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: