Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Random Friday Thoughts — March 14, 2014

It’s no surprise that I love my weekends.  It’s going to be relatively mild this weekend and I hope to take a few walks in the neighborhood and get some fresh air. I hope you have a great weekend, too.

Here are my random thoughts for this week.

MICHELE BACHMANN, THE WORLD HAS CHANGED!

Minnesota Representative and failed Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is still behind the times and she thinks that President Obama, liberal judges, and gay people are out to “take away” her religious rights.

Bachmann

I guess that’s better than her thinking we want to take her husband away from her!

Marcus Bachmann

Okay, let me get back on track.  She’s upset with not only the LGBT community, but also Arizona Governor Jan Brewer because she vetoed the very bad SB 1062 last month.

Bachmann says, “There’s nothing about gays in there. But the gay community decided to make this their measure.  I think the thing that is getting a little tiresome, the gay community, they have so bullied the American people, and they’ve so intimidated politicians. The politicians fear them, so that they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere.”

ELECTION 2016

Since 2014 is just getting underway and the next presidential election is still about two years away, who are Iowa voters most excited about?

For Democrats, former Secretary of State, former First Lady, and 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has incredible support with Democrats with 88% saying it’s a good idea for her to run for President and 11% saying it’s a bad idea.

president-hillary

Current Vice President Joe Biden only has 58% of the polled saying it’s a good idea for him to run in 2016.

Potential Iowa Voters

On the Republican side, of the candidates that were asked about, 2012 Vice President wannabe Paul Ryan has the support of 67% of Republicans with only 16% thinking it’s a bad idea.

Right behind him with 65% thinking it’s a good idea is former Arkansas Governor and failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

“GAYEST PRESIDENT YET”

Kudos to Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.

Last summer, she could have been arrested for holding up this rainbow flag in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.

Tilda Swinton Moscow

Recently, at  SXSW  in Austin, Texas, she topped herself by saying this about Russian President Vladimir Putin, “Well, Russia has the gayest president ever. No, that’s an offensive thing to say—not to him, but to the gay community.”

Putin

Tilda, if I didn’t already love you for your amazing work and, especially, your performance in “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, I’d love you even more now.

WINTER, GO AWAY!

As much as I love snow, a few days of 50° or higher this week and I’m now in “spring” mode!

When it comes to farmers’ almanacs and long-term forecasts, it’s fun to looked at the books’ generalized forecasts for the upcoming winter season.  But, there’s definitely no scientific validity to the daily forecasts for each month.  It’s definitely guess-work.

But, check out this “Farmers’ Almanac” forecast from last fall that I blogged about on August 30, 2013.

Farmers' Almanac

With temperatures from December 2013 through March 2014 running more than nine degrees below average in the Quad Cities and 62.4″ of snow this winter, almost twice the average winter’s snowfall, I say “kudos” to the “Farmers’ Almanac” for nailing this winter’s outlook.

“BAGGAGE CLAIM”

The romantic comedy, “Baggage Claim”, was the funniest movie I’ve seen since “We’re The Millers” last year.

Baggage Claim

Paula Patton stars a Montana Moore, a flight attendant who finds out that her younger sister who’s still in college is engaged.  She begins to feel the pressure from her mother who’s been married five times.

When her boyfriend, Graham, invites her, by letter, to spend Thanksgiving with him in Chicago, Montana is convinced that he’s going to pop the question.  Wait, he sends a letter inviting her????  What year is this?

Well, things don’t go as planned.

That’s when her two flight attendant friends, Gail and Sam, devise a master plan to get her married or engaged before her sister’s wedding in thirty days!

Gail and Sam Baggage Claim

Jill Scott is hilarious as the promiscuous Gail and Adam Brody is adorably cute and funny as Montana gay best friend, Sam.

With the help from others that work within the airline industry, the trio tracks down Montana’s exes that are flying over the holidays to see if any of them have changed and if they could now be the “one”.

While predictable, it’s funny, sexy, and cute.  Dare I say this, but it’s a modern-day “Pretty Woman” without Julia Roberts and prostitutes.

“Baggage Claim” is a definite must-see and I’m even considering buying the DVD!

GRADE:  A-

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Spring Forward Yelling

CONGRATULATIONS BELINDA CARLISLE

Today marks a very special anniversary in former Go-Go’s lead singer, Belinda Carlisle’s life.

It was nine years ago today that she stopped using drugs after almost 30 years of abuse!

belinda_carlisle_lips_unsealed_cover

She made those revelations in her memoir, “Lips Unsealed”, which I blogged about earlier this week.

Here’s an excerpt from my blog:  “In March 2005, Belinda was in London rehearsing for some tour dates and having talks about a new venture for her, an album of French pop songs.   In heartbreaking detail in the book, she went on a cocaine frenzy in her hotel room and envisioned herself dead of an overdose.  It gave her the strength to do something she had never been able to do.  She was going to finish the last of the cocaine sitting on the table and quit cold turkey.”

Belinda

Belinda, congratulations on nine years.  I know that overcoming an addiction is a daily fight and I wish you and your family the very best.

Here’s Belinda from last year with “Sun”.

If you missed my blog about Belinda, here’s the link:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/belinda-carlisle-from-the-germs-the-go-gos-to-beating-demons/

AMERICANS BECOMING MORE OPEN-MINDED

There will always be prejudiced against <insert minority group here>.  Otherwise, what would close-minded people have to talk about?

I want to comment and focus on the LGBT community and marriage equality.

“USA Today” reported in late February that a study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows that the number of Americans supporting marriage equality has risen from 32% in 2003 to 53% last year!

LoveMarriageEquality

In that same time period, 17 states and the District of Columbia have allowed same-sex marriages.

The PRRI study also shows that in the past ten years, the number of people who say same-sex marriages are against their religious beliefs dropped from 62% to 51%.

The top three religions that were deemed most “unfriendly” to the LGBT community were the Catholic Church (58%), the Mormon Church (53%) and Evangelical Christian churches (51%).

gays_in_church

Robert P. Jones, the CEO of PRRI, says that 24% of those polled left their childhood religion and now have no religious identity.  One of the main reasons given was their church’s negative teachings or treatment of LGBT people.

In younger people, ages 18 to 33, that number jumps to 31%!

MILEY-KATY CAT FIGHT

There’s a pop music cat fight going on now and Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Elton John are not involved!

Recently, at Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz Tour” stop in Los Angeles, Katy leaned in to give Miley an innocent kiss during the song, “Adore You”.

Miley Katy Kiss

So, here’s Katy’s side of the story.

Katy on Miley's Tongue

Well, Miley didn’t take kindly to Katy’s comment and Tweeted this.

Miley Response

Ladies, since we never really know where other people’s tongues have been, let’s just use Scope, kiss, and make up!

“ROMEO & JULIET”

We all know the story of the dreaded feud between the Montagues and the Capulets that doomed the love affair of their children, Romeo and Juliet.

In the latest box office bomb, Romeo is played by the stunningly drop-dead gorgeous English actor Douglas Booth and Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) portrays Juliet.

romeojuliet1

The movie is definitely getting a bad rap.  If it wasn’t bad enough that the $24 million dollar movie only made $1.2 million in theaters, it was mostly panned by critics, and has an approval rating of only 21% on the website, “Rotten Tomatoes”!

I didn’t think the movie lacked energy as many have stated.  If you want to see a new version of the classic story, you won’t be thoroughly disappointed.

And, look on the bright side, if you start watching it and you think I’m wrong about the movie being okay, just stare at the beautiful Douglas Booth and make the best of it.

romeo-douglas-booth

GRADE:  B

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

Texan Clay Walker first appeared on the country music scene in 1993 when his debut single, “What’s It To You” and its follow-up, “Live Until I Die”, both topped the Billboard Country chart.

He was so dreamy and quickly became my favorite male country singer.

Clay Walker

I finally saw him in concert in Merrillville, Indiana, in early 1996.

Clay charted with 29 country hits with 17 of them reaching the Top Ten.

Of those, six topped the chart!  Including the two I previously mentioned, “Dreaming With My Eyes Open” (1994), “If I Could Make A Living” (1994), “This Woman And This Man” (1995), and “Rumor Has It” (1997) were also chart toppers.

I have many favorites of Clay’s, but I think this is my absolute favorite.

THAT’S IT

Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend to you.  If you have a lot of green beer, make sure you have a designated driver!

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — February 28, 2014

It’s hard to believe that the first two months of 2014 are already behind us.  I sure hope that with March starting this weekend that spring can’t be too far behind.  With that being said, enjoy the snowy weekend.  Here are my random thoughts for this week.

DISGUSTED WITH UGANDA

This past Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a controversial law that makes being gay punishable by life in prison.  Before this week, a gay person faced 14 years of jail time.

Uganda President

Museveni had been going back and forth over the issue and just last week he said that gay people were “sick” and needed treatment and not imprisonment.

He added that this is necessary because of the arrogance of Westerners promoting behavior that threatens Ugandans’ “way of life”.

Here’s a reality check for you, President Museveni:  my being gay and open about it does not threaten the “way of life” in your nation (and the other 37 African countries that make it illegal to be gay).  What you should be threatened by is losing the $1.6 billion aid that you received in 2011 from the United States!

UGANDAN AID BEING CUT

In wake of Museveni signing that law, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands were the first three countries to cut aid to the Ugandan government.

Pink News

Pink News, Europe’s largest gay news service, reports that Norway and Denmark will donate money directly to human rights groups now and not the government there.

The news service also reports that the U.K. is making changes.  It will now only send money to multilateral aid agencies and non-governmental organizations in Uganda.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT — ARIZONA

Normally, in this segment, I don’t add commentary.  But, this week, I must.

