Posts Tagged ‘Days of Our Lives’

My Life: The First 35 Years

While it’s not a milestone birthday, like my first, another one is approaching.

My life’s longevity has surpassed both of my parents (my mother died at 47 and my father at 55) and I’m grateful for that.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that as we get older, we pontificate about life more.

We think about the past — good and bad — and wonder what the future holds. And, Good Lord, with 2020 and Covid-19, I hope it’s an improvement!

With that in mind, I started thinking about the events and the songs that have influenced me most in life.

So, today, I’m sharing the 13 most memorable events of my first 35 years (1964-1999). Why 13? It’s my favorite number and I was born on the 13th!

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#13 KENT STATE MASSACRE (MAY 4, 1970)

While I was only five years old when this happened and I didn’t understand the Vietnam War or the protests, I vividly remember the news that evening and this iconic photograph.

As you may recall, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students killing four and wounding nine others.

On the 30th anniversary of the deadly shootings, I covered the story for a television station in Mansfield, Ohio.

#12 MADONNA MARRYING SEAN PENN (AUGUST 1985)

It’s no secret that I love Madonna. I’ve seen her in concert four times and I remember buying her first album at Terrapin Station in Murray, Kentucky, in 1983, before she was a household name.

But, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I shed tears the day she married Sean Penn in 1985!

Not because I was happy. I just knew it wouldn’t last and it was my “Madonna”! 🙂

#11 JEFFREY DAHMER & MY MILWAUKEE SUMMER (1990)

Back in 1990, I moved from Kentucky to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While I was only there for the summer into the early fall, I enjoyed my job as a bartender at “Partners”, one of the oldest LGBTQ bars in the city.

OMG, I was so young — in stone-washed jeans and a New Kids on the Block t-shirt! 🙂

On a slow Sunday night, a couple came in and ordered drinks.  Jerry was a good-looking man and his lady friend, who was older than him, was D’nell. 

While Jerry flirted with me, it was my bond with D’nell that would stand the test of time. She became my “Mom” and I called her that until her death in early 2009.

One night I went out drinking with my friends and co-workers in the seedier part of the gay district at C’est La Vie and Club 219.

Needless to say, I had way too much to drink and the scary alley, while unsavory, was a great place to puke before we moved on elsewhere!!!

I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but when serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested, I got chills. Club 219 was one of his favorite haunts and he picked up many of his victims there!

I used to keep journals and my night at Club 219 coincided with the stalking and murdering timeline. He very well could have been lurking in the corner that night I was totally wasted!

#10 VANESSA WILLIAMS TURNING OVER HER MISS AMERICA CROWN (JULY 1984)

It was a beautiful night in 1983 when Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.

It was a very sad day in the summer of 1984, when the 21-year-old turned over her crown after artistic (and unauthorized) nude pictures surfaced in Penthouse. (Even as a gay boy, I bought the magazine to see what the fuss was all about!)

Another admission: I was saddened and cried watching this press conference! I was hoping that she’d fight to keep her crown and tell the Miss America pageant to “f*ck off”, but that didn’t happen!

But, Vanessa has gone on to a very successful singing and acting career with numerous Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominations!

As a bonus, my favorite Vanessa Williams song!

Here’s my blog from earlier in 2020 dedicated just to Vanessa! (It’ll open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2020/03/18/vanessa-williams-still-reigns/

Along with the events that impacted my first 35 years, I’m sharing my 35 favorites songs from those 35 years!*

Casey Kasem is my inspiration. I still recall all the weekends I spent listening to Casey count down the 40 biggest songs in America!

As I compiled my comprehensive list, it started out with 236 of my favorites!!!

As a teenager, I remember telling my grandmother Helen that a certain song was my “favorite” and she replied, “they’re all your favorites”!

But, when I was a youngster, there could only be one winner!

So here goes… enjoy the countdown and the videos!

#35 “GLORIA” (LAURA BRANIGAN) (1982)

#34 “SUGAR SUGAR” (THE ARCHIES) (1969)

#33 “LIZZIE AND THE RAINMAN” (TANYA TUCKER) (1975)

#32 “YOU ARE” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1983)

#31 “NEVER SURRENDER” (COREY HART) (1985)

MORE EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#9 “JOHN WAYNE GACY’S CHICAGO MURDER SPREE (1970s)

Just before Christmas 1978, John Wayne Gacy was arrested in Des Plaines, Illinois (near Chicago), for the murder of 15-year-old Robert Piest.

During his confession, police would learn there were many other bodies.

Gacy is known to have killed, at least 33 young men and boys. Of those, 26 were buried in the crawl space of his home!

When the news of this serial killer broke, I was a 14-year-old gay boy living in western Kentucky, just six hours away.

This had a very chilling effect on me since I was the same age as some of his victims. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that people could kill others just for the thrill of it!

#8 KAREN CARPENTER’S DEATH (1983)

Karen and Richard Carpenter were on “top of the world” in the 1970s topping the chart with their amazing melodies and her incredible voice.

After years of battling anorexia nervosa, the music world was shocked on February 4, 1983, when Karen died of a heart attack. The years of starvation had destroyed her body.

Karen’s battle with an eating disorder brought that subject to the forefront for America. I know the awareness has saved many lives.

#7 AIDS EPIDEMIC (FROM THE SUMMER OF 1981 TO NOW)

For almost 30 years from the 1980s through the early-2010s, I strongly despised, even hated, President Ronald Reagan.

In the summer of 1981, a new “gay cancer” (it would be called AIDS later) was attacking and quickly killing homosexuals in alarming numbers.

However, President Reagan didn’t mention the deadly disease publicly until a press conference in 1985. And, it’d be six years into the AIDS pandemic (1987) before he gave his first speech on AIDS — after more than 20,000 Americans had already died!

What a terrifying time for a 16-year-old boy that wasn’t even sexually active yet.

Four decades later, by the grace of God, I’m still HIV-negative, but I have friends that are positive and I’ve know people that have died of AIDS.

Thankfully, we now have drugs, when taken properly, make it impossible to spread the virus!

National Institute of Health: “U=U means that people living with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load—the amount of HIV in the blood—by taking and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others.”

#6 “HALLOWEEN IN HOUSTON” & ELECTING BILL & HILLARY CLINTON (1992)

My first time on a plane was in October 1992 when I flew to Houston to celebrate Halloween with my friends Steve and Dennis.

There were so many amazing costumes in the big city including 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot!!!

That pretty much summarizes the PG version of our nights on Montrose in the gay district.

There are many more scandalous pictures of that trip elsewhere in my blog’s history, including ones of yours truly!

Remember I was in my carefree 20s and it was before Facebook!!! 🙂

Clearly, there was boob admiration going on here between the two of us — he won!

Since my outfit was rather risque, I didn’t drink much that night and maybe that was a good thing! 🙂

However, after an intoxicating Sunday night with vodka cranberries, we flew back to Kentucky Monday and on Tuesday, I cast my first vote for the Clintons, which sent them to the White House for what would turn out to be eight years! 🙂

Now, back to the countdown!

#30 “MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING” (THE CARPENTERS) (1970)

#29 “SOS” (ABBA) (1975)

#28 “DREAMS” (GABRIELLE) (1993)

#27 “YOU MAKE MY DREAMS” (DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES) (1981)

#26 “SO EMOTIONAL” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1987)

#25 “TARZAN BOY” (BALTIMORA) (1985)

#24 “EMOTIONS” (MARIAH CAREY) (1991)

#23 “BORDERLINE” (MADONNA) (1984)

#22 “ONLY IN MY DREAMS” (DEBBIE GIBSON) (1987)

#21 “I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (WHO LOVES ME)” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1987)

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#5 THE DEATH OF MY FIRST IDOL — MY GRANDFATHER (1978)

My first two idols in life were my my mother, Dessie, and my grandfather, John Henry Peoples.

Sadly, my life with my grandfather was cut short since I had just become a teenager when he died in early 1978.

I’ll never forget his last Christmas as he was dying from colon cancer, it was remarkable how he stayed in good spirits.

I’ll always cherish the weekends we spent together at Kentucky Lake camping out and fishing.  Also, all of the memories of just piddling around in the back yard and in his work garage remain vividly clear in my mind.  He made me feel loved and appreciated.

I never really liked the taste of beer.  But, as a kid, it was so cool that he would let me suck the suds off his beer cans when he’d open them. 

Maybe it’s because of the suds that I’ve now moved on to bubbly champagne as an adult (along with vodka and wine)!

When I finally get to heaven, I can’t wait to say “thank you” and let him know how much I idolized him.  I know, as a kid, I never told him.

There was also talk that I was almost named after my father.  I’m grateful that I wasn’t.  However, it would have been an honor to have been a “John Henry” Junior!

#4 JIMMY CARTER BECOMING PRESIDENT (1976)

In November 1976, as a 12-year-old boy in Kentucky, I cast my first presidential vote for the Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter, and four years later, at 16, I voted for him again. 

So, you might be thinking, that’s impossible.  Many things go on in Kentucky that aren’t talked about in other states, but kids still can’t vote. 

Well, since my Grandmother Helen was not very literate, I accompanied her into the voting booth and I got to vote for the candidates of my choice.  Even then, I knew what I was doing.  🙂

Now, you might be thinking, why Carter?  Maybe it was because he was a Southerner and he talked like me!  I’m kidding.  I just liked him.

At age 12, I didn’t know anything about “gay rights”, but then again, there was no such thing as “rights” for those kind of people in the mid-1970s!

While Carter was a deeply committed Christian that taught Sunday school and prayed several times a day, he was the first president to address gay rights and his administration was the first to meet with gay rights activists.  He was opposed to the Briggs Initiative in California that would have banned gays from teaching in public schools.

In the summer of 2017, while living in Panama City, Florida, I drove through the darkness of night and across the backwoods of the Southeast to hear President Carter give a sermon at his church in Plains, Georgia, and I got to meet my idols, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter!

#3 MY DECADE LONG STRUGGLE WITH BULIMIA (1986-1995)

Over the years, I’ve written many times about eating disorders from Karen Carpenter’s anorexia nervosa to my own battle with bulimia.

Just know that eating disorders affect men and women, girls and boys, the young and the elderly!

I wrote, “In early 1995, I was down to 116 pounds and I thought I was fat… I’m still obsessed with weight gains and losses, eating too much, and fighting the urge to binge and purge.”

Another time I shared, “… I fight the food demon of overeating every day.  A few pounds to the average person is a huge burden, a catalyst for insecurity, and a path for destruction to a food addict.”

While I was a practicing bulimic for nine years from 1986-1995, I got my act together for more than two decades.

Beyond the scope of this blog, I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times and then I just get up and start over again!

Like other addictions, it’s a daily struggle and not something that’ll just go away.

Let the countdown roll on….

#20 “AIN’T EVEN DONE WITH THE NIGHT” (JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP) (1981)

#19 “DIM ALL THE LIGHTS” (DONNA SUMMER) (1979)

#18 “ON MY OWN” (PATTI LaBELLE & MICHAEL McDONALD) (1986)

“ON MY OWN” (REBA McENTIRE, MARTINA McBRIDE, TRISHA YEARWOOD, & LINDA DAVIS) (1995)

#17 “NO FRILLS LOVE” (JENNIFER HOLLIDAY) (1985)

#16 “I AM WOMAN” (HELEN REDDY) (1972)

#15 “TWO OF HEARTS” (STACEY Q) (1986)

#14 “FASCINATED” (COMPANY B) (1987)

#13 “I LOVE MY RADIO” (TAFFY) (1986)

#12 “TOP OF THE WORLD” (THE CARPENTERS) (1973)

#11 “MISSING YOU” (JOHN WAITE) (1984)

“TAINTED LOVE” (SOFT CELL) (1982)

“WE DON’T HAVE TO TAKE OUR CLOTHES OFF” (JERMAINE STEWART) (1986)

“ONE PROMISE TOO LATE” (REBA McENTIRE) (1987)

“OH L’AMOUR” (ERASURE) (1986)

“DON’T YOU WANT ME” (THE HUMAN LEAGUE) (1981)

“HARPER VALLEY P.T.A.” (JEANNIE C. RILEY) (1968)

“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” (MARIAH CAREY) (1994 ORIGINAL)

“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” (MAKE MY WISH COME TRUE EDITION) (MARIAH CAREY) (2019)

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#2 MOVING TO CHICAGO (1994) & KICKING OFF MY TV CAREER (1996)

In November 1993, my grandmother Helen (the last of my living parents and grandparents) died.

I was still in my hometown helping to take care of her and since Tammy was young and had her own family, I had no reason to stay in Kentucky any longer.

I often wondered “Is There Life Out There?” (the title of a huge Reba McEntire song in 1992), and I struggled through the 1993 holidays and the early winter months of 1994.

In the spring of 1994, my friend Steve shared with me the PBS series, “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the Cities” and Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) became my inspiration to make a change in my life!

Over Memorial Day 1994, Steve, Dennis, and I went to Chicago to party for the weekend and we had a blast.

At Gentry’s on Rush, the owner started sending over free cocktails and the boys (and the music) were so hot!

It was there that I fell in love with “Dreams” by Gabrielle (back at #28) and Sarah Brightman’s “Once in a Lifetime” from the “Dive” album!

It was also that weekend that I decided I was moving to Chicago!

Six weeks later, over the Fourth of July weekend, I moved to the big city and it was the best decision I ever made!

It was an interesting two years — bartending in a country gay bar, meeting a psycho on my 30th birthday that ended up trying to kill me several times, and then meeting someone that would become my longest relationship (9 years).

It was also during my first residency in Chicago that my television news career took off in the spring of 1996. My first network-affiliated television weather job was in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, that summer. And, from there, jobs in Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota followed!

#1 MY MOTHER’S DEATH (NOVEMBER 7, 1990)

My beautiful, wonderful mother, Dessie, died of a heart attack on the morning of November 7, 1990.

While I’ve lived more than half of my lifetime without her, I’m grateful for the 26 years we had together.

She was there to see me make my theatrical stage debut in “The Curious Savage” and saw me present weather at Murray State University’s television station that was only broadcast on cable systems in two cities.

My mother was there in the spring of 1989 when I became the first college graduate in our family.

One of the funniest stories I have of my mother happened in the spring of 1990. I took her to Sunday brunch at 101st Airborne in Nashville, Tennessee.  

She didn’t drink, but her champagne glass was empty every time the server came by and mine was always full since I kept switching glasses with her. I’m sure the waitress thought Dessie was such a lush and I was so innocent allowing my mother to drink so freely while I just sipped my champagne! 🙂

There have been so many times over the past 30 years that I’ve wanted to grab the phone to share something with her and then realize that I couldn’t do it!

As I reflect back on my life with my mother, I was so fortunate to be loved. She wasn’t just my mother — she was my biggest supporter, she was my rock, and she was my friend!

When I think of all of the things I wrote about today and not having a chance to talk to her about them, I can still smile and feel warm inside.

I know that my mother is with me — in my heart and in my memories!

P.S. The #38 song at the bottom of the blog was played at my mother’s funeral!

To quote Casey again, back to the countdown because “we don’t stop until we get to the top!”

“XANADU” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1980)

“IMAGINE” (JOHN LENNON) (1971)

“LET IT BE” (THE BEATLES) (1970)

Casey, take us home, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!”

I appreciate you taking time to check out my fun little walk down memory lane.

Anthony

*Okay, since I ❤️❤️❤️ LISTS & COUNTDOWNS, I’m really sharing my 101 favorites!

Why 101? There were “101 Dalmatians”! 🙂

#101 “SO MANY MEN, SO LITTLE TIME” (MIQUEL BROWN) (1983)

#100 “LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER” (THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE) (1975)

#99 “DREAM WEAVER” (GARY WRIGHT) (1975)

#98 “KISS AN ANGEL GOOD MORNIN'” (CHARLEY PRIDE) (1971)

#97 “OBJECT OF MY DESIRE” (STARPOINT) (1985)

#96 “EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE” (THE POLICE) (1983)

#95 “ANOTHER SAD LOVE SONG” (TONI BRAXTON) (1993)

#94 “I’LL TUMBLE 4 YA” (CULTURE CLUB) (1983)

#93 “CHAINS” (PATTY LOVELESS) (1989)

#92 “FAITH” (GEORGE MICHAEL) (1987)

#91 “HIGHER LOVE” (STEVE WINWOOD & CHAKA KHAN) (1986)

#90 “CAN’T FIGHT FATE” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1989)

#89 “SAD SONGS (SAY SO MUCH)” (ELTON JOHN) (1984)

#88 “EDGE OF SEVENTEEN” (STEVIE NICKS) (1982)

#87SAY YOU, SAY ME” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1985)

#86 “IT MATTERS TO ME” (FAITH HILL) (1995)

#85 “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME?” (CULTURE CLUB) (1982)

#84 “I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME)” (ARETHA FRANKLIN & GEORGE MICHAEL) (1987)

#83 “JESSIE’S GIRL” (RICK SPRINGFIELD) (1981)

#82 “EXCEPT FOR MONDAY” (LORRIE MORGAN) (1991)

#81 “LOUISIANA WOMAN, MISSISSIPPI MAN” (CONWAY TWITTY & LORETTA LYNN) (1973)

#80 “I LOVE ROCK & ROLL” (JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS) (1982)

“I LOVE ROCK & ROLL” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2002)

#79 “HEAVEN’S JUST A SIN AWAY” (THE KENDALLS) (1977)

#78 “OPEN YOUR HEART” (MADONNA) (1986)

#77 “WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1989)

#76 “TAKE ME AS I AM” (FAITH HILL) (1994)

#75 “1999” (PRINCE) (1982)

#74 “MAMMA MIA” (ABBA) (1975)

#73 “I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU” (DAN HARTMAN) (1984)

#72 “EMPTY GARDEN (HEY HEY JOHNNY)” (ELTON JOHN) (1982)

#71 “ONLY IN MY MIND” (REBA McENTIRE) (1985)

#70 “NO MORE WORDS” (BERLIN) (1984)

#69 “WEST END GIRLS” (THE PET SHOP BOYS) (1984)

#68 “MAGIC” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1980)

#67 “I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT THE BLUES” (ELTON JOHN) (1984)

#66 “I RAN (SO FAR AWAY) (A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS) (1982)

#65 “TRUE” (SPANDAU BALLET) (1983)

#64 “IS THERE SOMETHING I SHOULD KNOW?” (DURAN DURAN) (1983)

#63 “DREAMLOVER” (MARIAH CAREY) (1993)

#62 “THIS WOMAN AND THIS MAN” (CLAY WALKER) (1995)

#61 “COLD HEARTED” (PAULA ABDUL) (1989)

#60 “COME GO WITH ME” (EXPOSE) (1987)

#59 “IT’S NOT RIGHT BUT IT’S OKAY” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1999)

#58 “YOU GOT IT (THE RIGHT STUFF) (NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK) (1988)

#57 “FLASHDANCE (WHAT A FEELING)” (IRENE CARA) (1983)

#56 “FRIENDS & LOVERS” (GLORIA LORING & CARL ANDERSON) (1986)

#55 “SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT” (COREY HART) (1984)

#54 “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY” (JANET JACKSON) (1986)

#53 “LOOKING FOR A NEW LOVE” (JODY WATLEY) (1987)

#52 “DANCING ON THE CEILING” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1986)

#51 “LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY” (DENIECE WILLIAMS) (1984)

#50 “IF YOU LOVE ME (LET ME KNOW)” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1974)

#49 “MAKING LOVE OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL” (AIR SUPPLY) (1983)

#48 “(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU” (THE CARPENTERS) (1970)

#47 “LET ME BE THERE” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1973)

#46 “HOW WILL I KNOW” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1985)

#45 “WHAT MADE YOU SAY THAT” (SHANIA TWAIN) (1993)

#44 “KARMA CHAMELEON” (CULTURE CLUB) (1983)

#43 “BLAME IT ON YOUR HEART” (PATTY LOVELESS) (1993)

#42 “TOO SHY” (KAJAGOOGOO) (1983)

#41 “BELIEVE” (CHER) (1998)

#40 “THE REFLEX” (DURAN DURAN) (1984)

#39 “FOREVER YOUR GIRL” (PAULA ABDUL) (1989)

#38 “WIND BENEATH MY WINGS” (BETTE MIDLER) (1989)

#37 “I’LL BE YOUR SHELTER” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1990)

#36 “KIDS IN AMERICA” (KIM WILDE) (1981)

Random Friday Thoughts — September 23, 2016

Fall is here and summer is officially over!  It’s time to trade in those fruit smoothies for everything apple and pumpkin!

