Friday, November 26, 2010

YOUR Holiday 2010 Wishlist...

Yesterday was a big, important holiday for Americans and blah blah blah. I just can't dig deep enough to get excited about it, though. Today is the real day of celebration, in my book. It is when stores from department to electronic to specialty boutiques slash their prices in the name of holiday gift-giving. Don't know what to get your mother/sister/brother/boyfriend/girlfriend/dog? Or still weighing what you want to ask Santa to bring you? Allow My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture to make a few suggestions...

"My hat is my stocking, mama. Please fill it with goodies."


Books:

"Dexter is Delicious", "Naked Heat"
- Can't get enough of your favorite television shows when the new episodes end? Or just prefer to get your entertainment the "old-fashioned" way? These books, one of which acted as the inspiration for the series and one of which is a companion to the on-air series, offer more from your favorite crime mystery characters. Sure, Dexter Morgan's world within the book is different from the one on Showtime, and Rick Castle and Kate Beckett don't actually pop up within his novel, but the tone is still the same.

Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy Box Set
- Larsson passed away before he could see the mainstream response to his three-novel saga of Lisbeth Sanders, who has been called one of the most unique characters in literary (and pop culture) recent history. Since his words are now being brought to the big screen, you should definitely check out how it all started. And in this edition, there is a bonus fourth book which tells Larsson's own story.

"Full Dark, No Stars"
- The newest in Stephen King's collection of short stories, but quite typical of his style and talent, as even though you could read a story, put the book down for a few days, and return to a new story later, you won't want to. Instead you will want to read the whole book from cover to cover to be sucked into the various worlds within the pages one after the other. He paints such vivid portraits of people and unsettling situations you will be awed once again but you will undoubtedly be inspired to write, too.

"My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture"
- Of course I think my book makes the perfect stocking stuffer for any TV fan and/or chick lit/dating memoir fan. It's a humorous and heartwarming tale of coming-of-age for a girl who was lost in the boob tube from an early age and therefore slightly skewed by the images I saw there. But it's a bit of a conflict of interest for me to talk up my own project, no? So check out what some others have to say and pick up a copy...or a dozen.


TV/DVD:

Community, Dexter season 4, Supernatural, The Good Wife, Life Unexpected
(for the TV marathoner)
- Okay, really, I don't know why you don't already have these DVD box sets. They've been on sale since the fall (well, with the exception of the last one), right before the new seasons of the shows started. But if you were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of shows that came out in such a short time span, use this shortened list to know the ones you absolutely can't miss. Here is a little something for everyone: smart, irreverent comedy; smart, stylistic drama; smart, mythological genre; and smart and sentimental families.

Lost: The Complete Collection, Golden Girls: The 25th Anniversary Edition
(for the true TV marathoner)
- These box sets contain days upon days of entertainment from every episode of their long-running, popular series, to lots of deleted scenes, commentaries, and special features. And what makes it even more special is the packaging! Sure, they may not fit into a traditional DVD holder but the unique boxes (for Lost, in the shape of the hatch and for Golden Girls in a wicker purse just like Sophia's) make for quite the collector's items.

Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy, The Goonies 25th Anniversary Edition
(for the film buffs)
- If you're anything like me, you already own these classic films from our childhood. But now that they have both hit their silver anniversaries, their respective studios went all out in releasing new versions to commemorate the momentous occasion. In both a Blu-Ray and regular DVD Collector's Edition version, the movie comes jam-packed with extras. Take a trip down memory lane this holiday season!

Toy Story trilogy
(for the family/big kid/anyone with a heart)
- It took a decade for the third chapter in the Andy's toys saga, but finally the gang's all here. And Walt Disney Video has taken it to the next level with this ten-disc Blu-Ray/DVD combo box set. All three films, remastered and updated to fit today's technological specs, along with disc after disc of special features for each film. And the best part? The box itself looks like a toy wagon with which Woody and Buzz and all of their pals would have a blast!


Music:

"Man on the Moon Vol. II..." (Kid Cudi), "Pink Friday" (Nicki Minaj)
(for hip-hop fans)
- Taking the game one step farther, both artists are progressive and inspired and ones on whom to keep your eyes.

"Merry Christmas II You" (Mariah Carey)
(for holiday music fans)
- A few classics mixed with a few new gems; perfect to get you in the mood for mistletoe, snow, and hot cocoa!

"Glee: The Music, Volume 4"
(for soundtrack/pop fans)
- Includes the amazing rendition of "Teenage Dream" by guest star Darren Criss, as well as a handful of songs that span genres, including the hip-hop modern classic "Empire State of Mind," Britney Spears/Madonna's intoxicating "Me Against the Music", and Chris Colfer's heartbreaking "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."

"Warriors of Rock" Guitar Hero Bundle
(for classic rock and video game lovers
- KISS frontman Gene Simmons has teamed up with the esteemed Guitar Hero to create their newest edition of their modern classic game featuring classic rock tracks. The software comes with ninety new songs, and the guitar itself is a sleeker, slimmer, shinier design.


Toys/Games/Misc.:

"Michael Jackson: The Experience"
(for those wanting to keep the pop icon's legend alive)
- The Wii was originally designed to be an active, interactive video game console so that kids (and some adults) would get up off their butts and exercise while playing racing, sports, or war games. But with many of those games, the savvier players have figured out how to "cheat"-- how to still get a high score but without having to move around too much. Not with dance games, though! And previous dance games mix and match genres and original songs they licensed rights to with karaoke covers. The dance numbers, therefore, weren't authentic or even all that inspired. But now you-- and your kids-- can learn the actual moves that made Michael Jackson famous. While some may have studied his old videos off MTV or a crackling VHS, this provides crystal clear motion, as well as a step by step breakdown so even the most uncoordinated (i.e. me) can master them. Eventually.

Angry Birds Plush Toys
(for the tech geek but also the big kid...or the dog, if the case may be)
- Buying someone a 99 cent iPhone App is hardly even a stocking stuffer these days, but these soft, cuddly, but still "angry" 8" stuffed animals are great to show off the newest craze on one's desk, dorm bed, or for a rousing game of fetch or dodgeball with your dog. Yes, dodgeball. These are softer than Nerf so they won't hurt your pup, and he will have a blast finally be allowed to play the game with you rather than staring at you staring at your phone for hours on end each evening. Or maybe that's just in my household. Anyway, you pick your favorite character or buy a set of all of them. They're only available for pre-order right now, but you may want to scoop them up before they sell out!

Sony USB Voice Recorder
(for all my journalist friends)
- I hate transcribing. It is the bain of my existence as a journalist. I love doing interviews, and I love writing them up, but I hate having to listen to my voice over and over again while turning our audio recording into a text file. But now I don't have to. This recorder stores files in mp3 format and plugs into a computer's USB port, so I never have to transcribe again. I can just listen to the file once while copying quotes I know I want to use and save the file on my hard drive as a back-up!

iPhone Covers: Community, Dexter, Completely Customize Your Own
(for all my techie, but perhaps clumsy, friends)
- After dropping my iPhone on its edge and having the screen shatter and splinter, maybe a nice silicone buffer would have been a smart idea. And nowadays your phone case doesn't have to be black leather and boring: you can outfit your phone the way you outfit yourself. So tell your friends and co-workers a little more about who you are and what you like with a custom cover.

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