Random Friday Thoughts — March 15

Happy Friday!  Can you believe it’s already the middle of March?  After you read this blog, if you live in the Quad Cities, northern Illinois, or eastern Iowa, get outside for a few minutes today to enjoy the warmest day, so far, in the month of March.  It’s pretty pathetic when the forecast high of 53° today qualifies as “warm” in mid-March.  This is just one of my random thoughts.

COOL, WET, WHITE MARCH

Now that the first half of March is behind us, temperatures in the Quad Cities are running 6.7° below average.  We’ve only had four days, counting today, with highs that made it into the 40s!  To put this chill into perspective, this past January highs were in the 50s or higher five times with the warmest of those days making it up to 62° on January 29, 2013, which is the warmest day in 2013!  In February 2013, two days made it to 50° or higher.

In a typical March, we see 2.86″ of precipitation (rain and melted snow).  In just the first 15 days this March, we’re up to 2.22″ in the Quad Cities.  Average March snow in the Quad Cities is 4″ and this March, we’ve had four measurable snows with a total of 5.7″.

THIS WAS ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK!!!

March 2012 Quad Cities

My colleague and friend at CBS4, chief meteorologist Andy McCray put together this graphic to show the high temperatures this time last year.  In addition to these seven unseasonably warm days, we also hit 82° on March 20th and 81° on March 21st.

March 2012 ended up 14.2° above average and it went down in the record books as the warmest March on record in the Quad Cities.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Look at how green and how in bloom everything was last March 15th-21st in my neighborhood!

March 19 2012 -3 March 19 2012 - 2 March 19 2012March 19 2012 - 4

MY CONCERT BUCKET LIST IS GETTING SMALLER!

When I got up for work at 1 a.m. Wednesday, I knew I was going to be up 33 hours.  After working my morning shift Wednesday, Ray and I drove 2.5 hours to St. Charles, Illinois, that evening for a concert and then drove back to the Quad Cities just in time for me to shower and go into work to get ready for the Thursday morning news.  Why the insanity and the sleep deprivation?

Last fall, I heard that one of my childhood idols was doing a few tour dates in early 2013 after giving up touring more than ten years ago.  However, most of the dates were in New York, Florida, and California.  Monday morning, I got a Facebook notice about a concert Wednesday night in St. Charles, a western suburbs of Chicago.  And, I knew I had to move heaven and earth to be there!

Back in 1973, I was almost 9-years-old when I bought my first 45 rpm record thanks to an allowance from my grandparents, John and Helen Peoples.  It was “Delta Dawn” by Helen Reddy.

Delta Dawn Helen Reddy

Although Helen had many Top Ten hits in America, she’ll be most remembered by her signature #1 hit from December 1972, “I Am Woman”.  That song not only became an anthem for women and equality, but it was also the first Australian-penned song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and to win a Grammy Award.  In her acceptance speech for Best Female Performance, Helen thanked “God, because SHE makes everything possible”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wednesday night, I got to see the incredible and amazing Helen Reddy in concert!!   While she has aged 40 years since her chart topping days of the early 1970s, she sounded amazing.  The 90-minute concert was surreal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While Helen charted with more than a dozen Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1970s, she only performed a handful of those radio hits:  “Angie Baby” (#1), a medley of “Delta Dawn” (#1) and “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” (#8), along with “You And Me Against The World” (#9).  For her encore, she performed two versions of her iconic #1 international hit, “I Am Woman”.  She recited the lyrics of the song and then she asked the audience to sing along with her.  While most people were shy and just sat there, I sang along with my childhood idol!

Most of the songs that Helen performed where favorites picked by her, whether they were album cuts that never made the radio or songs written by her music business friends.  You could tell that she was having a blast onstage and it never seemed that she had been away from the spotlight for eleven years.

She has a fantastic sense of humor and shared many little personal stories between songs.  Twice, she would be telling a story at the front of the stage and then turn around to the band and ask “what song is next?”  It was so cute and funny.

Two other times, she would be setting up the next song and then pause and the band would be a couple of seconds behind her and she would look around and ask if they were still there or she told the audience, “I thought they left”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It may have taken me 40 years to see Miss Helen Reddy in concert since I first heard “I Am Woman”, but it was definitely worth the wait.  Aging like a good wine, the 71-year-old mother and grandmother, sounded just as incredible and alive as she did back in the early-1970s when she was one of the biggest international music stars in the business!  I’m not ageist.  I’m only mentioning her age because she brought it up and I hope that I’m still traveling the world when I hit my 70s!

The only thing that could have made this night any more perfect would have been to meet Helen.  We were on the meet & greet list, but the Arcada Theatre management’s own “meet & greet” messed that up and it left me and Ray and about eight other ladies waiting at the edge of the stage to reminisce about her albums and her glamorous looks of the 1970s.

Oh well, maybe Helen and I will cross paths again!  We’re both young at heart. 🙂  I really can’t complain since we were sitting in the front row stage left and Ray told me that Helen was singing directly to me during some songs.  🙂

That was a classic medley from the 1970s with Helen performing one of my favorite songs, “Keep on Singing”.

Now, I only have Olivia Newton-John and Lorrie Morgan left on my must see list before they retire.  And, if Helen Reddy is any indication, great music stars don’t retire forever, they take a break from the business and live life!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Bad Meal WineHappy Stray Dog

“THE FOLLOWING” IS DRIVING ME NUTS!

Fox’s “The Following” has been renewed for a second season in 2014.

With only seven episodes left before this season’s April 29th finale, the show is driving me nuts.  SPOILER ALERT ahead if you haven’t watched this past Monday’s show!  So, I’ll stall for a moment with a picture from the show, so you can skip ahead to the next segment of my random blog!

Joe & Ryan The Following

While the search for escaped serial killer, Dr. Joe Carroll continues, I’m totally frustrated by the incompetence of the FBI agents on “The Following”.  They’re definitely not Mulder and Scully, FBI agents from Fox’s other successful series, “The X-Files”!  Every week, they come some so close to cracking Joe’s “following” and find his kidnapped son, Joey.  So close, yet so far!

Paul, Emma, & Jacob

Three episodes ago, Paul (left) and Jacob (right), the “gay couple”, escaped and disappeared after a shoot out with the FBI and Paul was bleeding profusely after being stabbed by Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon).  And, they haven’t been back in the last two episodes even though they were mentioned.  Hello!!!!!!!!!!!

And, Emma (center), has to DIE!  She is so evil.

Okay, I’ve stalled long enough.  While I love the show, it ‘s definitely dragging things out.  While I love Agent Debra Parker and Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy character is likeable even with his flaws (the biggest being that stupid pacemaker storyline), my favorite character is Agent Mike Weston, played by Shawn Ashmore.  Last Monday, I commented on Facebook that it would be shocking and cool if Hardy died in the season finale and that I wanted to see more Ashmore.

Shawn Ashmore

And, then Monday night, Joe’s crazy followers kidnapped Weston and I said, “Oh no, if he dies, this is it!  I’m done”.

After refusing to give away Claire’s whereabouts (the FBI has her hidden away to keep her safe from Carroll), Weston was beaten and bloodied as Hardy and Agent Parker closed in on rescuing him and then it happened!!!!!!!!!!!  Follower Charlie stabbed him as Ryan breaks in only to have Weston whisper, “I didn’t tell them” and his body goes limp in Hardy’s arms!!!!!!!!!!

Holy crap, “The Following”, you’re driving me nuts!

Oh, and since I said I wanted to see more of Ashmore, here’s a bonus from a June 2008 “Cosmopolitan” magazine spread.  And, it has nothing to do with “The Following”.  Enjoy! 🙂

Shawn Ashmore in Cosmo

MORE FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PHOTOS

Earlier in the blog, I featured some pictures I posted this week last year during our early season “heat wave”.  Here are a couple from this week in 2010, which definitely showed that winter was hanging on.

Miss ABBA was enjoying playing with Lucky and Odie.  Now, all three of them are playing together in “puppy heaven”.

Lucky ABBA Odie 03202010

And, on that same day, I saw a deer walk by our window in the ravine behind our house.  I grabbed my camera and ran out the door into the front yard and down the street a few house to sneak around back and try to cut it off in the ravine.  I was successful and got this great picture!

Deer 03202010

“OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL”

This past Monday, Ray, Gretel, and I went to see the prequel to “The Wizard of Oz”.

Gretel Anthony Oz

“Oz The Great and Powerful” stars James Franco as Oscar “Oz” Diggs, Mila Kunis (Theodora, the Good Witch), Michelle Williams (Glinda, the Good Witch of the South), and Rachel Weisz (Evanora, Theodora’s sister).

The $215 million, Sam Raimi-directed fantasy movie, grossed a very impressive $167 million worldwide in just the first six days of release.

In the movie, Franco’s Diggs is a small time magician/con artist traveling from town to town hitting on the pretty women and leaving a trail of heartbreak.  When a muscled strongman that is traveling with the carnival finds out that Diggs has been making the moves on his woman, he goes to confront him.  Diggs barely escapes in a hot air balloon only to get sucked in by a tornado.  Oh, and the first part of the movie is in black and white.  Wait, this all sounds familiar. 🙂

Diggs winds up in the Emerald City and Theodora thinks that he’s the Wizard that has been sent to save them.  If he breaks the spell of the Wicked Witch, he will become king and have all the riches!  We also know that either Theodora, Glinda, or Evanora will become the Wicked Witch!

The world of Oz is beautiful and stunningly colorful.  I absolutely loved the movie and there’s been talk that it would have been a better movie if either Johnny Depp or Robert Downey, Jr. had been the magician.  I disagree, as I was captivated by Franco as the Wizard.  And, Michelle Williams is always incredible.

As for kids seeing the PG-rated movie, Ray and Gretel are “jumpers” when watching movies.  She jumped twice (and one was SOOO predictable) and Ray jumped once.  I have to admit that his one jump scene was totally unexpected and fun!

A must see!

GRADE:  B+

FUTURE PICK HIT

Okay, say what you about Ke$ha.  I used to like her auto-tuned to death, sugary, pop confections, but I didn’t think she was very talented.  That changed when I bought “Warrior”, her latest album.  I absolutely love it.  But, I still wouldn’t commit to seeing her in concert!

Her new song, the third release from the album and the follow-up to “C’Mon” is “Supernatural”.

When I blogged about the “Warrior” album and gave it an “A” back in January, here’s what I said about her new single, “If you’re already a fan of Ke$ha’s music and you like to dance, you’ll love a very Ace of Base sounding, “All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)”, “Out Alive”, “Wherever You Are”, “Last Goodbye”, and “Supernatural”.

PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK

And, one of the co-writers on Ke$ha’s “Supernatural” is featured in my weekly ’80s flashback!

In England, singer Nik Kershaw was a 1980s teen idol and made eight appearances on the Top 40 music charts.

Sadly, here in the United States, the closest he came to the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 was with “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”.  The song peaked at #46 in 1984.  I still love the video and the song today!

Okay, that’s enough random thoughts for now.  I could go on and on and on.  What’s on your mind?   Maybe something about what I said today or something else random?  Let me know.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Anthony

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Darla Beach on March 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Anthony: I saw Oz and enoyed the characters and the thought it was visually stunning. BUT, I wished that the wizard had also woken up after the storm. It would have kept with the “it was all a dream” theme of the original and connected right into the original movie. I also heard they couldn’t use any of the music, and I so wished that just a little “Over the Rainbow” was maybe hummed along in the background music. What do you think?

    Reply

    • Darla,

      I apologize for taking so long to respond. That damn “real life” gets in the way sometimes. 🙂

      I think maybe the reason he didn’t wake up is because a sequel was pretty much in the works before it even came out to bridge this movie and “The Wizard of Oz”.

      It was crazy that they had to make sure the green face paint on the witches didn’t match, monkeys had to be called baboons, they couldn’t show this or that is crazy. Very territorial! 🙂

      Happy Ester, my friend!

      AP

      Reply

  2. Some of the songs Helen Reddy sang were classics and I had forgotten about some of them! Pretty awesome that she was singing to you….she knows a true fan when she sees one. Too bad about the Meet and Greet….I hope you get to meet her someday. Hey, it’s very difficult to get a photo of a random deer. Nice work! Love the cartoon about wine pairing…and it was nice of Andy to remind us that it was a lot warmer last year at this time. (not!) Hope the weekend treats you and your family well.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Gay Parker on March 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Sorry you didn’t get to meet Helen but
    How lucky to see her show. Join her
    Fb fan club incase she comes your way
    Again!!

    Reply

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