Five for Friday: My 5 Favorite Christmas Movies

It’s that time of year again.  My house has so many lights that Clark himself would be jealous;  everything smells of evergreen; and the my playlists normally dedicated to rock start to give way to a bit of holiday cheesiness.  Everything about Christmas is wonderful, but without a doubt, one of the very best things about the holiday season is Christmas movies.  Here are my top five that must be watched each December.

 

The 5 Best Christmas Films of All Time (according to me)

Number 5:  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

This one is near and dear to my heart,  because I can totally relate to Clark on the light obsession.  It’s never enough.  Ever.  Each year I just keep buying more and more lights.  I’ve been eyeballing the house that went all out for Halloween each time I drive through the neighborhood.  I told Matt, “Don’t think I won’t just keep running out to Home Depot every time they put more up.”  I’m throwing down the gauntlet people.  They WILL NOT outdo us!

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Number 4:  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

My favorite of the Christmas Classics.  I love his little squeeky nose.  I love Hermey.  I love Yukon Cornelius.  Hell, I even love the Abominable Snow Man.  This one takes me right back to being a kiddo.

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Number 3:  A Christmas Story (1983)

You know why Ted Turner plays this thing for 24 hours straight?  Because we’ll watch it for all 24 hours.  I just turn on the TV and let it cycle over and over.  Somehow I always see to walk in on the part where the dogs are stealing the turkey.

You really can’t pick one best scene from this festive gem.  Don’t even try.

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Number 2:  Home Alone (1990)

Keep the change, ya filthy animal!  This one ranks number one on my Mom’s list.  She’s obsessed with this little prankster.  I tend to cry at least every other showing because of the old man and his grand daughter.  Old people and animals, they get me every time.

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Another connection to this film,  I’ve had far too many people to count say to me, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like the Mom from Home Alone?”  Yes, yes they have.  Maybe I should do a list of the 5 “hey you look like’s” I’ve gotten over the years.  I always fail to see the connection.

Are you ready for #1?!  What could it be?  Surely it is something on everyone’s top 3, right?  An obvious classic?

 

Number 1:  Gremlins (1984)

Yeah, I see that your jaw just dropped and some of you are shaking your heads.  But this is my #1 folks!  Matt will argue for the rest of our lives that this isn’t a Christmas movie, but I say, hell yes it is!

Does it take place at Christmas?  Yep.

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Are Christmas and Christmas related accessories apparent throughout the movie? Uh-huh.

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Is there Christmas music?  Sure is.

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This is also on my list of top 80s flicks.  I’ve blogged about it before in 5 Things 80s Movies Taught Me About Life.

Christmas. Have a nice flight Mrs. Deagle.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Scrooged (1988)

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)

 

What are your faves?

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

 

 

 

Five for Friday: Top 5 Movie Kisses

Pssst, lean in a bit closer.  I have something to tell you.  That’s it, right there.  Muahhhh!  Yes, I’m feeling a bit romantic folks.  In case you’re one of the last people on the planet who I haven’t told 20 times, I’m getting married in 25 days!  In honor of this quite historical occasion, my blog posts have started taking a turn towards the romantic.  So expect a bit of the lovey dovey, the mushy, and the near vomit inducing for the next month.

Today I’m bringing back my fave ongoing blog post series, Five for Friday.  I won’t be posting a linking tool, but feel free to join in and then link back to me on your post.  Or just leave your five in the comments section.  Today I give you my five favorite kisses on the big screen.  So pucker up people, here we go!

 

#5:  Sixteen Candles  (1984)

Samantha and Jake.  Finally.  Though I like her better with Ducky. Wait, wrong movie.

 

#4:  The Goonies (1985)

“Does Brad have braces?  Why are you laughing?”

“Next time keep your eyes open.  It’s a whole different experience.”

 

#3:   Last of the Mohicans (1992)

This is my Notebook (though I do love a good Notebook cry sesh).  I remember watching this and thinking, “one day someone will kiss me like that”.  And this soundtrack.  My.  Goodness.  What a perfect backdrop for a perfect kiss.  It’s in my top five movie soundtracks of all time.

 

#2:  Back to the Future (1985)

Romantic and pretty darn important.  Strum that guitar Calvin Klein.

 

#1:  The Princess Bride  (1987)  x2

First there is Westley and Buttercup reunited.  Magic.

And then:

“Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”

Maybe I should just say “As you wish” instead of “I do”.

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

My Girl (1991)

So stinking cute, but man is this movie sad.

Legends of the Fall  (1994)

Tristan may be my favorite Brad Pitt.  But this scene goes from amazing kiss to NSFW pretty quickly.

 

What are your favorite on screen kisses?

 

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  Devan DuBois – I Won’t Let You Down

Eating:  Eggplant parm

Drinking:  Blue Monster

Random thought:  Guy in the break room:  If I can hear you slurping your noodles from across the room, you really need to work on your manners.  Ugh, mouth noises.  Also, man in the QT this morning:   If you smell like BO at 8 am, the day’s only going to get progressively stinkier.  I sure hope your workmates don’t have my nose!  PSA- Chew with your mouth closed.  Wash yourself and your clothes.  The world thanks you.

 

Five for Friday: Random Spotify Shuffle

Since I’m out of town today for business and my normal lunch writing time is unavailable, I prepped a softball of a Five for Friday list in advance.  This should be an easy yet fun post  that provides everyone with a little insight into your musical tastes.  I actually did an iPod shuffle post for my very first Five for Friday post nearly a year ago!  Check it out here.

Here are my five with commentary.  Enjoy and then set your Starred Playlist to shuffle and link yours up using the Linky Tool at the end of the post.  Don’t use Spotify?  Then go ahead and give that iPod a shuffly spin!

Dead Sara- Lemon Scent

I just found this band a few weeks ago.  There is really nothing better than stumbling upon a band that you should have already been listening to ages ago and then devouring their entire discography song by song!

This puts me right back in the 90s when all my favorite music was on the airwaves.  These chicks rock the hell out.

 

Tears for Fears- Mad World

Any music listening platform in my possession will be heavy on the 80s.  Favorite 80s band?  Tears for Fears.  This is one of their best.

 

Lana Del Rey- Off to the Races

Though the hipsters damn near ruined liking her, I’ve never been shy about proclaiming my love for Lana.  I dig her voice.  I dig her bizarre lyrics.  She’s a weirdo, a talented weirdo.

 

Local Natives- Who Knows Who Cares

I’ve listened to this album too many times to count, I grinned like a fool watching their performance on Austin City Limits, and now I finally get to see them live at Shaky Knees next month!

 

Ima Robot- Scream

Another of Alex Ebert’s projects.  This one is quite different from Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros.  I’m a fan of anything this bizarre man releases.

 

Alright ladies and germs, your turn.  Shuffle it up and lay it on me!

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Five for Friday: Rapper’s Delight

While I’m traditionally a rock gal, I pretty much listen to every type of music to varying degrees.  Some, however, show up rarely and require the perfect combination of mood, company and environment (country for instance).  Others, like rap, are more activity oriented.  I’m not a huge fan of rap and most modern rap/hip-hop makes me break out in hives (Drake, ugh).  But in the gym, during certain workouts, rap is awesome.  I’ve been on a serious kick this week and so I thought I’d dedicate today’s 5 for Friday to some of my favorite rap groups.

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So much street cred going on over here.

Now, I’m going to try to steer away from some of the favorites of my past (Tupac, Biggie, Snoop) and eliminate the obvious Eminem vote, so I may focus on perennial favorites.  These artists/groups I will listen to over and over again.  For the most part, they share a few common attributes:  intelligent & creative lyrics (most of the time), mentions of world/government issues, and the likelihood for harmonies (ie. most can also sing).

REMEMBER, THIS IS BLOG HOP!  So check out my 5 and then link up with your 5.  Don’t have a blog?  Leave your 5 in the comment section

The Roots

Now that they’ve locked in their cush job being the Tonight Show band, I hope they don’t stop being an actual band.

 

Street Sweeper Social Club

Hey that guy sounds like Tom Morello!  It’s not RATM, but it’s the next best thing.

 

Mos Def

Yes, everyone knows that white people love Mos Def.  It’s true.  I’ve seen him live and there were like 5 black people there counting the performers onstage.

 

Jurassic 5

Chali 2na has one the coolest voices ever.

 

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Ok, so I went back on this one, but I couldn’t not include Bone!  No one else sounds like them!

 

Bonus!

Gang Starr

Childish Gambino

A newcomer that I actually really like.

 

Who are your 5 favorite rap groups right now?  Enter them using the Linky Tool below!

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

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Five for Friday: Melissa’s List of Suck & Five for Friday Becomes a Blog Hop!

It’s Friday and you know what that means!  Whoop, whoop, the weekend….well that and a new Five for Friday post.  After much thought and the final ever posting on Trifecta (who closed their doors last week) as well as the announcement of Twisted Mixtape Tuesday closing their doors, I’ve decided to turn this into a blog hop.  Now,  at the onslaught, I’ve agreed to be patient with this “project”.  I know 100 bloggers will not link up day one and honestly, I’m not sure I want it to grow to those proportions!  But one thing I’ve learned over my nearly one year at this is that writing is a lot more fun in a community.  Much like life, almost everything is better with friends.  So read through my 5 and then create your own Five for Friday post and attach it using the linking tool at the bottom.  Let’s get to listing!

This week is all about shortcomings.  While I like to think (and sometimes pretend) that I’m perfect, I realize that’s very far from true.  We all have things at which we just never seem to excel.  Here are my 5.

Melissa’s List of Suck

5:  Skiing

So luckily I’m not a big fan of cold weather and therefore not naturally inclined to seek a ski resort out for a vacation, because man am I a shitty skier.  I went.  Once.  That was enough.  I’ve heard that my biggest mistake is that I let my cousin’s husband convince me that,  because I’m athletic, I didn’t “need an instruction session”.  And what he meant by that was that I didn’t need any instruction at all.  Yeah, it turned out not so true.  After approximately 10 minutes on the bunny slopes he took me to the next level up where this happened:

Art of Skiing 3

So apparently you’re supposed to swish from side to side while skiing.  Flying straight down the hill is ill advised.

Oh well, who wants to spend a ton of money and forever getting suited up anyway?  Beach please.

4:  The purse of despair.

I’m a neat, organized person.  My house is clean.  My car is clean.  My office is an organizer’s dream.  Then there’s this:

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You may be thinking, “hey, not so bad”; well the picture does it little justice AND I just cleaned this purse out on Sunday.  Yep, random bills floating around, a pack of energy chews I’ve been carting around to months (just in case I want to eat them), papers…so many papers.  I’m not sure why my purse doubles as both a trashcan and piggy bank.  It only gets cleaned out when the coins have accumulated a weight of roughly 20 lbs. or I end up dumping out the contents in frustration because I can’t find something (like say, house keys).

3:  Talking on the phone.

Unless you’re my Mom (or on the rare occasion he answers the phone, my Dad), I probably don’t want to talk to you.  I really don’t even know why my iPhone needs a call function.  It should just have an app that says, CALL MOM.  The rest of the numbers can be pushed only to text functionality.

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2: Following through on hobbies.

Now, I’ve always been great at sticking to fitness (we won’t comment on nutrition here), so I’m not counting that as a hobby.  But let’s explore what happened with a few of the hobbies I tried to pick up:

Crochet:  Taught myself how to do this, completed 95% of an afghan, lost interest, afghan has been sitting in a basket unfinished for over 3 years.

Guitar:  Got a guitar, tried to follow along with some home instruction, got bored and frustrated, guitar has been sitting in its case untouched for over a year.  *I really want to learn guitar, but I’m going to have to have live instruction to make it happen.

Extreme couponing:  Learned the method to the madness, clipped a shit ton of coupons, saved a heap of money, got bored.  Ugh, too much work.  I’ll just pay more for stuff.

1:  Not sweating the small stuff.

Now, based on number two, you may be thinking I’m completely fine leaving things unfinished.  That’s so not true!  For some reason that ability to let go only applies to hobbies.  In my life and my job, I’m obsessive.  House cleaning is a prime example.  My house is generally pretty clean and when contrasted with the norm, it’s quite clean.  But I come from a long line of neat freaks and so it’s never good enough.  I’m sitting here right now mentally Swiffering my floor and worrying about the shine on my granite.  It’s ridiculous.

You don’t want to be around me prepping for a party at my place.  I worry.  About everything.

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What 5 things do you suck at?  Link your post here!

 

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Stay positive and love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:

Five for Friday: Public Transportation Rules

Public transportation,  I’m a huge fan.  It saves time, money, and emissions.  In a city like Atlanta (too many people, serious urban sprawl, not enough roads, and an abysmal public transit system) when you have the opportunity to find a way out of fighting rush hour traffic daily, you take it.  I made the leap to becoming a bus rider several years ago.  And 90% of the time, I’m a happy camper.  I enjoy a nice, stress-free ride into and out of the city.  I catch up on my reading or my Facebook newsfeed.  I take power naps.  Or I stare aimlessly out the window.  Wonderful.

 

However, those other 10% days are an entirely different story.  And the problem?  People.  Rude, ignorant people.

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So since it’s Friday and my very favorite and most tragic bus story occurred this week, I give you 5 ways to not be a douche on the bus:

#5- Butt Out

As in your cigarette.  I know this might be breaking news, but cigarettes reek and when you smoke them, so do you.  So how about not smoking in line for boarding.  Is it really necessary to get that final fix so you don’t lose it over the next 45 minutes to an hour?  The vast majority of us on going to work and don’t want to walk in smelling like an ashtray.

If you must smoke, by all means, PLEASE make sure you sit right next to me so I can smell you the entire way to the city.  It’s not like I have a super human sense of smell or anything.

 

#4- Keep Your Eyes to Yourself.

I’m not asking that you look down and make no contact ever, but how about not staring a hole in my soul.  When I can feel your eyes on me, you’re staring.  And it’s really effin creepy.

If you must be a complete creeper, just make sure to sit by me every opportunity you possibly have.  Nothing says weirdo like doubling up when there are 20 single rows available.

*PS- Please think about switching laundry detergent/methods.  You smell like a mildewed wash cloth.

 

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Don’t make eye contact.  Don’t make eye contact.  Shit.

#3- Hold Out Till Dinner

You must truly be famished if you can’t hold out till you are able to breeze through the McDonald’s drive-thru for your nightly dose of transfat.  If those chips are going to save you from knocking on death’s door, by all means eat them if you must.

And please do feel free to chomp them down with a wide open mouth.  I so enjoy mouth noises.

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Too much?

 

#2-  What’s Mine is Mine; What’s Yours is Yours.

As in my seat.  Keep your thighs to yourself.

But if you must cascade over into my seat, please make sure that I cram myself completely against the window and yet still am unable to escape the heat that apparently radiates from your ham hock.

 

#1- Get Off the Phone!!!!

I have a real problem with folks who don’t know how to use their inside voice.  It seems when a phone is placed in the hands of one of these people they go from audible to hearing damage levels  in seconds.  I really, really, REALLY don’t care about you sister’s cousin’s deadbeat boyfriend.  I certainly don’t need to be exposed to your phone sexscapades.  Yes, that happened, two days ago.

Part 1:

1. I’m on Mr. Tortoise’s bus which means add an extra 15 minutes to me trip.
2. This kid behind me is having the most cheesy, I’m gonna vomit in my mouth convo with his girlfriend at the top of his lungs. Smoochy mouth noises and Harry Potter references included.
3. There are 20+ German exchange students screaming at each other across the aisles.
4. Kid behind me is bitching about how these people “not speaking English” are annoying.
5. His convo just got graphic.
6. I feel really bad for the dumb girl on the end of the phone.
7. God get me home and get a beer in my hand.

 

And then this:

Bus update:
For the first time in bus history I just “told” someone. After his convo got way more graphic than I wanted to hear, I turned around and said loudly enough for her to hear, “Dude, she does know that everyone on this bus can hear your conversation right?” Apparently he is now going “text her later”. I guess he thought I was German too? Either that or I’m now being referred to as the old, nosy bitch in his corresponding Facebook update.

If you must talk dirty on the phone, then make sure to lean up directly into the back of my seat and position the conversation up against my actual eardrums.   This way I don’t miss a single grimy detail.

Guys, I know this may all sound completely petty and nitpicky.  I totally get that I ride on a nice bus and it could be a lot worse.  I’ve ridden Marta, I know.  And were I ever to commute on a real system like the NYC subways, I’d long for the days when some pocked face college Freshman was clumsily seducing a chick in my ear.  Call me a dreamer, but I just keep holding out hope that people will develop some social/situational awareness.  Ah, who am I kidding!  I’ll just be happy about the 90% days when I enjoy the availability of mass transit!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:
Eating:  Hummus wrap
Drinking:  Monster two of the day.  Caffeine you are my biggest weakness!
Random thought:  I truly do feel sorry for the girls of this generation.  It really seems like guys have lost a step or two in the “game” department.

 

 

Five for Friday: 5 Amazing Beers from Red Hare Brewing

I’ve gushed many a time about how fortunate I am to live in such a fantastic beer city (click here or here or even here). Metro-Atlanta’s love affair with craft beer is quite the saga with new chapters and great, new breweries popping up damned near monthly.  Today I must show some love to the brewery that is quickly becoming my local fave.  Nestled in Marietta GA lies Red Hare Brewing:

Red Hare Brewing Company is an independent micro-brewer located in the heart of  Marietta, GA. In August 2011 Red Hare starting selling its craft beer through out the state of Georgia, and is now also available in South Carolina. Red Hare is the first craft brewery in Georgia to can their craft beer. Stop by for one of our tours & tastings to see where all the magic happens: Thursdays & Fridays 5:30-7:30pm, and Saturdays 2-4pm.

Here are 5 of their beers I can’t get enough of:

Number 5:  Watership Brown Ale

Part of their mainstay series, this one is available year-round (can & draught).

ABV: 7.2%

45  IBUs

Slightly sweet with a roasted malt character, and a noticeable but not overpowering hop character that rounds out this Brown Ale into a very well balanced brew.

Brown Ales don’t generally enter my list of favorites; I find they all tend to run together.  This one is solid.  It’s got great drinkability and the flavor characteristics are distinctive.

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Number 4:  Gangway IPA

Part of their mainstay series, this one is available year-round (can & draught).

ABV: 6.2%

65 IBUs

Gangway IPA is crisp, unfiltered, and golden in color and slightly sweet; hopped with Williamette, Chinook, Cascade and dry hopped with Falconers Flight.

This is one of my go-tos for IPAs.  I’m a notorious hop hound.  IPAs top my list as favorite style and usually I seek out the excruciatingly hoppy, the palate destroyers.  Gangway is nice medium.  It has enough hops to satisfy my palate while still remaining drinkable.  Don’t get me wrong, this little can still packs a punch and you can tell a lot of love went into this brew (unlike some breweries that I feel knee-jerk out an IPA because you have to have one).

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Number 3: Sticky Stout

Available seasonally on draught only.

ABV: 6.5%

17 IBUs

Dark roasted malts lend to the a rich dark color, and hints of chocolate and coffee found in this beer. The addition of oats balance these flavors and give it smooth full body, a light sweetness, and a sticky mouth feel finish.

The stout is my second favorite beer style and this one is delicious!  I was lucky enough to catch this on tap at quite a few local bars over the winter season.  They hit on that chocolate/coffee combination that I so love in my stouts.  Sticky Stout is a stout lover’s dream.

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Number 2:  Forbidden Fruit

Availability: Fall Seasonal 2013 (draught only)

ABV: 5.5%

12 IBUs

Brewed with french-style yeast, fresh pressed north Georgia apples, vanilla and cinnamon. Tastes like a fresh baked apple pie in a glass!

Apple pie it is folks!  Wow, so much flavor packed into one glass.  Somehow the best of the flavors come through without being sickenly sweet or the spices being overbearing (like in many Xmas beers).  I caught this one tap in their tasting room (which is awesome by the way…great space and live music).  Now I only lament that I have to go all the way to Marietta to get it!

forbidden-fruit

Number 1:  Rauchbier

Availability: Rabbit’s Reserve #6- Limited Edition  (draught only)

ABV: 6.8%

Rabbit’s Reserve #6  released September 2013. Rauchbier is reminiscent of a German-style Oktoberfest and can literally be translated to “smoked beer”. Munich, smoked, and dark roasted malts provide this brew with its softly smoked flavor and smooth maltyness.

When I tell you I’m obsessed with a beer, I truly mean it!  I have attempted to stalk this beer all over Atlanta to find it on draught.  I enjoyed several pints at the brewery and then proceeded to talk about it way too much to my beer loving buddies.  The Georgia Pine (kick-ass restaurant and good beer selection) had it for a while and just last weekend I saw it on their website and got way too excited.  We called and they no longer had it.  Talk about bummed.  This smoke in a glass beer ranks in my top 10 favorite beers of all time.  My heart broke when I read this on Red Hare’s site:

*No longer in production

Rauchbier

I beg you Red Hare, can I get this back at some point?!

There you have it beer lovers.  Red Hare Brewing!  Go check them out, you won’t be disappointed!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  NPR podcasts

Eating:  Cabbage, black-eyed peas and cornbread.

Random fact:  Today Lefty Pop will be featuring my piece on GA’s Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate.  It goes live at 5 so be sure to check it out!