Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Lincoln’

Random Friday Thoughts — July 24, 2015

It’s hard to believe that July is almost over and that means we’re getting closer to fall, my new favorite season.  Sorry winter!

Have yourself a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

BLAKE & MIRANDA GETTING DIVORCED

Marriages and relationships take a lot of work and when both people are celebrities, it’s much harder.  So, I’m a little surprised at people’s shock about the impending divorce of country singers Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert after four years of marriage.

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Blake Shelton, left, and Miranda Lambert arrive at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Shelton and Lambert announced their divorce after four years of marriage.A statement from Sheltonís spokesman provided a statement from both of them on Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Blake Shelton, left, and Miranda Lambert arrive at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Shelton and Lambert announced their divorce after four years of marriage.A statement from Sheltonís spokesman provided a statement from both of them on Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Yes, I’m bummed about it.  But, I’m not shocked.

Country singer Chris Young, who has toured with Miranda and considers himself a friend of the couple, is speaking out that he had nothing to do with the couple’s marriage problems.

CY

That response was prompted after the gossip-mongers at TMZ reported what they learned from “multiple sources familiar with the situation”!  Have I ever mentioned that I can’t stand TMZ and its bitterness?

I always hope that love is real for everyone and I hope Blake and Miranda find it again.  I’m definitely a romantic that wants the fairy tale.

SPEAKING OF FAIRY TALES

Can you believe this year marks the 25th anniversary of “Pretty Woman”?

pretty-woman

The romantic comedy that skyrocketed Oscar winner Julia Roberts to fame made $463 million dollars at theaters after its spring 1990 release.

“THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN”

Okay, this one is far from the fairy tale or a romantic comedy!

I just finished reading Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train”.   I walked so much on the treadmill just to finish the book because I didn’t want to put it down!

The Girl on the Train

This is a definite hands down, take the train, bus, car, bicycle, or whatever means necessary to pick up this book!  Actually, you probably already have since “Variety” reports “The Girl on the Train” is the fastest-selling adult novel in history, having sold more than two million copies in the U.S. alone since it was published in January.”

In the book, Rachel is an alcoholic, divorced woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she sees on a regular basis from the train she takes into London.

One day, Rachel sees something strange that will trigger a series of events that will have you feverishly turning the pages to see what’s real, what’s not, and what really happened.  It’s a page turner until the end!

It’s been reported that Emily Blunt (“Into The Woods” and “The Devil Wears Prada”) is set to star as Rachel (and also reported that she’ll play Jess/Megan).

Emily Blunt

Since I’m a real-life television meteorologist and not a Hollywood casting agent, as a fan of the book, here’s my dream cast. And, in case you haven’t read the book, I’m only giving character names and not how they play into the story.

I know actors and projects have to line up, so I’ll offer several people for each role.

Tom — Michael Fassbender, Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”), Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal”), James Marsden, and Andrew Lincoln (“The Walking Dead”)

Michael FassbenderDexterHugh DancyJames MarsdenAndrew Lincoln

Scott — Grey Damon (“Aquarius”) and Shawn Ashmore (“The Following”)

Grey DamonShawn Ashmore

Let’s go with it that Emily will take the role of either Rachel or Jess/Megan.

Jess/Megan and Anna —  Elisabeth Rohm (“Stalker), Jennifer Aniston, and Evan Rachel Wood (“True Blood”)

Elisabeth RohmJennifer AnistonEvanRachelWood

And, finally, Dr. Kamal Abdic — Manish Dayal (“The Hundred-Foot Journey) and Enrique Iglesias

Manish DayalEnrique Iglesias

Okay, I’ve enjoyed my fantasy casting enough.  One more “reported” claim about the movie is that the locale will move from London to the United States.

Tate Taylor (“The Help”) has signed on to direct.

Paula, your thoughts on the casting?

And, in honor of Rachel! 🙂

gordons_gin__tonic_in_can_250ml

“THE SNOWMAN”

Normally, the books I read are about real people and real events.  Just before I jumped on the train, I read “The Snowman”, a 2007 crime thriller by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo.  It’s the seventh book in the Detective Harry Hole series.

Nesbo+Snowman

“Time” magazine featured an article years ago about Scandinavian authors that may achieve the success of Stieg Larsson and his “Millennium series” (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played with Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest”.)

I wrote Nesbo’s name and “The Snowman” down on a piece of paper and finally got the book and it was incredible.

Detective Harry Hole is on the trail of Norway’s first serial killer.  And, is there a connection between the season’s first snow, the appearance of a snowman, and the victims?

Another must-read if you like crime novels!

There is talk of a movie adaptation of the book.  Legendary director Martin Scorsese was once attached to it, but now director Tomas Alfredson (“Let The Right One In” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) is set to direct it.

THEY SAID WHAT???

Remember on Mondays back when I blogged all the time, I had the feature, “They Said What???”  Why not revisit it with these fun ones!

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL WANNABEE LINDSEY GRAHAM

(on “CBS This Morning” about Donald Trump’s racist comments about Mexicans): “Run for president but don’t be the world’s biggest jackass.”

Pitbull

POP SINGER PITBULL

“I want to tell Marco Rubio, step it up!  Jeb Bush, step it up!  Hillary Clinton, step it up!  Because Donald Trump can’t be president.”

(More Pitbull to Trump):  “I want him to know I’m not a politician. I’m a musician. I’m a Latino first. I support our people.”

DIRECTOR/ACTOR TYLER PERRY

(speaking of the media reporting on Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown):  “It makes me sad to know that everybody wants to be the first to report something awful. So much so, that they find it OK to speak death onto those who are still alive. May I ask you all to please show some decency and respect?”

IRRELEVANT “ONE-HIT WONDER” SINGER SINEAD O’CONNOR

(on Facebook blasting “Rolling Stone” for its Kim Kardashian West cover):  “What is this c**t doing on the cover of Rolling Stone? Music has officially died.  Who knew it would be Rolling Stone that murdered it? Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh can no longer be expected to take all the blame. Bob Dylan must be f**king horrified. #BoycottRollingStone”

Kim KW Rolling Stone

SHOCK JOCK HOWARD STERN

(responding to “North Dakota Today” news co-host Chris Berg.  When talking about Stern’s salary of a reported $95 million, Berg asked how Stern could be making that much money.)

Berg

“Douche, you can do the same thing. Leave Fargo, get a show and work on your comedy chops and work on being interesting.”

Howard Stern Rolling Stone

(MORE STERN):  “The reason I worked so hard is so I wouldn’t have to live in Fargo, North Dakota, honestly. No offense if you live there. I’m pretty sure if you’re living there, you’re trying to get out … Gee whiz … I didn’t know Fargo still existed … Good lord. Well, anyway.”

DJ/PRODUCER SKRILLEX

(on Justin Bieber):  “Justin is a f**king virtuoso.  He’ll school you at every-thing: Ping-Pong, basketball, freestyle rapping.  The kid is so competitive.  Whatever he does he’s super good at, so you don’t stand a chance.  It’s not even fair.”

And, here’s Justin’s latest with Skrillex and Diplo.  I love this song and the video is so cool.  It’s takes me back to the fun days of music videos on MTV.

DONUTGATE

I like donuts and I cannot lie!  (You can sing that along to “Baby Got Back” if you want.)

Donuts

And, while they’re so delicious, the unhealthy treat was thrust into the national spotlight recently when pop tart Ariana Grande was busted “allegedly” licking a donut in a California shop without paying for it.

I’m glad that charges will not be filed against her for the silliness.  Yes, it’s gross if she actually Frenched the pastry for someone else to buy, but there are more pressing matters for us to deal with here in America.

Here’s another perspective on the matter.  When you were young, could you see yourself doing that if you were dared by a friend?  I can’t say that my young self would have done it, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t have!

SUMMER 2016 PROJECT

While there’s still several weeks left in summer 2015, I’m already making plans for next summer and setting my goals high.

Back in the summer of 2012, I ventured into making jelly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made 44 jars of mint, jalapeno-mint, apple mint, lemon balm-basil, and rosemary-lavender-lemon-mint jellies in many festive colors. While rainbow-colored, I didn’t call it “gay jelly”.

I just came across a recipe for pickling vegetables and it looks simple and tasty.

So, next year, pickles and pickled veggies!

ACCEPTANCE OF THOSE IN LOVE

As I’ve talked about in the past, my relationship with my alcoholic father was strained at best.  When sober, he was more tolerable.  However, overall, he didn’t like people, including his own family.

I know if he was alive today he would likely not be a part of his gay son’s life.  But, who knows, he could have softened in his golden years and surprised me.

I usually don’t think of him (he died in 1987), but I did think of him again when Jennifer Hudson’s “I Still Love You” was nominated earlier this week for an MTV VMA “Moonmen” award for “Video With a Social Message”.

The album (and song) didn’t catch on with radio or music buyers, but the video and the song are incredible.

TILDA SWINTON AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN HER

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton is all for looking bad for a great role.

She’s hardly recognizable in “Snowpiercer” as Deputy-Minister Mason or as Madame D. in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, a very old woman.

But, check out the 54-year-old actress in the new movie, “Trainwreck”!  (It’s the picture on the left.)

tilda-transformation

Incredible!  What a chameleon.

SKIP “IT FOLLOWS” AND RENT “THE BABADOOK”

“It Follows” was critically acclaimed and made enough money that a sequel is being discussed.

The premise is cool — a supernatural “it” stalks people after they’ve had sex.  The only way for it to leave you alone is if you pass it along to someone else.

After watching the very SLOOOOOOOW movie, I realized that if “It Follows”, it’d definitely catch them!

Watch the trailer, which is better than the movie and save a couple of dollars renting it.

GRADE: C

However, if you want something supernatural that’s scary, check out the Australian-Canadian psychological thriller, “The Babadook”.

“Mister Babadook” is a pop-up storybook that mysteriously appears and re-appears in the home of a mother and her 6-year-old troubled son.

The supernatural entity starts tormenting people when they are made aware of its existence.

Essie Davis are Noah Wiseman excellently portray the fear and horror of being tormented by the “Babadook”.

And, how cool is the word “Babadook”?

GRADE:  B

MID-YEAR CANADIAN MUSIC LEADERS

In my last “Random Friday Thoughts” back on July 3rd, I reported that at the halfway point of 2015 that Taylor Swift leads in album sales and Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have the top-selling single in the U.S. with “1989” and “Uptown Funk”, respectively.

I guess our friends to the north in Canada have the same taste.  Here are the sales there through mid-year and T-Swizzle has now surpassed Ed Sheeran in album sales and Ronson and Mars lead there, too.

Taylor_Swift_-_1989

Top Selling Canadian Albums (through June 30, 2015)

1. Taylor Swift, 1989 — 172,000 sold
2. Ed Sheeran, X — 170,000
3. Fifty Shades Of Grey, soundtrack — 134,000
4. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour — 132,000
5. Yoan, Yoan — 101,000
6. Hozier, Hozier — 101,000
7. Drake, If You’re Reading This… — 101,000
8. Maroon 5, V — 92,000
9. Meghan Trainor, Title — 86,000
10. Mumford & Sons, Wilder Mind — 84,000

Top Selling Singles (through June 30, 2015)

1. Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk! — 526,000 sold
2. Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud — 346,000
3. Wiz Khalifa Feat. Charlie Puth, See You Again — 315,000
4. Maroon 5, Sugar — 289,000
5. Rihanna/Kanye West/Paul McCartney, FourFiveSeconds — 289,000
6. Hozier, Take Me To Church — 279,000
7. Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do — 245,000
8. Omi, Cheerleader — 242,000
9. Andy Grammar, Honey, I’m Good — 204,000
10. Walk The Moon, Shut Up & Dance — 200,000

“SHOW ME YOURS”

A couple of years ago, singer Hailey Rowe released “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.  It was a fun song and the video was incredible frisky and sexy.  It ended up being my favorite song of 2013.

Now, Canadian singer and internet sensation Scotty Dynamo has released the next big gay thing.

His “Show Me Yours” video reminds me of a modern-day version of “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, which was very scandalous and controversial back in 1981.  Maybe that’s why the song ended up spending ten weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and was the biggest-selling single of the 1980s in the U.S.

BETTE MIDLER & DIVINE INTERVENTION

Congratulations to Bette Midler on the 32 sellouts shows on the “Divine Intervention Tour”!  It made an incredible $36 million!

Bette

We saw the amazing Las Vegas show in May!

GUESS THAT’S ENOUGH FOR NOW

As I’ve said many times, I wish I was wealthy enough to just write all the time.  But, I must pay the bills and find time to get a few hours of sleep, pay the bills, and go on vacation.

Thank you very much for checking out my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think about them.  If you agree with something, let me know.  If not, tell me that, too.

I value your thoughts as much as I appreciate you checking out mine.

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — November 21, 2014

We’re closing in on the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is next week and I hope that you have a happy one and if you head out to the stores or the malls afterwards, I hope you don’t get mauled or that you don’t maul others!

Thanksgiving Forecast

I have a few random thoughts to share with you.  With the Christmas season coming up and my countdowns of my favorite movies, albums, and songs in December, this will be my last “Random Friday Thoughts” of 2014.  Enjoy!

NOT ONE, BUT TWO COUNTRY STARS COME OUT AS GAY THIS WEEK

Ty Herndon last hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Country chart in 2001 with a song that only peaked at #37.  While not impressive, that’s just one of thirteen hits he’s scored since his debut, “What Mattered Most”, topped the chart in 1995.

Ty Herndon

After two failed marriages, stints in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and a 1995 arrest in a Fort Worth, Texas, park for exposing himself to an undercover cop with drugs in his possession (the indecent exposure charged was dropped in a plea bargain), the Mississippi born singer is finally finding peace.

Earlier this week, he told “People” magazine, “I’m an out, proud and happy gay man” and that he’s been in a long-term relationship with his partner, Matt.

Herndon says he started thinking he was gay when he was 10-years-old and starting coming out to his family when he was 20, “My mother probably knew I was gay before I did. I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation.”  He adds, “She was more concerned about me having a happy life. You have to be able to do that in your own skin, and [my family] has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career.”

Herndon also talked to “People” about his demons.  “I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. They’ve been my mistakes, and I own them,” says Herndon. “I’ve done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I’ve hurt and people I’ve not been honest with because of my sexuality.”

Of his thirteen country hits, seven reached the Top Ten with three topping the chart:  “What Mattered Most” (1995), “Living In A Moment” (1996), and “It Must Be Love” (1998).

Herndon plans to release a new solo album next year and is currently touring with Jamie O’Neal and Andy Griggs.

He plans on using his coming out to help others with visibility.  Herndon adds, “I just want to show up for the causes that I believe in. And be able to walk down the street and hold this man’s hand that will be my husband one day, and I know we’ll have kids one day.”

Ty, congratulations and I wish you and Matt the very best.  Enjoy country music, singing, touring, and whatever you choose to do in life.

BILLY GILMAN ALSO DECLARES PUBLICLY THAT HE’S GAY

Billy Gilman is now a charming, good-looking 26-year-old man, but he scored his first country hit back in 2000, when he hit #20 with “One Voice”, at the age of just twelve!

Billy Gilman

While he had one more modest hit later that year on the radio, his big accomplishment was having three Top Ten albums on the country chart in less than one year!

In a compelling video posted to YouTube yesterday, Gilman talks about what prompted him to come out and why he’s ashamed to say publicly that he’s gay.

He says, “It’s difficult for me to make this video, not because I’m ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist or a gay person, but it’s pretty silly to know that I’m ashamed of doing this knowing that I’m in a genre and an industry that’s ashamed of me for being me.”

And, sadly, that’s true.  Now, I know that not all country music fans are close-minded because many country music fans are friends and fans of mine.  But, you don’t have to look too far and too long to realize that what Gilman says is true.

Billy, coming out is courageous and I applaud you.  As you already know, there will be obstacles.  Deal with them and do what you love and you’ll have people follow you.

Best of luck!

DONATE, BUT AVOID THE EBOLA CHARITY SINGLE!

Back in the fall of 1984, Bob Geldof gathered a group of very popular English musicians including Culture Club, Duran Duran, Wham!, U2, Bananarama, Sting, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Phil Collins, and many more to record a charity single called “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.

band_aid_1984

The money raised would go toward fighting starvation in Ethiopia.  By 1989, the single had already sold nearly 12 million copies worldwide.

It became the biggest selling single in UK history until 1997 when it was surpassed by Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle In The Wind”.

Band Aid Cover

Now, 30 years later, Geldof has brought together some of the biggest U.K. stars today including One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Rita Oro, and others for a re-working of the song to raise money and awareness to fight ebola.

However, the lyrics are awkward and the production pales in comparison to original.  I couldn’t even get through the song once.  You can find it online by searching for “Band Aid 30”.

The good news is that the song raised the equivalent of $1.7 million in just the first few minutes of being released.

By the way, in November 2004, there was another version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by “Band Aid 20”.  Like the new version, it fails miserably living up to the original even with one of my favorites, Kylie Minogue, involved.

If you’d like to donate money in the fight against ebola and save yourself from buying and hearing the “Band Aid 30” song, you can donate here:

https://www.unicefusa.org/donate/help-stop-ebola-west-africa/18771

And, here’s the original “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and my early prayers that there won’t be a “Band Aid 40”!

REMEMBERING HARVEY MILK

Next week marks the 36th anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected to public office in California as a member of the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors eleven months early.

It was on November 27, 1978, that Dan White, an unstable and disgruntled former supervisor on the board with Milk, went into City Hall and gunned down Milk and San Fransisco Mayor George Moscone in cold blood.

I just read the book, “The Mayor of Castro Street” by the late writer Randy Shilts, who was born right here in the Quad Cities, in Davenport.  What an incredible read and what an amazing man!

If you don’t know much about Harvey Milk, the man who help ignite the LGBT movement in the late-1970s, just as the Stonewall Riots in New York did in the summer of 1969, check out this feature I wrote a couple of years ago.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/11-3-1977-harvey-milk/

 “PEOPLE” SEXIEST MAN ALIVE

31-year-old Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) was named “People” magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive”.

Chris-Hemsworth

While he is definitely gorgeous and I haven’t checked out the magazine yet, my choice for “Sexiest Man Alive” would be Enrique Iglesias.

Enrique Iglesias

James Marsden or Matt Bomer would also be high on that list, too.  For others that made my list last year, check out this fun blog I posted in October 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/least-thought-provoking-entry-yet/

If I had to update the list now, it would have to include singer Nick Jonas and actors Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal”), Theo James (“Divergent”), and Jack Falahee (Connor Walsh on “How To Get Away With Murder”).

Nick JonasHugh DancyTheo James

Andrew Lincoln

Wait, how did Andrew Lincoln of “The Walking Dead” pop up there? 🙂

MORE TAYLOR SWIFT ADMIRATION

If I thought “Shake It Off”, the first release from the mega-hit album, “1989”, was awesome, the follow-up, “Blank Space” is incredible.

I thought that when I first heard the song, but once I saw the over-the-top crazy video, there was no doubt!

TAYLOR, BY THE NUMBERS

Taylor Swift is still on fire.  “Blank Space” vaults from #13 to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Taylor the first woman to ever replace herself at #1.  This week, “Shake It Off” drops from the top spot to #3.

Taylor Swift

The first act to do that was the Beatles back in 1964.  They actually replaced themselves at #1 back-to-back with three chart toppers:  “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You”, and “Can’t Buy Me Love”.

Also, Taylor’s album “1989” spent a third week at number one on the album chart selling another 312,000 copies.  In just three weeks, it’s up to sales of two million!

Only one other album in 2014 has sold more, the “Frozen” soundtrack and it’s up to 3.25 million.

“1989” and “Frozen” are the only million sellers this year!

With the Christmas buying season hitting full force next week, which album will end up as the biggest seller in 2014?  You can never count out “Frozen” since it has a big lead and it won’t go away, but I’m putting my money on T-Swizzle!

TWO HUMOROUS LOOKS AT TAYLOR

Thanks to my friend, Kathy McCoy, for bringing this to my attention from “Saturday Night Live”.  This is so me!

And, here’s “Blank Space” as a horror movie trailer!

ADAM JOSEPH — BEST DAD OF THE YEAR!

There are great dads out there all over the world, whether they are single dads, dads married to a woman, or dads that have another great man.

My vote for dad of the year goes out to fellow television meteorologist Adam Joseph of 6ABC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Adam is taking the holidays and the important November ratings period off to be with his son, Jacob.  Here’s what he posted on his Facebook page earlier this month.

Adam Joseph

Back in August, Adam not only publicly came out as gay, but he also announced that his partner, Karl, were proud dads of newborn, Jacob.

Adam told philly.com, “While I believe every person reading this article should respect others’ privacy, I decided to share this personal moment for my son.”

He added, “I want my son to be proud of both his fathers.  From the day he was born, I want him to understand that families come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  In our eyes, as long as there is unconditional love for a child, it doesn’t matter who that child looks up to or leans on… This is unconditional love and hope.  I truly wish that every person wanting a family can feel this overwhelming happiness and joy.”

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, and Happy 2015, Adam, Karl, and Jacob!

MY PICK HIT IS NOW A CROSSOVER HIT

Last month in October, while in Tel Aviv, Israel to celebrate my birthday, I was so thrilled to get to see VH-1 and music videos all the time.

One new song that caught my attention was “Stolen Dance” by the German duo, Milky Chance.

That song has spent ten weeks #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and is now a Top 40 radio airplay hit here in America!

THE NEXT TIME YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT SNOW…

Think about poor western New York.  Lake effect snows this week have dumped more than seven feet of snow (that’s more than 84″ of snow)!

Sadly, the storm has killed at least ten people and stranded thousands.

However, I’m looking for the silver lining in this historic snow event.

Home Near Buffalo

Is this picture not too funny?

Last season, the second snowiest on record in the Quad Cities, we picked up 65.1″ and that was from October 2013 to March 2014!

 SOLO BONUS JONAS (NO, NOT FRANKIE)

Nick Jonas, the youngest in the pop trio, the Jonas Brothers, is having a great year.

He’s earning rave review in his role as Nate Kulina on the hit Audience Network series, “Kingdom”.

Additionally, he just hit #6 on the Billboard Album chart with his self-titled latest album and he just scored his first Top Ten solo hit on Billboard Hot 100 as “Jealous” moves to #10.

As part of the Jonas Brothers, he scored eight hits on the Hot 100 with two of them reaching the Top Ten.

A SEXY CHRISTMAS FLASHBACK

Remember this sexy “Show Your Joe” KMart commercial from last year?

If you’re a fan of the Showtime series, “Dexter”, you might recognize Darri Ingolfsson, the third from the left.  He played Oliver Saxon/Daniel Vogel in the eighth and final season.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and you get family time, even if you have to work.

I work Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, but I’m still going to make the most of my family time and the holidays when I get home from work!

If you’re still not buying into the amazing Christmas music on the Quad Cities’ Mix 96 yet, maybe this beautiful Coca-Cola commercial will get you into the Christmas spirit!

Now, I want a Coke Zero!

Thank you for checking out my last “Random Friday Thoughts” of 2014.   Let me know if you agree or disagree with me on anything that I wrote today.

My favorite albums, songs, and movies of 2014 are coming soon, along with another blog or two.

Anthony

Least Thought-Provoking Entry Yet!

Most of the time, my blogs are thought-provoking.  Today’s blog is far from that!

I love donuts and I love roses.

I love glazed, chocolate, and maple-covered.  Don’t forget creme and jelly filled, too.

My favorite roses are orange and yellow, but I love red roses, as well.

Colorful Donuts Roses

So, what do donuts and roses have in common?  I’m sure something, but for today’s blog, it’s nothing more than they both traditionally come in dozens!   But, here I’m featuring more than a “Baker’s Dozen”.

As the days get shorter, the nights get longer and winter’s chill and snow settles in, here are almost two dozen of my favorites that could warm your thoughts this winter.  (I’m kidding!)

March Snow

Now that I think about it, this is skewed toward women and a select number of men.  However, it’s for fun, to prove a point, and to achieve a memorable goal.  (If achieved, I’ll reveal that goal!)

ADAM LEVINE, lead singer of Maroon 5

adam-levine-tattoos

ALEX PETTYFER, actor (“Magic Mike” and “I Am Number Four”)

Alex Pettyfer

ANDREW LINCOLN, actor (“The Walking Dead”)

Andrew Lincoln

BORIS KODJOE, actor (“Undercovers”)

boris-kodjoe-2

CHANNING TATUM, actor (“Magic Mike” and “White House Down”)

ChanningTatum

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, singer

enrique_iglesias

HUGH JACKMAN, actor (“Les Miserables”, “Real Steel”, and “Swordfish”)

Hugh Jackman

JAMES MARSDEN, actor (“27 Dresses”, “Hop”, and “The 24th Day”)

james-marsden

JONNY LEE MILLER, actor (“Elementary” and “Eli Stone”)

jonny_lee_miller

JOSH WALD, model and skateboarder

Josh Wald

MATT BOMER, actor (“White Collar” and “Magic Mike”)

Matt Bomer

MICHAEL FASSBENDER, actor (“12 Years A Slave”, “Shame”, and “Inglorious Basterds”)

FassbenderObsession

MICHAEL C. HALL, actor (“Dexter”, “Six Feet Under”, and “Kill Your Darlings”)

Dexter-michael-c-hall

Michael C Hall

MIKE VOGEL, actor (“Under The Dome”, “Bates Motel”, and “Cloverfield”)

600full-mike-vogel

PAUL WALKER, actor (the “Fast & Furious” series  and “Joy Ride”)

Paul Walker

RICKY MARTIN, singer

Ricky-Martin

RYAN GOSLING, actor (“Notebook”, “Drive”, and “The Ides of March”)

Ryan Gosling

SHAWN ASHMORE, actor (“The Following” and “Frozen”)

Shawn Ashmore in Cosmo

AND TWO ALL-TIME FAVORITES

COREY HART, singer (“Sunglasses at Night” and “Never Surrender”)

Corey+Hart

DAVID DUCHOVNY, actor (“The X-Files”)

David Duchovny

AND, BEHIND EVERY GOOD MAN…

GILLIAN ANDERSON, actress (“The X-Files”)

Gillian Anderson

Gillian David The X-Files

ZOE SOLDANA, actress (“Avatar” and “Star Trek Into Darkness”)

Zoe_Saldana

This is a perfect blog for one of my favorite songs from my club days!

Nicole’s 1986 international smash and Billboard Dance Chart hit, “Don’t You Want My Love”.

“You, you make me hot!  You make my body feel delirious.”

Anthony

Random December Thoughts

Holy blinking lights, Batman, can you believe there’s only 25 days left in December?  Where has this year gone?  By now, you’re probably making your list and checking it twice and trying to figure out who’s been naughty or nice, how you’re going to get everything done, and how you’re going to pay for everything!  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and if you celebrate a different holiday this time of the year, I hope you have a happy one.

Today, I’m just talking about random things that are on my mind.

HUMAN RIGHTS

I want to begin with a heartwarming comment that my political idol made one year ago today.  While addressing the United Nations Human Right Council in Geneva, Switzerland, in front of a crowd that included some anti-gay leaders from around the world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and I hope, the 2016 U.S. President) said:  “It should never be a crime to be gay” and “Gay rights are human rights.”  And, she said this:

Hillary

WHERE ARE YOU, WINTER?

What a way to start the month of December with temperatures averaging 16.1° above where they should be this time of the year.  In the Quad Cities, highs for the first four days of December were 61°, 59°, 69°, and 60°.  While I do love snow, I’m selfishly hoping that there will be no big winter storms over the eastern half of the country on December 18th and 19th (as we head to Chicago and then New Orleans for our 4-day Christmas cruise) and then on the 24th as we travel back to the Quad Cities from New Orleans.  A big snow late on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day would be fine with me.

Sunday Evening

A couple of days ago, I blogged that we had the possibility of a seeing a sticking snow Sunday evening or Sunday night.  While it doesn’t look very impressive now, we could still see a dusting of snow.  The best chance will be from the Quad Cities northward.  This map is for Sunday evening and it definitely shows snow chances, but as you know with weather, it could change again.  I’ll keep my eyes on it!

FunWinterDecorations

In January, if the cold air really settles in, this is something that I going to try to decorate the sidewalks!

MY SISTER

TammyChristmastime2011

God, please don’t let me jinx her.  I say that because I posted on Facebook late last January that Miss ABBA was doing well and then she took a turn for the worse and went to “puppy heaven” the following week.  But, here goes.  It was one year ago today that my sister, Tammy, had a heart attack and we almost lost her.  (She also had a near heart attack the previous December in Tennessee, too!)

She’s doing well, except that she never stopped smoking and she was told to stop.  Bad Tammy!

I’m so happy that she’s in the Quad Cities and that she’s going on the cruise with us.  Here’s to another great year ahead, my sister!  I love you!

SHE’S STILL THE ONE

Canadian country music star Shania Twain last weekend opened her two-year stay, “Still The One”, at Caesar’s Palace’s Colosseum Palace in Las Vegas.  To promote the event in mid-November, the city shut down the Strip for a short time for Shania’s arrival on a horse.

Shania2

This is Shania’s first concert tour in eight years!  Billboard magazine reports that she performed a  90-minute set of 18 songs, including many of her biggest hits.

Although she didn’t perform that 1993 song in her Vegas concert opening weekend, it introduced me to Shania Twain and it’s still one of my favorites.  In the U.S., “What Made You Say That” only reached #55 on the country chart from  her first album that went pretty much unnoticed.

However, with the albums, “The Woman In Me” (sales of 20 million worldwide) “Come On Over” (sales of 40 million worldwide), and “Up” (sales of 20 million worldwide), Shania ruled both the country and pop charts from 1995 to 2004.

Shania1

Billboard Magazine reports that Shania performed six of her seven #1 country songs in the concert.  The only one she didn’t perform was “Love Gets Me Every Time” from 1997.  On the country charts, Shania has had 28 Top  40 songs.  Of those, 15 have reached the Top Ten.  Her last Top Ten hit on the country chart in America was “Party of Two” with Billy Currington.  It reached #7 on Christmas Day, 2004.

PARENTS, BY CHOICE

Same Sex Parent

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRITNEY!

This past Sunday was Britney Spears’ 31st birthday!  Happy birthday, Britney.  And, what a way to celebrate.  She’s engaged to Jason Trawick, earning $15 million a year as a co-host on “The X-Factor”, and she debuted this week at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 with will.i.am on “Scream and Shout”, her fourth highest debut ever on the chart.

spears-williams-video-scream-shout

In its first week out, it was the most downloaded song in America (196,000).  I just love her.

Oh, Happy Birthday to Bette Midler, too.  Her birthday was December 1st.

CHRISTMAS IS TAKING OVER OUR HOUSE

After losing the Facebook poll debate over icicles or not on the big Christmas tree in the living room, Gretel and I did not accept defeat! 🙂  The big tree is still icicle-free.

New Tree Pic

However, with a gift card we had, plus an addition $12, we added another tree to the living room with icicles. 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, we got a new seasonal flag for the front yard in memory of Miss ABBA.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

KE$HA SCARES ME (SOMETIMES)

Okay, I’m not Catholic.  But, I want to confess.  I would never want to see Ke$ha in concert.  Unless all of her concert is pre-recorded and she lip syncs, I want no part of her singing live.  I adore Lady Gaga and I think she is the neatest thing ever.  There are times that I think Ke$ha is just a Lady Gaga-wannabe with her bizarre and uneven television appearances.

I remember watching her on “Saturday Night Live” and her first performance “Tik Tok” was painful to watch and then I was blown away by the craziness of “Your Love Is My Drug”.

KESHA SNL2

And, then her performance a few weeks ago of “Die Young” on the “American Music Awards” prompted me to post this on my Facebook page:  “Ke$ha = Worst.Performer.Ever!  Shouldn’t her 15 minutes of fame ended years ago??  Thank God for Auto-Tune and DJs that remix her songs to make them fun and listenable!”

You can read that two ways.  I don’t like Ke$ha or I do like her overproduced and computerized final product.  It’s the latter.  I broke down and bought her new album “Warrior” that came out Tuesday!  There are many fun, upbeat songs on it and she is a creative story-teller.

I already know that I’ll have to fast forward past her duet with Iggy Pop called “Dirty Love” after a couple of listens.  It sounds dreadful, even with the awesome Iggy Pop line, “Santorum did it in a v-neck sweater”!

santorum vest

So, I may live to regret buying “Warrior”.  I also bought, “I Am The Dance Commander + I Command You To Dance:  The Remix Album” because I love dance remixes and it has all six of Ke$ha’s Top Ten solo hits prior to “Die Young”, the most played song in the U.S. right now.

Ke$ha Dance Commander

Seriously, if Ke$ha really brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack, paid a gardener five dollars to sneak under Prince’s fence to leave a demo tape, AND she threw up in Paris Hilton’s closet, I think I deserve to give her a chance.  She sounds like a freak and is “too kool for skool” [sic]!

And, two years ago, Ke$ha released “We R Who We R”, after a rash of bullying episodes led to several gay youth suicides.  Ke$ha hoped the song would inspire pride in those that saw themselves as quirky or eccentric and to just be themselves.

Ke$ha, let that freak flag fly!

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON (AND, I DID NOT READ THE BIBLE TO FACT CHECK!)

Homosexuality Sinful

DO YOU THINK JG-L IS A HOTTIE?

JosephGordonLevitt

I do.  I never watched “Third Rock From The Sun”, so I didn’t pay that much attention to Joseph Gordon-Levitt years ago.

That changed when I saw him in 1998’s “Halloween H20”.  After that, he appeared in one of my favorite movies of all time, 2003’s “Latter Days”.   I’ve also checked out his movies, “Mysterious Skin” (2004), “Inception (2010), “50/50” (2011), and this year’s “Lincoln”.

I still want to see him in “(500) Days of Summer”, “G.I. Joe:  The Rise of Cobra”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, and “Looper”.

What you may or may not know is that he’s also a musician.  Check out this awesome performance of “Bad Romance”.  Warning:  He does swear at the beginning of the song.

BACK TO CHRISTMAS!  WELL, “LOVE ACTUALLY”

Love Actually

Although this hugely successful ($247.9 million) British romantic comedy/Christmas movie was released in 2003, Ray and I just checked it out for the first time a few weeks ago and it was quite enjoyable.  It features an all-star cast:  Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Keira Knightly.

It also starred a very dapper and sexy Hugh Grant as the new Prime Minister, who may or may not find love at Christmastime, and a crazy, funny, and amazing Bill Nighy as a washed up rock star unhappily reworking one of his old hits to benefit on the Christmas music cash cow.

My favorite story line involved Liam Neeson as a grieving husband, who just lost his wife, and his relationship with his young stepson, Sam, who was madly in love!

While most of the movie was a downer, it was had enough fun and quirkiness to keep it from being totally maudlin (including a porn movie storyline!).

“Love Actually”  had a big surprise in store for me and I’m letting it out of the bag since most of you have probably already seen the movie  — a very young, sexy, and adorable Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes of “The Walking Dead”)!  Okay, what I thought might have been a gay storyline involving his character turned out to be more borderline creepy!

 

AL

FINAL CHRISTMAS THOUGHT AND LAUGH

ReindeerSantaFacebook

Happy Holidays!  I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts!  What are yours?

Anthony

Fall Is A Time For Cooler Weather & Horror Stories

Now that Labor Day is behind us, that means summer is unofficially over.

However, after reaching the 90s again Tuesday in the Quad Cities (since May, we’ve reached 90° or higher 45 times, which ranks 7th for most 90° days in a calendar year), I’m ready for the cooler weather that’s on the way this weekend.  This morning’s rain will help trend temperatures downward and with more rain Thursday night and Friday, it’s going to feel like fall.  By Saturday, highs will be in the low-70s with lows in the 40s.  Brrrrrr!!!!!!  🙂

Up until a couple of years ago, my favorite season was winter.  Now, while my favorite season is still Christmas and I love snow, autumn has moved to the top of my list thanks to brutal winter temperatures in the Midwest.

At home, we’re already breaking out the autumn decorations. The wreath on the door is just the first phase.

Last week, I bought two new bags of coffee, caramel apple and pumpkin spice, to usher in autumn.  We tried the caramel apple Monday morning and it’s yummy.

Weather aside, I love August and September because the latest seasons of “Dexter”, “The Walking Dead” and “Fringe” arrive on DVD and new episodes start airing on Showtime, AMC, and Fox, respectively.  This will be the last season of “Fringe” and it’s only going to be 13 episodes.

Sadly, it took me and Ray no time to butcher and dispose of season six of “Dexter” in August and to devour season two of “The Walking Dead” last week and this weekend like crazed, hungry zombies.

If you’re not a fan of gore or zombies, then you need to skip to the last line of the blog.  If you’re a fan of “The Walking Dead”, chances are that you’ve either already watched the first two seasons when they aired or you’re watching them now.  Nevertheless, I’m giving you a warning that I will mention a couple of plots that will be spoilers, so skip ahead to the end of the blog, too.

While season one of “The Walking Dead” consisted of only six episodes, the second season was 13 episodes.  The third season, which premieres on AMC October 14th, will be 16 episodes long and will be presented in two parts.  Eight will air in the fall and the final eight in early 2013.

9 million people watched the season two finale when it aired last spring, which made it the most-watched basic cable drama telecast in history!!

Season one showed how survivors in Atlanta dealt with “the walkers”, the updated word for zombies, and season two focuses on Sheriff Rick Grimes, his wife, their son, and the people that they picked up along the roadway in their quest to stay alive.

There was plenty of gore in season one, but the blood, guts, and gore factor is magnified in season two and it’s not just because there are seven more episodes.  The increasingly violent way that the survivors on Hershel’s farm, the place where Rick and company find refuge after a tragedy involving one of the two kids that in the group, kill the undead is amazing and it makes sense.  They are scared and are fighting for their lives.

This isn’t like horror movie sequels when the body count goes up and the gore factor increases because the story line is lacking.  There are plenty of subplots in “The Walking Dead”, but you have to consider that in the two months since “the walkers” took over the country (and maybe the world), one mistake by the survivors could cost them their life or the lives of someone they care for.

In a few scenes, (the well, the woods with the hanging walker, and the barn), the producers make you stop and think that these “walkers” were once family members and loved ones before they just wanted to eat you.  It adds humanity to the river of blood and gore.

There are some very tense moments between Sheriff Grimes and his partner, Shane, and a love triangle that drive the men apart.

Three characters (two major) die this season and in the midst of sadness, some of the survivors find love and new reasons to live and fight to keep the others alive for season three!

One of my favorite interactions is when a couple takes a box of condoms from the pharmacy on a medical run into town and decide to test them right then and there.  Back at the farm, the male character states, “You know, we still have eleven condoms.”  The female looks at him and says, “You see eleven condoms, I see eleven minutes of my life I’m never gettin’ back.”  Awesome!

That shows how witty and intelligent “The Walking Dead” is.  It’s not just a gore fest or a reject from SyFy.  It’s the real deal!

Some fans complained at how slow the season was at the beginning when the group was searching for a missing member.  I didn’t think it was slow.  There were other plots to keep the story moving along.

There were two major massacres, one at mid-season and in the finale.  I will say that after the incredible mid-season shootout with “the walkers” in an episode called “Pretty Much Dead Already”, that the next two episodes, “Nebraska” and “Triggerfinger” didn’t really gel with me and felt out of place.  However, the series quickly rebounded and remains one of my favorite series on television.

And, Andrew Lincoln (“Sheriff Rick Grimes”) is so adorable and sexy trading in his real-life British accent for a southern drawl in the series!

With “The Walking Dead” season two finished, I guess I should focus my attention on season two of “American Horror Story” and see what crazy, amazing things Jessica Lange will do in this season called “Asylum”.

For now, with the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer and vacation season kicking off for me Thursday, September 13th, I’ll just focus on fun and putting together my Halloween costume to go trick or treating with Gretel.  I also think she wants to go on a haunted hay ride, which I think would be fun.

Anthony