Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Poppin' Off Early Edition- Best Movies of 2013

I saw lots of movies this year, here are some of the ones that I think are the best (and that I can remember watching. Isn't that horrible?! I have the worst memory, seriously). (As always, if you haven't seen these movies yet and would like to, please read at your own risk. There could be spoilers.)

Family movies:
Monsters University. I am a big fan of Monsters Inc, so I came to this movie with huge expectations. And they were met. The story was good, the graphics were great.....I just loved it. And so did my kids, which means a lot. There were a couple of kid movies that didn't impress them as much this year *cough*Planes*cough* 

Despicable Me 2. Minions!!!! I love the Minions! And the story was cute too. It was able to stand on its own even though it was a sequel. 

Honorable mentions to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Frozen and Turbo.

Movies Based on Books:

Ender's Game. I got excited about this movie while walking some of the sets at San Diego Comic Con over the summer, and the movie did not disappoint. I haven't read the book, so I'm not sure if its true to it or not, but the movie was just outstanding. 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This movie was so much better than the first. It had enough length to cover what needed to be covered, it didn't lack on the emotional disparity of the situation in the Districts and in the Quarter Quell, and some of the characters really held their own this time. Effie for me, made the biggest change. You could see that she was realizing what the Games really were about, and some of her scenes had me near tears (and I am not a crier for movies). Another one was Johanna Mason, the District Seven tribute. She starts off racy (stripping in the elevator anyone), but she always comes through for Katniss. And Peeta.....he was much more of a babe in this one. Gale, who? Team Peeta all the way!


Don Jon. The subject was so unconventional for a mainstream movie, but I think that's what made it great. Loved the cameos by Channing Tatum and Anne Hathaway, but wished Brie Larson had more of a speaking part.

Elysium. I thought the concept was neat, Matt Damon didn't suck at acting and even Jodie Foster did a nice bad guy.

This Is The End. This is good if you need a laugh. I love these guys, and you really can't expect a high quality film when they're all together (I'm sorry, you can't).

Did I miss a movie? Disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Poppin' Off Early Edition- Best Teevee of 2013

There was a lot on teevee this year, but not all of it was good. This is my list of what I thought was the best teevee of 2013. (And please read at your own risk if you want to watch these shows but haven't yet. I have a tendency to let spoilers slip.)

1) Breaking Bad. Confession time. I didn't start watching Breaking Bad until about two weeks after its series finale had aired. Seriously. We'd had it chilling in our Netflix queue forever, but never got around to watching it. I DVR'd the last half of the last season (which is good, since it wasn't on Netflix) and waited for my husband to decide he wanted to watch the show with me. Once we finally watched the first episode, it was on. Marathon city in our house. It was such a good show and it ended waaaaaay better than Dexter. I hated Skyler and Marie, both those characters just bothered me so much. Loved Jesse, Walter and Saul though. I thought those characters were really well rounded, even for dysfunctional people.

2) The Blacklist. A spy-ish thriller that could have gone horribly wrong or horribly right, I definitely think they got it right. Secret after secret in this first season though, I hope they have more to build on in season two. I love James Spader as a bad guy (hey, even in Pretty in Pink he was a bad guy) and Megan Boone plays a good naive agent. I just don't believe for a second that Remington isn't Keene's dad and its bugging me about her husband. Is he really a bad guy or is Red just doing that to drive him from Lizzie's life?

3) Fangasm. I didn't watch the first episode right when it aired. I wasn't sold when everyone raved about how real it was, either. I waited a few days, went into my DVR and then fell in love on my own. Was it entirely real? Probably not, what "reality" show is? It reminded me of the Real World: Nerd Version. But everyone on the cast was lovable, and reminded me of people I have known in real life. And I loved that they weren't put up in a mansion-it was an apartment. And that they were working for something- a chance to work for Stan Lee's Comikaze, and not just being on teevee to be there.

4) The Sing Off.  It was only a two week (three?) event, but I loved it. This was my first time watching the show and I thought it was great. So many talented groups, I wish I could sing and dance like them! My favorite group was the Filharmonic (pictured below), but they were eliminated right before the finale. If you love acapella music or Pitch Perfect, watch this show next time it comes on!

5) 2 Broke Girls. I love this show. I've heard that its ratings have been slipping this season, which is too bad. Max is my favorite character, and I love all her snarky comments. And I like that she and Caroline are working a regular job while starting their own business and while Max goes to pastry school. Its not the standard sitcom where everything comes so easily, which is great because life doesn't come so easily to a lot of people.

6) Almost Human. I love me some Karl Urban, so when I found out he was going to be on this show, it became a must watch. Bonus points for the fact that its actually good. Hes playing his usual gruff guy, but it works. Overall, I think all the plots this season were really good. I'm not impressed with Minka Kelly though, I kinda wish they had put someone else in that role. I've never been a huge fan of her work though, so perhaps I'm biased. (she reminds me a lot of Leighton Meester to start, and neither one of them have had very memorable acting jobs. Except Leighton did have Gossip Girl, which I did enjoy). The kooky lab guy is lots of fun too, although the kooky lab person in a crime show is kinda overdone (think Abby in NCIS, Garcia in Criminal Minds, any one of the weirdos in the CSI lab).

7) Pretty Little Liars. I haven't read the books yet, although I really want to (especially since the show is supposed to be very different from them). I like this show a lot, its like a soap opera for teenagers, with a major spook factor. And while I'm almost thirty, I don't feel my mind turning to mush while watching it. The season ended with the girls finding out that Ali is alive, so I can't wait to see how they're going to play with that when the show resumes in January. And Ezra being A? I can see it, but I don't understand it. So I'm looking forward to seeing that play out as well.

And my on the fence picks are:

1) Ground Floor. Honestly, I only watch this because I have a big crush on Skylar Astin (and the fact that they've had him sing in so many episodes is a huge plus) and I think John C. McGinley is great. But honestly, its not that funny of a show. But I am trying really hard to like it. Because Skylar.

2) Ravenswood. I really love Pretty Little Liars, so I was hoping this would be as good. Its based in the town of Ravenswood, which is next to the PLL's town of Rosewood, but the world's don't mix too much after the first episode. The story line is interesting, there's just something a little off about it for me and that's why I'm on the fence.

What about you? What were your most beloved/hated/eh shows of 2013? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Poppin' Off Early Edition- Best Albums/Singles of 2013

Purely based on my musical preferences alone, here are my top albums of 2013.

Miley Cyrus- Bangerz. 
Favorite songs include: Drive, FU ft French Montana, 
Do My Thang, 4x4 ft. Nelly.

Eminem- The Marshall Mathers LP2
Favorites: Berzerk, Rap God, The Monster ft Rihanna.

Justin Timberlake- The Complete 20/20 Experience
Favorites: Don't Hold the Wall, Tunnel Vision, 
TKO, Amnesia, Only When I Walk Away.

Childish Gambino- Because the Internet
Favorites include: Telegraph Ave (Oakland By Lloyd), Sweatpants, 3005.

The Lonely Island- The Wack Album
Favorites: Go Kindergarten ft Robyn, Hugs ft Pharrell Williams, 
YOLO ft Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar, Spring Break Anthem.

And the best singles are:

Tyga  ft Justin Bieber- Wait  for a Minute

Panic! at the Disco ft Lolo- Miss Jackson

Fall Out Boy- My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)

Kid Ink ft Chris Brown- Show Me

Natalia Kills- Problem

One Republic- Counting Stars

What are your top albums/singles of 2013?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Personally...The Holidays

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I have been a little absent from the blog. The holiday season got to be a little overwhelming- and it isn't even over yet! In addition to New Year's, I have four birthdays to celebrate over the next few days. Today is my father-in-law and my youngest niece's, New Year's Eve is my mother-in-law's, and New Year's Day is my oldest niece's. Crazy busy time. Down below are just some snippets of my past few weeks. I'm sorry I haven't been around much, but that will be changing soon- promise! New year, new blog resolutions :)

First up, on December 6th, I became an Auntie one more time to a very handsome boy. I would love to share a million pictures of him, but I don't know how my sister would feel about that :) So now between my sisters and I, there are four girls and three boys. My parents like to joke that we can now start a softball team with the grandchildren. My sister (the one who just gave birth) also celebrated her birthday on December 11th.

Since I was late to the Advent calendar party, I did a twelve days of Christmas countdown with my kids. Above are some of the presents they received. They didn't really get that they were Advent presents, so they called them bonus presents instead. It really worked with distracting them from their actual presents.

So I won't lie, I didn't put up my Christmas tree until about six days before Christmas. I hadn't planned on that, but I had a procedure done on one of my toes that limited my mobility for a while, so that hampered my tree set-up. I felt bad for my children, but we had our mini pink Christmas tree up in our bathroom since the beginning of the month, and I put up new Christmas lights in there, so at least they had some festive details. I also added a garland to our fireplace mantle, along with the Elf of the Shelf Pop! Funko and I wrapped some sparkly garland on our mailbox outside. So it wasn't completely Grinchy here, but next year will be better.

Christmas Eve morning we took the kids to see Frozen (finally).I liked it, although it was pretty sad. And *tiny spoiler ahead if you haven't seen it* I really hate that Disney always kills the parents off in their movies. But visually it was stunning, and Olaf was my favorite.

Also on Christmas Eve, we made reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn. Its just Grape Nuts, glitter and star confetti- but my kids enjoyed making it, and really had a blast tossing it all over the yard. I let them put it out during the day since I knew we weren't going to be home later that night. It was so sunny on Christmas Eve, so the glitter really sparkled on our lawn.

Christmas was great. A very long day, but it was good. My husband and I bought our children the Wii U Zelda edition (which was really hard to find), and that was easily their favorite present. I'm excited to try out Wii U Fit, if I can ever pry the controllers from their hands lol. I received an Asus tablet from my husband, which I love. And pretty much everyone else got me gift cards, which is okay by me! I bought my husband some new shoes for him to play Airsoft in and some 49ers PJ pants. I was pleased with myself because I didn't have to use any of his money to buy it (I'm a stay at home mom with no income of my own). I always hate buying him presents with his own money, it just feels wrong. But I sold some stuff earlier in the year and made enough to buy some gifts. He did buy himself one gift that I gave him though- it was Killzone for the PS4. We bought it in a bundle from Target- it was buy any two games, get one free. And we had bought two games for our kids' Christmas presents in the same bundle. But he was the one that told me to wrap it up and give it to him lol, so I did.

Here is Pentatonix singing my favorite Christmas song Carol of the Bells. I didn't know who they were until I started watching The Sing Off this season.

How was your Christmas/ holiday season?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great and wonderful day! Here are some video snips of some of my favorite Christmas things. 

Didn't I tell you you'd be seeing this again this month? 
Troy and Abed's Christmas rap. 
Dick in a Box!!
Schweddy Balls!
This is a little long, but A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my most favorites. It goes from when Linus explains the meaning of Christmas, all the way to the end. I tried to find a clip of my favorite line "Hark! Then Harold Angel starts to sing," but was unsuccessful.
Other favorites include:
*How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon original, not the Jim Carey one)
*Homelessville (Justin Timberlake and Will Forte SNL sketch)
*the commerical for Norelco with Santa riding an electric razor
*the original Coca-Cola bear commerical (they started as a Christmas only thing)
*All I Want For Christmas with Ethan Embry (when he was Ethan Randall) and Thora Birch. 
*Carol of the Bells- favorite Christmas song ever! I once had a playlist dedicated to different versions of this song....but then my computer crashed and they all got lost...
And one not so favorite:
I'm sorry Kmart, but I thought this was kinda gross. Guys shaking their balls around like bells? Not cool. Would you have ladies shaking their boobs around like that? Probably not. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WoW Wednesday- The Feast of Winter Veil

Not too much going on in the World of Warcraft lately, but I am most excited because The Feast of Winter Veil has started. Running from December 16- January 2, all of Azeroth will be decorated in Christmas finery,  with lots of achievements to earn and quests to complete. You'll get to save Metzen the Reindeer, slay the Abominable Greench, and wear Gaudy Winter Sweaters. And don't forget to visits Greatfather Winter in Ironforge or Orgrimmar on Christmas Day, if you've been good you'll get lots of presents. I think if you're not in the holiday spirit by now (and you really should be, there's only eight more days until Christmas), seeing WoW done up will help you get there. Its always been my most favorite holiday in-game (right next to Valentine's Day). Check out WoW Wiki for more info on the holiday.

'Twas the feast of Great-Winter

And all through the land
All the races were running
With snowballs in hand.

The cooks were all frantic

And for those "in the know"
Swoops and owls were crashing
Like new-fallen snow.

Cookies and eggnog

Were consumed by all
As the snowballs flew freely
And drunks smashed into walls.

May your feast of Great-Winter

Be one merry and bright
And from all here at Blizzard
We wish you a fun night!

Photo from WoW Wiki user Coobra.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Poppin' Off- Pottery Barn Kids Superheroes/Star Wars Collection

I was browsing my sister's Pottery Barn Kids catalog the other day and saw the cutest thing- a Darth Vader quilt! It was a pleasant surprise, I didn't expect Pottery Barn to have character collections. They have Star Wars, Batman, Spider-Man, and Captain America options. Its mostly bedding, but there are also backpacks, pajamas and other accessories. Below are some of my favorites:

Captain America sleeping bag

Darth Vader bedding.

Reusable snack bags with Spider-Man, Batman or Star Wars.

Since its Pottery Barn, it is a little pricey. But I think if you're buying the bedding (or anything that's going to get a ton of use), its well worth the price. And since its the holiday season, they're having some sales on their website, so you might catch a great deal :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WoW Wednesday- Terrorists in the World of Warcraft? And, Hearthstone.

Trade chat has been abuzz the past few days over an article that came out recently about the NSA using games like World of Warcraft and Second Life to track terrorist movements. I usually ignore trade chat, its full of conspiracy theories and racist/sexist remarks on the daily, but when I saw the link to the article in my Yahoo news feed, I thought I'd give it a closer look.

The article from Forbes.com entitled, New Snowden Leak Reveals The NSA Planted Agents Inside 'World of Warcraft', goes on to explain that in the Snowden documents, they found that the NSA and some UK agencies had tried to use the games as a way to monitor terrorist activities and the possible transfer of real life funds through the game. Second Life seems like the game to use for real life money transfers, as you buy in-game items with real life money (I saw a True Life once where that was how this one girl supported herself. She made clothes in-game in Second Life and sold them for real money), whereas, that's not so in WoW (unless you're a gold farmer, which the article briefly mentions). What I think is interesting, is that people are surprised by the placing of agents. After the attack on Benghazi, it was found out that the Ambassador there was an avid World of Warcraft player. And several celebrities have come out and said that they are, or were, active WoW players as well. So why wouldn't a terrorist play? You never really know who you're talking to on games like that, so its as much a reminder to be careful as it is a reminder that anybody really can play. Often times I think people forget that there isn't one type of gamer out there.

Enough of the heavy stuff though, I am super excited to share that I *finally* received a Hearthstone beta invitation the other day!
I had been checking my Battle.net account forever, and never saw that I got accepted. Then, about a week ago, I was going through the email that's associated with my account (that's basically a junk account now), and I found an email from Blizz. Ever skeptical though (it could've been some hacker attempt. I've had a few try through emails), I didn't click on anything in the email, but I went to my Battle.net account instead, and entered the game key from there. It successfully downloaded, and now I am addicted! I have never played tabletop card games like Magic, so I think that puts me at a slight disadvantage. I had a boyfriend once that was super into Magic, and he tried to teach me how to build decks and stuff like that, and my eyes would just glaze over- now I wish I had listened. Oh well, I was only sixteen and didn't give a crap. Have any of you tried Hearthstone yet?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Mix Up #13

Happy Monday everyone! Today's list in dedicated to Childish Gambino, one of my favorite rappers ever. His new album, Because the Internet, drops tomorrow and in celebration, I am sharing my favorite CG videos with you. I'm sure I've posted some of these before, but they're awesome enough to be seen again :)

1) Heartbeat. Pretty much my favorite song by him.
2) 3005. This is from Because The Internet.

3) Lights Turned On. This isn't a video, but just listen to the song. 

4) Freaks and Geeks. My second pretty much favorite song by him.
 And I know I've shared this before :)

  This is the Troy and Abed Christmas Rap from Season 3 of Community. 
You can bet you'll be seeing this again later this month too.

Go buy Because The Internet! Enlighten yourself with intelligent rap.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Skills to Pay the Bills: (Mostly) Handmade Advent Calendars

Boy, you know that saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Well, I could make a lemonade distribution center with all the lemons life has been throwing at me lately. I finally feel well enough to sit here and type out this post, that I had originally wanted to do earlier. I mean, Advent calendars are for Christmas countdowns, and here we are, already seven days into December. If anything, maybe it will inspire you to do a smaller countdown (which I may do with my children), or its something to keep in the back of your head for next Christmas. I love Advent calendars, even though I wasn't raised particularly religious. It was always fun to pop out a little piece of chocolate as I counted down Santa's arrival. I've bought them in the past for my kids, but my daughter isn't a huge chocolate fan, and my son isn't as impressed with candy as he used to be (which is good)- so I didn't buy any this year. But I did see a few blog posts about homemade Advent calendars that I thought were so cool, and I thought I'd share them with you.

The first one is from Kaelah at Little Chief Honeybee. I really admire her blog and also how well she's done at being a great stepmom to Toby (stepping into a parenting role is no easy task). She makes me want to do more creative things for my children!

This one is from Kristin at rukristin. Its an Advent calendar filled of reasons why you love your spouse. This idea can easily translate into why you love your children. So clever.

This is from a post last year on A Beautiful Mess, but still completely relevant. Its an Advent tree!

Also from A Beautiful Mess is this year's Advent calendar. This is so adorable. 
I love the handmade envelopes.

And if these aren't enough inspiration, there's an e-book to help you out!
Found through Skunkboy, you can purchase it here.

Also, this isn't at all handmade, but I love this Advent calendar stocking from Pottery Barn Kids.
Buy it here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WoW Wednesday- Player Profile

Hello! Today's WoW Wednesday is a player profile. This is something I would like to do somewhat regularly here on KMT, so if you're a WoW player and are interested, please leave a comment below with your email address, or email me at jenarynkrystelle@gmail.com with the subject WoW PP and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

You might recall that last week I had a contributor for WoW Wednesday, Kimberlee. This is her profile. Enjoy!

Kirye (my main since WoTLK)

*Server (the one you play the most):

*For the Horde or For the Alliance?
 For the Horde!

*How long have you been playing World of Warcraft?
I’ve been playing since Vanilla.

*What do you like best about the game?
I think I love WoW because it’s such an immersive experience, not just as a game, but as a social platform. Since I’m a fairly outgoing person and player, I have had the opportunity to become friends outside of the game world with some of my guildies, most notably, my husband. Happily, my experiences have, basically, been much less awkward than Season 1 of The Guild.

*What do you think has been the biggest change to the game?
I’m going to cheat a little with this question. There are two HUGE things that have changed that really stand out for me. The first being: it’s SO EASY to get gold now. Remember when you got your first gold, before you were anywhere near to being able to buy a mount, and you said "ZOMG! I have a gold! Only 500 more hours of grinding until I can afford things! /dance"? That kind of genuine excitement over currency just doesn’t happen anymore. Secondly: Raid content. Not only can you experience all of the game’s current content through LFR, but nearly every instance in old-world content (at least up to the WOTLK xpac) is solo-able to a decently geared max level toon. Previously, you only saw the inside of those raids if you were good enough to be invited to a raiding guild.

*If you could get rid of one class in the game, which one would it be and why?
Shaman. Sorry guys, but this class is still my least favorite. Though, in the interest of being fair, I am making a serious attempt at leveling one to see if I can learn to love them. So far, I’m in the mid 40’s and still no dice.

*Do you feel that female players are treated the same as male players? Or is the sexism seen in trade carried throughout the game?
Boy gamers…. Yah… In the interest of full disclosure, I have experienced both the benefits of and the downside to being a gamer-girl in WoW. Sometimes it’s beyond infuriating that people seem to think that the anonymity of writing from the safety of their home computer means it’s fine not only to be racist, bigoted, and homophobic, but also sexist and misogynistic. Trade is basically the widespread equivalent of barrens chat now, which is why, unless I actually need to use it for its intended purpose, I stop that feed from displaying in my chat box. I’ve feel that there isn’t enough that can be done about the million little things ignorant people say, so, I reserve the "report" function for the infractions that are so blatant I can’t overlook them.

*How can we find you? (I  must find a better way to phrase that question lol)
You can find me running around on Windrunner, in Eternally Deceased on several toons, just ask for Kirye. Alternatively, I tweet the rest of my existence @KiryeIRL.

Thank you for being my first player profile!!