Earth Hour

Not sure how many people are going to read this, but if you do, and you participate, please leave a comment and let me know how you felt about it.  Was it worth it?  Do you feel like you made a change? How do you feel about global warming?

I Review Emily Giffin

In a word: Guilty

Emily Giffin writes chick books.  Not Women's Fiction like Barbara Kingsolver.  Not dirty sexy beach trash like Nora Roberts.  No, Emily Giffin writes chick books.  Like chick flicks.  But you read them.  She doesn't examine the human condition.  You're not going to gain great insight into the plight of humanity.  And there aren't wildly ruacus sex scenes.  There's just good storytelling, funny characters, and witty writing.

Despite her protagonist's predictable flaws, we love them.  Don't want to get married? Check.  Don't want to have kids? Check.  Sleeping with your best friend's fiancee? Double check.  These women are painfully familiar, because we see them every morning in the mirror.  Like her readers, the protagonists make stupid decisions, like drunk dialing ex-boyfriends, dating co-workers, and spending too much money on shopping sprees.  And, we laugh at them when they do. 

If there is a best friend, she is usually hard-edged, says things that we all wish we had the guts to say, and dates men that are totally wrong for her.  She is hilarious and we love her. 

The men fall into a similar mold.  They are incredibly handsome, athletic, well educated, thoughtful, and have a strong work ethic.  They are all totally in love with the protagonist, but can't ever seem to say exactly what they're feeling.  Sometimes we love them, sometimes we hate them, but we're mostly just frustrated by them.  And attracted to them.

Giffin's stories are well told and fun.  At some point in every story, the reader laughs out loud and then cries a bit later.  She is witty, funny, sensitive, and charming.  On a personal note, she inspires me to keep reading, despite the late hour and droopy eyes.  I want to find out how it ends.  Ususally, if I'm halfway through, I'll push to the end.  And just suck it up and be exhausted the next day. 

Like today.

Ladies, if you want a good, fun read, I recommend these three books: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof.  It's kind of a guilty pleasure.  I love me some Emily Giffin.


Fast Food

Today's Review: Cafe Naples at Downtown Disney

In a word: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

My best bud Alexandria and I hit up Disneyland about a week ago.  We both have the annual passes.  We're awesome.  I have photos to prove it.  Anyway, I considered offering a review of Disneyland, but oi! Why waste the time?  In a word: Epic.  Done.  Our dinner afterwards merited some comments, however.  Here's how that went down.

The three year-old set should eat often.  They've got metabolisms of hummingbirds.  Some days, Alexandria seems to eat a volume of food reserved for a giant.  She is not a giant.  She is 36 1/2" tall.  She's still tiny.  Keeping her fed is like trying to keep a bonfire lit with scrap paper.  So when she gets hungry, she needs food...NOW.  Enter Cafe Naples.  Tired, but happy, from 7 hours of walking, chatting, and laughing at Disneyland, we decided to get dinner before my mom picked us up.  We had about 45 minutes.  Cafe Naples beckoned us with it's two-story high glass windows, warm lighting, exposed kitchen, and stroller parking.  The place was packed with families, and despite the noise from the aforementioned families, our table felt quite intimate.  Our server, Val, approached us immediately.  I told him we were in a bit of a hurry, so we ordered our drinks and food at the same time.  He left.  I helped Alexandria with the games on her placemat for about 3 minutes.  Val came back with our drinks.  Our food was right behind him!  I am serious.  Alexandria's penne was piping hot, and my stuffed shells were cooked to perfection.

The food was likely prepared in advance, but this was definitely not processed food.  My plate was a picture of flavorful sauce, melted cheese, and warm ricotta stuffing.  I recommend.  Alexandria's serving of penne was practically perfect for a hungry kid.

Having worked in restaurants for nearly a decade, I wonder sometimes when the food arrives too quickly.  I've been trained to expect "made to order."  But times have changed, and I'm moving along with them.  A hungry kid sends me into a state of near-panic.  Getting food trumps everything.  Now, as a thirty-something, I don't complain if I taste a bit too much oregano or the sauce is a little too sweet.  I want "good," and "great" is a perk.  I care if my kid's food comes fast.  I care if she gets her milk before her food.  I care if activities are printed on the restaurant's paper placemat.

Naples is the perfect spot for a family that needs to eat fast, wants something delicious, and loathes the idea of McCrap in the car.  That I got a 10 percent discount with my Disney Annual Pass merely sweetened the deal!  I recommend Naples with all my Disney-love filled heart.  We'll definitely go there again!