Wednesday night, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062 that would have allowed individuals and businesses to refuse service based on religion, especially toward the LGBT community.

While I applaud Governor Brewer for vetoing it, in my heart, I feel that she did it because of the money Arizona stood to lose and not because it was the right thing to do.

Today’s “Food For Thought” is for the 17 Senators and the 33 Representatives that voted for the ill-fated and bad SB 1062 in the first place!

Uganda Arizona  ArizonaGay Wedding Cake

“HANNIBAL” RETURNS

The critically acclaimed and ratings challenged NBC series based on the Thomas Harris novel, “Red Dragon”, returns tonight (February 28th).

Hannibal S2

For the 2 million people in the U.S. that were still watching the series for the June finale last year, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) had done his part to drive FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) mad and Will was jailed for murder.

If you didn’t catch this incredibly creepy, gory, and complex series, you’re missing out on great drama and television.

“Entertainment Weekly” and NBC released this two-minute opening teaser for tonight’s premiere.  Let me warn you, it’s awesome and violent.  It also makes you wonder what led up to this scene because once you watch it, you know they will flash back to let you know how this transpired!

“EW” definitely likes the season 2 premiere!

EW Hannibal Review

For the thirteen episodes this season, I really hope that we see much more of Gillian Anderson, who plays Hannibal’s psychotherapist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier!

Gillian Anderson Hannibal

I can’t get enough of my crush, Gillian Anderson!

BREAKING NEWS…. MORE SNOW THIS WEEKEND

Sick of Winter

Remember, I’m only the messenger.  But, in reality, I’m shooting for 70″ this winter and the all-time record!

This is where we stand right now before any snow falls today, tomorrow, and Sunday in the Quad Cities.

Snow Stats -- Friday Morning

Light snow is on the way later this evening and tonight.  This first wave will be gone by daybreak Saturday.  Accumulations will generally be less than an inch for most of us.  Northern hometowns near the Wisconsin border may see a little more — closer to 2″.

More snow is on the way Saturday afternoon into early Sunday night.

This Weekend

Here is how much snow I’m expecting from Friday evening through Sunday night.  This snow will be falling over a three-day period and not all at once!

Snow This Weekend

‘Tis the season!  Yes, it’s still winter!

SNOW SWIMMING!

Obviously some in Duluth, Minnesota, look at snow differently than we do in the Quad Cities!

Duluth has had about 84″ of snow this winter and there’s still about 29″ on the ground.

Snow?  I didn’t notice snow in the video!

OSCAR WEEKEND 2014

I’ll be staying up past my bedtime Sunday to watch some or all of this year’s Oscars with host Ellen DeGeneres.

While I’ll post my Oscar picks for all 24 categories Sunday morning, including Best Picture, I’ll touch on a few here.

After seeing the incredible performances of Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, both nominated this year, for “August: Osage County”, I wanted them both to win.  Their performances were flawless.

august-osage-county- Julia Roberts Meryl Streep

However, I don’t think either will take home the Oscar.

Although I haven’t seen “Gravity” yet, I don’t want  Sandra Bullock to win, as much as I love her.  Yes, I’m still jaded that she beat Meryl for “The Blind Side”.  Meryl’s Julia Child in “Julie & Julia” was much more deserving.

Cate Blue Jasmine

For Best Actress, Cate Blanchett will win for her devastating and heartbreaking performance in “Blue Jasmine”.

DALLAS-BUYERS-CLUB

I also pick Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey to win for  “Best Supporting Actor” and “Best Actor”, respectively, for  their incredible performances in “Dallas Buyers Club”.

My other 21 winning picks will be revealed Sunday!

“BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD”

Last weekend, we watched two more of the late, great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s movies, “The Savages” and “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead”.

Both were amazing and I highly recommend them for different reasons.

“Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” was released in 2007 and was director’s Sidney Lumet’s last movie before his death in 2011.

before_the_devil_knows_youre_dead

The $18 million dollar crime drama barely made its money back at the theaters ($25 million), but it was highly entertaining and it kept you guessing as to how it would end.

Hoffman played Andy, a finance executive at a New York City real estate firm, who was embezzling money from the company to help support his drug use.  In a scary case of real-life deja vu, it was hard watching Hoffman shooting up drugs.

He devises a plan with his brother Hank (Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke) to knock off a small mom & pop jewelry store, which would net them about $120,000.  As you can guess, things don’t go as planned.

The movie also stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and five-time Academy Award nominee Albert Finney.

I have a warning and a spoiler about the movie:  I’ll never get the image of Hoffman’s naked butt, while having sex with his wife, in the opening scene out of my mind — ever!!!!

GRADE:  B+

“THE SAVAGES”

We also watched Hoffman’s 2011 family dramedy, “The Savages”, which earned co-star Laura Linney an Oscar nomination.  The movie was also nominated for Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Tamara Jenkins.

E25SavagesB

Hoffman and Linney star as a couple of single New Yorkers, who have to come up with a plan to take care of their estranged elderly father suffering from dementia in Arizona.

While the subject matter is heavy at times, it’s also heartwarming and funny.  I’m a huge fan of Laura Linney, so it was a pleasure seeing her in the movie.

The movie was produced by Academy Award winner Alexander Payne, who’s up for an Oscar this year for directing “Nebraska”.

GRADE:  B

With these two movies, I’ve now seen ten Hoffman movies:  “Twister” (1996), “Boogie Nights” (1997 — his Scotty J. was heartbreaking), “Happiness” (1998 — a sad, creepy performance in an amazing movie that made you want to shower after watching it), “Magnolia” (1999), “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999), “Red Dragon” (2002 — slimy, sleazy, but unforgettable as Freddy Lounds), “Doubt” (2008 — touching and worthy of the Oscar nomination), and “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire” (2013).

PICK HIT

“Take Me Home” by the dance band, Cash Cash, featuring vocals from Bebe Rexha is my pick hit of the week.

While the song has already reached the Top Ten in Australia and on the Billboard Dance chart, it only reached #64 on the Hot 100.

However, it’s one of the 20 most played songs right now on Top 40 radio stations in the  U.S.

It’s still a great song to get your weekend off to a fun start.

“MICHAEL TOLLIVER LIVES”

I’m almost done with Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of The City” nine-book series.  Over the past week, I read books seven and eight, “Michael Tolliver Lives” and “Mary Ann in Autumn”, respectively.

If you’re familiar with the series, Michael Tolliver (“Mouse”) is one of the original tenants of Mrs. Madrigal’s 28 Barbary Lane.

Michael Tolliver Lives

It’s now 2005, almost thirty years since the first book.  Michael is no longer a youngster from Orlando, Florida, living in San Francisco’s Castro.  He’s now married to a younger man about 20 years his junior.  It’s a very happy union.

The bleakness from the sixth book in the series, “Sure of You”, is gone, even when we learn of an original “Tales” character’s death to cancer and the death of a loved one closer to Michael.

Also, the book is told in first person from Michael, which is a departure from the third person story telling of the previous six books.

“Michael Tolliver Lives” is one of my favorite books of the “Tales” series.

At the end of “Michael Tolliver Lives”, Mary Ann Singleton, now a married woman on the East Coast, returned briefly to visit an elderly friend that may not recover from a stroke.

Mary Ann

In “Mary Ann in Autumn”, it’s a couple of years later and Mary Ann and “Mouse” are back together again in San Francisco almost thirty years after they first met in 1970s.

A couple of secrets brings Mary Ann back to cry on Michael’s shoulder.  All of the years and the tears of twenty years apart are forgotten when they examine their friendship and what they’ve been missing.  It brought me so much joy to see them together poking fun at each other and pushing each other’s buttons as they head toward their golden years — both are in their late fifties and early sixties now!

And, boy, does Maupin have a few shockers up his sleeve that go all the way back to the original “Tales” book.

As much as I loved “Michael Tolliver Lives”, “Mary Ann In Autumn” is my new favorite after the first book.

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

One of my favorite songs as a kid was “Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Texan Jeannie C. Riley.

Jeannie C. Riley

I used to play the record over and over as a 4-year-old.  I played it so much that my older step-sister too the record away from me and broke it!

The song went on to sell six million copies and it became the first song by a woman to top both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Country charts at the same time.   That was in 1968.  The next time that would happen would be in 1981 with “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton.

From 1968-1972, Jeannie C. Riley would score 14 hits on the country charts.  Of those, six would reach the Top Ten.  “Harper Valley P.T.A.” was her first and only #1 hit.

Later in the 1970s, Riley would become a “born again Christian” and she briefly distanced herself from the sexy and risque song, but she never stopped performing it.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

That’s enough random thoughts for one blog.  I have no plans this weekend and I just might take advantage of the freshly fallen snow and go sledding with Gretel.  It’ll take me back to December 2010 when Ray, Gretel, Miss ABBA, and I took advantage of the winter wonderland.

Sledding December 2010

Ray Gretel ABBA December 2010

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — September 13, 2013

It’s been a long six-day work week for me since I’m working strange hours — the evening shift.  There are two sides to the coin on this one.  It means that I’ve gotten to sleep in past 1 a.m. this week.  But, it also means that I’m been working to almost 11 p.m. or midnight (last Sunday because of the women’s U.S. Open tennis final).

I hope you have fun plans for the weekend.  Since the weather is going to be absolutely fantastic:  cooler temperatures and a decent chance of rain Sunday, I’m going to make soup today!

Rain

Liquid gold after the 36 consecutive days with no measurable rain at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE:  More than one-half of inch of rain could fall in the Quad Cities late Saturday night and Sunday!

Here are my random thoughts for this week!

I DON’T FEEL THAT I’M HYPOCRITICAL

In last week’s blog, I criticized some idiots in Tucson, Arizona, that are asking for a recall of a school council member (and several others).  I could care less that they’re wanting a recall.  However, they’re attacking one of the men because he’s gay and even implied that he wasn’t “a REAL man” because of that!

In teasing what I was talking about in my random blog on Facebook, I wrote “Remind me not to go to Arizona”.

This prompted a former co-worker of mine now living there to write this to me, “Nice to see you’re making judgements about an entire state by the actions of a few. I don’t find anything hypocritical in that at all. I love you Anthony, but I think you’re wrong to condemn an entire state for that one story.”

This got me to thinking about whether I was being hypocritical?  I know that there are good people in Arizona, but I was talking about a certain group of people and not everyone in Tucson or Arizona.  However, I don’t feel that I’m hypocritical if I don’t want to go to Arizona because of that and the governor that I referenced in the story.

RUSSIA-RIGHTS-GAY-DEMOUganda

In the past, I’ve talked about the anti-gay laws and gay bashing in Russia, Uganda wanting to make “kill the gays” a law, and Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy giving money to anti-gay organizations.  Because of that, I don’t want to visit Russia, Uganda, or Chick-fil-A, even if there are nice people in Russia and Uganda and LGBT employees or supporters at some Chick-fil-A stores.

ChickFilA

I don’t think that makes me a hypocrite!

SPEAKING OF RUSSIA AND I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING MORE…

Alexei Zhuravlev, a member of the Russian Parliament, plans to introduce a bill that would prevent gay parents from getting custody of their children.  He adds that if a single mother was found to be gay, she should lose custody of her child and he’d rather see the child go to an orphanage!

Alexei Zhuravlev

Zhuravlev says, “Homosexuals must not raise children.  They corrupt them. They do them much more harm than if the child were in an orphanage. I am deeply convinced of this.”

So sad!

WE NEED OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN NEXT YEAR

Did you attend the Riverfront Pops concert with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and the music of Michael Jackson last weekend?

The symphony was amazing and the singer’s voice was incredible.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While I loved the music, I thought the show was too chatty and it zapped the energy for me.  I loved the music of ABBA much more last year.

This was only my second Riverfront Pops concert and I plan on making it an annual tradition.  Since we’re talking about the Quad City Symphony, I’ve never attended the Holiday Pops concert to kick off the Christmas season.  However, I want to see this year’s show with Debby Boone (“You Light Up My Life”) as the featured guest vocalist.

Debby_boone_christmas

Since I’m a planner, I have a suggestion for the planning committee for next year’s Riverfront Pops — Olivia Newton-John.

Olivia

She is an award-winning actress and singer that has been charting hit singles for more than forty years.  She was a hit at last year’s Northalsted Market Days in Chicago and she has performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia.

Organizers, please contact Olivia now and make this happen!   🙂

IT’S NOT TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT CHRISTMAS

There may be 103 days left to Christmas, but for fans of 1980s synthpop music, the holiday season arrives on November 12th this year.

Erasure will release its first holiday collection, “Snow Globe”.

Erasure Snow Globe

The album will feature a collection of original songs and seasonal classics.  The first single, “Gaudete”, is the duo’s take on a Medieval Latin carol, which was also a folk hit four decades ago for Steeleye Span.

Vince Clarke says of Andy Bell, “I haven’t actually heard him sing better.  And, Andy adds this about the recording sessions, “I found my inner choirboy again.  I thought I’d lost him but he was there all along.”

I can’t wait to deck the halls this year to Erasure’s sounds of Christmas.

And, since I’m talking about Christmas, I’m also excited about two other Christmas collections this fall:  “A Mary Christmas” by Mary J. Blige (October 15), produced by the legendary David Foster and featuring a duet with Barbra Streisand and “Wrapped in Red” by Kelly Clarkson (October 29), with Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood joining Kelly on “Silent Night”.

mary-j-blige-christmaskelly-clarkson-wrapped-in-red-album-cover

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Stop Believing

Emotional Rollercoaster Highlights

“WORK BITCH”

The countdown is on to next Tuesday morning when Britney Spears is set to make a major announcement.

For weeks now, a countdown clock has been ticking away on her website.  Is it the big reveal to her Las Vegas Planet Hollywood residency rumored to be coming this fall?  Or, will “Work Bitch”, the first single from her eighth studio album coming out this fall, hit radio Tuesday?

Britney Britney Tweet 1

Last weekend, she released this hot picture from her video shoot in the desert.

And, could the biggest supermodel of the world be involved in the project?

RuPaul Tweet

Whatever it is, I can’t wait.  But, just like fans across the world, I’m counting down to next Tuesday!

REMEMBERING 9/11

This week marks the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

9 11

Almost three thousand people died that day and more than six thousand others were injured in the hijackings and crashing of four planes in less than a two-hour period.

I was living in Ohio at the time.  Since I was filling in for the evening meteorologist, all morning I watched the coverage and thought, “how could this be happening?”.

That evening, we cut away from the national coverage and at the top of the 11pm newscast, I was “live” at a gas station covering the speculation that gas prices would skyrocket in the days to follow.  Minutes later, I was back at the station presenting weather on the green screen!?!?!?!   Strange producing without a doubt.

ANOTHER SOLEMN ANNIVERSARY

From 1981-2009, almost 30 million people died of AIDS.  In 2010, there were about 1.8 million deaths from AIDS, which was down from about 2.2 million in 2005.  And, as of 2011, it was estimated that there are 34 million people worldwide that are HIV-positive.

Those are some staggering numbers.  The bottom line is that HIV and AIDS are still major concerns and neither are not going away anytime soon regardless of the advancements in medication and treatment.

On September 11, 1993, one of the best movies about the AIDS epidemic, “And The Band Played On” premiered on HBO.

And_band_played_on_(1993)

The $8 million production featured an all-star cast including Matthew Modine, Alan Alda, Ian McKellen, Richard Gere, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Phil Collins, B.D. Wong, Anjelica Huston, and Glenne Headly.  It earned 14 Emmy nominations and won three awards.

The book from which the movie was based, “And The Band Played On:  Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic”, was written by Randy Shilts, who was born in Davenport, Iowa in 1951.

Randy Shilts

Shilts found out he was HIV-positive in March 1987, but he didn’t publicly reveal he had AIDS  until shortly before his death in February 1994.  He was 42.

If you ever want to watch a comprehensive, heart touching, and entertaining lesson of the early years and history of AIDS,  you have to see “And The Band Played On” and “Longtime Companion” (1990).  (You might even be able to find the entire movie on YouTube!)

A HAPPIER ANNIVERSARY

x-files

It was twenty years ago this week that “The X-Files” made its debut on Fox, on September 10, 1993.

12 million people tuned in that night to see FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully explore and try to explain the paranormal and the conspiracy to cover up an alien invasion and the existence of extraterrestrials.

It made David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson stars.

Gillian David The X-Files

When the fifth season kicked off in November 1997, more than 27.3 million people tuned in!

It’s still one of my favorite series of all time.  Although I’ve already watched it, I’m watching the series again with Ray, who never saw it.  We’re now into the sixth of nine seasons.

Happy Anniversary, “The X-Files”.

CRAZY ASS PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

Sometimes, I pick mainstream songs and video to showcase.

This week, it’s a song that is so far out there (try Norway) from a couple of brothers, Bard and Vegard Ylvisaker, who have a variety show called “Ylvis”.

They premiered “The Fox”, an electronic psuedo-parody last week and it was viewed 22.8 million times in just over a week!

The Fox Billboard Hot 100

The YouTube play, along with more than 71 million shares, was enough for the song to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at #29!  And, a few radio stations are beginning to play it.  Check this out and then tell me that can forget it!  🙂

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

The English band, the Human League scored six Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States from 1981 to 1995.

Of the six, three reached the Top Ten:  “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1982), “(Keep Feeling) Fascination (#8, 1983), and “Human” (#1, 1986).

“Don’t You Want Me” was their first American hit and it spent three weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 during my senior year of high school, 1982.

I finally got to see them in concert at Market Days in Chicago about ten years ago.  They were amazing!

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

Earlier this week, Ray and I finished season three of “The Walking Dead”.  It was absolutely incredible and mind-blowing!  So, “Dead” fans, we’re used to the undead being referred to as “walkers”.  What did you think of the Governor and residents of Woodbury calling them “biters”?  It grew on me and I like both references.

the-walking-dead-walker-zombie2

We’re going to finish season six of “The X-Files” and then take a break and finish out seasons four and five of “Fringe”.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — September 6

The weekend is almost here, but it’s going to be a short one for me since I work Sunday evening.  However, I’m going to make the most of it.  We’re having a yard sale with the rest of the neighborhood today and tomorrow and we’ve already decided that the money we make will go toward Las Vegas in the spring of 2014!

Riverfront Pops

Saturday night, we’re going to the Riverfront Pops concert at LeClaire Park in Davenport, Iowa, featuring the music of Michael Jackson and then fireworks!  As you can see from this picture, it was the music of ABBA last year!

ABBA Riverfront Pops

Have a great weekend and make the most of it.  I hope you enjoy my random thoughts this week.  If so, let me know.  If not, let me know why.

SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS IN ARIZONA

No, I’m not talking about Governor Jan Brewer this time, but that, too, is a sad state of affairs!

This is about Daniel Hernandez, Jr., the intern who helped save then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ life by applying first-aid assistance in the January 2011 deadly shooting rampage near Tucson, Arizona, where six people died and twenty others were hurt.

