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!

Christmas-Vacation-Clark-Griswold-Lights

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.

rudolph

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.

ralphie

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.

kevin

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.

gizmo

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

Christmas_Tree_Gremlingremlins_1984_introducing_mrs_deagle

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: 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: 5 Observations From My First Week Post Engagement

This past week has been a whirlwind of lessons.  You see, I’m really not “that girl”, you know the one who has her entire wedding planned out.  The one who has an entire scrapbook of fabrics and photos and ribbons that she’s been carrying around her entire life.  The one who I would probably have a very hard time being friends with (see here).  So this whole “what do I want in a wedding” thing has completely caught me offguard.  I have a feeling there are many, many lessons to be learned over the next several months, but here are 5 observations made in the last 5 days alone.

5:  I hate the word fiance’. 

Ugh, I just don’t like the sound of it.  I don’t like the way people say it.  I don’t like its similarity to the word finance.  Finance, as in what people do to pay for absurdly expensive weddings.  It just stinks of pretentiousness and I reserve my pretentiousness to music snobbery.

4:  Wedding cakes are hideous.

What the hell is up with all the ribbons and flowers exploding out everywhere?  Why are they massive?  I must have scrolled through at least 300 cakes on Pinterest and found three that I could potentially work with to craft a normal dessert item with which to celebrate my nuptials.  Speaking of Pinterest…..

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What in the name of all things holy is this?!

3:  Pinterest!

Oh Pinterst you may just be the greatest thing ever invented.  How do wedding planners still have jobs?

2:  People spend wayyyyyy too much on weddings.

Obviously this is just my opinion, so if blowing $25K+ for a few hours of fun is what floats your boat, more power to ya.  I just can’t fathom it.  $25K would pay for a lot of things.  Let’s see, off the top of my head:  my student loans, a new car, a nice chunk of my mortgage, a killer vacation or 12, a nice infusion into my retirement fund…..

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I can’t….

1:  I kinda am one of “those girls”.

Maybe it’s not on some insane bridezilla level, but I have to be honest, I’m loving everything about this!  I love picking colors and thinking about flowers.  I love imagining my friends and family gathered in celebration.  And more than anything, I love that I get to spend the rest of my life with my very best friend.  Let me stop typing before I completely girl out and start crying.  Someone pass me a tissue please.

Stay positive and love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  311 – Still Dreaming

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.

WatershipBrown-on-black-with-banner

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.

StickyStout_OnWhite_wBanner

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!

Five for Friday: 5 Reasons Getting Older Sucks

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I descend another year deeper into my thirties.  I’m getting older and for the first time, I’m really starting to notice it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said before my thirties have the absolute BEST years of my life for a number of reasons.   I still get carded for booze 8 times out of 10.  I’m by no means ready to be wheeled into the retirement home, but I have to admit, there are some happenings of maturation that I’m just not cool with.  So shuffle up on your walkers and turn up your hearing aides, cause I’m about to break down:

5 Reasons Getting Older Sucks

Number 5- You can’t connect with the younger generation.

I’m now officially at the age where I really just don’t get what the hell “these kids” are thinking.  I thought I’d be much closer to 60 before I started ranting about how it was “back in my day”.  Oh, it’s already started.  From their choices in music (or what they’re passing off as music) to their incessant need to handle everything electronically, I’m out of the loop.  And trust me, I have no desire to be in that loop.  It looks terrifying in there.

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Number 4- Gray hair.

When you routinely get high-lights you somehow miss the moment when your dye job goes from a want to a need.  I was a little late on getting foiled recently and my roots sent me the ugly memo.  Psst, check out all this gray action we’re rocking all around your crown!  Tada!

There will be no picture of said roots. 

Number 3- The couch becomes a sleepy time cradle of naptitude. 

There must be something magical about my couch, because it enchants me into a deep sleep almost nightly.  During the week I’ve even been known to nod off around 8:30. Staying awake in certain situations has really become an intermittent issue for me over the last few years, one I’ve lamented before.

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Me 3 out of 5 weeknights.

Number 2-That whole slower metabolism thing is for real.

I remember smashing a value meal at 3:30 AM back in the day and hearing  my older friends bemoaning the fact that their metabolisms couldn’t handle that.  I really should have listened to them.  Much like a specter of Christmas future, they were filling me in on what was in store when I crossed that threshold into 30-something.  But you just don’t believe it till it actually hits you.  You can stay fit and trim, but your body is now your enemy and will try to sabotage you in every possible way.  For example….

Number 1- You get injuries that sound like they belong to an 80-year-old.

I got two cortisone shots in my hip on Wednesday to help put a full-court press on an injury that’s plagued me since last summer.  First, can we take a moment and acknowledge that the injury is in my hip.  Is there a more elderly place to suffer an injury!?  Secondly, I have Trochanteric Bursititis (and probably some other shit as well).  Bursititis.  Next to arthritis, nothing screams Mema quite so loudly.

When I’m trying to burn joggers with evil eye daggers out of jealousy as I drive by, I have fantasies about my 20s when my body cooperated no matter how badly I physically abused it.

old_lady

Damn joggers ruining my smoke break.

**Side note**  Google “old lady hip” and 75% of the pictures are Lady Gaga.

Feel free to send me all your gifts dear readers.  I accept beer, candles, and anything from Lululemon.  But I’ll settle for a gift certificate for a foil nd a year’s supply of anti-inflammatories.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:Monsters Of Folk – Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

Eating:  Potato, quinoa, and spinach soup.

Random fact:  Despite my sleepy tendencies, I can still hang…or force myself to.  My bestie Brett was in town a few weeks ago and we stayed up to after 3 AM two days in a row!  I know, a monumentous achievement!  I only paid for it for 3-4 days afterward.

Check out my OpEd piece about the CVS Cigarette Sales Ban  today on Lefty Pop!  I had a bit more bitchiness and length in the original piece, but the edit still captures my overall point that this is a savvy business decision and not CVS taking care of us.

Five for Friday: 5 Reality Shows I Can’t Get Enough Of

After yesterday’s highly opinionated and somewhat disdained editorial on Uber, I thought I’d dedicate my 5 for Friday post to something much more light-hearted, reality TV.  Ahhh, the garbage of the programming world!  Reality TV is simultaneously enjoyed and vilified.  But if you’ve turned on a TV in the last decade or so, you know it’s inescapable.

While some of what I watch could be deemed quite educational, the rest smacks of purely pointless (and somewhat mind-numbing) entertainment.  Check out my five and then let me know yours!

Number 5:  American Pickers- History Channel

American_Pickers_About_the_Show-E

I just can’t get enough of shows that deal with stuff, specifically old stuff.  My fascination started with Antique Roadshow grew with Storage Wars and Pawn Stars, but these guys are my absolute favorite.  Each episode is an adventure, a history lesson, and a new chance to meet the great “characters” inhabiting the rural parts of our country.

Number 4:  Master Chef- Fox

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Give me any show with Gordon Ramsey.  I can’t get enough.  This is just one of many cooking shows I watch on a regular basis (Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Iron Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen, Good Eats….yeah, pretty much anything with Alton Brown too or on Food Network).  I love this one because of the home cook concept.  I think it’s really neat seeing normal Joes getting so into the culinary arts.

Number 3:  Breaking the Faith- TLC

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Though I’m not a religious person, those who know me know I’m obsessed with religion.  I find it absolutely fascinating.  I simply can’t learn enough.  Most faiths have a truly entertaining (and usually gory) history.  The Mormon religion is one that has held my attention for many years.  While the LDS (Latter Day Saints) church has moved away/evolved from some of the very early tenants of the religion, the FLDS (Fundamentalists Latter Day Saints) still keep practice with the old school beliefs and (as with many fundamentalists groups) take them to a cult level that is terrifying.  While this show is a bit contrived, it’s a good watch.  Warren Jeffs is a complete freak.

Number 2:  Here Comes Honey Boo Boo- TLC

here-comes-honey-boo-boo-promo

Man, I was really doing great up to this one.   I can’t help it.  I love this farting, grungy, WT family.  Despite all of their short comings, it’s clear they are a family and they truly love one another.  I get points for that right?

Number 1:  VICE- HBO

VICE

Gonzo style journalism that shines a light of some of the most horrific and best kept secrets in world politics and culture.  I watch every episode with my jaw hitting the ground and feel like I come out a much better informed person.  My favorite thing about this show is that it does not pass judgement on these other cultures, it simply reports the facts and allows the viewer to shape their own thoughts and feelings.  Anxiously awaiting season two!

Honorable Mentions:

Bar Rescue- Spike

That Jon Taffer is a genius.

Shipping Wars-A&E

Pretty sure 90% of this show is fake, but I still find it entertaining.

Prospectors- The Weather Channel

This one almost made the top 5.  It was edged out due to the unreliable broadcast times.  Every time there is crazy weather (all the damn time), TWC boots it for coverage.  Give it a watch, mining is cool, dangerous, interesting stuff.

What are your favorites?

Stay positive & love your life.

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  The Weeknd – Kiss Land

Eating:  Left over collard greens, black-eyed peas, ch’kin.

Random thought:  With all of the reality shows currently airing or airing in the past, is it only a matter of time before we start watching fry cooks, cashiers, etc. and finding it entertaining?

Five for Friday: 5 Christmas Jams I Adore

Ok, time to get this obligatory post out of the way.  I go back and forth on holiday music.  I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t listen to it in large doses and honestly, a lot of it kinda sucks.  Now, before you think I’m going all bah humbug on ya, I am here writing a post about 5 Christmas tunes that I find not only palatable, I actually really dig them.  From a kid who detested all Christmas music and would beg my mom to “turn it off for the love of all things holy” <—–I get the irony here, I think I’ve come a long way.

So get ready to rock your body all the way around the Christmas tree and jingle your bell till your heart’s content.  Even Scrooge would sway to these awesome tunes!

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This picture has nothing to do with this post.

Number 5: Silver Bells- Berle Ives

My mom had exactly two Christmas records (containing the aforementioned hated Christmas music) when I was a kid.  This was one of them.  Of course I love it now, because it reminds me of her dancing through the house singing this to me while I bitched and moaned.

Number 4:  Christmas in Hollis- Run DMC

I keep it old school at Christmas.

Number 3:  Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree-  Brenda Lee

Home Alone, people.  Home Alone.

Number 2:  Last Christmas- Wham!

1980s, nuff said.  This video is so 80s I just, like, gagged myself with a spoon.  Totally.

Number 1:  Carol of the Bells

Hands down the best holiday song ever.  Ever.  No contest.  I love every version.

I especially love this version:

Honorable Mentions:

Anything by Bing Crosby- If you can look beyond him being a child beater, no one sets the holiday mood like this crooner.

Christmas Wrapping- The Waitresses

What are your faves?  Let me know; maybe I’ll like them too.  Or maybe you’ll mention Mariah Carey and I’ll puke glitter everywhere.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Foo Fighters – Everlong

Five for Friday: My 5 Favorite Albums of 2013

While I have an affinity for old music (most particularly the 80s and 90s), I must admit that there is still a ton of solid music coming out everyday!  Now, you’re not going to find this on your radio dial for the most part and don’t even try to look to MTV (do they even play videos at all now?).  Most of the stellar new artists and sounds are being birthed right here on the internet.  With the growing popularity of streaming services, the harnessing of social media’s power, and enough music related blogs to overwhelm even the biggest music fan, we have a virtually endless supply of new jams and talent at our fingertips 24 hours a day.  Yes, I do suffer to escape from the grip of nostalgia from time to time and I miss MTV for sure (sorry Youtube, you just don’t offer the same feel), but I must admit that the internet has done simply amazing things for music.  I love that I’m here at the end of 2013 giving you my favorites of the year via the interwebs and this blog!  Drop me a line and let me know what album rocked your world this year!

This year’s favorite list is a fairly solid representation of my musical listening habits.  On the top 5 we find:  2 bands that have been kicking ass since the 90s and would be classified as true alternative rock, 1 band that defies all attempts to be thrown into a category (and who I discovered through the handy, dandy internet), 1 poppy girl group with a indie edge, and 1 hipster necessity.  Let’s dive in shall we?

Number 5:  Local Natives- Hummingbird

Though not as magical as their debut album Gorilla Manor (2010), this sophomore effort lives up to my expectations.  I’m a sucker for vocal harmonies and bizarre instrumental sound.

Number 4:  Haim- Days are Gone

I’m not such a music snob that I can’t appreciate a good dose of candy coated pop every now and then.  But usually it all gets a bit too sickeningly sweet and ridiculous for me after a few minutes.  Enter Haim.  This sister act gives me the poppy lightness I sometimes craze without the cavities.  They were brought up listening to everything from Joni to Motown, and you can hear the diverse influences bleed through on each track.  One minute you hear something that could be at home in the Big 80s (full of synth awesomeness) and the next you’re jamming to something that could loosely be classified as rock.

Number 3:  Full Service- Carousel

I’ve written about these guys several times now, and I’m confident this won’t be the last. There is no other group touring today that sounds like them.  Not one.  They kill on vocal harmonies,  their guitar riffs shred, and their songs have the uncanny ability to get stuck in your head for months at a time.  Since I already was a big fan, I knew I would fall in love with their new album.  Well, even I was shocked and amazed at just how good Carousel is.  Every note on every song is a winner.  There are no throw away tracks here.

I have a challenge for you:  go to Spotify and listen to a few tracks off of each of their albums and then report back to me.  You won’t be sorry.

Number 2:  Pearl Jam- Lightning Bolt

This is quickly becoming a contender for favorite PJ album (I bounce between Ten and Vs. with Vs. usually winning).  So effing good.  It gives me all the best of the band that I’ve loved for so many years:  well-written songs, tight vocals, and killer guitar.  It reeks of the 90s and in a very good, very grungy sort of way.

Number 1:  Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork

I have listened to this album no less than 50 times since it’s release.  It gets better with every listen.  QOTSA are easily in my top 10 favorite bands of all time and so my opinion suffers from the standard fan bias, but I’m confident in saying that this is their best album yet.  It’s everything I love about rock and roll bundled into 47 minutes of perfection.  Listen and repeat ad infinitum.


 

Honorable Mentions:

Artic Monkeys- AM

Nine Inch Nails- Hesitation Marks

 

What were your favorites of 2013?

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa