Posts Tagged ‘Hailey Rowe’

2017: My Favorite Songs

What’s your favorite song of 2017?  Was it pop, country, dance, R&B, hip-hop, jazz, or a new Christmas song?

I’m ready to share my 20 favorites of the year.  Some I know might be on your list and there are some many of you may not have even heard.

Best Songs

So, before I start, a quick look back over the years.  In 2013, my favorite song (and video) was Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.

In 2014, it was “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift and Jason Derulo’s “Want To Want Me” was tops for me in 2015.

My favorite song last year was “Faded” by Alan Walker (featuring Iselin Solheim).

Here’s an interesting fact for you — the video has been viewed an incredible 1.44 billion (that’s BILLION, with a “B”) times!

20

“THE STAR” — MARIAH CAREY

 

 

19

“WE WERE THAT SONG” — BRETT KISSEL

18

“THERE FOR YOU” — MARTIN GARRIX ft. TROYE SIVAN

Bonus

Troye Sivan had my #2 song of last year, “Youth”

#17

“ALONE” — ALAN WALKER

P.S. Alan Walker, please release an album of all of your songs.  I buy CDs, but not downloads. 🙂

16

“I CAME HERE FOR LOVE” — SIGALA ft. ELLA EYRE

15

“SAY YOU WON’T LET GO” — JAMES ARTHUR

#14 Movie

“BODY LIKE A BACK ROAD” — SAM HUNT

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“LIFE’S ABOUT TO GET GOOD” — SHANIA TWAIN

12

“YOUR SONG” — RITA ORA

11

“I NEED YOU” — ARMIN VAN BUUREN & GARIBAY ft. OLAF BLACKWOOD

Bonus

I love Armin van Buuren’s music and “Sunny Days” with Josh Cumbee was also an incredible track this year!

10

“PRAYING” — KESHA

9

“LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE” — LEANN RIMES

8

“IT AIN’T ME” — KYGO ft. SELENA GOMEZ

#7 CD

“LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO” — TAYLOR SWIFT

6

“MILLION REASONS” — LADY GAGA

5

“THERE’S NOTHING HOLDIN’ ME BACK” — SHAWN MENDES

4

“I DON’T WANNA LIVE FOREVER” — ZAYN & TAYLOR SWIFT

Holiday Bonus

Watching season one of Netflix’s incredible series “Master of  None” with Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, I discovered this amazing song.

It’s “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” from Father John Misty’s 2015 album, “I Love You, Honeybear”.

And, when I fell in love with the song on the show, I didn’t know how gorgeous Father John Misty (real name: Josh Tillman) was!  I do now.

FJM

green 3

“BACK TO GOD” — REBA

2

“I FEEL IT COMING” — THE WEEKND ft. DAFT PUNK

#1 MOVIE

“SILENCE” — MARSHMELLO ft. KHALID

Anthony

Best Songs of 2016

This week I’ve counted down my 20 favorites moves I saw this year and my 16 favorite albums of 2016.

You can find those here and both will open in a new window.

Movies:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/best-movies-of-2016/

Albums:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/best-albums-of-2016/

Before we begin this year’s countdown, I want to share my #1 songs from the past three years.  Last year, it was “Want To Want Me” by Jason Derulo.  In 2014, it was “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift and in 2013, Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay” was my favorite.

Now, it’s time for me to count down my 20 favorite songs of 2016.

2016-songs

My list started out with 43 and it was difficult narrowing them down.  Sorry, The Weeknd! “Starboy” came in at #21, so we’ll have a drink for you and feature it anyway!

#21  “STARBOY” — THE WEEKND FT. DAFT PUNK

20

“BLUE AIN’T YOUR COLOR” — KEITH URBAN

19

“FOUR YEARS OF CHANCES” — MARGO PRICE

#18

“ON MY WAY” — CARDIKNOX

#17

“ROSES” — THE CHAINSMOKERS FT. ROZES

#16

“THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR” — CALVIN HARRIS FT. RIHANNA

FLASHBACK BONUS!

Bonus

That was my #16 favorite song this year and this was my 16th favorite song from last year!

“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE”  — DAVE AUDE FT. OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & CHLOE LATTANZI

Now, back to my favorites of 2016!

#15 Movie

“IN THE NIGHT” — THE WEEKND

#14 Movie

“THINK OF ME” — CHRIS YOUNG & CASSADEE POPE

BONUS! BONUS! BONUS!

Bonus

If you’re not an established country artist, it takes forever for songs to move up the chart.  This amazing song was released in March 2015, but it’s still the 36th most played country song of 2016!!!  We’re talking 21 months.  Crazy!

It’s still one of my favorites and the video is very inclusive!

“STAY A LITTLE LONGER” — THE BROTHERS OSBORNE

#13

“LET ME LOVE YOU — DJ SNAKE FT. JUSTIN BIEBER

12

“WORK FROM HOME” — FIFTH HARMONY & TY DOLLA $IGN

This is one video where you could mute the sound and just watch, but then you’d miss out on an incredible song!

Bye Camila!  I know that Ally, Normani, Dinah, and Lauren will be just fine and I can’t wait for the new music!

#11 Movie

“SLUMBER PARTY” — BRITNEY SPEARS FT. TINASHE

10

“CRASH” — USHER

#9 MOVIE

“SOMEDAY” — MICHAEL BUBLE FT. MEGHAN TRAINOR

8

“DON’T LET ME DOWN” — THE CHAINSMOKERS FT. DAYA

#7 CD

“LOVE YOURSELF” — JUSTIN BIEBER

6

“SOMETHING IN THE WAY YOU MOVE” — ELLIE GOULDING

#5 CD

“PILLOWTALK” — ZAYN

FLASHBACK BONUS!

Before we get to this year’s #4, here was my #4 song from 2014.

“ANACONDA” — NICKI MINAJ

red-number-4

“ME TOO” — MEGHAN TRAINOR

green 3

“SIT STILL LOOK PRETTY” — DAYA

#2 MOVIE

 

“YOUTH” — TROYE SIVAN

This was a tough call because I love this song and it was a virtual tie for my favorite song of the year.

Another number 1

“FADED” — ALAN WALKER FT. ISELIN SOLHEIM

19-year-old Norwegian record producer and DJ Alan Walker was only 17 when he produced a version of this song called “Fade” without vocals.

The new version, “Faded”, featuring Norwegian singer Iselin Solheim hit #1 in 17 countries and reached the Top Ten in, at least, ten more countries (add another one if you count the Billboard Dance Club Songs in the U.S., where it went to #4.)

So, here it is — my favorite song of 2016.  “Faded” has been viewed almost 828 million times on YouTube!

Now, it’s time to share my least favorite songs of 2016.

Gag Me

#4 “Broccoli” (Big Baby D.R.A.M)

#3 “Black Beatles” (Rae Sremmurd)

#2  “For Free” (DJ Khaled & Drake)

Normally, I wouldn’t show the video for my least favorite song of the year.  But, it’s so bad and hideous and the video is just so… indescribable.  Here it is!

#1  “M.I.L.F. $” (Fergie)

I seriously can’t leave you on that note.  That would be cruel. 🙂

Bonus

I jumped on “Cake By The Ocean” by DNCE late last year.  It was my #6 song of 2015. Meanwhile, it really took off on Top 40 radio this year in the U.S.  It’s the 12th most played song of the year.

So, I’m featuring my #6 song of 2015 again.  To get us through these cold winter months, let’s just think of “Cake By The Ocean”.

By the way, the DNCE album is my 6th favorite album of 2016.

dnce

Anthony

 

My 20 Favorite Songs of 2015

I miss hearing the late, great Casey Kasem counting down the biggest songs each week and, especially, his year-end countdowns.

I’ve always loved charts and the best and worst of the year lists.  So, now, I compile my own.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/my-favorite-movies-of-2015/

Yesterday, I shared my 20 favorite movies I saw in 2015.  That’s the link above if you missed it.  Tomorrow, I’ll post my favorite albums of the year.

But, today, it’s my 20 favorite songs of 2015 (actually, there are 30 because I’m sneaking the others in).

Before we start, my favorite song in 2014 was “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift.

And, in 2013, it was “My Boyfriend is Gay” by Hailey Rowe with a video featuring the gorgeous and funny Blake Peyrot.

Now, let’s begin.

2015 Songs

#20

“HEY MAMA”  — DAVID GUETTA, NICKI MINAJ, BEBE REXHA, & AFROJACK

19

“I DIDN’T JUST COME HERE TO DANCE”  — CARLY RAE JEPSEN

 

#18

“PRAY TO GOD” — CALVIN HARRIS & HAIM

#17

“KISS YOU IN THE MORNING” — MICHAEL RAY

16

“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE” — DAVE AUDE FEATURING OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & CHLOE LATTANZI

15

“HOLD MY HAND” — JESS GLYNNE

#14 Movie

“WORTH IT” — FIFTH HARMONY

13

“SOMEBODY” — NATALIE LA ROSE & JEREMIH

Bonus

Here are some of the songs that missed out on the Top 20, but are still some of my favorites of the year:  #30 Heartbeat Song (Kelly Clarkson); #29 “Honey I’m Good” (Andy Grammar); #28″Outside” (Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding); #27 “Lay It All On Me” (Rudimental & Ed Sheeran); and #26 “El Mismo Sol” (Alvaro Soler).

And, there’s a version of this song with Jennifer Lopez.  Here’s the teaser that came out in October.  I’m still waiting for the full video.  If it’s released, maybe it’ll make my countdown next year!

Back to the countdown!

12

“STYLE” — TAYLOR SWIFT

11

“LEVELS” — NICK JONAS

10

“GHOSTTOWN” — MADONNA

9

“CAN’T FEEL MY FACE” — THE WEEKND

#8 MOVIE

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN” — JUSTIN BIEBER

#7 CD

“GOING OUT LIKE THAT” — REBA

#6 CD

“CAKE BY THE OCEAN” — DNCE

Bonus

Here are more of the songs that missed out on the Top 20, but are still some of my favorites of the year:  #25 “Love Me Like You Do” (Ellie Goulding); #24 “Tempted” (Giorgio Moroder & Matthew Koma); #23 “Style (ASAP Science); #22 “Joan of Arc” (Madonna) and #21 “Beautiful Now” (Zedd & Jon Bellion).

Now, back to the countdown!

#5 MOVIE

“BURNITUP” — JANET JACKSON & MISSY ELLIOTT

4

“SHUT UP AND DANCE” — WALK THE MOON

#3 CD

“KING” — YEARS & YEARS

#2 CD

“WHERE ARE YOU NOW” — SKRILLEX, DIPLO, & JUSTIN BIEBER

Before we get to my favorite song of 2015, here is one of my favorite videos of the year and definitely has style!

“WTF (WHERE THEY FROM)” — MISSY ELLIOTT

And, now, my favorite song of 2015!

#1 MOVIE

“WANT TO WANT ME” — JASON DERULO

That’s it.  My list started with 78 songs from 2015 and I kept narrowing it down until I got it to 30.

In 2016, I’m excited to hear new music from Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Kylie Minogue.  I hope we also get a new album from Patty Loveless, Lionel Richie, and Erasure.  I’m sure we’ll find some new stars and re-discover past hit makers.

Gag Me

Now that you know my favorites of 2015, here are my six least favorite songs of the year.  And, I know some were insanely popular!  “Hula Hoop” and “Cheerleader” by Omi, “Downtown” and “Growing Up” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Uptown Funk” from Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, and “Pretty Girls” by Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea.

By the way, I’d be perfectly okay in 2016 not hearing the names Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks!

Bonus

Here’s an artist I hope to see and hear much more from in 2016.  This song was on the long list and that’s not “Gibberish”!

Anthony

Best of 2010-2014 — Flashback

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting my favorite albums, songs, and movies of 2015!

I love lists and creating them, so I hope you check them out and in doing so, you might find some new songs or movies that you didn’t know about before my countdowns.

So, to prepare, here are my favorites from the past few years — just for fun.

2014

Last year, my favorite song of the year was Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”.

If you’re curious and want see the other 19 favorites, click here and listen away!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/my-top-20-songs-of-2014/

For album of the year, there was a tie for my top album.

Enrique Iglesias’ “Sex and Love”

Enrique SEX AND LOVE

and Erasure’s “The Violet Flame”.

The Violet Flame

Here’s the complete Top 14 list of my favorite albums from 2014.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/my-14-favorite-albums-of-2014/

And, in 2014, my favorite movie was “Bridegroom”.

Here’s are the others in the Top Ten last year.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/my-ten-favorite-movies-of-2014/

In 2013, my favorite album was “Push Remind” by Chris Wallace.

Push Rewind

Here’s the rest of 2013’s album countdown.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/my-top-ten-favorite-albums-of-2013/

My favorite song of 2013 was Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay” featuring the hilarious and gorgeous Blake Peyrot.

Here are my other favorite songs of 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/i-love-that-song-but-skip-that-one/

And, my favorite movie in 2013 was “Out In The Dark”.

Here’s the rest of my movie favorites in 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/my-ten-favorite-movies-of-2013/

In 2012, my favorite movie was “Weekend”.

Here’s the rest of my favorite movies three years ago.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/anthonys-2012-favorite-movies/

And, my 2012 favorite album was “MDNA” by Madonna.

MDNA

Here’s the rest of the 2012 favorites.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/my-2012-favorites-cds/

Now, this is so much fun.  If you’re still looking, you’re curious, too. 🙂

My favorite album in 2011 was “Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears.

Britney-Spears-Femme-Fatale

Here are the others that made the list in 2011.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/favorite-albums-of-2011/

In 2011, my favorite movie was “Children of God”.

The rest that made the list in 2011…

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/favorite-movies-of-2011/

And, while we’re at it, let’s finish out this decade.  In 2010, my favorite album was “Night Work” by Scissor Sisters.

SCISSOR SISTERS NIGHT WORK

Here’s the rest of 2010 list of favorites.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/favorite-movies-albums-of-2010/

And, my favorite movie was “The Kids Are All Right”.

The rest of my favorites in 2010!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/favorite-movies-of-2010/

So, now I’m excited to start sharing my favorites of 2015 with you starting tomorrow.  Thanks again for checking out my blogs.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — July 24, 2015

It’s hard to believe that July is almost over and that means we’re getting closer to fall, my new favorite season.  Sorry winter!

Have yourself a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

BLAKE & MIRANDA GETTING DIVORCED

Marriages and relationships take a lot of work and when both people are celebrities, it’s much harder.  So, I’m a little surprised at people’s shock about the impending divorce of country singers Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert after four years of marriage.

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Blake Shelton, left, and Miranda Lambert arrive at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Shelton and Lambert announced their divorce after four years of marriage.A statement from Sheltonís spokesman provided a statement from both of them on Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Blake Shelton, left, and Miranda Lambert arrive at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Shelton and Lambert announced their divorce after four years of marriage.A statement from Sheltonís spokesman provided a statement from both of them on Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Yes, I’m bummed about it.  But, I’m not shocked.

Country singer Chris Young, who has toured with Miranda and considers himself a friend of the couple, is speaking out that he had nothing to do with the couple’s marriage problems.

CY

That response was prompted after the gossip-mongers at TMZ reported what they learned from “multiple sources familiar with the situation”!  Have I ever mentioned that I can’t stand TMZ and its bitterness?

I always hope that love is real for everyone and I hope Blake and Miranda find it again.  I’m definitely a romantic that wants the fairy tale.

SPEAKING OF FAIRY TALES

Can you believe this year marks the 25th anniversary of “Pretty Woman”?

pretty-woman

The romantic comedy that skyrocketed Oscar winner Julia Roberts to fame made $463 million dollars at theaters after its spring 1990 release.

“THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN”

Okay, this one is far from the fairy tale or a romantic comedy!

I just finished reading Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train”.   I walked so much on the treadmill just to finish the book because I didn’t want to put it down!

The Girl on the Train

This is a definite hands down, take the train, bus, car, bicycle, or whatever means necessary to pick up this book!  Actually, you probably already have since “Variety” reports “The Girl on the Train” is the fastest-selling adult novel in history, having sold more than two million copies in the U.S. alone since it was published in January.”

In the book, Rachel is an alcoholic, divorced woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she sees on a regular basis from the train she takes into London.

One day, Rachel sees something strange that will trigger a series of events that will have you feverishly turning the pages to see what’s real, what’s not, and what really happened.  It’s a page turner until the end!

It’s been reported that Emily Blunt (“Into The Woods” and “The Devil Wears Prada”) is set to star as Rachel (and also reported that she’ll play Jess/Megan).

Emily Blunt

Since I’m a real-life television meteorologist and not a Hollywood casting agent, as a fan of the book, here’s my dream cast. And, in case you haven’t read the book, I’m only giving character names and not how they play into the story.

I know actors and projects have to line up, so I’ll offer several people for each role.

Tom — Michael Fassbender, Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”), Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal”), James Marsden, and Andrew Lincoln (“The Walking Dead”)

Michael FassbenderDexterHugh DancyJames MarsdenAndrew Lincoln

Scott — Grey Damon (“Aquarius”) and Shawn Ashmore (“The Following”)

Grey DamonShawn Ashmore

Let’s go with it that Emily will take the role of either Rachel or Jess/Megan.

Jess/Megan and Anna —  Elisabeth Rohm (“Stalker), Jennifer Aniston, and Evan Rachel Wood (“True Blood”)

Elisabeth RohmJennifer AnistonEvanRachelWood

And, finally, Dr. Kamal Abdic — Manish Dayal (“The Hundred-Foot Journey) and Enrique Iglesias

Manish DayalEnrique Iglesias

Okay, I’ve enjoyed my fantasy casting enough.  One more “reported” claim about the movie is that the locale will move from London to the United States.

Tate Taylor (“The Help”) has signed on to direct.

Paula, your thoughts on the casting?

And, in honor of Rachel! 🙂

gordons_gin__tonic_in_can_250ml

“THE SNOWMAN”

Normally, the books I read are about real people and real events.  Just before I jumped on the train, I read “The Snowman”, a 2007 crime thriller by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo.  It’s the seventh book in the Detective Harry Hole series.

Nesbo+Snowman

“Time” magazine featured an article years ago about Scandinavian authors that may achieve the success of Stieg Larsson and his “Millennium series” (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played with Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest”.)

I wrote Nesbo’s name and “The Snowman” down on a piece of paper and finally got the book and it was incredible.

Detective Harry Hole is on the trail of Norway’s first serial killer.  And, is there a connection between the season’s first snow, the appearance of a snowman, and the victims?

Another must-read if you like crime novels!

There is talk of a movie adaptation of the book.  Legendary director Martin Scorsese was once attached to it, but now director Tomas Alfredson (“Let The Right One In” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) is set to direct it.

THEY SAID WHAT???

Remember on Mondays back when I blogged all the time, I had the feature, “They Said What???”  Why not revisit it with these fun ones!

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL WANNABEE LINDSEY GRAHAM

(on “CBS This Morning” about Donald Trump’s racist comments about Mexicans): “Run for president but don’t be the world’s biggest jackass.”

Pitbull

POP SINGER PITBULL

“I want to tell Marco Rubio, step it up!  Jeb Bush, step it up!  Hillary Clinton, step it up!  Because Donald Trump can’t be president.”

(More Pitbull to Trump):  “I want him to know I’m not a politician. I’m a musician. I’m a Latino first. I support our people.”

DIRECTOR/ACTOR TYLER PERRY

(speaking of the media reporting on Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown):  “It makes me sad to know that everybody wants to be the first to report something awful. So much so, that they find it OK to speak death onto those who are still alive. May I ask you all to please show some decency and respect?”

IRRELEVANT “ONE-HIT WONDER” SINGER SINEAD O’CONNOR

(on Facebook blasting “Rolling Stone” for its Kim Kardashian West cover):  “What is this c**t doing on the cover of Rolling Stone? Music has officially died.  Who knew it would be Rolling Stone that murdered it? Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh can no longer be expected to take all the blame. Bob Dylan must be f**king horrified. #BoycottRollingStone”

Kim KW Rolling Stone

SHOCK JOCK HOWARD STERN

(responding to “North Dakota Today” news co-host Chris Berg.  When talking about Stern’s salary of a reported $95 million, Berg asked how Stern could be making that much money.)

Berg

“Douche, you can do the same thing. Leave Fargo, get a show and work on your comedy chops and work on being interesting.”

Howard Stern Rolling Stone

(MORE STERN):  “The reason I worked so hard is so I wouldn’t have to live in Fargo, North Dakota, honestly. No offense if you live there. I’m pretty sure if you’re living there, you’re trying to get out … Gee whiz … I didn’t know Fargo still existed … Good lord. Well, anyway.”

DJ/PRODUCER SKRILLEX

(on Justin Bieber):  “Justin is a f**king virtuoso.  He’ll school you at every-thing: Ping-Pong, basketball, freestyle rapping.  The kid is so competitive.  Whatever he does he’s super good at, so you don’t stand a chance.  It’s not even fair.”

And, here’s Justin’s latest with Skrillex and Diplo.  I love this song and the video is so cool.  It’s takes me back to the fun days of music videos on MTV.

DONUTGATE

I like donuts and I cannot lie!  (You can sing that along to “Baby Got Back” if you want.)

Donuts

And, while they’re so delicious, the unhealthy treat was thrust into the national spotlight recently when pop tart Ariana Grande was busted “allegedly” licking a donut in a California shop without paying for it.

I’m glad that charges will not be filed against her for the silliness.  Yes, it’s gross if she actually Frenched the pastry for someone else to buy, but there are more pressing matters for us to deal with here in America.

Here’s another perspective on the matter.  When you were young, could you see yourself doing that if you were dared by a friend?  I can’t say that my young self would have done it, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t have!

SUMMER 2016 PROJECT

While there’s still several weeks left in summer 2015, I’m already making plans for next summer and setting my goals high.

Back in the summer of 2012, I ventured into making jelly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made 44 jars of mint, jalapeno-mint, apple mint, lemon balm-basil, and rosemary-lavender-lemon-mint jellies in many festive colors. While rainbow-colored, I didn’t call it “gay jelly”.

I just came across a recipe for pickling vegetables and it looks simple and tasty.

So, next year, pickles and pickled veggies!

ACCEPTANCE OF THOSE IN LOVE

As I’ve talked about in the past, my relationship with my alcoholic father was strained at best.  When sober, he was more tolerable.  However, overall, he didn’t like people, including his own family.

I know if he was alive today he would likely not be a part of his gay son’s life.  But, who knows, he could have softened in his golden years and surprised me.

I usually don’t think of him (he died in 1987), but I did think of him again when Jennifer Hudson’s “I Still Love You” was nominated earlier this week for an MTV VMA “Moonmen” award for “Video With a Social Message”.

The album (and song) didn’t catch on with radio or music buyers, but the video and the song are incredible.

TILDA SWINTON AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN HER

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton is all for looking bad for a great role.

She’s hardly recognizable in “Snowpiercer” as Deputy-Minister Mason or as Madame D. in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, a very old woman.

But, check out the 54-year-old actress in the new movie, “Trainwreck”!  (It’s the picture on the left.)

tilda-transformation

Incredible!  What a chameleon.

SKIP “IT FOLLOWS” AND RENT “THE BABADOOK”

“It Follows” was critically acclaimed and made enough money that a sequel is being discussed.

The premise is cool — a supernatural “it” stalks people after they’ve had sex.  The only way for it to leave you alone is if you pass it along to someone else.

After watching the very SLOOOOOOOW movie, I realized that if “It Follows”, it’d definitely catch them!

Watch the trailer, which is better than the movie and save a couple of dollars renting it.

GRADE: C

However, if you want something supernatural that’s scary, check out the Australian-Canadian psychological thriller, “The Babadook”.

“Mister Babadook” is a pop-up storybook that mysteriously appears and re-appears in the home of a mother and her 6-year-old troubled son.

The supernatural entity starts tormenting people when they are made aware of its existence.

Essie Davis are Noah Wiseman excellently portray the fear and horror of being tormented by the “Babadook”.

And, how cool is the word “Babadook”?

GRADE:  B

MID-YEAR CANADIAN MUSIC LEADERS

In my last “Random Friday Thoughts” back on July 3rd, I reported that at the halfway point of 2015 that Taylor Swift leads in album sales and Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have the top-selling single in the U.S. with “1989” and “Uptown Funk”, respectively.

I guess our friends to the north in Canada have the same taste.  Here are the sales there through mid-year and T-Swizzle has now surpassed Ed Sheeran in album sales and Ronson and Mars lead there, too.

Taylor_Swift_-_1989

Top Selling Canadian Albums (through June 30, 2015)

1. Taylor Swift, 1989 — 172,000 sold
2. Ed Sheeran, X — 170,000
3. Fifty Shades Of Grey, soundtrack — 134,000
4. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour — 132,000
5. Yoan, Yoan — 101,000
6. Hozier, Hozier — 101,000
7. Drake, If You’re Reading This… — 101,000
8. Maroon 5, V — 92,000
9. Meghan Trainor, Title — 86,000
10. Mumford & Sons, Wilder Mind — 84,000

Top Selling Singles (through June 30, 2015)

1. Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk! — 526,000 sold
2. Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud — 346,000
3. Wiz Khalifa Feat. Charlie Puth, See You Again — 315,000
4. Maroon 5, Sugar — 289,000
5. Rihanna/Kanye West/Paul McCartney, FourFiveSeconds — 289,000
6. Hozier, Take Me To Church — 279,000
7. Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do — 245,000
8. Omi, Cheerleader — 242,000
9. Andy Grammar, Honey, I’m Good — 204,000
10. Walk The Moon, Shut Up & Dance — 200,000

“SHOW ME YOURS”

A couple of years ago, singer Hailey Rowe released “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.  It was a fun song and the video was incredible frisky and sexy.  It ended up being my favorite song of 2013.

Now, Canadian singer and internet sensation Scotty Dynamo has released the next big gay thing.

His “Show Me Yours” video reminds me of a modern-day version of “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, which was very scandalous and controversial back in 1981.  Maybe that’s why the song ended up spending ten weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and was the biggest-selling single of the 1980s in the U.S.

BETTE MIDLER & DIVINE INTERVENTION

Congratulations to Bette Midler on the 32 sellouts shows on the “Divine Intervention Tour”!  It made an incredible $36 million!

Bette

We saw the amazing Las Vegas show in May!

GUESS THAT’S ENOUGH FOR NOW

As I’ve said many times, I wish I was wealthy enough to just write all the time.  But, I must pay the bills and find time to get a few hours of sleep, pay the bills, and go on vacation.

Thank you very much for checking out my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think about them.  If you agree with something, let me know.  If not, tell me that, too.

I value your thoughts as much as I appreciate you checking out mine.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s going to be a snowy one in Iowa and Illinois, but it’ll make it more romantic! 🙂

champagne

I hope you and yours have a great weekend.  If there’s no “yours”, you still have every reason to enjoy the day and make the most of it.

I had many single years and I still treated myself to champagne and chocolates whenever I wanted them!  Indulge.  Life is too short.

Here are my random thoughts this Friday.  As always, thank you for checking them out.  If you agree with me, let me know.  If you disagree, let me know nicely. 🙂

BEST WISHES TO MICHAEL SAM

Michael Sam, the Associated Press defensive football player of the year in the Southeast Conference, came out last Sunday telling the public something that his teammates have known since last fall.

Sam told ESPN, “I came to tell the world I’m an openly proud gay man.”

Michael Sam

Sam is expected to be drafted into the National Football League and that would make him the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL.

Michael, I wish you the very best in football and in life and I’m not alone.

Bette Midler

And, here is an incredible commentary from Dale Hansen, a sportscaster with WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas.  This is so true!

However, we still have a long way to go.  This is a series of tweets from Kent State University wrestler Sam Wheeler.  He’s been suspended indefinitely until the athletic department decides on how to handle the situation.

Sam Wheeler Kent State Wrestler

ZOMBIES SLAY OLYMPIANS

While the ratings for the 2014 Winter Olympics for NBC are off slightly from four years ago, people were watching this past weekend.

However, last Sunday night, in the key television viewing demographics, 18-49-year-olds, the season four mid-season premiere of “The Walking Dead” killed the rush for the gold, silver, and bronze.

The Walking Dead

In that demo group, “The Walking Dead” scored a rating of 8.2 beating the 6.9 for NBC’s Sochi Winter Olympics.  Overall, 15.8 million people tuned in for “The Walking Dead”.

RACIST SOCHI TWEET?

Former Russian gold medalist figure skater Irina Rodnina, who lit the Olympic torch for the opening ceremonies of the Sochi games, is now at the center of a controversy that screams of racism.

Rodnina

Rodnina, who is now a member of Parliament in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, tweeted this doctored picture of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama from last September.

Racist Sochi Tweet

Pro-Kremlin television personality Vladimir Soloviev says this is not a big scandal and that Rodnina is free to post whatever she wants.  He went on to say the Tweet was not racist and that the reaction is too sensitive, “I advise everyone who attacked her that the next time they go out for a coffee, they should not call it a black coffee but an African-American coffee.”

I think this is racist whether it’s posted by a Russian politician or someone in the United States who feels as Rodnina does!

Your thoughts?

THIS “ARROW” HITS THE BULLS EYE

“Arrow” actor Stephen Amell wishes the athletes that have been training all their lives the very best in Sochi, Russia, but he holds nothing back on this thoughts about the country’s anti-gay laws.

Stephen Amell

On Facebook, Amell posted, “For everyone asking, we’re taking a mini hiatus so people can grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia and mediocre public interest.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHTS

Weather ChannelSnow

Davenport Cold

That was in Davenport, Iowa, the other morning.  Luckily, it was actually only -23°!

SO LONG, MULDER & SCULLY

We just finished watching all 202 episodes of “The X-Files” and the two movies.  While enjoyable, I still feel that the series finale was rushed and not very rewarding for such a stellar nine-year series that changed television.

the_x_files_i_want_to_believe-wallpaper

After watching “The X-Files:  I Want T0 Believe” again, the 2008 big screen movie is incredible and greatly under appreciated.  While it did have the feel of a more adult (language, violence, and gore) expanded television monster-of-the-week episode, it is very powerful.

Mulder, Scully, Skinner, Doggett, Reyes, Krycek, The Smoking Man, the Lone Gunman, aliens, and Chris Carter, thank you for the memories.

HELLO FISHER FAMILY OF FREAKS

Before we move on to “Fringe” to wrap up the last two seasons, we’re going back to “Six Feet Under”.  We’re now on season three (of five).

six feet under

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dysfunctional family like the Fishers and their crazy friends and loved ones.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love Michael C. Hall.  And, to see him as a very tormented David Fisher, who’s also gay, is very interesting.

PICK HIT

Singer Hailey Rowe is back with a very inspiring song and video.

Hailey Rowe

While she isn’t a household name, she scored my favorite song and video of 2013 with “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.

Her latest release is “Don’t Need Your Approval”.

“CAPTAIN PHILLIPS”

“Captain Phillips” is nominated for six Oscars this year, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Barkhad Abdi.  It also gained attention when Tom Hanks was snubbed for a Best Actor nomination.

Captain Phillips

The $55 million movie earned $215.3 million at the box office.  It’s based on real life events when Somali hijackers took over the “MV Maersic Alabama” in April 2009 and kidnapped the cargo ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, for ransom.

It’s a well crafted movie by director Paul Greengrass (“United 93”) and Oscar winner Hanks does a great job playing Phillips as a strong leader in the face of terror and possible death.  Even Adbi and the other three first-time Somali actors hold their own in the movie.

If you didn’t follow the story when it was news almost five years ago, you’ll enjoy the movie more.  As I was watching it, I kept wondering if Hollywood would change something in the outcome for dramatization since it’s “based on a true story”.

After seeing the movie, was Hanks snubbed?  I don’t think so based on the two Oscar-nominated performances I’ve seen so far (Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” and Christian Bale in “American Hustle”).  Will Abdi win the Supporting Actor award?  No.

If you like an action packed thriller, you’ll definitely like “Captain Phillips”.  If you want to see Greengrass at his best, watch “United 93”.

GRADE:  B

“RUNNER RUNNER”

This thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck is entertaining enough with a few twists.

Runner Runner

Timberlake plays Richie Furst, who used to work on Wall Street and is now getting his Master’s Degree.  Since he isn’t eligible to get help with his tuition, he recruits college students to gamble online and he get a kick back.  When he’s reported, the school’s dean tells him he must quit or he won’t get his degree.

He takes a chance gambling on the site knowing the odds and loses all his money.  He then flies to Costa Rica to try to get his money back from Ivan Block (Affleck), who is the online gaming king.

It’s a cat and mouse game, but you don’t know who’s playing who.

GRADE:  C

NEW TWITTER FOLLOWER

I’m still relatively new to Twitter and I find it interesting.  I only have 142 followers, but one of my new followers is someone I’ve been a fan of for almost 30 years — Andy Bell of Erasure.

Andy Bell

Since the follow, we’ve corresponded a couple of times.  If you’re an Erasure fan, check out this encouraging and fun tweet from Andy.

Andy 2

“Make It Wonderful” is the second single from last fall’s “Snow Globe” album and the remixes will be available February 24th.  Here is the amazing “Morlando Club Mix”.

Some of the “many” things that Andy may have been talking about is the anticipated new album and tour this fall!

“BABYCAKES” & “SIGNIFICANT OTHERS”

If you read my “Random Friday Thoughts” each week, you know that I’ve been spending a lot of time on the treadmill walking and reading.  I’ve lost 8.8 pounds since the beginning of the year, but it’s getting harder now.

I’m also reading Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of The City” series.  I just finished the fourth and fifth books in the nine-book series.

“Babycakes”, the fourth book, takes place around 1983, seven years after the first book.

babycakes

The AIDS pandemic claims the life of a recurring character and a main character is dealing with the loss of his best friend and lover.  He takes a trip to England and runs into a major character that was absent in the third book.

One character becomes a television reporter after breaking the story of the survivors of the Jonestown Massacre.  Another story line involved a favorite couple trying to have a baby with sterility and infidelity playing a major role.  As the book ended, one life started and another ended.

This was my least favorite of the four books, so far, and part of it might have been the fact that it was new to me since it wasn’t made into a miniseries like the first three books.

SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

The series found its mojo with the fifth book, “Significant Others”.

Two different retreats, one for a women’s festival (lesbians) and one for older men (rich Republicans), take place on Russian River north of San Francisco in 1985.  We meet three new characters that play a big role in some of the lives of the original “Tales of The City” group.

One character faces the unknown when he takes the HIV test and what he’ll tell his wife and another is still dealing with the loss of his friend/lover from AIDS in the third fourth.  He meets a new friend that could be something long-term, but they live on opposite coasts!

I can’t wait to see what happens in the sixth book!

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

Kentucky-born singer John Conlee had a long, successful string of 27 hits on the Billboard Country charts from 1978-1987.  Of those 27 hits, 22 reached the Top Ten, and 7 topped the charts.

My two favorites are “Backside of Thirty”, his third hit and second number one from 1979, and his first country hit, “Rose Colored Glasses” that peaked at #5 in 1978.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

Have a great weekend.  I think we’re having heart-shaped pizza and a heart-shaped strawberry ice cream cake this weekend with Gretel and my sister, Tammy.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!  I wish you the very best this year.  If 2013 was a great year for you, I hope this one is better.  If 2013 wasn’t all that great, I hope 2014 is incredible.

Happy 2014

Here are my first random thoughts of 2014!

HELL HAS FROZEN OVER!

This is not a segue into the bitterly cold, below zero temperatures we’re waking up to in the Midwest this Friday or the brutal cold coming in early next week.

Hell has frozen over because I can now say that I agree with former Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck on something!

On CNN recently, Beck cracked me up talking about Santa and race when he replied, “I don’t know what color your imaginary friends are.”

However, it was his comments about Russia and a prominent television star there that caught my attention and we found common ground.

People, I’ve talked about this hate since last summer, but we really need to wake up when it comes to Russia and the sad state of human rights there!

GOODBYE CHRISTMAS

Christmas Outside

As much as I love the Christmas lights and decorations, the outdoors lights will be put away when some of the snow melts and it warms up a little.  The “live” tree inside comes down next weekend!

Christmas Tree

I had a very nice Christmas and Santas Ray, Tammy, Gretel, Betty & Ray’s parents lavished me with some fun and some very practical gifts.  By practical, do you notice the soap, shampoos, and lotions?  I can’t wait to use the food processor this summer when the garden produces enough tomatoes for homemade salsa.

And, Vickie, thank you for the Michael Buble book and Andy, the tie is too cool!

Christmas Gifts

RICKY MARTIN IS SINGLE

4820-4820-1

Ricky Martin’s publicist has confirmed that the Latin heartthrob and his partner of about three years, Carlos González Abella, are no longer together.
The statement says, “Ricky and Carlos have mutually agreed to end their relationship, but continue to be united by friendship and their shared experiences.”
ricky-martin-vanity-fair

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Jesus

Forecast

Healthy

BEING HEALTHIER IS NOT A RESOLUTION

If you recall, in 2012, Ray and I both lost about 25-30 pounds for his 30th high school reunion and the Madonna concert for my birthday in Las Vegas.  While it was hard eating very little and walking a lot, it was worth it.

Vegas October 2012

Since October 2012, we haven’t been very dedicated to healthy eating and it shows.  I’ve gained all the weight back and more!  Yesterday morning, I weighed more than I’ve ever weighed!

I feel like I look like Christian Bale’s character in “American Hustle”, but with better hair and clothes.  Okay, I’m slightly exaggerating there.

Christian Bale American Hustle

Ray and I have both set our weight loss goal of 15 pounds by summer.

Bring on the lettuce!

REDBOX TARGETED OVER SAME-SEX MOVIE

I love renting movies from Redbox.  I’ll watch a movie that I normally wouldn’t check out, because for $1.20, you generally can’t go wrong.  As far as I can recall, I’ve never rented a gay-themed movie from Redbox because they normally aren’t there.

However, there’s a documentary called “Bridgegroom” available now and it’s causing some uproar.

NETFLIX POSTER

It tells the story of the documentary’s producer, Shane Bitney Crone, and his late partner, Tom Bridegroom, who died in an accidental fall from a rooftop.

Some of you may recall this story about Crone’s grief in the YouTube video sensation, “It Could Happen To You”, in which Crone describes Bridegroom’s family refusing to let him to come to his partner’s funeral and them threatening his life. It has been viewed more 4.6 million times since it was posted more than a year ago.

Crone posted on Facebook earlier this week, “some radio hosts and church groups have encouraged others to boycott the popular Redbox video rental kiosks completely, simply because they are against a love story about two men.”

REDBOX

Redbox plans to supply the documentary to its 44,000 kiosks across the country and is contributing 5% of the film’s proceeds to GLAAD, GLSEN, PFLAG, and Freedom the Marry.

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY” FLASHBACK

Since I started my blog almost two years ago, I regularly featured some of my favorite pop songs from the 1980s, the best decade of music!

In 2014, I’m taking the mantra of Marie Osmond, with whom I share a birthday.  This year, “I’m a little bit country” and I’m starting it off with Shania Twain.

Shania2

No, it’s not one of the awesome country and pop crossover hits from her mega-selling albums “The Woman In Me”, “Come On Over” or “Up” that made Shania the best-selling female country artist not only in America, but the world.  She has sold more than 85 million albums world-wide!

In America alone, “The Woman In Me” sold 12+ million copies, 20+ million for “Come On Over”, and 11+ million for “Up”.

Shania’s first hit, “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” reached #11 in 1995.  Including that hit, she has scored 27 Top 40 country hits with 16 of them reaching the Top Ten, and 7 have topped the charts.

Shania Twain

However, my feature hit today is her first release from her self-titled debut in 1993.  Sadly, “What Made You Say That” and the follow-up, “Dance With The One That Brought You”, both only reached #55.

We played this song like crazy at Charlie’s, the country bar that I worked at in Chicago, before Shania made it big!

2014 CONCERTS

If it all works out, I want to visit Las Vegas in 2014 and see a double feature of Shania Twain and Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me”, which is earning rave reviews since it started last Friday night.

Shania1Britney

More than likely, the first show we’ll see this year will be Cher and her “Dressed To Kill” tour when it comes to Rosemont, outside Chicago, on June 7th.

Cher Dressed to Kill Tour

I’d also like to see Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis’ “Grits & Glamour Tour” in Clinton, Iowa, in June, since I’ve seen both of them separately in concert.

Grits Glamour Tour

I also want to see Erasure next fall and Olivia Newton-John, if she tours.

ErasureOlivia

And, I’m still holding out for a Culture Club reunion tour.

culture-club

“AMERICAN HUSTLE”

Last week, you learned that the Israeli drama/love story, “Out in The Dark”, was my favorite movie of 2013.

OUT-IN-THE-DARK-Poster

I’m already starting to compile my best of 2014 list and the first theatrical movie I checked out was “American Hustle”.

American Hustle

The movie, directed by David O. Russell, stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams, who Russell directed in “The Fighter” and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence of “Silver Linings Playbook”, which was also directed by Russell.

“American Hustle” is loosely based on a FBI undercover operation back in the  late-1970s and early-1980s involving crooked politicians.

All four stars were incredible in the movie and gave Oscar worthy performances.

I think Adams has a Best Actress nomination secured and Lawrence could very well be nominated in the Supporting Actress category.  Her nutty character was funny and heartbreaking.

GRADE:  A-

HOLLYWOOD, LISTEN TO ME!

I’ve now seen Jennifer Lawrence in five movies and she’s been captivating in every one of them.

jennifer-lawrence

I believe every movie should star Lawrence and Melissa Leo, who I hope Oscar remembers in mid-January when the nominations are announced.  She was phenomenal in “Prisoners”.

Melissa Leo Prisoners

Happy 2014 again and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  I plan on relaxing this weekend, vegging out, watching movies, and getting through more of “The X-Files”.  We’re midway through season seven.

Since I mentioned my favorite movie of 2013 in this blog, I’ll leave you with my favorite song and video of 2013.  You can find separate blogs of my “best of 2013” by hitting the back button at the top of this blog for past blogs. 🙂

Wait, I have a Cher playlist and I know the words to every Britney song…………

Anthony

I Love That Song, But Skip That One

Radio back in the 1980s was so much fun and the music was amazing.  I’m not a big fan of radio these days because you hear the same songs played over and over.  Here’s a look at my favorite songs of 2013 and three of my least favorites.

Interesting enough, many of these songs and, especially, the top five got little, if any, radio airplay.

Take that, commercial radio.  (Apologies to my radio DJ friends that are constrained as to what you can play!)

13

“LIMPIDO”

LAURA PAUSINI & KYLIE MINOUGUE

12

“SAME LOVE”

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS WITH MARY LAMBERT

11

“WAKE ME UP”

AVICII

#10 MOVIE

“TREASURE”

BRUNO MARS

#9

“FOLLOW YOUR ARROW”

KACEY MUSGRAVES

#8 CD

“TIMBER”

PITBULL & KE$HA

#7 MOVIE

“C’MON”

KE$HA

#6 CD

“DO WHAT U WANT”

LADY GAGA & R. KELLY

#5 MOVIE

“NOW THAT I FOUND YOU”

BRITNEY SPEARS

#4 MOVIE

“VOCAL”

PET SHOP BOYS

green 3

YLVIS

“THE FOX (WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?)”

#2 MOVIE

“RED”

CHER

Another number 1

“MY BOYFRIEND IS GAY”

HAILEY ROWE

So, those are my thirteen favorite songs of the year.

Gag Me

Here are three that I didn’t really care for.

I know I’ll lose gay points for one choice, but I’ll gain them back for fighting back at disgusting homophobia with another choice.

Yes, I’m talking about you, Eminem!

Eminem-Rap-GodRoyalsOoh la la

And, as a bonus to earn back my lost gay point for including a Britney song, here’s one of the sexiest videos of the year.  And, radio, this song should have done much better!

If you’re still reading and you didn’t check it out the other day, here are my ten favorite albums of 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/my-top-ten-favorite-albums-of-2013/

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 14, 2013

The weekend is almost here and it’s not just any weekend, it’s Father’s Day weekend.  Whether you’re a dad, a granddad, or a great granddad, have a great one.  Ladies, while you had your day of celebration last month, I hope you have a great day, too.  I know first hand that there are some women out there that are better fathers than the biological father could ever be!

While the weather isn’t shaping up to be all that great this weekend with showers and thunderstorms, especially Saturday and Saturday night, I hope you make the best of whatever we get!

FATHER’S DAY

We have Gretel this weekend and she hasn’t mentioned doing anything for us.

Last year, she made us the cutest card.

Card Front Card Inside

It had only been four months since Miss ABBA went to “puppy heaven”, but she still made an appearance on the card in her urn. 🙂

With assistance, Gretel made Father’s Day dinner for us in our old kitchen as it was being renovated.  When you check out this video, listen to the age reference and why she’s doing it!

As Alf exclaimed in the 1980s, “Ha, I kill me!”

ALF HA

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY CELEBRITY STYLE

I just want to say a special Happy Father’s Day to Ricky Martin and his partner, Carlos Gonzalez Abella, from their twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, who turn five this August.

Exclusive - Ricky Martin Spends Time With His Partner And Children

Also, to Neil Patrick Harris and his partner, David Burtka, from their twins — son, Gideon Scott, and daughter, Harper Grace.  They turn three in October.

neil-patrick-harris-david-burtka-saint-tropez-with-the-kids

And, to Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, from sons Zachary, who turns three on Christmas Day, and Elijah, who was born five months ago.

Elton John and family

Happy Father’s Day!

THE DOWN SIDE TO BEING VISIBLE

While the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community continues to gain visibility, support, and equality across the United States and other countries at incredible rates, it’s coming with a price.

Gay bashing has always been a problem.

Beatings and harassment at the hands of police prompted the historic “Stonewall Riots” in June 1969 (I blogged about this last Gay Pride and I’ll provide the link below for those of you unfamiliar with it).

I remember standing outside the gay bar and sitting by the Riverfront in Paducah, Kentucky, with my friends back in the mid-1980s and rednecks would drive by making crude comments and hurling the derogatory f-word at us and on a few occasions, they’d even threaten us with baseball bats.

But, that was about 30 years ago and you’d think people would be more educated and more accepting today.  Many are, but there’s still a long road to travel.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that violence toward gays in New York City was up 4% last year over 2011.  And, the number of gay bashing reports have doubled this year.  In May alone, there were 10 reported anti-gay attacks in the Big Apple, including the shooting death of 32-year-old Mark Carson on May 17th in the West Village.

Mark Carson Killed In May

And, it’s not confined the country’s largest city.  In Ohio, “Outlook Columbus” reports that three gay men were beaten in separate attacks in the college town in the past week, including Christopher Ashcraft, who was visiting from Kentucky.

columbus beating

He told police that several men approached him asking for a jump-start.  When he got his keys to help the men, he was attacked.

Ashcraft told a Cincinnati television station, “Once I was on the ground, they just kicked me in the face a couple times until I was unconscious. It was my guess an hour to an hour-and-a-half later before I woke up and, from what I’m told, crawled back to the bar where I was found laying behind the bar.”

While one reason for the increase in the number of attacks may be that people, like in rape cases, are not as afraid today to come forward to report the crime, the bottom line is that ONE attack is ONE attack too many!  I hope the bastards that get a cheap thrill out of beating people for being different (or beating, in general) get what they deserve and much more.

The violence has to stop!

“Push Comes To Shove 43 Years Ago — The Stonewall Riots:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/push-comes-to-shove-43-years-ago-the-stonewall-riots/

FALLING IN LOVE … AGAIN!

On a much lighter note, last Christmas I asked for a turntable.  My album and dance single collection from the 1980s and the 1990s disappeared about 20 years ago, but I wanted to start buying some albums to get that vinyl feeling when listening to music.

Albums

Except for a few skips here and there, the second-hand albums that I’ve buying at used record stores and yard sales are so much fun.  And, we all know how radio only plays the singles.  It’s been interesting listening to the albums that I never would have bought back in the day and to hear many of the ten or so tracks that I would have missed.

YARD SALE BARGAINS

Last weekend, Ray, Tammy, and I went to several yard sales and it was so much fun checking out people’s treasures (and junk) that they were trying to get rid of it.

In addition to the previously mentioned albums, I bought some VHS movies (yes, we still have a player since I’m not converting my VHS collection to DVD), some books, and Christmas ornaments.  I think I’ll have to check out more sales this summer.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

VodkaNot SpeakingAdam Levine

FUNNY “HANNIBAL” JOKE

First, a programming note:  Only one more episode left!  The season finale is Thursday, June 20th.

My friend, Stephanie Bowen, shared this “Hannibal” joke with me regarding characters Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter.

Will Graham and Hannibal

Hannibal: “Will, your lack of appetite worries me. How much do you weigh?”
Will: “One graham.”
(Hannibal stares dumbfoundly — Will smiles sheepishly)
Hannibal: “Don’t make me have to kilogram.”

ALF HA

GONNA MAKE ME SWEAT!

Now that I’ve officially set the date for my annual physical in October, I have to get serious about eating healthy and working out again.  I think I’ve figured out how to jump-start my weight loss this summer:  No air conditioning and walking on the treadmill until I sweat!  Tuesday and Wednesday were perfect for that, although we broke down Wednesday and turned on the AC!

KE$HA & PITBULL CONCERT

We all had a great time at last Sunday’s Ke$ha and Pitbull concert in Tinley Park.  Gretel was excited to wear make-up and fake eyelashes and to color her hair.

Gretel for Ke$ha

Ke$ha was fun and her back-up dancers were a hoot dressed as warriors, drag queens, and animal mascots.  While Ke$ha may have relied heavily on singing along to her own pre-recorded lyrics, it was still enjoyable.  During one number she was going to put on a jacket to” add some color” to her outfit, but there was a wardrobe malfunction putting it on and she went on without it with a “Oh, f*ck it”!

Ke$ha

Pitbull had an incredible light show and the man sure has some energy.  He sang many, if not all, of his hits in his 75-minute set with many of the big stars (Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, and Ne-Yo) he’s performed with appearing on the stage monitor behind him.  But, after a while, some of his songs blended together and sounded the same.

Pitbull

What a great night with very enjoyable shows from Ke$ha and Pitbull.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

We have been debating on whether to put up Gretel’s outdoor pool this year.  I think we’re leaning toward “no”.

It came in handy in the summer of 2010.  Miss ABBA, who loved swimming, sure enjoyed it.  This picture is from this week three years ago.

61910 ABBA Gretel

Earlier in my blog, I talked about Gretel making dinner for us last Father’s Day.  Here is the final product — linguine with lemon pepper and garlic chicken and veggies.

Gretel 06182012

NEW SONG I’M LOVING

Last week, I featured the video for Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.  I love that song and video.  Another song that I’m really loving right now, in just two months, is already the most popular song in the country and one of the most played on Top 40 radio.

Robin Thicke scored his first Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Lost Without U”, in 2007.  While the song hit #14 on that chart, it topped the R&B chart.  He’s gone on to score two more #1 songs on the R&B chart with “Sex Therapy” in 2009 and his new song, “Blurred Lines” featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.  “Blurred Lines” is also the new #1 song on the Hot 100.

It’s the first release from his new album of the same name that is being released at the end of July.

By the way, there is an “unrated” version of the video that was banned by YouTube.  *Warning:  Contains Boobies*  *NSFW*  *Not suitable when children are in the room*.  Oh, who am I kidding, you’ve already clicked on the link!

parental_advisory_explicit_content

http://www.vevo.com/watch/robin-thicke/blurred-lines-unrated-version/USUV71300526

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Since I just featured Robin Thicke with one of my favorites songs out there today, let’s keep it in the family with one of my favorite female vocalists of all time.  Robin is the son of actor Alan Thicke (“Growing Pains”) and actress/singer Gloria Loring (“Liz Chandler Courtney DiMera Craig Curtis” on “Days of Our Lives” from 1980-1986).

As a singer, Gloria Loring is best known on television as a singer on “Days of Our Lives” and for co-writing the themes to “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” with her ex-husband Alan Thicke.  Gloria also sang the theme song to “The Facts of Life” from the second season to the end of the series.

Gloria has released twelve albums dating back to her first in 1968.  Although she is one of my favorite singers, her only Top 40 appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 came in 1986 when “Friends & Lovers”, a duet with Carl Anderson, reached #2.  It hit #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.

RAY, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

This song, “The Best Thing About Me Is You” (“Lo Mejor de Mi Vida Eres Tu”) by Ricky Martin hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Latin charts in 2011.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts.  I hope you took a moment to enjoy the videos.  Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 7

The weekend is here and I hope you have a great one.  In the Quad Cities, Gumbo Ya-Ya is taking place in the District of Rock Island.  While I’ve broadcasted weather live from the event, I’ve never actually gone to it.  So, this evening, I’ll be there an hour or so for work and then I may sample some of the culture and the food.

On Sunday,we’re heading to Chicagoland to celebrate Gretel’s birthday a month early.  Two years ago, we took her to the “Glee Live” concert.  This time it’s Ke$ha and Pitbull.  While I was the one that really wanted to go, Gretel was very excited about getting to see the show, too.

KE$HA & PITBULL IN CONCERT

Ke$ha Pitbull

While I know that Ke$ha is strange and her songs are auto-tuned to the max, she’s still fun to listen to and who doesn’t love someone that’s not afraid to let their freak flag fly.  Her current album, “Warrior” is amazing.

The reviews of the concert are really good.  From what I’ve read, Ke$ha comes out first and performs about 55 minutes and then Pitbull brings his Latin magic to the stage for about 75 minutes.

Ke$ha’s new song, “Crazy Kids” featuring will.i.am is currently racing up the chart and is already Top 30 at pop radio.

KAISER’S LAST  WALK

In a heartwarming show of respect last Friday in Massachusetts, several Plymouth Police Department personnel gathered outside an animal hospital to salute Kaiser, their 2.5-year-old K-9 companion, as he walked into the veterinarian clinic to be put down.
Remembering Kaiser

The German Shepherd was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure this March, but his health problems became too severe early last week for him to work and the decision was made to end his pain.

Kaiser was one of the youngest dogs to ever attend the training academy – at just 10 months old.  After finishing the four-month Patrol Dog Academy, he was certified in human tracking, criminal apprehension and evidence recovery and was assigned to Plymouth Police Officer Jamie LeBretton.

LeBretton posted this on the Plymouth Police K-9 unit’s Facebook page, “I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue.”

Rest in peace, Kaiser!

TRAIN WRECK AMANDA BYNES HAS CROSSED THE LINE

Troubled actress Amanda Bynes is giving people plenty to talk about and it has nothing to do with her acting!

Following her last arrest on May 23, 2013, she tweeted, “Don’t believe the reports about me being arrested. It’s all lies.  I was sexually harassed by one of the cops the night before last which is who then arrested me. He lied and said I threw a bong out the window when I opened the window for fresh air. Hilarious. He slapped my vagina.  Sexual harassment…The cops were creepy.”  Um, okay.

Amanda Bynes

And, then last weekend, she was upset with “People” magazine and posted this on Twitter with a gay slur.

Amanda Bynes

Before it was deleted, RuPaul got wind of it and had this come back.

RuPaul

Amanda, you need help, but let me give you some advice.  You should really watch your mouth, especially dropping that f-bomb because one thing you don’t want in your twisted little life is for the LGBT community to come down on you, especially a 7-foot tall drag queen (with heels and wig)!

RuPaul

You better work!

YUM!

I finally had the new Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita and it was pretty tasty.  And, the nice thing is that it’s only 199 calories.  While it has more calories than a glass of wine or a vodka/diet tonic, I would not want to have more than one or two of them at a time anyways.  It seems more like a cordial or a dessert drink to me.  Also, I bet it would fun to make my own variation of the drink for a party!

strawberrita

As many of you know, I love making fun drinks or having a vodka tonic or a glass or two of wine, so this cartoon is rather fitting for me. 🙂

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Forecast  Know it allHuman

PRIDE PROTEST SHAME

Last weekend was 6th annual Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  I’ve attended three of them now.  Two with Miss ABBA and this one with Ray and Gretel.  I hear the turnout on Saturday was phenomenal!  Thank you, Quad Cities!

We went on Sunday and it wasn’t as busy during the afternoon.  As many of you know, I’m very outspoken about matters that are true to my heart.  I believe in equality for all and I stand behind my convictions and I don’t hide.  What you get is what you see!

As we were leaving Pride, Ray pointed out the two protestors standing by the entrance/exit.  While thousands attended the Quad Cities Pride, two people took it upon themselves to let us know that we were sinners in God’s eyes.

Pride Protestor

If this is a relative of yours, I offer my apologies on several levels.  But, most of all, if you have the nerve to condemn people on God’s behalf, please have “pride” in yourself that you don’t hang your head in shame when someone takes your picture.  I know there are many people who believe as this man does.  On the other hand, I know there are many more people who are proud to stand up for the rights of their LGBT brothers and sisters.

Gretel, who turns 12 next month, asked, “What is he protesting?”  I told her, “he thinks God doesn’t want your two dads married”.  And, her response was priceless, “Why?”  I ♥ my little girl!

I can hear the angel Whitney Houston singing in my head, “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way”.  So, I’ll share it with you now.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

It’s been almost 16 months since the incredibly talented and beautiful Whitney Houston left us.  Her music still sounds as good today as it did when she blasted onto the music scene in 1985 with her first hit, “You Give Good Love”.  From that first Billboard Hot 100 hit that peaked at #3 to her last Top 40 appearance in 2001 (“The Star-Spangled Banner, #6), Whitney scored 30 Top 40 hits.  Of those, 24 reached the Top Ten, and eleven made it all the way to the top of the chart!

As a matter of fact, from 1985-1988, Whitney topped the Billboard Hot 100 with seven consecutive songs:  “Saving All My Love For You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.

In addition to those seven consecutive chart toppers, Whitney also reached the top with “I’m Your Baby Tonight”, “All The Man I Need”, I Will Always Love You”, and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”.

She also topped the Billboard Dance Chart fourteen times.

DONUT VODKA LAST YEAR AND NOW WHAT?

Last year at this time, I was anxiously awaiting the “Glazed Donut” vodka from 360 Vodka, which the company called the “irresistible taste of America’s most-popular donut.”  I wasn’t impressed when I bought it, so I need to try it again to see if I was wrong last summer.

Today, on National Donut Day, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering not only a free donut with the purchase of a beverage, but it’s also offering a new, relatively healthy breakfast (or I guess, anytime) treat, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich!

donut-sandwich

The company describes the 360 calorie, 20 fat grams sandwich this way, “The glazed donut is light and fluffy and gives you just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the lightly salted, smoked bacon, the texture and flavors marry together in a wonderful way. It’s a delicious bite of the perfect harmonization of sweet and savory flavors.”

So, would it be overkill to have this new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich and a 360 Vokda Glazed Donut cocktail for dinner tonight??? 🙂

Speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts, the chain’s Moline, Illinois, store on Avenue of the Cities that was struck by a hit and run stolen pickup truck almost three months ago is still closed.  And, it will remain that way indefinitely.  While I’m not a regular customer there, I thought it was rather odd that it has taken so long to re-open.  So, I did some investigating and no building permit has been requested from the Moline Building Division for the repair work.  Interesting!

I guess if I really want my free donut and to try this sandwich today, I’ll have to go to Davenport!

“THE WALKING DEAD”

While we’re still months away from the start of the fourth season of “The Walking Dead”, I got excited earlier this week when it was announced that season three arrives on DVD on August 27th!  Yes, I’m one of those people who don’t watch enough television to pay Mediacom’s outrageous prices for cable.

I can’t wait to see the third season because I hear it was fantastic.  And, yes, I’m aware that some of the main characters die since you can’t avoid spoilers these days, especially if you wait for shows to arrive on DVD.

The season 3 finale was watched by 12.4 million people making it the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), I’ll see you in less than three months!

“DEXTER”

While I love “The Walking Dead”, my favorite show is “Dexter”.  The final season begins June 30th on Showtime!

Dexter The Final Season

And, guess who graces the cover of my favorite magazine, “Entertainment Weekly’?

Dexter -EW-COVER

While my issue will arrive in the mail today, I already know part of what it says about season 8.  Since I don’t believe in spoiling things for others, in case you’re not caught up, here’s what I’ll let out of the bag.  According to “EW”, the final season picks up six months after the shocking season seven finale.  Debra has a new job and Dexter is desperate to get close to his sister again after the all of the turmoil she faced last season after she found out what Dexter is!

And, this sounds like an awesome new storyline:  “Enter Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a psychiatrist with a secret: Decades ago she helped Dexter’s father write the Code that he’s used to manage his psychotic impulses. Now she’s being stalked by a mysterious killer and wants Dex’s help.”

Ray and I just watched Season 7 and I have to say that it was my favorite season so far, but season one is very close!

Since I love ranking and grading pop culture, here goes:

Season 1: (A+)   — Three words:  Ice Truck Killer!  Plus, I love Sergeant Doakes (“Surprise Motherf***a”)!

Season 2: (B)  —   I gave it a higher grade for Doakes and a lower grade because of Lila (you gotta love Paris)!

Season 3: (B-) —  This season had so much potential especially when Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) saw Dexter kill someone early on, but the show lost its way for most of the season.

Season 4:  (A) —  The Trinity Killer & Rita taking a much deserved bath!

Season 5:  (B-) — Lumen got old fast, but having Jonny Lee Miller (Jordan Chase) on the show saved it from getting a “C”.  However, the story line was weak.

Season 6:  (A-)  —  The “Doomsday Killer” and the Book of Revelations killings were intriguing.   The “Nebraska” filler episode dropped the season back a partial grade.

Season 7:  (A+) — The dynamics of Dexter and Debra this season after she witnessed his kill at the end of season six were incredible.  Debra’s fragility of discovering what Dexter is and having to compromise her position with Miami Metro to save her brother was a powerful story to watch unfold.   And, it was fun seeing Dexter as the mouse in the “cat and mouse” game with his every move being watched by not only Debra, but also by Isaac Sirko and the Koshka Brotherhood (the Ukrainian based international crime syndicate).  If that wasn’t enough, he and Debra then had to come up with a strategic plan after Captain LaGuerta found evidence that Doakes wasn’t the “Bay Harbor Butcher” and she started investigating Dexter!

And, the icing on the cake, I finally got a Christmas “Dexter” episode!

RENT THIS!

If you’re looking for a movie to rent this weekend, I suggest “Silver Linings Playbooks” (A-), “The Life of Pi” (A), and “The Impossible” (A).

the-impossible

“The Impossible” is about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that struck many southeast Asia countries on December 26, 2004.  Indonesia was hardest hit with the most damage and casualties.  Around a quarter of a million people died.

This movie follows a British couple played by Naomi Watts (who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance) and Ewan McGregor and their three sons on a holiday vacation to Thailand.  After enjoying opening presents for Christmas, the movie moves on to their fight for survival during and after the waves hit their resort.

Watts’ performance was subtle, but very touching.  In a weaker Oscar race year, Tom Holland, who played the couple’s 12-year-old son, Lucas, would have have nominated.

The special effects of the tsunami and the aftermath of the raging water that turned land into an extension of the Indian Ocean were so realistic.

A must-see!

AND, TAKE A CHANCE ON THIS!

K-11

This was one of the craziest, but entertaining, movies I’ve seen in some time.

It’s the directorial debut of Hollywood veteran script supervisor Jules Stewart, the mother of the “Twilight” series star Kristin Stewart.  At one point, K-Stew was attached to the movie, but had to drop out because of a scheduling conflict.  Her brother, Cameron Stewart makes his acting debut as a prisoner.

The movie stars Goran Visnjic, of “ER” fame, as hard partying, boozer, and druggie music producer Raymond Saxx, Jr.  He ends up in jail one night after a blackout and then mistakenly (one guard bribing another is more accurate) gets taken to K-11, a part of the Los Angeles County Jail, that houses gay or transsexual inmates to keep them “safe” from the general jail population.

K-11 is a cesspool of drugs and bad behavior and is controlled by Mousey, a street wise transsexual inmate played by actress Kate De Castillo.  De Castillo is incredible.  It’s a case of Julie Andrew’s “Victor Victoria” gone bad.  A woman playing a man dressing as a woman.  I seriously thought that De Castillo was a man playing a woman or a transsexual.

The movie is violent and does have drug and rape scenes, so it may not be for the faint of heart.

GRADE:  B

OBSESSED WITH THIS VIDEO!

I love the latest song and video from singer and songwriter Hailey Rowe.  When I first saw the video, I loved it because it was fun and both Hailey and video “boyfriend”, actor Blake Peyrot, are so damn cute.  Now, I just can’t stop watching it.  And, the song was added to the playlists at stations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Palm Springs, California.  I think it would be so awesome for this song to take off at Top 40 radio this summer!

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

A mini-vacation sounds nice right now, but we don’t have any planned.

However, last year at this time, Ray, Gretel, Betty (“Mom”) and I spent the weekend at “Four Mounds”, a little getaway in Dubuque, Iowa, overlooking the Mississippi River.  They have a little cabin that we’ve rented several times.  We just relaxed, played cards, walked in the woods and along the River, and ate some good food like my favorite meal that Ray makes — chicken piccata.  That’s also the first meal he cooked for me and Miss ABBA in early 2009 when we met.

June 8 2012 Betty AP Ray Ray AP June 9 2012 Ray Gretel June 8 2012Chicken Piccata June 8 2012

Okay, that’s enough random thoughts.  You know I always welcome your thoughts on anything that I’m talking about or something totally off the subject.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony