Greetings this Friday morning from Germany!
In the past week, we’ve been to Zurich (Switzerland), the airport in Budapest (Hungary), Bratislava (Slovakia), Vienna (Austria), and Durnstein and Melk in Germany.
Yesterday, we toured Passau, Germany, a city that was ravaged by flood waters this summer as the Danube River inundated many cities along its path.
This is what it looked like Thursday and you can still see the marks of how high the flood waters were back in the summer.
We have two more days left on our amazing Danube River cruise on the “Sound of Music”. On Sunday, we’ll begin our international journey back to the Quad Cities just in time for me to be at work bright and early Monday morning at 2 a.m. with jet lag.
Have a great weekend and here are my random thoughts this Friday.
REPUBLICANS, FIND ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR 2016
The name that tops most people’s list of leading Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential bid is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Please find another candidate to run against Hillary Clinton (or whoever it is if she doesn’t run)! I cannot imagine waking up each day with him as President in a worse case scenario!
And, yes, it’s personal. It’s over marriage equality and marriage equality alone!
After the New Jersey Senate and the New Jersey Assembly approved marriage equality in early 2012, Christie vetoed it. And, now that a high-ranking judge says that same-sex marriages will start in the Garden State this week, he’s still opposed.
Luckily, earlier this week, he gave up his fight to marriage equality in New Jersey. It’s about time since the the numbers were against Christie.
A few weeks ago, a new Quinnipiac University poll showed that 61% of those polled in New Jersey opposed Christie’s decision to stand in the way of marriage equality, while only 31% agreed with him.
I’m glad that Christie wised up!
OH, IT GETS BETTER!
Last Tuesday, Christie said that if one of his four children told him that they were gay, he would “grab them and hug them and tell them I love them.” and then say “that Dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
HALLOWEEN IS JUST DAYS AWAY
Gretel is ready to go trick-or-treating one more time before she gets too old. Yes, I encouraged her to go this year for the candy! 🙂
Have you gotten your fill of watching horror movies yet? I’m hoping next week that I get a chance to see “Hellbent” again. It’s become a staple for me since I first saw it in 2006.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s from the co-creator of “Halloween” and the executive producer of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
BODE, KEEP TALKING!
Russia and the International Olympic Committee, listen up.
35-year-old American Olympic Gold Medalist Bode Miller recently spoke out about the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games and Russia’s anti-gay laws that were implemented this past summer.
Miller says, “I think it’s absolutely embarrassing that there’s countries and there’s people who are that intolerant and that ignorant. But it’s not the first time. We’ve been dealing with human-rights issues probably since there were humans.”
While some think that politics, sports, and the Olympics should not be seen as one, Miller disagrees.
He says, “I think it’s unfortunate when they get stuffed together because there are politics in sports and athletics. They always are intertwined, even though people try to keep them separate or try to act like they’re separate. Asking an athlete to go somewhere and compete and be a representative of a philosophy and … then tell them they can’t express their views or they can’t say what they believe, I think is pretty hypocritical or unfair.”
Here’s to Bode making the team and winning more Gold for America and a big thank you for his stance on equality!
TOO MUCH SKIN?
When you think of Britney Spears’ music, you think of a pounding dance beat and when you think of the accompanying video, you probably expect to see plenty of skin.
Her latest hit, “Work Bitch”, the first single from her upcoming December album, “Britney Jean”, doesn’t disappoint on both of those requirements.
Britney says, “Oh my god, we showed way more skin and did way more stuff for the video than what is actually there. Like, I cut out half the video because I am a mother and because, you know, I have children, and it’s just hard to play sexy mom while you’re being a pop star as well. I just have to be true to myself and feel it out when I do stuff.”
About her sexy videos, she adds, “A lot of sex goes into what I do. But sometimes I would like to bring it back to the old days when there was, like, one outfit through the whole video, and you’re dancing the whole video, and there’s like not that much sex stuff going on.”
This led some to believe that Britney was coerced into being more revealing than she wanted to be, but the “Work Bitch” director Ben Mor disputes that.
He says, “I don’t know if it’s being misinterpreted or not, but Britney’s in control of every aspect of the video, from the concepts to the setups to everything. There’s nothing that we shot that she didn’t approve of. As far as the edit, you can always make it a little more racy, because we had scantily clad people on set. It’s just an editorial choice, and I always tend to go sexy anyway, so that was my choice. I think she just wanted it to be more dance-centric.”
Mor adds, “My cut was a lot racier for sure, but it didn’t necessarily involve Britney. It was really just cutaways. An artist knows how they perceive themselves. I promise you 100 percent: All of these artists are in charge of their content. No one is forcing anyone to do anything that they don’t want to do, and they’re very well aware of that. They might change their mind after the fact, but Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears are all very much in control of their image. Things don’t just happen. Everything is scrutinized.”
BLOOMBERG EATS WHAT?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the 13th wealthiest person in the world and is worth $31 billion.
He gives billions to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, and millions to the arts, for education and the environment, and for politicians that believe as he does.
He owns homes in the Upper East Side of New York City; upstate New York; Vail, Colorado; London; and Bermuda.
And, his favorite meal is … “White-bread toast, Skippy peanut butter and bacon”!
RADIO MISFIRE — THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A BIGGER HIT
While you’re putting the final touches on your Halloween costume, Kelly Clarkson will be celebrating Christmas Vegas-style.
She’ll be taping her December holiday special, “Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale on NBC” at the Venetian singing songs from “Wrapped in Red”, her first Christmas album that comes out October 29th and features Reba and Trisha Yearwood on “Silent Night”.
Instead of tormenting you with another Christmas song this week since it’s six days before Halloween, here’s one of my favorite new songs from Kelly’s “Greatest Hits — Volume One” album that came out last November.
“People Like Us” only reached #28 on the Top 40 radio airplay charts, but it topped the Billboard Dance Club chart.
I love the lyrics, “People like us we’ve gotta stick together/Keep your head up, nothing lasts forever/Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten/It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom” and “We are all misfits living in a world on fire”.
“TIME”, THEN NO MORE “TIME”
I just renewed my subscription to “Time” magazine after not getting it for a couple of years. However, after two issues, I cancelled it. It just didn’t do anything me other than the articles by my favorite “Time” writers Joel Stein (because of his warped sense of humor) and Joe Klein (because of his political leanings).
In the issue I just read, Klein didn’t hold back on his thoughts of the Tea Party. He calls them “the radical nihilist minority of the Republican Party and the GOP’s craven leadership.”
Klein continues, “These radicals — it is wildly inaccurate to call them conservatives — are a pestilence feeding on ignorance and cynicism, preying on fear as a period of unprecedented prosperity wanes. They are not the apocalypse but represent the desperate last gasp of the white majority and of an era. My generation’s era.”
PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK
“You’ve got to have a J-O-B if you want to be with me/No romance without finance” sounds materialistic and if you’re saying it to a man, some might find that controversial.
That’s exactly what people thought back in 1986 when R & B singer Gwen Guthrie sang those lyrics in her #1 R&B and Billboard Dance Club hit, “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent”. It also hit #1 in New Zealand and #5 in the U.K. Sadly, it only hit #42 on the Billboard Hot 100.
While Guthrie, who was born in Oklahoma and raised in New Jersey, never scored a Top 40 hit on the Hot 100, she did have four Top 40 hits on the R&B charts. But, “Rent” would become her trademark song.
Before venturing out on her own, she sang back-up for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, and Madonna.
PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK BONUS!
As a ’80s bonus, here’s Gwen singing backup on “Lucky Star”, Madonna’s first Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. It peaked at #4 on that chart and reached #1 on the Dance Chart.
THAT’S IT FOR NOW!
Have a great weekend and I’ll be back in States Sunday night!