Poll Recap and New World Cup Poll

The people have spoken and Spain looks to be the heavy favorite to win the World Cup amongst Livin' the Dream fans. We accumulated nine votes and here's how everything broke down:

Spain - 5
Brazil - 3
Netherlands - 0 (Hey if Alexi Lalas says they're going to win the whole thing, then obviously they're a contender.)
USA - 1 (That was nice of whoever voted for them.)

So now we move on to the next question. Last night's Portugal-Spain game (and yes I say night because I successfully made it the entire work day and a trip to the market without learning the score and watched it on my TV at home) was one of the best of the tournament so far, in my humble opinion. So that got me thinking: what have been the other marquis matches of the Cup?

Your choices are:
Spain 1, Portugal 0
Germany 4, Australia 0
USA 1, Algeria 0
Argentina 3, Mexico 1
Germany 4, England 1

Happy voting!


World Cup Hottie Bracket Update

I'm back from an amazing vacation and of course the first thing I have to blog about is how the World Cup Hottie Bracket is doing, especially since tomorrow the Final Four will be announced.

Julie sent this little write up out via email so I'm straight up copying and pasting it here. Enjoy!

In what were mostly obvious choices, not much of a battle went on this round. With a [not-so] stunning defeat, #14 seed Yoann "eyelashes" Gourcuff topped #3 seed Robin Van Persie and moved on as the only upset of the round.

Not even Donovan's amazing game winning goal, and purposely added shirtless pic, could help him beat everyone's guilty pleasure, Ronaldo. But hey...Landon, we love you, but we're not IN love with you! Go USA!

New mugshots have been added and a new battle has begun. Apparently, there is as much admiration for the Danish team as there is with the Spanish team. But which team is hotter? Have your say!

So get your votes in before tomorrow when we reveal who the final four hotties of the World Cup are!

Here's the link again:
World Cup Hottie Bracket


Post 100: A New World Cup Bracket

Hooray! Post 100! More on that later...

Today we give a major shoutout to Julie for putting this all together. Friends (mostly female I'm sure, but guys are welcome to play too), here is a brand new type of World Cup bracket:

World Cup Hotties

Please, you didn't think this would be something actually related to the game did you?

The rules are simple. Click the link above, then vote for your choice for hottest player of the tournament. As the tournament progresses, so do the top choices until a winner is crowned!

So get to voting. And again, thanks to Julie for making this bracket for all of us to enjoy.

P.S. Vacation is awesome and I will be in San Diego tomorrow!


Vacation Time!

I will be heading down to LA and San Diego for the next week or so. So since I will not be around to post anything as often as I have been here are some alternate activities you can do to pass the time:

1. Watch the World Cup. It is awesome and only happens every four years.

2. Visit me in either LA or San Diego.

3. Come up with suggestions for what I should do for post #100 on Livin' the Dream seeing as this is post #99.

Hooray vacation!

Video of the Day 6/18/10 - Escreve O Futuro Edition

I stumbled upon this "Inside the Game" type video that highlighted Portugal. I thought it was pretty cool so here it is. If you're not a Christiano Ronaldo fan, you probably should skip this post.

Not sure if Nike has done something like this following the superstars of a bunch of different teams but it would definitely be cool to find more of these!


Poll Results and New Poll

So something happened to the poll and suddenly it disappeared so I had to delete it and don't really have a record of how the votes broke down. Basically nobody likes my girly TV shows and so the winner was "Anything but these three".

But we have a new World Cup-oriented question. Stay tuned for many more of these throughout the tournament.

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Your choices are Spain (how can I stay mad at them when they look like that underneath their jerseys?), Brazil, Netherlands or USA.

Good luck voting.

Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Author: Jon Krakauer
Number of Pages: 372
Genre: Nonfiction
Where I Got It: Barnes and Noble's website (hooray coupons!)

Because I still can't talk about the Spain debacle this morning, we're going to continue our recent trend of non-World Cup posts and go with a book review.

This book centers around brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty and the brutal double murder they committed in 1984 against their brother's wife and baby daughter under the claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. Woven through the events leading up to, during and after this horrible crime, Krakauer explains the development and beliefs of Fundamentalist Mormonism, of which the Lafferty brothers were members, and how it differs from mainstream Mormonism, particularly in the belief and practice of polygamy.

I was left with a lot of mixed emotions after reading this book even though I am certainly glad I read it. Call me naive/unworldly/innocent, but most of all I could not believe that this type of religious fanaticism exists in the United States in the year 2010. I mean have you seen the iPad? It is amazing to me that in this day and age and in what is supposed to be the most powerful and advanced country in the world, practicing polygamists still exist and innocent people are murdered in the name of religion. It kind of blew me away. I had to keep reminding myself that the events Krakauer described and the interviews he conducted were all taking place within the last 25 years, not the last 250 years.

Furthermore, I spent a lot of the book thinking and hoping I guess you could say that readers wouldn't lump mainstream Mormons in with this group of fundamentalists. My grandma's best friend is Mormon and my dad was raised right alongside them and their kids and went on camping trips and water skiing trips with them for as many summers as he can remember. They're very loving, caring and overall awesome people. I'll definitely say that I find Mormonism to be strange but the group that Krakauer centers his book around is a very different, very extreme, and very creepy group.

I highly recommend this book. Krakauer's research is extensive and includes first hand accounts from both Fundamentalist Mormons and those who have left the religion. There are a lot of characters - and I mean that both literally and figuratively - when discussing the history of Mormonism and Krakauer does a great job of keeping everyone straight. The book will certainly open your eyes and educate you, so do yourself a favor.

Coming Up Next: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
In this Pulitzer Prize winner, the first novel from author Junot Diaz focuses on Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku-the curse that has haunted the Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim. Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss.

Bonus: Audio Book Reviews
I've been listening to a lot of audio books because I have a decent 25-30 minute commute to work every day and got rid of satellite radio so it's a nice way to fill the time. Here are some quick reviews:

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham - A third-string quarterback gets lit up in an NFL playoff game and is promptly released. No team in the NFL wants him, so he ends up playing for a team in Italy and loves it. With a good narrator and great storyline, I stayed engaged with this one all the way through. Two thumbs up.

Rosie Dunne by Cecilia Ahern - A chick-lit choice about Rosie and Alex, best friends who eventually realize they're in love with each other, but can't ever be in the right place at the right time to realize that love. Don't worry, everything works out in the end. This one used multiple voices to narrate which was a good choice I thought. The other strange part of the book is that it's written entirely in the form of emails, letters, instant messages, and I think text messages as Rosie and Alex and the rest of the characters all communicate with each other. They pulled it off in audio style. One thumb sideways for not much of a plot and for being too long.

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich - Even though this book is one in a series featuring bounty hunter/detective Stephanie Plum, I was able to follow along without having ever read any of Evanovich's other books. Great narrator and a great mystery story about a crazy who steals Stephanie's coworker's identity, kidnaps his daughter, then seeks out Stephanie to complete his fantasy. Two thumbs up.


We Interrupt This Program...

We interrupt the regularly scheduled program of World Cup action to bring you this message.

This is Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of Jersey Shore teaming up with three completely unknown artists for his first rap single ever. At least his collaborators are unknown to the staff at Livin' the Dream. Have you ever heard of The Disco Fries?

The name of the rap song? "The Situation" of course.

Oh for the love of God. What's the over/under (over-under? I don't know betting terms.) on this becoming the "hot jam of the summer"?

Video of the Day 6/15/10 - Golaso Edition

Sorry Miroslav Klose. Your sweet flying header goal against Australia Saturday is no longer Livin' the Dream's choice for Goal of the Tournament.

Check out this golaso-aso-aso from Brazil defender Maicon in the 55th minute:

Ri. Dic.


Video of the Day 6/14/10 - In Case You Missed It Edition

In case you missed it, here is an excellent recap of the USA-England game from Saturday. Enjoy.


Video of the Day 6/12/10 - U-S-A! U-S-A! Edition

Get ready for a lot of World Cup posts in the next month.

The England-USA game was a really good one I thought - definitely fun to watch. Unless you live in England.

Looks like the reason that people who missed Steven Gerrard's goal in the fourth minute didn't miss it because they wanted to. Instead of seeing an epic breakdown in the USA defense followed by Gerrard's outside-of-the-foot slip into the lower right corner, the Brits saw this:


Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated note, I probably should have checked to make sure I could open the jar of spaghetti sauce before actually making spaghetti. Fail.


Livin' the Dream's World Cup Breakdown

The World Cup is here! We've heard prediction upon prediction, group breakdowns, injury reports and Vegas odds. But we haven't heard the official Livin' the Dream World Cup analysis.

My analysis, however, is about to have nothing to do with soccer. Get ready for some World Cup predictions hottie style. That's right. We're breaking down the best-looking footballers each team has to offer. Ladies, you're welcome.

Group A
South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
Mexico wins this group behind a couple of choice hotties, namely defender Rafael "Rafa" Marquez. The 31-year-old is also a defender for Barcelona and has the skills to back up his good looks. Plus he's six-feet tall according to Wikipedia. Finding hot soccer players above 5-9 is going to be a real struggle during this exercise so that makes Rafa Marquez all the more attractive. And his name is fun to say. Taking the second spot by default has to be Uruguay, who boasts Diego Forlan. Now I've never been a fan of Forlan's who I watched play with Manchester United but I can see where he'd be a hit with the ladies, especially with his flowing golden locks. The bod's not bad either. France doesn't have a whole lot going for them, considering one of their starting forwards is Franck Ribery, who bears a pretty striking resemblance to Sloth from The Goonies. While they do offer the ladies Thierry Henry, he's not even a starter for them and is pretty much done with his pro career considering he recently announced he's coming to the New York Red Bulls to play. I don't know a single guy from South Africa, aka Bufana Bufana (which means The Boys, The Boys - not to be confused with Bufanda Bufanda which would mean The Scarves, The Scarves in Spanish), but you know what? They come in third because Ribery is just that ugly.

Group B
South Korea, Greece, Argentina, Nigeria
Two words. Lionel. Messi. If he looks like a 16-year-old, well that's because he basically is but let me tell you. When this kid gets his hands...or feet I guess in this case... on a ball, you can't take his eyes off him. He's not good looking at all as far as I'm concerned but his footwork and skills are super hot.

So I give Argentina the nod for Messi, despite the fact that they also have Carlos Tevez on their team. ::shudder:: I have zero interest in any of the remaining teams so let's move on to a true hottie-filled group.

Group C
England, United States, Algeria, Slovenia
Much like what should happen in the real life World Cup, England and the United States move on with flying colors.

First off, England. The team is somehow going to have to come together and figure out a way to cope with the devastating loss of Michael Owen after he suffered a hamstring injury that ended his World Cup hopes. Michael Owen is pretty much the reason I started watching the World Cup. I have loved him since World Cup '98. It's real and it's deep.

And who is that with Owen in the picture above? Why obviously David Beckham. He might have the voice of a 16-year-old girl, but he's David Beckham. End of story.

Oh but we're not done there. Those are guys that won't even be playing this year so who will we actually get to see on the pitch? Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole and goalkeeper David James round out my Top Five.

The United States isn't without "talent" of their own. And by talent I mean hotties. Although I'm sure a favorite with others, Landon Donovan isn't my top choice on the US squad. I prefer Oguchi Onyewu personally. Tim Howard is a fave too because, although he isn't THAT good-looking, he's also tall and built, like Onyewu. It's his intensity on the field though that elevates him to hottie status. Captain Carlos Bocanegra is definitely nice to look at. But my number one choice is Benny Feilhaber. Yum.

Group D
Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana
Behind 25-year-old Lucas Podolski, Germany is a sure bet into the next round. He has been named "the Prince of Cologne" after all. And even though he too was struck with a World Cup-ending injury, how can anyone forget Michael Ballack?

After Germany though, things get close. After seeing that Serbia was in the same group, I figured I'd put them through considering Dejan Stankovic' appearance in my World Cup issue of Vanity Fair. That is, until Julie and I discovered Australia's Tim Cahill. THEN after more research, the Socceroos also have the services of Harry Kewell. And that gets them my vote to advance alongside Germany.

Group E
Netherlands, Denmark, Cameroon, Japan
The Netherlands wins by virtue of Robin Van Persie. Observe:

After Van Persie, take your pick of clean cut blondes.

The other team to get my vote are the fighting Samuel Eto'os aka Cameroon. Eto'o is definitely a fox and I've read that he is super rich. Nice.

Group F
Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
Italy is full of old guys, so I didn't want to give them my vote. But even though they're old, they're still hot. Plus they know how to dress. Where is this on my Southwest flights?

The list of Italian hotties is rather extensive on second glance. Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluca Zambrotta are just the start. Say hello to Marco Boriello:

Group G
Brazil, North Korea, Portugal, Ivory Coast
This may be the Group of Death when it comes to the actual soccer that will be played but here at Livin' the Dream, the choice couldn't be easier.

Shockingly enough, however, Cristiano is not the only thing Portugal has to offer. Deco is a little hottie. And I do mean little. Poor guy's only 5-8 according to Wikipedia. Bummer. But bonus points to Team Ronaldo for a bona fide Hall of Fame Hottie: Luis Figo.

After that has to be Brazil. Sorry Ivory Coast, but Drogba just doesn't do it for me even if he did end a civil war in your country. Much like his current Real Madrid teammate, Kaka is Brazil's resident hottie and he only needs one name.

Do we have a new bromance brewing?

Group H
Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile
My choice for real World Cup champion is also my choice for Hottie World Cup champion. England, USA, Portugal, Italy - none of these can compete with Spain. So instead of listening to me ramble on, let's just let the pictures do the talking.

Cesc Fabregas

Xabi Alonso

Iker Casillas
David Villa
Fernando Torres

Victor Valdes


The Return of the Poll

The poll is back. That's all. Happy voting!

Awards Time!

Ridiculous stuff keeps popping up everywhere in the celeb gossip world so it's time to dish out some awards. I think my awards are slowly becoming a news and notes section though...

The Nobody Cares Award
And the winner is: Carrie Underwood and her fiancee
Did the three media outlets who ran this story on the front page of their websites this morning not get the memo that she is kissing her FIANCEE? There is no scandal here. There is nothing to report on here. She won a bunch of awards at the CMT Awards or whatever they're called, ere go she celebrates by smooching on the man she is going to marry. So I don't get why this is newsworthy. Thanks.

The You're So Scandalous. Not. Award
And the winner is: Miley Cyrus
Accepting this award is my friend Carey:
OMG Miley. I am so sick of her. I get she needs to do the grown up thing and it's hard being a teen and then moving towards womanhood. But never is it okay to wear a see through dress. Not even at the beach.

The Crazy Award
And the winner is: Danielle from the Real Housewives of New Jersey
Most of you who read the blog probably don't know who this is but suffice it to say that she is nuts. Luckily for us her antics have all been broadcast on Bravo for the past few weeks, including when she showed up to a charity dinner with a full entourage of bodyguards, including leaders from the Hell's Angels. Cool. Most recently (and what the link above refers to) is a leaked sex tape that she seems way too comfortable with. It's true that as a "celebrity", there are going to be people who will cash in on your fame by whatever means necessary. But I thought sex tapes were a bad thing? Kendra didn't seem too pleased about hers. So for her to straight up say that she hopes it sells more than Kendra's is a little weird. Furthermore, the fact that there is a set release date is also strange. I feel like things like this just kind of happen... unless someone is behind the whole thing... someone like Danielle herself? Scandal. Can't wait to see all of this unfold on a future episode of RHONJ.

The Lady Gaga Award
And the winner is: Lady Gaga (who did you think would get it?)
She's so weird she deserves her own award. I just don't get it with her, namely with all of these outfits and gimmicks. I've heard she's a very talented musician and while I don't personally care for her music or performances, I can respect that other people say she's legit. So why are these get ups necessary? Why not just grab everyone's attention with the awesome music you make? But I guess then that wouldn't put you in the headlines every day would it?

The I Have Way Too Much Money Award
And the winner is: Celine Dion
I briefly mentioned this a few award posts ago but now that new information has come out, I have to touch on it again. I will tell you, this is an awesome way to spend the bazillions of dollars that Celine Dion has in her checking account. A water park never goes out of style.

The best part of this story is the fact that she used so much water to construct Raging Canadian Waters (terrible play on words attempt) that there ended up being a drought on the super-exclusive island where her house and water wonderland are. She tried to fix the problem by building her own personal wells on her property but people are still angry about that too I guess. One angry neighbor said they didn't know how she could have been approved for the wells since the government is usually pretty strict about stuff like that. Here's how: because she's Celine freakin' Dion and her water park WILL go on...

Sidenote: A "Celebs Have Way Too Much Money" weekly or maybe daily post could become a new feature on Livin' the Dream even though I'm terrible at features. However, I'm trying to post shorter entries more often so this might be a good way to do that. Stay tuned.


Video of the Day 6/9/10 - Celeb Freak Out Edition

Always awesome to see a celeb absolutely freak out. Shoutout to Carey for this video.


One's Enough for Me

The other night I was at dinner with some friends and we started talking about the new version of The Karate Kid that is coming out and how terrible we think it's going to be. The original Karate Kid was just so good, and even though it had a couple of sequels, this new "modern" version just is so unnecessary.

So that got us onto the topic of classic, awesome movies that should never be remade and I thought to myself this is a great blog topic.

So I present to you my top five movies that should never be remade. Keep in mind that my list is movies that I've actually seen so that I can adequately describe their awesomeness. I, however, have terrible movie knowledge. I'm working on it. In addition, these are movies where a sequel and/or remake could very easily be conceived, but really shouldn't ever be made a reality as far as I'm concerned.

Ok, enjoy.

5. Ghost -How can you ever recreate that pottery scene? The obvious way they would try to remake this or give it a sequel is to reverse all the genders right? So we'd have a married couple where the woman dies tragically and the husband is left without her while some fabulous ghost whisperer speaks to him as the dead wife. Oooh but to give it a twist, you could have a hot young ghost whispering woman and she and the husband end up falling in love but the dead wife is cool with it. I'm thinking Derek Shepherd from Grey's Anatomy as the husband and Sandra Bullock as the ghost whisperer. Suggestions are welcome on who should play the dead wife.

4. The Princess Bride - If you haven't seen this movie, please do so immediately. I didn't see it until I was in college and I love this movie. An 8-year-old Fred Savage is sick in bed and his grandfather reads him a story which at first he hates, but then ends up loving. The best part of the movie is that it was made in 1987 so the entire fairy tale and effects had to be recreated without the use of computers and all the fancy equipment that is used today. Good classic family entertainment that is fun to watch even today.

3. The Goonies - Nothing can ever top, or even equal, this classic from back in the day. Buried treasure, hilarious kids, bad guys... The Goonies is pretty much th
e quintessential awesome kids movie. I'm so glad this one hasn't been touched and I hope it never is.

2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off - There is nobody today that could ever match Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller. He was perfect in that role and there's no way that anyone else could do it justice. They'd try to cast Zac Efron as the new and improved Ferris Bueller and he'd be way too pretty. Ferris Bueller was the man. Who would play Cameron? And the bitter sister? How about the principal? What would a remake even look like? I wanted to verify that Ferris Bueller's Day Off did not in fact have a sequel and when the Google results had a few articles about a sequel where it's Ferris Bueller's kid now ditching school just like dear old dad. Terrible.

1. The Breakfast Club - Can you imagine them trying to make a newer version of this movie? We actually discussed just how awful it would be based on who they would probably cast in the role of each character. Miley Cyrus as Molly Ringwald, a Jo Bro as Brian the nerd. The Twilight guy would be the "bad boy" sitting in the corner all brooding and mysterious. He'd even have the hair thing down. The other Twilight guy could be the jock since he is way too ripped for an 18-year old. Lindsay Lohan as the weird girl. It would be awful. This movie is what it is because of the characters and there aren't too many 20-somethings out there right now that could pull off roles like these.

Honorable mentions: E.T., Top Gun, Pretty Woman


Dumb. D-U-M-B. Dumb.

This weekend was the Scripps National Spelling Bee and, as a former seventh-grade spelling bee champ myself, I know the pressure that these kids are under.

So what the heck protesters? Leave these spellers alone!

(Also did the spelling bee somehow end up in Davis this year? People actually protest in other cities? Madness.)

I don't really have much to say about this article except for the fact that it's the dumbest thing I've heard in a really long time. But when one of your protesters is an 81-year-old dressed in a bee costume, what can you expect?

Basically these people are saying that the alphabet and the different combinations of letters that comprise words in the English language makes it too hard for people to learn how to read, write and spell. So "enough" should be changed to "enuf", "fruit" to "froot", and so on.

First off, I feel like there's a lot more than just the spelling of words that goes into someone's ability to learn how to read, write and spell. Don't demographics and the availability of resources play some sort of role? I just think that oversized classrooms, lack of materials, or, in some cases, outside circumstances that might prevent a child from even attending school play just as big of a role in the success, or failure, of a student trying to learn to read, write and spell.

In the age of texting, Facebook and now Twitter, do we really need to dumb things down for our kids even more? I've had conversations on IM with teenagers that I can't even understand sometimes. Where they said "shud" instead of "should" and substitute numbers for letters whenever possible. I can barely follow along.

Here comes my go America! speech now. This country is a melting pot and all that, right? Our language is no different. My coworker made what I thought was a great point when he said it's a combination of all the different cultures and countries that created this country in the first place. We just don't have a "formulaic" language like many others do.

Final thoughts? This is dumb. Thanks for listening.


Review: One Fifth Avenue

One Fifth Avenue
Author: Candace Bushnell
Number of Pages: 464
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit
Where I Got It: Library

My summary:
A bunch of people live in this super swanky apartment building on Fifth Ave. in NYC and are jerks to each other.

If you couldn't tell by my glowing summary, I pretty much hated this book.  This is the second book I've read by Candace Bushnell and I just don't like her style.  And I know most of you are thinking "Well Amanda... it is chick lit after all"  But the thing is I've read chick lit that wasn't terrible.  There was a plotline, there was character development, there was a conclusion that resolved something, there was a little bit of humor mixed in.  Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, and Marian Keyes are a few of the authors I've read that have made me want to keep reading this type of fiction.

I couldn't connect to any characters in the book and then just when it seemed like something substantial was about to happen, it just sort of fizzled out.  The "big" moments in the book ended up being pretty anticlimactic and the ending left much to be desired.

The characters in the book were pretty annoying all the way throughout.  When the rich occupants of One Fifth weren't catfighting with each other, they were trying to one up each other. Then you had a few characters who were completely unhappy with their lives and were constantly either complaining about it or figuring out how to get rich quick.

Then again, it made me think that maybe this was Candace Bushnell's whole point.  That at some point, people who live this kind of lifestyle can think about only two things: what they have and what they have not.  Even though I thought there was so much lacking, it also made me realize that that was exactly the point that the author was trying to make.

I get what she was trying to do, but the story could have been a lot better and still made that point.

The last thing I'll complain about is this.  Usually women's fiction or chick lit or whatever you want to call it has a couple of sex scenes scattered throughout.  That doesn't bother me so much.  But the scenes in this book were so graphic and some of the language that was used was so specific that it just became kind of crass and tasteless after a while.  This time I didn't get it.

Overall Rating: 1/5 (it gets a 1 because there was exactly one character that I could tolerate)

Coming Up Next: "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer
In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were noteworthy not merely for their brutality but for the brothers' claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged. The Mormon Church was founded, in part, on the idea that true believers could speak directly with God. But while the mainstream church attempted to be more palatable to the general public by rejecting the controversial tenet of polygamy, fundamentalist splinter groups saw this as apostasy and took to the hills to live what they believed to be a righteous life. When their beliefs are challenged or their patriarchal, cult-like order defied, these still-active groups, according to Krakauer, are capable of fighting back with tremendous violence. While Krakauer's research into the history of the church is admirably extensive, the real power of the book comes from present-day information, notably jailhouse interviews with Dan Lafferty. Far from being the brooding maniac one might expect, Lafferty is chillingly coherent, still insisting that his motive was merely to obey God's command. Krakauer's accounts of the actual murders are graphic and disturbing, but such detail makes the brothers' claim of divine instruction all the more horrifying. In an age where Westerners have trouble comprehending what drives Islamic fundamentalists to kill, Jon Krakauer advises us to look within America's own borders. (from Amazon)


OMG I'm Famous... Sorta

Friends, I had a very very fun weekend and part of my very fun weekend was getting to see one of my best friends here in Sacramento and her man, who has also become one of my close friends up here, get married on Saturday. It was a beautiful wedding - perfect weather, gorgeous venue, great food, great DJ, delicious cake, awesome dance partner... I could go on and on. Great time.

But the best part of the whole wedding was the surprise flash mob dance that all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, friend and family of the bride and groom performed to Hanson's "Thinking Bout Something".

First, what is a flash mob? I think a subway/train station in London was the first time anybody saw something like this. Music starts to play and a few people start dancing a choreographed number together, then more people join in, then suddenly you have dozens of people all dancing together. Observe.

So about two weeks before the wedding, one of the bridesmaids emailed a few of us with the idea to put together our very own flash mob dance. The bride is a huge Hanson fan and the new Hanson music video has choreography that the fans loved so much, the choreographer decided to make a tutorial of the dance and put it on Youtube. (That video is like 10 minutes by the way.) So Lizzie, the bridesmaid, forwarded it to people who forwarded it to other people, we held a dance lesson at her house a few days before the wedding and voila... the finished product:

Hanson fans can't get enough. Someone found it on Youtube and posted it to their Twitter and now all the Hanson fans are reposting it on all of their Twitters (I don't really know how Twitter works so I assume this is what is happening). Plus, there is a fan forum page on Hanson's official website and someone posted it there.

So yes I am very excited about my fifteen minutes of "fame".

Next stop... Oprah.