maxfield and Madison

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A camelid from darkest Peru

January 29, 2019

A souvenir from Juan Gomez, who visited Peru (Cuzco, Machu Picchu) with his family for the New Year’s holiday: a little stuffed llama I’ve named Glama Grrl (he’s seen here perched high in the spathyphyllum forest on my worktable):

(#1)

The Peruvian camelid has been exploited for all sorts of word play purposes, perhaps most famously in the light verse of Ogden Nash, but also in joking that turns on the fact that the element llam– has (at least) three separate sources in Spanish (referring to the camelid, to fire or flames, and to calling (out)). Glama Grrl will then lead us to the original traveler from darkest Peru, Paddington Bear.

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The news for shoes

September 17, 2018

… and toucans, but not, surprisingly, pandas, despite the brand name.

Originally encountered in ads from the Footwear etc. stores (a California chain with a store on University Ave. in Palo Alto): Wanda Panda,

We Are Wanda Panda

Shoes, ankle boots and sandals for women. Made in Spain. [The company’s headquarters are in Alicante, on the Costa Blanca]

Hours of attention: Monday to Thursday, 9:00 – 13:00, 16:00 – 18:00, Friday 9:00 – 13:00 [notably Spanish hours]

Phonemically /wandǝ pændǝ/ in English, apparently involving the bamboo-eating bear Ailuropoda melanoleuca (I have two friends with the panda as a very serious totem animal, so I’m alert to pandas) — but phonemically /wanda panda/ in Spanish, with no allusion to (el) panda ‘panda’ at all; instead the reference is to (la) panda ‘gang, crowd, group of friends’ (in European Spanish slang). And the Wanda Panda mascot is a cartoon toucan (tucán in Spanish):

(#1)

Some notes on the shoes. And then a digression on why Wanda and panda don’t rhyme in English (though they do in Spanish).

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The Three Marcos, the Three Marcusites

August 27, 2018

(Hunky men in skimpy underwear, but otherwise not alarming. And it will take you to some surprising places.)

Today’s Daily Jocks guy, for Marcuse underwear, with the ad copy (lightly edited):


(#1) Marco Brown, the pool boy with a white thong in his heart

Sporty & sexy, the premium Egoist collection from Marcuse will give everyone around you wild thoughts. Available in 2 colors [white and navy] and 3 styles, jockstrap, [bikini] brief & thong.

The first of the Three Marcos. On to the others…

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Aspectual distinctions in the comics

July 22, 2018

Today’s Zippy involves a distinction in the interpretation of the VP own thirty-one muu-muus:

Does Zippy happen to own (only) 31 muu-muus at the moment? Griffy asks how many muu-muus Zippy owns, and that’s what Zippy apparently says in reply.

Or is Zippy’s way of life such that he always has (only) 31 muu-muus in his possession? That would indeed predict that Zippy has (only) 31 at the moment, but it would also predict that if you took one away, he’d have to get a new one to replace it, and that if you gave him a new one, he’d have to get rid of an old one — all to maintain the stable state of owning 31 muu-muus. That’s what Zippy says in his reply.

The distinction is aspectual, corresponding very roughly to the circumstances in which you’d choose a ‘to be’ verb in Spanish: estar (roughly) for temporary situations, not necessarily extending beyond the reference time period (hence mutable, contingent), ser (roughly) for enduring, even permanent situations, extending through time before and after the reference time period (hence unchanging, even necessary).

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The possessed and the damned gather over cheese dip

June 8, 2018

A 1969 Velveeta ad:

Ingrid Superstar is obviously possessed, perhaps as a consequence of the entire company of the damned dipping into her chafing dish.

With a little lesson in pronouncing Spanish, and of course a celebration of the processed cheese product Velveeta, which has been beguiling the unwary with its silky smoothness since 1918.

Plus the inventively crude sexual slang dip into s.o.’s chafing dish.

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Beat Me, Daddy, Eight to the Bar

May 12, 2018

(On the social and sexual lives of gay men, with photos, so not to everyone’s taste. Almost surely not to Facebook’s taste.)

Recent Facebook conversation, initiated by poster J1:

First time being called “Daddy” while playing with a guy at a bar. Bittersweet!

With a response from J2:

Yeah, I can see the bittersweet part, for sure. Heh. I remember you as a total twink.

And from me:

Ah, those days. For me, it was papacito from a cute server at a Mexican restaurant. I was charmed.

daddy here is the name of a social identity, a gay “type” (like twink, bear, muscle-hunk, or leatherman); and by extension, of a subculture of men of this type; and by a different extension, of a role or relationship between men, between an older and a younger man. Such identities, subcultures, and roles can intersect and combine, as here:

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Food news in the neighborhood

April 30, 2018

Two recent developments: the closing in December of the neighborhood homey Mexican restaurant La Morenita (at 800 Emerson St., across Homer Ave. from Whole Foods and around the corner from my house, to the southwest) and its replacement a week ago by Taverna, a stylish Greek restaurant; and the recent opening of the Georgian restaurant Bevri (at 530 Bryant St., a couple of blocks from my place, to the northeast).

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Comics about comics

November 9, 2017

Recently in Zippy, two poignant strips about cartoonist Bill Griffith’s childhood and the cartoon character Little Max; and then today, a strip in which Zippy wakes up three days in a row transformed into a cartoon character, only to emerge from these dreams on the fourth day — but as yet another cartoon character.

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Slangy Spanish hot dogs

August 1, 2017

In a Pinterest mailing on the 25th, a board entitled Cachorros — a word unfamiliar to me — that turned out to be yet another assemblage of hot dog recipes (a topic that comes up on this blog frequently, because it combines food and phallicity).

The Spanish word cachorro means ‘puppy’ (also usable for the young of some other species, even, for some speakers, children — but the basic use is for young dogs), but as far as I can tell, it has no widespread currency as culinary slang.
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