Monthly Archives: March 2010

Eco-Friendly Cribs for Modern Parents

So my girlfriend is at the point of her pregnancy where she’s ready to start nesting.  This means crib, stroller, sling, and other various baby accouterments.  Gone are the days when she would walk around Los Angeles peaking at shoes and handbags.  It’s all about baby gear these days.  The stroller search was relatively easy.  She went into a store or two, pushed some strollers, and picked the one she liked the best.  Hello Bob Revolution and welcome to the family.  It’s the crib however, that seems to be causing all of the problems.  Who knew finding an eco-friendly crib at a reasonable cost would be so challenging?

An eco-friendly crib means a lot of different things to a lot of different judges.  Recycled or salvaged wood is actually not one of the most popular criteria.  Instead it’s toxic-free paint, toxic-fee vinyl, and wood glue sans formaldehyde.  Seems like a reasonable request, right?  Not so.  The list of cribs with this minute criteria is ridiculously small and ridiculously expensive.  And while my friend’s husband feels that it’s better to pull the trigger on quality over price, my friend is balking.  Does the baby really need toxic-free paint?  My friend used to ride around in a Pinto, in the front seat, on somebody’s lap, without a seat-belt, and she turned out okay.  And she never wore a bicycle helmet.  And she used to swing from a rope over a shallow creek.

So here are the environmentally friendly and safe options out there for parents.  It seems like the choice is either a) break the bank, but at least your child won’t die of breathing formaldehyde fumes all night or b) go for the babies r us crib and spend around $200, but don’t complain when health problems hit later.  Neither option sounds like a fair one in my opinion.

The Oeuf Collection (picture 1)

Retailing from $690 to $920 (please note that none of these include the toddler conversion kits)

The Netto Collection  (picture 2)

Retailing from $890 to $1965

The Argington Collection (picture 3)

Retailing from $585 to $799

The Spot on Square Collection (picture 4)

Retailing from $595 to $1049.99

Q Collection Junior (picture 5)

Retailing from $1180 to $1580

The Stokke Collection (picture 6)

Retailing from $998 to $1698

The Babyletto Collection (picture 7)

Retailing from $378.98 to $458.98

The Nurseryworks Collection (picture 8)

Retailing from $849 to $2350

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Rape, Incest, Murder, and Gun Running

The film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo came out in theaters this weekend.  Made in Swedish with English subtitles, it’s a smack in the face for those who haven’t read the book.  Director Niels Arden Oplev makes 2 and a half hours of horror and bleakness feel like a full-octane race down the Autobahn.  There are no apologies, no  short cuts, and no backing down from Larsson’s subject matter.  In the ladies room afterward I heard one woman after another exclaiming that they almost walked out at least five different times.  Almost, I thought because despite the violence, you just can’t walk out.  You have to know what happens.

The film reads like a true-life story of sadistic foreplay as the audience waits on the edge of their seats for the main event.  Surprisingly, it isn’t the discovery of the lost Vanger girl, which we’ve followed through one research effort after another.  It isn’t even the unveiling of a twisted serial killer who’s lurked beneath our noses the entire film.  No, it’s Lisbeth Salander, a flat-chested, pierced, and tattooed, bisexual misfit hacker who captures us with her oddly abrupt and prickly demeanor.  Her life is one that few would envy and by the end of the film, despite one bombshell after another, we’re riveted to our strange new heroine and what will become of her after leaving Mikael Blomkvist.

I saw the movie with my husband, who had not read the book prior to me dragging him to the theater, and I am happy to report that he too enjoyed the film.  Well perhaps enjoyed isn’t the right word…appreciated?  Respected?  Thought was very well done?  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be confusing at first, but stay with it and you’ll understand why people are sitting in their seats to the very end.  I’m sure Hollywood is going to make an adaptation and all I can say is, see the movie in it’s intended Swedish version because Noomi Rapace (who plays Lisbeth Salander) and Michael Nyqvist (Mikael Blomkvist) are brilliant under the masterful direction of Niels Arden Oplev.  I give this movie 12 dead bodies and two bloody thumbs up.  Coming next stateside, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.  They’re already made and ready for American consumption.

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Mancation

Last night I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with another couple and half of a third.  Amid empty pints and dirty plates, the topic of a mancation came up.  Mancation <man-kay-tion> a vacation with men only, usually one’s “guy friends.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a mancation.  I even enjoy the word mancation.  What I don’t like however, is that we women don’t have any similar sayings.  Womancation.  Galcation.  Chication.  No, we just take regular vacations except that if we do it with just the girl we say we’re taking a vacation with just the girl.  No special lingo in that.

And then I got to thinking about it some more.  Human.  Woman.  Romantic.  Commandments.  Commando.  Doorman.  Mailman.  Deliveryman.  Policeman.  Fireman.  They’re all men!  Germany is a whole country of men.  Henchmen are men who break knees for other men.  Almanac is a book just for men and mandates are rules that they have to follow.  How about management?  No wonder all the chairmen are men.  Maneuver, what men like to do.  Mange, what they get when they don’t clean themselves.  Manicure, what no man should ever get caught doing.  And Manipulate, how we ladies get them to do what we want.

The list goes on!  Mansion.  Manpower.  Manufacture.  All the maniacs, pyro, ego, nympho, what have you.  Reprimand.  Semantics.  Wingman.  I’ll stop before I bore you, but I think you get my point.  And what special words do we women have?  Feminism?  Fembot?  Galpal?  These aren’t good words.  These are like bones that society throws at us to make sure we don’t recognize that our entire vocabulary is set up to recognize men.  Well no more.  From now on I’m having Lady’s Lunches in my Ladymobile with my Ladymoney.  I’m going to have Ladytails with a Lady salad and Lady fries.  Afterward I might even go Lady dancing in a Lady’s club.  And if any Policeladies, Mail-ladies or Comladydos (lady commandos) ask me what’s up, I’ll tell them I’m on a Ladycation.  So there.

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Beautiful Day

I awoke this morning and at 7am (my internal clock), otherwise known as 8am (daylight savings time), rolled the dogs out for their daily constitutional.  Maybe it was the acupuncture from yesterday (little needles cure constant sea sickness!) or maybe it was finally getting a good night’s sleep (peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a large glass of milk at midnight), but as the warm sun beat down on me and I could see the mountains in the distance, I had to say to myself, Los Angeles in the spring is one beautiful place.

The temperature is already a summerlike 80 degrees and the sun hasn’t even reached its zenith.  I can almost taste Easter on the horizon; madras, seersucker, pink and blue and green and yellow.  I am so ready for these happy colors to infiltrate my life.  Light salads with fruit sorbets, outdoor concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, evening strolls through the neighborhood – these are just a few of the wonderful things that warm weather brings.  Bring on the convertibles, the bike rides on the beach, and open-toed sandals with pink pedicures.  I am chomping at the bit to doth the bulky encumberments of winter.  So if you see a gal in a straw bonnet whistling at the sun with her dogs, that’s me, happy as can be.

Note: for those of you wondering about encumberments, I admit to taking a little literary freedom with that word.  My thought was hindrance – hindrances.  So why can’t I go from encumber to emcumberment to encumberments; that which is encumbering?  I apologize if you were at any point lost by my fictitious word.

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When Bridezilla Attacks

So you’re getting ready for the big day, the pressure is building, the local Moose Lodge has messed up your food order, and now the dress doesn’t fit.  What are you going to do?  Call your relatives to come destroy the bridal store and beat up the owners of course.  Duh.  They messed up your dress.  Who can blame you for being mad when it’s obvious you wanted 146 sequins, 146 fake pearls, and 8 inches of poofy sleeves, not 9 inches?  They deserve to die, everyone must die, and now it’s time to open the can of whup-ass.

In Michigan, as seen below per Fox news, that’s exactly what happened.  Being a newlywed myself I understand the stress.  Many a day came and went when I doubted my grip on sanity.  Planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart.  And honestly if it weren’t for Joe Bob, Ashraf, Kill Bill, and their sniper arsenal I don’t know if I would’ve made it.  I mean world peace – getting married; it’s a toss up which is harder to accomplish.

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World’s Richest Man Isn’t Bill Gates?

I know, I was surprised too…and it’s not Jimmy Buffet’s brother, Warren either.  Nope, it’s a Mexican guy who goes by the name Carlos Slim Helu.  The Carlos part sounds Mexican, the rest reminds me of a rapper or a snowboarding move. The Slim Helu – you jump into the air and do a skinny 360.  Actually though, Bill Gates (at 53 billion) is only a measly .5 billion away from Slim Shady aka Carlos.  And as it seems that most of these figures go off stock worth, who’s to say that by the time it gets counted next year, that.5 billion won’t have flip-flopped a few times.

Slim Helu made his billions by maneuvering back in the 60’s to privatize Mexican telefono sevicio.  Sounds about right.  Most of these guys make their gold by cutting out the competition.  Of course he’s branched out by now.  Mexico’s phone service is just small potatoes when compared to oh I don’t know, energy, newspapers,  phone service for all of Latin America.  I’m just throwing stuff out here.

Women billionaires aren’t even found on the list until down in the twenties when you hit on the Walmart ladies and the L’oreal heiress.  I’m not on the list yet as I keep my billions under the mattress, in the mattress, inside a fake hot tub we keep out in the back, in a hole under a broken down Ford on cinder blocks in the front yard, and behind a stack of student loans we’ve got piled in the garage.  But someday, when I get the time, I’m going to count it all and pose for a picture.  Cheese!

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The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski’s new film, The Ghost Writer is a really good movie with a really bad ending.  I may be alone in this opinion as the critics seem to be prostrating themselves over it.  Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, and Kim Cattrall to name a few, the movie winds around and around the concept of one man (Ewan McGregor) who gets hired to write another man’s memoirs (ex-British Prime Minister, Pierce Brosnan).  Only thing is, he’s not the first Ghost Writer.  The first one ended up dead.

As soon as the movie starts, you know you’re going to be on the edge of your seat.  Filmed mostly in a cold and wintry Martha’s Vineyard (which was really someplace in Germany that they made to look like the Vineyard – locals and repeated visitors to the island will have difficulty pinpointing favorite landmarks) the movie is wet and gray and blustery.  There’s no way you’ve bought a ticket for a romantic comedy.  But Polanski does the same stellar job as he did with Chinatown and other pre-statutory rape mysteries, he weaves a complex and yet simple story that seems absolutely true.  This isn’t a movie, it’s an expose, a real-life story that’s just being retold on camera.  Until the end that is, which as you know I have major problems with.

Anyway, I’m not sure what Roman Polanksi is up to in his house arrest in Switzerland, but it seems he’s somehow despite the drama (or perhaps because of it), created a wonderful suspense thriller.  I give it two thumbs and some goosebumps up.

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