Posts Tagged ‘Depeche Mode’

We All Deserve An Elio Moment

While my thoughts today are inspired by the Oscar-nominated motion picture, “Call Me By Your Name”, it’s not a review of the movie.

About that, I’ve written that the movie “is stunning, sensual, and heartbreaking” and 22-year-old Best Actor nominee Timothee Chalamet “deserves the Oscar nomination and I could definitely see him as a front-runner”.

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In “Call Me By Your Name”, it’s 1983 in northern Italy and Elio’s summer takes a tender turn when the 17-year-old meets and falls in love with a visiting 24-year-old American graduate student, Oliver, who’s there for six weeks working with his father.

It’s a friendship and romance that’s both approved and encouraged by Elio’s loving parents.  Remember, this is Italy and the ages the story presents are more acceptable in Europe than it would be here in the United States — in the 1980s or today!

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I’ve always been an out gay man even when it wasn’t popular as a high school and college student in small town Kentucky in Ronald Reagan’s conservative, “Christian Right” America.

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For teenagers today, it’s much different than it was in the early-1980s navigating between being gay and living an open honest life when America and the world didn’t want us to be out of the closet.

My mother knew I was gay, but she still couldn’t always hide her concern with how life would be for me or with some of my decision making.

I remember one summer weekend before I started my sophomore year of college.  We lived about 25 miles from my university and an older college student, who lived near campus, invited me there for the night.   My mother was more concerned that I was spending the night with a guy than the fact that I might be taking part in underage drinking.

That first year of college living away from the watchful eyes of my parents was exciting for me as a teenager.

Decades later, I still fondly remember the butterflies I felt staring across the college dorm television room and locking eyes with the mustachioed student that came over and started talking to me.  And, still vivid are the memories of meeting and spending the night with the divorced dad in my neighborhood that was ten years older than me when I was 19.

Those three encounters happened in a one-year time span.

While I’ve gone on to fulfilling and loving relationships in my adult life, they could never compete with the excitement and the loss of innocence for a naive kid experiencing the physical sensations of becoming a young man.

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Watching innocent teenager Elio in “Call Me By Your Name”, in 2018, brought back the rush I felt on those exciting nights in 1983 and 1984.  Now, as an older man, I felt a sense of happiness that those nights were definitely worth it.

Luckily, for all of us, things are changing.

In the age of social media, which pretty much covers the last decade of my career as a television meteorologist, and with my personal blog, my “private” life is played out in public.

That’s given me a forum to educate people on what it’s like to be part of the LGBT community.   It shows people that we’re just like them — we work, we pay taxes, we cook dinner, we watch Netflix and movies, and so on.

It’s been very rewarding having mothers, grandmothers, and aunts reach out to me about how to handle their child or loved one’s “coming out” or being gay.

It’s better now because of the resources available online and in person for LGBT youth (and adults) questioning their sexuality or for parents and friends needing answers with PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

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While acceptance is higher these days, there’s also the backlash that comes with that increased visibility.

The same freedom, strides, and public acceptance that LGBT people fought for and earned (some with their lives) are being stripped away with that hateful man sitting in the White House.

The venom Donald Trump spouted in the 2016 presidential campaign and in his first year in office has given some of his followers, that already had poisoned minds, the power to openly attack (verbally and physically) others based on their sexuality (real or perceived), race, religion, gender, and the list goes on.

Sadly, our transgender friends are the ones feeling the brunt of that hate.

I know that most of the people that read what I write access it through Facebook.  And, according the site’s analytics, 72% of my Facebook followers are women and the ones that correspond and comment the most are straight.

While I want this to touch them, I really hope that this moves beyond my usual circle of readers because they are the ones that need to see it more.  We all know someone that is LGBT and it’s likely that some of them may be questioning their life and future.

In today’s political climate, this is the perfect time for “Call Me By Your Name”.

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I hope that any scared, alone, or questioning teenager or adult from any small town in America — whether it’s the backwoods of Alabama and Mississippi, the “Bible Belt” South, the wilderness of the Mountainous West, or the barren tundra of Alaska — can see “Call Me By Your Name” and know that it’s okay to have their own Elio moment, they’re not sick, and they deserve to find love and happiness!

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Anthony

P.S.  Now that you finished my thoughts, I’m sharing the Oscar-nominated song from “Call Me By Your Name”, “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens.

Also, here are three inspiring songs that got me through those days and nights in the 1980s.

“Never Surrender” — Corey Hart

“People are People” — Depeche Mode

“I Want Your Sex” — George Michael  (Even in this risque song, George was singing about wanting to be “out and proud”!)

“There’s things that you guess/And things that you know/
There’s boys you can trust/And girls that you don’t/
There’s little things you hide/And little things that you show”

 

 

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My Favorite Albums of 2013

Last week, I recapped my favorite albums of 2010 (“Night Work” by the Scissor Sisters), 2011 (“Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears) and 2012 (“MDNA” by Madonna).

Now it’s time to share my favorite albums of 2013.

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LAURA PAUSINI

“20 GRANDES EXITOS”

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19

DEPECHE MODE

“DELTA MACHINE”

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18

MARY J. BLIGE

“A MARY CHRISTMAS”

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17

ELI LIEB

“ELI LIEB”

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16

JOSH GROBAN

“ALL THAT ECHOES”

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15

MICHAEL BUBLE

“TO BE LOVED”

Michael Buble To Be Loved

14

ROBYN

“BODY TALK”

Since I was three year late to the bus on this one, here’s a bonus just in case you missed it, too.

13

EMELI SANDE

“OUR VERSION OF EVENTS”

Emeli Sande

12

ZEDD

“CLARITY”

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11

AVICII

“TRUE”

Avicii True

On Thursday, I’ll have the Top Ten since I have a special Christmas letter for you tomorrow.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 30, 2013

The weekend is almost here.  I’m not in Cancun and I’m not back from there for one day before heading to Chicagoland to see Depeche Mode like last weekend.   Don’t get me wrong.  Both were awesome.

However, this weekend, with the intense summer heat, I’m vegging out with Ray and my sister, Tammy.  Maybe we’ll spend some time floating in the pool, grilling out, and devouring humans and taking part in the bloodshed of the undead.  Simply put, we’ll be watching season three of “The Walking Dead”!!!  It arrived Thursday.

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Whatever you do this weekend, be safe outdoors.  Drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and take some air conditioning breaks!  For now, check out my random thoughts this week!

WINTER IS COMING!

I believe in forecasting several days in advance with a decent degree of accuracy.  I refrain from giving forecasts for an entire season, yet people love to hear outlooks for the upcoming winter.  So, here goes…

The “Farmers’ Almanac”, which has been forecasting weather since 1818, just released its winter forecast and it looks pretty cold (biting or piercing) for us in the Quad Cities.  Whatever you do, don’t cross the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois unless you want a “snowy” winter!!! 🙂

Farmers' Almanac

However, NOAA is not forecasting  “piercing” or “biting” cold this winter.  It’s calling for above average temperatures this winter!

NOAA Winter Temp Forecast

On that note, there’s a local television meteorologist in the Quad Cities that’s probably already calling for 20″ with every snow event that develops this winter!

If you really want me to go out on a limb, I expect many days with really cold temperatures, several round of light snow, a few heavier snowstorms, and many people dreaming of a “White Christmas”.  Since the “Farmers’ Almanac” and “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” both boast a high degree of accuracy with their vague forecast, I bet my vague prediction there is pretty accurate, too. 🙂

March Snow

WHERE DOES PAULA DEEN GO FROM HERE?

A few weeks ago, I talked about the “racial discrimination” lawsuit against Paula Deen being dismissed.  Last Friday afternoon, Judge William T. Moore of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia signed an order of dismissal in the case of Jackson vs. Deen.

What this means is that Lisa Jackson, the woman who filed the lawsuit against the celebrity chef that brought down her culinary empire after Deen admitted using the “n-word” many years ago, reached an undisclosed settlement with Paula and her brother, Bubba Hiers.

PaulaDeen2012

While Deen said she was happy and was looking to put this all behind her, I’m agitated with the money-hungry accuser Jackson.  Here is what she (or her lawyers) released after the settlement:

“I assumed that all of my complaints about the workplace environment were getting to Paula Deen, but I learned during this matter that this was not the case. The Paula Deen I have known for more than eight years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone. I now know that the workplace environment issues that I raised are being reviewed and will in the future no longer be at issue. I wish Ms. Deen and her family all the best in all of their future endeavors and I am very pleased that this matter has been now been resolved and can now be put behind us.”

Wait, let me read this again, The Paula Deen I have known for more than eight years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone.”

That doesn’t sound like the kind of woman I’d file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against, but maybe I’m wrong!

Despicable!

SPEAKING OF DESPICABLE

Two words:  Pat Robertson.

Pat Robertson

Just when I think the man might have just an ounce of humanity, clarity, or compassion, he proves me wrong and solidifies my belief that he’s a moron!  I will not even apologize or sugar coat it for people who like him or listen to his drivel.

Earlier this week, a question was posed from a woman who drove a man dying of AIDS to church on Sundays.  She did this more than twenty times.  However, she wasn’t told he had AIDS and she feels deceived and is going to another church until she “sorts this out.”

In response, Robertson starts out with a moment of sanity before it goes south.

Pat Robertson response

His co-host Terry Meeuwsen is compassionate about the situation adding, “I think you were doing a good thing by transporting this man.  I have known people in AIDS and have never felt fearful even if you had had a car accident.”

And, now, here’s where it goes to hell.  Robertson says, “You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people. So if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger,” he said. “Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”

Seriously????

CNN’s Anderson Cooper had the best response to Robertson’s hateful, hurtful, and stupid comment, along with some of the best of the worst of Robertson’s God-loving “advice”.  (For the uninitiated, that was sarcasm!)

I’m glad I have God in my life and I’m glad I don’t have to find him through some vile little man like Robertson.

Oh, by the way, even “The 700 Club” or The Christian Broadcasting Network obviously knew that Robertson was so far off his rocker that it edited that segment out of the show before posting it to their website later that day!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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MEMORIES OF CANCUN

Since our trip to Cancun was all-inclusive for food and drinks, here are a few pictures of my favorite drink there.

Green Drinks

Anthony Green Drink

Ray Green Drink

It was a heavy pour of Smirnoff Vodka, melon liquor, a splash of sour mix topped off with a little blended (not frozen) pina colada.  It was incredible!  Maybe I’ll have to make some at home by the pool this weekend!

OKAY, I’VE GOT TO MEET THIS WOMAN AND HANG WITH HER!

While I’d love to meet Madonna, Gaga, Britney, Kylie, Olivia, Reba (again), and Gillian (Anderson of “The X-Files” and “Hannibal”), I just read an article in “Out” that made me fall in love with Angela Raiola!

If that name doesn’t ring a bell, try “Big Ang”, from the second season of VH1’s “Mob Wives” and the one season of “Big Ang”, the spin-off.

??????????????????????????????? Toasted Big Ang

She just opened her second bar, “Miami Monkey” in South Beach and that’s where she’s enjoying that big orange fruity drink.

I don’t watch reality television, so I don’t know anything more about her than what I read and she sound like a hoot!!!   I think she and Divine would have made an awesome team.

And, she told “Out” that she’s an incredible cook and her favorite hot-weather dish:  tangerine zest linguine (minced garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano, fresh linguine with tangerine zest, salt, and pepper).

She seems like a down-to-earth gal that also knows how to have a good time.  Big Ang, let’s hang some time!  It might even be fun attending one of her Botox parties!  She loves them and she’s not shy about it. 🙂

DEPECHE MODE CONCERT

Last Saturday night, we saw Depeche Mode in concert at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park, outside of Chicago.

I have to admit that I was really scared that we’d miss the opening of the show because traffic was such a cluster (you know the rest of the word).  It took us more than an hour to travel one-quarter of mile once we were within 1.5 miles of the venue.  Needless to say, we missed the opening act, Bat For Lashes, and I was seated for only about ten minutes before Depeche Mode took the stage.

Tinley Park, EPIC FAIL!

However, Depeche Mode was great and it was well worth the 30-year wait to see them in concert.

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MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

The big winner (and loser) was Miley Cyrus at last Sunday’s ceremony in New York City.  More on that in a moment.

I never thought it would excite me so much for Mother Monster to be booed and have people say “I hate her”.  However, that was part of the act as Lady Gaga kicked off the awards show in a triumphant return to performing after having to cancel much of the North American leg of the “Born This Wall Ball” tour for hip surgery earlier this year.

vma-mtv-2013-lady-gaga-performance-4-red-carpet-getty__oPt

“ARTPOP”, Gaga’s new album featuring “Applause” comes out November 11th!

The biggest reaction from the show was Miley Cyrus’ over-the-top sexual performance of “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke.

Miley Robin Thicke

After watching the performance, the dirty dancing and sexcapades with Thicke didn’t bother me since you see that kind of action in music videos and movies all the time.  I think the thing that was most creepy to me was Cyrus sticking out her tongue like an animal and the hideous bear costume she was wearing.

Love it or hate it, the performance got Cyrus what she wanted:  free publicity for her album “Bangerz” which comes out in early October.  The first single and song she performed Sunday night, “We Can’t Stop” is a Top Ten radio airplay hit after reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, it’s already sold two million copies, and the video has been viewed on Vevo almost 166 million times!   And, if you saw this video, you should have known that “Hannah Montana” would not be at the VMAs!

If you didn’t like Cryus’ performance and you wonder what happened to little Hannah Montana, just remember that Miley’s birth name is Destiny Hope Cyrus.  Maybe this was her “Destiny” and there’s still “Hope”. 🙂

Earlier this week, I blogged my in-depth thoughts about the performance and the Miley-bashing that took place for days afterwards.  Here is that much-viewed blog if you didn’t a chance to read it:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/she-blurred-lines-but-mileys-not-the-antichrist/

ONE CHILD STAR TO ANOTHER

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet

Former Disney Channel star Selena Gomez,  who is scoring hits at pop radio and won a Moonman at the VMAs Sunday night has this to say of Miley’s sex-driven performance, “Amazing. I thought it was awesome.  I love Robin Thicke, too, so I like that they collab’d.”

Before becoming a Disney star herself, Gomez appeared on three episodes of “Hannah Montana” with Miley.

TAYLOR SWIFT, GO AWAY!

Full disclaimer:  I own an early Taylor Swift CD and I saw her in concert with Keith Urban several years ago and, at that time, she was enjoyable.  Now, enjoyable, for me, has turned into annoying.

At the MTV VMAs, while One Direction was accepting the award for “Song of the Summer”, Swift is caught on an “audience cam” apparently mouthing the words “Shut the F&*k Up”.

taylor-swift-selena-gomez-shut-the-fuck-up-vmas-2013

Was she talking about her ex-boyfriend, Harry Styles’ band onstage or did Selena comment on how cute the boys are?

Whatever the reason and I don’t really care if we’re misunderstanding the lip-reading or not, just go away Taylor.  Please.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Since sex was mentioned early in the blog (hello Miley and Robin), why not flashback to the 1980s with a song that doesn’t even beat around the bush with the sex in the title?

“Sex (I’m A…) was the second single from “The Pleasure Victim” album by new wave band, Berlin in 1982.  Imagine how scandalous this was to a 17-year-old Kentucky boy.

pleasurevictim

However, this one was a little to hot to handle for American pop radio where it peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It did, however, reach the top ten on the American Mainstream Rock and the Dance charts.  Canada wasn’t so shy.  It peaked at #5 on the Canadian Hot 100.

The band would go on to score huge hits with “Take My Breath Away”  (#1) from the “Top Gun” soundtrack and “No More Words” (#23).

PICK HIT RE-DUEX

While I was in Cancun last week, it was interesting listening to the radio.  We found a station that was a mix of ’70s, ’80s, 90’s, ’00s, and today in both English and Spanish.  One song that I really liked was “Take A Picture” by Carly Rae Jepsen.  And, they were also playing was a song I picked as a future pick hit back in May.  I chose it as a potential song of the summer.  Maybe next summer!

Here’s Erika Jayne, featuring Flo Rida with “Get It Tonight”.

FINAL THOUGHT ON MILEY CYRUS

Okay, I know personally that my Facebook page blew up with negative comments about Miley Cyrus following her VMA performance Sunday night.

And, then you started seeing reactions from celebrities in the audience and the one that caught my attention was Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and their two kids, Willow and Jaden. For the record, this shot of the Smith family was during the Lady Gaga performance and Willow was in mid-chew with her gum and Jada was rubbing her nose.  It had nothing to do with Miley as some believe or have posted.

Smith-family

Now, about Jada. She is a beautiful woman. However, in that photo, I don’t know if the look of horror is from seeing the performance on stage or that she just realized, for the first time, her poor rip-off of Tina Turner’s amazing “Auntie Entity” look from 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”. 🙂

Jada

Ripped Off From Thunderdome

Tina Turner as “Auntie Entity”

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Here’s a “Peeps’ ’80s Friday Flashback” bonus — Tina Turner’s #2 smash from the summer of 1985, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”.

Have a great weekend everyone and thank you for checking out my blog!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 23, 2013

Getting up at 1 a.m., drinking caffeinated soda by 2 a.m. and having a rabbit cross your path on the way to work instead of sleeping in and having iguanas and sting rays dart across in front of you on walks along the beach are sure signs that I’m no longer in paradise.

Just 24 hours ago, I was waking up for one more stroll in Cancun.  We just got back late last night and four hours later I’m back to work.  Luckily, I only have one shift before I try to catch up on rest from the vacation this weekend.  I hope you’ve all had a good week.

CANCUN

Our getaway to the Yucatan Peninsula was awesome.  We ate plenty of fresh fruit and breakfast was my favorite meal.  A green-colored orange/pineapple/carrot/spinach juice combo was my favorite way to start the day.  The unlimited adult beverages were fantastic, too.  I’ll post a picture of my favorite potent potable next week.  And, I learned that Dos Equis beer is pretty tasty on tap and I’m not even a beer drinker.

Here are a few photos from the trip.  Hopefully, I’ll get around to posting the rest of the vacation pictures on Facebook early next week.

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RAY TURNS 50 NEXT WEEK!

He turns how old?  I’m just giving him a hard time.  Age is just a number.

Little Ray Teen Ray

For his golden, milestone birthday, he chose a cruise on the Danube River, which is coming up in mid-October, with stops in several European cities for his present.  While a little pricey, you only turn 50 once!

I recently blogged about it and if you missed it, here’s the link:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/plans-for-a-milestone-birthday/

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY WEATHER IDOL

While my fascination with weather started when I was a four-year-old cutting weather maps out of the “Mayfield Messenger” and “The Paducah Sun-Democrat” in the late-1960s, I knew that I wanted to be a television meteorologist after seeing Tom Skilling on WGN.

Vintage Tom Skilling

61-year-old Skilling joined WGN back in 1978.  Tom is the chief meteorologist covering the weather weekdays for the two-hour midday news from 11 am – 1 pm, the 5 pm, and the 9 pm shows.  In addition to the long hours he puts in on television, he also writes a weather page for the Chicago Tribune and a weather blog.  It’s reported that Tom has a weather staff of twelve.

Tom Skilling

Just last year, Tom signed a multi-million dollar, ten-year contract that will keep him on the air until 2022.

When Tom signed the contract, he told Robert Feder of “Time Out Chicago”, “I have marveled at the support I’ve received from my viewers all these years — at their loyalty and kindness. We are nothing in our line of work without those who offer us the gift of taking time out of their busy days to grace us with the honor of checking out what we do and what we have to say. I’m beyond words over the whole thing.”

While I’ve never met him, from a meteorologist standpoint, I’ve never seen anyone with the commitment to weather that I see in Tom.  His lengthy weathercasts are incredible and you can just feel the passion when he talks about the weather, whether there’s a snowstorm on the way or just more tranquil weather — he sells it and he owns it.

As I said earlier, I’ve never met Tom, but I’ve celebrated Chicago Pride with him and his colleagues at WGN on their Pride float.  He’s always happy and you can tell he loves weather and he loves people.  (This is from the 2010 Chicago Pride parade.)

Pride 2010

While some people have bobbleheads (no thank you), I cherish this autographed publicity photo from Tom in 2003.

Tom Skilling

Tom, my colleague and my weather idol, congratulations on 35 years and here’s to next nine (or more) at WGN.  Thank you for inspiring me to follow my weather dreams.

And, I have to feature these hilarious videoes of Tom to show he’s not all weather maps and computer models.

“Tom Freakin’ Skilling!”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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PATHETIC, ANGRY IOWA WOMAN

A Des Moines, Iowa, woman is getting off easy for a disgusting act of violence she committed last spring.

Sheena Ann Cornwell

Police say that 28-year-old Sheena Ann Cornwell showed no remorse when she was arrested for hanging her boyfriend’s senior dog, Lillie, in an intoxicated rage because the dog was barking.

While he believes what Cornwell did was cruel, Judge Joe Smith doesn’t think she is a danger to society.  The Des Moines Register reports that Cornwell is now on probation for two years and she cannot own a pet during that same period of time.

