|Wendy Nicolosi, Joe’s Mom|
|“What is it, Mustache? I know it’s an ‘M!'”|
|Wendy Nicolosi, Joe’s Mom|
|“What is it, Mustache? I know it’s an ‘M!'”|
Overheard at Ascona’s Pizza & Bar in Danville:
Fella 1: Get a babysitter!
Fella 2: I won’t need one. My parents are looking forward to spending time with the grandkids when we all go to Disneyland together. I can go out at night because the kids will stay with them.
|Photo Credit: Facebook Amanda Ruhlman Lonas with Son Damon and Family Dog Shiva|
|Photo Credit: Facebook Amanda Ruhlman Lonas, Hubby Justin Lonas, Son Damon and Cat Miyu|
After SmartyGirlEntertainment interviewed a Gamer Mom before Father’s Day, a staycation with the family around a console sounds mighty appealing. Amanda Ruhlman Lonas and her husband are parents to sweetie SmartyFella Damon. Our editors were curious, why gamer moms seem so calm and confident as new parents. From Forbes, we already know that women play console games too. We received these 5 Secrets from Gamer Mom Amanda:
|Photo Credit: Amanda Ruhlman Lonas’s Boppy pillow for Damon|
2. Gaming can discipline a new parent to take time out for herself to recharge as an individual.
Though Damon may be nursing while sitting on his favorite Boppy pillow, he’s with me while I have my downtime. I cradle him while he naps and nurses while I game.
|Photo Credit: SmartyGirl Gamer Mom Amanda Ruhlman Lonas with Hidden Nursing Baby Damon|
|Photo Credit: Facebook Amanda Ruhlman Lonas and Baby Damon|
3. Gaming can encourage your baby to talk and interact more. Family conversations don’t have to take place only at the dinner table. Cooing, pointing and laughing is baby’s way of talking with mom and dad.
|Photo Credit: Kotaku.com Battle Block Theater Trailer|
Damon likes to lean against Daddy and listen to the exciting sounds of Call of Duty or comment, using baby noises, of wonder when he’s with me and I play Behemoth’s Battle Block Theater (made by the same company that made Castle Crashers).
|Photo Credit: SmartyGirl Gamer Mom Amanda Ruhlman Lonas’s Husband, Baby Damon and Family Dog Shiva|
4. Gaming provides a shared experience for interactive family time.
When our family plays a console video game we aren’t separated into different living spaces in front of our individual monitor. Instead we all sit together on a big comfy couch or we lean against each other.
5. Gaming can preserves your sense of fun to help you keep your sense of humor as a playful parent.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol Homemade Mac and Cheese|
One of my fondest summer memories is from college. I’d go over to my buddy’s apartment, eat contraband cheese, and watch chick flicks.
I don’t admit this to everyone but you fellow SmartyGirls understand that even the smartest of us need to do what’s stupid once in awhile. Disclosure: I have not received any payment to endorse any company, brand, product or blog.
So imagine if you will, closing the blinds and opening a girlfriend’s suitcase with a smuggled wheel of parmesan cheese from Bologna, Italy. This was before strict TSA rules and searches.
The unnamed four of us would use a knife to shave fine pieces of salty hard cheese directly from the leather case. Then we’d watch a movie, a guilty pleasure, Armageddon. Note: I am not endorsing the eating of unregulated, unpasteurized cheese. However enjoying movie cheesiness might create endorphins. If you feel like it, you can get my mac and cheese recipe here.
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com Armageddon with Bruce Willis and Liv Tyler|
In case you haven’t watched it, it’s an action film with Bruce Willis that requires more than the usual suspension of disbelief with an Aerosmith soundrack. Can you imagine Liv Tyler before The Lord of the Rings movies? Here’s your chance to see her without elf-ears from 1999. Her dad, Aerosmith Singer Steven Tyler, you know from the current 2012 American Idol.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Hot Tub Time Machine, Stepbrothers, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, or Pineapple Express? Contact me by commenting below and tell me what you like to eat while watching it.
For me, smuggled cheese was naughty for two reasons: one that it was unpasturized and not sold in the U.S. and two that my body does not make the enzyme to digest dairy at all.
I asked my current Associate Editor what she’d recommend for budget summer entertainment. This is what she recommended.
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com The Crying Game with Forest Whitaker|
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com X-Men First Class with James McAvoy|
1. Create a viewing list with one actor in mind. For instance, Associate Entertainment Editor Erica Tyler suggested “Wanted” and “Shameless” (UK) for ways to watch actor James McAvoy if you already liked him as Dr. Xavier in X-Men First Class.
In another example, if you are curious about Forest Whittaker, borrow “Crying Game” and “The Last King of Scotland” from your library or your friends.
Similarly, for fun, I read an Al Pacino biography that highlighted the actors love of Shakespeare and how he used his Shakespeare study to do his performances as “Scarface”.
Keep in mind that this is a fun summer activity rather than deep study of an actor. This is a recipe for good summer entertainment.
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection|
I’m not a film buff like Erica, but this seems like an easy way to take a peek at an actor’s range and preferences. For example, I was in awe that Will Ferrel chose short story writer Raymond Carver’s Everything Must Go as one of his movie projects. I re-watch Ferrel in SNL skits, Funny or Die’s “Pearl the Landlord” and Elf for laughs.
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com Everything Must Go with Will Ferrel|
I also believe casting did a great job for the drama Everything Must Go. When I studied a seminar on Raymond Carver while I was an English major, including his short story Everything Must Go, I wondered which actor would be able to capture all the pain and humor of the story if translated to the screen.
I admire my pal, Erica Tyler, because she took film analysis while she was a double major in college. To give an example, she took a college course on dissecting Alfred Hitchcock movies. Ask her anything about Hitchcock.
2. Don’t limit yourself to new releases. If you are willing to explore retro like appreciating vinyl records, you can find that entertainment classics are an inexpensive way to do summer activities. For instance you are unlikely to have to pay much to borrow or wait in line for the “The Crying Game” since it’s from 1992.
3. Mix heavy subjects with lighter fare. One of my acquaintance friends from Fedex retail shop told me that her weekend plans include watching “Nightmare on Elm Street” with her friends at the Hollywood Forever screening cemetery. I think that’s cool and it is part of Los Angeles culture. However, if don’t have have to do budget entertainment near tombstones. How about hosting a potluck at your apartment and watching heavy “Hotel Rwanda” at your home. Follow that up with lighter fare such as “Fun with Dick and Jane”. You can watch the Jane Fonda version or the Tea Leoni version. Both aren’t new releases so see tip#2.
Why mix light with heavy and vice versa? Because I believe heavy films need a chaser so you don’t feel lousy after viewing it and fluffy entertainment cries out for an anchor to keep the mind from floating away.
Since summer is less structured with changes in work hours and school, you create your own “mind diet” with books and movies. Seek balance and protect your budget with the above suggestions.
For example, whenever I watch “My Name is Earl”, I allow myself bites of “30 Rock”. Both are comedies but the first one can feel a bit weightier like the 1990’s t.v. serious “Wonder Years”.
What do you think? What are your summer budget entertainment suggestions? Comment below, Smartygirls.