Posts Tagged ‘Britney Jean’

Random Friday Thoughts — December 13, 2013

Happy Friday!  I’m a little scared today.  It’s not about the snow coming in tonight and Saturday, but about Jason Voorhees.  Yes, it’s “Friday the 13th”, so I hope you have a great weekend.

Here are my random Friday thoughts.

JasonVoorhees

BY THE WAY, SNOW IS ON THE WAY!

Snow is coming in tonight and early Saturday for the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.  Here’s how much you can expect!

Snow Tonight & Saturday

JASON & SNOW DON’T SCARE ME, BUT ICE + IDIOT DRIVERS DO

Ice Ray

Meteorological winter is already here even if the calendar says we have to wait until next weekend for the winter solstice.  Last weekend, while in Nashville, icy road conditions and speed were responsible for a deadly accident in the metro area.

Driving home was very scary.  Once we got past the fresh coating of ice in northwestern Tennessee, we encountered leftover heavy snow in southern Illinois, and falling freezing rain in central Illinois.  While it was a slow drive for hours at 40-50 miles-per-hour, the interstate was littered with cars and semis in the ditch — some overturned.

IMG_4699

And, yet with all of the accidents and emergency crews working on the side of the interstate to rescue people, there were still idiots speeding past us and the slowing traffic.

People, ice and snow means conditions are not ideal, so slow down!

MISSING NASHVILLE

One week ago, I was looking forward to seeing Lorrie Morgan’s Christmas show, the ICE exhibit featuring “Frosty the Snowman”, a lunch cruise on the General Jackson showboat on the Cumberland River, and the Grand Ole Opry.  Now that we’re back and I put in my five days at work, the mini-vacation seems like it was so long ago!

IMG_4524

I would definitely consider Nashville as a place to retire.

OPRY VALUES AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

I thoroughly enjoyed my mini-vacation and it was cool to visit the Opry at the Ryman.  This is the music that I grew up on in Kentucky.  Most of the show that we saw was entertaining, yet some of it was painful.  But, that’s not the focus of my random thought.

Country music legend Connie Smith was the host of the first 30 minutes of the two-hour Opry show.  Smith, from 1964-1978, scored 40 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Country charts with 20 of them reaching the Top Ten!  She was very entertaining.

IMG_4590

However, my mind started wandering about the Opry and country music’s close ties to Christianity.

While I know there are many open-minded and loving “Christians” out there, the advertisements from sponsor, Cracker Barrel, and Smith’s introduction to a close family friend and medical doctor of Reverend Billy Graham, made me think more and more about homophobia.

chely_wright_fhm3_hClnTlY.sized

Country singer Chely Wright, who has scored nine hits on the Billboard Country chart with “Single White Female” reaching #1 in 1999 and was a regular performer at the Opry, has not been invited back since she came out publicly as a lesbian in 2010.

Chely Wright

Chely married her partner, Lauren Blitzer, in August 2011, and this past May, Chely gave birth to identical twins.

Last year, Chely told “Nashville Scene”, “I do think that there are homophobic people in the industry — some of them in power.  I feel that the greatest setback that plagues the country music industry is their collective fear of the consumer’s expected homophobia. I call this fearphobia. The industry is afraid of the record buying public’s fear of gays and lesbians. They’re afraid of fear. And that fear is enough to cause silence. And it’s deafening, if you ask me.”

I love Chely and she is a very courageous woman.  I just wish that the country music genre that I grew up listening to would be more welcoming to my LGBT brothers and sisters.

Opry, it’s time for you to do the right thing and welcome Chely back with open arms.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

LollipopCookie Swap

Eggs Milk Bread

REMEMBERING JOHN LENNON

While dignitaries around the world are paying respect and mourning the loss of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died last week, this past Sunday marked the 33rd anniversary of the shooting death of another man who was a voice for peace and love, John Lennon.

John Lennon

John, what you believed in, and Yoko, what you still fight for, is still achievable.  We may not see world peace, but I know that some are living more peaceful lives because of your efforts then and our efforts now.  No one has said it better that you — we just have to “Imagine”!

Happy Christmas everyone!  While this video contains disturbing images, we need to step outside our comfort zone to see how much work there is left to do in our lifetime.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Elton John and John Lennon were great friends.

Elton John and John Lennon

After the Beatles broke up and Elton John was dominating the pop charts in the early-1970s, John Lennon was working on his solo music career.  He reached #3 with “Instant Karma” in 1970 and #3 with “Imagine” the following year.

But, it would be his seventh solo hit that would become his only #1 hit in his lifetime after the Beatles.  “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” featured his friend, Elton, on harmony vocals and piano.  And, John surprised Elton by appearing on stage during Elton’s Thanksgiving concert in 1974 at Madison Square Garden in Lennon’s last major concert appearance.

In 1982, Elton dedicated “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)” to his friend, John Lennon and the song reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

ELTON PREACHES TO RUSSIA

And, while I’m talking about Elton, he’s making news after his recent concerts in Russia.

Calling it “inhumane” and “isolating”, Elton took time out of his Moscow, Russia, concert last Friday night to talk about the anti-gay laws that were implemented in Russia this summer.

Elton John Performs at Madison Square Garden

Elton told the crowd, “I have always loved coming here, coming to this country, ever since I first played here in 1979. I love Russia – I love its art and its culture. But most of all, I love you, the people. You took me to your hearts all those years ago, and you have always welcomed me with warmth and open arms every time I have visited. You have always embraced me, and you have never judged me.  So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.”

Vladislav Tornovoi

And, before he closed his condemnation of Russia’s homophobia, he asked for harmony to build “a future of equality, love and compassion” and he dedicated the show in memory of 23-year-old Vladislav Tornovoi, whose naked body had been dumped in a Volgograd courtyard this past May.  His skull was smashed and he had been raped with beer bottles.

Take three minutes to watch this compelling and heartbreaking story here from Sky News about Tornovio and the blatant homophobia that exists in Russia.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Joan Rivers cracks me up!

Joan Rivers Joan Rivers - Lindsay Lohan

CHRISTMAS PICK HIT

“Silent Night” from Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas special, “Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale” earlier this week on NBC.  It features Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood and is on Kelly’s “Wrapped In Red” holiday album.

TAKE DOWN THOSE DAMN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!

Christmas lights brighten the holidays in multi-colors, solid colors, and clear bulbs.  However, if those lights are rainbow, it can cause some to freak out, especially in Rome, Italy.

RomeRainbow

This almost mile-long stretch of rainbow-flag lights decorate the Via del Corso, Rome’s main shopping street, to take a stand against homophobia following the recent suicide of a gay teenager.

The right-wing party, Fratelli d’Italia, calls the logic behind the decorations “provocative and ideological” and asked that they be replaced by the colors of Italy’s flag.

That was rejected and the lights will stay up as a dedication to the late South African President Nelson Mandela.

WE NEED MORE MAYORS LIKE ROME’S LEADER
While we’re on the subject of Rome, the city’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, says the “Eternal City” needs to stop living in the past when it comes to marriage equality.
Rome Mayor
Marino told HuffPost Live, “I believe that if a couple loves each other, they should get married.  I don’t see where the problem is. I guess it’s a problem with people thinking in the past — people belonging to the previous century. The last century is gone. It’s surprising for me that this is open for discussion.”
Thank you, Mayor Marino!

PICK HIT

“Work Bitch” is a fun song and Britney Spears looks amazing in the video.  However, it didn’t blow Top 40 radio away.

However, the follow-up, “Perfume”, is already one of the hottest songs in the country and is still racing up the chart.  The video debuted this week and Britney is incredible playing up vulnerability and insecurity.  And, I don’t know who is hotter — her or hot “boyfriend”.

“Britney Jean”, Britney’s eighth solo album debuted at #4 on the Billboard album chart this week with sales of 107,000 copies.

Britney Jean

While that’s a soft opening for Britney, she didn’t do any live performances to promote the album while she’s still rehearsing for her two-year Las Vegas residency that begins later this month at Planet Hollywood.

Britney’s last album, “Femme Fatale” sold 276,000 copies in its first week in 2011, but it had a huge smash at radio at the time, the #1 hit, “Hold It Against Me”.

A FINAL NASHVILLE THOUGHT

While I thoroughly enjoyed the “Reba: All The Women I Am” exhibit and the rest of the displays at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville last week, there was something that had me scratching my head.

IMG_4445

Whose idea was it to put the Dixie Chicks and Toby Keith memorabilia in the came display case?  Really?

Some days you just gotta dance if you’re not ready to make nice. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Advertisements

Random Friday Thoughts — November 15, 2013

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

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

STORES OPENING ON THANKSGIVING

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

KMart

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

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

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

Our Turkey 2012

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

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

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

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

lays_chocolate_potato_chips_630x420 Limited Time Only Pringles

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

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

A DARKER SIDE TO CHRISTMAS

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

Erasure Snow Globe

I previewed the album yesterday.

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

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

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

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

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

Erasure Retweet

ANOTHER “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”

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

Seriously!

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

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

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Fish Be You

Today's Forecast What Will Happen -- Gay Marriage

A NEW CAREER POSSIBILITY

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

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

Air Ttraffic Control

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

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

SOME MUSICIANS SHOW A SENSE OF HUMOR

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

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

I’VE FOUND MY NEW LOVE STORY

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

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

OUT-IN-THE-DARK-Poster

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

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

out-in-the-dark

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Aloni

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

Nicholas Jacob

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

GRADE:  A+  

GAGA’S WORLD DOMINATION

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

ARTPOP

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

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

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

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

ABC Lady Gaga Muppets

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

INTERESTING TEXAS TRIVIA

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

Chuck Norris Kickboxing

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

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

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

britney-spears-perfume

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

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

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

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

Melissa Manchester

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

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

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

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

Have a great weekend!

Anthony