Archive for May, 2013

Random Friday Thoughts — May 31

Happy Friday everyone!  Another weekend is upon us and I hope you have a nice one planned.  Today is Gretel’s last day of school and her last day as a sixth grader!  I think she wants to go out to lunch at Osaka Buffet, one of our favorite places to eat.  I should do it because tomorrow is June 1st and that is the date that Ray and I agreed upon to eat healthier, limit our buffets, and exercise more.

This is also Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  We might go and check it out.   The late, great Miss ABBA and I went to a couple of the festivities.  This picture is from the 2010 Quad City Pride.

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I’ll have to check with the weatherman to see which day would be better! 🙂

ONE LESS RAT IN THE RAT RACE

Early Wednesday morning, I got the best news that brought a smile to my face.  There will be one less rat in the 2014 “rat race” election season.

Failed Republican presidential wannabe and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann announced that she will not be seeking re-election.  She said, “I fully anticipate the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term.  They always seemed to attempt to find a dishonest way to disparage me. But I take being the focus of their attention and disparagement as a true compliment of my public service effectiveness.”

michele bachmann

The woman is, how do you say it, bat-sh*t crazy.  She’s currently being investigated because of her campaign spending and in the last Congressional election spent a lot of money and barely won re-election with less than two percentage points.  Her competitor in that race, Jim Graves, recently announced that he would be running again in 2014.

Now, if I didn’t filter how I really felt, I’d say she came to realization that American handily told her we didn’t want her for president, that it took a lot of money to barely convince Minnesota to keep her in office the last time, and keeping her husband in the closet is a full-time job!   But, that would be mean and that is just a rumor about her husband — for now! 🙂

Marcus Bachmann

I would say good riddance, but Bachmann vows to continue fighting for traditional marriage and family values.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

SHARKCrazyStalker

We The People

GALLUP POLL

A recent Gallup poll shows that gay or lesbian relations are accepted by 19% more people today than just 12 years ago.  Today, with twelve states and the District of Columbia with marriage equality (and Illinois is considering it), 59% of Americans polled find gay or lesbian relationships acceptable.  In 2001, only 40% did so.

Also, Americans find having babies and having sex outside of marriage much more acceptable today than a decade ago.   Even divorce and polygamy are 9% and 7% more acceptable today, respectively, than just a decade ago.

Gallup Poll

Of the 20 topics surveyed, the most unacceptable now compared to 2001 is medical testing on animals.  It’s down 9% in the past decade.  Also seeing a decrease in acceptability today, compared to 2001, is doctor-assisted suicides.  That is down 4%.

REMEMBERING “DR. DEATH”

While more Americans find doctor-assisted suicides less acceptable today than a decade ago, according to that recent Gallup poll, I’m taking a moment to remember the man whose name is synonymous with that subject.  He died two years ago next week.

Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan born pathologist, gained national attention in late 1998 when he allowed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to air a videotape he made two months earlier of the voluntary euthanasia of 52-year-old Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating disease that causes progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

After a two-day trial, a Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder.  After serving time, he was paroled eight years later.

He may have been involved in more than 130 deaths and Kevorkian told “Time” magazine, “My specialty is death.”

So, what is your view on doctor-assisted suicides?  Feel free to tell me, even if we disagree.

I’m all for it.  I’ve seen people wither away to almost nothing in so much pain. I look at their lives and I see that some have no quality of life.  My mother died of a sudden heart attack at age 47.  While we were unable to say goodbye, I’m thankful that she never suffered for a long period like some people do.

If I’m ever in a terminal health situation where there is no chance of recovery (short of a miracle) and I’m in unimaginable pain, I’d welcome being euthanized.  Why is it that we’re in a position in this country where we have to watch our loved ones suffer until they die naturally, but we can do the “humane” thing to keep our beloved pets from immense suffering when they reach that point of no return by euthanizing them?

february-3-2012-daddy-a-abba

On February 3, 2012, Miss ABBA, our golden retriever that was just like a child to us, took that final R-I-D-E in the car.  I carried her to the car that morning and into the vet’s office.  I sat on the floor holding her when the doctor administered the two shots and she peacefully crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

Many of you already know that Miss ABBA lived ten fantastic months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was only given two to three months to live.  She never got sick or down until the day before she died.

I’m blessed for the almost 12 years Miss ABBA and I had together.  I’m so glad that she never had to suffer and that I had that option to ease her pain when her quality of life ended.  I would want the same for myself or for my human counterparts.

RICK SPRINGFIELD ROCKS!

Let me lighten the mood now by saying last Friday night’s Rick Springfield concert in the Quad Cities was incredible.  The ’80s heart throb played for about two hours and he still sounds as good as he did back in his heyday when “Jessie’s Girl” was #1 and he had other top ten hits like “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

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“DEXTER SEASON 7 IS AWESOME!”

We are eight episodes into season 7 of “Dexter” and I absolutely love this season.  Only four more episodes to go and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.  Please don’t spoil it for me or for anyone who hasn’t seen this season, but I hope Joey Quinn bites the dust.  I’m over his character. 🙂

As for “Dexter”, fans already know that the new season begins on Showtime June 30th and this will be the final season!!!!!!!!  😦

Who’s going to be my favorite serial killer then?  And, how will I handle not seeing sexy Michael C. Hall?

Dexter-michael-c-hall

So, what are your favorite seasons?  Other than season seven, my other favorites are seasons one, four, and six!

SPEAKING OF SERIAL KILLERS

Good news!!!!  The Hollywood website, deadline.com, is reporting that “Hannibal” has been renewed for a 13 episode second season!

hannibal

There was concern that the graphic drama about our favorite cannibal might be cancelled because it only brings in a rating of about 4.7 million people weekly.

But, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “We’re so proud of Bryan’s [executive producer Bryan Fuller] vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling.  There are many great stories still to be told.”

And, here’s an interesting fact.  NBC says that “Hannibal” is the youngest drama on NBC, CBS, and ABC, with a median viewer age of 45.7 years.

AMAZING ALBUM I KNOW YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE!!!

While I love all genres of music, I’m partial to dance and 1980s.  I’ve moved away from country music.  I mean, no country radio without new Reba and Patty Loveless music is boring.  You can take your Taylor Swift and… what was I saying? 🙂

I have to highly recommend an album that came out last fall that I just can’t stop listening to and it’s been nine months.  It’s “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago band, the White Tie Affair.  I saw them at Market Days in Chicago a few years ago and Chris is amazing.

Push Rewind

I totally agree with “Entertainment Weekly” when it said “Push Rewind” was “the best pop album you probably haven’t discovered yet.”  Meanwhile, iTunes called “Push Rewind”, the “best breakthrough pop album of 2012” and his first solo hit, “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, one of the “best songs of 2012”.

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” reached #25 on the Billboard “Pop Songs” chart, which is based on radio airplay.

If you liked the first single, you’re going to love the CD.  “Keep Me Crazy” (the second and new single), “Hurricane”, and “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” are all fun upbeat dance numbers.  If those are a little too dance-oriented for you, you’ll love the mid-tempo tracks “Don’t Mind If I Do”, “Best Mistake”, and “Invincible”.

When Wallace slows it down for the ballads “I’ll Be There” and “Ready To Fall”, his soulful voice just captivates you.

He closes the disc with the perfect slow-building mid-tempo “Do It All Again”.

There aren’t too many albums where I love every song.  This is one of them.  I sure hope that radio and America learn who Chris Wallace is and that he becomes the star he should be.

GRADE:  A

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Two years ago this week on June 4, 2011, we went to the Chicago suburbs to celebrate Gretel’s 10th birthday by seeing “Glee” in concert.  Gretel absolutely loves the show and Kurt is her favorite character.  And, while he was walking by, sexy crooner Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, shook hands with me!

Gretel June 4 2011Darren Criss June 4 2011

And, this week last year, we were in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the week of Memorial Day.  We had a fantastic time just chilling by the Lake.  We also did a little boating, fishing, and we visited Arnold’s Park, an amusement park.  That’s where we took this cute family photo.

Arnolds Park May 30 2012

“PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

Canadian Bryan Adams has scored 22 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

After reaching #10 with his first American hit, “Straight From The Heart” in 1982, his follow-up, “Cuts Like A Knife” reached #15.

Of his 22 hits, 11 of them reached the Top Ten here in the U.S.  Of those, four reached #1:  “Heaven” (1985), “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991) from the motion picture, “Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves”, “All For Love” (1993) , and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1995) with Sting and Rod Stewart, from the movie “Don Juan DeMarco”.

ENOUGH FOR THIS WEEK

With the severe weather Thursday and working until after 6 p.m., I had to cut this short a little.  But, it’s enough for one week.

Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for checking out my blog of random thoughts!

Anthony

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Flooding Threat Increases Again Tomorrow

You don’t need a meteorologist to tell you that it’s been a rainy (and snowy) five months across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois.  But, I’ll tell you that it’s been wet because I want to share some incredible rainfall statistics and a couple of amazing pictures with you.

Tuesday evening, Galesburg, Illinois, picked up more than three inches of rain in just about an hour causing widespread flash flooding.

Alexis Cory, of Galesburg, took this picture of the street flooding.

Alexis Cory GBB

And, LeAnn Crouse, of Galesburg, has lived at her house for 27 years and she’s never seen the flooding that she has this year.

LeAnn Crouse  GBB

 

In the Quad Cities, we only picked up 0.72″ in the strong to severe thunderstorms that moved through the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.

Quad Cities Rain

That brings our May rainfall total to 7.23″, which is more than three inches above average.  As a matter of fact, we’re just outside the Top Ten for the wettest May months on record.  With more heavy rain expected Thursday and Friday, a Top Ten appearance is guaranteed!

Since March 1, 2013, the start of “meteorological spring” (March, April, and May), we’ve picked up more than 17″ of rain (and melted snow) in the metro area.  In the same time period in an average year, that total should be just over ten inches.

So far, in 2013, our precipitation total is up to 22.41″, which is about nine inches above average.

One year ago, we were at 12.14″, which was just about an inch or so below average and then we headed into that devastating drought last summer.

Sadly, much more rain is on the way Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  The rain on the first two of those days could be heavy and it could be accompanied by more flash flooding and severe storms.

I expect several more inches of rain and this forecast projection from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center verifies my thinking.

Rainfall Through Monday Morning

Be careful out there with all the flood waters and be safe over the next few days.

Anthony

 

Rain, Rain Go Away

Rain is pretty common on Memorial Day in the Quad Cities.  Out of the past 143, it has rained at least a trace on 77 of them.  And, since its already rained since midnight, we can make that 78-out-of-144 now.

The wettest Memorial Day came in 1903 with 2.03″ of rain.

It has already been a pretty wet holiday weekend with flash flooding on area streets, rivers rising out of their banks, and basements across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys taking on water.

Here are some of the impressive rainfall totals from Saturday through Monday morning.

Rainfall Amounts

And, we’ll see several more rounds of showers and thunderstorms later today through Wednesday morning with heavy rain.

A “Flash Flood Watch” remains in effect through Tuesday morning across much of eastern Iowa and western-central Illinois.

Flash Flood Watch Memorial Day

And, if that wasn’t bad enough, there is the threat of some severe weather Tuesday and, again, later this week.  Also, more heavy rain threatens us Thursday and Friday.

Look at this rainfall forecast from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.  While I expect another three or more inches of rain from Monday morning through Saturday morning, if this projection is correct, we could get another six inches of rain!!!!!!!!  For now, just plan on at least three more inches this week.

Rainfall Potential Through Saturday 7AM

Try to stay afloat and make the best of your week.

Anthony

They Said What??? Celine Dion, Ke$ha, & Cee Lo Green

OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN

(after a deadly tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma last Monday):  “The media’s done a superb job over the last few days of keeping people informed about the conditions, especially our weathermen and those that have been on the ground, driving, following and tracking the storm itself.

POP STAR JUSTIN BIEBER

(after being booed when accepting the Milestone Award at the Billboard Music Awards):  “I’m an artist and I should be taken seriously and all this other bull should not be spoken of.”

POP STAR KE$HA

(responding to the controversy after drinking her own urine on her MTV show, “Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life”):  “I heard it was good for you. That was, like, the rumor.  But I don’t know.  I’m also just one that doesn’t shy away from things. I’m not good at saying ‘no’ so I just figure, f— it, I’ll try anything once. So I tried it. I wouldn’t recommend it. It was pretty gross. And I don’t think it really did anything very beneficial to me so, yeah, I wouldn’t probably do it again.”

SUPERSTAR & VETERAN LAS VEGAS PERFORMER CELINE DION

(on Britney Spears’ upcoming Planet Hollywood Las Vegas residency):  “She knows exactly what she needs to do.  She is a hard worker. She’s very talented and you know what, there’s a place for everybody. You just have to make sure you take your seat. You have to make sure you get ready, you prepare yourself, you focus and everybody can do it. She can do it.”

SINGER CEE LO GREEN

(about his residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas):  “You get up, you work out, you go downstairs to do your job, go upstairs, go to a club, grab some girls, have some sex, go to sleep.”(Laugh)  “Sex is healthy—protected sex that is.  Use Magnums, kids!”

Anthony

I Got to “Celebrate Youth” With Rick Springfield

Once I hit 30-years-old living in the big city of Chicago after growing up in small town Kentucky, I came to the realization that age is just a number.  As long as I’m healthy, I feel good, and my appearance holds up, I wasn’t going to let my age hinder me or stand in my way.

And, after living it up and partying Friday night with the great folks of the Quad Cities and Rick Springfield, I’m looking forward to aging gracefully.  With 1980s pop star and sex symbol Springfield as my inspiration, I’m ready to “Celebrate Youth” even as I close in on the big 5-0 in the fall of 2014!

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Two months ago, I bought tickets to Rick’s concert at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.  I remember back in the mid-1980s, my sister, who was a teenager then, saw Rick in concert.  If the 1980s were your decade, you know that Rick was a huge sex symbol and dominated the music charts with such pop classics like “Jessie’s Girl”, “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

When I blogged about buying tickets the next day, I found out that my former co-anchor, Julie (VanGoethem) Lund, from my first television job in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, in 1996, was driving down from Madison, Wisconsin, to see the concert with another one of our former colleagues from Rhinelander, Elizabeth Goodsitt, who now works in the Quad Cities’ television market.  (Pictured:  Elizabeth, Julie, Anthony & Ray.)

Rick Springfield Group

Julie has seen Rick in concert more than 50 times!!!  I’m sure there’s an active restraining order somewhere in the system.  🙂  I’m kidding!  Who am I to talk since I’ve seen Reba in concert 12 times?

Now, while I say that age is a number if you feel good and take care of yourself, I have to point out that Rick Springfield is just a few months away from turning 64-years-old!  And, while he may have aged 30 years since he hit #1 in 1981 with “Jessie’s Girl”, you wouldn’t know it from his two-hour energy-filled rock concert!

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Several times during the show, he’d go into a few riffs of “Jessie’s Girl”, his Grammy winning and only #1 hit, and the crowd went wild and then he’d quickly segue into the next song in his set. What a tease and he knows from experience that it would energize the crowd.

And, finally he performed his signature song!

During “Human Touch”, his Top 20 hit in 1983 from the “Living in Oz” album, Rick came out into the crowed and walked around on top of chairs (and a few people).  I love this picture I snapped as he neared us!

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By the way, I only mentioned the “Living In Oz” album so I could show the album cover since I think this is one of the sexiest pictures of Rick I’ve seen over the past 30 years!

Living In Oz 1983 Rick Springfield

Okay, flash forward back 30 years to Friday night’s concert.  While Rick performed many of his 17 Top 40 American hits (some in a medley), he also showcased several songs from his 2012 album, “Songs For The End of The World”.

And, that got me to thinking.  That album is fantastic and it peaked on the Billboard Top 200 album chart at #44.  It’s really inspiring to see performers out on the road promoting new music long after they reached their radio peak.  Rick’s last hit on mainstream radio was in 1988 (“Rock of Life” reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100).

It’s sad that radio today (pop and country) miss out on some fantastic music because they focus solely on young, hot acts and ignore older musicians.  There’s a world outside of Taylor Swift, One Direction, etc.

Songs For the End of the World

From his latest album, Rick performed some of my new favorites like, “Wide Awake”, “Our Ship’s Sinking”, “Love Screws Me Up”, and the beautiful “You & Me”.  Check out these awesome new songs from “Songs  For The End of the World”.

And, while it was comfortable inside the concert and only in the 50s outside the concert, it must have been warm for Rick to be jamming on stage for two hours because he lost his shirt for the encore.  That revealed two things to me:  a nice back shoulder tattoo and that with the right diet and exercise regiment, we can all have a hot body in our 60s!!!  Oh, who am I kidding?  While what I said is true, it’s just an excuse to show the pictures!

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What a perfect way to spend a Friday night and re-live my teenage and early 20s years with one of the pop stars I loved back in the decade of the best music ever — the 1980s.  If you ever get a chance, you have to see Rick Springfield in concert.  He’s amazing and he shows no signs of slowing down.

And, the concert gave me a chance to party with old friends and new!  First picture:  Anthony & Julie Lund — Second picture:  Elizabeth Goodsitt & Anthony — Third picture:  Britta Dixon, Anthony, & Julie Dixon Balmer.

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Rick Springfield, thank you for the awesome show and the memories.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 24

It’s the last “unofficial” weekend of spring if you’re one of those people who count Memorial Day as the “unofficial” start of summer.  It’s also a three-day weekend for some of you and if you’re Ray, it’s a four-day weekend since he’s taking today off!  And, if you’re in the news business, it’s probably a traditional two-day weekend!!!  Oh, woe is me!  However many days off you have or whatever you do, I hope you have fun and it’s a safe one.

Tonight, Ray and I are going to the Rick Springfield concert at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.  We’re meeting up with two of my colleagues from my television job in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, in 1996, for a blast of the past evening — my former morning show co-anchor, Julie (VanGoethem) Lund and Elizabeth Goodsitt (who now works in the Quad Cities at a competing station).

Rick Springfield

I’ve never seen Rick in concert, but I hear he puts on a fantastic show.  It’s so strange that his first hit was more than 40 years ago (“Speak To The Sky” reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971)!

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

However, Aussie Springfield shot to super stardom in 1981 when “Jessie’s Girl” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  He scored a total of 17 Top 40 hits in the U.S.  Of those, five reached the Top Ten:  “Jessie’s Girl” (#1, 1981), “I’ve Done Everything For You” (#8, 1981), “Don’t Talk To Strangers” (#2, 1982), “Affair Of The Heart” (#9, 1983), and “Love Somebody” (#5, 1984), from his movie, “Hard To Hold”.

I blogged about Rick Springfield and getting tickets for this show back in March.  Here’s the link in case you missed it:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/im-ready-to-celebrate-youth-and-bop-til-i-drop/

IF YOU HAVE FAITH IN THIS MAN, I’M VERY SORRY!

Pat Robertson

“The 700 Club” televangelist Pat Robertson has said some very mean things in the past about gay people being the root of all problems in America.  Okay, maybe not all of the problems, but many of them.  However, for once, it has nothing to do with “the gays”.

Severe Weather

Earlier this week, one day after deadly tornadoes killed 24 people, including 9 children, in Moore, Oklahoma, he stooped to an all-time low.

I have three to say:  How can real God-loving Christians have any faith in anything this vile man says, how can people actually give money to support this ignorance, and “Don from Illinois”, if you’re a Facebook friend of mine, please delete me.

And, let me clarify and question one of his weather comments.  Since tornadoes have occurred in all 50 states, does that mean we shouldn’t build houses in the U.S.?

AND, SPEAKING OF ANOTHER WHACK JOB…

onemillionmoms

“One Million Moms”, an offspring of the conservative fundamentalist Christian organization, the American Family Association, is now taking credit for the cancellation of the NBC series, “The New Normal”.

The-New-Normal

The show about a gay couple hiring a surrogate mother to have their child was cancelled after one season.  But, then again, so was its lead-in, “Go On”, with former “Friends” star Matthew Perry, along with many other first season shows.

In an email, “One Million Moms” leader Monica Cole writes, “Our persistence has paid off once again!  The New Normal got the axe by NBC after the show’s first and only season!”

She goes on to say, “We are still waiting for a decision on a few of the other programs we have voiced our concerns over. Many of those shows have a high probability of not being renewed, including  The Biggest Loser, American Idol and Dancing With the Stars.”  And, she ends her email with, “One Million Moms continues to fight for the moral values that have served our country so well for so long. We do so without apology.”

Monica, keep up your good fight (note the sarcasm)!  “The Biggest Loser”, “American Idol”, and “Dancing With the Stars” are still performing rather well for their respective networks.  And, remember your failed campaign to get that married lesbian fired as spokesperson for JCPenney?

ellen-degeneres

I have three words for you:  Ellen DeGeneres Rocks!  And, she’s still working!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

HomophobiaCrazy Women

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS ABBA

This past Wednesday marked what would have been Miss ABBA’s 13th birthday.  We celebrated by having a Whitey’s ice cream cone in her memory.  A typical birthday celebration for Miss ABBA would have consisted of a cake, an ice cream cone, and a Checkers burger (since we moved to the Quad Cities in 2005).  Before that, any fast food double cheeseburger worked.

Our friend, Vickie Felger, did this beautiful piece of art that hangs in our sun room right after Miss ABBA went to puppy heaven on February 3, 2012.  And, as you can see, it is no secret that the goofy golden loved her “ice cream & Checkers”.

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And, for those of you that haven’t seen it, here’s a memorial video I made of Miss ABBA’s life and I posted it the day she crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

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Two years ago this week on May 25, 2011, we replaced our old broken stone patio with a concrete patio.

Since Miss ABBA had already been diagnosed with cancer two months earlier and given only two to three months to live (luckily, she lived ten more months and never got sick until the last day), I knew she had to be immortalized.  While she stared at me and wondered what we were doing, she lives on and we can see her paw print every time we’re on the patio by the fish pond!

May 25 2011 ABBA Cementing Her Legacy May 25 2011 ABBA Pawprint

HAVE PASSPORT, MUST TRAVEL

While I’ve been to Ontario, Canada, and to Cancun, Mexico, it was before you needed a passport.  And, this past December when we went on our Carnival cruise, we spent the daylight hours in Cozumel, Mexico, but because the cruise started and ended in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was a “closed loop” voyage and no passport was needed.

PassportPassport2

But, Ray and I finally broke down and got our first passports in preparation for his upcoming 50th birthday celebration.  Details coming soon on the milestone vacation he chose.  And, since I’ll turn the big 5-0 in October 2014, I’m working on where I’d like to go.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHER

Iconic singer, actress, and performer Cher celebrated her 67th birthday earlier this week.  She is currently at work putting the finishing touches on her new album that is expected in September and her new single, “Woman’s World” officially comes out next month.  So, in honor Cher’s birthday, here are her top five hits of her 50-year-plus career ranked by Billboard Magazine.

#5 “Dark Lady” (#1 for one week, 1974), #4 “I Got You Babe” with Sonny Bono (#1 for three weeks, 1965), #3 “Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves” (#1 for two weeks, 1971), #2 “Believe” (#1 for four weeks, 1999), and at #1 “Half Breed” (#1 for two weeks, 1973).

Happy Birthday Cherilyn Sarkisian!!!!!!!!!

HEADING TO THE MOVIES THIS WEEKEND

Outside of the Rick Springfield concert tonight, Ray and I may try to talk my sister, Tammy, into going to brunch Sunday at Jumer’s Casino since they’re having a great special.  I guess people don’t head out to the casino on a typical Memorial Day weekend.

While those plans are not certain, we are going to the movie to see the new J.J. Abrams movie, “Star Trek Into Darkness”.

Star Trek Into Darkness

In just its first seven days in theaters, the sequel has already brought in over $179 million worldwide.  It still has a long way to go to reach the box office success of Abrams’ 2009 original reboot, which grossed $385.7 million.

MADONNA, YOU GO GIRL!

As you know from reading my blogs over the past year, I absolutely loved Madonna’s “MDNA Tour” that I saw in Las Vegas, Nevada, on my birthday, October 13, 2012.  Well, apparently, I’m not alone!  Last Sunday night, Madonna ruled the 2013 Billboard Music Awards winning for “Top Touring Artist”, “Top Dance Artist”, and “Top Dance Album”.  By the way, the “MDNA Tour” was the top grossing tour of 2012 bringing in $305.2 million!!!!!!!!!!!!  The DVD is expected later this year.

Madonna Billboard Awards

Madonna’s Facebook page summed it up best:  “2013 Billboard Music Awards: 3 nominations, 3 awards and only 1 queen… Congratulations MDNA!”

I blogged many times over the past year about Madonna, “MDNA”, and the “MDNA Tour”.  All you have to do is type in one of those words in the blog search engine at the top of the page to read more. 🙂

Warning:  Contains violence and adult language  (After all, it’s Madonna)!

MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Here’s something to leave you with as you kick off your weekend with maybe a barbecue.  I had this satirical, morbid thought yesterday — the perfect solution for fighting world hunger and crime is not fundraisers and superheroes, but the dynamic duo of Dexter and Hannibal! 🙂

Dexter Hannibal

Have a great weekend.

Anthony

They Said What??? Boy George, Chris Christie, & Angelina Jolie

NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

(on Prince Harry’s visit to New York, referencing Harry’s naked Las Vegas scandal):  “I’m going to be spending the entire day with Prince Harry. And so believe me: Nobody’s going to get naked if I’m spending the entire day with him. OK? I think I can assure the people of New Jersey that.”

ACTRESS ANGELINA JOLIE

(on having undergone a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had an 87% risk of breast cancer):  I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer.  It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.

ACTOR JUSTIN BARTHA

(about the cancellation of his series, “The New Normal”, a show about a gay couple becoming parents with a surrogate): “The NBC executives get a lot of critique from the press, but they should be applauded for putting us on the air in the first place, because we still have a long way to go with equality in this country and around the world. Just read the comment section on your website [The Huffington Post] and you’ll see people spewing hateful language and hateful words about all types of people. So we already know that we have a long way to go for that and I’m not saying that The New Normal was a lightning bolt to the cause, but I do think it was a drop in the bucket and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

POP MUSIC ICON BOY GEORGE

(when asked if gay men are better off than in the 1980s):  “We shouldn’t have to feel lucky. I am shocked we are still having debates like gay marriage. On one hand, I think it’s very conservative to want to get married, that it’s a case of ‘if we’re more like them, they’ll like us more’. But on the other hand, who cares? The idea that it is somehow going to destroy civilization is so retarded.”

POP MUSIC ICON CYNDI LAUPER

(on the biggest change she’s seen as an HIV/AIDS advocate) :  “The biggest challenge today is that people don’t think HIV is that much of an issue anymore. While the drug therapies have done an incredible job of keeping people with HIV alive, it is an arduous journey for people taking the drugs. The side effects are significant. The public does not see HIV as a death sentence anymore. We need to continue to reinvest in prevention efforts and to put all the resources we can into ending the epidemic.”

“STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” & “AVATAR” ACTRESS ZOE SALDANA

“[I might] end up with a woman raising my children, that’s how androgynous I am.”

SINGER NATALIE MAINES OF THE DIXIE CHICKS

(who’s married to actor Adrian Pasdar and is the mother of their two children):  “I love Rachel Maddow. She would be my lesbian girl crush.  She’s hot! And she’s smart and beautiful … and I like her hair.”

ACTOR DEAN CAIN

“If anybody wants to get married, go ahead.  I have a lot of gay friends … I can’t understand why it’s an issue. For me, it’s a non-issue.”

Anthony