Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Lopez’

My Life – The Next Era (1999-2021)

It’s time for the sequel of my life!

If you’re a regular reader of my random thoughts, you know I love making lists and countdowns.

On September 11, 2020, I posted a blog of the 13 biggest events of my first 35 years. (13 because I was born on the 13th and it’s my favorite number).

Along with that, I intended to share my 35 favorite songs of those first 35 years. Well, the initial list ended up with 236 songs, so I decided to be like the Billboard Hot 100 and share my top 100 songs of that era of my life.

In case you didn’t see it last year or last week when I posted it again, here it is:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/my-life-the-first-35-years/

Well, it was well-received, so why not be like Hollywood and make a sequel???

So, here are the top eight events that shaped the next era of my life (1999-2021) along with not my just my 22 favorite songs of the past 22 years, but my 100 favorites of that era!

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY LAST 22 YEARS

MEETING REBA McENTIRE (APRIL 2005)

While Reba McEntire became a powerhouse superstar in the mid-1980s, I was all about dance and pop music in my 20s during her rise to super stardom.

However, I discovered her at Sidetrack, in Chicago, on country night in 1990.  That voice singing “Rumor Has It” blew me away and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

Regardless of what was happening in my life, good or bad, when Reba released a new album, there were songs I felt she recorded just for me.

I’ve now seen Reba in concert thirteen (13) times and I got to meet her in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 2005.

MOVING BACK TO CHICAGO (JUNE 2002)

After my mother died in November 1990 and my grandmother, Helen, passed away in November 1993, I felt it was time to leave Kentucky and I moved to Chicago the following summer.

I stayed for two years before kicking off my television news career in the summer of 1996 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. After jobs in Lubbock, Texas, and Mansfield, Columbus, and Youngstown, Ohio, working for a homophobic, racist, and sexist news director, I felt it was time to take a break from television.

So, Miss ABBA, my golden retriever, and my ex, Christopher, headed back to Chicago, where we had met in early 1995. (Look at how youthful we were 26 years ago!)

It was a very enjoyable return to the “windy city”.

I had a great time at Roscoe’s Tavern (a very popular gay bar on Halsted), worked as a freelance writer for the morning show at Fox News Chicago, and went back to school to earn my meteorology certification.

By the way, I don’t make it a point to lie, but I saw that sticker and it was just too much fun not to stick it on my shirt for a photo op! 🙂

In the summer of 2004, Christopher and I realized our nine-year relationship had run its course, so I took a job in Salisbury, Maryland, and Miss ABBA and I moved to Delmarva for a year-and-a half before returning to the Midwest in November 2005.

When I started putting together the recap of my second era (1999-2021), I thought about the events that shaped the past 22 years of my life and I started thinking of my favorite songs of the past two decades-plus.

That list started with 221 songs and after the first cut, it was still at 155. After thinking long and hard, I narrowed it down to one hundred, just like the Billboard Hot 100!

Here’s to you, Casey Kasem! (Hint, the other 60 are at the bottom of this blog, along with some surprises!)

#40 “LOVE YOURSELF” (JUSTIN BIEBER) (2015)

#39 “I’LL BE” (REBA McENTIRE) (2000)

#38 “WOMANIZER” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2008)

#37 “FADED” (ALAN WALKER) (2015)

#36 “THE EDGE OF GLORY” (LADY GAGA) (2011)

While that’s the official version of “The Edge of Glory”, here’s the version I love more. And, I “borrowed” the sparklers idea for my wedding reception!

#35 “WHO WOULDN’T WANNA BE ME” (KEITH URBAN) (2003)

#34 “CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2001)

NOW, BACK TO MY LIFE EVENTS….

LIVING NEAR MY SISTER AGAIN (AUGUST 2011)

Other than my years of living on campus at Murray State University in the 1980s, less than a half hour from where I was born and raised, I never lived apart from my sister, Tammy, until I moved to Chicago in 1994 and she moved away, too.

My career took me all over the country and my sister made Clarksville, Tennessee, home. After her marriage with her L-O-S-E-R husband ended and life dealt her several bad hands, I convinced her to move to the Quad Cities (Moline, Illinois) in 2011.

While she wasn’t thrilled to have to make her home there and deal with more snow than she was used to, it was nice to be in the same city again. We could now see each other whenever we wanted and we’d spend holidays together again.

After I moved away for 3.5 years, she joined me in Decatur, Illinois. It’s nice to have my best friend around again!

Love you Tammy!

MY 50TH BIRTHDAY TRIP TO PARIS & TEL AVIV (OCTOBER 2014)

While I don’t remember my first birthday, you see from the picture above that it happened and it was celebrated.

Other birthdays that stand out for me are my 30th, in Chicago, when I met a very attractive man that ended up being a psycho that try to kill me (stalker much?), my 48th, in Las Vegas, in 2012, seeing Elton John the night before and Madonna on the big day…

… and my 54th on an incredible solo trip to Morocco with a surprise birthday cake from my tour group!

However, it’s going to be really hard to top my 50th birthday!

In 2013, I took my first “real” international trip (officially, Cancun was the first in the early-1990s, but North America doesn’t really count any more!).

For my ex’s 50th, he chose a Danube River cruise of Europe. The following year, for my 50th, I chose to celebrate the milestone birthday with a trip to Europe (Paris, France) and the Middle East (Tel Aviv, Israel).

While the trip was incredible and I paid my own way, my actual birthday present was like a fairy tale. (He did well!)

I was treated to a dinner cruise on the Seine River, followed by a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night to see the sprawled out city of Paris twinkling in the distance.

And, the night didn’t end there. 

It was then off to the historic Moulin Rouge for a show and champagne. 

At midnight, I turned 50 during the show sitting right at the stage staring at boobies, acrobatic routines, and a woman in a water tank with snakes!

For the record, years later, in the spring of 2019, I’d have my own encounter with a beautiful albino python in Bangkok, Thailand. I called it my Britney Spears moment! Britney is now free!

Then it was off to Tel Aviv for three days. From the hotel room, you could see the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea!

Each morning, I looked forward to the Israeli breakfasts, which are world-renowned and very tasty and filling! 

However, my favorite meal was at בני-הדייג, which translates to Benny The Fisherman, right on the Sea.

That was just the salads and “starters” that they brought out.  Yes, fifteen of them, including the bread basket!

Sadly, I didn’t get a stamp on my passport from Israel.

This was during the 2014 Ebola scare and the customs agent was so flustered from ranting at a woman in front of us for sticking her passport in her mouth that he forgot.  He refused to let her go through his line because he wasn’t going to touch her passport.  And, I really don’t blame him.  However, his approach was a little abrasive.

On the return flight home, the snow-covered Alps were beautiful!

This crazy song went viral in 2013 and ended up being my third favorite song of that year. It didn’t make the Top 100 on this countdown, but it was on the initial list. So, it’s a bonus. 🙂

Now, back to the countdown of my favorite songs of the past 22 years!

#33 “LOOKIN’ FOR A GOOD TIME” (LADY A) (2008)

#32 “TURN ON THE RADIO” (REBA McENTIRE) (2010)

#31 “I KNEW I LOVED YOU” (SAVAGE GARDEN) (1999)

#30 “TOXIC” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2004)

#29 “YOU BELONG WITH ME” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2009)

And, of course, there’s a cute and sexy alternative version of the Taylor teen love story!

#28 “IF I DIE YOUNG” (THE BAND PERRY) (2010)

#27 “MUSIC” (MADONNA) (2000)

#26 “LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2002)

#25 “LIFE GOES ON” (LEANN RIMES) (2002)

#24 “BECAUSE OF YOU” (REBA McENTIRE & KELLY CLARKSON) (2007)

#23 “IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS” (MICHAEL BUBLE) (2011)

What! A Christmas song made it onto the countdown!!! Don’t be shocked!

My fourth favorite song of my first 35 years was Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”!

NOW BACK TO MY LIFE EVENTS OF THE PAST 22 YEARS!

MEETING PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER & ROSALYNN CARTER (JULY 2017)

In September 2016, I got to visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

However, it would take a major change in my life and relocation to meet my childhood idols, President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter.

In the summer of 2017, I was living in Panama City, Florida, and I drove 180 miles (3.5 hours) through the backwoods of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia in the darkness of night to fulfill that life-long dream.

Once I arrived in Plains, Georgia, at the Marantha Baptist Church, I was one of the last people to make it in to hear a Sunday school lesson from President Carter.

After his lesson and the Sunday service from the pastor, I got to meet the man and woman that I helped put in the White House in the 1976 presidential election.

For the record, I was just a 12-year-old boy, but I got to go into the voting booth with my grandmother Helen back in Mayfield, Kentucky.  She let me choose her candidate and, of course, it was Jimmy Carter.

My vote four years later didn’t keep the Carters in Washington D.C. and they headed back to Plains.

You might notice that the photo is autographed! I sent a copy of the photo inside of an anniversary card to the lovely couple and they signed it and sent it back!!!!!!!!!!

AND HILLARY CLINTON (JANUARY 2016)

I’ve admired Hillary Clinton since she became the First Lady of the United States in January 1993.

There is no politician that hasn’t been raked over the coals in their career.  And, now with 24-hour news channels and less objectivity in their reporting for higher ratings, it’s easy to vilify people, especially if it’s a strong woman — like Hillary.

I went to hear Hillary speak on a cold winter’s day in Davenport, Iowa, in January 2016.

When she finished, I politely edged my way through the crowd toward the roped off area in front of the stage.  I lucked out and we talked a little – we exchanged hellos and I wished her success.

“Politely edged” sounds nicer than “aggressively made” my way through the crowd! 🙂

Now, my 22 favorite songs of the past 22 years!

#22 “I WANNA GO (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2011)

#21 “CAN’T FIGHT THE MOONLIGHT” (LEANN RIMES) (2000)

#20 “SURRENDER” (LAURA PAUSINI) (2002)

#19 “IF I FALL YOU’RE GOING DOWN WITH ME” (THE CHICKS) (2001)

I’ve never met Natalie Maines of The Chicks and it’s one of the biggest regrets of my life.

When I took my second television job in Lubbock, Texas, (Natalie’s hometown), in 1997, as a reporter and Saturday anchor at the CBS affiliate, her sister, Kim, was the 10 p.m. weekday producer.  What a sweetheart!

1997 was also the year that Natalie and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison exploded onto the country music scene with “I Can Love You Better”, which went on to reach #7 on the Billboard Country chart.

I had a chance to see them and meet the unknown band and real life prevented me from going! Bummer!

#18 “MY BOYFRIEND IS GAY” (HAILEY ROWE) (2013)

#17 “SOMEBODY LIKE YOU” (KEITH URBAN) (2002)

#16 “YOUTH” (TROYE SIVAN) (2015)

#15 “WE’RE SO GOOD TOGETHER” (REBA McENTIRE) (2000)

#14 “SOME DAYS YOU GOTTA DANCE” (THE CHICKS) (2001)

#13 “SILENCE” (MARSHMELLO & KHALID) (2017)

#12 “YOU’LL THINK OF ME” (KEITH URBAN) (2004)

NOW, BACK TO MY BIGGEST LIFE EVENTS OF THE PAST 22 YEARS!

MEET, FALL IN LOVE, GET MARRIED, AND THEN DIVORCE (2009-2017)

We’ve all been there (well, at least half of us).

You meet someone that’s an Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) to your Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) — with or with sex work involved!

You fall in love and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

I got to have a wedding, a beautiful reception, and a gorgeous cake!

And, I was a “like a dad” and I got to experience helping to raise a child. I loved and was loved in return, we traveled the world — Europe, Israel, China, and Scandinavia — and my golden retriever, ABBA, had two more people to shower her with love, and I got to foster 60 koi and goldfish!

While things didn’t work out, I’m glad that I got to experience the good before the bad.

There are many things I miss about those days and there are things I don’t miss. The serenity of the koi pond is definitely high on the list of things I miss!

This is a feeding frenzy in the summer of 2016!

Oh, if you were hoping for sordid details, there were several circumstances leading to the demise of the relationship. Those are being saved for the book (which is being written)!

WE NEED A BREATHER!

Now, back to my favorite songs of the past 22 years!

