Posts Tagged ‘Delta Variant’

Random Friday Thoughts — August 20, 2021

Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend?

As much as I love my career and my job, I’m ready for the weekend from the moment when I wake up for work at 2:30 a.m. on Mondays! 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts. It’s okay to disagree, just do it diplomatically!

GET OVER YOURSELF, CHICAGO LEADERS!

I’m not going to harp too much about the current spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Yes, most of them are associated with the “delta variant”, yet the latter two are mostly those that are unvaccinated!

However, with all of the confusion about the pandemic, the vaccinations, and the ever-changing rules and mandates, I’m agitated with Chicago leaders.

The Chicago Department of Public Health issues weekly updates of states and territories in the U.S. that it’s issued travel advisories for that have the highest increase of COVID-19 cases.

It goes on to say, “Any unvaccinated people traveling from these states and territories are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival. Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine or receive a negative test.”

What bothers me is that people coming to Chicago ARE NOT LIKELY going to get a COVID-19 test within three days of arriving and ARE NOT LIKELY going to quarantine themselves for ten days!

So, stop the confusion if you’re not going to enforce this by stopping people on the interstates, bus stations, train stations, and airports!!!!

This is all for public relations!

Okay, I’ll step down from my soap box!

REMEMBERING JEANETTA JONES

For those that follow television weather and meteorologists, I have some sad news to share.

Jeanetta Jones, whose smiling face and cheerful presentation graced The Weather Channel from 1986-2006, has died from COVID-19!

I was such a big fan of her on-air presentation!

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Over the past week or so, people on social media have been sharing picture comparisons of their fall plans and their fall plans now that the “delta variant” is rampant across the country and the world.

I thought I’d join in with a comparison with a shout-out to my favorite Batman movie, 1993’s “Batman Returns”, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman!

“FRENCH EXIT”

Since I’m talking Michelle Pfeiffer, I just watched her latest movie, “French Exit” and it was great.

Pfeiffer picked up a Golden Globe nomination this year in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category, but she lost out to Rosamund Pike in “I Care A Lot”, which I really enjoyed, too.

“French Exit” was overlooked by the Academy Awards, but the Best Actress category was incredible this year — Carey Mulligan, Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, Andra Day, and Vanessa Kirby!

While it’s a comedy, it deals with some very heavy topics, such as suicide.

Pfeiffer plays Frances Price, a Manhattan heiress that’s almost broke after her husband’s death. She and her son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges), have few options.

So, from the title, they head to Paris with their cat, which plays a big role in the bizarre story.

In France, they meet Madame Reynard (a very enjoyable Valerie Mahaffey).

On the transatlantic voyage across the Atlantic, Danielle Macdonald makes an appearance as Madeleine, a “witch” that Malcom hooks up with. (It’s funny calling her a witch because Frances uses a very risque, hilarious description of her.

It’s always great to see Macdonald. I loved her in “Patti Cake$” and “I Am Woman”.

GRADE: B+

WHAT IS MIDDLE AGED?

Recently, I watched the 1976 Oscar-winning classic, “Network”. However, watching it in 2021, one thing that caught my attention was that William Holden’s character was constantly referred to as “middle aged”.

Wait, Holden was almost 58-year-old when filming got underway and that really baffled me.

But, it made sense since the director, the producers, the writer, and both male leads were all in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. So, I just chalked it up to old white men running the show and calling themselves “middle aged”!

However, one thing I learned when looking up the definition of “middle age” is that it’s usually accepted as 45-65 years old — the middle of age of adulthood, which starts at 18!

Since I’m closing in on Holden’s age at the time of that movie, I still wouldn’t refer to myself as “middle age”, but if the dictionary says I am, I should start enjoying my middle-aged years and take a new lease on life! 🙂

BUT, here’s the irony about both William Holden and his co-star, Peter Finch. Finch died less than two months after the movie was released over Thanksgiving 1976 and Holden would be dead five years later.

So much for middle aged! 🙂

WHY I DRINK WINE!

Thanks Debby for sharing this with me! 🙂

“PLEASE LIKE ME”

I absolutely loved this four season Australian comedy (with a few dashes of drama) from quadruple threat Josh Thomas (creator, co-writer, co-director, and star).

The series ran from 2013-2016.

Josh is hilariously funny, but I definitely couldn’t date his character, Josh! 🙂

His roommate and best friend, Tom (Thomas Ward) is great and it introduced us to comedian Hannah Gadsby, who plays Hannah! 🙂

My absolute favorite character was Arnold (Keegan Joyce). And, he was SO.DAMN.SEXY.!

You can catch it on hulu.

“GRACE AND FRANKIE” UPDATE

Last week, I mentioned that I had watched the first six seasons of the Netflix series, “Grace and Frankie”, and couldn’t wait for the final season.

Well, last Friday, Netflix surprised fans by dropping the first four episodes of the seventh and final season. The concluding twelve episodes are expected in 2022.

So, I’ve decided to wait and binge watch all sixteen episodes in the new year!

When the series concludes with 94 episodes, that’ll make it the longest-running Netflix original series!

“NETWORK”

After 45 years, I finally watched the 1976 four-time Oscar winning movie, “Network”.

The black comedy is a satire of the television news business and the thin line between news and entertainment! (Wait, is that a real thing?)

Um, that rhetorical question is satirical, too! 🙂

Peter Finch (Best Actor), Faye Dunaway (Best Actress), and Beatrice Straight (Best Supporting Actress) won Academy Awards for acting and Paddy Chayefsky won for Best Screenplay.

William Holden was also nominated in the Best Actor category.

Five years later, Dunaway would play Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest”, a role and movie that she said ruined her career.

Well, her Diana Christensen was quite over the top in “Network”, too, and, in hindsight, it prepared her well for “Mommie Dearest”!

GRADE: B

“AMERICA IN SEARCH OF ITSELF”

Last week, I mentioned that this 1982 book by Theodore H. White subtitled, “The Making of the President 1956-1980”, was an enlightening read.

Here are a few more things I learned:

In the 1956 presidential election, Democrat Adlai Stevenson started hitting sitting President Dwight D. Eisenhower hard about his age.

Stevenson said that Ike was too old, at 66, to be a good President. Boy, have things changed since then. (Hello Ronald Reagan, 45, and Joe Biden!)

White wrote that President Richard Nixon blamed Gerald Ford’s loss to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential election on his inability to get the Italian vote in New York. That state would have swung the win to Ford.

In the 1980 election between President Carter and Ronald Reagan, the federal government only gave each candidate $29.4 million to spend on the campaign ($93 million in 2021 USD). Meanwhile, the three networks spent north of $50 million for coverage ($165.7 million in 2021 USD)!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 13, 2021

Happy Friday the 13th! If you’re superstitious, beware!

Oh, boo! Forget you, Jason Voohres!

Michael Myers is the man and Halloween is just around the corner!

“HALLOWEEN KILLS”

After being pushed back a year last fall because of COVID-19 closing down movie theaters, Jamie Lee Curtis is ready to go up against Michael again — for the last time?

2018’s Halloween was very successful (it made $255.6 million with a $15 million budget).

The trailer for “Halloween Kills” is out and it’s incredible.

From the title and the trailer, the body count is going to be very high!

“Halloween Kills” is in theaters October 15, 2021.

I’m so ready for my large plain popcorn and large Coke Zero (and my free refills)! The last movie I saw in theaters was “Bombshell” in early 2020 about Megyn Kelly and Fox News!

TRAVEL REBOUND?

Once the COVID-19 vaccinations became available this spring and the number of cases and deaths dropped drastically earlier this summer, did you start planning any big trips?

I did!

Now, I’m very dismayed with the resurgence of cases and deaths from the “delta variant” and the unvaccinated overwhelming hospitals!

I’m going to be optimistic!

With more businesses mandating a vaccination (or weekly negative COVID tests) for employment, I hope the U.S. and the world will beat down the “delta variant” and we’ll see the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths drop again!

“GRACE AND FRANKIE”

Earlier this year, I started watching “Schitt’$ Creek” and “Grace and Frankie” at the same time. I’d watch one series during dinner one day and the other the next day.

By the time I got into the third season of “Grace and Frankie”, I started bingeing “Schitt’$ Creek” exclusively and put “Grace & Frankie” on hold.

After I finished “Creek”, I watched season four of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, a few movies, and then caught up on the new “American Horror Stories”.

As you can see, I was avoiding getting back to the Jane Fonda-Lily Tomlin series. Once I returned, I don’t know if it was because of the break or the writing or the flow changed, but seasons four, five, and six were much better!

I love Grace (Fonda), Robert (Martin Sheen), and Joan-Margaret (Millicent Martin), but Brianna (June Diane Raphael) is my favorite.

When the series returns to Netflix for the seventh and final season, I really want them to kill off Sol early in season. Okay, that may be a little harsh.

Just send him away for some reason! While I like Sam Waterston, who plays Sol, I can’t stand the character and I can’t believe that Robert wants to be with him!

Here are a couple more highlights…

The final season is being filmed now, so there’s no release date yet.

“THE MAURITANIAN”

This incredible 2021 movie is based on the true story of a man detailed at Guantanamo Bay for more than a decade without ever being charged with a crime.

While the movie was overlooked by the Academy Awards this year, it earned Jodie Foster a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and a Best Actor nomination for Tahar Rahim in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama category.

Foster plays an Albuquerque, New Mexico lawyer who takes up the case of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man from the African country of Mauritania in 2001.

Shailene Woodley and Benedict Cumberbatch co-star and were great, too.

GRADE: A

AMERICA IN SEARCH OF ITSELF”

This 1982 book by Theodore H. White is subtitled, “The Making of the President 1956-1980”, and is a very interesting read.

Here are a couple of oily things I learned:

The first year that the United States imported more oil than it exported was in 1948. After that, we were dependent on the Middle East!

White added that during the oil shortages of the 1970s, the price for a barrel of oil from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — originally, in 1960, four Middle Eastern countries and Venezuela) at the start of 1973 was $3.41 and jumped to $41.00 in 1980!

By that year, in the U.S. “it required an uninterrupted eight million barrels every day from overseas to maintain an entire way of life.”

“A QUIET PLACE, PART TWO”

The 2018 original was my #9 movie of the year and I gave it an “A” when I reviewed it.

Here’s what I said then: “The movie ended perfectly for a sequel and one is on the way. Does it need one?  No.  It’s a perfect stand alone movie.”   

So, even then, I had a feeling that I’d be disappointed with the follow-up and I was!

The positives: We saw director John Krasinski again and Emily Blunt is great, but under-utilized.

Millicent Simmonds, who played Blunt and Krasinski’s daughter, is magnificent in this movie, just as she was in the original.

This one felt like it was made just because it’d bring in a lot of money like the original.

The first one made $350.3 million and this one brought in $294 million, which is great for a sequel and in the new COVID-19 landscape with theaters just opening back up.

GRADE: B-

FINAL THOUGHTS

“THE HANDMAID’S TALE”: Since I mentioned season four earlier, I loved this season. The change of pace and scenery was great.

But, I seriously hope the series in with season five!

“AMERICAN HORROR STORIES”: Not to be confused with Ryan Murphy’s other series “American Horry Story”, this is a new weekly series that features of a horror of the week instead of a storyline for the entire season.

It’s like “The X-Files” when it featured a different monster or case of the week!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 6, 2021

Hello again!

After a two month hiatus, I’m back! I’ve missed sharing whatever random thoughts crossed my mind.

I hope your summer is off to a great start and here’s to those of us that are ready for fall!

Thank you for taking the time to see what I’m thinking about this week.

SOME GOOD COVID-19 NEWS…

By the numbers from the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released earlier this week:

  • There was a 28% increase in the number of people getting vaccinated last week over the week before (a daily 441,329 people initiating vaccinations — the highest number since July 4th)!
  • 49.7% of Americans of all ages are now fully vaccinated.
  • 20 states now have half of their residents fully vaccinated! Thank you California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C. 
  • Alabama and Mississippi are the only two states with less than 35% of their residents fully vaccinated.
  • 70% of adults have had at least one dose of vaccination! Twenty states have reached this plateau, including Illinois and Minnesota!

COVID VACCINATION FRUSTATIONS

This is great since I’m getting very frustrated with the spike in COVID-19 cases due to the “delta variant” and the high number of unvaccinated people.

I recently shared my thoughts about the summer of 2021 in the COVID-19 world. It was well received and one of the most viewed blogs I’ve written this year.

If you didn’t read it, here’s the link. And, if you disagree with me, do it diplomatically!

Just click on this link and it should open in a new window:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/the-4-fs-of-our-future-fantasy-frustration-fear-f/

HELL IS FREEZING OVER!

Okay, not really. But, I finally agree with something that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has to say!

The 76-year-old governor, the oldest in the nation, and I don’t agree politically on many things including LGBTQ rights and more.

In the third week of July, Ivey addressed the fact that her state ranks 47th in vaccination rates (just under 52% of adults have at least one dose), according to the CDC.

And, data from Johns Hopkins University shows that Alabama leads the nation in positive COVID tests, with 40%!

When asked what’s it going to take for people to be vaccinated, Ivey said, “I don’t know — you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.” 

Ivey added, “Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks… And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”

She concluded with this: “I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t make you take care of yourself.”

“LOVE, VICTOR— SEASON 2

On a lighter note, I absolutely loved the second season of the Hulu original series, “Love, Victor”!

As much as I enjoyed the first season, this one was better since all of the characters showed maturity in dealing with all that’s going on in their lives.

And, I’m not just talking about the teenagers.

The separated parents have important storylines dealing with dating, reconciliation, and, most importantly, dealing with your child coming out as gay and accepting it (or not, because it’s at odds with the Catholic Church).

In October 2020, here’s what I wrote about season one: “‘Love, Victor’ has a great cast including the adorable lead, Michael Comino as Victor, Anthony Turpel as his best friend, Felix, and George Sear (Benji) and Rachel Hilson (Mia) as his two crushes… it’s a well-rounded story that just doesn’t just focus on Victor’s coming of age story and coming out. His parents have their own drama!”

While season two ended with a major cliffhanger, I’m excited to report that hulu renewed the series for a third season last Friday!

SEASON 2 GRADE: A

“MINARI”

This 2020 dramedy featured more drama than comedy, but there were many funny scenes and lines.

While it’s a subtitled film, which is a turn off to some, it’s incredible!

The movie picked up six Oscar nominations this year and a win in the Best Supporting Actress category for Youn Yuh-jung.

It’s the story of a Korean immigrant family moving to small town Arkansas from California in the early-1980s.

Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun of “The Walking Dead”) wants to farm and make a life for his wife and two children. But, they run into obstacles and his mother-in-law, Soon-ja (Yuh-jung) comes over from South Korea to attend to the children.

The ensemble cast was amazing, but Yuh-jung was incredible and definitely deserved her Oscar win.

Yuh-jung became the first Korean actress to win an Oscar and the first Asian actress to win an Academy Award since 1958!

GRADE: A

“THE FATHER”

This Oscar-nominated drama dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease featured Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins (“The Silence of the Lambs”) and Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) in the lead.

It was nominated for six Academy Awards this year and it won two — one for Best Actor (Hopkins) and the other for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Colman was also nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category.

While it was (intentionally) hard to follow, it all made sense in the end.

It’s worth watching just for the incredible acting, but I’d never watch it again.

GRADE: B

“FALSE POSITIVE”

This modern day retelling of “Rosemary’s Baby” on Hulu is an okay movie, but I’d skip it!

The final scene with Ilana Glazer and Pierce Brosnan was great. And, while it’s always a treat to see Justin Theroux, it’s not enough to save the movie!

GRADE: C-

“SCANDALS OF CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD”

Subtitled, “Sex, Deviance, and Drama From The Golden Age of American Cinema” by Anne Helen Petersen (2014) was an interesting read.

Here are some of the things I learned:

Humphrey Bogart: “always defended the underdog and ‘loathed’ social injustice in all its forms, a point supported by his vocal support for African Americans in Hollywood. He was ‘proud’ to have actress Lena Horne as his neighbor.”

Bogart: “In the world of theater or any other phase of American life, the color of a man’s skin should have nothing to do with his rights in a land built upon the self-evident fact that all men are created equal.”

While Bogart was 43 and Lauren Bacall was only 19 when they were introduced for their first movie, sparks ignited. A famous line from the movie, “To Have and Have Not” (1944), brought a naughty smile to my face — Bacall’s Slim to Bogart’s Steve: “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”

The book also focused on Judy Garland, Dorothy Dandridge, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Clark Gable, Mae West, Marlon Brando, and Jean Harlow.

ANOTHER AUGUST THOUGHT

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

Anthony