The weekend is almost here and that means it’s Friday and I get to share some of my random thoughts! When I do this, it’s my way of expressing some of the things that have crossed my mind. Some are small, some are big, and some have little relevance to anything, but I love having this avenue. I know you may not always agree with me or I may enlighten you on something you haven’t thought about, but I appreciate you checking out my blog and my random thoughts. I always welcome your thoughts, too.
I hope you all had a great time celebrating our independence from England yesterday!
Oh, the Fourth of July. A day to show off your pride and wear your finest red, white, and blue! What a way to rock that fringe!! (Thanks Stacia!)
By the way, I pre-ordered “Behind the Candelabra”, the HBO Liberace movie with Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his much younger lover, Scott Thorson. It covers the last ten years of the flamboyant singer’s life and his “secret” affair with Thorson. “Secret”? That’s right, people thought he was straight! (Said no on ever — out loud!)
When “Candelabra” aired on HBO on May 26, 2013, 3.5 million people tuned in making it the highest rated TV film for the network since 2004. It arrives on DVD on September 17, 2013.
HATERS DEFY THE RECORD NUMBER OF OPEN-MINDED
Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. This now makes federal benefits available to people in same-sex marriages.
Earlier this week, a new USA Today poll shows that a record number of Americans (55%) support marriage equality. That’s the highest level of support nationwide since Gallup first asked this question in 1996 when only 27% of Americans supported marriage equality.
Yet, while millions are rejoicing and are moving to the right side of history, there are still haters that can’t mind their own business and tend to their own lives, families, and marriages. Of course, one of the first to speak out against this righting of a wrong in American history was Chick-fil-A COO and President Dan T. Cathy.
Here’s what he tweeted (and quickly deleted) on the day of the SCOTUS landmark decision.
Chick-fil-A spokesman Jerry Johnson quickly issued a statement saying, “He realized his views didn’t necessarily represent the views of all customers, restaurant owners and employees and didn’t want to distract them from providing a great restaurant experience” and that “Chick-fil-A is focused on providing great-tasting food and genuine hospitality to everyone.” If you read between the lines, that basically says the company wants your money — regardless of who you love.
I’ve made it very clear in the past about how I feel about Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy and the money they give to anti-gay groups, so I won’t go there today. (You can type in Chick-fil-A in the search engine at the top of the blog to read the previous stories!) However, I’ll just let three sassy “ladies” do the work for me.
THE WEAKEST LINK IN EQUALITY
In that poll released this past Monday, “USA Today” also reports that the only other major demographic groups that a majority still opposes marriage equality are Republicans (68%) and seniors 65 and older (51%).
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS — RAP WITH A HEART ❤
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not a huge fan of rap or hip-hop music. In 1986, I owned the Beastie Boys’ “Licensed to Ill” cassette and in 1990, I bought the cassette of “To The Extreme” by Vanilla Ice! However, there’s a Seattle rapper and producer that I have to shout out to and say “thank you”.
Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis are one of the hottest acts in pop music today. Just this year alone, the duo topped the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks (and the R&B/Hip-Hop chart for 14 weeks) with “Thrift Store”. Its already sold almost 5.6 million copies. They followed that up with five more weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and 7 weeks atop the R&B/Hip-Hop chart with “Can’t Hold Us”. That song’s sales are up to 3.1 million copies.
Almost one year ago, on July 18, 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released “Same Love” with singer Mary Lambert. The song was written to support legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington, which would be voting on “Washington Referendum 74” that fall. It also tackled homophobia in hip-hop music.
“Same Love” is racing up the Billboard Hot 100 (up from #28 to #16 this week). And, on the Billboard Rap Songs chart, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have three of the top songs (#1, #2, and #4)! The video has already been viewed more than 54 million times!
Who better than Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the hottest act on the chart, to get the word out about marriage equality and homophobia! Even if you’re not a rap or hip hop fan, take seven minutes to watch this incredible video with a powerful message. And, another thing that I love about the video is that there is a sparkler and champagne toast. Ray and I did that at our wedding reception almost two years ago! 🙂
And, while it doesn’t matter, another thing that makes this even more amazing is that Macklemore is straight.
He says, “It’s a record I’ve wanted to write a long time. I tried writing it from the perspective of a gay bullied kid… I grew up in the Catholic Church, I grew up with two gay uncles and a gay godfather, and I grew up in the hip hop community. So the Catholic Church and hip hop community are known as being very homophobic communities in a lot of ways.”
And, those are his gay uncles.
MORE Z IS ON THE WAY, BUT I’M NOT TALKING “ZZZZZ”, AS IN SLEEP
After months of speculation about how “World War Z” would perform at the box office, the verdict is in and it has Paramount very happy.
The $190 million, zombie flick with Brad Pitt has already brought in $271.4 million in its first thirteen days ($136 million of that is from the United States). Talk about the troubles the production encountered and a third act re-shoot gave Paramount cold feet about the movie becoming a trilogy. However, after the box office success, last month Paramount announced that it was moving ahead with a sequel!
Now, we can see if the “camouflage” will really buy the survivors time! That’s not really a spoiler because you’d have to know what the “camouflage” is and I’m not talking about what you see them wearing on “Duck Dynasty”.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
TASTY, BLOODY DEXTER
The eighth and final season of my favorite show, “Dexter”, premiered last Sunday night and shattered records. This season opener ranked as the series’ highest-rated premiere ever with 2.5 million viewers at 9 p.m., which is up 4% from the season seven premiere. For the night, “Dexter” had 3.2 million viewers, up 5% from season seven.
And, since I can’t have Dexter for my birthday, I’ll settle for the “Dexter” action figure or these bloody, incredible desserts created to coincide with the kick off to the final season and the last twelve episodes!
These sweet confections are from Magnolia Bakery in New York City. The red velvet cupcakes are topped with a whipped vanilla icing dripping in blood (caramel) and sugar “glass” shards!
SERIOUSLY, GROW A PEAR!
If you remember back to last spring and summer, it was a very warm to hot one in the Quad Cities. March 2012 was the warmest on record with an average temperature of 53.3°, which was more than 14° above average. And, we only had 4″ of snow in March 2012 and that fell toward the beginning of the month.
Needless to say that flowers, shrubs, and trees got off to a quick start. This picture was taken toward the end of June last year. The pears were huge!
It’s a much different story this year.
With 10.6″ of snow and temperatures almost 8° below average this March (about 22° colder than March 2012), the growing season is a little behind. And, it isn’t being helped by more than 21″ of rain falling in April, May, and June. We’ve only been at 90° or higher three times this year. Last year, at this time, we had already been there 15 times!
This pear picture was taken this week! As you can see, they are much smaller.
I THOUGHT ABOUT “MACHETE KILLS” AND GOT SIDETRACKED
When I hear the word “Latin”, I instantly think of sexy Enrique Iglesias and Sofia Vergara! Be still my beating heart! 🙂 How could two people be any sexier???
This really has nothing to do with them, it just gave me a reason to Google search images of Enrique and Sofia! Okay, now that I’m sidetracked, I’ll talk about Sofia and her new movie. I’ve gone to two movies lately, “World War Z” and “White House Down” and both showed previews of her action flick coming out this fall, “Machete Kills”.
It features the acting debut of Lady Gaga and Sofia is over the top cray cray in the previews. I definitely won’t be seeing it in a theater, but I’ll check it out on DVD. While it doesn’t appear to be my kind of movie, it’s crazy enough that I’m interested.
And, when listing the stars in the movie, the trailer boasts, “and introducing Carlos Estevez” as the President of the United States. WTH?? Sorry, Charlie Sheen, you can’t sneak that past me. I know it’s you.
OKAY, NOW THE HOT LATINA WITH A SHOT OF TEQUILA
Does the name Paulina Rubio ring a bell to you? That’s her on the right in the white shirt.
The other woman is Colombian singer Shakira. Of course, Shakira is the biggest star of the two selling more than 70 million records worldwide and she is one of the best-selling Latin artists of all time. Shakira has had nine hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Of those, four have reached the Top Ten, including her biggest hit, the #1 smash, “Hips Don’t Lie”. You also know her as the substitute judge on “The Voice” this season for Christina Aguilera. While Shakira is talented, I want to introduce you to my favorite Latina star. Okay, that’s Selena, but she’s no longer with us!
My favorite, for about a decade now, is Paulina Rubio. The 42-year-old Mexico City native has sold about 20 million records worldwide and is regarded as the “most influential Latin celebrity in the world”.
Her first Latin album came out in 1992. In 2002, she made a modest attempt at a crossover to English music with her album “Border Girl”. It reached #11 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #1 on the Latin album chart. The closest she came to having a big hit on mainstream radio in America was with “Don’t Say Goodbye/Si Tú Te Vas”, which peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Rubio has scored 24 Billboard Latin chart hits. Of those, 15 have reached the Top Ten and five of them have reached #1. Here’s one of those #1 Latin Hits from 2004, “Dame Otro Tequila”. She and her friends are too Caliente! Hot!
You’ll see much more of Paulina Rubio this fall when she joins the third season of “The X Factor” as one of the two new judges replacing Britney Spears and L.A. Reid. The other new judge is Kelly Rowland, formerly with Destiny’s Child.
INTRIGUED BY “LIFE”
I’ve don’t own a Rolling Stones album or CD. I can only list a few of their songs without cheating and looking at Wikipedia: “Start Me Up”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Beast of Burden” (with Bette Midler), and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, thanks to Whoopi Goldberg.
But, I just read an excerpt of “Life”, the 2010 rock memoir from Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards, in a November 2010 “Rolling Stone” magazine (not to be confused with the Rolling Stones, the band) and it sounds intriguing.
The book deals with his strained relationship with Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, how the Stones got started, and a lot of talk about drugs.
But, it was this quote that captured my attention and made me keep reading the article, “I think in a way your persona, your image, as it used to be known, is like a ball and chain. People think I’m still a goddamn junkie. It’s 30 years since I gave up the dope! Image is like a long shadow. Even when the sun goes down, you can see it…. It’s impossible not to end up being a parody of what you thought you were.”
“Image is like a long shadow” is so philosophical!
And, it doesn’t hurt either that in the 1960s and the 1970s, Richards was a hot, young lad! Since I was never a big fan, it was interesting to looks back 40 or 50 years to see who he was back then. I’m definitely getting the book and learning more about Richards and the Rolling Stones.
PEEP’S ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK
Since I’m talking about Keith Richards, I’ll feature his band in this week’s ’80s Friday Flashback. In the United States, from their first hit in 1964 (months before I was born) to their last radio hit in early 1990, the Rolling Stones hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 a total of 41 times. Of that impressive feat, 23 of those songs reached the Top Ten, and seven made it all the way to #1.
My favorite Rolling Stones hit peaked at #2 in the fall of 1981, just as I was halfway through my senior year in high school. “Start Me Up” was the first release from their #1 multi-platinum album, “Tattoo You”, which moved more than 4 million copies sold in the U.S.
And, by the way, I remember “State of Shock” with the Jacksons, but that a Mick Jagger hit without the Stones.
‘WHITE HOUSE DOWN”
If you’re going to this movie for an Academy Award winning flick, you’re wasting your time and money. If you’re going to see a great popcorn summer movie that’s full of action and destruction to American institutions that director Roland Emmerich likes to deliver (“Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow”), you’re in the right place.
“People” magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” (Tatum) is trying to get a job as a Secret Service to protect the President of the United States, played by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx. Tatum’s John Cale is not having a good day with his 11-year-old daughter after he misses her recital. He makes it up to her by getting her a tour of the White House. Needless to say, terrorists take over the White House and then we have an action movie.
The movie was very entertaining, riveting, suspenseful, and enjoyable. The biggest question on my mind as I went into the movie was not how many people would be killed or blown up, but how long would I have to wait to see Tatum lose the suit and parade around in the more comfortable and appealing white tank top. 🙂
This is a continuation of a running gag that started last summer when I had my picture taken by the poster of the very hunky Channing Tatum when “Magic Mike” was in theaters.
Now, there are three reasons that my body does not look like Tatum’s: (1) that popcorn for starters, (2) he has a trainer and the motivation to work out, and (3) he’s 33 and I’m in my late-40s!
SUMMER PICK HIT
I’ve had pretty good luck picking future hits. You may have heard of “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, but that one was already well on its way. However, I’m still waiting for “Get It Tonight” by Erika Jayne with Flo Rida to take off.
Take note of the name Avicii, (pronounced “Uh-vee-che”). The Swedish DJ will turn 24-years-old in early September just about a week before he releases his debut album, “#True”.
His career really took off last summer when he remixed “Girl Gone Wild” by Madonna and he became the first DJ to headline at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Two performances last September were sold out and the first show took less than a minute to sell out!
While he’s had a couple of moderate radio hits in the United States (“Levels” reached #33 last year on the radio airplay and “I Could Be The One” with Nicky Romero peaked at #34 on that same chart earlier this year), his biggest successes domestically has been on the Billboard Dance chart. Avicii has hit the Top Five with his last four songs: “Collide” with Leona Lewis and “Levels” both topped that chart, “Silhouettes” reached #4, and “I Could Be The One” was also a #1 Dance hit.
And, the song I’m featuring today made its debut all the way up at #12 this week on the Billboard Dance chart. It’s at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100.
I hope you have a fun, safe weekend. Ray and I are going to relax this weekend. With the heat and Gretel still at her grandmother’s this weekend, we’ll be spending some time in the pool. I’m sure the potent potable will be refreshing, even if it isn’t a “Skinny Girl white cranberry Cosmo”. We drank that yesterday in the pool. 🙂