Posts Tagged ‘Illinois marriage equality’

Random Friday Thoughts — November 29, 2013

I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and that you ate plenty of food.  I’m ready to make another turkey since I didn’t have enough.  I’ll have to enjoy the other leftovers!  December is almost here and now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.  Along with that, here are my random thoughts of the week.

HALLMARK DONS UGLY APPAREL

It appears that Hallmark wants to have fun this Christmas, as long as you don’t associate fun with “gay”.

The song, “Deck The Halls” dates back to the 16th century, but the lyrics, “Don we now our gay apparel“, must be too gay for the company to use on a new ornament.  It’s been changed to “Don we now our FUN apparel“.

Hallmark Sweater
While they will probably sell many of them, it’s turned into a comedic punchline.

Joan Rivers Hallmark

And, Ellen had the best solution to changing lyrics and the meaning of words!

Hallmark says, “When the lyrics to ‘Deck the Halls’ were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800’s, the word ‘gay’ meant festive or merry.  Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation.”

Each Christmas, Betty (Mom) buys me a “son” ornament from Hallmark.  However, I advised her to buy me an ornament from anyplace except Hallmark this year!

ILLINOIS MOVES TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY

Last week, Illinois became the 16th state (along with the District of Columbia) to make marriage equality law.  This was a happy time for many, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel who stopped by Sidetrack, a Chicago gay bar, to congratulation patrons there and he tweeted:

Illinois

Not everyone was happy with this new law.  A Springfield, Illinois, priest performed an exorcism (I’m not kidding!).

Cardinal George

And, Cardinal Francis George said this in a letter that appeared in church bulletins throughout the Chicago Archdiocese, “The law has made some gays and lesbians happy, and that is not a bad thing in itself. The law, however, is [a] bad law because it will contribute over the long run to the further dissolution of marriage and family life, which are the bedrock of any society… We have lived with bad laws before, and we will do our best to adjust to this one for the sake of social harmony.”

Cardinal George plans on staying on the job for another to three years.  As for me, with his close-minded views over the years, sooner would be better than later.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Turkey Facebook Turkey Moooo turkey_thanksgiving

HAPPY THOUGHT FOR THANKSGIVING

Here’s a fun little video for your Thanksgiving weekend from 1993’s “Addams Family Values”.

CHRISTMAS ROAD TRIP

Since I had a few days of vacation left this year, I mentioned to Ray that I’d like to drive back home and eat my favorite restaurant, Patti 1880’s Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, and then visit the Reba McEntire exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.  This would be a simple three-day trip and we could visit my hometown (Mayfield, Kentucky) and where I went to college (Murray State).

Opryland Hotel

As we started looking for hotels, we came across a package deal with the famous Opryland Hotel.

It included tickets to see the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes”, the Opry at the Ryman, a Cumberland River luncheon cruise aboard the General Jackson showboat, a night at the Opry at the Ryman (featuring Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, and more) and “Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner and Show”, and several other events.

So, late next week, I’ll be Christmasing in Nashville for a few nights.

FIFTY SHADES OF “HEYYYYY”

I haven’t read E.L. James’ erotic novel series, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, and I have no interest in seeing the movie in theaters Valentine’s Day weekend 2015.

However, because of former Calvin Klein model and actor Jamie Dornan, I’ll definitely rent it from Redbox.

In case you don’t know Dornan.  He’s a 31-year-old, married, soon-to-be dad.  He’s starred in six movies and two television series, including the crime thriller, “The Fall”, with Gillian Anderson.

Calvin Klein Jeans Fall 2009 Ad Campaign

BACKSTREET’S BACK & SHIRTLESS

I will not lie.  I was mildly intrigued two summers ago when the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block teamed up for the album, “NKOTBSB”, which included five hits from each group, two new songs and a mash-up.  That was about it.

BSB

While I loved the Backstreet Boys back in the late-1990s and early-2000s (Kevin and Nick were my favorites), I didn’t care this past summer when they released their new album, “In A World Like This”.

However, I decided to give their new video and song, “Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of)”, a look and a listen since the headlines read “Backstreet Boys Go Shirtless …” and “Backstreet Boys show skin…”.  The gimmick worked and the song is pretty good!

Since the headlines that roped me in were shallow, I’ll say that A.J. needs to seriously maintain that out of control nasty-looking beard, Brian and Nick still look incredible, Kevin is showing his age (he’s the oldest at 42), and Howie is hotter now than he was in the band’s heyday!

DOWN TO EARTH FUTURE KING

I never paid that much attention to 65-year-old Prince Charles, except I did take notice when he and Princess Diana married and divorced.  Back in the 1980s, I crushed on his younger brother, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who is about four years older than me.

andrew-navy-pilot

Recently, I read an interesting article about Prince Charles that stated that while he’s very wealthy (his total annual income is about $32 million U.S. in the last U.K. financial year), he’s very frugal.

“Time” (November 4, 2013) states that he keeps his “residences frigidly underheated, saves his bathwater for the garden and wears garments so mended, they are more patch than original.”

Prince Charles

While he may be rich and tight with his money, his charities, “The Prince’s Trust”, raises, directly and indirectly, about 161 million U.S. dollars annually!

“CLOUDBURST”

82-year-old Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis (“Moonstruck”) will always be Clairee Belcher (“Steel Magnolias”) and Anna Madrigal (“Tales of the City”) to me.  However, after seeing “Cloudburst”, alongside Oscar winner Brenda Fricker (“My Left Foot”), I have to add her character, Stella, to my list of favorite Olympia roles.

Cloudburst

Stella is a tough, tequila-swilling lesbian that talks like a sailor and she’s faced with taking care of her blind partner of 31 years, Dotty.

When Dotty’s clueless niece commits her aunt to a retirement home, it’s up to Stella to get Dotty out of the home and out of the situation.  She comes up with a plan to drive Dotty to Canada and get married so she can make the decisions.

Ryan Doucette

Along the way, they comes across Prentice, a very sexy hitchhiker trying to get back to Canada to see his dying mother.  While it seems very “Thelma & Louise”-ish with two ladies on the run with a young stud accompanying them, it’s a very touching and original story.

By the way, to prove the movie isn’t totally ripping off the aforementioned Ridley Scott-directed movie, Ryan has a beautiful hairy chest and Brad Pitt didn’t. 🙂

While the movie does have many heart-tugging scenes, there’s plenty of humor, too.  And, it’s a hoot hearing to the vulgarity coming out of Olympia’s mouth!

GRADE:  B+

FLASHBACK TO THE ’90s, PART 1

“Peeps’ ’80s Friday Flashback” is taking a break this week and will return next week.  This week, I’m showcasing two, not just one, videos from the 1990s since I featured songs earlier from the Backstreet Boys and Lorrie Morgan.

Lorrie Morgan

Since she scored her first country hit in 1988 with “Trainwreck of Emotion”, which reached #20, Lorrie Morgan has amassed 25 hits on the Billboard country charts.  Of those, 14 reached the Top Ten, and three topped the charts:  “Five Minutes” (1990), “What Part of No” (1993), and “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” (1995).

I have several favorites from Lorrie:  the three number one hits, along with “A Picture of Me (Without You)” (#9, 1991), “Except for Monday” (#4, 1992), “I Guess You Had To Be There (#14, 1993), “Go Away (#3, 1997), and “Do You Still Want To Buy Me That Drink (Frank) (#50, 2003).

FLASHBACK TO THE ’90s, PART 1

The Backstreet Boys have been nominated for eight Grammy Awards, sold 37 million-plus albums in the U.S., and more than 130 million albums world-wide.

“Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” hit #1 in Switzerland and Austria and #2 in the U.K in 1996.  A year later, it was released in the U.S. and peaked at #2, selling two million copies.

The Backstreet Boys would go on to chart 12 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with six of them reaching the Top Ten.  “Quit Playing Games” would be the biggest.

FINAL FORECAST

While I worked Thanksgiving morning and this morning, here’s a weather forecast that is suitable for all weekend as we devour the leftovers.

Thanksgiving Forecast

Let me know if you agree or disagree with some of random thoughts this week or just want to share one of your random thoughts.

Until next week, have a great weekend.

Anthony

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They Said What??? Jennifer Lawrence, Sarah Palin, & Mark Wahlberg

RANJIT SINHA

(director of the Central Bureau of Investigation in India talking about whether sports betting should be legal):  “Do we have the enforcement?  It is very easy to say that if you can’t enforce it, it’s like saying if you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.”

MOSHE ABUTBUL

(mayor of Beit Shemesh, Israel, just west of Jerusalem speaking about gay people in his city):  “We have no such things. … Thank God this city is holy and pure.”

ACTOR MARK WAHLBERG

(ranting at the premiere of his new movie, “Lone Survivor”):  “For actors to sit there and talk about, ‘Oh I went to SEAL training’? I don’t give a f*ck what you did. You don’t do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as being in the military? How f*cking dare you, while you sit in a makeup chair for two hours.”

ABBA SINGER AGNETHA FALTSKOG

(about the 40-year anniversary in 2014 of the band winning the Eurovision Song Contest):  “There seem to be plans to do something to mark this anniversary in some way. But I can’t say at this point what will come of them.”
OSCAR WINNING ACTRESS JENNIFER LAWRENCE
(on wearing a wetsuit for scenes in “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire”):  I was surprised at how little camel toe problem there was.  I was expecting a lot more camel toe problems … There really wasn’t any.”
ACTOR JOSH HUTCHERSON
(on wearing a wetsuit for scenes in “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire”):  “And once we found out you can actually pee through them, like just go into the ocean and take care of your business, it was easier.”
FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE ALAN GREENSPAN
(on how bad it is in Washington D.C.)  “I’ve never seen it like this.  Clearly the problem is within the Republican Party.  If you make every issue uncompromisable, you cannot have laws.”
FORMER REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENT WANNABE SARAH PALIN
“Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China.  When that money comes due – and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due.”
SPRINGFIELD (IL) BISHOP THOMAS JOHN PAPROCKI
(planning an “exorcism” next Wednesday when Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs marriage equality into law):  “It is scandalous that so many Catholic politicians are responsible for enabling the passage of this legislation and even twisting the words of the pope to rationalize their actions despite the clear teaching of the church.”
Anthony

They Said What??? Home Depot, Sharon Osbourne, & Vladimir Putin

ALABAMA REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE DEAN YOUNG

“I’m against homosexuals pretending like they’re married. Marriage is between one man and one woman and no one needs to go to Washington representing south Alabama if they don’t believe that.”

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN

(speaking to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and others):  “On my own and on your behalf, I have assured Mr. President (Bach) that we will do our best, and our athletes and fans will do their best too, so that both participants and guests feel themselves comfortable at Sochi Olympics regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation.  I would like to underline that.”

CHICAGO MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL

(visiting Chicago gay bar Sidetrack last week after the Illinois House voted for marriage equality): “When two adults love each other, the state should embrace that, rather than stand in the way.”

TV TALK SHOW HOST SHARON OSBOURNE

(apologizing to the ladies of “The View”.  On the “Arsenio Hall,” she said that all of the hosts of “The View”, except for Barbara Walters, could “go f**k themselves.”):  “I was inappropriate and I was trying to be funny at somebody else’s expense.  I want to apologize to Jenny, Sherri and Whoopi…it was my irreverent behavior and no disrespect meant.”

HOME DEPOT COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR STEPHEN HOLMES

(apologizing after an associate sent out a tweet for a college football promotion which included a picture of a person in a gorilla suits and two African-American men drumming on overturned buckets and the caption, “which drummer is not like the others?”):  “We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive.  The outside agency that created the tweet and the Home Depot associate who posted it have been terminated. We’re also closely reviewing our social media procedures to determine how this could have happened, and how to ensure it never happens again.”

“GLEE” ACTOR MATTHEW MORRISON

“I know my own truth, I’m a very happy heterosexual man…  I have a lot of gay friends and I’m a big supporter of gay rights and gay marriage. This is America, this is the land of freedom and opportunity and I think it’s kind of crazy that a loving or committed gay or lesbian couple can’t marry just because they’re different.  I support my gay friends and they support me.”

SINGER SELENA GOMEZ

“You fall in love and it completely consumes you.  So a part of you is broken when that’s gone. And part of you wants to have that rebellious feeling where you’re just like, forget it-I can do anything I want. I’ve tried it, and I’ve never been that girl. I’m always going to be the girl you want to take home to your parents, not for the night.”

ROCKER TED NUGENT

(about the possibility of a Presidential bid):  “I have threatened to run for public office, because I have been prodded to do so, and pushed hard in Texas and other states, and here in Michigan.  And I believe my sense of logic, my sense of common sense, my connection to people who are in the asset column of America.  I believe that I would perform an enormous upgrade in returning to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and most important of all accountability.”

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — November 8, 2013

The weekend is almost here and I’m so ready for it.  We have friends coming over for dinner Saturday night and I plan on putting up the outdoor Christmas lights Sunday.

In addition to working on today’s blog and still posting pictures of our European trip on Facebook, I started working on my Christmas cards this week.  I ended up not buying the poinsettia Christmas stamps that I featured a few weeks ago in my blog.  When I went to the post office, they had these awesome little decorated Christmas Gingerbread houses!

GingerBreadHouses-Forever-Block4-Singles-v2

Here are my random Friday thoughts.

TOTALLY GIVING UP ON EMINEM

By the time you read this, Eminem’s latest album that was released Tuesday will have already sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

After years of spewing anti-gay lyrics in his songs, I thought he was “evolving”.  I read an old “Rolling Stone” article after he crashed from drug abuse and it actually made him sound very down to earth and more human.  And, in 2010, he even made comments to support marriage equality.

Eminem

However, he’s back to his old ways.  Check out these disgusting lyrics from “Rap God” on his new album.

“Break a motherf**ker’s table over the back of a couple of fa**ots and crack it in half”, “You fags think it’s all a game till I walk a flock of flames off a plank, and tell me what in the f*ck are you thinking” and “Little gay looking boy/So gay I can barely say it with a straight face looking boy/You witnessing a massacre like you watching a church gathering.”

And, his views toward women haven’t softened any either, “They asking me to eliminate some of the women hate/But if you take into consideration the bitter hatred that I had/Then you may be a little patient and more sympathetic to the situation/And understand the discrimination”.

elton-john-and-eminem1

Eminem has performed with and befriended openly gay singers Elton John and Sia, who scored big with “Titanium” with David Guetta.  She even has a duet with him on the new album.

After hearing the lyrics to “Rap God”, in a Twitter discussion with a fan, she initially defended Eminem as not personally being homophobic, but added, “I truly understand your point, and am certainly experiencing fear around the repercussions if he doesn’t explain his art.  I am queer, and love my queers, young and old. I work with the Center and homeless LGBT kids, and when I heard ‘Rap God’ I was very anxious.  He has a character called Slim Shady who represents the worst and darkest bile of America. I see how it can be unclear.”

sia

You may or may not be shocked at how many homophobic remarks popped up against Sia and the fan from Eminem fans!  Very sad!

Sia is now donating the proceeds she receives from the Eminem collaboration, “Beautiful Pain”, to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, a 50-bed shelter and transitional living program geared toward LGBT homeless youth.

Here is how Eminem responded to “Rolling Stone” for his upcoming cover story about “Rap God” being anti-gay, “It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole. So that word was just thrown around so freely back then…  And, not saying it’s wrong or it’s right, but at this point in my career – man, I say so much shit that’s tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all. I’m glad we live in a time where it’s really starting to feel like people can live their lives and express themselves.”

Maybe that “real me” that is Marshall Mathers III (Eminem) is really okay with LGBT people.  But, I don’t understand how he’ll spew hate, I mean, raps that are homophobic that advocate young or uneducated people to have such vile and hateful thoughts toward the LGBT community!

Maybe I just don’t get it!

ILLINOIS HOUSE DOES THE RIGHT THING!

With a vote of 61-54-2 Tuesday, the Illinois House says “yes” to marriage equality!

The Illinois Senate approved this back in February with a 34-21 vote.

Marriage Equality Illinois

The “Land of Lincoln” is now the 15th state (along with the District of Columbia) to make marriage available to all residents.  Governor Pat Quinn plans on signing it into law on November 20th.

Locally, I want to say “thank you” to Representatives Pat Verschoore and Mike Smiddy for their “yea” votes!

Same-sex marriages in Illinois will begin on June 1, 2014.

THE COUNTDOWN TO “ARTPOP”

It’s been almost a year-and-a-half since Lady Gaga released “Born This Way” and in just a few days, we get “ARTPOP”, Gaga’s third full-length studio album.

ARTPOP

Several of the album’s 15 songs have been made public, including the Top 5 Hot 100 hit “Applause”, along with “Aura”, “Dope”, “Venus”, and her new single, a duet with R. Kelly, “Do What U Want”, which is already racing up the charts.

Here is Lady Gaga’s recent performance of “Venus” and “Do What U Want” on “The X Factor” UK, which prompted several complaints for being too adult!  Seriously?

OUR FISH LOVE THE RECENT RAIN

During the drought in the Quad Cities this summer, it was a struggle to keep the water level up in the fish pond.

As we head deeper into fall and eventually winter, last week’s almost two inches of rain and the one-half inch that fell earlier this week really made a big difference in giving our 13 fish (our original six and the newly acquired, older, and bigger ones) plenty of water.  And, we’ve already added the de-icer to keep the pond from freezing this winter.  So, bring on the snow!

Fish Pond Late February 2013

IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

While we’re still weeks away from decorating the inside of our house, this weekend I’m decorating the outside before it gets too cold!  We have some new lights that we bought for half-price last Christmas.  This is what it looked like two years ago.

Christmastime 2011

I love following charts, whether it’s music, movie, or whatever.  As I was looking at the Mediabase charts and playlists, the first Christmas song of the season is at #43 today on the Adult Contemporary (AC) airplay chart.  AC stations are usually the ones that embrace and switch over to Christmas first.

“Underneath The Tree” was the song from Kelly Clarkson’s new album, “Wrapped in Red”.

