Archive for November, 2013

Random Friday Thoughts — November 29, 2013

I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and that you ate plenty of food.  I’m ready to make another turkey since I didn’t have enough.  I’ll have to enjoy the other leftovers!  December is almost here and now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.  Along with that, here are my random thoughts of the week.

HALLMARK DONS UGLY APPAREL

It appears that Hallmark wants to have fun this Christmas, as long as you don’t associate fun with “gay”.

The song, “Deck The Halls” dates back to the 16th century, but the lyrics, “Don we now our gay apparel“, must be too gay for the company to use on a new ornament.  It’s been changed to “Don we now our FUN apparel“.

Hallmark Sweater
While they will probably sell many of them, it’s turned into a comedic punchline.

Joan Rivers Hallmark

And, Ellen had the best solution to changing lyrics and the meaning of words!

Hallmark says, “When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800’s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry.  Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.”

Each Christmas, Betty (Mom) buys me a “son” ornament from Hallmark.  However, I advised her to buy me an ornament from anyplace except Hallmark this year!

ILLINOIS MOVES TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY

Last week, Illinois became the 16th state (along with the District of Columbia) to make marriage equality law.  This was a happy time for many, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel who stopped by Sidetrack, a Chicago gay bar, to congratulation patrons there and he tweeted:

Illinois

Not everyone was happy with this new law.  A Springfield, Illinois, priest performed an exorcism (I’m not kidding!).

Cardinal George

And, Cardinal Francis George said this in a letter that appeared in church bulletins throughout the Chicago Archdiocese, “The law has made some gays and lesbians happy, and that is not a bad thing in itself. The law, however, is [a] bad law because it will contribute over the long run to the further dissolution of marriage and family life, which are the bedrock of any society… We have lived with bad laws before, and we will do our best to adjust to this one for the sake of social harmony.”

Cardinal George plans on staying on the job for another to three years.  As for me, with his close-minded views over the years, sooner would be better than later.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Turkey Facebook Turkey Moooo turkey_thanksgiving

HAPPY THOUGHT FOR THANKSGIVING

Here’s a fun little video for your Thanksgiving weekend from 1993’s “Addams Family Values”.

CHRISTMAS ROAD TRIP

Since I had a few days of vacation left this year, I mentioned to Ray that I’d like to drive back home and eat my favorite restaurant, Patti 1880’s Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, and then visit the Reba McEntire exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.  This would be a simple three-day trip and we could visit my hometown (Mayfield, Kentucky) and where I went to college (Murray State).

Opryland Hotel

As we started looking for hotels, we came across a package deal with the famous Opryland Hotel.

It included tickets to see the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes”, the Opry at the Ryman, a Cumberland River luncheon cruise aboard the General Jackson showboat, a night at the Opry at the Ryman (featuring Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, and more) and “Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner and Show”, and several other events.

So, late next week, I’ll be Christmasing in Nashville for a few nights.

FIFTY SHADES OF “HEYYYYY”

I haven’t read E.L. James’ erotic novel series, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, and I have no interest in seeing the movie in theaters Valentine’s Day weekend 2015.

However, because of former Calvin Klein model and actor Jamie Dornan, I’ll definitely rent it from Redbox.

In case you don’t know Dornan.  He’s a 31-year-old, married, soon-to-be dad.  He’s starred in six movies and two television series, including the crime thriller, “The Fall”, with Gillian Anderson.

Calvin Klein Jeans Fall 2009 Ad Campaign

BACKSTREET’S BACK & SHIRTLESS

I will not lie.  I was mildly intrigued two summers ago when the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block teamed up for the album, “NKOTBSB”, which included five hits from each group, two new songs and a mash-up.  That was about it.

BSB

While I loved the Backstreet Boys back in the late-1990s and early-2000s (Kevin and Nick were my favorites), I didn’t care this past summer when they released their new album, “In A World Like This”.

However, I decided to give their new video and song, “Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of)”, a look and a listen since the headlines read “Backstreet Boys Go Shirtless …” and “Backstreet Boys show skin…”.  The gimmick worked and the song is pretty good!

Since the headlines that roped me in were shallow, I’ll say that A.J. needs to seriously maintain that out of control nasty-looking beard, Brian and Nick still look incredible, Kevin is showing his age (he’s the oldest at 42), and Howie is hotter now than he was in the band’s heyday!

DOWN TO EARTH FUTURE KING

I never paid that much attention to 65-year-old Prince Charles, except I did take notice when he and Princess Diana married and divorced.  Back in the 1980s, I crushed on his younger brother, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who is about four years older than me.

andrew-navy-pilot

Recently, I read an interesting article about Prince Charles that stated that while he’s very wealthy (his total annual income is about $32 million U.S. in the last U.K. financial year), he’s very frugal.

