Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Unpopinions, Volume II

-Sometimes I listen to the Spanish radio station, because it is fun to pretend that everyone is singing about delicious ham.

-I have no burning desire to visit Hawaii.

-The Ten Commandments is an absolute Hollywood triumph.

-Ace on American Idol? Not attractive. Largely because he goes by "Ace."

-Ain't no shame to be eight months away from thirty and still sleeping with stuffed animals.

-It is a complete and utter waste of time to attempt to force high school and college students to learn a foreign language.

-The Buffett version of "Brown-Eyed Girl" outstrips the Van Morrison version.

-The closer he edges to puberty, the more I want to send Jim The Small Child Nephew out into the world only after enclosure in a person-sized gerbil ball.

-Cowgirl boots with a dress? Totally okay.

-I have yet to see Titanic, and plan to keep it that way.

-There is nothing wrong with eating an entire pizza by yourself.


-If you don't eat the crust.


somebody please make me feel better about this at: mb@blondechampagne.com


red pill junkie said...

"-It is a complete and utter waste of time to attempt to force high school and college students to learn a foreign language."

Let us define "FOREIGN" first, considering that right now 30% or more of the american population speaks spanish, which would make the US the biggest spanish-speaking country in the continent.

Also, as of this moment, there are plans for the american high-school and mid-school programs to include MANDARIN among the second-language options. Read this month's issue of WIRED magazine.

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da said...

Couldn't agree more with the pizza comment.

Couldn't agree more with the Hawaii comment.

Couldn't disagree more with the foreign language comment, at least regarding college students. If the goal of college is still to create well-rounded, "educated" adults, that has to include foreign languages - it's been that way for hundreds of years, and with good reason. It also helps people understand how their own language works - something any English prof surely values.

Anonymous said...

And yet? 70% is still more than 30%. Nothing against Spanish (I listen to the Spanish music station! On purpose!) but in the United States, it is a foreign language. Otherwise the schools would not teach it as such. If you wanna take Mandarin or Spanish, cool, take it. But dont force me. If the goal is expanded horizons, I would far prefer an Hispanic, Asian, or Eskimo culture class. Or whatever.

Took two years of French. Took a year of Spanish. Have. Not. Used. It. Once.

There is a reason why I title these posts UNpopinions.

Dantelope said...

Ace is unattractive to you.... because he's gay.

Congrats, your gaydar is working!

susan said...

As long as you don't get pizza sauce or cheese on the stuffed animals, all is OK. And pizza sauce is tomato-based which means it's packed with lycopenes, vitamins and all the good stuff that stains your fingers.

kelebek }{ said...

Really? I thought I was the last person on the face of the earth who hasn't watched Titanic! We should start a club of sorts!!

thebuxomwench said...

"Titanic" is entirely vomit worthy - IMO you're not missing much there.

Mind you, it did provide me with much amusement when I attended the wedding of a friend who is very pentecostal ... so many people in the congregation with their arms outspread and leaning forwards while they sang, "Holy Spirit, wash over meeeeeeeeeee ..." It was simply beyond my powers of resistance (to this day I maintain the devil made me do it) to refrain from saying to my husband, "Look Jack! They're flying!" If only the music hadn't ended at that particular moment, thus magnifying my words and causing them to echo throughout the church.

Going to hell @ roguenwench@yahoo.com.au


dscotch said...

1. Hawaii, conceived there, no reason to return.
2. Ace, GAG. I'm a Taylor fan. Ace needs to cut and WASH his hair.
3. Titanic . . . well it depends on why you watch it. If it's to see the poor unfortunate people carom off the propellers with a *clang* then maybe you are missing something. Also I always enjoy seeing DiCraprio drown/freeze.
4. Foreign Language in High School/College . . . totally worthless. Learn it when you are about 5 and you will pick it up like a sponge.
5. Buffett better than Van Morrison?!? Blasphemy. Okay Brown Eyed Girl is not his best . . . buy the Van Morrison Greatest Hits (the black one with a microphone on the cover) that's got all the good stuff you need to hear . . .the rest is just ear candy :)
6. Pizza? Yeah, anytime, anywhere, preferably alone or I'll have to share it and I don't share well with others.
7. Poor Jim the not-quite-a-baby-anymore Nephew . . . he does not need to be exposed to the ickiness of the world. A tiny #10 jersey from the Football Team of the Womb or the Womb's across 31/33 neighbor would suffice as a force field.

lina the reader said...

