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.