Another weekend is upon us and I hope you’re excited about whatever you have planned to do. I know some of my friends are going to take it easy this weekend after partying at Market Days last weekend. Since I worked 11 of past 12 days, I think I deserve a break today and I’m not talking McDonald’s. 🙂
Have a great weekend and enjoy my random thoughts this Friday! And, please know that I always welcome your feedback on my thoughts, whether you agree or disagree, and I’d like to know what you’re thinking about whatever.
In less than 24 hours from now, we’ll be boarding a plane from the Quad Cities to Dallas and then to Cancun and by tomorrow afternoon, God-willing, we’ll have our feet buried in the sand sipping on a cold potent drink.
It’s been an interesting week of watching the tropics. If you recall last week, the Caribbean was quiet. And, then by Wednesday, there was a 60-70% chance of a tropical storm forming and bringing heavy rain and wind to the Yucatan Peninsula, e.g. Cancun!
Fun times! Luckily, for us, development into a tropical storm (if it happens) will not occur until it gets into the Gulf of Mexico and the rainy, wet weather should be gone by Saturday!
Here’s to margaritas, tequila, beautiful sunsets, and hot bodies! So, here’s my favorite Latina hottie, Pauline Rubio. (Don’t worry, Enrique (Iglesias), you’re my favorite Latin hottie!)
PAULA DEEN GETS VINDICATION, BUT…
The lawsuit against celebrity chef Paula Deen that caused her to lose her Food Network television show and many sponsorships has been thrown of out of court.
Lisa Jackson, a former manager at one of Deen’s Savannah restaurants, is suing her former bosses, Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, for millions of dollars for racial and sexual discrimination.
However, earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled that Jackson, who is white, cannot sue them for race discrimination because she was not one of the victims — even though others may have allegedly faced discrimination.
A spokesperson for Paula Deen says, “We are pleased with the court’s ruling today that Lisa Jackson’s claims of race discrimination have been dismissed. As Ms. Deen has stated before, she is confident that those who truly know how she lives her life know that she believes in equal opportunity, kindness and fairness for everyone.”
There is still the issue of sexual harassment that Jackson is alleging.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*
¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday Dear Madonna!!!!! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
Today, the “Material Girl” turns 55!
In honor of the woman who had the most successful tour of 2012 (the “MDNA Tour” made $305.2 million), has had more Hot 100 Top Ten Billboard hits than the Beatles (38), and leads with the most #1 Billboard Dance chart hits (43), here’s my favorite Madonna song.
“Borderline” became her first Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984.
And, here’s my favorite Madonna video.
“Open Your Heart” became Madonna’s 11th Top Ten hit and fifth #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1987.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
FINALLY, I GET TO READ A BOOK!
I just finished the April 28, 2011 “Rolling Stone”, the last of my stockpiled magazines that also included “Time”, “Details”, “Men’s Fitness”, and “Boston”. Now that all of those subscriptions have expired, I only get “Entertainment Weekly”, “Out”, “Instinct”, and “The Advocate”.
This means that I’ll be able to keep up with the new magazines as they arrive and I can finally read a book! I haven’t read a book in about five years — right before Ray and I met.
I already have the first four picked out, “Golden Days: Memories of a Golden Retriever” by Arthur Vanderbilt, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein (yes, Vickie, I’m finally going to read it and get it back to you), “The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed” by Judy Shepard, and “Christmas in Plains” by Jimmy Carter.
Those four should take me up to the end of the year. The Matthew Shepard book will be timely since the 15th anniversary of his death is October 12th and the book by President Carter should coincide with Christmas this year!
WHAT I LEARNED FROM “ROLLING STONE” MAGAZINE
I always thought of “Rolling Stone” as a rock music magazine. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how it excels in hard news and investigative reporting. It expands on stories that mainstream news media outlets shy away from by playing it safe. “Rolling Stone” doesn’t hold back!
Here are some of the highlights from the last few issues that I just finished reading from 2011 as my subscription expired. I told you I was behind on reading!
Witty TV commentator Bill Maher was profiled in the March 17, 2011 issue and the article quoted the comedian talking about a shamed Texas politician, “Tom DeLay has done only two things since leaving politics, “Dancing With The Stars” and now prison — somebody must tell him there are easier ways to have sex with men.” Good stuff!
It also had an interesting cover story on talk show host Howard Stern, who still like to shock people.
In the March 31, 2011 issue, it basically made Stern seem much more human and flawed. The article touched on the fact that Stern currently makes $80 million dollars a year for his SiriusXM talk show, but he’s still very unhappy in his life and fighting demons. However, it stated that he is now happily remarried.
Since the article is over two years old, Stern now makes another $15 million for being a judge on “America’s Got Talent”!
And, while she went though hell at the hands of ex-boyfriend/singer Chris Brown and she gets some bad press because of her actions, I really enjoyed learning more about Rihanna in the April 14, 2011 issue.
For the record, she’s already scored 39 Top 40 hits in America on the Billboard Hot 100 since her first hit in 2005 and twelve of those songs topped that chart. She became only the seventh artist in music history to accomplish that.
Her longest charting #1 song on the Hot 100 (ten weeks) was “We Found Love” with Calvin Harris. And, her latest single with David Guetta, “Right Now” just became her 20th number one song on the Billboard dance chart. She’s now in second place as the artist with the most #1 dance hits behind Queen Madonna, with 43 chart toppers.
However, I didn’t learn any of that from the “Rolling Stone” article. Here’s what I learned from the magazine that made RiRi so much more down to earth: She doesn’t like vegetables because they taste “like bush”, but she loves french fries, Cheetos, and KFC. She loves going to grocery store and cooking for herself and enjoys a nice chardonnay at the end of the day.
Rihanna loves true-crime reality, she’s chronically late and she’s also a compulsive boob-grabber!
And, finally, her name is Arabic for “sweet basil”.
ALBUM SALES IN DISTRESS…
Earlier this month, Billboard magazine reported “U.S. album sales have hit new historic lows over the last five weeks marking the longest consecutive stretch in the SoundScan era that the industry has gone without scanning more than 5 million units. And, over the last two weeks, album sales hit consecutive record lows.”
4.68 million albums were sold for the week ending July 28, 2013. That’s the lowest weekly total since Nielsen SoundScan started in May 1991.
The top-selling album for the first half of this year, through June 30th, is “The 20/20 Experience” by Justin Timberlake. Sales are right around two million.
And, the top-selling single during that same time period is “Thrift Store” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, with U.S. sales of 5.6 million. The song sold an additional 1.2 million copies in the U.S. in late 2012 when it was released.
However, by the end of 2013, I expect that “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (with Pharrell and T.I.) will be the biggest selling single of the year. As of August 7th, it was up to 4.27 million in U.S. sales!
But, we can’t forget “Applause” by Lady Gaga and “Roar” from Katy Perry. Both were rush-released this week because the songs were leaked on the internet.
“Applause” is the first single from the “ARTPOP” album due November 11th. Gaga will be performing the song live on the MTV VMA show August 25th marking her first real performance since a hip injury and surgery caused her to cancel the remainder of her “Born This Way Ball” tour earlier this year.
This is the lyric video for “Applause”. The “official” video for the song debuts Monday, August 19th.
And, “Roar” is the first single from Katy Perry’s album “Prism”, which comes out October 22th.
Gretel, my 12-year-old daughter, likes “Roar” more than “Applause”, which she thinks is “weird”.
As for me:
Katy Perry — “Roar” — I love the catchy chorus of “Roar”, but the rest of the sound is too slow of a build for me. GRADE: B
Lady Gaga — “Applause” — The energy is incredible, the vocals are captivating, and it sounds a little rougher than her previous club hits, but it’ll still make you gravitate to the dance floor. GRADE: A
YET, VINYL IS HOT AGAIN
While album sales are suffering, vinyl record albums are making a comeback. In 2012, 4.55 million were sold in the U.S. compared to just less than a million (990,000) five years ago. Many record companies are beginning to offer free downloads of an album when vinyl is purchased.
Last Christmas, I asked Santa Ray & Santa Tammy for a turntable because I missed vinyl records. Since Santa delivered, I’ve been hitting a few yard sales and my neighbor’s store, Readmore Book World & Rock Shop, in Moline, for albums and Tammy has picked up a few for me at Goodwill.
PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK
The Go-Go’s first album, “Beauty and the Beat”, in 1981, hit #1 and sold more than two million copies. It also gave the group its first two hits and its biggest hit, “Our Lips Are Sealed” (#20) and “We Got The Beat” (#2).
They followed that album up the next year with “Vacation”. The biggest hit off that release was the #8 title track (the album also peaked at #8). The group did have two other smaller hits from that album and that was it for them. A total of five Top 40 Hot 100 hits.
Since we’re heading to Cancun tomorrow, this song is very fitting.
We saw “Elysium” last weekend. Matt Damon was incredible (and majorly buff) and Jodie Foster, who wasn’t in the movie as much as Damon, was icily perfect.
Also, Sharlto Copely, who starred in director Neill Blomkamp’s more superior, Oscar-nominated film, “District 9”, was scary and fantastic as the villain, Kruger.
The premise of the movie is that it’s 2154 and Earth (especially Los Angeles) is in ruins. The wealthy 1% live above the Earth, literally, in space looking down on the ravaged world, the 99%. On “Elysium”, where the rich live, there is no poverty and no disease. Life is perfect.
Damon, plays Max, a former car thief, who has a work place accident that exposes him to high levels of radiation. He’s informed that he only has five days to live and his only chance for survival is to get to Elysium and be treated for the disease.
The movie was action filled and fun. However, if you saw “District 9”, which was amazing, this movie may not thrill you as much. It’s still an exciting two hours.
MY THOUGHTS THIS WEEK ON RUSSIA’S HOMOPHOBIA
THAT’S IT FOR A FEW DAYS
While I might post something on Facebook while in Mexico, my next blog will be next Friday’s random thoughts.
Have a great weekend.