Posts Tagged ‘Demi Lovato’

Random Friday Thoughts — August 3, 2018

Welcome to the first weekend of August.  Summer is chugging right along and before you know it, fall will be here.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my thoughts!

THANK GOD FOR RBG!

Fantastic news this week from 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years.”

This is a major sigh of relief after the sad news earlier this summer that Anthony Kennedy is stepping down, which might allow 45 to make the court more conservative!

Come on Democrats, give the Republicans a dose of their own medicine like in 2016 when President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland didn’t get confirmed.

Back to Ginsburg — she was appointed by President Bill Clinton and was confirmed by a 96 to 3 vote in August 1993.

“RBG”, a documentary about Justice Ginsburg this year has already grossed $13.1 million and will be released to DVD on August 28, 2018.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT FROM MY IDOL

President Jimmy Carter recently spoke at the Carter Center and he stated that the U.S. has lost its long-term commitment to human rights.

He says, “We should be the champion of human rights. We’re a superpower, not based solely on military power; part of that definition should be a commitment to human rights.”

And, this is from earlier this year!

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NATIONAL CHEESECAKE DAY

Earlier this week, it was “National Cheesecake Day”.  Here are four of my favorites that I’ve made over the years.

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SHADE (AND I LOVE IT)

You already know that while I love their food, I won’t pay to eat at Chick-fil-A because of its well known history of being anti-LGBTQ.

A new store is opening soon in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and their next door neighbor, McDonalds, wants people to know that, at the golden arches, “WE WELCOME EVERYONE”.

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While the other side of the sign advertises Quarter Pounders, the message is clear with Chick-fil-A in the background!

McDonald’s manager says with a smile that it didn’t mean anything to the anti-gay chain restaurant,  “It just means that everyone is welcome, young old, everyone.”

“A SHADE SHADY (NOW PRANCE)”

Perfect time for RuPaul’s 1993 #1 Billboard Dance Club Songs hit, “A Shady Shade (Now Prance)”.

This was the follow-up to the international hit, “Supermodel (You Better Work)” (1992, #2 Billboard Dance Club Songs) and “Back To My Roots” (1993, #1 Billboard Dance Club Songs).

“SHARP OBJECTS”

Amy Adams comes to television in a big way on HBO’s “Sharp Objects”, based on Gillian Flynn’s first novel.

Many of you know the former “Entertainment Weekly” writer from her blockbuster novel and movie, “Gone Girl”.

In “Sharp Objects”, there are more gone girls, but these young girls turn up dead!

Adams plays Camille Preaker, a St. Louis newspaper reporter and alcoholic, sent back to her small hometown in the southeast Missouri Boothill to cover the tragedy unfolding in Wind Gap.

Also, Camille was recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital and is a “cutter”.  It’s especially painful to watch when she’s carving into her own body!

On a happier note, it’s great seeing Adams and the stunning and sexy Chris Messina together again.

They played a married couple in 2009’s “Julie and Julia”, about chef Julia Child.

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DEMI LOVATO

Since Amy Adams’ character is into “cutting” and in light of singer Demi Lovato’s recent drug overdose, I want to share this information. (Lovato is an admitted “cutter”.)

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There’s a nationally-recognized self-harm help program called S.A.F.E. (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives.

The toll-free information hotline number is 1-800-DON’T-CUT (366-8288).

“OZARK”

Season 2 of the amazing Netflix series “Ozark” starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, one of my all-time favorites, is less than a month away.

The killer new season premieres August 31st.

The show picked up four Emmy nominations including one for Bateman for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  Both Bateman and Linney are nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards!

In the new trailer, it’s chilling when Wendy says, “We do not kill people.”

FUN LIQUOR BOTTLES 

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AND, I DEFINITELY WANT TO TRY….

these Ketel One flavors:  Peach & Orange Blossom, Grapefruit & Rose, and Cucumber & Mint.

I just have to catch them on sale!

Ketel One.jpg

“GOD’S OWN COUNTRY”

You can watch this stunning English drama on Netflix starring Englishman Josh O’Connor and Romanian Alec Secareanu.

O’Connor plays Johnny, a young man living with his father and grandmother on the family farm in northern England.  Johnny now has more responsibility after his father’s stroke.

He leads a lonely existence and drowns his sorrows in alcohol and cheap, meaningless sex.

The family hires Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, for the upcoming lambing season and sparks begin to fly between the two young men.

But, can Johnny admit his feelings for Gheorghe and come out to his family that may or may not be accepting?

O’Connor won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actor beating out his co-star for the honor.

GRADE: B+

“THE CROWN”

By the way, O’Connor was just cast to play Prince Charles in seasons 3 and 4 of the incredible Netflix series, “The Crown”, which returns in 2019.

“BORG VS. McENROE”

As a teenager, I played tennis by returning volleys against my grandparent’s garage.  Bjorn Borg did the same thing in Sweden.  Guess which one became one of the greatest tennis players of all time? 🙂

I remembered being glued to the television for the 1980 Wimbledon final between Borg and John McEnroe.

Borg was going for his fifth consecutive Wimbledon final.  Believe it or not, at the time, I had pride in my country and was rooting for McEnroe.

But, after seeing the incredible and nail-biting “Borg vs. McEnroe”, in retrospective, I would have rooted for Borg all the way!

Sverrir Gudnason plays Borg and Shia LaBeouf plays McEnroe.

GRADE:  A

WHAT?  NEVER PLAYED TENNIS???

Swedish actor (of Icelandic origin) Sverrir Gudnason plays Borg in “Borg vs. McEnroe” and he’s absolutely gorgeous and captivating!

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When the soon-to-be 40-year-old landed the role, here’s what he had to say, “I had never even been on a tennis court in my life and I didn’t just learn to play tennis, I learned to play tennis like Bjorn Borg.”  (By the way, he plays Borg at 26-years-old!)

Gudnason’s next big role comes this November as Mikael Blomkvist in “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”, the second movie in the Millennium series following “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2009/2011).

FORMER “REBA” STAR GOES TO BAT FOR OUR TEAM!

Some of you may know Steve Howey from “Shameless”.  I know him from playing Van Montgomery, Reba’s son-in-law on the WB/CW comedy, “Reba”, from 2001-2006.

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The straight, married father of twins shocked some and confused many when he tweeted four words, “I’m gay and proud”.

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Howey, who isn’t gay, says “My whole point was to be a champion, a supporter, of the movement.  I can say it and have no problem with it.  If you are, be proud and say it.  I’m just here to hold the flag up and say I’m in support.  If that helps you come out or say it with pride, that’s all my intention was.”

Howey goes on to tell “The Advocate” (June/July 2018), “If it’s difficult to come out of the closet in Los Angeles, it’s got to be f*cking terrifying in Des Moines, Iowa; or Boulder, Colorado.”

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — February 26, 2016

It’s Friday and that’s makes me very happy.  The weekend is almost here and I get to share some of the things that got me to thinking this week.

As always, let me know your thoughts once you’re done.  If you disagree, that’s fine.  Just do it diplomatically!

SUPPORT FOR TRUMP CONTINUES TO GET SCARY

I had my “Random Friday Thoughts” all ready to go including a little spat between Donald Trump and Pope Francis and a quote from Trump’s Nevada Caucus victory speech earlier this week.

But, I bumped everything down when I heard about what David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and Louisiana state representative had to say about Trump.

davidduke kkk

Duke says, “Voting for these people [Ted Cruz & Marco Rubio], voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage.  I’m not saying I endorse everything about Trump, in fact, I haven’t formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action.”

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Six months ago, Duke made similar comments in support of Trump.  The GOP front-runner then replied, “I don’t need his endorsement; I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement.”  And, he added, “I don’t need anyone’s endorsement.”

Duke is not the only white supremacists praising Trump.  When asked about it, Trump’s response is coy, “A lot of people like me. Republicans like me, liberals like me. Everybody likes me.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m have no positive feelings about Cruz or Rubio.

This is just scary, sad, and so reductive to the advances we’ve made in the past fifty years as a nation!

DONALD TRUMP TAKES ON THE POPE

The war of words between Donald Trump and Pope Francis has calmed down.

Last Thursday, while traveling  from Mexico to Rome, Pope Francis talking about immigration, said this of Trump, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”

The U.S. presidential hopeful fired back, “No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith”.

By that evening, God must have talked to Trump because he had a much nicer message and someone else to blame, “I don’t think this is a fight.  I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media.”

Of course, blame the media! 🙂

PLEASE GRANT KANYE HIS WISH! 

I’ll admit up front that I can’t stand pompous ass Kanye West.  He may be a musical genius (as reported by others), but his ego is so disgusting, I wouldn’t think twice of giving his music a listen to see what it’s like.

Last week, he tweeted that “I love love love white people” after he tweeted this:

kanye

I hope white publications continue to get the word out about “black music”, but I wish that ALL publications would never write about Kanye again.  Maybe the world would be a better place?

THEY SAID WHAT???

DR. BEN CARSON (GOP PRESIDENTIAL WANNABE) — speaking of President Obama and saying if elected he might be the first black president:  “He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white. Many of his formative years were spent in Indonesia. So, for him to, you know, claim that, you know, he identifies with the experience of black Americans, I think, is a bit of a stretch.”

MRS. BETTY BOWERS (COMEDIAN –AMERICA’S BEST CHRISTIAN): “It is so inappropriate for the Pope to say Donald Trump doesn’t sound like a Christian. No conservative American does! How unfair to single Trump out.”

DONALD TRUMP (in his Nevada Caucus victory speech):  “We won with highly educated, we won with poorly educated.  I love the poorly educated”.

ANTHONY (blog writer and political pundit):  “I rest my case, your honor!”

“STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

After seeing this summer 2015 blockbuster now on DVD, it definitely should have been nominated in the “Best Picture” category for the Academy Awards that’ll be handed out this weekend.

I can’t say that any one performance in the movie deserved an Oscar nomination and if so, it would have been Corey Hawkins, who played Dr. Dre.  Hawkins is now on the sixth season of “The Walking Dead”.

If you’re familiar with rap music, you know the story of “Straight Outta Compton”.  It starts with the creation of the rap band N.W.A. and how Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy E changed the world of rap.

When watching this movie, you never want it end and you never notice the 2-hour-21 minute running time.

The $28 million movie grossed $201.6 million and is now the all-time highest grossing music biopic and is all-time highest domestic grossing film from a black director in the United States.

GRADE:  A

#OSCARSSOWHITE WEEKEND

The 88th annual Academy Awards are this weekend, but sadly “Straight Outta Compton” will not be picking up the top prize.  I’m not saying it’s the best movie of 2015, but as I stated above, it should have been nominated.

It could still win an Oscar since it’s nominated for Best Original Screenplay.  I’d put my money on that one because the four screenwriters are white!

But, will there be more diversity next year when the nominees are announced?  Big changes have been proposed to ensure that people of color are nominated in the acting categories.  This year and last year, all 20 acting nominees were white, prompting #OscarsSoWhite.

The changes proposed are to double the number of women and minority members and there’s talk of taking away the voting rights of members that are not actively working in the movie business.

Oscar-Nominations-2014

My thoughts:  It great to diversify the membership to reflect what America looks like.

I also think there should be some kind of verification that when nominee selections are made that the movies were actually watched.  I’m sure if more Academy members had actually watched “Straight Outta Compton”, it might have been the ninth movie nominated this year for Best Picture!

A few more notes about the Oscars:  There are currently 6,261 members — mostly men and mostly white.  The show will be seen by about 40 million people and commercials are bringing in $2.2 million for each 30 second spot.

FOR THE LOVE OF HILLARY!

I just finished reading Hillary Clinton’s incredible 2003 autobiography, “Living History” and I love the woman even more.

In the book, she details her life from Chicago and Park Ridge, Illinois, to college and law school on the East Coast, to Little Rock, Arkansas, to becoming First Lady of the United States, and to winning the New York Senate race in November 2000.

The book ends with her and President Bill Clinton leaving the White House in January 2001.

The book details many of the personal and political attacks she’s endured in her years in the public limelight.  But, it was a quote on page 42 that jumped out and stuck with me throughout the 528 pages.

It shows that behind the exterior people see (good or bad), she’s human!

Hillary Living History Meme

“I have never been as good as or as bad as my most fervid supporters and opponents claimed.”

#ImWithHer

TAYLOR SWIFT SUPPORTS KESHA

Kesha has topped the Hot 100 chart four times including two solo #1s “Tik Tok”in 2009 and “We R Who We R” in 2010.  Last Friday, she lost a major court battle.

A New York judge ruled that Kesha would not be released from her contract with Dr. Luke to record new music without him.  (Back in 2014 lawsuit, Kesha claims Dr. Luke “sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused” her for nearly 10 years, starting at age 18.)

Now, it appears that Sony (her record company) says she can record with other producers (Zedd has offered his services), but she can’t get out of her contract.

However, Kesha picked up big support from Taylor Swift, who donated $250,000 toward her legal fund.

Many stars, including Lady Gaga, Adele, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Zedd, and Lorde have tweeted their support of Kesha.

I posted this blog in early 2013 about Kesha’s phenomenal album, “Warrior”, which was her last full length CD.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/this-warrior-comes-with-a-parental-advisory/

Best of luck Kesha!

“EVEREST”

This movie is stunningly beautiful, but eerie and scary at the same time.

It’s a true story movie about a 1996 Mount Everest expedition that stranded and killed several climbers when they were caught in a “rogue storm”.

The movie features an all-star cast including Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Worthington, and Keira Knightley.

There were many WTF moments during the movie and several times I asked, “are these people crazy?” to want to do this.

 

GRADE:  B+

GOP DROP OUT!

I’m sure that many of you probably haven’t heard of comedian Randy Rainbow.

His latest parody of “Grease” and the GOP presidential candidates is cracking me up. You’ll have to look up the one about Carly Fiorina.  It’s funny to me, but I didn’t want to offend those easily offended by posting it.

Here’s his goodbye to Jeb Bush — you know the former Florida governor and son and brother to the former president and two-time president.  What happened to Jeb chances?  Maybe Barbara would have had a better chance?

“OUR BRAND IS CRISIS”

Since it is political season in America, this movie starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock is timely.

Bullock plays a political strategist with the nickname, “Calamity Jane”.  She’s hired to turn around a presidential campaign in Bolivia where her client is down by 30 points just months before the election.

There’s a lot at stake here.  If her candidate wins, will the people of Bolivia win, too?

Sadly, after waiting months to see this movie, it was mostly disappointing.

However, there was one really rewarding scene near the end of the movie with her adversary, played by Billy Bob Thornton.  It involves a quote he steals from her (or did she feed it to him?).

GRADE:  C

“THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE”

We just finished the 10-episode first season of Amazon Prime’s series, “The Man in the High Castle” and it was fantastic.

After the way episode nine ended, the last scenes of the season didn’t shock me.  I’m definitely looking forward to the second season later in 2016, but I definitely don’t want the show to become another “Fringe”, even though it was a great five-season Fox series.

PICK HIT

I know it’s already one of the ten most played songs in America this week, but I’m really taking a shine to Selena Gomez’s latest, “Hands To Myself”.

It’s the third release and third Top Ten Hot 100 hit from her second album, last fall’s “Revival”.  Both of her albums have debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart.

Until “Hands To Myself”, my favorite Selena Gomez song was her hit with Zedd last year, “I Want You To Know”.

THAT’S IT

I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts.  Feel free to share your thoughts about them with me.

Have a great weekend and have fun.

Anthony

Random Thoughts 2012 Recap, Part Two

Here’s another round of the random blogs that I posted this summer that covered multiple topics.  To read each random blog, I’ve made it easy so you only have to click on the highlighted title inside the blog.  Have a great Saturday.

June 21, 2012

You Know What I’m Thinking?

In this blog, I talked about classic rock and kitchen renovation, causes of death in the United States, the summer drought and being ready for fall and winter, Olivia Newton-John, my future pick hit from Chris Wallace, and chocolate wine.

July 10, 2012

I’m Thinking About These Things Today (And You May Agree or Disagree)

In this blog,  just ten days before the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting spree, I said “guns don’t kill, people do”.  I know that guns caused the actual deaths, but there was a person behind them.  Sadly, when I wrote this segment of the blog, I referenced the Tucson, Arizona shooting and I had no idea of what would happen later in the month.  And, now we have the fresh, sad memories of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.  You might find the reading interesting and I welcome your feedback.

I also referenced work and seniority, which is another ill-fated topic since I’m no longer there.

There were also random thoughts about Hank Williams Jr. calling President Obama “Hitler”, food, the remake of “Steel Magnolias”, Carrie Underwood, and the music of Laura Pausini.

August 7, 2012

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

The heavy topic on my mind here was about returning soldiers and the demons they face, which leads to more suicides.  I also touched on human rights.  On a lighter note, I had random thoughts about “Dexter”, fall, food, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Artpop”, Lady Gaga, “The Paperboy”, “Lebanon”, and the music of Demi Lovato.

August 26, 2012

Oh No, He’s Thinking About Random Things

Topics here:  nuclear power plants, healthy eating and cheesecake, bigotry, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, fall, Thomas Roberts’ upcoming marriage, hot new music from Zedd and Madonna, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Argo”.

One more coming tomorrow.

Anthony

They Said What??? Kelly Osborne, Katie Couric, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Adele, & Kirstie Alley “Weigh” In

KELLY OSBORNE
(about Lady Gaga):  “I think she’s pregnant because she’s been covering up this part of her body recently and I have been noticing that a lot.  And her style has changed. You can’t bleach your hair when you are pregnant.”
LADY GAGA
(responding to pregnancy rumors):  “I love eating pasta and pizza.  I’m a New York Italian girl. That’s why I have been staying out of New York. My father opened a restaurant. It’s so amazing. It’s so freaking delicious, but I’m telling you I gain five pounds every time I go in. So my dad wants me to eat there and I’m, like, I’ve got to go where I can drink green juice.”
ACTRESS KIRSTIE ALLEY
(on Lady Gaga’s weight gain):  “I say more power to her.  She is such a role model for millions of girls in the world and she should be whatever weight she wants to be and nobody should have to starve themselves.”
TALK SHOW HOST KATIE COURIC
“I wrestled with bulimia all through college and for two years after that.  And I know this rigidity, this feeling that if you eat one thing that’s wrong, you’re full of self-loathing.”
SINGER & “THE X-FACTOR CO-HOST” DEMI LOVATO
(talking her battles with bulimia): “When I was younger, stick-figure thin was in and nobody was talking about eating disorders.  I want girls to know that it’s OK when they grow up and their body changes. I want them to be aware that certain things they might do to lose weight can be dangerous—life-threatening, even.”
ADELE
(speaking about Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna):  “They don’t look how they do in magazines or videos. I have seen them up close.  Exploiting yourself sexually is not a good look. I don’t find it encouraging.  I have never seen magazine covers and music videos and thought, ‘I need to look like that to be a success.’  To sell more records I don’t need to go that. I just stand there and sing. I’m not worried that I’m a ‘plus size’ and so much bigger than other artists. No matter what you look like the key is to be happy with yourself.”
Anthony

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Seriously?   While I love the candy and scariness of Halloween and the aromas of turkey and desserts baking at Thanksgiving, nothing compares to the music, the movies, and the decorations with the biggest holiday of the year.  Christmas is my favorite, so it’s not too early to think that.

Some people get upset when they see Christmas decorations and displays in the stores before Halloween (or fall, for that matter), but if you wouldn’t call me a “redneck woman” (or man), I’d leave “my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year-long”.

I believe that Christmas music is the best stress release there is and it doesn’t leave you with a hangover!

This is a picture of  “Santa’s Helper Martini”: 5 ounces vanilla vodka, 2 ounces white creme de menthe, and a half ounce of peppermint schnapps!  I will be making these this Christmas (or before)!

Even if I’m not stressed, I usually start listening to holiday music at the end of  September.  However, this year, it’ll have to wait until mid-October because I know I’ll be listening to pretty much Madonna all the time leading up to the October 13th Las Vegas concert.  (It’s hard to believe that the Material Girl hasn’t recorded a full length Christmas album in her 30-year career, although she did a version of “Santa Baby” for a charity Christmas album.)

This Christmas will be different for us since Miss ABBA will only be with us in our hearts and in our memories and we’re going on a Caribbean on the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

But, it’s not too early to think about decorating the house and deciding what new Christmas music I want to listen to after my season openers, “Merry Christmas To You” (1987) and “The Secret of Giving:  A Christmas Collection” (1999) by Reba.  Those two are always first.

While there will be new holiday offerings this season from Rod Stewart, Cee Lo Green, Chicago, Scotty McCreery, Christina Perri, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, and The Beach Boys just to name a few, only three selections are making my Christmas shopping list and I’ve checked it twice.

The first to arrive is “Now That’s What I Call Today’s Christmas” (September 25) featuring Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, One Republic, Coldplay, Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood, and many others.  Yes, even Justin Bieber!

I’m really surprised that last year’s television special, “A Very Gaga Holiday”, is not available.  I know you can download the music, but I’m a traditionalist.  I like the physical copies since I don’t download. 🙂

When it was announced this summer that country singer and “The Voice” judge Blake Shelton was releasing his first Christmas album this fall, I didn’t have much interest.  He’s a good singer and I have a couple of his earlier albums.  But, I didn’t add it to my Amazon wishlist.

However, once I found out that Reba is a duet partner on a song called, “Oklahoma Christmas”, I was sold.

In addition to Reba, Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert makes an appearance, as does Kelly Clarkson and Michael Buble.  Most of the songs on “Cheers It’s Christmas” (October 2) are traditional holiday classics.

And, my final purchase of the season will be “On This Winter’s Night” by Lady Antebellum, which is released on October 22, 2012.

While this will be the trio’s first full length Christmas album, it’s not their first Christmas disc.  Two years ago, they released the six-song EP, “A Merry Little Christmas”, which was a  Target-exclusive.  That one ended up being my seventh favorite album of 2010!

The six songs on “A Merry Little Christmas” will also be on the new release.  “On This Winter’s Night” will feature a total of 12 songs.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

If it’s too early for you and you’re saying “Bah, humbug” to me, go back to preparing your Halloween costume and eating your Halloween candy that you bought early and have a great day.  I’ll remember to say “Merry Christmas” to you in December. 🙂

Anthony

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

Every once in a while, I like to blog about all of the things that have crossed my mind or crossed my path during my time on the internet and Facebook.  It may be nothing more than a picture or something that I read in a magazine or online, but I don’t want to write an entire blog about it and today is one of those days.  Here are the things that made me smile or got me to thinking.  As if I need to think more?

“DEXTER”

Season six of my favorite television show, “Dexter”, will be released on DVD one week from today.  I’m very excited to see it because everyone that I’ve talked to says that it was a great season.  Religion plays a big role in the twelve episodes and I just love the promotional material with the angel’s wings made from blood.  That’s so Dexter Morgan.

I’ve also learned that we’re down to the last two seasons of “Dexter” since it will end at season eight and that the executive producer already knows how it will end!

If you don’t watch it first run on Showtime and you’re waiting for the DVD like I am, here’s the trailer for season six.

In addition to “Dexter” season six arriving on DVD next week, Gretel is more excited about “Glee” season three on the same day.  Later this month, “The Walking Dead” season two arrives and in early September, it’s “Fringe” season four.  I will be watching a lot of television this fall!

SIMPLE ISN’T IT?

 

WE REALLY FORGET VETERANS WHEN THEY RETURN HOME

While I registered with the draft in 1982, which was required by law, I was lucky that I never got called to war.  Some choose the military as careers and for some, the military chooses them.  Our brave men and women of all walks of life go to foreign lands and fight for our freedom.  Some may only go once and some are called to serve multiple duties and they see things that we only see in movies.

And, when they return, they may get a parade or a hometown welcome and then once the last of the confetti falls, what happens in their lives then?

Recently, I came across the story of  Matthew Magdzas, a National Guardsman, who killed his family (a pregnant wife and daughter), their dogs, and then himself in Superior, Wisconsin, in August 2010.

While tragic, what’s even scarier are these stats that “Time” magazine reported at the time:  In 2010, 113 National Guard members committed suicide;  the Guard’s suicide rate is up 82% from 2009 and 450% from 2004 and now exceeds that of active-duty soldiers;  they lack jobs, support and camaraderie found on military bases when they return from war; and 42% of Guard troops come back from war with mental illness compared to 20% for active-duty counterparts that have more thorough training and are more prepared for longer periods at war.

With the wars that we’re engaged in across the world, we really need to make it where the National Guard is more prepared for what it will face away from home and what to expect when they return.  Many of the duties of the Guard changed from helping at state levels after 9/11.  Guardmen/women now account for about 20% of the combat troops at war instead of helping with state floods, weather disasters, and forest fires.

FALL IS GETTING CLOSER

I’m ready for fall to get here to break the incredible heat that we’ve experienced with the drought this summer.  It also means that our vacation season kicks off next month with Houston, Las Vegas, and then our pre-Christmas cruise.  On a much smaller scale, we’re heading to Fort Dodge, Iowa, this weekend for Ray’s 30th high school reunion.

This fall, I’m awaiting confirmation on the title of the new Osama bin Laden movie, which follows the special operation forces as they try to capture or kill the Afghan terrorist.  It’s the follow-up movie from Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow of “The Hurt Locker”.  The rumored title of the movie is “Zero Dark Thirty” and it stars Jessica Chastain “(The Help”), Joel Edgerton (“Warrior”) and Kyle Chandler (“Super 8”).  The movie comes out Christmas week.

ARTPOP

The follow-up to “Born This Way” is on the way.  We no longer have to wait for the title of Lady Gaga’s new album coming out late in 2012 (more likely in early 2013 when she should be touring America on “The Born This Wall Ball” tour).  The album is called “ARTPOP”.

Gaga tweeted, “make sure when writing about my new album/project ARTPOP that you CAPITALIZE the title, *its all in the details* good morning twitter!”

“PRECIOUS” FOLLOW-UP LOOKS AMAZING

Director Lee Daniels’ follow-up to the incredible Oscar nominated film, “Precious”, arrives in theaters this October.  (Mo’nique won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Precious”.)

It’s called “The Paperboy” and it looks amazing.  I haven’t been following the race to the Oscars in 2013, but I can guarantee that one of my favorites, Nicole Kidman, will be one of the Best Actress nominees based on this trailer.  And, you get a bonus!  Zac Efron in “tighty whities”!

The movie also stars Matthew McConaughy, John Cusack, David Oyelono, Macy Gray, and Scott Glenn.

LEBANON

The best movie that I saw recently was the award-winning  2009 Israeli movie, “Lebanon”, which followed a lone tank and paratroopers that were dispatched to a hostile town during the First Lebanon War in 1982.  It was gripping, suspenseful, and claustrophobic.

“The New York Times” called it “an astonishing piece of cinema” and “Variety said it is “the boldest and best” of recent Israeli films based upon the Lebanon wars.  Meanwhile, the British newspaper “The Guardian” called it “anti-war”.

GRADE:  A

 

GREAT FOOD & REFRESHING DRINKS MAKE LIFE MORE ENJOYABLE

While I would probably never have the patience to make this colorful cake (maybe before next June’s pride, I will), it looks fun and delightful.

However, I am planning on making this strawberry-basil sangria.  I found the recipe on treehugger.com.

Strawberry-Basil Sangria

  • ½ lb of fresh strawberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
  • 1 bottle of Cline Cellar’s Cool Climate Chardonnay
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1 cup of white grape juice

1. Trim and thinly slice the strawberries.
2. Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.
3. Score the basil leaves with a fork. I did this instead of cutting the leaves into strips as I did not want my guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink. Simply just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
4. Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You’ll see it turn a bit red.
5. Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.

MUSIC I’M EXCITED ABOUT

Of course, I’m excited that Madonna is at #8 on the Billboard Dance Chart with “Turn Up The Radio”, the third single from “MDNA”.  The new remix by Far East Movement (“Like a G6”) is out of this world.  It’s one time when I agree that adding rap to a pop song makes it even better.  The rap in Maroon 5’s “Payphone”, not so much!

My other favorite songs right now are “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters, “Postcards From Paris” by The Band Perry, and these two.

I’ve never been a fan of Demi Lovato, but I knew who she was by having an 11-year-old daughter.  She’s had it rough over the past couple of years with “physical and emotional issues”, but it seems she’s got her act together now and I just love her new top ten song, “Give Your Heart a Break”.

Also, at the top of my list of favorites now is Chris Wallace’s “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which I featured a month or so ago. It’s now about to crack the top 40!

I saw him at Market Days a couple of years ago when he was the lead singer of The White Tie Affair, which had a modest hit with “Candle (Sick and Tired)”.  I can’t wait for the debut album!

I’ve let my mind wander enough.  There was one more thing I wanted to talk about today, but this is enough for now.  Have a great day and thanks for checking out my random thoughts.

Peace,

Peeps