Dear Amanda,

Dear Amanda,
Was that book and movie review blog post really from you? I don't believe it.
It's About Damn Time

Dear Time,
Yes it was really me! I know it's been forever but hopefully you can forgive me. Work has been incredibly stressful and busy and I just needed to step away for a bit. This blog stopped being important. If I'm being completely honest, I thought about walking away. I felt like it didn't have a purpose or a coherent meaning or direction. Also I didn't have Internet in my apartment. But I do now! And I feel better about coming back to writing a little something every once in a while. So here I am.

Dear Amanda,
I thought I saw something about you getting a new TV.  Does this mean you're going to have a grownup apartment now?
Get It Together

Dear GIT,
That's true too! For my birthday earlier this month, my parents chipped in some money for me to put towards a TV even though my dad thinks it should go towards new tires. Yeah right dad. So yes I am on the quest for a new TV! All suggestions on brands, sizes, and best places to buy are welcomed and encouraged.

And yes, the TV is going to be a first step towards what I hope will be a new and improved apartment. I'm in makeover mode and I've been able to find some cheap, hopefully easy do-it-yourself projects that can help spruce things up a bit.

Dear Amanda,
Have you been looking at cooking websites too? I'm loving this new you!
Work It Girl

Well thanks Work It! Yes I'm going to be trying to learn how to cook too. I'm recently obsessed with the crock pot/slow cooker and not gonna lie, I may ask for a newer one for Christmas. I've found some great websites with some really easy recipes that I feel like I can't even screw up. This is part of the whole makeover thing I'm going for. It's time people.

Dear Amanda,
So which direction is the blog going to be taking? Does this mean no more celeb gossip updates or rants about the bikers in Davis?

Honestly Confused, I don't really know. I don't know how frequently I'll write or if there will be any kind of cohesive direction. I might give it a theme, I might keep doing what I'm doing. Maybe in a week or a month or six months from now I'm just over it. I honestly don't know. But I think that's what makes this blog my own. It'll be there for me to go back to when I need to and if it's time to move on, I'm sure it will understand. There's probably some big metaphor here for how the blog doesn't have a direction and neither do I in life or something. Well if that's the case, I'm doing just fine and so I bet this blog will do fine too.

Reviews, Glorious Reviews

Let's ease back into things with some book and movie reviews shall we?

I read Loving Frank by Nancy Horan back in August and I loved it.  The story is about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright - married with children - who takes on a job for the Cheney family, only to fall in love with Mamah Cheney - also married with children - and the two run off together. Despite the incredible scandal and headlines this created, the two remain together. The ending nearly brought me to tears.

There were two things I loved about this book (from what I remember). First, how the time period (the early 20th century) was all about thought, philosophy, art, painting... all of these beautiful intellectual things that I wish still existed today. And second is the independence Mamah showed throughout the entire book.  She was on a path to find herself - sometimes that was with Frank, sometimes that wasn't. But she needed to travel, to write, to study, to do whatever it is she felt in her heart would help her discover who she really was. I truly admired her passion for life and for the world around her and found myself wondering if I could be like that someday.

I highly recommend this book which is based loosely on Frank and Mamah's real life affair and ensuing relationship.

Otherwise, I've filled my time with other books that haven't required much thinking, namely by the author Nora Roberts. She is a pretty standard romance novelist and her books Blue Dahlia, Black Rose, and Red Lily did the trick. A little romance, a little mystery, a ghost - they're not anything I'd recommend (and frankly I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I spent like three hours one Saturday completely engrossed in one of them) but, like I said, fit the "I really need something mindless that isn't TV right now" bill.

Nora Roberts also writes a series of mysteries under the pen name J.D. Robb and I read the first one of these and it was pretty good. My best friend has read pretty much all of them and swears by them so I'll keep going to see what keeps happening to Lieutenant Eve Dallas.  The books are set in the future, but you can't really tell that right off the bat. This was the only gripe I had. I wish there had been more of a description of what had happened and how this futuristic world functioned, but instead it was just fragmented pieces here and there. Apparently though you get more of an idea of what happened (there was some kind of human uprising) and why as well as background of Dallas as the books continue.

Right now I'm starting The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and this book is fantastic so far. It's a young adult book which kind of surprises me because the premise is that each year the Capitol randomly selects teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete literally to the death in a live televised match. But I'm really hooked in to this one and will most likely finish it tonight.

I have internet again in my apartment - hooray! - so I've been streaming on Netflix a lot more and am working my way through 30 Rock which is hysterical. I've also been working through Gossip Girl and that show is pretty good too. I've had the DVD of The King's Speech for close to two months, but need to just return it. I can't bring myself to watch it on my terrible TV.  Good thing my parents are kicking in some cash so I can go out and buy a new one! More on that later.

I swear I've been doing more than just reading and watching movies. But we'll hear all about that in my next post...


Double Video of the Day 9/2/11 - These are Awesome Edition

TWO videos for today friends! To promote the opening of a new mall in London, the mall people put together this video of 100 years of East London fashion in 100 seconds. It is super cute. And now Tom Hanks in one of his most hilarious roles to date: a pageant dad on Toddlers and Tiaras:


Video of the Day 8/30/11 - OMGlee Edition

Blaine at the 2:22 mark.  That is all.


Kindle Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Author: Tina Fey

In her autobiography, Tina Fey outlines her humble beginnings in Pennsylvania, her improv days in Chicago, moving up the ranks of SNL and the creation of 30 Rock.

I have no concept of page numbers when reading books on my Kindle but I definitely flew through this one and I think that's more due to the fact that this book is so witty, clever and genuine than the fact that it's short and sweet.

I had no idea just how amazingly talented and successful Tina Fey is and the part that impresses me the most is that she is so matter-of-fact about everything. There isn't some big bad secret to being a good boss or even to being a boss at all. Respect people, do good work and be a team player - that's kind of it. Her workplace life lessons also translate into life life lessons. It's all really very simple and her attitude towards everything is pretty refreshing.

The behind the scenes stories of people she worked with at SNL and 30 Rock are really neat as well. As someone who's an avid celeb gossip follower, reading about Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler's everyday antics on the set was really fun to read.

This book made me literally laugh out loud but it also made me think a lot and I very highly recommend this book.

Overall Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Coming Up Next: I'm not really sure.
Here's what I have on my Kindle: 
- The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (my attempt to see if some of these classics are better now than they were in high school)
- World Without End by Ken Follett
- A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick


Video of the Day 8/10/11 - Fattest Dog Ever Edition

Seriously this is the fattest dog I've ever seen. How does he not tip backwards on the rocking horse simply because he is so giant?  Enjoy anyways.


Video of the Day 8/3/11 - Oh Em Gee Edition

The high school me and the mid-20s me are in heaven right now.  JC sounds EXACTLY like he did during his *NSYNC days. Hey *NSYNC - he's ready for a reunion tour. Get it together.


Kindle Review: Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber
Author: Diana Gabaldon

So first and foremost, I've ditched the final Harry Potter book.  I know, I know but hear me out. My intention was to read the whole thing before going to see the final movie.  Well I didn't do that so now I've seen both 7.1 and 7.2 and I have zero interest in picking HP back up to finish reading it because I figure I already know how it all turns out. Maybe some day I'll finally do it, but I just have other books I'd rather read.

Like this one...

So this is book two in the Outlander series which outlines Claire Beauchamp, an army nurse who is transported back in time through a rock formation in Scotland and winds up in Scotland in the 1700s. While there she meets and falls in love with Jamie Fraser and in this book the two of them are trying to thwart a possible war against the Scottish Highlanders.

There's more to the story than that, but I don't feel like I can give much more away without revealing a lot of details and maybe someone actually wants to read this series.

Here's the thing. I'm pretty much reading this because I just need to know what's going to happen to Claire and Jamie. It's like The Bachelorette. I'm kind of underwhelmed by it all, but I still want to tune in.

A lot of this book revolves around this war that Claire and Jamie are trying to prevent - a war they know is going to happen because Claire is from the future. So a lot of it is strategy, inner monologue, Jamie and Claire plotting together and inferring. Sometimes things weren't exactly super clear. And there were a lot of characters so I had a hard time keeping track of certain people.

But I will say this. Ladies, Jamie Fraser is our Edward. Forget Twilight - Jamie Fraser makes Edward and Jacob look like even bigger tools than they already are. He's like the Scottish version of Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. I know.

The ending to this book was pretty incredible. And by ending I mean from 93% remaining on since it's on Kindle. I stayed up til 1 last night finishing this and I couldn't "next page" fast enough. I almost teared up at one part. Almost.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars but I'm determined to finish this series out just to see what happens with Claire and hot Jamie.

Coming Up Next: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
The story of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his illicit affair with Mamah Borthwick, the wife of one of his clients told from the point of view of Mamah.

Not sure where I heard about this one, but it sounded pretty interesting and I've been looking forward to it for a while. 


Video of the Day 7/27/11 - Coming to a Theatre Near You Edition

Lea Michele aka Rachel from Glee said on her Twitter this morning that the trailer for the movie New Year's Eve, which she is on, is out now.  So of course I went to watch it:

A few observations about this upcoming feature film:

1. I saw "Valentine's Day" and hated it.  This is pretty much the same movie, except on a different holiday.

2. Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele appear to fall in love in this movie. That in and of itself is a horrible storyline.

3. Lea Michele appears to sing at some point in this movie.  That alone could salvage this film.

4. Of course Ryan Seacrest has a cameo.


It's Worse on a Bike

Think of all of the annoying things that people do while driving.  I can think of a lot.  Then again I think I have road rage so a lot of the time I'm angry when I drive.  Now what do all of those things have in common besides the fact that people are idiots?

These things are worse when you're on a bike.

Yesterday while biking home (which I'm officially doing 5 days a week now... go me), I encountered probably three things that made me think "God this is just as bad as driving." Now I live at the most 1.8 miles from work.  I just Google mapped it.  So I don't have that far to go. But man was I ticked off by the end of that 1.8 miles.

(Disclaimer: I was really irritated in general all day yesterday. I dropped my iPhone and shattered the glass, work is challenging right now, it's hot - you get the idea.)

Tailgating Guy
There's nothing worse than when you feel you're driving at an adequate, sometimes even faster than usual, speed and yet there's still a guy that is just right on top of you. That won't go around, that won't slow down, that pretty much just sits in your mirror until you get out of his way. That guy sucks.

When that guy's on a bike, he sucks even more.  This is because on a bike there is no rearview mirror.  There is no way for you to know that he is RIGHT THERE. You don't have a single clue that somebody is three inches from your rear wheel because you can't see him. But he doesn't care. He's in straight Tour de France mode on the UC Davis bikepaths and is going to draft you like Tony Stewart trying to pass you on his way to the checkered flag.  And yes that is a NASCAR reference that none of you will understand.

This guy then becomes...

Guy Who Passes You Going 80
So now the guy decides that he needs to get around you so here he comes, flying past you going 80 miles an hour.  You know how Ricky Bobby and Cal do their patented slingshot move on the racecourse in Talladega Nights? This is like that except you have no choice but to be a participant.  This is annoying on the highway mainly because it makes you roll your eyes and say "Ok dude, we get it." But on a bike? You instantly fear for your life.  As I referenced in the point above, you can't see bikers behind you.  You don't know that they're about to book it past you until they are 3 inches next to you flying by. What if I was about to move over so I could turn or something?

Cell Phone Guy
First although it can be done with only one hand (and sometimes no hands which I can't even believe people can do), bikes are made to be steered with two hands. When you're talking on the phone while riding your bike you don't steer correctly hence you don't ride in a straight line thereby turning me into either Tailgating Guy or Guy Who Passes You Going 80. And when it's just you two riding through a neighborhood in Davis, that's just awkward.  Secondly, how are you pedaling your cruiser and having a coherent phone conversation?  Aren't you huffing and puffing into the phone?  Oh no? That's just me. Moving on then...

Sunday Driver Guy
The exact opposite of Tailgating Guy. No clue that anyone else exist out on the road, they're out for a lovely bike ride in the afternoon.  Except it's Tuesday at lunch time, they're taking up the entire bike path, and they're riding at half the speed of a normal biker.  I'm not saying you need to be sprinting down the path but come on. Just be aware of who's around you.

Is It My Turn? Guy
You approach a stop sign at the same time as another person. You stop, waiting for them to go. They wait for you to go. Now you're just staring at each other trying to telepathically get each other to make the first move. So you inch forward... but so does the other guy. Two minutes later, you floor it in the hopes that the guy won't floor it too and pass through the intersection.  Infuriating? Yes. When you're on a bike? Confusing, slightly terrifying, and awkward.  See, on a bike, you're not insulated in your automobile. So if you take the right of way away from someone, you then have to look at them and sometimes talk to them as you ride past.  Also unlike cars, coming to a full and complete stop is a little more difficult when you're in full riding mode. So you're trying to roll through and balance but you can't figure out if the other person is going to go or not.  The "approaching a stop sign at the same time as another bike" situation is now the most confusing thing to me.

Slowly but surely, though, I think I'm getting the hang of this whole bike riding thing.  It's a little warm out right now but overall it's a good workout, gets me outside and is saving me a ton in gas money. I'll deal with what I have to to keep that streak going.


Video of the Day 7/22/11 - JT Edition

Not sure how much this has circulated but here's a second edition of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's "History of Rap".  Enjoy.

Can JT please drop a new album now?


Video of the Day 7/21/11 - Rainbow Sponge Edition

This may or may not be what happens when someone puts a cheeseburger in front of me.


Video of the Day 7/19/11 - This is Amazing Edition

Shoutout to my buddy Chris who had this posted on his Facebook page today.

This is amazing. That is all.


BREAKING News: J Lo and Marc Anthony Split Up

It's Friday afternoon, all I can think about is the weekend, I've got a comedy station on Pandora going to keep me entertained while I write men's soccer bios and so I decide I'm going to check in on Facebook for a quick second.

And then I see this:

Of course, this confuses me.  So I keep scrolling and I see THIS: 

And I literally yell out to my coworkers "Oh my God, J Lo and Marc Anthony split up."

I mean, what was I expecting?  For an actual Hollywood marriage to last?  That two people who got married within months of starting up their romance would love, honor and cherish each other til death did them part? That Sean Combs'/Puff Daddy's/P. Diddy's/Diddy Dirty Money's ex and someone who was married to a former Miss Universe would be in it for the long haul?

Guys, I did.  I really did. Because for the last seven years (and most specifically in the last few months while watching Judge J Lo on American Idol), all you saw and read about was how blissfully happy they were and how, despite them being all fabulous, they just had a real normal, down-to-earth family life. Interview after interview, magazine spread after magazine spread - he even made like 3 guest appearances on Idol - they gushed over how awesomely amazing their perfect little life was. I really believed this stuff.

And now it's over. 

I'm sure we'll never ever know the real reasons behind the split.  Sometimes things just kind of come to an end.  It's no one's fault; it just happens and so far that's the statement they've given.  It's amicable, it's a mutual decision, it is what it is.

But secretly?  You know it's because J Lo is en fuego right now.

Think about it.  Or rather, let me tell you what Wikipedia just told me:

Seven years ago, she releases an album that goes nowhere, then puts out a Spanish-language album which did well on the Latin Pop charts but until I looked it up on Wikipedia, I had no idea she had done this and you probably didn't either. From there her music just kind of stops happening.  Movie-wise, box office gems such as Monster-in-Law, Gigli, and El Cantante had, well, bombed. So she basically stops making movies too.

Now she's a family woman. She gets married, she has her twins, she occasionally dabbles here or there in fashion, etc. But otherwise, she's started to settle down and fade into a relative obscurity, wouldn't you say? 

Then things start ramping up a little.  In September 2010, it's announced that she is going to replace Ellen as the new judge on American Idol. Rumors start going around that she was going to have a cameo appearance on Glee, which, like it or not, is now one of the biggest shows on TV. She signs a new record deal with Def Jam and conveniently puts out a new single that coincides with the season premier of American Idol.  I can't get away from this stupid song and it becomes her first top ten since 2003.  Oh and People Magazine names her the Most Beautiful Woman in the World.

So on the finale of American Idol, Marc Anthony performs some song.  Great.  It's a pretty standard performance until about the 2 minute mark of this performance:

(Sorry I couldn't find any clips of just her that were any shorter.)

Now to those of you who watched the American Idol finale, I pose a question:

The next day, as you were recapping the results and how Scotty is the worst Idol winner ever except maybe for the gray haired guy, did you a) mention what a powerful vocal performance Marc Anthony gave or b) comment on how you can't believe Jennifer Lopez can still shake that thang?

My answer is B.  Once she came out, pretty sure Marc Anthony faded back into the "oh that's J Lo's husband right?" category that he had come to know and tolerate. It took me like three rewinds before I was finally convinced that it was her moving like that on the stage. She stole the show completely. 

So guys, I think it's safe to say that J Lo is back - in really every way.  She probably has a very long career ahead of her as an Idol judge, her music is relevant again, and she got to meet Prince William and Kate Middleton. She means something again and that could be the catalyst for these marriage woes.  

Sidenote: Idol's finale aired at the end of May.  TWO MONTHS LATER they are announcing their split. This is weird isn't it? Just sayin.

So while I'm still shocked that it actually happen, I can't help but think that it really does make a lot of sense. Jenny's spotlight is starting to shine a little brighter and she's ready to relive her glory days. I mean she was Selena for Pete's sake. 


A Case for Country Music

I probably just steered away 3 of my 4 readers with that title, so to those of you who are left, thanks for sticking around.

First and foremost, Blogger has completely changed its interface.  Completely. I have no idea where anything is right now so bear with me. Is this because of Google+?

Now onto the matter at hand.  I listen to some pretty terrible music. I'm the first to admit it.  My iTunes library revolves around the Glee soundtrack (yes as in songs that they sing on the show), top 40, and yes country music.

I've heard everything under the sun when it comes to people hating country music, namely things they'd rather do instead of listening to country music and several redneck/Nascar analogies.  And for the record, I do occasionally watch Nascar.

So today, ladies and gentlemen of LTD, I present to you my case for why country music deserves a chance.

I write for a living so words are a pretty big deal to me.  When someone puts together a string of words that so perfectly depicts feelings, emotions, or the world around us - well it just doesn't get much better than that. Words can lift you up, tear you down, get you ready to party, or mellow you out after a long day at the office. Words are extremely powerful and, in my opinion, country music, for the most part, uses words very, very well.

There are of course instances where the words to a country song are horrible.  "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy"? Um no. No I do not. That is terrible. Sweaty, possibly shirtless cowboy sitting on top of the tractor? Yes. Actual John Deere green-colored machine? Nope.  I get the idea behind it - I'm sure the girl doesn't literally think his tractor is sexy but come on.

But when country music gets its words right, oh it's gold.  Observe the following two examples from one of country's greatest Tim McGraw who I was lucky enough to see live a few weeks ago with some of my best friends.

The first from his song "Just to See You Smile":

When you said time was all you really needed
I walked away and let you have your space
Cuz leavin' didn't hurt me near as badly
As the tears I saw rollin' down your face
And yesterday I knew just what you wanted
When you came walkin' up to me with him
So I told you that I was happy for you
And given the chance I'd lie again

Come on! That is brilliant. "And given the chance I'd lie again"? That is a fantastic lyric. Absolutely nails the way the guy feels about this girl just perfectly. It's simple, it makes its point. Genius.

And now, one of my all-time favorite country lines from my all-time favorite country song, also from Tim McGraw.  I give you "Something Like That":

It was five years later on a south-bound plan
I was headed down to New Orleans
To meet some friends of mine for the Mardi Gras
When I heard a voice from the past
Coming from a few rows back
When I looked I couldn't believe just what I saw

She said I bet you don't remember me
And I said only every other memory

Come on again! Here comes this girl that he had a summer romance with years ago on the same plane he's on. She asks if he remembers her.  He could say so many things in this instance. "Of course I do!" "I can't believe it's you!" "Oh my gosh. How have you been?" Boring. Hands down one of the greatest lines of a song. Brilliant again.

Yes sometimes the lyrics are corny and sappy and you can interchange most of the lyrics about a woman to say that it's about the guy's dog ("You're my best friend"? Come on. It's a little obvious isn't it?) But I'd rather listen to corny and sappy than hear bitches and hoes (hos?) 48 times in a song... when I can actually catch the words.

So not only are the words awesome, but country music evokes a lot of memories of some really great times in the lives of its fans.  James made a video of a camping trip we went on with some friends back in the day in SD and set it to Rodney Atkins' "These are My People" and to this day, whenever I hear that song, I think of that trip and trying to light a fire with no wood and me being super paranoid that the rangers were going to get angry because you weren't really allowed to light camp fires.  My friend Tyler wrote a really awesome piece about his high school football days - inspired by the music video for "Boys of Fall" by Kenny Chesney.

Country music talks about life and the simplicity of it: family, friends, great loves found and great loves lost, going to the bar, growing up, looking back on the good ole days.  It's good ole fashioned fun wrapped up in three and a half minutes for you.

Are there some really awful country songs out there?  Yes.  But in general, it's kinda fun.  It puts a smile on my face and is pretty easy to sing along to. So give it a chance is all I'm saying. Then again, what do I know? I do watch Glee after all.

Video of the Day 7/14/11 - NBA Lockout Edition

If videos like this are what's going to come out of the NBA Lockout, then I am all about it:


Book Review: The Help

The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Genre: Fiction
Number of Pages: 464
Where I Got It: A friend got it for me

First line: "Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960."

Told from the point of view of three different women, Kathryn Stockett's NY Times bestseller is an absolutely captivating story.

Set during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Minny and Aibileen are two African-American women who work as maids in the homes for two wealthy white families for women who have no problem letting them raise their children, yet can't fathom the idea of sharing even a bathroom with them.  Meanwhile, Skeeter (real name Eugenia and shoot I'd go by Skeeter too if that was my name) is recently graduated from college and is ready to do some really big things, which is tough to do when you're stuck in a town where all the women are in a hurry to just settle down and start having kids.

I know I just did this with my review of Columbine (which got a comment from the actual author!!), so here we go again.  Go out and buy and read this book immediately if you haven't yet.

I couldn't get through this one fast enough and will be adding this to both my list of all-time faves and my list of books I will most likely re-read sometime in the future.

The narration shifts throughout the story between Minny's voice, Aibileen's voice and Skeeter's voice and it worked perfectly.  Speaking through their different voices, Stockett really captured the fear, pride, love, frustration and every other feeling these women experienced throughout the story. I found myself smiling, close to tears, and with a racing heart at all of the appropriate times which I think speaks highly to how well-written this book is.

I really loved this book and can't recommend it highly enough.

Apparently they are turning it into a movie with Emma Stone (Superbad, Easy A) starring as Skeeter.  I am not happy with that decision mainly because in the book, Skeeter is described as being super tall and gangly with unruly frizzy hair - overall she's awkward.  Emma Stone is not. I'm very hesitant to see this movie after how much I loved/gushed over this book.

