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!


Movie Reviews

Time for some LTD movie reviews...

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
I don't care what anybody says, I love the X-Men series of movies. In X-Men 2, when Jean dies (oops, sorry if that's a spoiler for anyone), they show Scott crying and Wolverine so upset because he secretly loved her and I get emotional too. I can't handle it when guys cry. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is an amazing character and I think he plays the role so perfectly. This movie was full of action and the awesome mutant special effects typical of the other X-Men movies that have been made. You also see previews of other X-Men characters which James helped to explain to me so shoutout to him. Overall, love all of these movies and this one was great too. Two thumbs up.

Up in the Air
This movie was fantastic. George Clooney plays a guy who works for a company that gets hired to fire people and he spends the majority of his year flying to different locations doing his work. I don't want to say too much else and give anything away, but if you haven't seen this one yet do yourself a favor. It's humorous and sweet in some places and serious and emotional in others and the relationships. Great casting, great story, pick this one up right away. Two thumbs up.

Away We Go
Another rave review from LTD, this movie, though probably not very well known, was awesome. Jim from The Office and Maya Rudolph from SNL play a couple who get pregnant unexpectedly and go on a search to find the perfect place to live and raise their child. Along the way they meet an incredibly hilarious cast of characters, including Maggie Gyllenhaal as an over the top hippie who refuses to buy strollers for her kids. Jim from The Office and Maya Rudolph have great chemistry together and it was great to see Maya Rudolph in a more serious role than what we're used to seeing. The script is witty and clever, yet also emotionally engaging throughout. Love, love, love this movie! Two thumbs up.

Gossip Girl, Seasons 1 and 2
I'm through two seasons of Gossip Girl and this show is pretty good, not gonna lie. I'm not really going to go on and on about it but I'm entertained and I even find myself pulling for a few characters. Blake Lively is too pretty though. I mean honestly, share the wealth girl. Excited to see what season 3 has in store for me.

Book Review: Alice I Have Been

Alice I Have Been
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Genre: Historical fiction
Number of Pages: 400
Where I Got It: Library

First line: "Off with their - legs."

You've read the story (or seen the Disney movie) millions of times, but have you ever wondered who exactly is Alice in Wonderland? Melanie Benjamin tackles that very question, mixing historical facts with fiction to create the character of Alice. As Alice grows from a young girl to a wife and mother and then to an elderly lady, she is constantly haunted by her second identity as Alice in Wonderland and it's an identity she'd rather not be associated with. As she constantly tries to denounce her association with the book and with Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll, she finally realizes that perhaps as much as she tries to fight it, she really is Alice after all.

I can't quite figure out why I liked this book so much, but it was fantastic. Great character development, great storyline, with just a bit of mystery and honestly a creepy undertone throughout the story. Throughout the entire book, you have a feeling that there's something that's just not right when it comes to the relationship Mr. Dodgson has with Alice and her sisters, but Benjamin never outright lays out anything specific that occurs between Mr. Dodgson and Alice. Instead, she depicts their "friendship" through the innocent eyes of Alice whose childhood affection for Mr. Dodgson overshadows any disturbing and inappropriate relationship that might be implied. Yet, you're still left with uncomfortable feelings that something isn't quite right.  It's pretty brilliant.

Secondly, Benjamin stays really close to try facts and historical events and that makes the story even more fascinating. There is a long note at the end of the book that discusses what is fact and what is fiction and that alone made me want to research who Alice was and the life she lived.

Overall, a very creative and well-written story that had me drawn in from start to finish. Highly recommended.

Final Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Coming Up Next: A Tree Grow in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The book follows Francie Nolan and her family in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. At the start of the book, Francie is 11 in 1912 and the story continues through her 16th year. Francie's family is poor - her mother is a maid and her father is a singing waiter who works when he is sober enough to get a night's pay. So Francie and her younger brother Neely learn the hard way about just how tough the world is. But they also learn about life's simple pleasures and what beauty lies in the small things.