“Time” (November 4, 2013) states that he keeps his “residences frigidly underheated, saves his bathwater for the garden and wears garments so mended, they are more patch than original.”

Prince Charles

While he may be rich and tight with his money, his charities, “The Prince’s Trust”, raises, directly and indirectly, about 161 million U.S. dollars annually!

“CLOUDBURST”

82-year-old Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis (“Moonstruck”) will always be Clairee Belcher (“Steel Magnolias”) and Anna Madrigal (“Tales of the City”) to me.  However, after seeing “Cloudburst”, alongside Oscar winner Brenda Fricker (“My Left Foot”), I have to add her character, Stella, to my list of favorite Olympia roles.

Cloudburst

Stella is a tough, tequila-swilling lesbian that talks like a sailor and she’s faced with taking care of her blind partner of 31 years, Dotty.

When Dotty’s clueless niece commits her aunt to a retirement home, it’s up to Stella to get Dotty out of the home and out of the situation.  She comes up with a plan to drive Dotty to Canada and get married so she can make the decisions.

Ryan Doucette

Along the way, they comes across Prentice, a very sexy hitchhiker trying to get back to Canada to see his dying mother.  While it seems very “Thelma & Louise”-ish with two ladies on the run with a young stud accompanying them, it’s a very touching and original story.

By the way, to prove the movie isn’t totally ripping off the aforementioned Ridley Scott-directed movie, Ryan has a beautiful hairy chest and Brad Pitt didn’t. 🙂

While the movie does have many heart-tugging scenes, there’s plenty of humor, too.  And, it’s a hoot hearing to the vulgarity coming out of Olympia’s mouth!

GRADE:  B+

FLASHBACK TO THE ’90s, PART 1

“Peeps’ ’80s Friday Flashback” is taking a break this week and will return next week.  This week, I’m showcasing two, not just one, videos from the 1990s since I featured songs earlier from the Backstreet Boys and Lorrie Morgan.

Lorrie Morgan

Since she scored her first country hit in 1988 with “Trainwreck of Emotion”, which reached #20, Lorrie Morgan has amassed 25 hits on the Billboard country charts.  Of those, 14 reached the Top Ten, and three topped the charts:  “Five Minutes” (1990), “What Part of No” (1993), and “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” (1995).

I have several favorites from Lorrie:  the three number one hits, along with “A Picture of Me (Without You)” (#9, 1991), “Except for Monday” (#4, 1992), “I Guess You Had To Be There (#14, 1993), “Go Away (#3, 1997), and “Do You Still Want To Buy Me That Drink (Frank) (#50, 2003).

FLASHBACK TO THE ’90s, PART 1

The Backstreet Boys have been nominated for eight Grammy Awards, sold 37 million-plus albums in the U.S., and more than 130 million albums world-wide.

“Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” hit #1 in Switzerland and Austria and #2 in the U.K in 1996.  A year later, it was released in the U.S. and peaked at #2, selling two million copies.

The Backstreet Boys would go on to chart 12 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with six of them reaching the Top Ten.  “Quit Playing Games” would be the biggest.

FINAL FORECAST

While I worked Thanksgiving morning and this morning, here’s a weather forecast that is suitable for all weekend as we devour the leftovers.

Thanksgiving Forecast

Let me know if you agree or disagree with some of random thoughts this week or just want to share one of your random thoughts.

Until next week, have a great weekend.

Anthony

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Our Back Yard Massacre

It’s Thanksgiving, a day for giving thanks and I find myself very saddened, mad, and agitated.  Tragedy has struck at the “Forthepeople” estate.  And, it’s nothing like “The Moldavian Massacre”, the “Dynasty” cliffhanger from May 1985.

Dynasty-Royal-Wedding_l

When that shooting was over, it was revealed that only two minor characters were among the casualties at Amanda and Prince Michael’s royal wedding.

Our body count is much higher.  There is only one survivor!

Ray and I dug into the ground and made this beautiful fish pond in the spring of 2012.

Happier Day Fish Pond

We stocked it with several colors of “goldfish” and six made it through last winter and this year.  They were getting bigger.

From June 2013

That is a picture from June 2013.

While we live in a ravine, we’ve never had a problem with raccoons bothering our little fish community.

Last month, on my birthday, we were given five large goldfish — two white ones with what looked like diamonds on their side that we named “Razzle” and “Dazzle” and three large orange ones, including “Floater”.

If you recall, he or she is the one that had the swim bladder problem.  Rather than swimming around like the others, it just lied around on the bottom on its side.

Floater

This is me feeding “Floater” peas to try to correct the problem.

A couple of days ago, Ray and I were out at the pond.  He was cleaning the filter and I was clearing out leaves.  I made the comment that it was odd that I didn’t see the fish and he was convinced that they were deep in the pond under the oak leaves and I bought it.

Today, there was no denying reality when I found this.

Fish Carcass

Yes, that’s a graphic picture.  But, really, most of us are eating a turkey carcass today!  The only difference is that the turkey is cooked.

Upon closer inspection, I confirmed that all of our fish are gone, except one.  Here is the survivor in a picture from June 2013.

Lone Survivor From June 2013

As I mentioned before, we’ve never had a raccoon problem and our fish were never threatened.  Now, I know that with “Floater” being a very big, bright, handicapped beacon of vulnerability, it attracted unwanted attention.

There’s a part of me that wishes that someone came into our yard and stole our fish.  Or, what if they were abducted by aliens for experiments?

flying_saucer

It happened on “The X-Files” and “American Horror Story: Asylum”!

Joking aside, I’m very ticked off and sad.  Raccoons are now at the top of my enemy list!

Rest in Peace, my fish, all 12 of you!

Anthony

They Said What??? Alec Baldwin, Ann Coulter, Anjelica Huston, & Faith Hill

TALK SHOW HOST ANDERSON COOPER

(about Alec Baldwin after the actor called a photographer a c**k su**ing f*g”.  Baldwin claims he didn’t use the “f-word” and that he didn’t know the “c-word” could been seen as homophobic):  “For him to say, I was informed of this afterward, I mean come on!  If Alec Baldwin had yelled the n-word to that photographer, or yelled some anti-Jewish slur, it would be over!”

RIGHT WING EXTREMIST ANN COULTER

(defending Baldwin, who was suspended by MSNBC):  “They shouldn’t have suspended him. In defense of Alec Baldwin, the photographer, he’s not actually gay.  This was just a curse word. It was like using the f-word and, frankly, a lot of these paparazzi photographers deserve it. It’s not something Alec Baldwin said in a calm moment on television. He has been harassed horribly by photographers and now this stalker, and he’s trying to protect his family and he curses. That is what happened.”

SINGER LILY ALLEN

(commenting on her song, “Hard Out Here”):  “It’s hard out here for a bitch.  Dolly Parton is a bitch.  Adele’s a bitch. Angela Merkel is a bitch … Rihanna’s an inspiring bitch, my mum, Miley’s a bitch, rising. She’s my hero. Kate Middleton is not a bitch.”

COUNTRY SINGER FAITH HILL

(denying rumors that she country singer Tim McGraw are heading toward divorce):  “[Rumors] seem to be running like crazy right now for some reason. It’s perplexing.  I don’t know why ‘happy’ can’t be a story.”

POP ICON LADY GAGA

(after debuting at #1 on the Billboard album chart with “ARTPOP”):  “I put so much love into my music, into my shows, I make it all for you. I’ll never understand the overflow of hate sent my way.  Or maybe thats what entertainment is now. It’s more fun to point & laugh than appreciate the artist. I’ll keep rehearsing my steps.”

COUNTRY SINGER BLAKE SHELTON

(on “The Voice” responding to his co-judge Adam Levine being picked as “People” Magaine’s “Sexiest Man Alive”):  “This is why I drink so much.  He stole my thunder.”

SINGER KANYE WEST

(saying he was “used” by President Barack Obama):  “I just think that we’re pop icons, and the president likes to use that type of thing just to be down and stuff. People was fine with me being everyone’s punching bag for about five years — ‘Man, this is the person we love to hate, so if you want to distract people from everything that’s going on…, just say you hate Kanye and there’s going be 30 other people who say they hate Kanye. … That was kind of my position in culture so he also used that too — ‘Oh, he’s a jackass’ — because that’s how the world felt.”

OUT “GLEE” STAR ALEX NEWELL

(who plays transgender student “Unique”):   “When people don’t understand something their first reaction is to hate it,” he said of his groundbreaking role. “But [the LGBT community] isn’t going away. We’re a part of everyday life and people need to be educated.”

BRYAN FISCHER, OF THE “AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION”

(responding about the public debate between former Vice President Dick Cheney’s two daughters who have different views on marriage equality):  “Who’s the one who’s been intolerant here? Who’s the one who’s being a bigot?  It’s not the Christian, it’s not the heterosexual … it is the intolerant lesbian bigot that’s doing that … It is Liz Cheney’s sister who is, in fact, the intolerant bigot.”

ROBERT RITCHIE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE RIGHT-WING GROUP, AMERICA NEEDS FATIMA

“The massive tornadoes that hit Illinois after the passing of the same sex “marriage” bill, has stimulated many people to reflection.  In it, some see God’s chastisement; others see it as yet one more merciful warning from Providence; others yet deny both options and give various reasons.”

ACTRESS ANJELICA HUSTON

(in her new book, “A Story Lately Told”, about her director father, John, who used to hang out naked in front of the children):  “He was extremely well endowed.”

Anthony

Interrupting Your Weekend With This Weather Update!

SUNDAY UPDATE:  November 24, 2013, 7:52 a.m.

After waking up to temperatures in the single digits this morning, our weekend will end on a mostly sunny note today.  Increasing high clouds late in the day will lead to our next light snow event late tonight to the northwest of the Quad Cities and in the metro area and across northern Illinois Monday.

With today’s update, it now looks like snowfall amounts will be heaviest northwest of the Quad Cities, where hometowns from Galena, Illinois, to Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Waterloo, Iowa, may see 1-2″.

However, in the Quad Cities, only about one-half to one inch of snow will fall.

11911Snow3

South and east of the metro area, only a trace to less than one-half of inch of snow will accumulate.

The rest of Thanksgiving week will be dry locally.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Saturday, November 23, 8:27 a.m.

The weekend is here and if you’re heading to the outdoor festivities today to kick off the holidays in the Quad Cities, bundle up because it’s going to be blustery and cold with highs only in the 20s and wind chills in the single digits.

Much Colder

Saturday morning, the low in the Quad Cities was in the upper teens, but just to our northwest around Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, Iowa, lows dropped even lower!

Tonight’s lows will be in the single digits for all of us with lows closer to zero in some spots!

If you joined me Friday morning on CBS4, I talked about a quiet weekend and travel week for Thanksgiving week.  Well, forecasts do change based on new data and you should always keep up on the latest forecast, whether you’re traveling or not.

With the strong northwesterly flow aloft bringing in this cold, Arctic air, any time there’s a little disturbance or piece of energy that drops in, you don’t need a lot of Gulf moisture to generate some clouds and light snow and that is the case for Monday now.

Early Week Snow

This is a forecast map for precipitation percentages Sunday night into Monday night and you can see that there will be an increasing chance of seeing some light snow, especially Monday.

As it looks now, there’s enough moisture to support an inch of snow and an outside chance of seeing amounts push closer to two inches in some hometowns across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois.

Monday Gulf Storm

This NOAA forecast model Monday evening shows a developing storm along the Gulf of Mexico robbing us of the rich moisture supply and this will keep our totals low.

Again, this is not a big deal for us.  But, it’ll likely become our third measurable snow this fall season!

Snowflake

So, don’t panic! 🙂

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — November 22, 2013

The weekend before Thanksgiving is here and we have a little light snow in the Quad Cities!  While I have a couple of events to attend and one to emcee, I want to start decorating inside!  Whatever plans you have this weekend, I hope you have a good one.  Here are my random thoughts for this week.

TORNADO AFTERMATH

My heart goes out to the victims of last Sunday’s tornadoes in Illinois.  There were 119 reported tornadoes mostly in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan.  (Tornadoes were also reported in Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee.)

Washington Illinois

Washington Illinois

Those are images of the devastation in Washington, Illinois, about 100 miles southeast of the Quad Cities, near Peoria.  Winds in that EF-4 tornado, that killed one man and injured 122 others, were determined to be around 190 miles-per-hour.

At least eight people died in the twisters, six in Illinois and two in Michigan.

THE WORLD CHANGED (AGAIN) 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

On November 22, 1963, Americans woke up and the Vietnam conflict was still raging on.  In Fort Worth, Texas, light rain was falling.

Later that day, the world would be shocked and saddened as President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.  Since then, there have been many books and movies that cover this tragic event.

parkland

“Parkland”, a little seen fall movie co-produced by actor Tom Hanks, is the latest.  While it covers the Kennedy shooting, it focuses more on what happened when the President and his shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, were both taken to Parkland Hospital, where they both died two days apart.

While only grossing about $650,000 in its limited theatrical run, the all-star movie features Zac Efron in a very mature role as Dr. Jim Carrico, the first doctor that attended to the ill-fated president.  The also stars Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden and Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti, Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jacki Weaver.

The movie is compelling and it doesn’t come across as a boring history recap.  It does feature some good-looking men, great 1960’s hair and decor, but a lot of blood.

GRADE:  B

THANKSGIVING INVITATION

If you’re looking for somewhere to spend Thanksgiving, to volunteer and serve food, or if you want to make food to serve those in need, feel free to help out my very dear and open-minded friends, Constance and Erin, and their church.  Here are the details.