How on earth can you be living in Florida and never been in a situation in which you needed Spanish?

I personally think our country is really behind in terms of foreign languages. Almost every other country (certainly every other developed country) teaches children to become fluent in second or third languages. And we wait until college? It's been proven that minds are best suited to learn other languages during childhood.

Still, better late than never. I hope to learn Spanish, French, German, and Russian before I'm 40.

Anonymous said...

"How on earth can you be living in Florida and never been in a situation in which you needed Spanish?"

Because I'm perfectly OK with not being able to read the radio station billboards posted in the Spanish-speaking parts of town.

I've lived here five years, and I've honestly never, ever been in a situation in which not being able to speak Spanish was a life-altering situation, or even hugely inconvenient. And I've had every day job from selling roses in bars to teaching college. I hear Spanish frequently, but other than occasionally wishing I had the ability to eavesdrop, it's really not a big deal in any way.

"Almost every other country (certainly every other developed country) teaches children to become fluent in second or third languages. And we wait until college?"

That's kind of my main point here. If we're going to force-feed forign languages, don't do it at an age at which people tend to be their most learning-resistant.

lina the reader said...

I was just really surprised by the Florida thing. I live in Arizona, which according to the census, has a smaller Hispanic population yet I've had to use Spanish a few times, especially when I worked in retail.

Hmm. Perhaps being Hispanic makes me view the subject differently...

I'm formally learning Spanish now and it's hella hard but I think it's worth it. I wanted to take Old Norse at some point but Arizona State lies and has it in the course catalog but doesn't actually offer it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm in central FL, and the Hispanic population is less dense than it is closer to Miami. But still, in all my time here, I've only run into one person who didn't speak English at all-- the very first person--a woman I asked for directions to the bathroom at the airport when I arrived for my interview at the Kennedy Space Center!

One of my former co-workers is half Puerto Rican, but she does not speak Spanish. Constantly people would take one look at her dark complexion and immediately speak Spanish, assuming that she did so as well. But as soon as they'd see that she wasn't fluent, they'd switch. For some reason, this never happens to me. ;)

I miss Airzona. Hug it for me. Which part are you in?

Mini T said...

As far as the foreign language subject goes, I also live in Florida though in the Southwest portion and have found that learning Spanish would be useful, though not absolutely necessary. When I had to take 8 credit hours of a foreign language because of the Florida State University System requirements, did I take Spanish? Nope, took American Sign Language which is so much more practical in everyday living here. :) I think I was more resentful thinking I could have been two classes closer to graduation if it hadn't been for the foreign language requirement, especially when I was paying for all the classes myself. Yuck.

Amanda said...

Hawaii is really not for those of us that burst into flames at the mere mention of sunlight...So I totally agree with that one!

And I also agree with the foreign language comment. Kids will be binlingual when they start teaching foreign languages in kindergarten, not before.

Lizzy said...

My high school had Latin, Japanese,Spanish, French (which I took 6 years of, I get around quite well with a mastery of the phrase "Where is...") and Russian as language options, which I think is a bit much considering most of my fellow students could barely grasp English as a first language. On the subject of pizza, small to medium by ones self is ok, anything bigger is a bit much. And if you can justify the toppings, you are cool (veggies are good for you, meats provide protein, carbs are good for brain function, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I have missed a post, please let me know if so, but Whatever happened with the
"double-oh-seven glamour shot" or is the announcement still under wraps ? Crystal

Dolphin said...

By preferring the Buffett version, you are now, without a doubt, a true Floridian. Congratulations, here's your license to complain about tourists. :)

Colonel Korg said...

Just read your piece on msnbc.com about tv ratings. Way to go girl!!! From there I found your web site and read it. After recovering from an asthma attack induced by uncontrollable laughter, I decided to post some comments.

1. High school students learning a foreign language? You are RIGHT! It is complete rubbish! They need to learn how to read, write and converse in American English before we even think about letting them butcher someone elses native toung.

2. Cowgirl boots with a dress? Sure beats the hell out of those stupid flip-flops you see everywhere with the added bonus that your feet and ankles are protected from the Florida state bird (the Mosquito) You keep right on wearing them!

3. Pizza IS the fifth group, so enjoy it!

BTW, I'm a geek and proud of it! Please keep up the good work!

gryphonesse said...

you're FINE on the pizza. Even the crust if you wanted. You can dip it in ranch dressing. I've eaten a whole one of those Totinos Party Pizzas before, all by myself. AND, I'm not morbidly obese - just pleasantly pudged.

I do want to go to Hawaii, tho. And I want a people sized gerbil ball, but only so I can get in it and get on a trampoline.

See? You're not the weirdest one, not by a longshot.

Carrie "who knew her when" Schmidt said...

There is no shame in eating a whole anything by yourself. However, to make yourself feel better you could do what I do - get a dog, or a husband, they'll both eat anything and give them one small bite. That way you can say you didn't eat it all yourself!

Dantelope said...

You can eat a whole pizza by yourself until the day that you discover you can no longer fit through the opening of the Blondemobile.

... or until JTP starts shopping for a bigger airplane because "he's concerned about the, uh, drag on the plane during takeoff".

Mike Marchand said...

I made up words to the "Numa Numa Yeah" song when it was popular for about four days last year. It is a fun pasttime.

I don't want to go to Hawaii, either: I'd probably never leave. My mom and stepdad practically had to drug me to get me on the return flight from Vegas.

Have you heard ABC will be showing an all-new Ten Commandments starting this year? This is quite possibly the dumbest idea in TV history, considering Charlton Heston is a perennial ratings winner.

"Ace is not attractive" is not an unpopinion; "'American Idol' sucks" is.

I've never heard Buffett's "Brown-Eyed Girl," but after Everclear's Hindenburg-level disaster of a cover, I never want to hear it done by anybody except Van Morrison ever again. Sorry.

I can proudly say I've never watched Titanic in its entirety, but I will confess to watching the "drawing" scene and some of the parts where the ship sinks, which even the most strident James Cameron haters agree is a cinematic marvel. The rest is dreck, though.

I could regularly take down a whole pizza by myself. If I ate one slice now, the carb addiction would kick in so fiercely that I probably wouldn't stop until I'd pounded down two whole pies.

kittybrunette said...

Ace on American Idol? TOTALLY UN-COOL, and not very cute either. I like my men to look manly, not like a cross between Paula Abdul and a crying puppy!
The whole pizza, no shame at all, especially if you save the crusts for a midnight snack, or a good breakfast. This works especially with pizza places who include a complimentary tiny tub of garlicbutter sauce for instant "breadstick" dipping pleasure.

Cbell said...

Eating an entire pizza is fine. Eating two is okay and eating a case of Moon Pies with a few RC Colas makes you a true southerner... not just a Floridian. I did see Titanic, it was a date with a guy who was a self-proclaimed "Titanic" buff and I had to pinch myself to cry while he was blubbering all over himself. Needless to say, the relationship lasted shorter than the movie. I took three years of French, and I think I can ask you to open a door... 'nuff said.

JZ said...

Eating an entire pizza by yourself is an accomplishment. I tip my hat to you, madam.

jcat2323 said...

This is the difference between guys and girls. Girls wonder about the rammifications, both physical and emotional, of eating and entire pizza by ourselves. Men tell ego-stories about that one time he and his buddies each ordered a large pizza (big emphasis in the story on the LARGE), and he was not only the only one to finish his, he also finished what was left of everyone elses (one of my boyfriend's favorite food stories. Makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it).
I'm with CBell on the Titanic thing, watched it with a boyfriend who thought it was great (he also liked She's All That, yeck). I only watched it once, and I could not believe the how Leo dies part. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at the end, Leo helps the chick on to the board, and when she tries to help him get up, the board starts to tip and so he says nevermind, I'll stay in the water, and it's suppose to be so sweet because he's sacrificing his life for her. Am I the only one that thought "Idiot! Go to the other side of the board! It'll balance the weight and he'll be able to climb up!" Didn't really think much of the movie up to that point (especially with the big to do everyone was making of it) and I couldn't stand it after that. I don't normally nit pick the inacuracies in movies, but that was just too obvious. Hard to think of it as a tragic love story when she basicly kills him at the end by being a dumb@ss.

red pill junkie said...

Here in Mexico my generation started to learn english since we were in pre-school (in private schools at least, public schools in Mexico are in a terrible state, although the best universities here are public). Hence by highschool one was supposed to be fluent in it, although obviously that was not always the case. The reason? english was and still is considered the international business language of the world. But THAT is changing! China is growing at a baffling speed, and most of us think is going to become the next super power (whether you like it or not). China molded its educational programs to make its population english-speaking, so now all major corporations are turning their heads to China and now they have to be there to stay in the action. China's LENOVO bought IBM's home computer division for crying out loud, and the chinese were smart enough to offer IBM's executives to manage the company from Beijing. So these guys had to learn mandarin... FAST.

So my point is this: a country cannot afford to wait 2 or 3 generations to see the results of their educational programs. Sure, highschoolers will have trouble catching up since they weren't introduced to the language in earlier years, but that same thing happened with us when we learned how to use the weird machines that are in front of you right now.

Embrace the change VATOS. As for me, I'm starting to look for a good mandarin center around!

lina the reader said...

Sheesh. It's been less then 12 hours since I have checked this site and everyone and their brother has left comments.

Mike, I really hope you're lying about the Ten Commandments. Part of what I enjoy best about the Charlton Heston version is making "damn diry apes" comments and jokes about the NRA. In high school, my friends and I joked about making I Heart Heston shirts around Easter.

mb, I can relate to your friend. I'm half-Mexican (though I'm told I look very Asian. go figure.) and my sister, my cousins and I (aka all the grandkids) can't speak Spanish fluently.

I'm currently living in Tempe but I was born and raised in Mesa. Not that there's a huge difference between the two other than the presence of a certain big white temple. When were you in the Grand Canyon State?

dondiaz said...

28 comments, people, 28!! Congrats, MB, way to stir up a hornet's nest.

I'm with dscotch on:
3. absolutely, get your entertainment where you find it.
4. perfectly put.
6. drinking alone may indicate a problem, but putting away an entire pizza by oneself - perfectly normal, perfectly healthy, we've all done it.

Here is one thing about the language debate I've never been able to understand. On one hand, the complaints are that only relatively few students in this country bother with learning a second language. On the other hand we are being informed that more than 100 languages are spoken by students in school districts in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, some of them quite obscure. So which is it?

Personal to dscotch: Conceived in Hawaii? Aren't you glad your parents didn't name you "Molokai" or "Honolulu"?;) I'm just sayin'...

Janet The Reader said...

Haven't seen Titanic? REALLY?!?
My mouth is still slightly open at that one.

Rachel said...

Haven't seen Titanic?

Anonymous said...

Things To Discuss:

-Crystal, you most certainly didn't miss a post. I'll tell you all about it the second there aren't several lawyers clamping their hands over my mouth. Countdown to the revelation of the SuperSecretDoubleProbation Project: 25 days.

-Ob-la-di, if the goal is for everyone to understand English better, then I think everybody should take Latin, the basis of the big three European languages, as well as English. But as many of you mentioned here, a frightening amount of American students can't even handle our own language properly. Trust me... the amount of abysmal language skills I see in COLLEGE students is alarming.

- Colonel Korg... welcome. May I compliment your literary taste.

-Shapiro! You're HERE!

Miasys said...

Spanish music is awesome- most of the time I have no freakin' clue what they're singing about. Concur on Hawaii. Not into flying and I was once called a 'glass of milk' in high school. 'Nuff said.
Don't tell anyone, but I don't watch American Idol. At all. It kind of makes me nauseous. Just reading about this Ace guy brings to mind Johnny Weir. Bleech. If you tell me he wears some weird knotted necklace then I know they're actually the same person...Satan.
As for foreign languages, you hit that one on the head. I drove my high school Spanish teacher crazy. I think he passed me because of my last name- he probably thought I was related to Lyle and Eric!
Haven't heard Buffet's version of Brown-Eyed Girl, but Van Morrison is it for me too.
Cowgirl boots are okay with anything. I know people who got married in theirs, so if you want to wear yours with a dress, the fashion police probably have bigger fish to fry.
I like the post about the sound of people hitting the propeller in Titanic. That was choice. I'd rather watch Office Space. Where they beat the snot out of the fax machine. Oh, yeah.
The pizza thing? Totally not worth obsessing over. You go, chica.

Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks, gena :)

ob-la-di, ob-la-da said...

You sniffed me out, mb. I'm a Latin-lover (I started as an, ahem, college freshman) and I think that everyone, or at the very least everyone pursuing a college degree in the humanities, should take at least 3 semesters of this mother of all tongues. But the comment I made about it helping with English was just a happy side-effect, not the reason to study languages in the first place.

Believe me, as a history grad student grading crap intro exam essays, I fully sympathize with your laments regarding current college students' so-called writing skills (and I don't get to grade upper-level courses, so those intro classes leave a pretty bitter taste in my mouth). But all these remarks saying that students need to master their own language before they tackle another don't make sense. It's not like it's an either/or situation. People (generally) aren't sacrificing extra English classes to fulfill foreign language requirements, and foreign languages can only help.

Plus they're just cool.

(I bet that last statement removed any hint of impartiality from my argument. Oh well.)

Regarding everyday practicality of those living in the States, I'd generally agree. I'm from a Texas town with an average Latino population and my 5 years of Spanish haven't done much more than make Latin and French go down a little easier and make Gabriel Garcia Marquez more enjoyable. But I still say they have value in and of themselves and am a little horrified that a humanities professor would disagree.

Please don't crucify me! I love your blog! *huddles on the floor*

Anonymous said...

Awwwww, how could I be angry with ob-la-di! I love that you love my blog! You ARE allowed to have different opinions from The Hostess, as long as they do not involve the deliciousness of caramel.

Besides, I am a benevolent dictator.

Penny said...

Thanksgiving, my first holiday out of the house as an 'adult'. I called my dad to let him know that I'd just eaten an entire pumpkin pie and how cool was that? I didn't have to save some for him! Muaa haa haaa.

All our lives we had to 'save some for dad'. Being an adult occasionally has it's perks.

Buffet Rules. ;)

red pill junkie said...

ob-la-di, ob-la-da...

You are a fan of El Gabo


You ARE cool dude! ;-)

Or as we say down here...

Eres CHINGON maestro!

Mike Marchand said...

lina, I would never joke about The Ten Commandments. See for yourself:


It stars Dougray Scott, who I actually like in NBC's new "Heist," but it doesn't mean he's Moses to me. In fact, Charlton Heston owns that role so much that if I actually meet Moses in the afterlife, I'll probably be disappointed.

MB, you do realize that English is not a Romance language, right? Or, given the way you probably communicate with your students, perhaps I should say, "Hey MB, u like tooootally realize that English ain't no Romance language, dawg?" :D

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on. Marchand, why do you always have to bring actual fact into these things?

I meant that we pull many of our words and constructs from Latin.

Halcyon said...

I love that you love cowgirl boots with dresses! I have been wanting to wear them in the classroom (I teach college too), but have hesitated. What do you think? I mean, Gillian Welch wears them all the time, but she's a musician from Tennessee!
Read your article on MSN which lead me here, and now I think I'm hooked on this blog :-)

Anonymous said...

"What do you think?"

I think you have outstanding fashion and literary taste.

I've already worn cowgirl boots with dresses, and it worked, because I can't possibly lower my students' respect for me any more than I already have.

Glad you're here. Put up your feet and stay a while :)

Anonymous said...

As usual, I find myself in total agreement with you. I have been reading your blog for a long time, but this post, oddly, seems to inspire me to respond! I enjoy eating whole pizzas in one sitting, loved my language classes but learned nothing, don't really care for the beach (much less Hawaii), and, while I don't share your passion for stuffed animals, my husband does. Yep: a married adult male, my husband, sleeps with a stuffed basketball. Sometimes it's a stuffed football, but that's only when the basketball is in the wash. So, in conclusion: love your blog, agree with you on nearly every point, love my husband anyway so I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Keep up the great writing!

Anonymous said...

And I love katie's love. So glad you're here and decided to say hi. Props to your husband. Jim The Small Child Nephew has a few wobbly moments when his beloved stuffed kitty is in the wash ("Kitty?" he says worriedly. "Kitty has to have a bath!" we say tenderly, even though Kitty is getting the living crap beat out of it by the washer drum.)

Frankie said...

YES!!! I'm not the only one who hasn't seen (and has no desire to see) Titanic! Perhaps someone should start a club.

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