Tucson-shooting-vitims-007

Later that year, Hernandez was elected to the Sunnyside Unified School District, which covers southern Tucson and adjacent areas in Pima County.  Now, he and three other board members (out of five) are facing a recall campaign.

However, for Hernandez, it’s more personal and it’s a smear campaign.

Hernandez Slam

Seriously, he’s being attacked because he’s gay!  And, that means he’s not a “real man”???  People in that school district need to wake up and smell the orange juice.  Did the country not learn anything from Anita Bryant and John Briggs’ anti-gay discrimination from the 1970s?

Hernandez has the support from Gabby from this Tweet she sent out.

Gabrielle Giffords

Good luck, Daniel!

If you want to read more about those idiots (Bryant & Briggs), here’s my blog from last October about their 1970s hatred:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/sour-orange-juice-fruit-pies/

ILLINOIS HOUSE, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

To the Illinois House, it’s time for you to move forward and make marriage equality a reality in the “Land of Lincoln”.

By doing so, Illinois would join 13 other states, the District of Columbia, seven counties in New Mexico (next week), and five Native American tribes in the United States that offer same-sex marriage.

Here in Illinois, the Senate approved a marriage equality bill in early 2013, but it stalled in the House this past May before it adjourned.  Proponents say they were just a few votes shy.

Politicians no longer can use the excuse that the general public does not support marriage equality.  More people than ever are saying “yes” to equality and in last November’s election, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota said “yes” to marriage equality.  And, this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court did away with parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Supporters are ready this time.  The American Civil Liberties Union has hired former state Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady, who supports marriage equality, to lobby Republicans.

Illinois Unites For Marriage

And, “Illinois Unites for Marriage” put together that amazing video from the Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago to reach out to the city’s black community, which has people like Reverend James Meeks condemning marriage equality.  Meeks says, “Men should not be marrying men, and women should not be marrying women.  God does not support homosexuality, and neither do I.”

forum-CST-1215-11.JPG

Illinois, it’s time to make marriage available for all in the state.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Losing WeightRetiringRain

MIDWESTERN DROUGHT INTENSIFIES

I really wish I could make the clouds cry over the Quad Cities without being a bully.  It’s now been 32 days since we saw measurable rain in the Quad Cities.  This is now the 5th longest period without rainfall, officially, at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois.

Dry Days

That photo, showing how dry it is, was taken by my friend, Cindy Farmer, near Kewanee, Illinois, about 30 minutes from the Quad Cities.

It’s hard to believe that we had more than 20″ of rain back in April, May, and June, and now we’re seeing a “moderate” to “severe” drought.

Let’s all do a rain dance or pretend that we’re Lizzie Cooper and call the Rainman.

Tanya Tucker, who I idolized as a kid, hit #1 in 1975  with that song, “Lizzie and the Rainman”.  It was her eighth Top 40 country hit and her fourth to hit #1.  It also peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100, her first, and only, crossover hit.

CONGRATULATIONS LANCE & MICHAEL

Former ‘N Sync band member, Lance Bass, is now engaged.

Lance Bass - Michael Turchin

The 34-year-old proposed to his boyfriend, Michael Turchin, in New Orleans.

Lance says, “New Orleans is my favorite city in the world, it really is. I’ve been coming here my whole life.  I was born just across the border here (in Laurel, Mississippi). …I got down on one knee and I proposed, right in front of Jackson Square, my favorite place.  I was pretty nervous.”

Of course, Michael said, “yes”.

The two have been seeing each other since December 2011.

Congratulations Lance and Michael!

Lance’s former band, ‘N Sync, had many hits.  “Tearin’ Up My Heart” is from 1997 and it was their second release, a Top Ten radio airplay hit.

TWO MOVIES TO CHECK OUT

Last weekend, in our quest not to binge watch season three of “The Walking Dead”, we rented three movie.  All three were enjoyable, but I highly recommend two of them.

Amour

“Amour” took home the Academy Award this year for Best Foreign Language Film and was up for three other Oscars including Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director.

It tells the story of an aging married couple that has to deal with the onset of failing health and memory and not wanting to resort to life in a nursing home or a hospice.  Both Riva and her on-screen husband, Jean-Louis Trintignant won Cesar Awards, the French equivalent to the American Oscar, for their performances.

GRADE:  A

“Olympus Has Fallen”

This terrorists take over the White House movie came out a couple of months before Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx’s very, very similar movie, “White House Down”.  While I enjoyed Channing in his white tank top and his movie, “Olympus” was far more superior in its story line and acting.

olympus-has-fallen

“Olympus Has Fallen” stars Gerard Butler, Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo, Oscar nominee Angela Bassett, Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott, and Golden Globe nominees Aaron Eckhart and Ashley Judd.

Since it was directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”), you know it’s a very violent movie.  But, it’s also very entertaining and definitely worth seeing.

GRADE:  B+

The third movie we watched was “Mud” starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon (in a much smaller role).

mud

The movie is about love and redemption.  It also focuses on the bond between McConaughey’s  on-the run criminal character and 14-year-old Ellis, an Arkansas boy helping “Mud” get back with the woman he loves.

GRADE:  B-

While enjoyable in “Mud”, I’m more impressed with McConaughey’s recent performances in “The Paperboy”, “Killer Joe”, and “Magic Mike”.  However, it’s his upcoming role in “Dallas Buyers Club” that has people really take him serious as an actor and there’s pre-season buzz that he could get his first Oscar nomination!

dallas_buyers_club

In the movie, out November 1, 2013, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a homophobic, straight man from Texas who is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and is told that he has 30 days to live.  He begins smuggling alternative medication into the U.S. from Mexico.  For the role, McConaughey reportedly lost 40 pounds.

Jared Leto

“Dallas Buyers Club” also stars Jared Leto as a HIV-positive transgendered woman, Rayon, and Jennifer Garner as Ron’s doctor.

FUTURE PICK HIT

26-year-old Scottish singer Emeli Sande is releasing her second single, “My Kind Of Love”, here in America next week.

This is the follow-up to “Next To Me”, which was a Top 20 radio airplay song here in the States.  It also hit #1 on the Billboard Dance Club chart and reached the Top Ten on the Adult Contemporary and R&B/Hip-Hop charts.

YOU HAVE TO GET THIS ALBUM!

“Our Version of Events” has already produced three #1 songs in the U.K. and spent seven weeks at the top of the albums charts there.  It was also the best-selling album of 2012 in the U.K.

Emeli Sande

Sadly, Emeli and the album have not made it big in the United States and that’s a shame.  While the first single, “Next To You” was a modest radio hit here, it topped the charts in Ireland and Scotland and reached the Top 5 in Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, and the U.K.

If you love Adele and Beyonce, you’ll love this album.  It’s one of my favorites that I bought this year.

The album kicks off with the fun, upbeat “Heaven” followed by the new single, “My Kind of Love”, which has a catchy hook and sounds like a hit that Beyonce wishes she had recorded.

If you like more upbeat songs, you’ll love “Daddy” featuring Naughty Boy and “Next To Me”.

If slower songs really grab your attention, you’ll love “Suitcase” and “Breaking The Law”, both amazing songs with aching vocals.

But, my favorite song on the album is “Clown”, which reached the Top Ten in a few countries across Europe.

“Our Version of Events” is an album you need to add to your collection!  It spent 63 consecutive weeks in the Top Ten on the U.K. charts breaking the record established by the Beatles almost 50 years ago when “Please Please Me” stayed in the Top Ten for 62 straight weeks.

GRADE:  B+

STOP FIGHTING, YOU’RE BOTH PRETTY

The “Boy” is in a feud with the boys of One Direction and their fans, which is scarier.

Boy George One Direction

Recently, at the BRIT Awards, Boy George asked the boy band for an autograph for his niece and Harry obliged,  but Liam Payne didn’t.  Boy George, always the one to speak his mind, got One Direction’s fans riled up.   He said, “”Top marks to Harry Styles for stopping for a picture with my niece and Bollox’s to Liam and the disrespectful wanker of a minder!”

Liam Boy George

But, Liam didn’t take it lying down.

He fired back in a Tweet, “@BoyGeorge now now boy lets not tell porkies. Firstly thanks for getting my name wrong three times secondly then asking me where is liam?…awkward. Then when you finally got it right saying you wanted Niall instead.  If you would have asked me for a picture i would have stopped bro i just did what you said and pointed niall out for you so u just keep wearing ur strange hats and enjoy yourself my little Georgie pie… It’s still not cool you just look weird.”

Boy told the “Daily Star” that the band is not as straight as their fans think, “The odds are one of One Direction must be gay.  I think everyone is a bit bisexual deep down, so the odds are they are probably all bisexual. They’re rock stars so it’s what you’d expect, isn’t it? I’d be disappointed if they weren’t. Tattoos don’t make you butch. Look at me.”

And, then the One Direction fans started in on Boy George.  He claims, “One tweeted me saying:  ‘My mum says you’re a horrible old has-been.’ I tweeted back saying: ‘Your mum’s probably an old, fat ugly b***h.'”

George adds,  “I was having such a laugh, fighting with One Dir­ection’s fans all night. I did say some vile things, I had too much sugar. But I really enjoyed it.”

Nothing like a little Twitter Twitting!

One Direction hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this summer with “Best Song Ever” and it’s currently of the 20 most played songs on pop radio.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

From 1982 through 1986, Boy George and Culture Club scored ten Top 40 hits in America.

Their first six singles reached the Top Ten.  Of those, only “Karma Chameleon” reached #1 (in 1984).  Their introduction in America was “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”, which spent three weeks at #2 in the spring of 1983.

Nothing makes me feel better than listening to 1980s music and boy bands and I featured two today!  Enjoy your weekend and stay cool!

Anthony