Thanksgiving Riverside United Methodist Moline

For more on what they need:  http://qcriverside.com/volunteer-for-thanksgiving-dinner

JOAN JETT’S FLOAT FOR THE THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE

Rocker Joan Jett will be performing at next week’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  However, she’ll be changing floats because she’s a vegetarian!

Macys-Parade

She’ll no longer be performing on the South Dakota float.  The state’s Cattleman’s Association issued this statement, “When we learned that about Miss Jett, we were rightly concerned about her representing South Dakota and a state that is so heavily reliant on agriculture and livestock production to drive our economy.”

Joan Jett

Jett says, “I’ve decided to switch from South Dakota to another float because people’s political agendas were getting in the way of what should be a purely entertainment driven event.  I will remain focused on entertaining the millions of people watching, who will be celebrating a great American tradition.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Holiday Workout Madness Mental Institution

“AMERICAN HORROR STORY:  ASYLUM”

I know that millions of you are spending time with the witches in “Coven”, but Ray and I just got out of the “Asylum”.

While I loved the first season, “American Horror Story:  Murder House” with crazy Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) and the strangely sexy, “Rubber Man”, the 13 episode, ten-hour second season, “Asylum”, was an emotional roller coaster ride of sadistic depravity, murder, sex, gore, and religion that I didn’t want to end.

American Horror Story Asylum

Although I just finished watching it, I want to go back and watch seasons one and two again!

In season one, it was easy to choose my favorite characters: Constance (Lange), her son, Tate (Evan Peters), her daughter, Addie (Jamie Brewer), and Chad (Zachary Quinto) and his lover, Patrick (Teddy Sears).  However, in season two, it’s impossible.

Sarah Paulson, who had a minor role in the first season, has plenty of scenery to chew on in the new installment.  She plays, Lana Winters, a lesbian reporter, in 1964, visiting Briarcliff Mental Institution to get an exclusive story on serial killer, “Bloody Face”.  Well, needless to say, and this isn’t a spoiler, Sister Jude (Lange) gets Lana institutionalized!

Sarah PaulsonJessica

Each returning actor plays a different character in each new season of “American Horror Story” and from the picture above of Sister Jude, you realize that some things change very quickly and there’s a reason why she doesn’t look very religious there.

What I love about the second season is that just when you think friendships are formed, things are not as they seem.  Each character doesn’t know who to trust!

zachary-quinto

Zachary Quinto was fantastic and creepy as Dr. Oliver Thredson and it was great to see Joseph Fiennes again, as Monsignor Timothy Howard.  While a man of the cloth, he does have some stimulating, partially clothed scenes and he has been working out! 🙂  (Totally non-related to this blog, but his full name is Joseph Twisleton Wykeham Fiennes.  Isn’t that a cool name?)

Joseph-Fiennes-American-Horror-Story

And, my final standout performance and character was the once meek Sister Mary Eunice.

Lily Rabe

Lily Rabe, the daughter of the late actress Jill Clayburgh, was incredible as her Mary Eunice transformed during the season.

While all of the episodes were spectacular, I think my favorite was “Unholy Night”.  You’ll never look at Christmas the same way again!

Unholy Night

Between mental illness, a serial killer named “Bloody Face”, Nazis, aliens, and medical experiments gone awry, let’s just hope that you never have to visit a facility like Briarcliff, unless it’s sitting on your couch.

GRADE:  A+

“SEXIEST MAN ALIVE”

Adam Levine is a very busy man.  He’s still recording music with Maroon 5, coaching singers on “The Voice”, and he was a guest on “American Horror Story:  Asylum”.

He now has another honor and accomplishment.  “People” magazine just named him this year’s “Sexiest Man Alive”!

adam-levine-tattoos

You mean that qualifies as sexy?  Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question.  And, if want an answer, say it like they do in the South, “hell yea”!

THIS IS WAY TO JINGLE BELLS!

K-Mart is ready for the holiday season and wants us to pay attention.  You have my attention and ’tis the season!

MOVIES THAT ARE TOO UPSETTING

“Entertainment Weekly” recently highlighted “8 Great Movies Too Upsetting To See Twice”.  Of those listed, I saw “United 93” several times.  It’s about one of the hijacked planes from 9-11 that was headed toward Washington D.C. when it crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

Some of the others listed were “Requiem for a Dream” (2000) and “Leaving Las Vegas” (1995).

Boys Don't Cry

I have one that “EW” left out.  I was blown away back in 2000 with Hilary Swank’s Oscar-winning performance in “Boys Don’t Cry”.  After seeing the movie, my sister bought me the VHS copy, which I haven’t opened nearly a decade later.  I’m sure I’ll watch it again, but not yet.

The movie is based on a true story.  Swank plays Brandon Teena, a Nebraska trans man, who was born a woman, but lived as a man.  Brandon was raped and killed by men from the small town when they found out.

“THE PURGE”

In this summer psychological thriller, it’s 2022 and crime and unemployment rates are at all-time low.  It’s because the government has instituted a 12-hour period once a year where all criminal activity, including murder, is legal.

While many are out for blood on this night, home security salesman James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), his wife, Mary (Lena Headey) and their two children are locked away in their home waiting out the 12-hour “purge”.

However, their son, Charlie, notices an injured man begging for help to get away from a group of masked criminals and he lets the man in.

The Purge Masks

The masked criminals are definitely creepy and add some life to an otherwise lifeless movie.  Needless to say, the masked group gets into the Sandin home, but what are neighbors for, if only to come in and save the day!  Or, do they do?

The $3 million dollar movie went on to gross $89.3 million and a sequel is in the works.

GRADE:  B-

CHENEY PUBLIC DISPUTE

It might be an interesting Thanksgiving at the Dick & Lynne Cheney household if all of the family gets together.

Liz Cheney

After their daughter, Liz, who’s running for political office in Wyoming reiterated her views on marriage equality (she told “Fox News Sunday” that she supports “the traditional definition of marriage”), her lesbian sister, Mary, blasted her on Facebook.

Mary wrote, “Liz — this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree you’re just wrong — and on the wrong side of history.”

Mary Cheney, Heather Poe

Mary’s wife, Heather Poe (left in above picture), also commented, “I can’t help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other.  Yes, Liz, in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law.”

Here is the part that irritates me.  Mom and Dad Cheney and Liz all say that Liz loves her younger sister and her family (Mary and Heather have two children).  However, how can you say that and know that having those anti-marriage equality views denies every married LGBT couple countless benefits from the federal government and in 35 states!

Go Team Mary & Heather!

PICK HIT

Winning Grammy Awards and having international success doesn’t always make singers a household name in America.

Outside of the Latin music charts where she’s scored 16 hits in the U.S., most Americans probably don’t know Italian singer Laura Pausini.  She did score two #1 Billboard dance hits in 2003 from her English debut album, which is incredible.  Check out “Surrender” on YouTube.

Laura Pausini

In Italy, Pausini has scored 25 Top 40 hits.  Of those, 16 reached the Top Ten and six topped the chart.

She has sold around 70 million albums, singles, and DVDs worldwide.  For the first release, Limpido”, from “20 – The Greatest Hits”, which has is her latest #1 in Italy, Laura has teamed up with another international superstar with only modest success here in the U.S.

Kylie Minogue

Like Laura, Kylie has sold about 70 million records worldwide.  In the U.S., she’s had 5 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with two reaching the Top Ten.  However, in the U.K, Kylie has scored 49 Top 40 hits with 35 of them reaching the Top Ten, and 8 topped the charts!

This is their recent collaboration and I really hope I get to see them both in concert in 2014.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

The English band, Haircut 100 only reached the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 one time.

““Love Plus One” only reached #37 in 1982.  Although that makes them a “one hit wonder”, it’s still one of my favorite songs of that decade.  The song did reach #8 on the Dance/Club Play chart.

It’s also featured in one of my favorite coming-of-age movies, “Edge of Seventeen”, from 1998.

CHRISTMAS SONG KICK-OFF

Okay, technically I’ve already featured videos from Kelly Clarkson and Erasure letting you know how much I love their new Christmas albums.  But, beginning this week and running through Christmas, I’ll feature one of my favorite holiday videos.

It’s from Janice Dickinson, one of the most successful models of the 1970s and 1980s and the self-described first “supermodel”.  She now runs a talent agency.

This is one that I watch multiple times each holiday season and I smile and laugh each time.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND

I hope you enjoyed this week’s random thoughts as much as I love thinking about, researching, and writing them each week.  Let me know what you agree with and what you may not agree on.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Anthony

They Said What??? Jennifer Lawrence, Sarah Palin, & Mark Wahlberg

RANJIT SINHA

(director of the Central Bureau of Investigation in India talking about whether sports betting should be legal):  “Do we have the enforcement?  It is very easy to say that if you can’t enforce it, it’s like saying if you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.”

MOSHE ABUTBUL

(mayor of Beit Shemesh, Israel, just west of Jerusalem speaking about gay people in his city):  “We have no such things. … Thank God this city is holy and pure.”

ACTOR MARK WAHLBERG

(ranting at the premiere of his new movie, “Lone Survivor”):  “For actors to sit there and talk about, ‘Oh I went to SEAL training’? I don’t give a f*ck what you did. You don’t do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as being in the military? How f*cking dare you, while you sit in a makeup chair for two hours.”

