Category Archives: Arts and Entertainment

A Thing of Beauty!

Frank Lloyd Wright once said that “Space is the breath of art”. Of course he was talking about the American Arts and Crafts movement and works of breath taking beauty. Then again don’t they say that; “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” ? Well get ready to BEHOLD beauty that every parent can appreciate.  I give you a work of art courtesy of the Traverse. 













My “Canvas” and Raw Materials: One teen, one exhibition in angst that is a tween age girl, two 6 and under rugrats, my muses – Scout by Bungalow shopping bags (you can fit the 4 year old in the big one it’s that big!), one fully stocked cooler (hello hummus!), one folding chair, two very well “loved” stuffies and because life is art and art is music one Raven amplifier and one electric guitar (jam session anyone?)

And now the beauty of amazing cargo space…..






THIS my Nuggetiers is a THING OF BEAUTY!

The Chevy Girls on the Go campaign is being sponsored by the Baltimore Area Chevy dealers. They are letting me test drive the Traverse for one month and providing me with gift cards for Girls on the Go missions as well as a camera to video tape my adventures. All opinions expressed are my own.

Many Hats

Hey ya Nuggetiers it’s me in my many hats; exhausted mommy, adoring-patient-accommodating wife, CNIC (Chief Nugget in Charge) and as of last Friday “Your Baltimore Area Chevy Girl” let me tell you…it is good to be a Chevy Girl.

I discovered this upon becoming one myself… last Friday at WBAL TV studios, high atop TV hill in Baltimore…at my “Chevy Girl Immersion”, as it were.  Now, for many folks just being on television would have sealed the deal (and very nearly did for me, accept for the whole camera adding 20 pounds thing)…but wait!  There’s MORE!

When you’re a Chevy Girl…

**You can pretend like you don’t own a 2003 Hyundai for a month (I love me an excuse to be delusional).

**You have your very own On-Star fairy. Folks, trust me.  When you generally have trouble navigating out of your own neighborhood, having a disembodied voice on your side is a huge plus.  (And I’ve found that it freaks the kids out less if you name her…just sayin’.)

**You get to name your Traverse, too. Mine is Nevil. He’s terribly charming.

Meet Nevil. We’re currently in talks to get him a “drive on” in the new Bond movie.  He’s THAT charming…



Bond… Nevil Bond…


**You have insanely FUNCTIONAL cup holders!  Finally, engineers are paying attention to the IMPORTANT parts of design.  And with the Traverse, man, did they hit a homer.  (What? I tell you, sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference!)

**Speaking of little things…USB port always available.  That, Mr. Sheen, is WINNING. <—- did I just quote Charlie Sheen? Ugh that’s so two-and-a-half months ago

**Your husband finally thinks it’s cool that you’re a blogger.  Epic.

** Your Traverse is essentially a mobile Mom Cave. (more on that later)

But, the most important reason it’s “Good to be a Chevy Girl”…… (insert drum roll here)
All the other Chevy Girls! From Baltimore to Philly, Dallas to Salt Lake and all over our great nation..

CHEVY GIRLS ROCK! And I’m paired up with the rockin-est of them all the Keonte of Mom 2k and Madeline of Peace, Love, Lipgloss.. DOUBLE BONUS!

The Chevy Girls on the Go campaign is being sponsored by the Baltimore Area Chevy dealers. They are letting me test drive the Traverse for one month and providing me with gift cards for Girls on the Go missions as well as a camera to video tape my adventures. All opinions expressed are my own.

Win Win = Win

“I laughed, I cried”. More often than not, the “laughing” is at myself for being suckered into believing Hollywood’s latest offering would be worth the two and a half hours of my life I’d not be getting back. The “crying” usually follows the realization that I’ve just spent a third of my kid’s college savings on tickets and overpriced stale popcorn. Last night that changed. I have the genius of Paul Giamatti and his new movie Win Win to thank.

You may not recognize the Oscar nominee’s name, but I doubt you can say the same about his face. Giamatti’s face is a canvas, he uses it to paint a picture that pulls you into the heart and soul of every character he plays. From the complicated, yet oddly lovable, Harvey Pekar in American Splendor to the lonely hero, Cleveland,  in M. Knight Shyamalan’s disappointing  Lady In The Water Giamatti’s genius can make a bad move bearable and a good movie great (think Cinderella Man).  He’s done it again with Win Win. (and a little help from his friends Jeffery Tambor, Amy Ryan and Bobby Cannavale <–swoon)

I’ll be honest, this movie had me at the mat. I come from a family that boasts generations of champion wrestlers. Vision Quest made such an impact on the teenage me that my son’s are lucky not to be named Louden and Swain. Yes, seriously. As any one who knows me can tell you, if you need me any given Saturday between October and April, you’ll likely find me at one of my 17 year old son’s matches. So when I caught the teen star -wrestler first actor by chance- Alex Shaffer on a local DC morning show I reached out to Fox-Searchlight to find out when the movie would be in my area. I wasn’t going to miss this, after all it takes Hollywood about 25 years to come out with a new wrestling flick.

Our entire wrestling team was invited to preview the movie. (pause for bragging parent moment, Old Mill Wrestling boasts no less than two individual state champs. One of them, Ron Vaughters, is a THREE TIME repeat champ! My son is a Captain). We were on that like a pin in the first period!

Old Mill Patriots 2010-2011 Dual Meet Champs!

Win Win isn’t really a wrestling movie. Though judging by the reactions of the team and coaches the film makers had, “all the right moves”.  Wrestling plays a key role in the story line, but the movie is more about defining what family is, coming to terms with your faults, owning the choices you make and recognizing who and what is truly important to you. Sounds heavy, huh? The concept may be but the film isn’t. It earned it’s “R” rating for a peppering of colorful terms (heard around my house daily) and a momentary -hysterical- flashing of middle aged male tail. I’d have no reservations about taking my 12 year old and even my precocious 6 year old to see this movie. In all honesty it didn’t take long for Win Win to have me laughing and crying for all the right reasons.

This movie is a win for movie goers starved for a quality film that never gets preachy, cliched, slow or melodramatic. Much like the popcorn, the laughs weren’t cheap either. The comedy in the film is well placed and truly funny.  I will be making it my personal mission* to get Paul Giamatti his Oscar for this -as Kyle, Mike and the team would say- “Whatever the fuck it takes!”

*I hold no sway with the Academy accept to say they will be down one of their 50 billion or so viewers if Paul Giamatti doesn’t win Best Actor!

Movie Night

It’s Saturday night. MOVIE NIGHT! At an average of $10 bucks a pop for the kidlets.. and meager -over priced- offerings in the the grown-up genre.. it is not likely you’ll find us taking up an entire row at the theater very often. I’ve got four kids. I’d like to put at least one -maybe one and a half- of them through college. The thing is we all dig the movies. And that theater experience is a big part of our enjoyment. For the little ones that means popcorn, snacks and big comfy chair. For mom and dad, more often than not, it’s the lure of at least a few minutes of quiet! (I refuse to ponder what it means to the teen… don’t need that kind of information thank-you-very-much) So we often bring the movies to us here at Cinema DiPaola

There is a rub though. No matter how great the movie is (I polled the kids for this one, they picked Toy Story 3 and Shrek in a much debated tie for best film) a movie night at home is just not the same with out a huge box of theater candy, the lights turned out (much to the cat’s dismay) and a bucket of pop-ed corn <–the four year old refuses to say “popcorn”.

Candy.. that’s a cinch. Lights.. hello lower electric bill I’m all over it! But that popcorn bucket is hard to come by. Enter the genius of Orville Redenbacher! The curators of corn.. purveyors of pop, Colonels of kernels have out done themselves this time by bringing the bucket to the corn.. corn to the microwave and the theater to our family room with the PopUp Bowl.

Lucky us, we got to try it BEFORE it launches into stores, starting with Walmart locations on February 2oth.  I’ve gotta say, it was pretty cool. You can see the popcorn pop inside the bag via a see-through “window”. The kids stood there and shut up in awe were mesmerized by it. When the buttery goodness is ready, in a mere 2 to 3 minutes, you simply remove said “window” (which is actually the top ob the bowl) and WHA LA you’ve got theater quality popcorn in a bowl I. Don’t. Have. To. Clean. BONUS!

The "magic" bowl that every mom wants for movie night!

Stay tuned for more EPIC movie night fun soon to come! (I love cliffhangers)

I was provided product to sample and compensated by Collective Bias.  That said, this post represents my opinions on and experiences with the product featured.

Top Five…

Yesterday, while enjoying the waning moments of an off line weekend, I got the chance to take in one of my all time favorite flicks——>

I don’t know what it is about John Cusack, but the dude speaks to me. (yes I realize that perhaps this is something I should discuss with a professional) Of course I understand that it’s more likely the screen writers of the films he chooses to make. But he’s the vessel and I’ve sort of got a “thing” for him.  So there ya go.

Inspired by his character, Rob Gordon,  in High Fidelity today I bring you my…

Top Five people or media outlets I’d like to ghost blog for. Because really if you’re gonna dream kids, it better be BIG!

  1. Gabrielle Bonheu Quiet literally a “ghost” writing gig. This woman was truly a pioneer, poet and revolutionary. She has touched the life of every modern woman who has ever put on her pants one leg at a time. Her style was only out matched by her fearless independence and brilliance.
  2. Cameron Crowe This choice is pure voyeurism. I’d love to spend some time inside this man’s brain. In my humble opinion he is a freakin’ genius. Kerouac with a camera, he tells such rich stories. I often find myself getting lusciously lost in them.
  3. Rolling Stone Many, many, many reasons for this one. Not the least which would be to correct the egregious injustice of THIS album placing lower in the top 500 of all time list than George Michael’s “Faith”!
  4. Annie Leibovitz I’m one of the millions of Americans who suffer from the symptoms of being photographically impaired. I’d love to write for Annie (sure we’re on a first name basis) in hopes that I might find a cure for my cutting off of heads and mutating people into red-eyed creatures or shrinking them to the size of ants. If that didn’t work, it’s all good anyway. Who wouldn’t want to spend hours pouring over her American Music collection or ogle the proofs of her 2006 Vanity Fair pics that contain both George Clooney and Angie?
  5. Dooce This may seem an obvious choice. I’d beg to differ though. I’ll confess that, and don’t flog me for this, I’ve only read her blog a handful of times, if that. I read her book, “It Sucked and then I cried” last summer when I was still pretty much a bloggy larvae. I’ll further confess that I picked it only because it was written by “a” mom blogger not realizing it was penned by “THE” mom blogger. WHY would I want to ghost blog for her. Well because, as my husband put it this weekend, I “..just can’t get enough attention”. The comment volume alone would be intoxicating.

So Nuggetiers, what’s your Top Five? Be it ghost writing or adventure seeking (ugh jumping out of perfectly good air craft, NEVAH!) I’ love to hear about it.