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Photo Diary: Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 45

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This week’s episode delves deep into the topic of strange sleep cycles, Lu successfully staying quiet during one of my interviews for work and talk of Disney and Toy Fair. Sorry about the difference in sound around the 22 minute mark. I lost about 10 minutes of the original recording and had to get back in there and do a replacement track.

To hear about Lucy’s first trip to Disney check out PPNC Episode 11.

You can read my posts about Dexter here: Season Four and Season Five.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Schedule Update

Hi Gang, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you all know that the Pop Poppa Nap Cast will move from “a random time on Tuesday” to a much more locked-in release time of Wednesdays at 10:00AM EST. I tend to record on Monday, cut on Tuesday and would like to get into a more set schedule, so this is my attempt. Thanks for being flexible!

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 44

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If you were looking for updates on my car problems, our house hunt and baby movement, then the 44th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast is for you!

The Colosseum is in Salem, NH. Go there. It’s fantastic.

If my story about a bad job interview that I was completely unqualified for didn’t bore you to tears, you can hear me talk about another weird interview, plus my career at Wizard in the episode of Matt & Brett Love Comics I was on.

You can either scroll down to check out my Despicable Me 2 review below or click this link.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

Despicable Me 2 Packed With Fun, Great Female Characters

despicable me 2 Last weekend, while hanging out at my wife’s parents’ house, we decided to watch Despicable Me 2. I remember liking the original just fine and Lu seemed to dig what she saw on TV not long ago, so it seemed like a good call. And it was!

While the first film focused on evil scientist Gru moving from the dark side to the light while also governing a huge number of tiny little monsters known as Minions and adopting three sisters named Margo, Edith, and Agnes. In this new film, Gru gets recruited by The Anti-Villain League, an organization along the lines of Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. that focuses solely on acts of large scale villainy like stealing monuments and the like. Gru gets teamed up with Agent Lucy Wilde and goes undercover in a mall to find out which of the shop owners is also a villain who stole a mutagen that turns things crazy and purple. Along the way, Gru and Lucy fall for each other, Margo falls for a boy she meets at the mall and the storylines collide when that boy’s dad turns out to be one of the suspects. Hilarity and action ensue.

I won’t get too much more into the plot. I think if you liked the first film, you’ll like this one, though I will warn that it gets a bit dark and scary at times. See, the mutagen serum gets used on the Minions and turns them into crazy purple things. Our daughter didn’t seem to mind these slobbering maniacs while watching the movie, but did say things like, “You’re not turning purple?” as she went to bed. It’s been a few days since we saw the movie and she hasn’t brought it back up, so I’m hoping the idea of her mother and I turning into crazy monsters has left her tiny brain.

In addition to the fun and action I found myself really enjoying how the female characters were handled in the movie. The three girls offer a great variety of characteristics and even though they’re not necessarily the focal point of the story, they do have some great scenes. Margot specifically goes through her first heartbreak which I thought was handled well without getting too serious for this kind of movie. I was also a big fan of Lucy Wilde and not just because I like her name. She’s a pretty great spy who’s also pretty goofy. This is a refreshing change from the badass hero trope that we tend to see in characters like that. The fact that she gets kidnapped and has to be saved by Gru at the end might be considered problematic, but it seemed more a function of the story than relying on the old damsel in distress trope.

All in all I give this movie a big ol’ thumbs up and think it’s great for all kids, especially little girls who are looking for potential role models out there.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 43

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In the 43rd episode of the Pop Poppa Nap Cast you find out the sex of our new baby, hear me talk about how different the second pregnancy is over the first and the eternal problem of finding a good boy name.

little baby boy

Here’s the little guy in the flesh!

The TED Talk I mentioned in this episode was originally mentioned back on Episode 39. Follow that link to get the full video.

lu's sleep reward sticker chart

Above you can see Lu’s sleeping-in-her-own-bed sticker chart.

clean living room

Here’s what the newly organized living room looked like. I feel the most like Batman when cleaning this room. I know I won’t stop the mess forever, but I can at least make a different tonight. Just like the Dark Knight when it comes to criminals.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 42

pop poppa nap cast logoThe 42nd episode of the Pop Poppa Nap Cast looks back on 2013 and ahead to 2014. Hopefully it’s not as boring as that sentence.

I looked back and I actually started Toying Around back in 2012. But I kept it going strong in 2013 and on into the new year.

I miss you Sequential Swap.

I wrote more fully about my struggles with enjoying “reality TV” over on UnitedMonkee several months back.

To check out my review of Frozen you can either scroll down to the previous post or click this link.

Here’s my reviews Monsters University and Iron Man 3, Man Of Steel, Raiders!, Son Of Rambow and The Shining.

I wrote about  my favorite new albums of the year here and my favorite newly discovered instrumental albums here.

If you’re interested in checking out either Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man (wow, this one shot up in price, maybe I should sell my copy…) or The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, follow those links to Amazon.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

Lu Really Enjoyed Frozen

FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.indd I’ve got to be honest, when my wife first suggested taking Lucy to see Frozen in the theaters I was not thrilled. This kid wanders around the house while watching a movie she just spent the last 20 minutes screaming for while I was trying desperately to get an assignment written, how would she be out in public? I also am not super excited about the idea of going to see a kid’s movie that I’ll probably have to watch upwards of 40 thousand times after it comes out on DVD when I’d rather go see something with punching or monsters or whatnot. But, when Em threw the idea out on New Year’s Day, I didn’t really have an excuse, so off we went.

And I’ve got to say, she was awesome throughout the whole movie. She was a little unsure of those foldy chairs, but once we found a solid one and got her a booster, she was easily settled in. She also got a medium sized bag of popcorn — which I was excited to eat too — and was ready to rock. In fact, she was so quiet I almost forgot I was there with a 2 and a half year old for a few moments. Of course, after the movie, she could not stop telling us her version which mostly consisted of people losing gloves, people getting cold, snow, ice, a snowman and hair turning white. Between this movie and Tangled, actually, she has a big hang-up on hair changing color in movies. I wonder if she’d notice that happen in something like X-Men or if it’s only animated flicks.

The movie centers on sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) who lose their parents at a young age after Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her ice-making powers. To heal Anna, her parents take her to trolls who erase the memory of Elsa’s powers from Anna’s brain. After that, fearing what her powers can do, Elsa shuts herself away from Anna. Cut to a decade or so later and it’s time for Elsa to officially become queen. Anna meets a man named Hans (Santino Fontana) and falls in love. They announce their engagement to Elsa who starts losing it and winds up freezing the whole land before running off to the mountain.

Anna leaves Hans in charge before heading off into the mountains where she meets Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his pet reindeer Sven and an animated snowman named Olaf (Josh Gadd) who join her on her journey to save her sister. It gets crazy from there and I don’t want to ruin it, but there are plenty of twists and turns that kept me engrossed.

Needless to say, she dug the movie and in fact declared, “I love this movie” after it was over. My wife dug it and, I did too, for the most part. Early on I thought there were a few too many songs. I have a bit of a problem with musicals in general, especially the ones where the star sings in public and no one seems to notice or care. Take something like Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast, there are scenes in both movies where the lead sings in public and the townspeople join in. That’s fine by me. Yet in Frozen, there’s a similar scene, but no one in the town seems to care.

My wife actually noted something later on after we bought the soundtrack off of Amazon so our daughter could listen to it: these songs — and the film in general — are very Broadway. The songs feel more like numbers from The Great White Way as opposed to the usual Disney offerings, which is a nice change. Once I framed it that way in my mind, I was more okay with the front-loaded musical numbers.

All in all that’s a pretty minor quibble with a movie that I wound up enjoying quite a bit. Even though I didn’t dig them initially, I’ve grown to really love the songs. More so, I love the characters and how directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee played off of the typical Disney conventions in the film. I kept trying to figure out where the movie was going and was surprised at several turns, especially when it came to the resolution of the love triangle. Anna doesn’t need a man to save her. She’s as active in the story as anyone, limited only by her lack of experience out in the world. She never gives up and keeps working to save her sister even down to the very end. I don’t want to spoil the ending too much, but I loved how it flipped the script on what the trolls said needed to happen to save the day.

Much like Brave, I thought Frozen was not only a great film in and of itself, but also a wonderful example for my daughter that female characters can be strong and active, but also that they can work alongside male characters without conflict. These are important messages to send along to the next generation.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 41

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Thanks to New Year’s I got a bit delayed in posting the 41st episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast. This one’s all about traveling to and from Michigan, Christmas, family and the time my car got stolen via plow a few weeks ago.

We’re pretty light on links this week, but if you want to check out the Lose It app go here.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.