“WRAPPED IN RED”

I love Kelly Clarkson’s music and her voice, but I have to admit that two other variables put it at the top of my new CD wish list:  it’s a Christmas album and it features Reba McEntire!

kelly-clarkson-wrapped-in-red-album-cover

Reba and Trisha Yearwood join Kelly on “Silent Night”, the last song on the album.

While Reba’s version on her own 1987 album, “Merry Christmas To You” is flawless, the arrangement on the new version is spectacular.

Of the album’s 14 tracks, eight are Christmas classics and Kelly does each one justice.

Kelly’s versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “Please Come Home For Christmas”, “Blue Christmas”, and “White Christmas” are my favorites of the classics.  And, Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, joins Kelly on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.

Most of the originals are strong songs, too.  My favorites of the six original are the slow tempo, “Winter Dream (Brandon’s Song)”, dedicated to her new husband, the upbeat, fun, and catchy “4 Carats” and the new single, “Underneath The Tree”.

It’s going to take many more listens, but “Just For Now” doesn’t do anything for me — for a Christmas album.

GRADE:  A-

A holiday television special to promote the album, “Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale” was filmed live in Las Vegas last week and it’ll air on NBC on December 11th.  It also features Reba, Trisha, and Ronnie.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Mommie DearestHuckabee

VeteransDay

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

Marketing is very important in what we watch, wear, drive, drink, and eat.  Advertisement agencies make billions and earn billions for their clients by cleverly encouraging us to spend our hard-earned money on their products.

But, I have to ask, did this agency close its doors after this ad campaign and what was Burger King in Singapore thinking?

burger-king_seven-incher

Last January when I was in Las Vegas for the Lady Gaga concert, I visited the old downtown area and Fremont Street for the first time and the Heart Attack Grill stood out to me.

Heart Attack Grill Las Vegas

The restaurant features the “Quadruple Bypass Burger” (four half-pound beef patties, twenty strips of bacon, eight slices of American cheese, a whole tomato, one-half of an onion served in a bun coated with lard).  It checks in at a whopping 9,982 calories!

Quadruple Bypass

Disgusting!

“THE WAY WAY BACK”

On our recent flight to Europe on Swiss Airlines, we watched the coming of age dramedy, “The Way Way Back”, rated PG-13.

The movie focuses on 14-year-old Duncan, played by the incredible 17-year-old Canadian actor Liam James, as he spends his summer vacation seaside in Cape Cod with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette) and her boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell).

Trent is a total jerk, which is made clear in the opening scene of the movie when he forces Duncan to rate himself on a scale of one-to-ten.  When the teenager says “six”, Trent proceeds to tell him he’s just a three!

All summer long, Trent stays on Duncan’s case.  To escape the misery, the teenager sneaks away to a local water park, Water Whizz, and befriends Owen (Sam Rockwell).

Duncan and Owen

While the movie features stellar performances from all of the actors, the standout is Allison Janey, who plays a boozer, Betty, who lives next door.  Her one liners kept me laughing and her comic timing is impeccable!  (“See You Next Tuesday”!)  If you’ve seen the movie, you’re laughing at that line right now. 🙂

“The Way Way Back” is a must see this fall!

GRADE:  A

“NOW YOU SEE ME”

If you love magic, suspense, and action, this summer caper is the movie for you.  The $75 million motion picture made $351.7 million and a sequel is in the works and is expected to begin production next summer.

Now You See Me

In the movie, four street magicians are summoned by an unknown benefactor and make their debut as “The Four Horsemen” in Las Vegas.

Their Vegas finale is to rob a bank of millions of Euros in Paris, France.  The movie follows them as they continue to dazzle crowds by stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and giving it to the audience while trying not to get caught by the FBI and Interpol.

“Now You See Me” stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Melanie Laurent, Common, and Michael Caine.

If you loved Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” or “Zombieland”, you’re going to love him in “Now You See Me”.  And, I was really digging his long hair in this movie.

Jesse

GRADE:  B 

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

Corey Hart was one of my biggest crushes back in the mid-to-late-1980s and my favorite Canadian export.

His latest release is with Papercha$er, “Night Visions (Sunglasses)”.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Corey+Hart

Hart hit the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 nine times, but only two of those songs reached the Top Ten hits.

In 1985, he took “Never Surrender” to number three on the Billboard Hot 100, but it was “Sunglasses at Night”, his first hit that made it up to #7 that captured my attention and provided me with my second entertainment crush.  John Schneider (Bo Duke, from “The Dukes of Hazzard”) was the first!

FINAL THOUGHTS

That’s it for this week.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  Let me know what you think of my random thoughts or let me know your random thoughts!

Anthony