Posts Tagged ‘friends’

My (Interesting) First Month in Decatur

Boy, time sure does fly by as you get older!

With the Coronavirus and COVID-19, I know many of you, are under “stay at home” protocols with state governments, working from home, or unemployed because of restaurants being closed to diners, like my sister and her family!

As for me, I’ve been working since the media is considered “essential” in this crazy time across the United States and the world.

Snowy Duluth UHaul

It seems just like yesterday that I left snow-covered Duluth, Minnesota, and moved into my new apartment in Decatur, in central Illinois.

What a whirlwind month it’s been!  I moved into my apartment on Wednesday, April 1st, and started work the next day.    I’ve already been on the air at WAND-17, the NBC-affiliate, four weeks!

Except for hanging two pieces of wall art that’s rather heavy and needs to be done by someone that know what’s they’re doing, my apartment is set up and livable.

It’ll “do” for a year and I’ll find another place here that I’ll make my forever home.  I’m tired of moving, but this apartment is not that place!

Bedroom View

However, I do love the view out my bedroom window, which gave me a front row seat of deer frolicking and playing in the shallow end of this part of Lake Decatur one afternoon.

I’ll share more pictures when I’m totally done decorating.  But, with “social distancing”, I’m not sure when that’ll be!

Interesting

PASSING THE TIME

It’s bizarre and interesting to have lived here a month and not be able to experience life in Decatur, to invite my morning co-anchors over for dinner, or to meet new people for drinks.

I know that one day I’ll get to eat out and see what central Illinois has to offer.

Until then, to pass the time, I take regular four-mile walks from my complex and through the marina around one part of Lake Decatur.

Lake Decatur

Since I walk and read at the same time, I’ve already finished four books, all by my idol, former President Jimmy Carter.

I’m currently reading “Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History” by Maureen Orth.

The book is the basis for the Emmy-winning FX series, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” with ALL of Emmy winner Darren Criss!

Criss

Criss 1

Oops, sorry for not warning you! 🙂

My connection to Cunanan and this story goes back to 1997 when it was happening and I was the weekend anchor in Lubbock, Texas.

Yes, this made it “on air” and we did get calls because of the eerie similarities! 🙂

Cunanan

Since I didn’t watch a lot of television in Duluth, I dropped cable this past January.

My new apartment complex offers “free” cable (I still pay for DVR service and internet), so I’ve been catching up on the shows I used to watch.

In April, I binge-watched 60-plus hours of television!

I watched the last season of “Homeland” (except for the series finale because Showtime and xfinity suck and aren’t making it “free” like it did for the first eleven episodes of the last season.

I’ve also watched the 2020 episodes of “How To Get Away With Murder” and “9-1-1” (the final two episodes of both series air in May — for “Murder”, it’s the series finale), along with “Prodigal Son”, “9-1-1 Lone Star”, “The Good Doctor”, and the third season of “The Sinner”!

Bad Netflix

In Duluth, for some reason, I got this message on my television while trying to watch Netflix.

What’s bizarre is that Netflix works on my television in Decatur!

Since discovering this, I’ve already binged the third season of “Ozark” and I’m almost done with the third season of “The Crown”.

Up next, seasons two of “Sex Education”, “Mindhunter”, and “You”, the first season of “The Politician”, and the fourth season of “Eastsiders”.

And, to make my bestie, Katie, happy, I can now binge-watch all 154 episodes of “The West Wing”!

Speaking of “Ozark”, season three is the best, so far!

Ozark Emmys

While nominations don’t come out until this summer, just go ahead and give Laura Linney, Janet McTeer, and Tom Pelphrey their Emmy awards now!

BACK ON THE WAGON

The last four months in Duluth were very stressful for me.

While I’ve talked about the crazy stretches of work (days and nights for several days with just a couple of hours of sleep in between),  I never mentioned and I won’t elaborate here on a police-involved harassment ordeal that forced me to “fall off the wagon”.

Over the years I’ve been very open about being a recovering food addict.

Since 1995, I’ve pretty much successfully fought the daily battle by eating healthier with a great dose of exercise.

There were a few stumbles (most recently in early 2017 when I was going through a divorce).  But, with the stress of work, being stalked and harassed, job hunting, and relocating, I took a big step backwards and my weight dropped has dropped from 163 to 138 pounds.

My new schedule not only allows me more free time each afternoon, but it gives me the opportunity to cook more and eat at a reasonable hour!

April 7 Dinner

I’m back on track, “on the wagon”, and I have one month under my belt now!!!

I don’t know what I weigh now and I don’t need to know.  All I know is that I should gain a few more pounds to be healthier again.

I owe much of that success to Kroger!  Yes, the grocery chain.  There’s one located right by work and another one a couple of miles from my apartment.

On my first visit to each, I noticed they marked down all kinds of fun produce as it approaches the “sell by” or “best by” dates.

So, now instead of binging and purging on high caloric junk to satisfy an addiction, I’m now a little O-C-D about making very regular trips to the Kroger stores in Decatur and stocking up on greens and veggies!

April 17 Dinner

(For the record, I went to three Kroger stores a total of 17 times in April!) 🙂

I’ve also treated myself to fried chicken three times and three rotisserie chickens, along with the chicken that I cook at home.

Did I mention several bottles of wine, too?

FOND MEMORIES AND MAKING NEW ONES

I’ll fondly remember my two years in Duluth.

Lake Superior was beautiful and the almost 107″ of snow my first winter there was mind-blowing.

When I left Duluth at the end of March, we had already picked up almost 90″ this past winter!

I had the pleasure to work with some fun and entertaining people at Fox 21 in Duluth (and one that I hope I never, oh, never mind)!

Fun People

And, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my dear friends, Katie (who was my evening director at work), her mother Mary Kaye, and my neighbor, Kass.

Over the past two years, I shared many delicious meals (including Thanksgivings and Christmases) with these special ladies.

And, Kass and I regularly had “cocktail hour” at her place.  (Kass, I don’t have a drinking buddy here yet, but I did see your spiced rum at a liquor store and I smiled!) 🙂

Love Duluth Friends

While I miss my Northland Peeps, I know that when America is healthier again and it’s safe to socialize, I’ll find some dear friends and colleagues in central Illinois.

To all my friends reading this, stay safe and healthy!

And, while it’s not a “Random Friday Thoughts”, I’ll end it with my signature sign-off.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

 

 

When Facebook Really Isn’t Yours Anymore

There are about 1.44 billion Facebook pages worldwide.  The site was launched in early 2004 and was made public in late 2006.

My first social media involvement was with Myspace (RIP) and I didn’t join the world of Facebook until early 2009.

I have to say that, for the most part, my six-years-plus on the site has been enjoyable and I’ve met some amazing people.  On the other hand, I’ve encountered some that are certifiable!

While most on Facebook can pretty much post whatever they want, I have to walk a fine line.

Being a public figure as an on-air television meteorologist, I have to “filter” what I say.  It’s not to say that I won’t post my thoughts or share my life, but I have to think, “would that be unprofessional or offensive?”

On Facebook, some of you may only have family and friends that you “friend” and some will friend just about anyone, even spambots.

When I joined Facebook, I didn’t make a personal “Anthony Peoples” page and a professional page.  If someone knew me from television, I would “friend” them if they sent a request once I realized it wasn’t spam and they were real.

Most of the people who I’m friends with rarely comment on my posts.

As much as I enjoy expressing myself on Facebook and in my personal blog (“What Is Peeps Thinking About Now?), which rarely gets new posts from me because I don’t have the time, it’s becomes a little frustrating at times.

People think that if it’s on Facebook, they have the right to say whatever they want.  You can argue that either way.  Yes, it becomes public, so you have freedom of speech.

However, on the other hand, it’s still a personal page with a real person – a human with feelings (hopefully) – behind it.

Cherished Friends

As a Facebook friend, you’ve taken the time to watch me on television and to get to know me personally online and I appreciate that.

I make it a point to wish every one of you a “Happy Birthday” on your special day and I try to respond to every comment and question even if it’s just a “like” to show you that I read your comment.

But, I want to establish a couple of guidelines here.

Since you’re a Facebook friend or you read my blog, you definitely have a right to agree or, God forbid, disagree with me.

I’ve posted a “Hillary 2016” picture, I said Governor Rick Perry was an idiot for calling the deadly shooting tragedy in South Carolina an “accident”, I shared a picture of blood on my finger when I cut myself on the sink, I probably post too many Madonna music updates and videos, and I’ve joked about the crazy weather causing me to work overtime.

Those are just some of the things that come to mind when I think of people overstepping the boundaries with their posts or hi-jacking of my page.

You can definitely disagree with me with a comment or two, but don’t write a manifesto.  Do that on your page or write a blog.  It’s free and simple!

If you post something on your own page that I really feel I have to respond to, I might say I disagree and move on.

And, finally, please don’t tell me what I should and should not say or post on my page.  It’s still my page.  I can and do separate work and personal thoughts.

For the record, I love my job.  I’m grateful for it and to be able to do what I’ve wanted since I was a kid.  But, I love my time off and I won’t sugar coat things and say what you want me to say.

I know others may not be as fortunate.  Some of you work multiple jobs, crazy hours, and have very little time off to make ends meet.

My mother worked in a hot, very physical demanding job until the day she died in 1990 making a depressing $3.80 an hour just to provide for me and my sister.

So, I know where I stand in life, professionally and personally.

I hope this clarifies my policy for being for friend on Facebook. I hope you can live with that.

If not, I won’t cry if you “unfriend” me.  We can have a professional relationship if you only watch me on television when I give you your forecast or we can share our lives together on Facebook, too, respectfully.

Anthony

P.S.  I’m not “Joan of Arc” either.  The words of this song basically says a lot of what I just wrote, just more eloquently and stunningly beautiful.  And, yes, it’s that damn Madonna again!

And, if you don’t watch the video, here’s the cliff notes:

“I’m not Joan of Arc, not yet
But I’m in the dark, yeah
I can’t be a superhero right now
Even hearts made out of steel can break down
I’m not Joan of Arc, not yet
I’m only human

Anything they did to me, said to me
Doesn’t mean a thing cause you’re here with me now
Even when the world turns its back on me
There could be a war but I’m not going down”

“Joan of Arc” — lyrics and music by Madonna, McDonald, Gad, and Griffin Jr. from “Rebel Heart”

Pets Could Teach Us To Be Better, True Friends

“That’s What Friends Are For”, “You’ve Got To Have Friends”, “You’ve Got A Friend”, “With a Little Help From My Friends”, and “Thank You For Being A Friend” are just a few song titles that come to mind with “friend(s)” in the title.

On Facebook, we can have hundreds and thousands of friends and really only know them from their status updates and posts.  In life, we have friends that come and go and some that remains friends from childhood to death.

I’m thinking about “friends” because I made the decision yesterday to “unfriend” my best friend from childhood.

We’ve been through the good times and bad times and we’ve always kept in touch through the miles.  I’ve lived all over the country since leaving my hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky: Kentucky (Murray, for college),  Wisconsin (Milwaukee and Rhinelander), Texas (Lubbock), Ohio (Youngstown and Mansfield), Maryland (Salisbury), and Illinois (Moline and, twice in, Chicago).

Regardless of where I was in the country, my best friend and I kept in touch the old-fashioned way through cards, letters, and phone calls.  In recent years, we’ve added sporadic emails and Facebook messages to the communication chain.  With modern technology, there’s no reason to lose contact.

I know that friendships evolve over life and “real life” can get in the way of being as close as you once were.

I consider myself blessed to have a number of people who I correspond with online through email and Facebook, friends that I socialize with locally in person, and six people that I value as “close friends” or “best friends”.

Of those six, Ray, Gretel, Tammy (my sister), and Betty (Mom, but not my “mother”) and I are very close.  In love, I can tell Ray anything and even if we disagree on things (life, politics, parenting, etc.), we’re there for each other.  I’m glad my sister lives in Moline now and I don’t have to worry about her hundreds of miles away struggling to make ends meet.  And, Betty, who I call “Mom”, will never replace my mother, but I’m so blessed to have her in my life.

My other two friends and I are not as close as we once were.  One is going through changes brought on by poor decision-making and a lifestyle change that isn’t for the better.  I have hope and I still have faith that he’ll turn things around and life will be good again.

And, this brings me around again to my friend that I chose to “unfriend”.  Since he moved back to Kentucky from Chicago last October, I’ve heard from him twice.  Once on the phone when I called to ask why I hadn’t heard from him and once, through Facebook, when I asked for him to return two television series that I had loaned him.

I didn’t get a birthday card last October, I didn’t get a Christmas card or phone call at the holidays, and most agitating and sad, I didn’t get a “sympathy” call or card when Miss ABBA died three months ago.  Of all the selfish or insensitive things that friends deal with with best friends, that was thing that bothered me the most.  It’s been three months now and still nothing.

I think about the true meaning of friendship and the one that could teach us humans that “know-it-all” a thing or two about unconditional love and compassion is from our pets.

Miss ABBA was seven-years-old, just entering her senior years, when Mr. Panda, the shar-pei from Chicago, was adopted at the age of four, from an abusive life of neglect and starvation in the spring of 2007.

While they didn’t live together, they did spend time together several times each year when we’d visit Chicago to doggie-sit or Panda would come to the Quad Cities for a doggie vacation while his dad went on trips.

The two of them got along very well.  Miss ABBA was always full of life and energy, but she loved to sit and watch the world go by.  She would tolerate Panda’s playfulness when he thought it would be fun to bite at her legs or her ears.  When he would cross the line, she’d get feisty and fight back.  It was always fun to watch them wrestle with each other.

When Panda developed glaucoma two years ago and lost his eyesight, it seemed like ABBA knew something was different.  He was still playful and would still bite at her legs, but she sensed the handicap.

In the spring of 2010, Panda was with us for about a week or two.  One day while I was walking the two of them, Miss ABBA decided to just take his leash out of my hand and start walking him.  Much to my chagrin, I didn’t have my camera.  But, the sight was so heartwarming.

I started carrying my camera with me on every walk and sure enough, she did it one more time!  I got pictures of the amazing act of kindness.  While Miss ABBA’s legs were much longer than Panda’s and his sightlessness slowed him down, he trotted right down the street with her at her pace.

That turned out to be my favorite picture of 2010.  My friend, Dan Dauw, a sports writer for the “Geneseo Republic”, an Illinois newspaper, published east of the Quad Cities even wrote a story about it and featured a picture.  Miss ABBA and Mr. Panda made the newspaper!!  (Miss ABBA’s picture with Santa was also featured in the holiday edition of “Chicagoland Tails” in 2003.)

Looking back at the pictures reminds me that as humans, we have a lot to learn from our four-legged friends.

Anthony