Even the USPS is getting into the act.  Check out these cool stamps.

halloween-2016

As always, thank you for checking out my random thoughts. Let’s get started!

SHUT YOUR MOUTH HATERS!

It’s old news now because news travels fast, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting divorced and he’s being investigated on child abuse allegations!

Brad Angelina.jpg

Reactions:  no surprise, sad, Jennifer Aniston is smiling somewhere, and Jolie is a “f***ing lunatic”.  What?

Comedian Chelsea Handler, who’s friends with Pitt’s ex, Aniston, holds nothing back, “There are rumors that part of the problem was that Brad was allegedly drinking and smoking too much weed. I wonder why he would need to self-medicate.”

She goes on to say, “Maybe because he could have been spending the last 12 years at Lake Como hanging out with George Clooney and Matt Damon, instead of being stuck in a house with 85 kids speaking 15 different languages. Oh yeah, because he married a f***ng lunatic, that’s why.”

However, Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, who stars with Pitt in this November’s “Allied”, is shutting the rumor mill down in a lengthy Instagram post with a big announcement of her own.

marion.jpg

Cotillard says, “Firstly, many years ago, I met the man of my life, father of our son [5-year-old Marcel] and of the baby we are expecting.  He is my love, my best friend, the only one that I need.” (She’s referring to French actor and director Guillaume Canet.)

And, she adds, “Secondly to those who have indicated that I am devastated, I am very well thank you. This crafted conversation isn’t distressing. And to all the media and the haters who are quick to pass judgment, I sincerely wish you a swift recovery. Finally, I do very much wish that Angelina and Brad, both whom I deeply respect, will find peace in this very tumultuous moment. With all my love, Marion”

Burn!

MY LITTLE SISTER TURNS 50!

My little sister Tammy reaches a milestone birthday this weekend — she hits the big 5-0!

Tammy1

I wish her the very best as she begins a new era in her life.  As we slowly move toward the “golden years”, I hope she makes the most of it.

She moved to Quad Cities five years ago and has gotten herself back on solid financial ground, but I know she doesn’t want to stay here forever.

She’s been talking about moving back to our hometown!  While I couldn’t imagine doing that, if that’s what she wants, I say “go for it”.  And, why wait?  Do it now since we never really know how much time we have left.

Our own mother, Dessie, died at the age of 47.  Since Tammy has already survived two heart attacks and hasn’t changed her unhealthy habits (mainly smoking), I’m truly surprised that we still have her!

Tammy

This beautiful picture is from a Caribbean cruise we took in 2012.  She definitely loves to get dressed up and we’re looking forward to doing it again this December!

Happy Birthday Tammy!  Enjoy life, don’t let the bitches get to you, and live it up!

“SWEETBITTER”

I’ve stated many times that I mostly read biographies, autobiographies, or books about real events.

When I venture in fiction, I find some real gems like “The Girl on the Train” (Paula Hawkins), “Dietland” (Sarai Walker), and “Day Four” (Sarah Lotz).  Now, I can add Stephanie Danler’s superior debut, “Sweetbitter” to the list!

stephanie-danler_0.jpg

“Sweetbitter” is fiction, but it’s based on real life Danler experienced as a waitress in New York City.

It was the food and drink service industry angle that attracted my attention in this coming-of-age novel because I’ve been there.

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant or bar, you know how demanding it is — the hours, the hard work, smiling back at ungrateful and demanding customers (oops, guests), the insane amount of readily available cash, and if you worked at the right (or wrong) places, the partying after shifts with alcohol and/or drugs.

But, most of all, it’s the incredibly diverse people you work with “on the floor” and “in the back of the house” that make this business unlike any other I’ve ever been a part of.

Some will make a life and career in this high stress and burnout line of work.  Some, like me, are just passing through on the way to other professions.

Danler perfectly captures all of this.

Her vast experiences — from the people keeping the plates and drinks on the table and the guests coming back, the intrinsic knowledge of food and wine that make the book a beginner’s guide to gastronomy, to living an empty life in a nowhere place and then taking a chance to make it in the big city with a cast of characters wanting more and really wanting nothing — make “Sweetbitter” such a delight.

A must read!

EMMY WINNERS

I’m very happy that Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot” won for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” at Sunday night’s Emmy Awards!

MR. ROBOT

And, it comes as no shock that “The People v. O.J. Simpson:  American Crime Story”, the 10-part miniseries that aired earlier this year on FX, won big.

In addition to four Creative Arts Emmys it recently won, the show picked up five more awards Sunday night, including “Outstanding Limited Series” and three for acting – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Sarah Paulson), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Courtney B. Vance), and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Sterling K. Brown).

Sarah Paulson looked beautiful making her acceptance speech for the much deserved first Emmy win (out of six nominations since 2012) and the shout-out to the real Marcia Clark was outstanding!

She ended her speech by telling Holland Taylor that she loved her!

sarah-paulson love.gif

What gets me is all the chatter over the more than 30-year age difference (Paulson is 41 and Taylor is 73).

Earlier this summer, Paulson told a magazine, “You should be able to love whomever you f***ing well please.”

Paulson Taylor.jpg

Amen, sister, I wish you and Holland the very best.  Life’s too short not to find and enjoy love at any age.

People need to get real and work on their own love lives, relationships, and marriages.

MARK RUFFALO WILL SHOW IT ALL FOR THIS!

This year’s presidential election is now just a little over six weeks away.  It can’t get here soon enough!

However, there are still some people that are undecided and there are others that may not even vote.

Many celebrities are using their fame to get people to vote and to take this election seriously.  They are even volunteering one of their own to give you his all for the cause!

But, on a more serious note, it’s also about “a racist, abusive coward who could permanently damage the fabric of our society.”

Warning:  contains adult language and situations!

Vote on November 8th.  If you don’t do it for Hillary Clinton, then do it for Mark Ruffalo! 🙂

CHRISTMAS IS NOW JUST THREE MONTHS AWAY

My annual tradition is to drop off my Christmas cards at the post office on Thanksgiving Eve and let the cards make their way across the country as people feast on turkey!

Here are the new Christmas stamps being offered by the USPS.

Christmas 2016.jpg

Since they’re “Forever” stamps, they’ll always be good even if the price of stamps goes up in the future.  So buy up and keep Christmas going as long as you want with your mailings.

HALLMARK CHANNEL GEARING UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The “Countdown to Christmas” kicks off on the Hallmark Channel on October 28th this year with around the clock original television holiday movies.

It’ll start with classics over the years and then on November 5th, the new original Christmas movies debut.

Lacey Chabert is back (sadly without Mariah Carey, but you can catch Mimi on the October 5th episode of “Empire”!).

I’m excited to see “My Christmas Dream”, which debuts November 19th, because it stars Deidre Hall of “Days of Our Lives”.

DeidreHall

I’ve been a huge fan of Deidre since childhood watching her on “Days” and “Electra Woman and Dyna Girl”, a short-lived 1976 series.

There’s no official trailer yet for “My Christmas Dream”, which simply sounds like the work of Satan! 🙂

possessedmarlena

Oh, come on, you loved that “Days” possession story line as much as I did!

In all, 22 new movies are being prepped for your holiday enjoyment for the Hallmark Channel.

“NOW YOU SEE ME 2”

I really enjoyed the 2013 original.

In a November 2013 blog, I wrote, “If you love magic, suspense, and action, this summer caper is the movie for you.  The $75 million motion picture made $351.7 million and a sequel is in the works and is expected to begin production next summer.”

Well, that sequel came this summer and it did rather well.  The $90 million production made $331.4 million and a third installment is on the way.

My teenaged daughter, Gretel, saw this one twice in the theaters, so she’s partly responsible for its success.  I waited to see it on DVD and that’s a good thing.

I was bored for much of the two-hour movie.  The first lavish card trick and magic act was hokey and unbelievable.  The final reveal had slightly more appeal.

It’s great to see Jesse Eisenberg in anything!

Jesse

It’s funny because I commented on liking his hair in the first movie three years ago.  Well, his hair in this movie was one of the highlights, too.  You can see it in this still image of the trailer.

GRADE: C

SPEAKING OF MAGIC, HOW ABOUT A “PERFECT ILLUSION”?

Lady Gaga is back with new music without her good friend Tony Bennett.

Earlier this month, she released “Perfect Illusion”, the first single from her upcoming fifth studio album, “Joanne” (named after her late aunt, who died of Lupus at the age of 19 in December of 1974, a little over eleven years before Gaga was born).

“Perfect Illusion” is already Gaga’s biggest hit at Top 40 radio since 2013’s “Do What U Want” with R. Kelly, which reached #7 on the radio airplay charts.

It’s an upbeat rock song and we’ve seen her rock out before, but this one has a different sound thanks to Mark Ronson (who’s biggest credits to date are “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars and working with Amy Winehouse).

Gaga Las Vegas

I’ve seen Gaga in concert twice (three times, sorta) and she’s an incredible singer, piano player, and dancer — an all-around amazing entertainer.

She’s an artist with an emphasis on “art”.  There’s no way you’ll ever forget the “meat dress” and the many outlandish and bizarre outfits and stage productions we’ve been blessed with over the past eight years.

Can you believe it’s only been eight years?

Now, back to the art (and the spectacle, the show, the dance moves, the club beats).  After the somewhat commercially disappointing (and uneven) “Artpop”, she’s all about the music this time.  To me, that’s evident after her high profile performances at the Grammys and the Oscars and singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

There’s no glamour in the new video to “Perfect Illusion” and there’s nothing over-the-top and envelope-pushing with the artwork for the new album.  It’s classy and clean.

joanne

It looks like it’s all about the music on “Joanne”, which comes out October 21st.

I admit that this whole new chapter of Lady Gaga is taking some adjusting for me, but I have a month to get there!

Lady GaGa on stage at the KOKO club in London

I just hope that there’s some “Mother Monster” left somewhere on “Joanne” and in Lady Gaga.

Now, where did I leave that “disco stick”?

50 YEARS OF PRIDE — CHARLEY PRIDE

In 2012, Darius Rucker, of Hootie & The Blowfish fame, was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.  He bacame only the third African-American to achieve that honor.  The first two were harmonica player Deford Bailey and singer Charley Pride (inducted in 1993).

The 82-year-old Mississippi-born Pride has enjoyed quite the country music career.

Pride.jpg

From the 1960s through the 1980s, he charted an incredible 52 Top Ten Billboard Country hits.  Of those, 29 went all the way to #1!

Pride has also topped the country album charts twelve times — that’s more #1s than Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson!

As he celebrates his 50th year in country music, Pride tells “Billboard” that little has changed in country music when it comes to black artists.

He says, “Promoters were reluctant to book me. When you ask why things haven’t changed, I just say, “How far do you want to go back?” Do you want to go back to 1817? Once someone in the industry said to me, “I don’t mean no harm” — you know, just throwing that in — “but I want to ask: How come every time we let y’all in, you just take over?” I told him, “See that barrel over there? Go peek in it. Oh, look, there I am, down at the bottom! Now where is there for me to go?”

As a kid, I loved Charley Pride.  So did my grandmother Helen.

Here’s one of our favorites from 1971.

“Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” spent five weeks at the top of the country charts and became Pride’s first crossover hit.  It peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the Top Ten on the Adult Contemporary charts.

Happy 50th Anniversary Charley!  Thank you for all of the wonderful songs and memories.  Best wishes for the future!

By the way, let’s get Charley to perform here in the Quad Cities!

WELCOME FALL 2016!

Fall

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

“Me” Personifies Ricky Martin’s Compassionate Life

I grew up listening to country music in Kentucky in the 1970s and switched over to pop, new wave, and dance music in the 1980s.  While I recall hearing about Menudo, I didn’t know much about the Puerto Rican boy band.

Ricky Martin File Photos

I also grew up watching NBC soap operas, especially “Days of Our Lives” and I recall, in the 1980s, how obsessed people at Murray State University were with “General Hospital” on ABC.

Since I wasn’t a fan of Menudo and I didn’t watch “General Hospital” in the mid-1990s when the character Miguel Morez, a bartender and singer, was on there, I missed my first two chances to fall under the spell of Ricky Martin.

Miquel Ricky

That’s okay because when he hit the Grammy Awards stage in February 1999, I took notice, along with the other 187 million people around the world that might not have known Ricky Martin.

Ricky Martin Grammy Performance

Even though “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and the follow-up songs, the hot videos, and the non-stop touring would propel him to super stardom, I really didn’t get to know and really admire Ricky Martin until I recently read his autobiography, “Me”.

ricky-martin-me

The book came out in late 2010,  the same year that he admitted to the world on his website, in March, “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”

I won’t give away all of the details of “Me” because I highly recommend you reading it.  But, for someone sitting on top of the world and that could have anything they wanted, I’ll say that I was most impressed with Ricky’s down-to-earth attitude and his commitment to making the world a better place for those that he loves and for the people he’ll never meet.

Enrique Martín Morales was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Christmas Eve in 1971.  While his parents divorced when he was young, he remained very close to both of them.

young_ricky_photo_8

As a child, he would sing into wooden spoons in kitchen along with popular rock groups Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Led Zepplin.  Even then, he knew he wanted to entertain.  Thanks to the encouragement of his parents, he got into television commercials and it became profitable.

He had multiple auditions to join Menudo, one of the most successful bands in the history of music.  Interesting enough, it wasn’t his lack of talent or his age that kept him from joining the band, it was because he was too short!

menudo

Ricky became a member of Menudo in 1984 and stayed with them until 1989.  Touring the world as a pre-teen and a teenager was grueling, but it taught him the importance of working hard and being committed to his craft.

As a 17-year-old, in the summer of 1989, he left Menudo and headed back to Puerto Rico.  On his 18th birthday, he finished school and then made one of the biggest decisions of his young life less than two weeks later.

He moved to New York City in January 1990 and enjoyed living life out of the spotlight and even considered giving up show business.  While in the “Big Apple”, Ricky visited friends in Mexico City and was drawn back into the entertainment business.

Ricky Mama Ama el Rock (Mom Loves Rock)

He did theater work that led to a soap opera role that was made into a movie that won him the Mexican equivalent of the Oscar.  That led to a successful tour of the music inspired by the movie, which was about six boys in a band.

This renewed his love for music.  He signed on to Sony Music and released his first two Spanish albums in 1991 and 1993.  Together, those albums sold 1.2 million copies and produced six hits on the Billboard Latin chart with three of them reaching the Top Ten.

As excited as Ricky was to be sing again, he realized he should have checked that music contract out better because he got “robbed” — earning only about a penny from each album sold!

He continued to sing and tour and then moved to Los Angeles to act.  Before landing at “General Hospital” in 1994, he was on a short-lived series called “Getting By”.

A medio vivir

Outside of the United States, Ricky hit it big with the release of his third album, “A Medio Vivir” in late 1995.  Ricky’s book states the album went on to sell more than seven million copies world-wide and it produced one of the biggest hits of his career around the world, “Maria”.

Ricky writes that when a record executive first heard the song, he said, “Are you crazy?  You have ruined your career!  I can’t believe you are showing me this.  You’re finished — this is going to be your last album.”  It goes to show what some record company people know!

Ricky-Martin

As Ricky’s star continued to rise, so did the scrutiny about his private life.  He was hot, young, Latin, and single.  But, Ricky would not talk about his private life to reporters and so they’d speculate and start rumors.

You didn’t have to get too far into “Me” , (page 5), to learn about the real Ricky Martin, the man he kept hidden from the world because of fear.  Ricky writes that he wanted to “end the secret” and “I accept my homosexuality and celebrate the gift that life has given me.”

One of the things that I admire most about Ricky is that he said the book was about his life and his coming to terms and honestly admitting to the world who he was.  In the book, he’s a perfect gentleman.    While he talked about his affairs and falling in love with both women and men, he didn’t name names!

While he admitted these things in 2010, throughout his career in the 1980s and the 1990s, he didn’t talk about his private life.

Vuelve

In 1998, he released his fourth album, “Vuelve” early in the year and it sold more than seven million copies around the world and would go on to win the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album.  Also, he recorded and performed “Copa de La Vida (The Cup of Life)” for the 1998 World Cup.

He would add English lyrics to that song and perform it on the Grammy Awards in February 1999 and the superstar, who had already conquered the Latin world with his music, became a household name in America.

Ricky Martin 1999

That led to his first English album. “Ricky Martin” in 1999 that sold 22 million copies worldwide.  Even in the U.S., it sold an incredible 660,000 copies in its first week out.

The first single, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” topped the charts in America and all over the world.

At more than eight million copies sold, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” is one of the best-selling singles of all time!

Ricky was on the cover of “Time” and “People” and was named “Artist of the Year” by “Entertainment Weekly”.  He continued to tour to promote “Ricky Martin” while recording the follow-up album, “Sound Loaded”, and was being pulled in a million directions.

At the 1999 performance at the Grammy Awards, Ricky met Madonna.

madonna-ricky-martin-grammy

When they were recording “Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazón)” for the “Ricky Martin” album, she gave him some good advice, “Ricky, stop doing interviews.  Everybody knows who you are.”  However, he continued saying “yes” to everything that his people and the record company asked.

The scrutiny about his private life continued to mount after a March 26, 2000, interview with Barbara Walters before the Oscars, in which she was relentless in her questioning him about whether he was gay.

Ricky Barbara Walters

In 2010, Barbara told the “The Toronto Star”, “In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was,” Walters said. “A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question.”

The gossip about his personal life and the pressure of a tour of more than 100 dates forced him to lose control.  He finally took Madonna’s advice and put himself and his emotional state first.

While in Australia in late October 2000, he cancelled his next concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was only the second cancellation of his career — the other was because of illness.

Ricky-Martin-closeup

In “Me”, Ricky talks about how he met, by chance, a Puerto Rican, who was living in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1998, that would become a spiritual adviser to him.  That man prompted Ricky to go to India.  He went back to India, to Calcutta, in late 2000, and that trip opened his eyes to world of human child trafficking — selling children, as young as four-years-old, into the sex trade business.

Ricky Martin Foundation

Ricky has always been a  humanitarian and in 2002, he started the Ricky Martin Foundation, and two years later, added “People for Children”, to raise awareness about the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children around the world.

Child Trafficking

Ricky was instrumental in the relief efforts and the rebuilding of Thailand after the December 2004 Indonesian tsunami that killed about one-quarter of a million people.  And, he was in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after a January 2010 earthquake that killed around 159,000 people.

ricky martin haiti

In the book, Ricky never boasted about Haiti or Thailand, about raising awareness of child trafficking, or his organization just to say, “look at what I’ve done”.  You can definitely tell he is a great person and humanitarian.

If you’d like to know more about The Ricky Martin Foundation, here’s the link to the website:  http://www.rickymartinfoundation.org/en/

Exclusive - Ricky Martin Spends Time With His Partner And Children

Ricky spent the last part of “Me” talking about his beautiful twins boys, Matteo and Valentino, who were born in August 2008, to a surrogate mother.  It was heart-warming to hear how he kept the pregnancy a secret to keep the media away from the boy’s mother during the pregnancy.

And, he just gushes when he talks about how he wants the boys to be free to live their life without fear and with compassion to everyone they meet.

That song, “The Best Thing About Me Is You”, was released in late 2010 and reached #1 on the Billboard Latin chart.

ricky-martin-headshot

Ricky Martin is undeniably hot.  And, once you read “Me”, you’ll know he’s the kind of person any person would be lucky to call a “friend” and someone who any man would be lucky to call “husband”.

After reading “Me”, I know Ricky Martin much better and I wish him and the boys the very best in life.

Anthony

 

Random Friday Thoughts — June 14, 2013

The weekend is almost here and it’s not just any weekend, it’s Father’s Day weekend.  Whether you’re a dad, a granddad, or a great granddad, have a great one.  Ladies, while you had your day of celebration last month, I hope you have a great day, too.  I know first hand that there are some women out there that are better fathers than the biological father could ever be!

While the weather isn’t shaping up to be all that great this weekend with showers and thunderstorms, especially Saturday and Saturday night, I hope you make the best of whatever we get!

FATHER’S DAY

We have Gretel this weekend and she hasn’t mentioned doing anything for us.

Last year, she made us the cutest card.

Card Front Card Inside

It had only been four months since Miss ABBA went to “puppy heaven”, but she still made an appearance on the card in her urn. 🙂

With assistance, Gretel made Father’s Day dinner for us in our old kitchen as it was being renovated.  When you check out this video, listen to the age reference and why she’s doing it!

As Alf exclaimed in the 1980s, “Ha, I kill me!”

ALF HA

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY CELEBRITY STYLE

I just want to say a special Happy Father’s Day to Ricky Martin and his partner, Carlos Gonzalez Abella, from their twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, who turn five this August.

Exclusive - Ricky Martin Spends Time With His Partner And Children

Also, to Neil Patrick Harris and his partner, David Burtka, from their twins — son, Gideon Scott, and daughter, Harper Grace.  They turn three in October.

neil-patrick-harris-david-burtka-saint-tropez-with-the-kids

And, to Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, from sons Zachary, who turns three on Christmas Day, and Elijah, who was born five months ago.

Elton John and family

Happy Father’s Day!

THE DOWN SIDE TO BEING VISIBLE

While the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community continues to gain visibility, support, and equality across the United States and other countries at incredible rates, it’s coming with a price.

Gay bashing has always been a problem.

Beatings and harassment at the hands of police prompted the historic “Stonewall Riots” in June 1969 (I blogged about this last Gay Pride and I’ll provide the link below for those of you unfamiliar with it).

I remember standing outside the gay bar and sitting by the Riverfront in Paducah, Kentucky, with my friends back in the mid-1980s and rednecks would drive by making crude comments and hurling the derogatory f-word at us and on a few occasions, they’d even threaten us with baseball bats.

But, that was about 30 years ago and you’d think people would be more educated and more accepting today.  Many are, but there’s still a long road to travel.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that violence toward gays in New York City was up 4% last year over 2011.  And, the number of gay bashing reports have doubled this year.  In May alone, there were 10 reported anti-gay attacks in the Big Apple, including the shooting death of 32-year-old Mark Carson on May 17th in the West Village.

Mark Carson Killed In May

And, it’s not confined the country’s largest city.  In Ohio, “Outlook Columbus” reports that three gay men were beaten in separate attacks in the college town in the past week, including Christopher Ashcraft, who was visiting from Kentucky.

columbus beating

He told police that several men approached him asking for a jump-start.  When he got his keys to help the men, he was attacked.

Ashcraft told a Cincinnati television station, “Once I was on the ground, they just kicked me in the face a couple times until I was unconscious. It was my guess an hour to an hour-and-a-half later before I woke up and, from what I’m told, crawled back to the bar where I was found laying behind the bar.”

While one reason for the increase in the number of attacks may be that people, like in rape cases, are not as afraid today to come forward to report the crime, the bottom line is that ONE attack is ONE attack too many!  I hope the bastards that get a cheap thrill out of beating people for being different (or beating, in general) get what they deserve and much more.

The violence has to stop!

“Push Comes To Shove 43 Years Ago — The Stonewall Riots:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/push-comes-to-shove-43-years-ago-the-stonewall-riots/

FALLING IN LOVE … AGAIN!

On a much lighter note, last Christmas I asked for a turntable.  My album and dance single collection from the 1980s and the 1990s disappeared about 20 years ago, but I wanted to start buying some albums to get that vinyl feeling when listening to music.

Albums

Except for a few skips here and there, the second-hand albums that I’ve buying at used record stores and yard sales are so much fun.  And, we all know how radio only plays the singles.  It’s been interesting listening to the albums that I never would have bought back in the day and to hear many of the ten or so tracks that I would have missed.

YARD SALE BARGAINS

Last weekend, Ray, Tammy, and I went to several yard sales and it was so much fun checking out people’s treasures (and junk) that they were trying to get rid of it.

In addition to the previously mentioned albums, I bought some VHS movies (yes, we still have a player since I’m not converting my VHS collection to DVD), some books, and Christmas ornaments.  I think I’ll have to check out more sales this summer.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

VodkaNot SpeakingAdam Levine

FUNNY “HANNIBAL” JOKE

First, a programming note:  Only one more episode left!  The season finale is Thursday, June 20th.

My friend, Stephanie Bowen, shared this “Hannibal” joke with me regarding characters Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter.

Will Graham and Hannibal

Hannibal: “Will, your lack of appetite worries me. How much do you weigh?”
Will: “One graham.”
(Hannibal stares dumbfoundly — Will smiles sheepishly)
Hannibal: “Don’t make me have to kilogram.”

ALF HA

GONNA MAKE ME SWEAT!

Now that I’ve officially set the date for my annual physical in October, I have to get serious about eating healthy and working out again.  I think I’ve figured out how to jump-start my weight loss this summer:  No air conditioning and walking on the treadmill until I sweat!  Tuesday and Wednesday were perfect for that, although we broke down Wednesday and turned on the AC!

KE$HA & PITBULL CONCERT

We all had a great time at last Sunday’s Ke$ha and Pitbull concert in Tinley Park.  Gretel was excited to wear make-up and fake eyelashes and to color her hair.

Gretel for Ke$ha

Ke$ha was fun and her back-up dancers were a hoot dressed as warriors, drag queens, and animal mascots.  While Ke$ha may have relied heavily on singing along to her own pre-recorded lyrics, it was still enjoyable.  During one number she was going to put on a jacket to” add some color” to her outfit, but there was a wardrobe malfunction putting it on and she went on without it with a “Oh, f*ck it”!

Ke$ha

Pitbull had an incredible light show and the man sure has some energy.  He sang many, if not all, of his hits in his 75-minute set with many of the big stars (Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, and Ne-Yo) he’s performed with appearing on the stage monitor behind him.  But, after a while, some of his songs blended together and sounded the same.

Pitbull

What a great night with very enjoyable shows from Ke$ha and Pitbull.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

We have been debating on whether to put up Gretel’s outdoor pool this year.  I think we’re leaning toward “no”.

It came in handy in the summer of 2010.  Miss ABBA, who loved swimming, sure enjoyed it.  This picture is from this week three years ago.

61910 ABBA Gretel

Earlier in my blog, I talked about Gretel making dinner for us last Father’s Day.  Here is the final product — linguine with lemon pepper and garlic chicken and veggies.

Gretel 06182012

NEW SONG I’M LOVING

Last week, I featured the video for Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.  I love that song and video.  Another song that I’m really loving right now, in just two months, is already the most popular song in the country and one of the most played on Top 40 radio.

Robin Thicke scored his first Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Lost Without U”, in 2007.  While the song hit #14 on that chart, it topped the R&B chart.  He’s gone on to score two more #1 songs on the R&B chart with “Sex Therapy” in 2009 and his new song, “Blurred Lines” featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.  “Blurred Lines” is also the new #1 song on the Hot 100.

It’s the first release from his new album of the same name that is being released at the end of July.

By the way, there is an “unrated” version of the video that was banned by YouTube.  *Warning:  Contains Boobies*  *NSFW*  *Not suitable when children are in the room*.  Oh, who am I kidding, you’ve already clicked on the link!

parental_advisory_explicit_content

http://www.vevo.com/watch/robin-thicke/blurred-lines-unrated-version/USUV71300526

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Since I just featured Robin Thicke with one of my favorites songs out there today, let’s keep it in the family with one of my favorite female vocalists of all time.  Robin is the son of actor Alan Thicke (“Growing Pains”) and actress/singer Gloria Loring (“Liz Chandler Courtney DiMera Craig Curtis” on “Days of Our Lives” from 1980-1986).

As a singer, Gloria Loring is best known on television as a singer on “Days of Our Lives” and for co-writing the themes to “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” with her ex-husband Alan Thicke.  Gloria also sang the theme song to “The Facts of Life” from the second season to the end of the series.

Gloria has released twelve albums dating back to her first in 1968.  Although she is one of my favorite singers, her only Top 40 appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 came in 1986 when “Friends & Lovers”, a duet with Carl Anderson, reached #2.  It hit #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.

RAY, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

This song, “The Best Thing About Me Is You” (“Lo Mejor de Mi Vida Eres Tu”) by Ricky Martin hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Latin charts in 2011.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts.  I hope you took a moment to enjoy the videos.  Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Like Sands Through The Hourglass, So Are the “Gays of Our Lives”

UPDATE:  November 15, 2012

Progress is being made and I’m proud to be a witness to it. Congratulations “Days of Our Lives” for showing that love is love and love can be sexy! Wow! Too bad that “Days” wasn’t this progressive when I was a teenager and young adult. But, then again, they didn’t mention gay in the 1980s without the word “AIDS” attached to it!!! (Disclaimer: This may be too risque for some people’s views!)

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  April 2, 2012

Although I don’t watch television any more, I quit watching soap operas back in the early-1990s as I was leaving Kentucky to move to Chicago.  Growing up, we were raised watching NBC soaps and my favorites were “Days of Our Lives” and “Santa Barbara” (1984-1993).

Soap operas are dying off quickly and the ratings are at an all-time low.  The four soaps that are still on the air are “Days of Our Lives”, “The Young and the Restless”, “The Bold and the Beautiful”, and “General Hospital”.

When I decided to write this blog entry, it was solely to compliment “Days” on its bold approach with the Will Horton storyline, but it got me to thinking about my favorite soap opera character, Dr. Marlena Evans, played by Deidre Hall.  So, I will expand on why she rocks my world later in the blog.  But, first, the kudos…

While soaps have flirted with gay characters, “Days” is going all out these days with a gay story line focusing on Will Horton, the son of Sami Brady & Lucas Roberts Horton, not only coming out, but dating!

I think this is a bold move because the world has changed so much over the past twenty years.  I’m proud that television and movies can now show gay characters that are not living or dying of AIDS or are serial killers.  Congratulations “Days” for finally moving into the 21st century “real world”!

And, how cool would it be to have Dr. Marlena Evans as your grandmother?  You only have to watch the first minute of this clip to see how accepting loving relatives and friends should be.  And, when they reference Lady Gaga, the cool factor goes off the chart! 🙂

Now, I want to deviate into total daytime camp and drama.

I always loved the far-fetched story lines on “Days”.  My favorites:  Marlena being killed by the “Salem Strangler”, but it wasn’t Marlena, it was her twin sister; the raven feather serial killer; Stefano DiMera constantly being killed off and then, like the Phoenix, rising from the dead; Vivian Alamain burying Dr. Carly Manning alive; and Marlena being possessed by the devil.

Even after I stopped watching “Days”, I would somehow get caught up in the bizarre story lines when I’d see something on the magazine stand or online, like in 2003-2004 when the “Salem Stalker” killed off most of the veterans on the show.

First, it was Abe Carver (shooting), then Jack Deveraux (brick bludgeoning), Maggie Horton (recovering alcoholic killed by a whiskey bottle), Caroline Brady (poisoning in a church), Cassie Brady (stabbed to death and falling out of a pinata), Roman Brady (killed with a machete, a la “Jason Voorhees – “Friday the 13th”, on his wedding day), Tony DiMera (attacked by a tiger), Doug Williams (having his throat slit on Tom Horton’s grave), and the most shocking of all, the matriarch of “Days”, and Alice Horton (choked to death on her homemade doughnuts)!!!!

Here’s a fun clip of the first seven deaths:

The killer is revealed to be Marlena and it doesn’t end well for her!

The rating jumped drastically as people were left dazed that all of the main characters were being killed off.  But, in true “Days” fashion, it was revealed that none of the characters had been killed.  They were taken to a secret island called “Melaswen”, which is “new Salem” spelled backwards, a replica of the city of Salem!  And, it was a conspiracy by a DiMera.  Shock!

Have I mentioned how much I love Deidre Hall?

You know you’re a fan, even at 12-year-old if you follow Deidre Hall from “Days” to the short-lived, one season run of “Electra Woman and Dyna Girl”, from the producers of  the “Land of the Lost” TV series. 🙂

However, I had to draw the line on “Our House”, her two-season series on NBC, after just a couple of episodes.

So, “Days”, with Will Horton finding love and looking great doing it and Deidre Hall back, give me an over-the-top story line and you might win me back.

Peeps