Carry on.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars (duh)

Coming Up Next: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (aka HP7)
Do I really need to put a synopsis here?  It's the last book of the Harry Potter series.

Five years after it was originally published, I am finally reading the last HP book.  NOTE TO READERS: Do not get cute and tell me what happens in the book.  I have gone five years without any idea as to how it all ends and if you ruin this for me, I will probably end our friendship. Real talk.  I have to read this now because the movie comes out on the 16th and all of my best friends in Sac are having a movie marathon leading up to going to see the last movie. 


Some Very Blah Movies to Review

I'm back from an awesome, relaxing week off in So Cal. My mom kept asking why I would use vacation days to just come home. My answer is threefold really: 1. homecooked, sometimes Cuban, meals; 2. the beach is three miles away; 3. my grandma takes me shopping. It's like a four-star vacation but I don't have to pay for anything.

Let's ease back into things with some movie reviews shall we?

The Hangover 2 - It had its moments but overall, I wasn't that impressed. It's just too hard to follow up the first one with anything as funny or creative. You could trace everything back to the first movie. For example (minor spoiler alert), they find a baby in the first movie that they carry around but in the second one it's a monkey. It had some laugh-out-loud moments, but overall it was just okay. One thumb down, one thumb sideways

Super 8 - A group of kids in a small town in Ohio in the 1970s witness an insane train crash which releases an alien into their town. Yeah. I summed this up to my dad in three words: E.T. on steroids. This one also was not that good, despite any rave reviews you may have seen. You can't just park an alien in the middle of 70s suburbia Ohio and expect things to work. The kids that star in this movie, however, were awesome and were the only thing that kept it all together. One thumb down, one thumb sideways

Due Date - A series of unfortunate events land Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifinakis on the no-fly list and they end up driving cross country together so RDJ can get home to his super-preggo wife. Zach G. was hysterical in this movie but RDJ was just okay as he went back and forth from crazy angry to super nice way too much for me. Two thumbs sideways

And finally a movie that didn't suck...

Despicable Me - I am probably the last person on the planet to see this movie but oh em gee this was the cutest movie everrrrr and will very soon become a permanent addition to Amanda's Collection of Super Girly Movies. Seriously I have the worst DVD collection ever if you're a dude. I LOVED this movie from start to finish. I even cried. Oh it was so so cute so if you haven't seen it yet, well you're worse than I am when it comes to watching movies. Go now!

And now, a random TV plug...

A new TV show was brought to my attention on Friday night and oh boy this is a good one. Brought to you by Ricky Gervais, I present "An Idiot Abroad".

Basically Ricky Gervais and his friend send their other friend to go see the 7 Wonders of the World and this guy's observations about what he sees are priceless. Apparently it airs on the Science channel so hopefully you get that.


New Amazing Link

I just happened to stumble upon this new blog and it's taking me all the self-control I possess not to burst out in a guffaw at my desk.

This one is mainly for the ladies, but guys the writing's funny enough to probably get a laugh out of you as well.

I present Go Fug Yourself.

For everything you've always thought about the terrible outfits celebrities come up with, yet couldn't really find the words for.




Video of the Day 6/9/11 - Thumbs Up for Rock and Roll Edition

This is pretty priceless.

Book Review: Columbine

Author: Dave Cullen
Genre: Nonfiction
Number of Pages: 464
Where I Got It: Library

First line: "He told them he loved them."

Journalist Dave Cullen spent 10 years collecting as much information as he could to piece together what really happened on that fateful day at Columbine High School.

If you think you're just getting another account of the shootings that happened at Columbine High School in April 1999, think again. Cullen has researched every main character, personality trait, supporting cast, event, and detail of the months leading up to and after the shootings that this book casts a whole new light on what happened, who was involved, and most importantly, why it all went down.

The most fascinating part of this book for me was how Cullen, a journalist who's written for the NY Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, dispelled all the rumors that the media latched on to and ran with.  And let me tell you, there were a lot of them. With virtually no facts to back themselves up, reporters cast Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris as members of a Gothic cult called the Trenchcoat Mafia who targeted jocks and had been picked on and bullied throughout all of high school.  It was amazing how their rumors and misinformation led everyone astray, even the detectives of the case.  They relied heavily on the reports of the confused and shocked teenagers which made for missing facts and unreliable information.

As someone who works with the media almost daily, I've seen firsthand how one tiny piece of misinformation can snowball so to get inside the head of a journalist as he picked apart his own kind was captivating.

This book is just fantastic. It's raw and emotional and Cullen leaves literally no stone unturned nor does he leave any detail out in this NY Times Bestseller.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Coming Up Next: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Amazon's summary: Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.

My friend Hailey bought this book for me for my birthday or Christmas or something and swore it was one of the best she's ever read.  Hailey has never steered me wrong and has recommended some of my new all-time faves so I finally decided to pick it up and dust it off. I'm about 150 pages into it and I can already tell I'll be adding it to the list of books I will love forever.


Geeeeeez, Take it Easy Kim Kardashian

Take a deep breath before you read this next sentence because it might overwhelm you a little:

Kim Kardashian, who met and started dating NBA player Kris Humphries in December, became engaged to Humphries at the end of May and is now saying that she plans to be married and pregnant by the end of this year.

Girl. What is the rush? First your sister, now you?

An engagement after five months and now in seven months you plan on being married AND preggers?

I mean I guess when you know, you know. And when your mind, heart and body all agree that you're ready for this stuff, then go for it.

But I still don't get what the rush is.

Her sister Khloe met and married Lamar Odom after a MONTH. Granted, they are coming up on their two-year anniversary so maybe there was a method to their madness after all, but I still don't understand what the need is to speed things up so much. If you know, you know, so why not take the time to just enjoy each other?

Isn't that what is ultimately missing in these "courtships"? After five months, how can you possibly know what makes the person you want to spend the rest of your life with really tick? And how do you know that that's not going to conflict with how you really tick?

I get it. Kim K. is 30 and that is a stressful time in a woman's life. Shoot I'm about to be 27 and I'm semi-losing it. There's always been a certain pressure that is put on a woman to be married and have children by the time you reach that magical age.

But in the year 2011, is there really that same pressure anymore? If she was 40 I could understand her concern, but this isn't 1946 or even 1986 when not being married with kids by the time you're 30 was frowned upon.

She just seems like a very nice girl who does want to settle down, so at the end of the day I think it would suck if things didn't work out for her. Can't say I don't have doubts that this will all work out - he's a 26 year old forward for the Nets. I mean at least Lamar is a Laker. Also Kim, have you heard that the Nets are moving to Brooklyn? Yes that Brooklyn. I don't know if she can handle Brooklyn.

But, as always, best of luck to you Kimmy K. Maybe this one will work out, just like Khloe's. He does have the same name as your mom...



Huh? Them?

So I've been following this storyline for some time now because, well, frankly I can't believe it could have actually been true.

Did you guys know Sean Penn and Scarlett Johansson were dating?

Yes that would be this Sean Penn and this Scarlett Johnansson (you're welcome dude readers).

Apparently they've split up after four months of quietly dating and taking a trip to Mexico together.

He is 50 and she is 26. She was just married to Ryan Reynolds. Yes, this Ryan Reynolds (you're welcome ladies).

Here's the thing. Girl you are Scarlett Johansson.  Do you understand what happens to guys when they see you? Probably the same thing that happens to girls when they see your ex-husband.  And you pick Sean Penn as your rebound?

I don't know, I just don't get it.  She can have literally any guys she wants and she picks him?  It just bugs me. Oh but he's so mature and wise and philosophical and blah blah blah.  You are Scarlett Johansson. Act accordingly and pick a hottie like you're supposed to do.


New Link

My friend Ashley has started her very own blog:


A collection of photos and videos of random things that make her smile - plus her cat Lila aka The Biscuit - she's not quite sure of the direction she's headed, but hopes you'll be along for the ride.


Yes Hello?

Note from the author: The title refers to how my dad and I answer the phone when we call each other.

Readers of Living the Dream, I have not forgotten you. I am in fact alive. Alive and well. Alive and very, very well. Life is awesome, not gonna lie. But I am very aware of how little blogging I've done in the last few weeks. And by little, I mean none.

The four of you who still check in with me deserve an explanation as to my recent whereabouts. So here it is.

1. I've been working. As most of you know my job isn't exactly your standard 9-5. Most days it's a 9ish to 5:30, oops I mean 6, shoot when did it get to be 6:30? Then there's the weekends. So I work a lot, we get it. But this time it isn't necessarily that I've been working a bunch of crazy hours or a million days in a row. This time I'm just doing more and have taken on more responsibilities. So I get tired and blogging is the last thing that I want to do.

2. I play a lot of soccer. I played in a weekend tournament in Sacramento in May and joined a new Sunday co-ed outdoor team. This same team wants me to play in a more advanced league in the middle of the week too. Then there's regular Thursday night indoor with my best friends. Another girl I know wants me to play Friday night but I'm on the fence about that one. It's pretty much all I do to work out and relieve the massive stress that I pile on myself during the week. Also it's bathing suit season. So I play a lot of soccer.

3. I am dating a very nice boy and I'd rather eat cheeseburgers with him than blog.

4. Because of the aforementioned very nice boy, Chloe has been receiving less attention so sometimes I need to snuggle with her. I mean look at this face:

5. Happy hours, Glee nights, and other random get togethers with my ladies also takes precedence over blogging.

So to sum up, I am busy. But I love my life right now. Davis is awesome, it's summer... or at least it's supposed to be considering we had hail in Davis today...

But I will be back.  Kardashians can't keep getting engaged without any word from LTD!


Video of the Day 5/16/11 - He's Still Got It Edition

Posting videos is about all I have time or energy to do anymore but man is this a good one:


Video of the Day 4/27/11 - What The!? Edition

I can't embed the video today so you have to trust me when I say this video is hysterical and click through.

This is a contestant on Britain's Got Talent and his performance is not only fabulous, but also not quite what anyone was expecting. Work it girl.



Netflix Reviews

The new laptop work gave me now has the ability to stream stuff from Netflix. You have no idea how happy this makes me considering... well... have you seen my TV?

It's been pretty nice to just randomly decide to watch a TV show or stand-up comedian on my laptop. So here are a few things I've been watching lately... and also not so lately because I haven't done movie reviews in a while:

Slumdog Millionaire: A standard mid-20-year-old guy is on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and as he navigates through the questions, he knows the answers based on real-life events that happened to him throughout his pretty horrific life. And horrific might be an understatement. Poor, homeless, starving, sold into some kind of child slavery camp, almost killed a bunch of times, separated from his brother... I mean a LOT happened to this guy. After a while it got hard to watch so much depressing stuff over and over but the movie was very well done despite all of that. Two thumbs sideways.

WALL-E: This movie about a robot abandoned on Earth was so cute. Pixar really doesn't ever go wrong with the movies they come up with. Not much to say about this one - just good ole fashioned family fun. Two thumbs up.

The Time Traveler's Wife: So here's the thing. Rachel McAdams is a fantastic actress - one of my faves - and I have wanted to read this book foreverrrrrrrrr. Then I watched the movie and I absolutely 100 percent did not get it. The general premise I got: this guy has a genetic code in his DNA that causes him to spontaneously time travel. Beyond that I was so confused, especially about how he and Rachel McAdams came to meet. You guys are probably smarter than me so you'll probably have no problem but I was left with sooooo many questions at the end. I did cry a little though. Two thumbs sideways.

The Office (UK Version): Hysterical. I had a feeling going into this one that there would be some similarities, but holy cow I was so shocked at how the American version literally took complete episodes and exact plotlines from this British version. Still I loved both seasons of this one and highly recommend checking it out if you haven't. Two thumbs up.

Party Down: A Starz original series, Party Down chronicles a group of struggling actors who work part time at a catering company to supplement their income. Each episode is a different event they are catering. Although a bit irreverant at times, this show is hilarious and very well done. Two thumbs up.

30 Rock: OMG why didn't I start watching this show on NBC from the beginning? I LOVE this show. The writing is so witty and clever, the cast is perfect - I cannot get enough of this show. I think I watched the first season in like 3 days or something. Do yourself a favor and check this show out if you haven't yet. You will not be disappointed. Two thumbs up.

Video of the Day 4/22/11 - I Can Do That Edition


Sidenote, LTD has officially reached 200 posts.  Hey oooooo.


Book Review: The 19th Wife

The 19th Wife
Author: David Ebershoff
Genre: Fiction/Mystery + Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 544
Where I Got It: Library

First Line: "In the one year since I renounced my Mormon faith and set out to tell the nation the truth about American polygamy, many people have wondered why I ever agreed to become a plural wife."

David Ebershoff juxtaposes two stories in his third novel: that of Ann Eliza Young, who became Brigham Young's 19th wife in 1875 then set about trying to bring down the institution of polygamy and that of a modern murder mystery set in a polygamous compound in Utah.

I read "Under the Banner of Heaven" last year which prompted a curiosity in polygamy and Mormon fundamentalists. This book was just okay for me though.  The story of Ann Eliza was told really well and really differently as Ebershoff used all different formats to tell her story: Wikipedia pages, academic research papers, newspaper opinion pieces from the years when she was traveling the country telling her story. It was a very interesting look into how she broke away from the church and fought for the rights of the wives and children in these plural marriages when it was all so new and so strictly controlled by Brigham Young.

But the second part of the story, the fictional mystery part, left much to be desired. The story wasn't very developed and a good 3/4 of the book was dedicated to Ann Eliza's story anyway, so suddenly you're back into this murder mystery for just a few pages before being taken back to 1875. The book would have been so much better for me if it was just about Ann Eliza told via all the different formats.

 Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Coming Up Next: "Dragonfly in Amber" by Diana Gabaldon (on Kindle)
The second book in Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, "Dragonfly in Amber" continues with the story of Claire Beauchamp and Jamie Fraser who met in the first novel when Claire traveled back in time to 18th century Scotland.  The year is now 1968 and Claire is trying to learn what happened to Jamie since returning to the present day and leaving him behind.

Video of the Day 4/21/11 - Whoops! Edition

In an amazing, dramatic finish, Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 1-0 in overtime off a SICK Christiano Ronaldo header to claim the Copa del Rey yesterday.

Real Madrid went back home to celebrate. As a double decker bus overflowing with the Galacticos wound its way through Madrid, defender Sergio Ramos raised the first trophy Real Madrid has brought home in three years to the cheers of the thousands of fans in the plaza.

And then...

Oopsies. Insert joke about soccer players not being able to use their hands.


Video of the Day 4/13/11 - Blake Griffin Can Be Funny Edition

I got a good laugh out of this video from Norm MacDonald's new sports show that premiered on Comedy Central last night. Blake Griffin is kinda funny actually.


The Great Davis Biking Experiment

If you hadn't heard, I moved to Davis a few weekends ago. The chance to have slightly cheaper rent combined with not having to commute when gas is like 4 bucks a gallon right now and I drive a Jeep was too good to pass up. So far I am loving Davis. My apartment is super cute and in a great location and the town itself is really fun. I've been able to just jump on my bike and meet friends at the park or at someone else's place before walking downtown and I'm loving that.

Yes I went and got myself a bike. My boss has one that he uses to ride around campus and so I asked him if I could ride it to and from work and he agreed. So for now it's a loaner and I plan on getting one at some point. Probably this summer and probably one that involves pink.

So far, so good. However there are a few things that I'm still trying to figure out.

1. By the time I get to work in the morning, not gonna lie, I'm sweating from my bike ride. That is gross. So I guess that means I have to carry around a bike riding outfit at all times?

2. That leads me to my next point: carrying things. I have a lot of stuff. I like my stuff and I want it around me and sometimes a backpack won't cut it. Sometimes I have to take two laptops home to cover baseball. Also, I like to make coffee in the morning and bring it to work. How do I do that on a bike?

3. Am I supposed to wear a helmet? Can I ride on the sidewalk sometimes? If I need to turn left at an intersection do I just go in the left turn lane?

So many questions!


Grey's Anatomy: The Musical

After a year or two off from watching the show religiously, I decided to get back into Grey's Anatomy. Not gonna lie, I pretty much picked up right where I left off and figured out the whole storyline in about two episodes. A few minor backstory things escaped me, but otherwise I could tell I hadn't missed a whole lot.

I moved recently so I had to reset my DVR up and picked Grey's as a series to record. The first episode it records? Thursday's showing of Grey's Anatomy: The Musical.

Not sure if luck is the first word I'd use to describe this, but the fact that I got to witness this... well I honestly don't know what to call it.

It was terrible is what it was.

Listen up Grey's Anatomy writers/producers/directors. Yes Glee is awesome. Yes I wish my life was an episode of Glee. But guess what. They are high school students in a glee club. Not doctors performing surgery to save lives in a hospital every day.

No, no. You're exactly right, reader. All of the cast members sang at some point during the show, even Meredith. Guess who did not sing? Derek and Christina. Shocking. But yeah right in the middle of performing surgery, they started singing. And expected me, the viewer, to take it seriously.

Guess what again Grey's Anatomy? I still cried. And when did that happen? During a part when people were NOT singing. The cast of this show is pretty dang good and they can elicit emotion like that from viewers without any added gimmicks. It was just so unnecessary to add something that drastic to the formula of the show that the singing actually took away from what could have been an incredibly powerful episode.

Why? Because the singing was awful. Callie sang decently well (further research shows she has won a Tony Award after a lead role in Spamalot) and so did Hunt and that was it. Everyone else was terrible. Singing along to the radio in their car? Good idea. Singing on a nationally syndicated evening drama on the biggest TV network in the country? Bad idea.

Nice try Grey's. I get what you were trying to do here but now can we go back to the Grey's we know and love? Thanks.



Book Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Author: Betty Smith
Genre: Fiction
Number of Pages: 528 pages
Where I Got It: Library

First line: "Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York."

Francie Nolan is growing up in bright, vibrant, turn-of-the-century Brooklyn alongside her strong, hardworking mother, her sweet yet tragic father who she completely idolizes, her precocious younger brother who she can't ever seem to compare to and a cast of characters.

I. LOVED. This. Book.

Loved it.

I haven't read a lot of "classics" to be honest as I think I got completely turned off by having to read and analyze all of the feminism at my all girls high school in LA. But man am I glad I decided to give this one a try.

The best part of this book is that it's just so simple. Francie is about 11 when the book starts and simply talks to us about her life, her family, the city she lives in, the people she knows and the daily interactions that ultimately shape her life.  As she grows up, the tone changes from that of an innocent, inquisitive child to one of a matured adult who has experienced some of life's greatest trials and tribulations.  Yet at the end of the book, Francie is only 16 years old.

Francie and her family go through a LOT of challenges - hunger, poverty, an alcoholic father just to name a few - and yet instead of being and angry over her situation, Francie takes great joy in life's simple pleasures and has an overall optimistic outlook that is so refreshing and engaging.

The characters are very real and I immediately connected with Francie and felt all of her emotions because they were all situations that I could completely identify with.

I highly recommend this book.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Coming Up Next: The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
So I'm pretty much over halfway through this book because I fell behind in my posting, but so far it's just okay.  The author juxtaposes two stories of polygamy. The first is the expulsion of Brigham Young's 19th wife, Ann Eliza, from the Mormon Church and the second is a modern-day murder mystery set in a polygamous compound in Utah. Last year I read "Under the Banner of Heaven" which prompted an interest in this subject, but so far this book isn't doing that much for me.


Video of the Day 3/29/11 - Not Shocking Edition

Chad Ochocinco/Johnson/the wide receiver from the Cincinnati Bengals has decided that in the event of the NFL lockout he needs a new career to fall back on. And since he played soccer in high school, well why not just join the MLS?

Um because you haven't played soccer since high school?

Sporting KC played a scrimmage basically against the equivalent of an MLS D-League team and Ochocinco got in for the last 30 minutes and was... well... let's just go to the video:

I'm not saying the MLS is on the level of the EPL or La Liga, but frankly, he's not going to hack it. The only thing I can picture him being is like a third or fourth string forward who goes in late in the game just so that balls can be served over the top to him and he can try and outsprint defenders. He is fast, I'll give him that, but he lacks... well... everything else.

At least the coach was easy on him. Not. (about 35 seconds in to the video)

I will say, this would be a phenomenal marketing tool for Sporting KC because honestly, this is the first time I've ever even heard of them. Are they just the renamed Kansas City Wiz? I'm so confused.


Video of the Day 3/23/11 - Awesome Fail Edition

Coming from someone who struggled with the warmup bib for a good 10 years, I can't help but empathize with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli:

His teammate Edin Dzeko? Not so empathetic...


Video of the Day 3/22/11 - Chris Brown is Over It Edition

This morning Chris Brown was on Good Morning America to take about the release of his new album F.A.M.E. which drops today. Robin Roberts, however, seemed to have a different agenda and wanted to only talk - still - about everything that went down between him and Rihanna two years ago. Chris Brown gets a little bit irritated, especially at the 1:50 mark.

Apparently afterward, he sang a song, went to his dressing room, threw himself a little temper tantrum, ripped his shirt off Hulk style, left and of course wrote something on Twitter.

I've always been pretty conflicted about Chris Brown because while I absolutely do not condone what he did in any way, at the same time, I can't help but turn his songs up just a little bit louder in the car. He makes good music. And I think he's served his time and took responsibility for his actions and all that. So yeah, I do think he's justified in being irritated when he comes on a show to promote his new album which is his pride and joy and yet all Robin Roberts can talk about is all the bad shit that's gone down in his life for the past two years.

Why bring it up at all? Yes, okay so you lead in with "hey last time we talked you weren't doing so hot..." but then why keep bringing it all up? I feel that's what Robin Roberts did here... she's talking about it just for the sake of talking about it. Let the poor guy move on with his music and his life. He knows this is something that is going to hang over him for a looooooong time. He certainly doesn't need Good Morning America reminding him of that.

Oh and CB? The platinum blonde dye job? Not a good look...


Video of the Day 3/17/11 - Ballet is Hard Edition

This has nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day but it's way too cute not to post on LTD.


Video of the Day 3/16/11 - Cabbage Patch Edition

Let me get something straight right now. I don't like the Miami Heat. But I do like Dwyane Wade even though I can't spell his name. Always have, probably always will. But I still don't like the Heat.

This video is sick. Spin move, two-handed throw down, and then... the Cabbage Patch.


Video of the Day 3/11/11 - Blake Who? Edition

By now everyone's seen Blake Griffin's final dunk from the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest. If you haven't, basically he jumps over the hood of a Kia Optima as an alley oop pass is thrown to him and slams a two-handed jam down.

Well Blake. That was awesome and you are definitely awesome. But the fine people over at And1 have done you one better... much, much better.

Sorry Blake. Convertible trumps Kia Optima. Through the legs trumps two-handed slamma jamma. And1 trumps Kenny Smith as your coach and a gospel choir singing "I Believe I Can Fly".

Your move, Griffin.


Can We Get Some Music In Here Please?

I have a decent 20-minute commute back and forth to work every day, which means lots of radio time.  Which also means that I have discovered just how awful the music out there is today.  And I'm into some pretty bad music.  I mean, have you seen how many Glee songs I have in my iTunes playlist?

All I'm saying is I'm getting tired of hearing Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Rihanna on repeat on the 10 or so presets I have on my radio. Bruno Mars' newest song is about how he wants to be lazy and do nothing all day long. It has the word "Snuggie" in it. I can't even make this up.

So the following list has been compiled of artists that need to come out with new music so that I don't get carpal tunnel in my pointer finger from pressing the radio preset buttons 108 times during my 20 minute drive:

1. Kelly Clarkson - The last album from the original American Idol was "All I Ever Wanted" which came out in March of 2009. It was a fantastic album and I miss me some Kelly Clarkson. Most recently, she's done a few duets, namely with country stars Reba McIntire and Jason Aldean and the songs she's been on have also been pretty fantastic. Not that I want her to go to a pure country route anytime soon, but hearing her back on the radio made me pretty nostalgic.  Well imagine my surprise when I saw on her Twitter (yes I follow her) that she is completing her final song on the new album which will be released within the next month!  Super pumped to hear what she comes out with next.

2. Justin Timberlake - Everything JT touches turns to gold, but it's time for him to stop acting and dueting and get back to the studio to put out his own album.  Futuresex/Lovesounds came out when I was living in PULLMAN for crying out loud.  Stop voicing the animated booger on The Cleveland Show and start bringing sexy back because if anybody can bring sexy back twice in less than 5 years, it's Justin Timberlake. Not sure how valid these rumors are, but apparently he is dropping a new album this year. Don't mess with my emotions JT.  Also you should tweet more.

3. Josh Kelley - SO excited that Josh Kelley's newest CD is coming out March 22.  Even though he's married to Katherine Heigl and I think she's awful, he is a fantastic singer and his lyrics are always amazing.  He recently came out with Georgia Clay, which has been getting some play on the country charts and it's been a really easy transition for him.  Although his stuff doesn't get played on mainstream radio that often, it will be nice to have a new album from him to listen to at work.

4. David Cook - This isn't going to be a very popular choice, mainly because most of you readers out there have no clue who this is.  David Cook won American Idol in season seven and his debut album is still a fave of mine. He's got a great voice and puts a lot of emotion into everything he sings. Apparently he's working on his second album now and it should also becoming out this year.  In the meantime, he did a cover song of "Don't You Forget About Me" aka The Breakfast Club song and apparently this is going to be the send off song every time an American Idol contestant gets eliminated this year.  I guess we'll find out tonight if that's true. Not gonna lie, I didn't like the preview I heard on iTunes but I still think his next album will be legit.

5. John Mayer - So John Mayer's last album came out in 2009 so I guess it's too soon for another one. Maybe that means the radio can just start playing more of him and less of everyone else?

Good news: most of my list should have new stuff coming out this year.  Bad news: I still have to hear about Bruno Mars wanting to catch a grenade for me.

Unbelieberable... Or Something

Sounds like the Biebs is having a rough Thursday.

Right now, yes, at this very moment, the good people at US Weekly have revealed BREAKING news that Justin Bieber and his recently shorn locks are trapped... TRAPPED I say... inside a London hotel room as a mob of preteens has gathered outside the hotel and a riot of epic proportions could break out at any second. Any. Second.

Apparently London police are saying that JB could get arrested for inciting a riot. That sucks. He can't control the teenyboppers. I was one once. When you have the chance to catch a glimpse of the person you've been semi-stalking for the last year or however long Bieber Fever has been around, you'll do anything and you don't care what legal system might stand in your way.

Here are the most important things to take away from today's incident:

1. CNN's Breaking News Twitter - which I follow because I'm trying to know more about the actual world and less about things like Nicole Richie and Joel Madden fighting over her buying $3,000 pillows (I side with Joel Madden in this one by the way) - posted a tweet about this incident.

2. Justin Bieber has a swagger coach. That is all.


Video of the Day: That's Only in the Morning Edition

Shoutout to Tyler for this gem.  Please do yourself a favor and watch until the 1:30 mark.



Sports + Hilarity = Go Read This

My brother has started a new sports blog and it's amazing.  Do yourself a favor and go check this out.



Liiiiive! This. Is the New Cast of Dancing with the Stars!

Tonight during The Bachelor, ABC revealed who will be on the newest cast of Dancing with the Stars which premieres this month sometime.  Not gonna lie, I have no idea when it starts.

So without further ado, here are the 11 has beens, I mean celebrities, who will shake and shimmy their way towards the mirror ball trophy.

Sugar Ray Leonard
Champion boxer and... that's all I got. But I think that's all there really is to say. He should be thrilled to put on sequins and spandex every week.

Chelsea Kane
Here's what Wikipedia told me: She is on a show on the Disney Channel with the Jo Bros. Blah. For some reason she has a second name and also goes by Chelsea Staub.  Intriguing.

Romeo aka Lil Romeo
You know how I know who he is? He's Master P's kid. You know how I know who that is? Because when I was a junior in college Percy Miller came to register his two kids for the summer camp I directed. I didn't have a clue who I was dealing with until my boss came in and the following exchange happened:

Boss: You're somebody aren't you?
Master P: Haha. Nah.
Boss: Yes you are. You're somebody.
Master P: I could be.
Boss: Are you... ?
Master P: I don't know what you're talking about.
Boss: You are aren't you?
Master P: Haha. Nah.
Boss: You are! Oh my gosh please sir it's my birthday can I get an autograph please?
Master P: (to me) Is it really her birthday?
Me: Yes it is.
Master P: Alright but only cuz it's your birthday.
Boss: (screams) Thank you thank you thank you oh my goodness thank you.

Boom.  I said yes it is to Master P and collected his check for summer camp.

Ralph Macchio
Best. Contestant. Ever.  The original Karate Kid? My vote all the way. The only thing more epic than Ralph Macchio on Dancing with the Stars are the team names that the fantasy league is going to come up with.

Petra Nemcova
Here's what I know about her: She's a model. She dated James Blunt aka "You're Beautiful" guy. She survived the tsunami in Thailand by hanging onto a palm tree for eight hours. She couldn't be at the live reveal tonight because she was speaking to the UN.  None of those things is a joke. Not even the last one.

Kendra Wilkinson
Kendra is the most relevant and legit celebrity on the show this year.  That does not bode well for Dancing with the Stars. If Ralph Macchio loses (but honestly how could he?) I vote for her.

Hines Ward
Wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steeler.  I guess losing the Super Bowl has left him either in an extreme state of depression or so desperate to win SOMEthing that he will even take a mirror ball trophy. Either way, his face basically said "What the HELL did I just get myself into?" when he walked out onto the stage.

Mike Catherwood
Co-hosts "Love Line". Never listened to it, vaguely know what it even is, not a single clue. But he's hot.

Wendy Williams
I know Wendy Williams because Joel McHale makes fun of her all the time on The Soup.  Observe:

That is going to get really old really fast.

Chris Jericho
Former WWE wrestler who is pretty hot now that he cut his super long blonde hair.  Observe the BEFORE and AFTER.

Kirstie Alley
In the "press conference" following the announcement (I can't even make that up), somebody asked Kirstie Alley why she's on the show. She passed. Here's what she wanted to say: Jenny Craig fired me for gaining like 300 pounds so this is my last ditch effort to try and lose weight. Mean? Maybe. True? Probably. Entertaining? Not in the least.

And just when you think it couldn't get any more boring...

Brooke Burke is back.

Good luck Tom Bergeron. You're gonna need it.


Live Bloggin the Grammys!

Even thought it's 8 p.m. and everyone on the East Coast has already seen the Grammies and has blown up Twitter with the results so I pretty much know everything, it's time for another live blog! My golf recap is written, the wine is poured, spaghetti is boiling... let's go!

First a text exchange between me and my sister:
My sister: If Katy Perry wins a Grammy tonight I'm boycotting radio.
Me: If Justin Bieber fever wins, me too.

So right out of the gate you know where my sister and I stand on who should not win tonight.

8:01 - We are opening with a tribute to Aretha Franklin and the first person out onto the stage is... LL Cool J? He and his Kangol hat are yelling about how awesome Aretha Franklin is. Wow, Mr. Cool J please stop yelling at me.

8:03 - Maybe if the National Anthem was an Aretha Franklin jam Christina Aguilera would have sang it better and not forget the words. Hey ooooo

8:04 - Why is Christina Aguilera leading this tribute when JENNIFER HUDSON is standing right next to her? I would rather see her and her bangin Jenny Craig body sing these songs 100 times over.

8:05 - Oh good they're all taking turns. J Hud was just clapping for Christina Aguilera's performance but she totally had a look in her eye like "Ha! Just wait til I get the mic."

8:06 - Ok so Yolanda Adams (gospel singer), Martina McBride (country diva with a giant voice), Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson and... Florence from Florence and the Machine?

8:15 - Jennifer Hudson wins the diva off.

8:25 - Oh my God Ricky Martin is wearing jeggings. Oh and he's introducing Gaga so that's fitting. Very, very tight fitting.

8:26 - Alright, here she comes to perform her brand new song. Which isn't exactly a surprise anymore because she released it Friday and it got slammed for sounding like Madonna's "Express Yourself".

8:31 - Wow. I couldn't even type anything. I was pretty transfixed by that. Here are my thoughts:
- GREAT performance. Her voice is super legit and she just sang and didn't do anything weird and  I liked that.
- Did you see this egg on the red carpet thing? Yes THIS is how she entered. I also discussed this with my sister. She is fascinated but thinks that people are getting tired of her and frankly I could take it or leave it. One of these days she should just wear a dress and walk like a normal person on the red carpet and then people would really flip out.
- I feel bad that she is very very proud of this song and it has such a great message and yet people are more concerned about the fact that ::gasp:: it sounds like this other one from 25 years ago.
- I still can't believe she wore a dress made out of meat.

8:37 - How CUTE is Blake Shelton introducing Miranda Lambert? She looks amazing while she performs this song.

8:42 - Lenny Kravitz is still relevant enough to present at the Grammys? I think he and Ricky Martin went shopping for Grammy jeggings together...

8:43 - Another performance. I made this same complaint last year I think but I'm 40 minutes into my DVR recording and there's only been one actual award given out.

8:45 - My boy Seacrest is introducing Bruno Mars, B-O-B and a girl I've never heard of. B-O-B is wearing a freakin monocle you guys. Like the monopoly man. That's how you know you've made it. Also, I thought Bruno Mars got busted for cocaine possession? Meh, come perform at the Grammys anyway bro. That too is a sign that you've made it.

8:48 - Either my TV is really really that old and terrible or they just switched to a black and white telecast. There really is a 50-50 chance that it's my TV...

Yep. This is my TV. Contain your jealousy.
8:49 - I like the idea of a Motowny rendition of the "I'll catch a grenade for you" song but wow his voice is really bad and that song is terrible to begin with.

8:50 - Oh what? An actual award? Oh that is why we're here isn't it. Best Country Female Vocal is up now.  Miranda Lambert wins.

8:57 - Uh ooooooh. Bieber Fever is about to hit the Grammys! Somehow Justin Bieber got to perform for Usher in 2007 and now he's international. And now they're singing a duet on the Grammys.

9:01 - Usher. What are you doing man? Performing with the Biebs and Will Smith's kid? But thank you for actually singing which is something your boy Bieber didn't feel he needed to do on the Grammys.

9:05 - Here's the thing about Justin Bieber. I saw him on Ellen and I was starting to buy into it a little. I had like a Bieber stuffed up nose if you will. Not quite the fever is what I'm getting at. Anyway, he's very humble, very well composed, very well spoken and very gracious for a 16 year old in the business. Miley Cyrus I'm looking at you. He plays the drums really well and also plays guitar and keyboard - he's legit talented. And then he lip synched on the Grammy awards. So close JB. We were so close.

9:09 - Donny Wahlberg is presenting with Selena Gomez. I guarantee you Selena Gomez has no idea she's standing next to a member of the greatest band of all time NKOTB.

9:10 - Lady Gaga wins Best Pop Vocal Album over Bieber, Katy Perry and - ouch - John Mayer. She seems legitimately shocked and thankful so good for her. Also she thanked Whitney Houston and I'm fine with that because no matter what you say about Whitney, she was a diva and I wanted to be her when I was in the fifth grade.

9:14 - Didn't need the Letterman Top 10. That could have cut out like 5 minutes of this THREE AND A HALF HOUR SHOW.

9:14 - Bob Dylan is performing with two groups I've never heard of. This first group is Mumford and Sons and they are like angry bluegrass rock or something. There's a banjo and a cello but they're talking about a noose around their neck and their growing fears and headbanging. The moral of the story: the lead singer is smoking hot.

9:22 - Lady Antebellum is performing now. Apparently they've already won two awards tonight. Why didn't we see any of that? I'm annoyed.

9:26 - Oooh an award finally. Best Country Album goes to Lady Antebellum. They are pretty awesome.

9:29 - Cee-Lo Green and Gwyneth Paltrow are performing together. Wow. Get Gwyneth Paltrow on one episode of Glee and next thing you know...

9:29 - I can't even explain Cee Lo Green's outfit right now. Gaga has some competition.

9:32 - Gwyneth Paltrow is in a SERIOUS outfit right now. Basically a black unitard cut super low in front with some 8-inch stilletos. How do these women pull off these heels!?

9:35 - NPH introduces Katy Perry. I follow him on Twitter and would rather listen to him talk for 3 minutes and make jokes than hear Katy Perry sing.

9:37 - Are those her wedding pictures? Lord.

9:39 - I want a sparkly microphone for when I sing the anthem at the UC Davis women's hoops game in a few weeks.

9:43 - Song of the Year is up next and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" wins again!

9:46 - Seth Rogen just introduced Eminem. There's some kind of irony or something in there somewhere.

9:52 - Wow THAT was sick. Performance of the night for sure. Go Youtube that if you didn't watch it: Eminem, Rihanna, Dr. Dre. That was amazing.

9:54 - Best New Artist is up next aaaand someone I've never heard of just won it. Esperanza Spalding? Not a clue but her speech was good.

9:56 - Mick Jagger has never performed at the Grammys? He's like 103.

10:01 - Mick Jagger's performance came immediately after the In Memoriam tribute slideshow. Interesting juxtaposition there CBS.

10:03 - I'm losing interest and fast forwarding and there is still like 45 minutes left. Longest awards show ever.

10:07 - The incomparable Barbra Streisand just wowed the crowd with an amazing performance and next up is Nikki Minaj and Will I Am.  Nikki Minaj is dressed like this:

I am ashamed of my generation.

10:11 - Why is Rihanna performing AGAIN? Honestly did we need all of these performances? Drake is super hot though so I'll watch.

10:16 - Record of the Year is up now. J Lo and Marc Anthony just bickered their way through presenting and the Grammy goes to Lady Antebellum AGAIN! Wow this is quite the surprise.

10:18 - Okay I am giving up. I already know who one Album of the Year thanks to Twitter. This post is getting boring, the cat is getting to be a maniac. It's time to wrap things up. Hope you all enjoyed the live blog.

The Oscars are coming!