Starbucks Unicorn Drink Review

All this fuss over a fruity-looking drink with way too many calories.  If you’re going to Starbucks and ordering anything that comes with a straw inserted and whipped cream on top, you’ve already blown your “eat healthy” goal for the day.  But kudos to SB for raising that hype bar.  People won’t shut up about it.  Hilarious and sad.

Here’s my review:  Didn’t try it.  No appeal.

Gun Control… So Sexy

The other day Frank and I took Dante (more like Frank and Dante took me) to the shooting range. We wanted to do something together before Dante goes back to college in a few days. Dante wants to get into law enforcement (like most of the menfolk on Frank’s side of the family). Frank’s side of the family likes guns for sport. For hunting, but not too much hunting. For protection, but mostly for sport. Frank has the concealed and carry license. It is good to be comfortable with your gun if you hold that license.

At any rate, we went. My first time. It was enjoyable. I was clearly the rookie. I could see how it could become an enjoyable hobby, albeit expensive.

It brings me to examining what is going on in our country with the scramble to change the gun control laws in our country. Right now, I see people moving out of emotion, following the recent elementary school shooting. I find it strange that so much focus is on the gun, and so little on the mental health.

It’s sexier to focus on guns. Easier.

To focus on the emotional state of the young man, the way the system fails people over and over… is much less appealing. Much less emotionally charged. Most people have no answer regarding the mentally ill, but are able to scrounge one up – or pick a “side” at least – when it comes to guns. I’m not concerned with mentally sound adults having firearms in their homes. I am concerned about some of the violent, mentally ill people in our community – guns or no guns.

I don’t really know the answer to any of this. I just know that right now, at this time, may not be the the exact moment to make a decision. I personally would much rather  see the focus turned on the mentally ill than on the weapon of choice they use to kill themselves or other people. For every one of these mass-killings, there are many more where a person kills a wife, child, mother, father, sibling, self, or others on a smaller scale. It isn’t always with a gun. It’s with hands, household objects. Whatever they can attain. It doesn’t make headlines. Same problem, different stage, setting and weapon.

Homemade Boyardee

Today I voted.  Frank and I went to the polls together.  There weren’t any lines.  It surprised me that they don’t check your ID.  My goodness, it’s more difficult to check out a book at the library than it was to walk in and vote.  I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

Even if politics as a whole leaves a sour taste in my mouth, it always feels good to be part of the process.

It will be nice to not be inundated with horrific political ads, for a while.

Tomorrow is my regular day off.  Work has been extra busy, and I was asked to come in for more hours, so I don’t know how much I’ll be able to get done tomorrow, but my hope was to get some meal-planning done, get some bills paid, balance the checkbook, clean.  Tonight was kind of a hodgepodge-lodge for dinner.  I had a bowl of noodles, Frank had a Hot Pocket and pizza.  The boys ate some homemade Boyardee-ish, finished off the pizza.

Homemade Boyardee-ish

This recipe tastes similar to the store-bought noodles with sauce, but is much cheaper.

1 pound box of pasta (macaroni, shells, etc.), boiled and drained
1 can of Campbell’s tomato soup
4 slices of processed cheese

Boil and drain the noodles; return to saucepan. Add can of soup and heat on med-low. Add slices of cheese, one at a time, and stir until melted. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Google Buzz

First off, hello stranger. February 10th, first Groovy Mom post of the year. Facebook has been my friend, as well as some time away from the ‘puter.

Jumping in with two feet on the ground, I’m interested to find out if anyone has Google Buzz in their Gmail yet? I was reading this blog post regarding the Google service, but have not yet found anyone who is able to utilize it. With Facebook’s new (and constant) changes, I’d like to see something rival it. Though I wonder how many people will actually have the desire/energy to switch over. Personally, one thing I like about Facebook over Myspace is that it is relatively simple (functionally and aesthetically). But their continuous forced changes are a bit hard to stomach.

UPDATE: Once I signed out and signed back in I was able to access (activate?) Google Buzz. It didn’t get me very far, and is very bare bones right now. There’s got to be more to it?

Michael Jackson and Celebrity

If you didn’t know already, yes, Michael Jackson has passed away at the age of 50.

Honestly, I don’t give him much thought in my day-to-day. I don’t listen to his music on a regular basis. The last time I enjoyed MJ, it was at Frank’s cousin’s house. We listened to his greatest hits as we drank wine and ate finger foods. It was fun. Nostalgic with a dash of creepiness thrown in, since Michael was such an oddity. Because of the “kid” accusations, the skin color changes, the plastic surgery…

When I heard the news of his death, I was sad, though. For the same reasons. Nostalgia, no doubt, peppered with a bit of compassion for the later years of his life. It definitely wasn’t what anyone would call normal. And back before exploiting your kids and family on reality TV became all the rage people kinda thought that MJ went a bit koo-koo because he reached high celebrity at such a young age.

Let that sink in, people. Especially those that have cameras follow them and their children around, branding their faces into the world’s brains.

Speculation on Michael’s family and their contribution to his quirkiness was evident. But come on. Kids and early celebrity/icon generally don’t mix well. Most of us can conjure up examples in our head of child-celebrity gone wrong and parents pimping their kids out while they enjoy the riches.

It is a sad trainwreck. As a culture we put people on pedestals for the wrong reasons, treating a celebrity as god because of how they make us feel or how they distract us, or how we envy them. It no longer requires talent to reach a state of godliness in this country. Celebrity, once somewhat reserved for the exceptional (athlete, musician, actor), is now handed out to those born into circumstance (money or otherwise). It is not enough to simply watch their movie, or listen to their music; we want to know where they buy their coffee, what’s their favorite spot on the couch, refrigerator contents and how the inside of their bathroom looks, including the closet.

Endless, the amount of media generated from the “entertainment” business. From magazines, to television shows, blogs… let’s face it, the celebrity in this country are like drugs — if they were eradicated, how many people would be out of a job? What would we do if we could not peer into the lives of others, dissecting it on a daily basis?

Hannah Montana Does Playboy

On Monday, news broke that Vanity Fair was planning on running “discreet” and “artistic” photos from a topless shoot with pre-teen and tween hero Miley Cyrus. The photos include a shot of Cyrus, barebacked, clutching a sheet to her bosom… [link]

Click the link up there to read the rest. Great article by Ben Shapiro.

As I was setting my alarm (the television) last night, I caught the news (no idea what channel), talking about Miley Cyrus and the questionable photos. I guess Disney felt that bad or racy press is better than no press? As if Hannah Montana simply doesn’t get enough press.

Gmail Custom Time

Something about this, seems entirely wrong to me. Gmail now allows you to change the “Sent” time of your emails (up to 10 per year), all the way back to 2004. Why only 10?

How come I only get ten?

Our researchers have concluded that allowing each person more than ten pre-dated emails per year would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless.

Hmmm, “…cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time rendering the feature useless?” OK. I don’t think it is the accuracy of time itself it might cause people to lose faith in, but moreover the integrity of the sender, and email period. If you think for a few minutes on it, there are a lot of ways this feature could be used maliciously (contests, business, personal…etc.).

Gmail developers, in my opinion, could have spent time creating much more useful features. Like maybe a “Future Send” that saves a draft and sends the email at a future date, if they are concentrating on date-based developments. Or streamlining the way mail is handled, like a Forward button as an option (not date-based, but still useful).

I love my Gmail, but Custom Time? People don’t like being tricked; Custom Time could be damaging to those who use Gmail. If I send an email late, I send an email late. I don’t want people to be fooled into questioning themselves because I can’t send a timely mail.

(April Fool’s Joke? :))

Maine Middle school Offers Birth Control

After an outbreak of pregnancies among middle school girls, education officials in this city have decided to allow a school health center to make birth control pills available to girls as young as 11. – link

Wow that is absolutely ridiculous. Beyond middle schools taking the initiative to provide birth control to kids… the pill? The pill, a synthetic hormone, prevents pregnancy, if taken properly. It also regulates periods. It does not prevent AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and on and on. A child as young as 11 years old has no business pumping synthetic hormones in their body, goodness knows there are grown woman that would think twice about putting that in their bloodstream.

At my kid’s school, you can’t take a Tylenol without parental consent — and often without a doctor’s written approval. How the can this even be legal?

…treatment is confidential under state law, which allows the students to decide whether to inform their parents about the services they receive.

Maybe the problem isn’t so much the lack of available birth-control methods, but the lack of sound education and leadership in the school’s environment.

Wow, wow, wow.