Archive for June, 2012

“Magic Mike” — The Real Deal or A Cheap Thrill

I will be very interested to see two things this weekend:  the box office results of “Magic Mike” and the ratio of women to men moviegoers seeing the film.

Ray and I went to see it Friday afternoon and while not scientific (I didn’t want to stare), we concluded that there was just one other man in our showing other than us.  So, with that being said, I bet that 80% of the “Magic Mike” audience will be women and gay men.  Good thing that “Ted”, a comedy movie about a naughty talking teddy bear opened this weekend for the men.

One thing that is certain is that “Magic Mike” will make a lot of money and it will be a box office smash since it only cost $7 million to make.

First off, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.  From the very first production strip number, “It’s Raining Men”, to that finale, the men of “Magic Mike” (Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, and Matthew McConaughey)  are visually stunning.  And, yes, there was another man in the group, Kevin Nash, that played Tarzan.

The movie focuses on Mike (Channing Tatum), a hard-working sexy man who works odd day jobs in Tampa, Florida, and dances at the club Xquisite  several nights a week as a stripper.   One day at a roofing job, his foremen assigns a new worker, a down on his luck kid named Adam (Alex Pettyfer) to work with him.  While out on the town that night, Adam sees Mike going into a bar and they hang out together and he finds out that Mike strips and makes good money.

Due to an unforeseen incident at the strip club, Adam, nicknamed “The Kid”, is forced out on the stage to strip to a male version of “Like a Virgin”.  Needless to say when the clothes come off, he gets a job with the troupe.  Choreography can be taught later, “The Kid” has sex appeal.

Okay, enough about the stripping part of the movie.  Is there anything else that would make you want to go see it?  You also get to know Mike outside of the club with his clothes on (mostly).  You learn that he works these odd jobs and strips because he has a bigger dream, a goal.  We learn how “The Kid” ended up on this dead-end road, and we get to meet his sister, Brooke.

I guess I failed to mention that there are two cute women in the movie, too.  There’s Brooke (Cody Horn) and Amber (Olivia Munn).  Both actresses hold their own with the boys and both pretty much keep their clothes on.

Toward the end of the movie, the Steven Soderbergh-directed flick does take a darker turn with drugs, drug overdoses, and violence.  And, the movie isn’t just about lust.  It’s also a love story for Mike.  Will he follow his dreams or drop his pants for fame, one night stands, and money.

While I can say that I’ve never seen a Channing Tatum movie until this one (the “War of the Worlds” uncredited “boy in church scene” doesn’t count), I will definitely be checking out “21 Jump Street”, “The Vow”, “Dear John” and more now.  Tatum exuded so much sex appeal.  How have I ignored him for so long?  (And, the movie is loosely based on Tatum when he actually was a 19-year-old stripper in Tampa!)

I can honestly say that while Ray was looking forward to seeing more of Matt Bomer,

I couldn’t wait to see Alex Pettyfer.  I loved him in “I Am Number Four” and “Beastly”.  And, even as rough trade in “Magic Mike”, he is definitely a hottie.

The two things that made me smile about the audience that I saw “Magic Mike” with Friday afternoon in Moline, Illinois, is that within the first few minutes of the movie when Tatum gets out of bed naked and walks to the bathroom, most of the women in the theater gasped out loud.  OMG, there’s Channing’s butt!

However, the part of the movie that cracked me up the most that horrified (“surprised” might be more accurate) and baffled some of the women seated by me were two scenes involving Joe Manganiello’s character “Big D*ck Richie”.  There was the “Boogie Nights”-like revelation and a certain fluffing apparatus that I’m sure some women are looking up on Google today!

My only question about the movie for those of you that have seen it is why was Mike dressed as Marilyn Monroe when he showed up at Brooke’s place on the Fourth of July?  Either a scene was cut from the movie or he was just at a wild party the night before????  Your thoughts?

“Magic Mike” is definitely a fun, hot movie that also has a heart.  It’s not all about sweaty dollar bills, cheap sex, and chiseled bodies — although there’s nothing wrong with that.  Who am I to judge?


I know you’ve seen the trailer, but her it again just gratuitous reasons.  Enjoy!


Hard Bodies Need Only Apply!

Damn you, “Magic Mike”!  Losing weight is hard enough without even thinking of toning muscles and building biceps, triceps, and washboard stomachs.  At 47, I’ll settle for eating right, walking, and having a thinner body.  However, I will not do sit ups, push ups, elliptical, blah blah blah, to have that stripper physique!

But, I won’t lie and say that I don’t admire it on those that spend as much time working out than they do working.  To you, I tip my hat and in another place and time, I’d tip you!

While I think it will be the box office champ this weekend if it can beat “Ted”, “Madea”, and “Brave”, there’s no doubt “Magic Mike” will be a huge success.  “Entertainment Weekly” gives it an “A-“.

The bottle line is that regardless of how cute, how smart, or how funny people are, those with nice physiques are noticed first and get longer stares.  It’s like the elevator scene in “Pretty Woman”, “close your mouth, dear!”

I thought about writing this blog the other day when Ray, who is much more reserved than I am, made a comment about how young men with perfect bodies will always find work as long as pop divas tour.  (Disclaimer:  I have no reservations!).  I guess I’ve forced him to watch too many Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga videos and concert clips.  Guilty!

So, yesterday, as I watched “Britney Spears Live:  the Femme Fatale Tour” on DVD, I re-lived the concert last July when I saw her in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Britney definitely had a lithe, toned body, but it was one dancer in particular that caught my attention, Adrien Galo.  He was featured prominently in the show and he also played the cop in her “I Wanna Go” video.

And, from these pictures, you can see that I’m one lucky person because he’s now touring with Madonna on the “MDNA Tour” and will play the chauffeur in her soon-to-be released video, “Turn Up The Radio”, the third single from her latest album, “MDNA”.

Madonna definitely has an eye for picking out young, hot men for her videos and tour.  Okay, who am I kidding, for dating, too!  Case in point, 24-year-old Brahim Zaibat, her current boyfriend.

When I first saw Madonna in concert on “The Confessions Tour” in 2006, I was mesmerized with the dancing talents (!) of Daniel “Cloud” Campos”.  He’s worked with Madonna before and with other artists.

The heat is definitely turned up when you see any of these pop divas in concert.  You can definitely tell what market they are going for — women and gay men.

So, if you need another fix before or seeing “Magic Mike”, check out these blatantly skin-featuring performances:  Britney’s “Trouble For Me”, Madonna’s “Jump”, and Kylie’s  “All The Lovers” music video from 2010.  (By the way, when I posted the Kylie video on my Facebook page two years ago, I had someone I graduated high school with to go off on me about the decline of morality in the world today.  Sadly, he deleted me before I had a chance to tell him what he could do!)

And, ladies, gay men, and open-minded people, since these divas that I love and support may be leading to the “moral decline” of America and the world, here’s another video featuring the dancers from Kylie’s “Aphrodite Les Folies (Live in London) concert DVD.

******Disclaimer******  Not Suitable For Work!!!  But, don’t worry.  It’s not age-restricted for YouTube, so it’s still safe although you do see a man’s butt and a lot of skin.  It’s not porn!


“Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks”‏

It hit 99° yesterday and the heat index in the Quad Cities topped 115°.  It’s definitely summer, so take it easy today all the way through the next week with the heat.  Here are of my favorites from the ’80s to help take your mind off the heat.

“Turn Me Loose” — Loverboy

The Canadian band, Loverboy, will be coming to the Quad Cities later this year with Pat Benatar and Journey.

On the Billboard Hot 100, the band scored 9 top 40 hits with two of them, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” (#9) in 1985 and “This Could Be The Night” (#10) in 1986 reaching the top ten.  My favorite Loverboy songs were not as successful.  “Working For The Weekend” peaked at #29 in 1981 and their first hit, “Turn Me Loose” only reached #35 in 1981.

“Everybody Wants You” — Billy Squier

American rocker Billy Squier entered the top 40 of  Billboard’s Hot 100 only four times in his career.  “Rock Me Tonight” from 1984 was his highest charting single on that chart at #15.  His first hit, “The Stroke” reached #17 in 1981.

However, he was much more successful on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock charts scoring 18 top 40 hits with 7 of those reaching the top ten and two went all the way to #1.  The aforementioned, “Rock Me Tonight” hit #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart, along with my favorite from 1982, “Everybody Wants You”.  That song only reached #32 on the Hot 100.

“Radio Romance” — Tiffany

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to see Tiffany at Chicago’s Gay Pride.  When she was at the peak of her career, I also saw her open for New Kids on the Block in downstate Illinois, in the late-1980s.

In her short radio career, Tiffany had two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been”.  She also had two more top ten hits, the #7 cover version of a Beatles’ song “I Saw Him Standing There” in 1988 and “All This Time” that reached #6 in 1989.

Her ballads were definitely my favorites. I also loved the bouncy number, “Radio Romance”, that only peaked at #35 in 1989.

Have a great weekend!


Pizza Buffet While Dieting, Not a Problem*

No, I don’t need a sandwich!   A co-worker teases me (I think she’s teasing?) that I’ve lost too much weight and that she’s going to buy me a sandwich.  Rest assured, I eat plenty of food and life is good.

After feasting, well, pigging out over the holidays at the end of 2011, Ray and I finally realized that the scale wasn’t really lying to us and that the pounds weren’t going to magically disappear overnight as we slept.  In the past three years ago, I’ve gained 15 pounds and he has packed on about 30.

Prior to going to New Orleans in the spring of 2010, I walked on the treadmill daily and dropped about ten pounds.  After that trip, I got lazy and gained the weight back.

In March of  last year when our treadmill died, we bought a new one.   But, weeks later, we got the diagnosis that Miss ABBA had cancer and was given two to three months to live.  I decided spending as much time with her was far more important than losing weight that many saw as “vanity pounds”.  Well, spring turned into summer, summer into fall, and fall into winter, and our little trooper never got sick.  When Miss ABBA finally went to puppy heaven almost five months ago, I decided it was time to try out that new treadmill.

At Christmas, the scale told me that I weighed 168 pounds (what I weighed in 1986 when I became a practicing bulimic for almost nine years) and Ray topped the scale at 202 pounds.  I started walking in February and shed about ten pounds.  Ray had only lost two pounds and decided that something more than walking, sporadically, needed to be done.  I agreed.

Even with walking, I couldn’t keep the weight off and then someone suggested a website called “myfitnesspal” to Ray.  You put in some numbers, how much you want to lose, add all of the calories in food and beverages you consume daily, and put in your exercise.

It makes you very aware of how many calories you actually eat daily and what a real serving size is.  Since March 1st, I’ve lost 9.4 pounds for a total of 20 pounds.  Ray has been even more successful.  He’s gone from 199.4 pounds on March 1st to 175.6 today.   That’s down 26.2 pounds since Christmas!!!  I want to lose about five more pounds and maintain that weight through the end of the year (my shirt for the Madonna concert in October allows no room for any extra baggage!) and Ray wants to lose about ten more pounds.

In his new book, “The Skinny Rules”, “The Biggest Loser” co-host Bob Harper says that you should eat at least 10 meals a week at home (we do!) and you can enjoy a splurge meal once a week.  Since I don’t watch that reality show and I don’t have his book (I read that advice in the literary Bible, “Entertainment Weekly”), I’m sure he didn’t mean buffets, but until he tells me differently, it means buffets to me!

So, what is the correlation with pizza?  When I reached 150 pounds, my first big milestone, I chose Osaka Buffet as my reward for my weight loss.  Ray’s goal was to get into the 175 pound-range and his reward was pizza.

We chose “Wise Guy’s Pizza” on East 53rd Street in Davenport, Iowa, last night.  For lunch yesterday, we ate rabbit food and a yogurt!  My colleague, Cassie Heiter, told me that Wise Guy’s is one of her favorite places to eat in the Quad Cities.

And, its website even says, “home of the best pizza in the Quad Cities”.  We arrived and we were ready to eat.  I ate a big plate of salad to make me feel full.  (Dieticians recommended that you should fill every plate of food you eat with at least 50% fruits or vegetables and I definitely do that at buffets!)

Cassie told me that I had to try their buffalo wings and “The Big Marv” pizza.  And, both were “da bomb”!

Their wings are described as “fresh chicken breaded with our made from scratch recipe”.  The wings were incredible and I ate four.  The sauce the wings were prepared with was so tasty that I skipped dipping sauces because it didn’t need it (more calories saved!).

I also tried a small piece of their deep dish pizza, a slice of East Coast White (grilled chicken, olive oil, fresh basil, red onion, tomato, and mozzarella cheese), a sliver of Reuben pizza, and some traditional slice of pizza that was boring after sampling the others!

I had another plate of salad and then it was time to try the Cassie-recommended “The Big Marv”.  Basically, it’s Wise Guy’s version of  the golden arches signature sandwich.  This pizza was made with ground beef, 1000 Island dressing, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, onion, lettuce, and pickles.  I got a small piece and from the first bite, I was in pizza heaven!   The nice thing about the presentation of pizzas at Wise Guy’s is that the slices are small and better for sampling different pizza.  I went back and got another piece of “The Big Marv”.

My apologies for not taking a picture of “The Big Marv”.  I always take pictures of my food.  Maybe I thought it was just going to be a piece of pizza and boy, was I so wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall, I wasn’t too naughty eating several small pieces of pizza, four wings, and two plates of salad until I dived into their dessert pizzas.  Those are definitely my weakness and those slices were NOT petite.

With my first plate of salad, I took a slice of apple dessert pizza and it blew any others I’ve had in the past away.  It had big chunks of apples on it.  Up next, a slice of cherry dessert pizza, and then I topped off my night with two more slices of the apple dessert pizza.  So, that was definitely my downfall.

*As we walked out of the doors, I realized two things:  I was ready to walk a lot when we got home and I was ready to make plans to visit Wise Guy’s pizza again — hopefully soon!  When we got back home, we took advantage of the warm summer night and walked for an hour outdoors and then I walked off a  few hundred more calories on the treadmill before bed.

The damage on the scale this morning after my piggy buffet night:  None.  I weighed the same as I did yesterday before the buffet!  Awesome!

Here’s proof that I’m doing the weight loss routine the right way.  After developing bulimia in 1986, I had dropped 52 pounds to a scary 116 pounds in 1995, when I went on the wagon.  I’ll always be a food addict and have to watch how much I eat and work out to keep from gaining weight and falling off the wagon.  This picture from 1994 is what unhealthy looks like!

So, I don’t need a sandwich and I’m completely in control of my weight loss.  With proper caloric intake and exercise, you, too, can lose weight or “vanity pounds” and do it the right way.

This public service announcement brought to you by….


Push Comes To Shove 43 Years Ago — The Stonewall Riots

I have not been abducted by the heavy metal and rap bands from the 1980s, Twisted Sister and the Beastie Boys.  However, there comes a time to say “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!).”

While those anthems of rebellion came in 1984 and 1986, respectively, a disenfranchised group of  drag queens, transgendered, hustlers, homeless youths, and effeminate young men had had enough of being rejected by society in the 1950s and 1960s and took a stand against it on this night 43 years ago.

That act of rebellion is now seen as the start of the gay rights movement and is the reason that gay pride celebrations are held every June.

Gay bars back in the day were not popular like they are today and many bars that catered to the gay community were often targeted and harassed by police.  “The Stonewall Inn”, a bar on Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, was owned by the Mafia.  It catered to the poor and those that faced rejection by the majority of society.

In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, plainclothes policemen, uniformed police officers, and detectives arrived at the bar and yelled, “Police!  We’re taking the place!”

Police, in a typical raid, lined patrons against the wall, checked their identification, and had female police officers to take drag queens and transgendered people to the bathroom to verify their sex.  If they were men “dressed” as women, they were arrested.

However, this raid didn’t go as planned.  As police escorted out the mostly gay customers, the mob, and employees, the silent crowd outside the bar grew larger.  Eventually, someone yelled, “gay power!” and people started singing “We Shall Overcome”.

When an officer shoved a drag queen and she hit him on the head with her purse, the mood changed and people started throwing beer bottles and coins and word spread that people inside the bar were being beaten by police.  Another scuffle broke out when a handcuffed woman fought back at authorities to keep from being taken away in a police wagon.  The woman who had been hit with a billy club yelled at the crowd outside the bar, “Why don’t you guys do something?”

At that point, the crowd went crazy and they started fighting back and began hurling garbage cans, garbage, bottles, rocks, and bricks at the building.  A drag queen, Sylvia Rivera, remembered yelling at police, “You’ve been treating us like shit all these years? Uh-uh. Now it’s our turn!”  She says, “It was one of the greatest moments in my life.”

On the first night alone, 13 people were arrested and four police officers were injured.  At least two rioters were said to be severely beaten by the police with many more  hurt.

Within six months of that police raid on the bar, which became known as “The Stonewall Riots”, two gay activist groups were formed, and one year later, gay pride festivals were held for the first time in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

That is why Gay Pride parades take place today at the end of June.

That fateful night in 1969 was what the gay community needed to be heard.  Our brothers and sisters were very vocal in the 1980s with ACT UP over the government’s mishandling of the AIDS pandemic and in the early 1990s with “Queer Nation”.  One of the most popular slogans of that angered group was “We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Used to It”.

Peacefully talking things out is the way it should be.  But, when people, the government, and close-minded bigots work hard to hold you down, sometimes you have to shout louder and, sometimes, push and shove.

And, while she may not have had a part in New York City’s “Stonewall Riots”, this is a perfect time to remember Miss Tillie, the “dirty old lady of Chicago”.

At Roscoe’s in Chicago, Miss Tillie was a Saturday afternoon and evening regular, even though she was well into her 70s or maybe, 80s.  During our Saturday afternoons talks, she told me about Boystown back in the 1970s when the gay bars didn’t have windows so you could see out onto the streets because it wasn’t acceptable.  She was such a rebel back then walking down Halsted Street in full drag.  Boy, how times have changed in Chicago and the United States, yet we still have a long way to go.  Miss Tillie, you dirty old lady, thank you for your courage.

To the patrons of The Stonewall Inn 43 years ago, I’ll raise a glass to you tonight and I’ll think of you and your courage the next time I enter a bar and order a drink for fighting for my rights and my right (to party)!


Don’t Let the Heat Kill You


Dangerous summer heat will take over from Texas to Minnesota down to Kentucky and up to Ohio today and tomorrow and this includes the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa.  Heat advisories and excessive heat watches and warnings have been issued for today and/or Thursday for temperatures in the 90s and topping 100° and for heat indices (the temperature your body feels from the combination of heat and humidity) of 100-120°.

In the Quad Cities, an “Excessive Heat Watch” has been issued for Thursday morning through Friday morning.  I expect this to be upgraded to an “Excessive Heat Warning” later today or early Thursday.

On this map from the National Weather Service, counties shaded in the darkest red color are under an “Excessive Heat Watch” beginning Thursday, the purple indicates an “Excessive Heat Warning” (noon Wednesday through 7 p.m. Saturday) and the peach, a “Heat Advisory” (Thursday afternoon and evening).

High temperatures today in the Quad Cities will reach 96° on strong southerly winds.  While humidity will be on the increase pushing the heat index near 100° today, you’ll really notice the stifling heat and humidity tonight, Thursday, and Thursday night.

Overnight lows tonight will only drop into the mid-70s, but it’ll feel closer to 80°.  With the very warm start to the day Thursday, high temperatures will easily make it into the upper-90s for the metro area.  Hometowns just to our south from Galesburg to Macomb, Illinois, and across southeast Iowa, will likely top 100°.

The last time the Quad Cities hit 100° was July 19, 2011.  Not only was it very hot that day, the heat index reached 120° and an “Excessive Heat Warning” was issued.

Before that, our last 100° temperature was July 17, 2006.

Scattered thunderstorms arriving in the evening hours Thursday or Thursday night may give us some much-needed rainfall, but it won’t bring much relief from the heat and humidity.

Highs in the upper-80s to the low-90s are in the forecast through the Fourth of July holiday.  There will also be a daily chance of thunderstorms across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois.  Many of these will form in the overnight hours across the Midwest and any of them have the potential to drop very heavy rains for us.  The only problem is that not everyone will get in on the thunderstorm activity.

Be careful out there over the next few days.  As we meteorologists always tell you:  make sure you drink plenty of water, avoid the sugary sodas and liquor, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, wear a hat and sunscreen, and try to take many indoor cooling breaks.

And, most importantly, check on your elderly neighbors that may not want to run the air conditioning to save money.  Also, make sure any pets that stay outdoors have access to plenty of cool water and a shaded area!!!!!!!!!


If the temperature does reach 100° in the Quad Cities Thursday, it’ll be hot, but it won’t even be a record.  The record high for Moline Thursday is 103°.  However, even that record high for the date tomorrow is nowhere the hottest on record.  That was 111° back on July 14, 1936.

As a matter of fact, it was very hot in July 1936.  Only 0.14″ of rain fell that month and in the Quad Cities, we went eleven consecutive days (July 5-15) with highs reaching 100° or higher, peaking at the aforementioned 111°.  In Burlington, Iowa, they had fourteen straight days of 100°+ heat, from July 4-17, 1936.


While temperatures in western Kentucky, where I grew up and lived for almost 30 years, reached 100° many times and the heat index made it feel even hotter, the deadliest heat I ever encountered was in the summer of 1995 in Chicago, Illinois.

From July 12-16, 1995, the city was under a deadly heat wave.  High temperatures during those five days peaked at 98°, 106°, 102°, 99°, and 94°.  To make matters worse, overnight lows only dropped into the 76-81° range and the heat index peaked at 119° at O’Hare and 125° at Midway.

Also, with the concentration of buildings and abundant pavement, Chicago’s urban heat island raised temperatures in the city another 2-4°.

Power failures, brownouts, and blackouts were common during that five-day period.

My dog at the time, Keshia, freaked out at the vet’s office as the heat wave was beginning and because I was holding her, she bit through my thumbnail.  I thought it would be o.k., but two days later, it was infected.  By the time the antibiotics kicked in, I was miserable from the infection, the heat, and the power going on and off.  And, to think, this was my first full Chicago summer!!! (I moved there in July 1994).

However, I had it easy compared to thousands who were hospitalized from the excessive heat.  But, the real story of the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 was the death toll.  In that week alone, there were about 750 heat-related deaths.  The images of cooling trucks being used as makeshift morgues still haunt me today.

The city was heavily criticized for what many saw as unprepared and for not issuing adequate warnings.  Subsequent heat waves in Chicago have not been as deadly and the city and the media are very vocal now when hot weather is forecast to settle in for several days.

Although very scientific, Eric Klinenberg’s “Heat Wave:  A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago” is a very good book analyzing the heat wave, who died, and why age and poverty played a huge role in the deaths in that heat wave.

Be careful out there over the next few days.  I want to have you around for someone to read my blogs.


The Oreo Cookie Shows Its Pride

The Oreo cookie is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.  Happy birthday “Oreo Biscuit”, the cookies’ original name!

Since its introduction, it has had more name and flavor changes than Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan, Joan Collins’ character on “Dynasty”!  There was “Oreo Biscuit”, “Oreo Sandwich”, “Oreo Cream Sandwich” and “Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie”, but I’ve always just called it “Oreo”.

As for flavors, there has always been the original chocolate cookie with creme filling.  But, the company has also offered lemon, chocolate, strawberry milkshake, “Oreo DQ Blizzard Creme”, peanut butter, banana split creme, Berry Burst ice cream, peppermint, and this year for its 100th birthday, the “Birthday Cake Oreo”, with the two tradition chocolate cookies with birthday cake filling and sprinkles!  Fun!

However, none of those flavors have caused an uproar like an image of an Oreo that is not real or commercially available!

Oreo’s official Facebook page has almost 27 million likes.  Yesterday, the company posted this image on its page with the caption “Proudly support love!” and tweeted “Celebrate your pride for love!”

So far, the post (as of this blog entry Tuesday morning at 10:50 a.m.) has 151,696 likes, has had 38,436 shares, and 19,243 comments.  And, just like the country we live in when it comes to gay rights, marriage equality, Democrats, and Republicans, the debate in the comment section is heated and most of it has to do with gays and the Bible.

But, many of the comments about the “Pride” cookie image are positive.  Here are a few:

“Very sweet – in more ways than one!”

“What a beautiful Oreo”

“Thank you so much, Oreo!”

“Im buying as many Oreos as I can today”

“my milk is about look awesome”

“WHOA! Rainbow-colored Oreos!? I’ve only wanted these since–well, since I was five!”

” Hey everyone! I’m going to boycott rainbow sherbet! It’s an abomination towards God! Who is with me? Oh, and Skittles, too! I don’t want to taste your rainbow, you sinners!”

And, to be fair, here are the not so positive comments:

“What a bunch of gay people you all suck”

“”I’m never eating Oreos again. This is just disgusting”

“Unliking page and the rest of the ‘kraft’ family products… i will not support a company with these views”.

I’m sure the One Million Moms have already cleaned out their cupboards of Oreos and Kraft Foods products!

This cracks me up and in a bad way.  We have famine and disease all across the planet, we have several ongoing wars with innocent people dying each day, and many other catastrophes destroying the environment, property, and taking lives, and some people are upset over a picture of a rainbow-filled Oreo cookie?

For the record, I don’t know if Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies is really gay?  Bert and Ernie, not sure there either?  And, Oreos?  I don’t think the cookie is gay.

All I know it tastes good, without or without a glass of cold milk, and at only 53 calories a cookie (70 for the Double Stuf Oreo cookie), I think I’ll go buy a bag and pretend they are rainbow-colored and eat them with “Pride” and support Nabisco and Kraft Foods for its bravery, diversity, and support.


“Anything You Can Do”, Reba Can Do Better

My idol, Reba McEntire earns another accomplishment in her incredible career.

She’s won every music award possible, she’d earned praise on Broadway, she’s been nominated for comedic acting awards for television, and she’s a generous humanitarian.

This past Friday night, she and funk/pop/soul singer Chaka Khan were both inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame at an opening night celebration in Los Angeles, hosted by Julie Andrews.

This was the first time that two women were inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame on the same night.

Lily Tomlin, who will play Reba’s mother on “Malibu Country”, her new ABC sitcom premiering this fall (November 2), appeared in a videotaped message recalling McEntire’s words that to succeed in life, one needs a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.

Another person that knows Reba well, Melissa Peterman, who played Barbara Jean on the television series, “Reba,” introduced Reba before she performed to the sold out crowd in a spectacularly glamorous backless, bejeweled gown.

Reba performed “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” from her Broadway hit, “Annie Get Your Gun” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” from her Carnegie Hall and Hollywood Bowl concerts of “South Pacific”, “I’m A Survivor”, the theme from the “Reba” TV show, and “Fancy, the Bobbie Gentry classic that is now a Reba standard.

Society New LA reports that “Both McEntire and Khan donated their performances so that Opening Night proceeds from ticket sales and a Wells Fargo sponsorship topped $1 million for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s music education programs.”

Reba, you’re incredible and I’m so happy that Hollywood is welcoming you back with open arms and rewarding you for your talents.  Have fun with “Malibu Country” this fall.

I’d love to be selfish and ask you to record a new album, but do that whenever you want.  But, when you’re ready, skip country music and make a dance album in the vein of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, your #2 Billboard Dance hit from 1996.  That would be awesome.

But, Hollywood is your ticket now!  Live it up!

Some of you may not know it, but Reba’s ties to motion pictures and Hollywood go back to her first movie, “Tremors”, in 1990.  And, in 1996, director James Cameron cast Reba as “the Unsinkable Molly Brown” in his little old movie, “Titanic”.  You might have heard of it?  Yes, that “Titanic”.  When it was obvious that the production of the movie would be extended, Reba had to drop out because of her previous tour commitments and the role went to Kathy Bates.

Congratulations Reba!


Remembering Michael Jackson, Three Years Later

Three years ago today, the world lost one of the most incredible musicians in the history of music.  Regardless of his bizarre public actions, the sexual accusations, and his increasingly frightening appearance, Michael Jackson was and will always be the “King of Pop”.


As part of his family acts, The Jackson 5 and The Jacksons, the Gary, Indiana-born Michael Jackson racked up 23 top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  Of those, 11 reached the top ten, and four went all the way to #1.

In 1971, he struck out on his own as a solo artist and his first release, “Got To Be There”, reached #4.  Although he scored many hits as a teenager and young man,  including the #1 hits, “Ben”, “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough”, and “Rock With You”, he shot into super stardom with the November 1982 release of his album, “Thriller”.

The first of seven singles released from that album with former Beatles, Paul McCartney, “The Girl Is Mine”, peaked at #2.  But, it was the following singles, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”, that would top the Billboard charts and break down the racial barrier on the new music network, MTV.

“Thriller”, to this day, is the top-selling album of all-time.  It has been certified with sales of more than 29 million in the United States with worldwide sales of 65-110 million.  It easily eclipses the #2 selling album of all time, “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.

In his solo career, Michael Jackson scored 36 top forty hits.  27 of those reached the top ten and 12 hit #1.  He also collaborated on six other hits, five of which hit the top 10, and two reached #1 (“Say Say Say”, another duet with Paul McCartney, in 1983, and “We Are The World” by USA for Africa in 1985).


Fame has a price.  Being one of the biggest stars on the planet, Michael Jackson, thrilled and shocked people with everything he did.

He raised eyebrows many times:  with “Bubbles” the chimp,

buying the Neverland Ranch, wanting to buy the bones of Joseph Merrick, “the Elephant Man”, rumors about him sleeping nightly in a hyberbaric oxygen chamber, his marriage to Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley,

dangling his child off a balcony in Germany,

“Jesus Juice”, and of course, two separate accusations of child sexual abuse.  He was acquitted in June 2005 of nine charges (seven of which were child molestation) and in the first case, he settled out of court with the family for $22 million, in January 1994.


Three years ago today, while preparing for his “This Is It” world tour, Jackson went into cardiac arrest and died.  His death was ruled a homicide due to “acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication”.  His personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his part in the death of the music icon.


I never saw Michael Jackson in concert, but from just watching the Kenny Ortega-directed documentary, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It”, it would have been phenomenal.

I wish the “King of Pop” had not needed prescription drugs to deal with life and I wish he were alive to perform his sold out concerts.  I also wish that Michael Jackson had overcome his demons that haunted him.  But, that will never happen.

However, we do have the legacy of his music and his videos that will live on with us, especially us kids and young adults of the 1980s.  The time before Michael Jackson became the “freak show” that he’ll now always be remembered by.

Here are my Michael Jackson favorites!

I did have “Billie Jean” on here, too, but it has now been pulled from YouTube.


They Said What??? — Dolly Parton, Lil Wayne, a Local Kristen Stewart, & DeadMau5


(in a letter to the Findlay, Ohio, newspaper “The Courier” after he read that “the Ohio buckeye is polygamo-monoecious, bearing both bisexual and male flowers.”):  “The buckeye is our state tree and most of us gladly wear the nickname, “buckeyes.” But it is shameful and unacceptable that a bisexual tree should represent us! We are flaunting the Holy Bible!”


(to a gay woman calling her business to ask about having a reception there):  “I am a biblical Christian and I do not believe in homosexual marriage, that’s correct. And because marriage is a covenant that God created for man and woman, as a biblical Christian, I cannot help them into or celebrate that sin.”


(on how Republican presidential candidates gave him the idea for season five):  “For me the jumping-off point was watching the Republican primaries, watching Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and asking what would it be like  to have a theocracy in America – which is way more terrifying than any fictional monster could ever be.  Our jumping-off point was ‘OK, what is a vampire theocracy?’ You don’t really see vampires being religious creatures. They are excluded from God. But what if there was  a vampire bible? A religion? Theocracy? How would that impact our human  characters, or vampire characters?  I haven’t really seen that before.”


(on Santorum’s influence):  “What’s terrifying is how many people agree with him.”


(still bashing Madonna over her “Molly” reference at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami this past March):   “You want to be ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ and ‘funky grandma’? Fine. It’s not my place to say you’re irrelevant. If you’re gonna come into my world, at least do it with a little more dignity. I understand she has millions more fans, and is way more successful than I’ll ever be. But it’s like talking about slavery at a f—ing blues concert. It’s inappropriate.”


(about Madonna exposing her breast recently in Turkey):  “I’m not one to criticize how other people do their work. I’ve always showed mine off, just not completely. I just got to let mine speak for themselves.  I think everybody has their own way of doing it. I guess shock value is good for some people and people expect Madonna to do what Madonna does. Same with Lady Gaga. They’re out there for that shock value and it’s worked for them.”


(on duets):  “I’m open for anything. Nobody has asked me to do it, I haven’t pursued them. You never say never, it’s not something I’m going after. I think we’re all pretty different, Madonna and Lady Gaga,” she mused. “We’re all our own individual people, all of us outrageous, but whether than will come together – it might just be overkill!”


(an MRI concludes that she’s ok after being hit in the face by a pole performing “Judas”):  “Went for an MRI.  No harm from the concussion but it appears my brain is just water and a large floating jellyfish.”


(after pulling Nicki Minaj from Hot 97’s “Summer Jam” concert after a DJ dissed her):  “That’s a female; first and foremost Nicki Minaj is a female. I don’t know what anyone else believes, but I believe females deserve the ultimate respect at all times no matter, when or where or how.”


(on the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay scouts and LGBT leaders):  “The Boy Scouts are supposed to stand for what’s right and what’s just. They haven’t done that for the past decade. Worse, there haven’t been enough Eagle Scouts, including me, who have stood up for what we learned in Scouting. That’s not Scouting’s failure. That’s our failure as individuals. Scouting taught us to welcome the outcasts and the disenfranchised. Scouting taught us to do what is right. Scouting implored us to do what is just and decry what is unjust.  With its anti-gay policies, Scouting is wrong and Scouting is unjust.”