Posts Tagged ‘Grace and Frankie’

Random Friday Thoughts — September 10, 2021

The weekend is upon us and I’m happy to be sharing some of the thoughts on my mind this week.

And, I appreciate you taking the time to check them out.

As always, we don’t have to agree. But, if you choose to disagree, be intelligent and diplomatic about it!

RAMPING UP THE FIGHT TO END THE PANDEMIC

Here is a Thursday afternoon breaking news headline and story from the Associated Press in President Joe Biden’s efforts to end the pandemic and to make America safer!

MR. ED WANTS HIS MEDS BACK!

This ISN’T about those of you that refuse to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccinations available in the United States. (But, I wish you would!)

However, it just boggles my mind that there are an increasing number of people that don’t trust the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but will go to a store and buy a horse de-wormer as a treatment measure!!!

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says Ivermectin is causing “all kinds of issues” in people consuming it, including liver problems and nausea.

Arwady adds, “First and foremost, do not ever, please, take any medicine that is formulated for animals. It’s dangerous, and it can really be a problem.”

Wait, there’s a call for you, idiots!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that Ivermectin overdoses can bring on seizures, coma, and, even death!

WHILE I’M TALKING VET DRUGS

Another example of a drug veterinarians use that should not be in the hands (or bodies) of the public — ketamine (aka “Special K”).

This anesthetic, which is, in many cases, is used illegally by people to get high.

This dissociative drug produces auditory distortion and a detachment from reality. Like GHB, some use ketamine-based drugs as a “date-rape” drug because it causes memory loss.

So… NO! NO! NO! to using drugs and medications that should be left to veterinarians!

The COVID-19 vaccines make much more sense!

IN OTHER HAPPIER NEWS (IF YOU HAVEN’T DISOWNED ME)…

OH, DADDY!

In the “Oh, how I wish it was with me, but it isn’t” category, congratulations go out to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten on becoming the parents of two newborns!

Buttigieg posted on Instagram, “Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents. We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family.”

NEW ELTON JOHN DUETS ALBUM

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the new Elton John/Dua Lipa hit, “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)”.

It features Elton singing part of his 1990 hit “Sacrifice” (one of his best and most underappreciated hits) and Lipa belting out his 1972 classic “Rocket Man”.

The song is remixed by Australia’s Pnau (brothers Nick and Sam Littlemore and Peter Mayes).

Now, I know it’s part of the new Elton John album, “The Lockdown Sessions”, and will feature sixteen duets.

Here’s the track listing:

The album drops October 22, 2021.

ABBA LIVES ON!

The iconic Swedish band ABBA shocked the world last week by announcing a new album later this fall and “tour dates” in the spring of 2022!

Fans already knew the legendary band had recorded some new music. However, the announcement that “Voyage”, the first new studio album since “The Visitors” forty years ago, will arrive November 5, 2021, was definitely earth-shattering!

The new album will feature ten new songs including the ballad “I Still Have Faith in You” and the upbeat pop song “Don’t Shut Me Down.”

Billboard magazine reports that ABBA “will be reborn as avatars that will take the stage with a live 10-piece band for the shows and “will perform a run of shows in a specially built arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London beginning on May 27, 2022”.

THE RYAN MURPHY UNIVERSE

While it may not be as well known or as lucrative as the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Ryan Murphy’s domination of the television medium is probably the equivalent to Marvel’s box office domination.

I was intrigued with the seven episode, first season of “American Horror Stories” (not to be confused with the long-running anthology series, “American Horror Story”). “Stories” was renewed for a second season.

Instead of one theme running through an entire season, “Stories” was pretty much like “The X-Files” when it featured a different monster or case of the week!

Now, I’m watching then tenth season of “American Horror Story: Double Feature”, which is unique because this season will feature six episodes with the “Red Tide” (“by the sea”) theme and the four final episodes are “Death Valley” (“by the sand”).

And, watching “American Horror Stories” and “AHS: Double Feature” got me excited about two more Ryan Murphy series.

“AMERICAN CRIME STORY: IMPEACHMENT”

Those two were keeping me entertained until the higher prestige series, “American Crime Story: Impeachment”, dealing with Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and the fallout, arrived.

I loved the first two Emmy Award installments dealing with the O.J. Simpson trial and the shooting death of Gianni Versace and the manhunt for Andrew Cunanan. If you haven’t seen them, binge watch now!

In “Impeachment”, it was interesting seeing Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton, although she was only in one scene in the series debut. Believe it or not, I’ve never watched Falco in anything — not even “The Sopranos” or “Nurse Jackie”.

The first episode aired earlier this week. It was okay, but I know it was just setting up the drama. I can’t wait to see the next nine episodes!

“RATCHED”

The other series from Ryan Murphy I’m ready for is “Ratched”!

I’m ready for more Sarah Paulson and Finn Wittrock (yes, one of my fantasies) in season two of the incredible series from Murphy.

No information yet for the release date!

MORE CHERNOBYL

Here are a few more things I found interesting from the Adam Higginbotham’s 2019 book “Midnight In Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster”.

I shared some last week.

Three years after the explosion, the “Moscow News” reported that parts of the Ukraine, just 40 kilometers west of the “Exclusion Zone” near Reactor Number Four were still radioactive hot spots. Farmers noticed a steep rise in the number of livestock with birth defects, such as “piglets with froglike eyes and malformed skulls, and calves born without legs, eyes, and heads.”

It was even reported that tons of pork and beef contaminated with radioactive cesium had been mixed in with sausages and sold to the unsuspected public. The government said this was not true and that Chernobyl sausage was safe to eat and it was processed “in strict accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the USSR.”

While the first three reactors were supposed to be shut down within five years of the 1986 explosion, the last of the Chernobyl reactors didn’t go offline until 2000.

“THE CHINA SYNDROME”

I finally got around to watching the 1979 classic, “The China Syndrome”, with Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas.

The nuclear disaster meltdown flick earned $51.7 million on a $5.9 million budget and earned four Oscar nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Lemmon and Best Actress for Fonda.

After watching six seasons of “Grace and Frankie” with octogenarian Fonda (she’s 83 now), it was awesome seeing her as a very sexy 41-year-old! (She’s very sexy now at 83, too!)

GRADE: B+

“GERALD FORD”

Douglas Brinkley’s 2007 book is part of “The American Presidents” series.

What I really liked about this book is that while it’s comprehensive (not as much as a real biography or an autobiography), it was an easy read at just 160 pages!

One interesting thing about Gerard Ford is that isn’t his real name. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1913, as Leslie Lynch King Jr.

His mother, Dorothy, left her abusive husband and moved in with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and met and married Gerald R. Ford in 1917. He informally adopted her child and named him after himself. The child would officially change his name in 1935!

After two failed assassination attempts against him in September 1975 by women in California, Ford, in 2003, said he told Betty, “I’m going to have to review my support for the Equal Rights Amendment. These women are trying to kill me.”

On Inauguration Day 1977, President Ford was deeply touched and surprised when the new President Jimmy Carter opened him speech with “For myself and for our nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.”

Carter and Ford, after a bitter campaign in 1976, became good friends and each asked the other to give the eulogy at their funerals. As you know, President Ford died on December 26, 2006, and President Carter did just as he promised!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 20, 2021

Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend?

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

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

GET OVER YOURSELF, CHICAGO LEADERS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is all for public relations!

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

REMEMBERING JEANETTA JONES

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

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

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

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

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

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

“FRENCH EXIT”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRADE: B+

WHAT IS MIDDLE AGED?

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

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

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

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

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

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

So much for middle aged! 🙂

WHY I DRINK WINE!

Thanks Debby for sharing this with me! 🙂

“PLEASE LIKE ME”

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

The series ran from 2013-2016.

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

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

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

You can catch it on hulu.

“GRACE AND FRANKIE” UPDATE

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

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

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

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

“NETWORK”

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

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

Um, that rhetorical question is satirical, too! 🙂

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

William Holden was also nominated in the Best Actor category.

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

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

GRADE: B

“AMERICA IN SEARCH OF ITSELF”

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

Here are a few more things I learned:

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

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

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

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

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 13, 2021

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

Oh, boo! Forget you, Jason Voohres!

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

“HALLOWEEN KILLS”

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRAVEL REBOUND?

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

I did!

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

I’m going to be optimistic!

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

“GRACE AND FRANKIE”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a couple more highlights…

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

“THE MAURITANIAN”

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

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

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

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

GRADE: A

AMERICA IN SEARCH OF ITSELF”

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

Here are a couple of oily things I learned:

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

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

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

“A QUIET PLACE, PART TWO”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRADE: B-

FINAL THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony