On the way to work this morning, I was listening to La Bamba on the radio and, as usual, singing along even though I not only don’t really know what he’s singing about in English, I don’t understand for sure what Spanish words he is singing. And then I thought, hey, why don’t I try to translate this song despite not knowing what the heck I’m doing in either language? After years of Spanish and English, I could make so many teachers cry silently at once.
Come on, Vamanos. Everybody let’s go!
Spanish version (Espanol, muchachos! Yo rock-o!)
La la la la la la bamba!
La la la la la la bamba!
Necesito un poco de gracia
Una poca de gracia
A mi fatia
Arriba arriba por ti dicen
Por ti dicen
(next verse, I’m worse than the first!)
Yo no soy no dinero
Yo no soy no dinero
Soy capitan, soy capitan
La la bamba
La la bamba
La la bamba
(repeat lines a few more times, no one will notice, they’re still singing “bamba bamba”)
And now to make you cringe even more, here comes my English translation!
English version – Yay yay yay dumb Anglos!
The the the the the bomb!
The the the the the bomb!
I need a little thanks
A little thanks
Yay yay for your talking
For your talking!
(He wanting thanks for making the bomb, or for defusing it? Yay yay!)
I don’t have any money
I don’t have any money
I am the captain
I am the captain
The the bomb!
The the bomb!
The the bomb!
(I’m guessing at this point the bomb blows up thus ending the song? Maybe if he wasn’t a broke captain, he could have stopped the bomb, which clearly was not defused.)
So what do you think? Are you thinking I might have goofed up some of the lines? Or rather accidentally gotten one or two right? Who knows? La la la la la bamba, amigos!
Lo siento, mi profesoras.
When I first started reviewing 50 Shades of Awful and Twidud, I figured I’d get some angry fan spittle all over my blog. Even when I had only a handful of viewers, it wouldn’t have surprised me. There are some fans so dedicated they will seek out anybody, no matter how small, in order to protect their sacred cow (moooo). And yet – I never heard a peep. In fact, one person who was a fan of Shades still thought I was funny and reblogged my post. Go figure.
Then it happened. A troll. A real, live troll! On my blog! It was a wondrous day, you guyz. I had to read the comment a few times to make sure it was real. It was so much better than the spammers (this blog to read is educational to be coming back soon.) You’ll never guess what post irritated the reader. Not 50 Shades, not Twilight, not my occasional political ramblings, not the times I screwed up revered American holidays like Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving. Nope.
It was Dragon Tales. It’s been a while since I’ve done a review of awful children’s T.V. I must get back to this, now that I’ve finished awful adult books. But the troll was angry! He or she told me “Dragon Tales is a good show! It’s for kids, not for 40-year-old fartheads like you!” Said troll had no blog, just an email address that went something like “dragontalesmaniacalfreakedoutfan.” Let me tell you, I was deeply saddened by this insult. For your information, troll, I am NOT forty, okay?
And that’s not all! There was another comment on another post, this one about how Clifford was either doin’ steroids or exposed to nuclear waste. It said, and I quote “Again, mean!” Mean? Me? I thought my blog was sweetness and light! Now I’m all disillusioned.
I thought this was the end of it, but I think this person has a whole fan club that is still tracking my blog. I keep getting hits because of it. Check out the most recent search words people used to find my blog. Just today: dragon tales (10), dragon tails (2), dragon tale (1), dragontales (1), and yesterday: dragon tales (11), dragon’s tale (3), dragon tale (1). And this has been going on for a while now. It might be my new top search word this year. It would help if this fan club could figure out how to spell Dragon Tales.
Far out, huh? This just goes to show you how bizarre the Internet can be. I suppose I should be thankful to these guys for giving my blog traffic. Therefore, I’ve decided to review it again. Here’s the original post for any of you who missed it. And a clip of the show, too. Guard your stomachs.
Upon reviewing the show again, dear troll, I have to say . . . it still sucks. Yeah. Pretty much. I mean, yes, it is for children and not adults. But adults are usually forced to watch this crap too. Unless they prefer to neglect their children like Max and Ruby’s parents. (Max and Ruby review coming up, Max and Ruby fans!) Besides, just because it’s for kids doesn’t mean it can’t have a little quality to it. For instance, I can watch Sesame Street without gagging as long as I turn it off before the Elmo comes on. But Dragon Tales makes the mistake of not only being annoying and stupid, but pretentious about it.
So sorry to spill your milk there (everyone makes mistakes, oh yes, they do) but I don’t like it. Sure the dragons teach the kids Spanish (Why are the dragons Spanish? Do they also have Russian dragons? Scottish ones?) but we already had Dora for that (Saltaaaaaaaaaa!) We didn’t need any more. I mean, Dora was shrieky and irritating, but at least she didn’t whine nearly as much as these so-called dragons. So, yeah, review stands. On the suck-o-meter, we have a ten. But please – do come back. I’ll leave the rug cleaner out for you.
Love and kisses,
Remember Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck . . .” bit? I do, because thanks to my husband, our family qualifies for quite a few of those. Anyway, I was thinking that the same thing could be applied to parents. Hence my blog post for today. If any of you have something to add, please do so in the comments!
You might be a parent if . . .
You have thousands of markers in your house, and every one is missing a lid.
You have the theme to Dora the Explorer on repeat in your head.
You aren’t sure who is on the Supreme Court, but can name every one of the seven dwarves.
In a sleep deprived daze you have lost your car keys, purse, phone, diaper bag, glasses, lunch, child, and your sanity.
You get so tired of reading the same children’s book that you start making up your own words to the story that might possibly involve stuffed animals going on a rampage.
If a genie asked if you wanted fame, wealth, or eternal life, you would choose sleep.
One time while dropping off your kindergartener, your two year old runs into the room with her, and you are in such a hurry to get to work you completely forget about the toddler until you are out of the school building and in your car and you see that hey, the car seat is empty and OMG I forgot my kid! This is purely theoretical.
One of your children hangs his sibling from a basketball goal.
Your child has eaten any of the following: dirt, super glue, marbles, paper, dog food, shoes, or that mysterious green goo in the baby food jar labeled Spinach. Bonus points if your child has done all of these.
You’ve played hide and go seek with a child and repeatedly forgotten to seek.
If you’ve called Poison Control at least once.
Teachers and principals at school know your name well, and it’s not for a good reason.
Nothing grosses you out anymore.
You wake up to someone screaming “Mr. Flibble, No!!!!!” and don’t think this is odd.
When you need to sign something, the only thing you can find to write with is a broken green crayon.
You freely talk about the bowel habits of your child at the dinner table.
You get to work and two hours later discover your shirt has baby boogers on it.
You make your dinner off the leftovers on two small plates.
You have experienced projectile vomiting, projectile pooping, and projectiles aimed at your head.
You allow your kid to pull every book from the book shelf because hey, he’s occupied.
You could swear your child didn’t have that many stuffed animals the night before.
Any one of the following is on your floor right now: naked Barbies, glitter glue, homework due last week, a My Little Pony with its mane cut off, a diaper in any state, a baby sock (and your child is ten), a sippy cup with week old apple juice making it smell like you give your toddler Bud Light, a Barney VHS tape, a library book with your child’s autograph in crayon, a pile of laundry that’s been there a month, Legos, one of your diamond stud earrings, a hamster, the contents of your purse, a half eaten Uncrustable, cherries from that Hi Ho Cherry-O game, your car keys, dried out markers, dirt, super glue with a bite mark in the middle of it, a trail of dog food, a shoe, or any UFOs (Unidentified Funky Objects).
And finally . . .
You might be a parent if a child’s face lights up when you enter the room, and you think maybe Santa is behind you, but no, it’s just you.
I reviewed Blue’s Clues a while back, and I’ve just realized that it is similar in nature to 50 Shades. You see, James drops clues in her book, but not just any clues. These are giant, economy size clues that you couldn’t possibly miss unless you’re as dumb as Blue’s owner. For instance there is the “clue” that Christian has some issues with food that is repeated over and over and over again. Imagine a giant blue pawprint on Ana’s forehead. I do, and it makes me feel better.
Anyway, I also compared 50 Shades to Dora the Explorer because of its repetitiveness, although now that I think of it there are so many other ways it is similar what with that explorer theme and OMG I have been reading these books too long. My point is that these books are as repetitive and obvious as a children’s program, so I figured that with the sequel, 50 Shades Dumber, er, Darker, I would try to spice up the recaps for you guys by having the characters themselves tell you what’s going on in a series of interviews. Covering Chapter 1 is Taylor, Christian Grey’s loyal assistant. Here is the transcript of the interview, written by my subconscious. Inner goddess was the photographer.
Alice: Taylor, thanks for joining us today. So, what’s it like working for Christian Grey?
Taylor: Christian Grey is a good man and an excellent boss. He pays me well and gives great benefits. For instance, not many employers will throw in Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits for free.
Alice: Oh, I almost forgot. I managed to get you in that Witness Protection Program after all.
Taylor: Really? Thank God! I thought I was going to have to start poisoning that freak’s Trojans.
Alice: So you don’t really think he’s a great boss?
Taylor: Are you kidding? The guy is a total whackjob! He has me buy lacy underwear for his victims. Now everyone in Victoria’s Secret thinks I’m a total perv. Who does this? Who makes their employees buy women’s underwear, huh? Who? I mean I realize that there’s that part of the job description that says “and other duties as assigned” but really? He makes me order his S&M supplies. People are starting to wonder why we need so many riding crops when we don’t have horses here. And – and he can’t do anything for himself! I have to bring the idiot his bunny slippers and read him bedtime stories about crack whores!
Alice: That’s . . . interesting. What do you think of his relationship with Anastasia Steele?
Taylor: I liked it better when he had sub of the month. I hate Ana. She’s a jerk to everybody. Even the voices. She’s always talking to those voices in her head. She does this out loud but she doesn’t realize it. Christian thinks her schizophrenia is “cute”. Anyway, she thinks no one can hear her but guess what? I can. And her thoughts are stupid. You know what else I can hear? Their constant boinking in the backseat. What are they, weasels in heat?
Alice: You must have been happy about their breakup then.
Taylor: Ecstatic. But it didn’t last, of course.
Alice: It didn’t?
Taylor: Hell, no. I walked in Christian’s office a few days later and there’s Christian typing out emails to her. That’s really all he does at work. When he’s on the phone talking business, he’s not actually talking to anyone. The phone’s not even on. People just go with it. So he says I have to drive them to his helicopter, which he flies freaking everywhere because he’s such a snobby jerk. He wanted to fly Ana to her friend’s gallery opening so he can be a real douchebag to everyone there, as always.
Alice: But if they were broken up, why was she going with him to her friend’s gallery opening?
Taylor: Because the twit can’t take a bus, apparently. He offered her a ride and it didn’t occur to her to find other transportation. Did I mention she’s an idiot? Okay, so here’s what happened. He told me to drive them, because I have nothing else to do but be his slave, of course. So she gets in the car, and he bitches at her about eating because the girl’s a freaking anorexic but like it’s his business what she eats? So he’s an asshole to her, but in like five seconds the stupid girl’s in his lap. I really don’t know why he didn’t just get a Cocker Spaniel like I suggested.
Alice: It would be hard to tell the difference. So do you know what happened at the gallery?
Taylor: Yeah, I heard about it, because guess what? I’m also his bloody therapist when Flynn’s not around. He was really pissed off because her friend took all these pictures of Ana in different poses. He bought them all, and I have to tell you, they are not that exciting. Girl’s biting her lip and staring off blankly in every one of them. But that lip stuff really revs his engine. After the gallery, he said he got to second base with her in the alley. And then he took her to a restaurant because she was about to die of starvation right in front of him, apparently. He called me to pick them up, again. I was all ready to sit back and watch an episode of Bachelor Pad, too. Story of my life.
Alice: Well, thank you, Taylor, for your time. Hey, look there’s Christian waiting for you. You don’t think he’s been listening in on us, do you?
A lot of people put down T.V. because they think it makes kids lazy. I protest, for often my children watched T.V. while standing on their heads, or jumping on my back, which was revenge for when I used to turn somersaults in front of the set, narrowly avoiding electrocution each time. At any rate, in order to appease those who think T.V. makes you sedentary and brainless (imagine that!), network executives came up with the brilliant idea of “interactive” children’s shows. These are shows that ask kids to help the people on the screen, usually by shouting out obvious solutions to the problems of very stupid characters.
I picked two of these shows to highlight, although I warn you now these reviews might cause PTSD in susceptible parents. First up:
Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorah is a cute little Hispanic kid with a football shaped head. She has a pet monkey that wears boots, but nothing else. Together they force children to help them get somewhere, as if they were tiny human GPSs. Dora is prepared, though, with her trusty backpack (cue song: “Backpack, backpack, backpack, backpack . . . “) that contains a map. Yes, that’s right. You can’t hear that word without also hearing the song that goes with it. “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the MAP!!!!!”
Next an arrow – like a giant, supernatural mouse pointer – “clicks” on whatever object the child is supposed to select. So it’s like a cartoon computer program, for annoying children who grew up with computers and frequently slam their hands into storybooks expecting them to talk. I guess the arrow helps them identify the obvious even more . . . obviously.
Since Dora is Hispanic, she often teaches the kids Spanish words, mostly by repeating herself, which if you haven’t noticed, is a major pattern in this show. I mean, sure, I’ve heard of Spanglish, or using a mixture of English and Spanish, but this kid just says the same thing in two different languages. Here we go again: “Come on Vamanos! Everybody let’s go! “
Okay, so basically this is what Dora is saying, if you just keep it all in English. “Come on, everybody let’s go! Everybody let’s go!” Do you know anyone that talks like that? If so, they’ve probably been damaged by children’s T.V. Anyway, besides teaching Spanish, Dora also teaches kids about using a map to get somewhere, which admittedly, most adults still haven’t figured out either. Each episode, she pulls out a map and points to three places they have to go on their way. It’s always three places, no matter what. It could be to the bathroom, and still she would have three stops. And she would point each one out. Repeatedly.
By the time Dora has done this a dozen or so times, the kids have gotten the hang of it and are calling out answers to her. But she doesn’t just want help with direction. She also needs help with basic motor skills, like when she says “Jump! Salta! Say it with me! Salta! Salta! Saaaaaaaaaaltaaaaaa!”. Executives and parenting experts think this means the show is actively engaging the child’s brain, which I guess it is, but only so the child can get the character to SHUT UP ALREADY.
To spice things up, the show has a villain fox named Swiper, because he . . . swipes stuff. Which I guess is a better name than Clepto. He has to be one of the dumbest crooks ever though, because he’s always stealing things like parts of railroad track, rather than, say, an Xbox that he could sell on Ebay. He’s also easy to turn away. All you have to do is yell – you all remember it, don’t you? “Swiper, no swiping!”
And magically he stops what he’s doing, says “Oh, man” and leaves. Imagine if every criminal was that easy to discourage. My brother pointed out that this could inadvertently encourage children to say “Sniper, no sniping” which would be a pretty bad idea, considering that the sniper would be much more likely to shoot you in the head as snap his fingers in frustration. But I guess it’s worth a try, huh? Hint: It might be more effective if you know how to ask in both languages, just in case he’s bilingual.
After some trial and error, and repetition, repetition, repetition, she gets where she’s going and we are mercifully treated to end credits. But the song NEVER goes away. Maybe this will help:
The second of our interactive T.V. shows is about a dog named Blue and her human owner, who is the stupidest man on earth. There have actually been two owners of Blue – who you notice gets her name in the title over him, despite being not only a dog, but a cartoon dog. You can’t blame them, though, since Blue is arguably the brightest one. Steve was first, before he left for “college”. Personally, I don’t think he was ready for college. Except maybe clown college.
Never fear, though, for Steve’s brother Joe steps in next. I liked Joe a little better, because he was at least cuter, even if there was a vacancy behind those pretty eyes. Unlike Dora, Steve and Joe – for simplification I’ll call them Stejoe – don’t use a map. That’s way too complicated. Instead they must search for clues; difficult, considering neither of them has one. Blue leaves these clues all over the house and yard in the form of paw prints. This would annoy the heck out of me, but I guess it is better than her leaving “presents” for us instead.
Blue starts the show by leaving clues for kids to follow in order to guess what she’s thinking. Because unlike Lassie, she can’t convey this in yips. Of course she can’t talk – she’s a dog. Everything else can talk, though, including the mailbox, a clock, a bar of soap, a shovel, a pail, a sidetable drawer, and, naturally, the salt and pepper shakers (Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper). (By the way, these two got married and had a baby named Paprika. Don’t ask.)
Blue leaves her clues on various objects, and Stejoe searches for them, often walking into walls, getting confused, and walking into the same wall again. Not really, but this wouldn’t surprise me. The clues are always out in plain sight, but somehow Stejoe just never sees them. This frustrated my youngest daughter so much that by three she was shouting at the T.V. in frustration “It’s THERE. Right THERE! THERE!!!!”
Once Stejoe finally gets the hint, he writes down the clue on a notepad. Because the guy can’t remember squat. Actually, he draws it, because he’s also not so hot at reading or writing. Along the way, he stops and talks to the inanimate objects, who give him advice like “Right in front of your face, you dork.” You know it’s bad when you have less intelligence than the salt shaker.
Once Steve has gathered all the clues, he has kids help him guess the answer. Because trust me, he would never, ever get there on his own. One thing I’ll give him – he was always very polite, even when I answered his questions rather rudely.
The concept of both shows is really not that bad. It’s great to teach kids to look for clues and solve mysteries, and everyone needs to know where they’re going. A few words of Spanish are nice too, for those moments when you must demand that a Spanish person jump. But the repetition is hard on us parents, who spend most of our lives repeating things anyway, to no avail. “Get your shoes. Your shoes. On your feet. Your feet. They’re right there. There!!! Your shoes!” and so on. So obviously repetition is not the answer, since it has never worked for me, so why further punish people? Just get the kids a GPS and a game of Clue and be done with it.
Repetition: Yes Yes Yes
Annoying songs: Yes
Forces interaction for self-preservation: Yes
Didactic: Sing with me!