ABBA SINGER AGNETHA FALTSKOG

(about the 40-year anniversary in 2014 of the band winning the Eurovision Song Contest):  “There seem to be plans to do something to mark this anniversary in some way. But I can’t say at this point what will come of them.”
OSCAR WINNING ACTRESS JENNIFER LAWRENCE
(on wearing a wetsuit for scenes in “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire”):  I was surprised at how little camel toe problem there was.  I was expecting a lot more camel toe problems … There really wasn’t any.”
ACTOR JOSH HUTCHERSON
(on wearing a wetsuit for scenes in “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire”):  “And once we found out you can actually pee through them, like just go into the ocean and take care of your business, it was easier.”
FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE ALAN GREENSPAN
(on how bad it is in Washington D.C.)  “I’ve never seen it like this.  Clearly the problem is within the Republican Party.  If you make every issue uncompromisable, you cannot have laws.”
FORMER REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENT WANNABE SARAH PALIN
“Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China.  When that money comes due – and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due.”
SPRINGFIELD (IL) BISHOP THOMAS JOHN PAPROCKI
(planning an “exorcism” next Wednesday when Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs marriage equality into law):  “It is scandalous that so many Catholic politicians are responsible for enabling the passage of this legislation and even twisting the words of the pope to rationalize their actions despite the clear teaching of the church.”
Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — November 15, 2013

Greetings, my friends.  Can you believe it’s already the middle of November!  Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and Christmas will be here before you know it.

Last weekend, we put some outdoors lights up and we’ll add more this weekend despite the rainy forecast.  Here are my random thoughts this week.

STORES OPENING ON THANKSGIVING

I’ve been hearing a lot of uproar about Kmart opening at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

KMart

Since then, Best Buy announced it will be opening at the same time and remaining open until 10 p.m. Friday!  Also, Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and others plan on opening their doors Thanksgiving evening.

People are complaining that this is keeping employees from spending time with their families on Thanksgiving.

It is.  However, for much of my career, I’ve worked the holidays.  This year, I’ll be working Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, but I’ll still make sure that I get to celebrate with my family.

Our Turkey 2012

And, the way I look at it is that there are people who don’t have families or someone to spend the holidays with and they welcome the stores being open to have something to do!

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

I’ll just going to keep walking on the treadmill and telling myself that I’m going to eat healthy to prepare for the feast that is Thanksgiving!

However, thanks to Pringles and Lay’s — fat chance!

lays_chocolate_potato_chips_630x420 Limited Time Only Pringles

Here are their new holiday offerings.  Let me know if you’ve tried either the “Lay’s Wavy Original Potato Chips dipped in Milk Chocolate”and Pringles’ “Pecan Pie” and how they taste.

Last year, I liked the “Cinnamon & Sugar”, but I didn’t really care for the “Pumpkin Pie”.  Also, in 2012, there was the “Peppermint White Chocolate”, which I didn’t get to try.

A DARKER SIDE TO CHRISTMAS

I’ve a huge fan of Erasure and the English duo just released their first Christmas album, “Snow Globe” this week.

Erasure Snow Globe

I previewed the album yesterday.

Here’s the link:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/erasure-takes-us-to-the-dark-side-of-christmas-back/

It’s not your traditional Christmas album!  If you don’t believe me, there’s a song on the album called “Blood on the Snow”.

On “Snow Globe”, you’ll also find songs that may make you forget it is a Christmas album, but you won’t care.  There are many Christmas classics with the trademark Erasure sound.  Here’s a preview of “Silent Night”.

“Snow Globe” is a great addition to any Christmas or dance collection.  My full review and grade are in the blog from yesterday.

And, it’s exciting that Erasure retweeted my blog tweet!

Erasure Retweet

ANOTHER “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”

Joel Osteen is a televangelist out of Houston, Texas, and his ministry, through broadcast media, reaches millions of people each week in over 100 nations around the world.

Seriously!

As a writer, I’ve made typos.  There are times when I’m editing my blog and I change a few words that I may leave an old word in there or the subject and verb may not agree after editing, but I can’t recall having anything like this go public.

If this is real and this was a quote on social media or if it was a verbal quote, it definitely went astray.  Religion isn’t the first thing that went through my mind!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Fish Be You

Today's Forecast What Will Happen -- Gay Marriage

A NEW CAREER POSSIBILITY

There is more and more talk in our household about retirement as I enjoy my last year in my 40s and now that Ray has hit the big 5-0.

Unfortunately, my current position is paying me slightly more than I was making eight years ago and considerably less than I was making at my last job.  So, if I don’t win the lottery, I think I’ve found a new career that might even give me the flexibility to relocate!

Air Ttraffic Control

“Time” magazine recently reported that by the end of 2016, about one-third of the nation’s air-traffic controllers will be retiring — that’s about 4,500 job openings!

Various websites report that the middle 50% of controllers make anywhere from $85,000-140,000!  But, the wind was knocked out of my sails when I read that rookies only make anywhere from $16,000-35,000, depending on location!

SOME MUSICIANS SHOW A SENSE OF HUMOR

With Facebook and Twitter, people can instantly share their thoughts, right or wrong, nice or vicious.  Jimmy Kimmel asked some in the music industry to read tweets about them.

This is too funny and Ke$ha is just amazing!

I’VE FOUND MY NEW LOVE STORY

I don’t care that Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) was a prostitute in “Pretty Woman”.  Obviously, neither did Edward Lewis.

That is my one of my favorite movie love stories, along with “Latter Days”, “Shelter”, and “Weekend”.  Chances are that you’ve never heard of those last three, but you should definitely search them out if you’re open-minded and feel that love is love.

OUT-IN-THE-DARK-Poster

I can now add “Out In The Dark” to that small list.

This 2012 Israeli gem features an amazing storyline and stunning performances from lead actors Nicholas Jacob and Michael Aloni.

out-in-the-dark

“Out In The Dark” begins when Palestinian student, Nimr, sneaks across the border into Tel Aviv, Israel to party with his friends at a bar.  There he strikes up a conversation with Israeli lawyer, Roy.  They share a fun evening talking at the club and promise to keep in touch when he leaves to go back to Palestine later that night.

Nimr finds out from his friend, Mustafa, that Roy was asking about him.  Roy and Nimr start dating when Nimr gets papers allowing him to be in Tel Aviv once a week for an internship.

While the two fall in love, homophobia in the very religious West Bank threatens to tear them apart when Nimr’s family finds out his secret.  Meanwhile, back in Israel, Nimr has to confront hatred because he’s Arab.

It’s a beautiful love story that may or may not end in happiness.

Both gorgeous actors make the love story very realistic and touching.

Aloni (Roy) is an established film and movie actor and television host and was nominated in 2011 for an Israeli Academy Award for portraying a platoon commander in “Infiltration”.

Michael Aloni

And, “Out In The Dark” marks the acting debut for Israeli born Nicholas Jacob.  Interestingly, he spent about half of his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee, where he fell in love with music.  Now, he follows both dreams — acting and music.

Nicholas Jacob

So, how much did I love this movie?  I gave it a grade that I rarely give a movie!

GRADE:  A+  

GAGA’S WORLD DOMINATION

If you follow my blog, you already know that “ARTPOP”, the latest Lady Gaga album came out earlier this week and it’s expected to sell about 275,000 copies.

ARTPOP

On first listen, it definitely is a rockier version of dance music.

I’ll get the bad news out of the way.  I doubt that I’ll ever really like “Jewels N’ Drugs” featuring T.I., Too Short and Twista!

Since the album is new to me and my favorites will likely change over time, here are the ones that excite me the most right now:  “Do What U Want” (the new single featuring R. Kelly), “Donatella”, “Applause”, “Artpop” and “Swine”.

In addition to her hosting “Saturday Night Live” and also performing this weekend, her first 90-minute Christmas special, “Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular” will air on ABC Thanksgiving night.

ABC Lady Gaga Muppets

Two years ago, “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” aired on ABC and featured acoustic version of songs from her second album, “Born This Way”.  It also featured “White Christmas”.

INTERESTING TEXAS TRIVIA

While you may or may not find it scary that Rick Perry and Ted Cruz are both successful politicians in the “Lone Star” state, here’s something that may be even scarier.

Chuck Norris Kickboxing

A recent “Time” magazine article stated that the FBI reports that Texas leads the nation for the most people who were either punched or kicked to death in 2012!

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

“Work Bitch”, the first single from the upcoming album, “Britney Jean”, by Britney Spears reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a moderate hit at pop radio.

britney-spears-perfume

The second single, “Perfume”, is now racing up the charts and will likely make Britney a Top Ten hit maker one more time!

The new song is stripped of the electronic sound and is more like a 1980s arena ballad.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

New York singer-songwriter and actress Melissa Manchester has only scored seven Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  However, the three of those hits that have reached the Top Ten are still memorable more than three decades later.

Melissa Manchester

Her first hit, “Midnight Blue” reached #6 in 1975.  After a couple of modest hits, she reached #10 in 1978 with “Don’t Cry Out Loud”.  That was followed by a couple more modest hits before she scored the biggest hit of her career.

In 1982, “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” reached #5.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

I hope you’ve enjoy this week’s random thoughts.  If you agree, let me know.  If you disagree, I welcome that discussion, too.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony