Posts Tagged ‘Born Brave Bus’

A Magical Night For Loving Yourself and Going Gaga

Excellence in school is rewarded with an “A”.  In movie reviews, an “A”, four stars, or two thumbs up are the high marks.

Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball” concert Friday night was my third concert in Las Vegas following Elton John and Madonna last October.   However, Mother Monster follows no one and when I was deciding how to rate the show, no grade or star system is needed.  Simply, to quote Gaga when she screams “put your paws up”, this concert definitely gets two paws up!


Friday afternoon, before the concert, Ray and I dropped by the MGM Grand to check out the “Born Brave Bus”.  It offers a free, safe space for 13- to 25-year-olds “to learn more about local resources on anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and mental health services.”

Hours later, 18-year-old French DJ Madeon came out and livened up the crowd with club beats.  After his high energy set, there was a break and then it was time for Mother Monster!

From the moment the lights went down and the crowd roared and rose to its feet, I knew it was going to be a fun night.  And, when the curtains dropped to reveal the mammoth set, it became magical!

While this was my third time seeing Lady Gaga, it was definitely my favorite show, too.  And, that has nothing to do with the fact that we were just seven rows back on the left side of the stage!  This is Gaga from our vantage point.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, Ray took this picture.

Pretty Gaga For more than two hours, Lady Gaga gave every person in the MGM Grand Garden Arena their money’s worth with countless costume changes, personal stories of her struggles as a singer and piano player, and she dazzled them with incredible vocals, dancing, and showmanship.  And, she wasn’t shy to why she’s an advocate for the LGBT community and how she was questioned early on in her career after “Just Dance” about her “gay” music.

In one break from dancing and singing, Gaga told the crowd there was a time not too many years ago that she could not even afford to be in Las Vegas, but she was now playing there!  (Contains adult language!)

At one point, she also asked the crowd who had to work the next day.  To those that clapped, she said that she didn’t give a F-word because she had to work the next day, too, and that we were all there to party!

Gaga performed all 17 songs from her multi-platinum “Born This Way” album and her other seven radio hits from her first two albums.  Here is the set list from the Las Vegas show:

  1. “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)”
  2. “Government Hooker”
  3. “Born This Way”
  4. “Black Jesus † Amen Fashion”
  5. “Bloody Mary”
  6. “Bad Romance”
  7. “Judas”
  8. “Fashion of His Love”
  9. “Just Dance”
  10. “Love Game”
  11. “Telephone”
  12. “Hair”
  13. “Electric Chapel”
  14. “Heavy Metal Lover”
  15. “Bad Kids”
  16. “The Queen”
  17. “Yoü and I”
  18. “Born This Way” (piano version)
  19. “Americano”
  20. “Poker Face”
  21. “Alejandro”
  22. “Paparazzi”
  23. “Scheiße”
  1. “The Edge of Glory”
  2. “Marry the Night”

During the second version of “Born This Way”, the piano version, Lady Gaga made a phone call to a fan in the audience.  It turned out to be a 17-year-old girl who was there celebrating her birthday with her girlfriend.  It was a very touching segment and by the end of Gaga’s stripped down version of her self-empowering hit, the girls were in tears.

As much as I loved Madonna’s “MDNA” tour and concert that I saw in October (and I can’t wait for the DVD of the concert), Gaga’s “Born This Wall Ball” was definitely the best concert from both a vocal and theatricality standpoint that I’ve seen since Reba McEntire’s 1996 Fort Wayne, Indiana, concert back when Reba did the whole stage show with multiple sets and costume changes.

In this show, Lady Gaga was very touching and very sincere.  While the talking points may in every show across the country, you definitely got the sense that Gaga believes the gospel of love and acceptance that she preaches.  And, she was having a great time.  She wasn’t just going through the motion.

Lady Gaga proves you can be one of the biggest international superstars and you can also be human!

I thank Stephani Joanne Angelina Germanotta and the entertainment gods for giving birth to Lady Gaga!  Yes, I’m a “little monster” and I was “Born That Way”!


This might be a little shaky, but Gaga told me to jump and I did!


Random Friday Thoughts — January 18, 2013

Happy Friday, my friends. I hope you all have a great weekend.  Here are the random thoughts going through my mind.


With southwesterly winds today and tomorrow, temperatures will likely soar into the 40s across the Quad Cities before bitterly cold air blasts in Sunday into early next week.  We could even see some snow Sunday night with that transition.

Check out this map at noon on Monday that shows the core of the bitterly cold air sitting right over the Midwest and the Great Lakes.


It’s likely that Monday and Tuesday’s high temperatures will be in the low teens with some single digit highs possible.  Overnight lows could be dropping below zero Monday night.

The last time we saw single digits highs in the Quad Cities was back on February 8, 2011 with a high of 9° and a low of -6°.  Our last high temperature below zero was January 15, 2009.  It only reached -6° that day and dropped to -21° that night!  BRRRRRRRRR!  The only way a below zero high could be achieved early next week is if we get heavy snow Sunday night.

Also, from a climatic standpoint, January 15th-19th is the coldest period of the winter in the metro area!


With the cold snap earlier this week, I’m glad the de-icer in our fish pond is still working and it’s still mostly unfrozen.  Since our fountain is sending a constant spray of water into the air, the wind-blown water is freezing on contact to the rock foundation and is making for a rather cool display.  And, the fish are still doing great.  You can see one of them in the second picture.

Ice 3Ice 2


The only trip I have planned this year, Las Vegas, in now less than a week away.  Before I plan anything else, I’m waiting to see what transpires with my career or decide what to do next before I make additional vacation plans.

Nevertheless, my Lady Gaga concert is next Friday.  The reviews have been fantastic, but there has been controversy.  I blogged two days ago about her spat with Sharon Osbourne and the gun play in the show.

Born Brave Bus Gaga

But, I want to talk about the “Born Brave Bus”.  This is what I blogged January 4, 2013, “Several hours before Gaga hits the stage at each of her American shows, her Born This Way Foundation will provide the “Born Brave Bus”, which offers a free, safe space for 13- to 25-year-olds ‘to learn more about local resources on anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and mental health services.'”

While Gaga is reaching out to young people, the Florida Family Association, out of Tampa, spent about $1,900 to fly a plane in the background of the “Born Brave Bus” with a “NOT BORN THIS WAY” banner in Tacoma, Washington, Monday.

The anti-gay group’s website states, “How would you feel if your child or grandchild went to a concert where unbeknownst to you they were convinced to embrace a homosexual or transgender lifestyle for a lifetime?”  It’s also asking for donations to fund flying this plane and banner at other Lady Gaga concert stops!  Incredible!

I was “Born This Way”!  And, if I had the chance, I’d like to ask those in the Florida Family Association that if they think I was “NOT BORN THIS WAY”, I’d like to know when they chose to be straight?????


Baby FoodClimate Change John Lennon Mary J. Blige


Yes, Joan, I love food and I love talking about it. 🙂

I was reading an article this week, “Tel Aviv…+76 Other Things to Love About Israel”.  Tel Aviv is on my bucket travel list and I want to do it while I’m still relatively young enough to get the full experience.  And, one of the things that it mentioned was falafel.


I had this for the first time in Houston in early October (it’s that little ball at the top of the picture) and I would love to have it again. Does anyone know of a place in the Quad Cities with authentic Mediterranean food?  I could Google it, but I trust my friends more. 🙂

If you’ve never had it or heard of it, falafel is a deep-fried patty or ball made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans (down Hannibal Lecter!) and served in a pita or lafa, (flatbread).  It’s then topped with salads, pickled veggies, and served with an incredible sauce consisting of tahini (paste made from ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, salt and olive oil.


“Have a nice life, Dick!”


January 14 2011

I posted this cool picture taken by Ben Hanan January 14, 2011.  Maybe I’ll be back on the “green screen” somewhere this spring!

January 15 2012

And, Miss ABBA’s Kermit stuffed animal was not really hurt in this twisted winter game that Gretel, ABBA, and I were playing January 15th of last year.



This summer 2012 crime thriller, directed by Oliver Stone, came out on DVD in November.

It stars a very sexy Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a couple of marijuana growers in Laguna Beach, California, and their girlfriend, O, played by Blake Lively (Mrs. Ryan Reynolds) of “Gossip Girl”.

While I never saw “Friday Night Lights” and I haven’t seen the highly panned “John Carter” or “Battleship”, watching Kitsch’s intensity in this movie, I’d venture to say that the U.S. box office failures of those two Hollywood movies had bigger issues other than the actor.

They are contacted by a Mexican drug cartel, which sends them a video of several people being beheaded.  The cartel, headed up by Elena (Salma Hayek), wants them to join their organization.  Hayek is incredible in this movie as a cold-hearted, savage leader.

“Savages” is a very intense and violent movie.  But, it’s realistic.  More and more, in the U.S., we hear how innocent, and not so innocent, people are brutally murdered in the escalating Mexican drug trade.  This movie allows us to witness it in the safety of our homes.

I highly recommend this movie.



The 1980s English band, Spandau Ballet, which was part of the New Romantic movement, is making a comeback 30 years later.  It’s been that long????

While the band scored 17 Top 40 hits in the U.K., Spandau Ballet only had three hits in America.

In 1983, “True” reached #4 in the U.S. (#1 in the U.K.).  “Gold”, the follow-up single, only peaked at #29 and the third single, “Only When You Leave” stalled at #34.

Belgium DJ Basto, who’s worked with Lasgo, Kylie Minogue, Flo Rida & Sia, and the Wanted, remixed that 1983 hit and this week, it cracked the Top Ten on the Billboard Dance chart at #8.


And, in case you want to reminisce, here’s the 1983 original.