All entries for July 2006

July 31, 2006

Movie review – The Break Up

On Friday night I went to see the chick flick 'The Break Up' starring Jennifer Aniston. No, it's not about the very long and boring saga of her and Brad Pitt's marriage breakdown, it's a fictional not that long and definitely not boring tale of a couple's split over … a bowl of lemons.

Both funny and poignant, the film looks at miscommunication between the sexes in true 'Men are from Mars, women from Venus' style. Him: "OK I'll do the dishes". Her: "I want you to want to do the dishes". Him: "Why would I want to do the dishes?"

Although the couple's lifestyle is far from realistic – expensive apartment, couple's bowling nights, fancy job in a posh art gallery – the dialogue is pretty much spot on.

Jennifer (according to Heat magazine, so it must be true) is dating her co–star Vince Vaughn in real life. If they want to stay that way my advice to them is never, ever, to attempt a table centerpiece with a bowl of lemons. Jennifer, don't flirt with another man to try and make him jealous. And Vince, OFFER to do the dishes before you're asked.


July 27, 2006

Don't Supersize Me

With Tony Blair speaking out this week on how we should all take responsibility for our health (though he's looking decidedly peaky these days – perhaps a long rest is in order?) how come it's cheaper to buy more food than it is to buy less? I'm not joking. You couldn't make it up.

Last night I met a friend in Leamington for dinner at a lovely restaurant called Case Valle. On a hot, sunny evening, sitting in the covered conservatory area was a real pleasure. The homemade, non–chain food on offer sounded very tempting, particularly as there was a special early–evening offer: any rice or pasta plus salad and a drink for £9.99. We both decided to plump for the chicken and mushroom risotto. I asked for a starter sized portion, which the menu offered, knowing I rarely can chomp my way through a full restaurant plateful and the food just ends up in the bin.

But the bin was exactly where some of my risotto ended up. Apparently I couldn't order a smaller portion of risotto because starters weren't included in the offer. The cost of a starter–sized portion, a salad and a white wine spritzer came to well over £9.99. Now, although I'm trying to be more eco–friendly, reduce my food miles and eliminate waste, it seemed daft to pay more for less. I went for the £9.99 offer. So some of my huge portion of admittedly very delicious risotto went to waste.

Here's a suggestion: how's about restaurants routinely offering different sizes of portions at different prices? Eat less and pay less – think of all that food that wouldn't end up in the bin.


July 26, 2006

Journalism Schmernalism

With millions of blogs out there on the web, I've always wondered if anyone actually reads them. When news days are light the media churns out the odd story about a homeless persons'/whistleblower blog etc catching the eye of a publishing or film company, but in reality the chances of your blog elevating you to the position of the next JK Rowling is as likely as you becoming a supermodel (unless you happen to be called Kate Moss and your blog is spilling the beans on your wild lifestyle).

Which was why, after I published my first blog entry, I was astonished to receive a reply to my 'technorati ping' musing from someone I don't know. Thanks, Helen Ryan, for educating me on all things ping.

In my job as Web Editor at NAGTY, my very small contribution to the world of journalism consists of news stories for the website on all things to do with gifted and talented education. Whilst I'm typing away into the CMS on the Warwick Uni Science Park, people all over the world can read NAGTY's official papers and press releases. But they won't know – or care two hoots for that matter – who I am or what I actually think about the subject.

The spread of blogging's appeal is down to its ability to let everyone be 'journalists' and tell the world what they think and how they feel. Even if they only want to write about what they're having for their tea and how they feel about last night's episode of Lost on the telly. Journalism schmernalism – you don't have to be Kate Adie anymore to have your opinion published. Yes, some blogging is totally frivolous but others gives ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances – such as people caught up in the 7/7 attacks or in the current Israeli/Lebananon conflict – a chance to have their voice heard. Even if there are only a handful of people listening.

I set up my blog after reading my friend Rach's blog. Read her blog here. I really enjoy reading about her cat Apple's antics. Apart from Helen - the person I do not know TM – Rach is the total sum of my readership. Cheers for the reply Rach – I agree the green is dodgy but haven't figured out how to change it. Maybe someone I don't know can illuminate me??


July 25, 2006

Let the blogging commence

So now I've done it – I am officially part of the 'yoof' generation and have a blog. A blog in NAGTY corporate colours no less – bold purple with a sprinkle of Student Academy orange thrown in for good measure. As a Web Editor I feel I ought to keep up to date with technology – ipod (tick) sky (tick) texting (tick – it costs me a fortune each month) – CMS, wikis, yep – but I've never come across a 'technorati ping'. Apparently, with this blog entry, I can tick a box to send a technorati ping. What on earth does that mean? And has it anything to do with pong? Will the computer flick a laggy band at Joe and Jim, my lovely tecchie team colleagues who sit behind and in front of me?

You know, (evil cackle) I might just tick that box and find out …


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