Monday, April 30, 2007

Hugh Grant Wastes Food.

It’s getting harder to love Hugh Grant. We forgave him for stopping for dessert on a busy L.A. street, for breaking Liz Hurley’s heart and for Bridget Jones II: The Edge of Reason. Well sort of. I’m still waiting for my refund on that one.

We can even understand why he might go medieval on a creepy papaparazzi with a Tupperware filled with last night’s dinner. It’s being reported that Hugh attacked a photographer who was trying to take his picture by slinging a tub of beans at him and then kicking him. Or, as the photographer says, “He was effing and blinding at me.” Huh?

Legume-flinging aside, it looks like Grant stepped over the line when he reportedly hurled some pretty harsh insults at the lensmen. “He asked me if I had a girlfriend or any kids and I said I had two.” the photographer reports. “He said 'I hope they die of f**king cancer.’”

Whoa. If it’s true, I'm thinking there's probably a lot of parents whose kids are suffering from cancer who are going to want to get a hold of Grant and put that tub of beans somewhere else.

Let the effing and blinding begin.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

I Use It Everyday: My Starbucks Barista Is My Crack.

When we decided to buy our first minivan four years ago we already knew which one we wanted. We had seen this one advertised and fell in love with its sleek design and the sunroof windows that went all the way to the back of the van. I was completely taken in by their marketing campaign that had hip mothers - artists, surfers and musicians - all happily driving their well behaved, impeccably groomed children to museums and raves. Basically, every superficial thing about this particular vehicle sucked us in and three weeks later we had one sitting in our driveway.

We never even test-drove it.

When I bought an espresso machine it was after four months of tedious research, numerous visits to kitchen and specialty stores and many hours perusing online reviews. I 'test drove' and then returned no fewer than five different machines from four different stores.

Because, really - what's more important - a vehicle that's going to be responsible for safely transporting your your precious children, or a small appliance whose only real purpose is to dispense a heavily caffeinated beverage to sip with your afternoon donut?

My search led me to an 'espresso expert' in a small cramped shop on the Westside whose company specialized in turning out custom machines for cafes and coffeehouses. After talking with me for awhile he said he knew of a perfect machine for me. I expected him to put in a call to someone named Guido living in a quaint village on the coast of Italy, who would then build a custom machine just for me that would be wrapped in goat pelts and hand delivered to my door.

Instead he sent me to Starbucks.

Surprising, but he told me that the Italian-made Starbucks Barista was one of the best home espresso machines he had seen in awhile. And he was right. I've had it for over five years now, and unless someone invents a machine that magically produces bacon at the touch of a button, the Barista will always be my favorite appliance. When 4pm rolls around you won't find me anywhere else except in my kitchen brewing a cappuccino. And maybe chowing down on a donut.

Oh, and I still love my minivan, too.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Corinne Bailey Rae Has To Stay Home And Eat Hot Pockets Like The Rest Of Us.

I’m a CBR fan, so it was just a little sad to see that she couldn’t get into NYC club Butter on Monday night. After they turned her away at the door she had to turn around and cab it home – which means some hottie inside the club had to find someone else to lick tequila shooters out of his navel.

But what I loved most about this article were the reader comments. It turned into a fierce Britain vs. U.S. brawl with lots of juvenile name calling. The best kind!

“Never heard of her. Go back to your own country. We have enough pathetic wannabe celebs.”

“That's because you don't listen to decent music…Too bad Europe appreciates talent while America only appreciates boobs.”

“Who is she?...Even if they did know her, how was anybody going to recognize her with that ugly shirt on her head and two fat women escorting her who were dressed like crap.”

“’Butter’ is so last year. They let trash like that nasty Tinsley Mortimer in, while barring truly nice and talented people like Corrine Baily Rae.”


“Why I am not suprised of [commenters] #1 and 2 . One can safely imagine that you never heard nor can appreciate Jazz or Neo-Soul. Exhibit your lack of taste with pride.”

“Who is she?
Another moron.”

“Why would TMZ refer to her bodyguard as a Fantasia Barrino look-alike…People are so mean. The internet has not helped, not at all!!!”

“Only in Amerikkka!!!”

“…I could really care less for this woman. I don't even care to type her name. She is as exciting as tap water.

Thank you.”


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Monday, April 23, 2007

Cozi Central Will Make A Calendar Girl Out Of Me.

First of all, what's not to like about a program that let's you do this:

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A toll-free number that you can call to get your grocery list, with your husband's mocking additions, read to you over the phone. Just one of the features of Cozi Central, a free, downloadable and web-based program consisting of a calendar, shopping list, message center and an amazingly effective cell phone interface that are meant to centralize the complex schedules of the modern family. In other words, I believe it can actually help me to remember to pick up the kids at guitar lessons and remind me to stock up on coffee filters. Why, it's like having a wife!

(We're a Mac family, so my experience is based on using on the web version of the program. The program is available to PC users as a software download.)

I was working on my new site this weekend, trying to get it up and running for my first review for the Parent Bloggers Network scheduled for Tuesday, April 24. So imagine my surprise when I re-read one of the scheduling notices they've sent me and realized it was actually due Monday, April 23. Next time, I'm going to pay attention, read all of their emails out loud and even try not to move my lips.

I can't help but think that this could have been avoided if I had remembered to mark the deadline on my Cozi Central online calendar, one of the main features of the program. After logging on you can post your family's appointments and events to the calendar which is color-coded for each family member. Each registered user can then log on from any computer, see what is on the schedule and then add events of their own if they'd like. If your kids are smart-asses like mine, expect to see things added like, "Disneyland" no less than twelve times in the next month and the appearance of "Mall" on almost every weekday after school. Also beware of the husband who may try and make birthday parties and any visits from your mother mysteriously disappear.

The shopping list is hands down my favorite part of the program, and the one feature I think I'll be using the most. I pride myself on my mammoth grocery lists, writing down everything I can think of that my family will need for the week. It's the cavewoman in me, except instead of going out and hunting or gathering food I drive to the store in my gas-guzzling minivan and bring everything home in plastic bags. My lists are invaluable on these excursions, but the only problem is I frequently forget them on the kitchen counter. Or I can't read my messy handwriting and end up buying three cans of Raid instead of a head of lettuce. On Cozi you can type out everything you need, categorizing them into grocery, wholesale and 'other', and then either print it out or send it as a text message to your phone. Or, the most brilliant part, as I've already demonstrated - you can call the toll-free number and have your list read to you.

As I mentioned I'm using Cozi on a Mac and can only utilize the web version. From what I've read the downloadable version provides the user with many more options when using the program, like more shopping list features and screen savers. I found the single calendar view on the web version limiting, but multiple calendar views are available on the PC version. Also, I found the online version slow in loading at times, and this can become frustrating when just trying to switch over from one page to the next. But it was intermittent, and not enough to keep me from using the program, or from amusing myself by writing down things like "cheese cheese who doesn't like cheese" on my grocery list and then listening to it over the phone.

I highly recommend giving Cozi Central a try. It's free, and takes only a few minutes to set up. I'm thinking it may be the first step in getting my family organized, and I like the fact that it gets everyone involved in the scheduling process. And with Mother's Day coming up the whole family will be able to see my entry for May 13, "Mother's Day - mom sleeping until noon."

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