Archive for June, 2021

Random Friday Thoughts — June 11, 2021

Where does the time go? I can’t believe we’re already heading into the middle of June already.

I guess for those of us that love fall and winter, that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts.

CONQUERING THE MEDIA WORLD!

I make my living as a television meteorologist — I get paid to talk about the weather!

Now I’m branching out and it all started by walking off calories around Lake Decatur — while reading a book! πŸ™‚

In May 2020, a month after arriving in Central Illinois, Clay Jackson featured a photo of me walking and reading in Decatur’s Herald & Review newspaper.

Almost a year later, I was approached for a feature story in the paper’s “Together Decatur” column with reporter Donnette Beckett. (This photo is from Clay Jackson and the Herald & Review.)

The article raised my visibility as “that guy that walks around the lake reading a book”!

The newspaper story led to a twice monthly 10-15 minute Friday morning radio appearance on Talk 101 FM on the “Busboom & Wolfe” show to talk about what I’m reading.

The first two topics were former vice presidents Herbert Humphrey and Walter Mondale and the AIDS epidemic which became public 40 years ago this summer.

And, later this summer or early fall, I’ll be doing a weekly segment on our morning show about what I’m reading!

Isn’t it funny that something I started doing in the summer of 2017 in Panama City, Florida (walking outdoors while reading), is leading to other media ventures.

And, it all started as a healthy way to eat my desserts and junk food and keep the weight off!

TAKE A BITE OUT OF PRIDE

While I make beautiful and tasty cheesecakes, the thought of decorating and icing a cake terrifies me!

I wish I was talented enough to make this fun Pride cake!

PRIDE MONTH FUNNY

I found this postcard some time back in the 1990s and I feel this is a perfect time to share it. πŸ™‚

Happy Pride Month πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ to my LGBTQ and “straight, but not narrow” friends!

YOUNGER”

It’s hard to believe that the amazingly funny and touching TVLand series “Younger” is now over after seven great seasons (the longest running original series in the network’s history).

Sutton Foster (Liza) is so incredible, charming, and beautiful. Her chemistry with Hilary Duff (Kelsey) and Molly Bernard (Lauren) (so insanely brass and funny) made the show.

And, then there’s Nico Tortorella (Josh)!

No other words are needed except I need to find a man in his 40s or 50s like Nico!

Also, the addition of Steven Young (Rob) was a treat!

SEASON SEVEN FINAL THOUGHT: I was a little saddened that one of the funniest characters of the first six seasons only made ONE appearance in the last season and it was via Skype or Zoom or something!

SERIES FINALE FINAL THOUGHT: I was bummed that a certain regular character didn’t show up until almost the end. WTH?

But, how it ended was just how I wanted it to end!!! It gives me hope for love! I won’t say which team I was always on, but when see the finale, you’ll know! πŸ™‚

If you’ve never seen the comedy/drama, here’s the trailer for the first season.

SERIES GRADE: A

ONE LAST “YOUNGER” NOTE

My favorite line in the series finale was from Maggie (Debi Mazer), Liza’s best friend and lesbian roommate:

“I don’t understand straight people, you’re crazier than the gays!”

“JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEVIL IN DISGUISE”

As I’ve stated before, I find serial killers and cults fascinating.

Although I read “Killer Clown” many years ago, I just finished watching Peacock’s six-part documentary about serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who killed, at least, 33 young men and boys in the Chicago area in the 1970s.

Of those, 26 were buried in the crawl space of his home!

As a 14-year-old kid in western Kentucky, six hours south of Chicago, when the story broke, I was petrified to think that there were people like Gacy that preyed on young boys like myself!

While Gacy’s story isn’t new, what made this series intriguing is that it featured a long interview with Gacy himself!

And, of course, this infamous May 1978 picture with then-First Lady Rosalynn Carter was featured. It was taken at the annual Polish Constitution Day Parade in Chicago, which Gacy helped organize.

To put this timeline into perspective, this was seven months before we’d learn he was a suspected serial killer. (I only say “suspected”, because he was arrested in December and wasn’t convicted yet!)

One final note and quote from the series: About sleeping in the same house with his last victim’s body in the other room (15-year-old Robert Piest), Gacy told the interviewer, “The dead won’t bother you.  It’s the living you have to worry about.”

HOW DEMENTED IS THIS?

While in prison to pass the time before his 1994 execution, Gacy painted and was able to collect money from them until the mid-1980s.

Some sold for as much as $20,000!

There’s one that I really want. Well, I’d take a replica!

BEST RECENT LAS VEGAS HEADLINE

Now that more of the U.S. is opening up for business again, I absolutely love this April 2021 Las Vegas Sun headline!

At least one of my favorites is making a comeback!

I mean, really, who wants a buffet and bottomless mimosas? πŸ™‚

Laughing, joking, kidding! πŸ™‚ I do!

TAKING A SHORT BREAK!

Thank you for always checking out my thoughts. See you soon!

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 4, 2021

The first five months of 2021 are now behind us and it’s “unofficially” summer. For those that prefer the warmer months, enjoy (and enjoy them for me)! πŸ™‚

Thank you for taking the time to check out what’s on my mind this week!

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

Cheers!

And, here’s to the amazing transgender women, gay men, lesbians, and allies, who had had enough of police brutality and the bulls–t at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in 1969 and rebelled!!!

It’s because of you that Gay Pride parades started in 1970 on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots!

“PRIDE”

Just in time for Gay Pride month, I watched the amazing new six-episode FX/Hulu series “Pride”, which chronicles the LGBTQ movement, decade by decade — from the 1950s to 2000s.

A few interesting things I learned:

  • After Joseph McCarthy’s “red scare” (Communist hunt) faltered in the 1950s, he moved on to outing gays working for the federal government.  In the “Lavender Scare”, President Eisenhower fired thousands of federal gay employees because they were a “security risk”.

This is rather ironic since J. Edgar Hoover, a self-loathing, closeted homosexual was the head of the FBI! I usually don’t like using the word “homosexual”, even though it was widely used then, because it’s outdated and clinical, but it serves the scumbag Hoover well!

  • In the 1960s, bartenders could be arrested for serving gays an alcoholic drink!
  • The Gay Liberation Front started in 1969. As lesbians became more vocal in the fight, the “gay” community became the “gay and lesbian” community. It wasn’t until the 1990s when “bi” and “transgender” became widely acceptable in the “LGBT” acronym.
  • And, finally, in the 1970s author Betty Friedan (“The Feminine Mystique”) was very homophobic and she thought lesbians would take over the women’s movement. She called it the “Lesbian Menace”! Luckily, lesbians rebelled against her.

“Pride” is an incredible documentary!  

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!

Well, maybe not all since there are lactose intolerant people and some others are just weird. πŸ™‚

Now that it’s warming up (winter is good for ice cream, too), here are a few fun facts about Dairy Queen:

Texas has more Dairy Queens than any other state (more than 600) and you can find a Dairy Queen in 30 countries across the world.

“Thrillist” says the largest Dairy Queen is a two-story, 7,500 square foot restaurant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In the U.S., the largest is right here in Central Illinois, in Bloomington, Illinois. Meanwhile, the world’s busiest location in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

The concept of soft serve ice cream came in 1938 by John Fremont McCullough and his son Bradley. Two years later, they partnered with ice cream shop owner Sherb Noble to open the first Dairy Queen in Joliet, Illinois!

But, Dairy Queen doesn’t serve “ice cream” since the soft-serve doesn’t “qualify”!

The company says, “To be categorized as ice cream, the minimum butterfat content must be 10 percent, and our soft-serve has only 5 percent butterfat.” 

While Oreo is the most popular Blizzard flavor in the United States, it’s Green Tea in China!

“SUPERNOVA”

This LGBTQ drama, now on Hulu, is about Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a couple that’s been together for 20 years.

They’re traveling through the English countryside to be together to deal with Tusker’s early onset of dementia.

After a very slow start, the movie becomes very touching midway through when they attend a surprise dinner party with family and longtime friends.

GRADE: B

GAY FOR PAY

Both Firth and Tucci have played gay characters before. There was a time in not so long ago-Hollywood when actors (gay, straight, or closeted) were afraid of taking gay roles.

They feared it would end their box office appeal.

In today’s age, it’s almost sacrilegious for an LGBTQ role to go to a straight actor. This is especially true for transgendered roles.

I’m really torn about this.

As a gay actor, you want to be believable playing a straight character. Yet, there are those that want LGBTQ characters played only by LGBTQ actors.

I’m really behind this in transgender roles because under our LGBTQ umbrella, the most slighted group is the “T” (and yes, “B”, you’re right up there, too!)

Thank you “Pose” for the most impressive trans cast ever on television!

THEY SAID WHAT???

JAKE BORELLI (openly gay actor who plays the gay Dr. Levi Schmitt on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”): “Actors are trained, hopefully, to be able to play something that is not themselves. I think it starts to become a double standard when you say that straight people can’t play gay roles, because then the flip side of that double standard is that gay people can’t play straight roles — and I don’t think that is correct.”

“PRODIGAL SON”

While I totally enjoyed the premise of this Fox series — a serial killer’s (unstable) son is a criminal profiler for the New York City Police Department and he needs to consult his dad, at times, about cases.

Midway through season two, I made the decision to stop watching it after the season two finale.

This also happened with “NOS4A2”.

Well, I didn’t have to go through with it since both were cancelled after the second season!

Ironically, the last six episodes of “Prodigal Son” were incredible and the shocking season finale that may well act as the series finale was very rewarding!

However, the silliest thing about the whole series is that Malcolm’s younger sister, Ainsley, was the top reporter in New York City!!!

The character was so unbelievable as a reporter in the biggest television market in the country! But, I do love the actress, Halston Sage.

EMMY NOMINATIONS

Now that the Memorial Day deadline has passed, this year’s Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13th!

I seriously think that Oscar and Tony Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Chicago”) should get a nomination in the “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series” category for her role as Dr. Vivian Capshaw in “Prodigal Son”!

Her character was very understated in the first few episodes in her seven-episode run, but boy when it was revealed who/what she really was, get out of the way!

I especially loved her final scene with Bellamy Young (“Scandal”)!

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony is scheduled for September 19th on CBS.

FINAL DAIRY QUEEN TIDBITS

In the past two decades, the restaurant chain earned two entries into the Guinness World Records.

It created the world’s largest Blizzard in 2005 which weighed 8260.85 pounds!

And, in 2011, in Canada, it made the biggest ice cream cake in Toronto, Ontario — a 20,000 pound sponge cake with vanilla ice cream topped with crushed Oreo cookies! I hope my Canadian friends got to sample it. πŸ™‚

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony