Thursday, July 14, 2016

MOVING DAY is JULY 18th!!!

MOVING DAY is JULY 18th!!!

Hey everyone!

First, thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and been loyal readers to my Miss OMG blog. It has been a blast writing for it.  But now it's time to move on!

This is a good thing. My blog, thanks to all of you, has been so successful, that it is transitioning into an on-line Lifestyles Magazine, (and I couldn't be more thrilled to be going back to being a magazine editor, like the good ole days)!

Beginning Monday, we are "soft launching" our new publication: DayTripper Magazine

This magazine will include all the great stuff we love to read about: wine, food, travel, family and active stuff!  Yes, we will still have the spotlight interviews under FEATURES too! So get ready to enjoy the new publication.

I know some people wondered what would happen to all the great articles and interview from this blog...well, no worries, they are all packed up and moving with us!

To reach DayTripper Magazine, click here:

Happy exploring,

O. Michele Giacomini

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Holding All the Aces

Holding All the Aces
with Drew Pomeroy

By O. Michele Giacomini

July 12, 2016~It’s summer time and with that comes both an increase in travel and the boys of summer playing our favorite national pastime: baseball. When you grow up loving the sport of baseball, the dream of working in that sports field can be very appealing. Drew Pomeroy has been able to live out that dream. He started playing baseball at a very young age and his love for the sport, even back then, was more than apparent. Now he’s all grown up and building a career involving sports management.

What’s even better, Drew works for the Reno Aces. Reno is one of Nevada’s best kept little secrets. Many people only think of Reno as the “Biggest Little City in the World,” and immediately glitzy lights and casinos come to mind. But what they may not know is that Reno is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, home of the phenomenal University of Nevada Wolfpack, and of course, the place where all go to enjoy great Triple A baseball with the Reno Aces.

This week Drew is our guest and has much to share about his experience in Reno and why you should plan a visit soon!

OMG: Thanks for joining us this week Drew!  So, tell us what brought you to the Reno Aces?

DP: “Three years ago I decided that I wanted to get into graduate school for a Sports MBA. So, I got in touch with someone in that program who happened to be a Nevada Alumni who had worked for the Aces. I met up with him to get advice on what I should be doing to achieve my goal, and he was able to get me a job with the Aces working security.

With the 2015 season coming up, I was offered a position as the Dakstats Software Operator in the Control Room. (This is) where I plugged in the play-by-play for every home game directly connected to the scoreboard and game broadcast.”

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Reno Aces Stadium

OMG: That sounds like a lucky break and good start, but I know that’s not what you do for them now, right?

DP: “Moving into 2016, I applied for a Marketing Internship with the Aces and got the position. For the next two months I was in this role until I reached out to our Director of Marketing about a new role. (Since) I was going to graduate from the University of Nevada in the next couple weeks, and had the ability to work full-time, I was offered the newly created role of our Baseball Operations Coordinator.

Now I am the primary team travel liaison and responsible for the building and dissemination of homestand travel itineraries as well as a contributor to our baseball and soccer blog.” (A homestand itinerary is all of the travel and lodging plans for both the Aces and the visiting team(s). Including flight/bus departures and arrivals, as well as equipment shipping options).

This role was created because we have a newly announced soccer franchise playing at our field starting in March of 2017 and taking me on for this position frees up more time for our Communications Manager to focus on both baseball and soccer while I take care of travel.”

OMG:  WOW!!!  I didn’t know there was going to be a Reno soccer team too! That’s even more exciting since soccer is growing in popularity here in the States. I know you love sports more than just about anything, (except your family, of course!), so do you remember your first experience with baseball or even soccer, as a child?

DP: “I’ve been playing baseball since I could walk so I couldn’t really pinpoint my first experience with baseball as a child. I do remember the post-tournament pizza parties during farm-ball and putting down as much pizza as we could.”

OMG: *laughing hard* Leave it to you to only remember the pizza!

DP: “For soccer I distinctly remember the moms cheering way too hard for us kids who really had no idea what we were doing on the field as we all just chased a ball around.” (He laughs).

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Drew with mom, Nancy Pomeroy (who pretty much never missed a chance to cheer for her son and his teams)

OMG: Hey Drew, cut us Soccer Moms some slack, we have to cheer hard just to keep ourselves awake sometimes!!! *chuckling* I think we used to call it “Bunch Ball” when you kids would move around the field in one big herd, just chasing the ball, like you said, with no strategy except to not fall down...too much. I think all the kids lived for the break times because they all wanted snacks!

Speaking of kids, what can families expect from a day at the Reno Aces ballpark?

DP: “Families can expect some good baseball and an awesome game-day atmosphere. Our team that works in the control room provides the sound bites and on board videos/visuals during the game that aim to poke fun at the opposing team as much possible and creates a fun, family friendly game-day experience.

Also, our promo crew does a great job with our on-field contests. The whole ballpark is completely revamped this year with improved concessions and local artwork from Reno and Tahoe artists displayed at our home plate gate entrance as well as the hallway leading to our suites.”

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The Reno Aces Stadium after Sunset

OMG:  I bet you have all sorts of people coming to the games, so how do you differentiate the experience that spans from families, to college kids, to couples, to those vacationing from out-of-town? Also, how does the new soccer team play into this mix?

DP: “Families have the opportunity for both baseball and soccer to get their kids or youth teams involved in the pre-game events such as running out with the team, national anthem performances, and bench warmers. College kids are abundant on Thursday nights for our Thirsty Thursday promotion. And those traveling from out-of-town that want to see a top-notch ballpark and some quality baseball have found the right spot.

We had two professional soccer games this year featuring Sacramento Republic FC vs. Liverpool FCU-21’s, and Sacramento Republic FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC. The turnout and atmosphere was great. Reno 1868 FC already has its own supporters club and we saw Sacramento’s supporters club make the trek to Greater Nevada Field to cheer on their team and chant the entire game. It was a very new experience, but an awesome one.”

Drew with buddies Gareth, Spencer, Rex, (himself), Tucker and Danny

OMG: I know you’ve also shared with me that the Aces are super involved with the community and make appearances at the local grade schools and fundraisers around town. They really are a top-notch organization!

Okay Drew, I’m going to put you on the spot: Who are your top 5 players on the team?

drew and somebody.jpe
Drew with former Giants player, Tim Lincecum (who now plays for the Angels)

DP: “I’m not sure I could pick out my top five players from the Aces but two that are definitely a fan-favorite here in Reno are Braden Shipley and Peter O’Brien. Shipley is a starting pitcher and Nevada Alumni, so he gets a good home-crowd turnout. O’Brien recently got called up to the Diamondbacks and has been playing every day. It is awesome to see one of our own guys get the call and watch them play in the MLB.”

OMG: That is exciting! So, what do you have coming up next?

DP: “Next, I plan on applying to graduate school so hopefully I will be spending the next year furthering my education and creating more connections within the sports industry. Not sure exactly what my future will hold, but I am excited to see where I end up.”

OMG: Well, I’m sure your parents hope it leads you back close to home!  No matter what, I know you will be a hit wherever you are, whatever you’re doing.

So, the Reno Aces are in Charlotte, NC this week, but what’s coming up next?

DP: “The Aces will play a home game the 14th. Every Thursday is our Thirsty Thursday deal, Friday’s we have fireworks post-game as well as our “bad songs for a good cause” where fans pick awful walk up songs for every batter.  This benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada by purchasing these bad songs. Saturday is also a fireworks night, and Sunday is a Reno Aces Hat Giveaway.

OMG: Never a dull moment!!!  Thanks so much for joining us Drew. I know a lot of our readers are going to want to get more information on events at the ballpark to attend, so they can click here:  

And to check out the latest on both the ACES and RENO 1868FC go here:

If you have any questions for Drew, please leave them in the comments below!

Thanks everybody for visiting. Join me next week when Chef Joe Thompson from Crisp Catering joins us. I’m sure he’ll definitely have a cooking tip or two to share that will make our dishes extra scrumptious!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

WANNA GET AWAY? Ten Tips on Visiting Canada's Wonderland with a Toddler

Our favorite parent guru is back!  Melanie Braga is joining us today to share some great information on how you too can enjoy your “get away day” with your tiny tykes at the super huge theme park, Canada’s Wonderland. (My own son returned from there about a month ago and though he’s no longer a toddler, he said it was a blast, and recommends that you visit next time you are in the Toronto area). I bet a lot of you out there are going to take close notes on her tips to apply to any theme park you visit this summer...I know I learned a thing or two, too!

Ten Tips on Visiting Canada's Wonderland with a Toddler
By Melanie Braga

Canada's Wonderland is a 330-acre theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, which is north of the popular city of Toronto, Ontario. The park first opened in 1981 as the first major theme park in Canada and remains as the country's largest.
Living in Ontario, it is always a perk to have this amusement park near by as new attractions are added every year. This year we took our daughter, Nikki and it sparked the idea that I should put some tips together to help other families who are planning their first trip with their toddlers or even older children.

Here are my top ten tips to make your trip more enjoyable and possibly save you some money: 

1. Purchase Tickets in Advance
By purchasing tickets in advance will save you time and money at the front gate. There are many ticket options available such as Daily Pass, 3 Day Advance, Good Any Day, 2-Day Ticket, Admission & Fast Lane and of course there is the Season Pass which is usually recommended if you are planning to go more than twice in the season. With the online ticket purchasing you can add other additions such as parking, meals, fast lane (gives you the ability to speed pass the lines on some rides), Dinos and FunPix. Please keep in mind that when a purchase is made online there is a processing fee added to the end.
Momma Braga Tip: If you have a Costco membership then I would recommend to purchase an Admission Pass from them as it is $38.49 CDN + tax which saves you some money. This admission works for ages 3 to 59. According to Canada's Wonderland's website a Junior ticket is $36.99 + a processing fee + tax. It appears that Costco could be the best method for the whole family if you have a membership. Children under the age of 3 do not have to pay.
2. Plan Ahead
Canada's Wonderland has a lot to do and see, it could become overwhelming for a family with young children. By planning ahead of time, you can ease this feeling and help your family enjoy everything that you want to do. Visit the website to see what special events they may have and view the map to see what areas you want to visit. By having a ride map or plan can really help your family enjoy the day to the fullest. Also saves time on wondering where or what to do next.
Momma Braga Tip: The park has Baby Care Centres, Diaper changing areas and/or family restrooms, these can be located on their park map. See where they are as it can help you locate them quickly when you need them. Most of the restaurants inside of the park are also able to warm up baby bottles.
3. Arrive Early
The amusement park opens at 10 AM and if you would like a close parking to the front gate without paying extra for premium parking, I would recommend to arrive before 10 AM. The later you arrive, the further you need to park and with little ones we all know how tough the walk can be.
4. Visit the Height Check Station
For the safety of all park guests, all rides have rider height requirements based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. To view the height requirements, you can click here. This is why I recommend to visit the Height Check Stations to have your children measured to know which rides they can go on and it will save you time on getting them checked at each ride. The Height Check Stations are located on either side of International Street. Colour-coded wristbands are provided at these locations and they correspond to the colour found on the Rules and Regulations signs located at the entrance of each ride.
5. Picnic Outside or Splurge on Delicious Meals
This one truly depends on your own family's preference and budget. The park does not allow outside food or drinks but food is allowed to stay in your cars and eaten outside of the park. However, baby food and formula are permitted as is plastic bottled water.
There are grass areas outside of the park that you can have a picnic on. To leave the park to eat, just make sure to get your hands stamped in order to get back in. Parking closer to the gates will help greatly if you decided to picnic outside. There is also the option to eat inside the park as they have many delicious meal choices. Of course it can add up but if you have budgeted to splurge then this is a great option. To learn more about the dining experience at Canada's Wonderland, click here.
Momma Braga Tip: A must try at Canada's Wonderland is the famous Funnel Cake.
6. Prepare to Walk
The park is on 330-acres so you can say that there is a lot of walking to do to get around. Make sure that you all have comfy shoes and a stroller will be great for young children. The park does offer single and double strollers for a one day rental. Rentals are on a first come basis and may not be reserved in advance. The rental fee for a single stroller is $15 CDN (+ $5 deposit) and for a double stroller is $25 CDN (+ $5 deposit). The deposit is refunded upon the satisfactory return of the stroller.
Mommy Braga Tip: Bring only necessities with you inside the park such as extra clothing for your toddler as we know back up clothes are always needed. My recommendation is to travel light. You may bring in a bag and there is a search of bags before entering the park. There is the option of putting your stuff in a locker for a rental fee (from $15 CDN to $30 CDN) but I do think it is a bit pricey for families.  
7. Download the Free Canada's Wonderland Mobile App
I thought this was neat and really wished I used it while I was there. There is a free mobile app that is available for your Apple or Android. The App can be used with the parks free Wi-Fi and there are some neat features on it such as: get wait times on your favourite rides; enjoy special offers and discounts inside the park; easy-to-use interactive map; carry your season pass on your mobile phone; updates on special events and promotions; find your favourite rides, shows, and restaurants; buy tickets and season passes quickly and easily; and use car finder to mark your parking spot and let the app remember for you. Seems like they thought of it all with this app! 
8. Sing Songs or Play I Spy to Entertain the Little Ones in the Ride Line Ups
Some ride lines can be long and of course for our little ones it feels even longer. I recommend to make standing in line fun by singing your favourite songs and even playing a fun game of "I Spy with my little eye." It makes the time go by faster and keeps your little ones entertained. It worked for us!
9. Plant Snoopy, Kidzville, Splash Works, and Dinosaurs Alive....Oh My!
There is just so much to do! Planet Snoopy and Kidzville are areas that I recommend for families as there are a lot for our little ones to do there such as rides, daily character meet-and-greets and live entertainment. Planet Snoopy features Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus. Kidzville is filled with brightly coloured buildings, rides and restaurants. If it is a hot summer day then take advantage of Splash Works which is Canada Wonderland's Premier Water Park and something to check out if you have time. There is an area that is great for toddlers to splash around. Then there is Dinosaurs Alive where you can find more than 40 moving and practically breathing life-sized dinosaurs, including several you can control. This experience is designed to thrill guests for all ages but it is not included in your admission ticket. To try this it costs $5 CDN (+processing fee+tax) for each person.
Momma Braga Tip: The restaurant line-ups appeared to be a lot shorter than in other areas in the park.  
10. Take Lots of Pictures and Have Fun
Of course take lots of photos and remember to have family fun! I think this is the most important tip of all! I know we had a great time and my daughter had the time of her life!
Until next time.....Happy Parenting!
- Momma Braga

For more great parenting tips, and all sorts of good stuff, visit Melanie here:
She's got a Cake article that has some inpressive pieces of art, ya just gotta check out!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

In Hysterics with Ted Pillow

In Hysterics with Ted Pillow

By O. Michele Giacomini

Ted Headshot.jpe
July 5, 2016

Ever stumble across a writer that makes you laugh...OUT LOUD?  I know, I know, of course you have! I mean what can I say, I’m sure I immediately came to mind when you read that question, (HA!), but believe it or not, I’m really not here to chat about myself. No, really...I’m not. Instead I want to introduce you to someone I recently discovered. I have to warn you, when I did, he took me aback with his hysterical writing! OMGawd! Talk about talent. Ted Pillow is our spotlight guest this week, and let me tell you, when you get a chance to read his material, you will then understand why he is such a treat! (PS: If you are one of my former students reading this, well, let it serve as an “I told you so” that there is hope in learning to write)!

OMG: Welcome to our site Ted. So let’s get started. Tell us when you first discovered you were a writer?  Did you think this was something you would pursue as a professional?

TP: “I've liked writing since I learned how to do it, but lost touch with it at some point in my teen years. I think I began to see it as more of a chore and less of a fun creative outlet. I picked it up again about five years ago, with the the intention of pursuing it as a hobby that could pay for beer. And that's pretty much how it's worked out.”

OMG: Now THAT is a good reason to write...maybe I should add that to my resume: “Will write for beer.”

Do you remember the first writing piece you wrote?  What was is about?

TP: “The first piece I had run on a website was a very dark one about the plots of late 90s sitcoms reimagined by someone in the throes of an existential crisis. Doesn't exactly make my writing sound like a ‘fun creative outlet,’ I know.”

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An example of Ted’s thought process

OMG: Holy crap! That isn’t EVEN close to what I thought you’d say...and so opposite of the material I’ve read of yours! I mean you're an extremely funny writer, and from one humorist to another, I believe we can agree that is the most difficult genre of writing out there. Why do you write humor?  

TP: “Thanks! I just love humor writing. I try and write with humor because I basically can't imagine why someone would want to read what I have to say unless it was funny. I'm not exactly James Joyce, you know. Any time you ask someone to read something, you're making a request on their time and attention. If I can give them a few laughs in return, hopefully that justifies it.”

OMG: WOW! It’s like you got into my head and spewed my thoughts. I completely agree…(besides I’d rather read something funny than...well, er...anything else).

So, what is your most favorite piece you've written?

TP: “That's a good question. My favorite humor piece I've ever written is probably If You Aren’t Sure If They’re Flirting With You, They’re Flirting With You (Unless They Aren’t) and my favorite non-humor piece is The Unofficial Roger Ebert Reader on Addiction.

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Graph from If you aren’t Sure they’re Flirting with you, they’re Flirting with you (Unless they aren’t)

OMG:  Oh my gawd, I absolutely love that article (the flirting one). Your pace is perfect and it’s just filled with humor from start to finish.  I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve raised two sons to adulthood, and survived their boy humor, but I love it...and your graphs!!!  I’m trying to remember which article of your I stumbled across first...I don’t think it was “How to get a Girlfriend in 26 easy Steps but I read that one too, and I laughed so hard!  So have you tried out those steps and do they work?

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Ted’s chart for Sexy Halloween Costumes

TP: “No, those are definitely not intended for real-life use. (He laughs) Basically I really don't like self-help/advice writing, so I just enjoy giving really awful advice to people.”

OMG: Oh that explains how you DO have girlfriend. Thank gawd you didn’t follow your advice!  *winks*

On a serious note, I did just recently read your piece on Roger Ebert. Holy cow, I had zero idea about the demons he was battling. He just always seemed like the “together” guy on the show giving us his thumbs up or down on movies we might see. It’s interesting, we may both consider ourselves humorists, but a lot of time we get commissioned to do the straight reporting pieces. How did this article come about for you?

TP: “I'm a huge movie fan and I love reading film criticism. I used to read the Ebert review for every movie I watched, to the point where I could usually predict his rating beforehand. After reading him for years, I started to pick up on the fact that he wrote very eloquently about addiction, specifically alcoholism. It's in the background of a lot of his reviews, but it's amazing how he was able to write so insightfully about human struggle within the context of a film review. Then I looked into it a little and found out that he was a recovering alcoholic and had also done some writing specifically around his experiences with that. So I decided to pick out some of his best excerpts, which were basically spread throughout thousands of reviews, and turned them into a kind of tapestry. It was a lot of work, but also really fun.”

OMG: Putting you on the spot Ted: Who are your top 5 writers ever, and why?

TP: “My favorite humor writers are Daniel Pinkwater (writer of bizarre young adult fiction that really blew my mind as a kid), George Saunders, Woody Allen, and Tom Oatmeal. I love everything at McSweeney's Internet Tendency. I also read a lot of Dave Barry as a kid. But my favorite all-time writer is David Foster Wallace. I could go on, but I'm embarrassed at how many white guys I've already named.”

OMG: Ummm...I noticed you forgot a certain up and coming female humorist, uh hem...I’m sure you just figured that goes without saying, right? *laughing*

What do you have coming up next?

TP: “I'm not sure! (But people can) follow me @TedPillow. I usually post one stupid Tweet a day, retweet people far wittier than me, and link to new writing when it comes out.”

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Ted’s thoughts on writers’ thoughts

I’m sure all our readers and followers will want to keep close tabs on your work. So be sure to catch Ted on Twitter @tedpillow or here:

If you have any questions for Ted, please leave them below in the comments.

Join me next Tuesday when baseball’s Andrew Pomeroy from the Reno Aces is our guest!