But, the judge’s decision is raising concern and some think it sends out the wrong message.  Tom Colvin of the Animal Rights League says,  “I’m very afraid that that’s what it’s saying – is that someone can torture an animal with no consequences.  So, what are the consequences here for Lillie? For Lillie’s death?”

So sad!

WAS IT HOMOPHOBIC, A MISUNDERSTANDING, OR DAMAGE CONTROL?

In my quest to keep the anti-gay laws of Russia front and center until people realize the antics and hate the government there is spewing, here’s someone who agrees with the way things are headed there.  Or, does she?

Yelena Isinbayeva

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion, is strongly anti-gay (or is she?).

Last week, after winning the World Championship title in Russia, “USA Today” reports that she said, “If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people.”

She added, “We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys.  Everything must be fine. It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don’t want to have any in the future.”

Yelena 2
After widespread criticism, Isinbayeva “clarified” her comments, “English is not my first language and I think I may have been misunderstood when I spoke yesterday.”
She added, “But let me make it clear I respect the views of my fellow athletes and let me state in the strongest terms that I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality [which is against the Olympic charter].”
boycott-sochi-2014
Isinbayeva, I really don’t know what your views are or if this clarification is just damage control?  However, let this American offer you some advice.  I don’t speak Russian and if I’m going to criticize your country’s pathetic views toward the LGBT community (and I will), I’ll do it in English, a language I can fluently speak.  I won’t condemn your leaders in a poor attempt by speaking Russian because there may be some misunderstanding!
Russia
MILLER COMES OUT AND COMES OUT AGAINST RUSSIA
Two days ago, while I was away, 41-year-old “Prison Break” actor Wentworth Miller officially came out as a gay man.
wentworth
Miller came out in a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Fest.  The actor refused to take part in the festival because of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
Miller GLAAD
Miller writes, “I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government.  The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”
For years, there’s been speculation about Miller being gay with Perez Hilton reporting that Miller was dating former “Brothers & Sisters” actor Luke MacFarlane.
Luke MacFarlane
Congratulations Wentworth on standing up to the bullies in Russia and I hope by coming out that you can live your life openly and happily.  And, if you’re dating Luke, you two make a beautiful couple!
Luke Wentworth
PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK
Depeche Mode

While it’s not Ray’s birthday present, we’re heading to Chicago Saturday night to see the 1980s English band, Depeche Mode, in concert.  The band is still putting out amazing music thirty years later.  As you might remember, their first American hit on radio was “People Are People”, which reached #13 in 1984 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The band went to score five more Top 40 hits on the Hot 100:  “Personal Jesus” (#28, 1989), “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), “Policy of Truth” (#15, 1990), “I Feel You” (#37, 1993), and “It’s No Good” (#38, 1997).

And, just this year, they hit #1 on the Billboard Dance chart with “Heaven” and #10 with “Soothe My Soul”, both from their latest album, “Delta Machine”.

And, speaking of Depeche Mode, here’s the blog I wrote about the band and how excited I was to get tickets for their concert:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/finding-my-own-personal-jesus-in-chicago-this-summer/

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

While it’s shorter today week because I was away until last night, I hope you enjoyed or learning something from my random thoughts.  Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 12, 2013

The weekend is here and I hope you have a great one.

Ray and I are going out tonight for dinner since he’s leaving tomorrow for a trip to Washington D.C.  I hope the cherry blossoms are in full bloom for him to send me a cool picture since the timing didn’t work out for me to go along for the trip.

Tomorrow, I’ve been asked to throw out the first pitch at the Quad Cities River Bandits game at Modern Woodman Park!  Maybe I should practice Saturday morning to make sure I can get the ball to home plate.  How far is it from the pitcher’s mound?  It looks close on television. 🙂  Afterwards, my sister, Tammy, and I are going out to dinner and maybe a little gambling (I still have some money to win back from the casinos since I’m still at a deficit).

CRAZY MIDWEST WEATHER

The drought is temporarily over for the Quad Cities.

While it’ll take much more rain to satisfactorily replenish the ground water after that terrible drought last year, we got a healthy soaking this week.  At my house, in Moline, Illinois, more than 2″ of rain fell Monday through Wednesday.  I mentioned the rainfall total at my house because we finally put out my self-emptying electronic rain gauge that I got for Christmas.  Ray worked diligently for two days to calibrate it properly.  (The manual stated that one cup of water should register 1.68″.)  And, it works!  This picture is from Wednesday night when we hit the one-inch mark for the day!

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It seems like that rain and the recent warmth turned our yard a brighter green overnight.  Speaking of the warmth, we went from 78° Tuesday to only 44° Wednesday and in the 40s Thursday and today.  We even had some light snow and flurries last night!  Crazy!

UNDER AGE BINGE DRINKING

I often post pictures of tasty cocktails that I make or I comment about enjoying some Moscato or a nice cordial.  And, we probably have enough liquor downstairs in the bar to require a liquor license because I have a weakness for buying fun flavored vodkas.

However, on a serious note, I just read about a 2005 study by the Centers for Disease Control that “about 90 percent of alcohol consumption by those under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinking.” (“Boston” magazine, January 2011)

The article talked about how alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko, the most popular, were banned. (The product was re-invented without the caffeine and is still being sold).

Cream

Yet, now you can buy whipped cream infused with 30-proof alcohol called “Cream” in six flavors (cherry, orange, raspberry, chocolate, vanilla or caramel).  It doesn’t require refrigeration and each canister contains 26 shots!  It can be consumed straight from the can or you can put it on drinks.

So, where’s the logic of banning one thing that’s easily accessible, potent, and appealing to underage drinkers, while making another one so convenient?  And, no, I haven’t tried either and I have no desire.  I’m a responsible drinker!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The Gay Study Vokda What is It

MANY THANKS TO LOUISVILLE & MICHIGAN

As you probably know if you’re interested in college basketball, the NCAA men’s championship is over and Louisville was not the only winner in the game over Michigan, 82-76.

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Viewership for the final game of “March Madness” was up 18% over last year.  Not only that, but the game’s ratings peaked at around 11:30-11:45 p.m. Eastern time, with about one in three American televisions turned on, at that time, tuned in to the game!

And, it should come as no surprise that of all the television sets turned on in Louisville, Kentucky that night, 70% of them were watching WLKY, the CBS affiliate.  That means 7-out-of-every-10 televisions in Louisville had the game on!

And, it appears that I not only won the brackets’ pool at work, but for a local newspaper, too.

Brackets Winner

While I still haven’t gotten the confirmation email to tell me how to collect my 50″ LED TV, it’ll really come in handy.

Ray has been working diligently on our basement which is in desperate need for a makeover.  He started by sanding, priming, and painting the bar area (blue) and the walls (yellow).

Painted Bar

It’s amazing how a couple of coats of paint have made the basement come alive and much more inviting.  He’s going to do the same to the yucky wood paneling and paint that, too.  He took the downstairs bed down leaving only the sofa, loveseat, and a small dining room table for a “living area”.

NOT FEELING THE LOVE FOR “ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY”

I’m a long-time subscriber to the movie, music, literary, and all things pop culture “bible”, “Entertainment Weekly”.  However, after last week’s issue, I’m really not feeling the love for the weekly magazine right now.

I’m very careful when I post something about television shows or movies not to give away major plot lines or spoilers for people that may not have seen them yet.  I wouldn’t tell you what the “gotcha” is in the 1992 movie, “The Crying Game”, I won’t tell you who the “Trinity Killer” treated to a blood bath in the season four finale of “Dexter” (although I found out by doing a Google search about Michael C. Hall’s bout with cancer in 2010), and I won’t tell you if Madonna dies in “Evita” or “Body of Evidence”. 🙂

spoiler-alert

I’m all for magazines and websites giving a “Spoiler Alert” for people wanting to read them.  That gives me a chance to look away and move on if I don’t want to know.  The seventh season of “Dexter” ended last December and it arrives on DVD in 32 days.  I don’t know anything about it and that’s just the way I like it since I’ll be buying it.  The same with “American Horror Story: Asylum”.  I’ll be getting it when it arrives on DVD.

However, thanks to “Entertainment Weekly” and its poor excuse of a “Spoiler Alert”, I now know which major character dies in the season three finale of “The Walking Dead”.  While I had already seen something that insinuated that this character died, I didn’t look to confirm it.  I didn’t want to know.

Lousy EW Spoiler Alert

This is what the magazine featured on the article about the finale and the future of the show.  I took the liberty of adding the shocked smiley face to block out the character just in case you don’t want to know who it is!  But, seriously, “Entertainment Weekly”, you’re such a “buzz kill”!

DONUTS OR DOUGHNUTS

I just read a very interesting article in the September 2010 issue of “Boston” magazine about Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dunkin Brands IPO

The article talked about the founding of the company more than 60 years ago, how the Munchins (donut holes) in 1972 saved the company from going under, it introduced “Fred the Baker” and his legendary catch phrase, “Time to make the doughnuts”, and how the company went from a doughnut and coffee shop with the donuts being front and center to focus its future on the coffee with the new logo introduced in 2002 with coffee cup taking center stage.

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However, I was intrigued by the Top Five Dunkin Donuts best sellers.

#5… Jelly, #4… Chocolate-Frosted, #3… Boston Kreme… #2… Chocolate Glazed, and the #1 selling donut…

Glazed Donut

Yep, the glazed donut!

NEXT THEATER MOVIE I WANT TO SEE

I can say that I was never a fan of the television series, “Star Trek” or that I had seen any of the movies.  My first was J.J. Abrams’ 2009 re-boot, “Star Trek”.  I didn’t see it at the theaters, but when it was released on DVD.  I really enjoyed it.  And, I have no intention of seeing the sequel, “Star Trek Into Darkness”, in the theaters until I saw the trailer and I was blown away.  Now, I want to see it on the big screen and it’ll be my next large popcorn, large Coke Zero, and free refills adventure.

It opens in theaters on May 17, 2013.

“PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

DM Chicago

Two days ago, I blogged about my love for Depeche Mode and that I would be seeing them in concert in August in Chicago (Tinley Park).

In 1987, the band released “Strangelove”, the first single from the “Music For The Masses” album.  It would become their 17th hit in U.K. in just six years and peak at #16.  It reached #2 in West Germany and South Africa and cracked the Top Ten in Sweden, Switzerland, and other countries.

Here in the U.S.,  it would become Depeche Mode’s first of ten chart toppers on the Billboard Dance chart.  But, it stalled out at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The following year, “Strangelove ’88” was remixed by Bomb the Bass and re-released.  This time it reached #50 on the Billboard Hot 100.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Three years ago this week, we were in New Orleans.  Ray was at a conference and I went along as a tourist.  While there, we ate some really good food, had “hurricanes” with my college friend, Crystal and her husband, Ants, and I went on a “Swamp Tour” searching for alligators.  And, one night, while walking back to the hotel after checking out Bourbon Street, we came across a crime scene where seven people were shot in a drive-by shooting!

04010201 French Quarter Festival Hurricanes04122010 Anthony Swamp Tour  Alligators 201004102010 Canal Street Shooting

Also, in my Facebook Flashback Pictures, three years ago this week, Miss ABBA wasn’t so sure of the new birdhouse in the backyard.

04172010 ABBA Barking At Birdhouse

And, this week last year, the peppermint was taking over the herb garden and we planted a Golden Honey Locust in memory of Miss ABBA.  Get it, a “Golden” tree for the golden retriever. 🙂

Peppermint 0415201204152012 Golden Honey Locust

As you can tell, I love taking pictures and I love my Friday feature of random thoughts.  I could go on and on, but I’ll stop right here.

I appreciate you checking out my blog even though I don’t post daily like I used to. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Finding My Own “Personal Jesus” In Chicago This Summer

The Beatles.  The Rolling Stones.  David Bowie.  Queen.  Led Zeppelin.  The Police.   Depeche Mode.  Erasure.  Dead or Alive.  Culture Club.  Duran Duran.  The Human League.  Spice Girls.  Coldplay.  One Direction.

Those acts are all part of a “British Invasion” and depending on your age, you’re likely a fan of, at least, one of the groups.

I was fortunate enough to see The Human League at Market Days in Chicago about ten years ago and they were awesome.  I had tickets to see Culture Club the last time they were going to tour the U.S., but Boy George’s visa was denied because of the criminal charges surrounding his holding a male escort “hostage” in his home!  Luckily, he cleaned up his act and I hope they tour in the next year or so.

And, back in 2002, when I was a news writer for Fox News Chicago, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke of Erasure passed through the newsroom for an interview to promote their new album and concert and I got to meet them and they signed a VHS copy of their “Wild! Live” concert for me.

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It’s too bad that I didn’t get to go to that concert that night because they are phenomenal live (on video, at least).

As you know, from a previous blog, I got to see one of my childhood idols, Helen Reddy, last month in St. Charles, Illinois, and next month, I’ll be seeing one of my 1980s crushes, Rick Springfield, right here in the Quad Cities.

And, later this summer, I’ll get to mark another one of those English super groups off my list!

DM Chicago

I’ve been a huge fan of Depeche Mode since their first American hit, “People Are People”, reached #13 in 1984, and I can’t wait to see them in concert for the first time.  It has only taken me thirty years, but they still sound as good today as they did back when I was a teenager!

The band, made up of lead singer Dave Gahan, and keyboardists/guitarists/vocalists Martin Gore (who’s also the primary song writer) and Andy Fletcher, are ready to kick off their “Delta Machine Tour” to promote their 13th studio album of the same name.  That album just debuted in the Top Ten in both the U.S. and U.K.  As a matter of fact, every one of the band’s studio albums have debuted in the Top Ten in their native England and they’ve also had three other complication and greatest hits albums to hit the Top Ten there, too.

As a young gay man in western Kentucky, that first Depeche Mode song touched me.

It wasn’t just the new, amazing electronic sound and the vocals, but the lyrics, “It’s obvious you hate me/ Though I’ve done nothing wrong/ I never even met you/ So what could I have done” and “Now you’re punching and you’re kicking/ And you’re shouting at me/ I’m relying on your common decency/ So far it hasn’t surfaced/ But I’m sure it exists/ It just takes a while to travel/ From your head to your fist/ I can’t understand/ What makes a man/ Hate another man” were incredible and touching.

And, it didn’t hurt that the band was so cutting edge and that Dave Gahan was so dreamy!

DM 2

I’m counting down the days four months from now to see them rock Chicago (okay, Tinley Park) with classics and songs from the very moody and amazing new album, “Delta Machine”.  While I won’t get to meet Dave, Martin, and Andy, I have awesome seats!  I may be closing in on 50-years-old in the next year or so, but I’ll be channeling my former 19-year-old self that night!!

This may be where I lose some of you, but I want to introduce you to the band and let you know about their accomplishments and why they are still relevant and popular three decades after their first album and first songs.  Depeche Mode has sold more than 100 million singles and albums and are the “most successful electronic band in history”.

Depeche Mode, if you happen to read this and you’re still putting together your set list, please consider playing your first Top Ten hit (#8, 1981) in the U.K., “Just Can’t Get Enough”.  I know you don’t do it very often any more, but I absolutely love this one.  American radio missed the boat on this first release when it hit our shores in 1982, but it did reach #26 on the Billboard Dance chart.

In the U.K., the band have had 43 Top 40 songs.  Of that number, 14 have hit the Top Ten.  Sadly, they also hold the distinction of having the most Top 40 hits in the U.K. without reaching #1.  They have reached #4 three times.  “Soothe My Soul” is already being played on some American rock stations, so maybe that’ll be the one to top the charts in the U.K.!  They recently performed that song for David Letterman and it’ll give you a good idea of how great the new album is.

In America, the dance clubs love the band.  They’ve charted with 27 hits on the Billboard dance charts.  Of those, 16 have hit the Top Ten, and 10 of them have topped the chart.  Their first was “Strangelove” back in 1987, and just this week (yes, this week!), they topped the chart again with “Heaven”, the first single from the new album.

On the Billboard Hot 100, Depeche Mode has charted with six Top 40 hits:  “People Are People” (#13, 1984), “Personal Jesus” (#28, 1989), “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), “Policy of Truth” (#15, 1990), “I Feel You” (#37, 1993), and “It’s No Good” (#38, 1997).

In the U.S., Depeche Mode has had 11 album to be certified gold (shipment or sales of 500,000) or platinum (shipment or sales of 1 million-plus).  Their biggest selling American album was 1990’s “Violator”, which went triple platinum (three million-plus) and also featured three of their radio hits, “Personal Jesus”, “Enjoy The Silence” (their only Top Ten Hot 100 hit in America) and “Policy of Truth”.

Dave, Martin, and Andy, I can’t wait to see you later this summer.  You guys rock!

DM1

By the way, Quad Cities, believe it or not, the band performed at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, back on March 23, 1985!!!!  So, here’s a live performance from that era and they probably did this song live here.

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If you haven’t picked up “Delta Machine”, what are you waiting for?  It’s incredible!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — March 22, 2013

Happy Friday!  We’re one week away from Easter and it’s officially spring!

SPRING SNOW THIS WEEKEND

With the forecast of a storm that could bring some snow this weekend and March temperatures running more than 8° below average, I think we’re experiencing  “2013:  The Year Without A Spring”!

I’m thinking we’ll see 2-4″ of snow in the Quad Cities Saturday night and Sunday.  To our south, 4-6″ are possible and to our north, only 1-2″ of snow could fall.  It’s still early and these numbers could change.

Here are the chances of seeing 4″ of snow.  This forecast is from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.

Up to 4 Inches Saturday Through Monday

BE RESPONSIBLE, NOT SENSATIONAL!

I have a plea for all meteorologists!  Be responsible when you look at data and post it.  If it’s not your forecast, then avoid the panic it causes for many people.

I’m really appalled by a few “Chicken Little” forecasters that throw out a computer model projection with astronomical snow totals knowing full well that it would have to be a perfect scenario for that to happen.  And, to do this six days in advance!  Insane!  I really wish  people would think about re-posting this crap and hold those forecasters accountable.

It’s easier for people just to say that all weather forecasters are always wrong.  GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Groundhog

Aliens Long Marriage Mom Texting

SING IN YOUR SHOWER, HATER.  NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR YOU NOW!

Folk singer Michelle Shocked has never had mainstream success and I hope she never sings another note publicly again!

Last Sunday night, the singer went on an anti-gay tirade at a San Francisco club owned by a gay man in front of many gay patrons and all of her upcoming tour dates, except one (the Harmony Bar in Madison, Wisconsin) have been cancelled.

Michelle Shocked

While performing at Yoshi’s, she stunned the audience by saying, “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back,” and “You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates fags.’

The show was shut down when about two-thirds of the crown walked out.

In the aftermath of the tour cancellations, Michelle Shocked tweeted, “First: “I’m abiding, letting everyone’s true colors show before I undertake a personal response to each & every tweet.” and  “Am neither against a woman’s right to choose nor gay marriage. Am a fundamentalist tho”.

Really, it doesn’t sound like you’re against gay marriage!  Good riddance!

REALLY READY FOR APRIL 1ST

No fooling here!  I’m ready for April Fool’s Day to arrive and for the Easter feast to be over with because I want to start eating really healthy again and working out.

Last summer when Ray and I lost all that weight (30 pounds for him and 25 for me), we both felt really good.  Since we’ve been very bad at our food choices since August, we’ve gained much of the weight back (17 pounds for me).

While I don’t plan on being so extreme this year, my goal is only ten pounds this spring and summer.

HILLARY, THANK YOU!

ONLY ONE CONCERT PLANNED, SO FAR!

After seeing Madonna’s “MDNA Tour” last October and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball Tour” in January before her hip injury forced the cancellation of the rest of the tour, I don’t have any big mega shows planned this year.

I’ll be seeing Rick Springfield (a teenage crush) in May at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.

rick springfield

And, there’s a part of me that would love to see Depeche Mode in Chicago in August.

Depeche Mode Tour 2013

Maybe there’ll be some big announcement coming soon that will really get me excited!  A Culture Club/Human League reunion tour would be fun!

PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Rick Springfield 5

Since I’ll be seeing Rick Springfield in concert in May, I’ll feature him in my ’80s flashback.

The Australian gained television fame on “General Hospital” and scored his first hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971 with “Speak To The Sky”, which peaked at #14.  However, it would be a decade later when he shot to the top of the charts with “Jessie’s Girl”.

He would have four consecutive platinum albums (shipments of more than a million copies) from 1981-1984 and score a career total of 17 Top 40 hits with five of them reaching the Top Ten:  the aforementioned “Jessie’s Girl” (#1, 1981), “I’ve Done Everything For You” (#8, 1981), “Don’t Talk To Strangers (#2, 1982), “”Affair Of The Heart” (#9, 1983), and “Love Somebody” (#5, 1984).

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

With the dismal, cold weather we’re experiencing this March, I thought I’d share these pictures from my yard this time last year!

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EMAIL US!  TEXT US!  TWEET US!

Okay, the news business isn’t this bad?   Is it?   But, it’s funny.

AND, WHAT ABOUT HAIL DAMAGE?????

KABOOYOW!  I had to leave you with a smile!

Have a great weekend!

Anthony