#11 “SOMETHING” (LASGO) (2001)

#10 “TILL THE WORLD ENDS” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2011)

#9 “BAD ROMANCE” (LADY GAGA) (2009)

#8 “BLANK SPACE” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2014)

#7 “EVERYTIME WE TOUCH” (CASCADA) (2005)

#6 “EVERYTIME” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2004)

NOW BACK TO THE BIGGEST EVENTS OF MY PAST 22 YEARS

MISS ABBA (MAY 2000-FEBRUARY 2012)

My golden retriever, ABBA, and I traveled down many roads together. 

From the llama farm in Ohio where I picked her up in July 2000 to swimming in Lake Michigan when we lived in Chicago to the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and then back to the cold, snowy Midwestern winters in the Quad Cities, Miss ABBA loved it all and she loved life!

She didn’t mind doggie sitting (or walking) her blind Shar Pei friend, Panda, and she loved road trips so much that you had to spell out R-I-D-E. She loved her fast food hamburgers and she loved treats and cakes!

And, she was the perfect drinking buddy!

From that first ride from the Ohio llama farm to her new life away from Dolly and Fletcher (her mom and dad) and her siblings to the last fateful ride, she enjoyed life so much and never met a stranger.

I wish we were more like ABBA!

As I was lying on the bed comforting ABBA on those final two days in early 2012, these words just came to me and I put them on paper.

While I’m not a poet, I still love this — my goodbye to Miss ABBA!

If you can’t read my writing through the tears:

The fog hangs in the air shrouding the light, not only in the sky, but in your eyes

You look lost and just want to sleep with me close by your side

I listen to you breathe and each breath sounds deeper

Is it the end or just a peaceful sleep

As I caress your neck and shoulder blades,

You snore even louder as I try harder to hold back the tears

I don’t want you to hear me cry,

I want you to let go and not fight for me

You’ve been there for me all your life

And I want to be there for you now, my love.

My best friend — ABBA (May 22, 2000-February 3, 2012)

This is one of my favorite pictures taken of Miss ABBA in her last month with us…

The song in the video tribute below is “Over My Shoulder” by one of my favorite singers, Patty Loveless, from her 1994 album, “When Fallen Angels Fly”.

Okay, this silly photo will take the sadness away…

FINAL BONUS TRACK!

When I put together a recap of my first 35 years and my 100 favorite songs of that era of my life (1964-1999), Olivia Newton-John placed four songs on the countdown: #3 “Xanadu”, #47 “Let Me Be There”, #50 “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)”, and #68 “Magic”.

I finally got to see her in concert at The Flamingo in Las Vegas in May 2014.

As a bonus, I’m featuring two of my favorites in one video — Olivia and Las Vegas.

In 2015, DJ Dave Aude re-worked Olivia’s hit “Magic” and “You Have To Believe” became a #1 dance song for Olivia and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi.

And, one final fun fact, Olivia met her future husband and Chloe’s dad, Matt Lattanzi, on the set of the movie, “Xanadu”!

Just a random thought, since you know me for random thoughts, I think #Pug2020, which became #Pug2021, and then #Pug20-something, needs to become a reality in 2022!!!

I need a new drinking partner or, at least, a movie and television binge-watching partner!

When I was in Bangkok, Thailand, in the spring of 2019, I saw this in the taxi and I know it was a sign!

NOW BACK TO THE COUNTDOWN OF MY FIVE FAVORITE SONGS OF THE PAST 22 YEARS!

#5 “SOMEBODY” (REBA McENTIRE) (2004)

#4 “NOT READY TO MAKE NICE” (THE CHICKS) (2006)

#3 “CONSIDER ME GONE” (REBA McENTIRE) (2009)

Before I reveal my two favorite songs of the past 22 years, how about another bonus track!

This one didn’t make the list of my Top 100 favorites, but it was one of the 221 on the initial list and was my 13th favorite song of 2014! 🙂

As I reveal my two favorites from 1999-2021, both are two of the most underrated songs that radio should have sent to the top of every chart!

#2 “ALL THE LOVERS” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2010)

This one did top the airplay chart in Poland and it reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Club songs chart!

And. it’s so naughty and scandalous! 🙂

#1 “DANCING ON MY OWN” (ROBYN) (2010)

This one only topped the chart in Robyn’s native Sweden!

NOW, THE BIGGEST EVENT OF MY PAST 22 YEARS…

THE DEPLORABLE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! (NOVEMBER 8, 2016)

While this could be a divisive discussion starter, that is not the purpose.

We know “what happened”, since there’s a book about this with that title. It’s been five years now — almost half of the country was on the winning side, but a majority of us were on the losing end.

That statement, “a majority of us were on the losing end”, doesn’t just mean the almost 66 million people that voted for Hillary Clinton.

I’m talking about America’s reputation on the world stage and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first months — a major misstep that had now resulted in more than 700,000 deaths since early 2020 in the United States.

DISCLAIMER: If Hillary Clinton had been elected president, we would still likely have seen a significant death toll from Coronavirus. However, I believe with all my heart and intelligence, it wouldn’t be at 709K and counting…

But, is that why the 2016 U.S. presidential election is the biggest event of my past 22 years? In part, yes. However, it ranks above ABBA’s death and the failure of my relationship because it’s partly to blame for the separation and divorce.

That loss affected me greatly as 2016 turned to 2017. In the five years since, I’ve accepted it and moved on. Does it still bother me? Yes. Is there anything I can do about it? No.

Michelle Obama, in her 2018 autobiography, “Becoming”, sums it up best the day after that shocking loss: “And I will always wonder about what led so many women, in particular, to reject an exceptionally qualified female candidate and instead choose a misogynist as their president. But the result was now ours to live with.”

If you want to share comments about how/if that win or loss affected you, feel free. Do it diplomatically with respect to me and my friends.

The point was not to discuss politics, I’m just sharing my life — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Thank you for taking the time to travel down the road of the second era of my life!

Before you leave, if you’re not interested in #41 to #100, scroll down a little for some of my favorite photos of the past 22 years!!!

Will I write a third? Probably not. Do you know how old I’d be by then! 🙂

However, if I had two front-runners for favorite songs for my final chapter of life — the new Kylie Minogue and Elton John songs rock my world and are on repeat!

Now, that’s it…. except for some of my favorite photos of the past 22 years!

Wait, my friends, let’s keep going. They haven’t made “last call”!

You know I love lists and I’ve mentioned 100 favorites songs several time in this life recap even though the countdown started at #40 like “American Top 40”.

Scroll down and see which songs just missed out.

You might find one of your favorites on here, you might discover several songs you’re not familiar with, and some that might make you say, “Anthony has some very interesting tastes”, or “No <musical act> on the countdown?”

#41 “MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1999)

#42 “NEED YOU NOW” (LADY A) (2009)

#43 “THAT’S THE KIND OF MOOD I’M IN” (PATTY LOVELESS) (2000)

#44 “MURDER ON THE DANCEFLOOR” (SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR) (2001)

#45 “SAY SOMETHING” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2020)

#46 “CHOW DOWN (AT CHICK-FIL-A)” (WILLAM BELLI, DETOX, VICKY VOX) (2012)

#47 “YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2019)

#48 “OH SANTA” (MARIAH CAREY) (2010)

#49 “KING” (YEARS & YEARS) (2015)

#50 “ALL FOR YOU”(JANET JACKSON) (2001)

#51 “TEQUILA MAKES HER CLOTHES FALL OFF” (JOE NICHOLS) (2005)

#52 “WHAT DO YOU SAY” (REBA McENTIRE) (1999)

#53 “SUDS IN THE BUCKET” (SARA EVANS) (2004)

#54 “GOOD DIRECTIONS” (BILLY CURRINGTON) (2006)

#55 “DANCING” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2018)

#56 “DAME OTRO TEQUILA” (PAULINA RUBIO) (2004)

#57 “THE WAY YOU LOVE ME” (FAITH HILL) (2000)

#58 “WHAT WAS I THINKIN'” (DIERKS BENTLEY) (2003)

#59 “BORN TO FLY” (SARA EVANS) (2000)

#60 “LONG TIME GONE” (THE CHICKS) (2002)

#61 “REMEMBER WHEN (PUSH REWIND)” (CHRIS WALLACE) (2012)

#62 “HOME” (MICHAEL BUBLE) (2005)

#63 “COWBOY TAKE ME AWAY” (THE CHICKS) (1999)

#64 “BORN THIS WAY” (LADY GAGA) (2011)

#65 “LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2017)

#66 “FREE AND EASY (DOWN THE ROAD I GO)” (DIERKS BENTLEY) (2007)

#67 “I’M YOURS” (JASON MRAZ) (2008)

#68 “FREE” (FAITH HILL) (2002)

#69 “CAN’T FEEL MY FACE WITHOUT YOU” (THE WEEKND) (2015)

#70 “POKER FACE” (LADY GAGA) (2008)

#71 “TURN UP THE RADIO” (REBA McENTIRE) (2012)

#72 “HIGHER LOVE” (KYGO & WHITNEY HOUSTON) (2019)

The original by Steve Winwood and Chaka Khan from 1986 also made my list of my favorite songs of my first 35 years — #91!

#73 “LOT OF LEAVIN’ LEFT TO DO” (DIERKS BENTLEY) (2005)

#74 “I DON’T FEEL LIKE DANCIN'” (THE SCISSOR SISTERS) (2006)

#75 “DON’T TELL ME” (MADONNA) (2000)

#76 “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” (JUSTIN BIEBER) (2015)

#77 “BLEEDING LOVE” (LEONA LEWIS) (2007)

#78 “WORK FROM HOME” (FIFTH HARMONY) (2016)

#79 “CALL ME MAYBE” (CARLY RAE JEPSEN) (2011)

#80 “SORRY” (MADONNA) (2006)

#81 “SIT STILL LOOK PRETTY” (DAYA) (2016)

#82 “I NEED YOU” (LEANN RIMES) (2000)

#83 “CRAZY IN LOVE” (BEYONCE) (2003)

#84 “SORRY” (JUSTIN BIEBER) (2015)

#85 “FIREWORK” (KATY PERRY) (2010)

#86 “AIRWAVES” (BRETT KISSEL) (2015)

#87 “I RUN TO YOU” (LADY A) (2009)

#88 “I DIDN’T JUST COME HERE TO DANCE ” (CARLY RAE JEPSEN) (2015)

#89 “PLAY” (JENNIFER LOPEZ) (2011)

#90 “YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL” (JAMES BLUNT) (2005)

#91 “TOUCH MY BODY” (MARIAH CAREY) (2008)

#92 “CRUSH (1980 ME)” (DARREN HAYES) (2003)

#93 “MUST BE DOIN’ SOMETHIN’ RIGHT” (BILLY CURRINGTON) (2005)

#94 “HAVEN’T MET YOU YET” (MICHAEL BUBLE) (2009)

#95 “DON’T CHA” (THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS) (2005)

#96 “DON’T SAY GOODBYE” (PAULINA RUBIO) (2002)

#97 “LET ME LOVE YOU” (DJ SNAKE & JUSTIN BIEBER) (2016)

#98 “WHEN GOD FEARING WOMEN GET THE BLUES” (MARTINA McBRIDE) (2011)

#99 “RAIN” (BEN PLATT) (2019)

#100 “ON THE FLOOR” (JENNIFER LOPEZ) (2011)

Now, that’s it….

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 21, 2021

It was just last week that I referenced Memorial Day being the “unofficial” start to summer.

After dealing with frosty temperatures a week ago, it’s now feeling like summer here in Illinois with highs heading up well into the 80s.

Our big warm-up started Thursday and will last into next week!

Yuck! I only like the 80s when we’re talking music!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts!

GOODWILL AND GOOD GRIEF!

My sister loves going to Goodwill stores. Yard sales are more up my alley.

Now that the people across the country are feeling more comfortable and getting out of their homes, some are doing some spring cleaning.

You’d think that Goodwill store would benefit greatly from this. However, check out this headline and tidbit from the Associated Press:

The Twitter post states, “Americans cleaning out their homes during the pandemic have been donating defective and unusable items to Goodwill. The stores say the donations are hurting them rather than helping and want people to stop giving them their trash.”

Come on people, throw your damn trash away and recycle things that are still in good shape!

“ARMY OF THE DEAD”

I’m so excited that the Zack Snyder Las Vegas/zombie heist film hits Netflix this weekend!!!! I know what I’ll be watching!

A follow-up, a prequel, “Army of Thieves”, has already been shot!

It was directed by actor Matthias Schweighöfer, who stars in both movies.

“THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW”

Six-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams and Oscars winners Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) and Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh star in this Netflix psychological thriller.

Okay, no matter what JJL does, I’ll always see her as “Hedy” in “Single White Female” (1992)!

It’s basically an update of the 1954 Jimmy Stewart/Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Rear Window” and 2007’s “Disturbia” with Shia LeBeouf.

In this version, Amy Adams’ Anna Fox is a New York City agoraphobic who spends her time drinking red wine and watching her neighbors.

That’s it!

Ha, just kidding!!!

One night she sees a neighbor being attacked. Or, did she? Was it a just part of a drunken stupor?

This movie definitely rises above the fray and now I plan on reading the book.

By the way, I didn’t see the plot twists ahead of time and that brought the grade up!

GRADE: A

VERY RANDOM THOUGHTS

The internet and entertainment word is abuzz about the possibility that “Bennifer” is a thing again.

Am I jaded and the only one that doesn’t care if Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are together again?

I just have so little faith in Hollywood couplings and marriages (maybe in marriage altogether)!

My only real concern if they’re together again is that there could be a “Gigli 2”? (Okay, I didn’t actually see the 2003 original, but neither anyone else, in theaters, since it was a box office bomb!)

After watching season four of “Fargo”, the television series, I don’t think Chris Rock should give up his day job as a comedian to be a dramatic actor.

He wasn’t convincing as a mob boss! However, his final scene in the series had potential!

However, the highlight of the season was seeing Timothy Olyphant playing Dick “Deafy” Wickware , a 1950 Mormon U.S. Marshal agent.

What? Another U.S. Marshal? Yes, but it was much different than Raylan Givens on “Justified.

MUST SEE VIDEO!!!

I’ve earned back some of my gay points!

A few weeks I commented that I wish Madonna would just focus on making music again because her Twitter feed seems so desperate.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love her and I can’t wait to see the Netflix documentary on the “Madame X Tour” since I didn’t get to see it.

However, I’m obsessed with the incredible performance of Elton John and Olly Alexander (from the group Years & Years) at the 2021 BRIT Awards.

They performed the Pet Shop Boys 1987 Top 10 hit “It’s A Sin” (which is also the name of the HBO Max series featuring Alexander about the early AIDS epidemic in London).

You can tell that Elton is ready to hit the road again this fall with his “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” farewell tour.

“YOU” BOOK SERIES

After watching the first two season of the creepy, stalker, “love story” Netflix series, “You”, I decided to read the first two Caroline Kepnes book it’s based on.

It was interesting to see how the author saw Joe Goldberg, Beck, and Love and how much was changed when it became a television series.

Spoiler (not really): Book 1 (“You” — 2014) and Season 1 were pretty close, yet there was much more of difference between Book 2 (“Hidden Bodies” — 2016) and Season 2.

A third book, “You Love Me” came out in April 2021, but I haven’t read it yet. The third season of the series is expected later in 2021.

Here’s the trailer for the first season, which originally aired on Lifetime.

“MEMORIAL”

Bryan Washington’s fall 2020 fictional book, “Memorial”, is a great read.

It tells the story of a young gay interracial Houston couple, Ben and Mike, navigating a failing relationship and a cultural divide.

Mike is waiting for his mother from Japan to arrive when he decides to fly to Japan to spend time with his dying father, who abandoned the family when Mike was a teenager.

Mike drops the bombshell that he’s leaving his mother there with Ben, who’s Black, and has never met his boyfriend’s mother for an indefinitely period of time!

“PARTY DOWN”

A revival of the comedy, “Party Down”, is in development more than a decade after it ended.

I recently watched the two-season, 20 episode series that originally aired in 2009 and 2010.

It’s about a group of entertainment types (actors, writers, and comedians) working at a catering company, Party Down, to pay the bills while they wait for their big break.

It stars Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”), Lizzy Caplan (“Castle Rock”), and Jane Lynch (pre-“Glee”).

Season one was very funny and season two was enjoyable, but not as funny.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 16, 2021

The weekend is upon us and I hope you have fantastic plans.

I’m working part of it, but will make the most of it!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts!

AGATHA CHRISTIE

Okay, I’ll kick off with an astounding statistic that might blow your mind! (There’s a theme here for me to kick off with a writer that’s been dead for 45 years, the same year her last novel, “Sleeping Murder”, came out.)

English writer Agatha Christie, who’s mostly known for her 66 detective novels, has had more than 2 billion (that’s with a “B”) copies of her work published!!!

In 2019 alone, she moved 2 million copies!!!

She’s only been outsold by the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare!

Jokingly, some could say that “fiction sells”! 🙂

ARMIE HAMMER

34-year-old Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominee Armie Hammer is still under investigation for sexual assault by the Los Angeles Police Department.

This comes after multiple women came forward earlier this year about abuse they had allegedly experienced during relationships with Hammer.

His wife of ten years, Elizabeth Chambers, announced their separation in the summer of 2020 — before the allegations surfaced.

He’s now been dropped by his talent agency and his publicist is no longer with him. He’s also been fired/dropped out of several new movies, including one with Jennifer Lopez.

If that sexual assault allegations weren’t bad enough, texts with “disturbing sexual fantasies” involving cannibalism surfaced!

DEATH ON THE NILE”

So, what does this mean for the blockbuster release of the Kenneth Branagh-directed movie, “Death on the Nile”, which Hammer co-stars alongside Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”), Annette Benning (“The Kids Are All Right”), and Branagh?

The movie opening has already been delayed, at least, six times.

It was originally scheduled for December 20, 2019, and was pushed back to October 9, 2020. Then with COVID-19, it was pushed back to September 17, 2021.

Last month, it was rescheduled once again to February 11, 2022! And, I’d bet money this was due to the Hammer scandal!

COSTLY SCANDAL SOLUTION

What I think will happen is that unless Hammer’s role is a major one, his scenes will be re-shot this summer with a new actor.

This happened with Kevin Spacey in “All The Money in the World”.

After his sex/rape scandal, his scenes were re-shot with the late Christopher Plummer. Plummer earned an Oscar nomination for his performance.

If you don’t remember the story, gay actor Anthony Rapp, a star of Broadway’s “Rent” and the CBS All Access’ series, “Star Trek Discovery”, alleges that back in 1986, then 26-year-old Spacey invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment, when Rapp was only 14!

Rapp told “Buzzfeed” Spacey tried to seduce him and that “I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually”.

It was then that Rapp says that Spacey “sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk … He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”

Spacey’s career disintegrated and he was written out of the final season of “House of Cards”. I absolutely loved that show and would still watch it again with Spacey, but it would a little cringy.

However, my main draw to the show was always Robin Wright as Claire Underwood.

“CALL ME BY YOUR NAME”

Now, with Hammer, I’m torn because the LGBTQ+ classic “Call Me By Your Name” with Hammer and Timothee Chalamet was my favorite movie of 2018!

I know I’ll still watch it, but just like listening to the music of Michael Jackson, I still do it. It just adds creepiness to it!

MOVING ON!

THEY SAID WHAT???

GEORGE H.W. BUSH (then Republican National Committee Chairman, in his August 6, 1974, diary entry three days before President Nixon resigned, on President Ford and President Nixon): “this era of tawdry, shabby, lack of morality has got to end… I will take Ford’s decency over Nixon’s toughness because what we need at this juncture in our history is a certain sense of morality and a certain sense of decency.”

LEGENDARY DIRECTOR MARTIN SCORSESE (about Glenn Close, who was recommended to play Tony Montana’s (Al Pacino) mistress in “Scarface” by Oliver Stone in his book, “Chasing The Light”: “She’s got a face like a horse!”

Um, WTF? Glenn Close is beautiful! Well, definitely not in “Hillbilly Elegy”! 🙂

Darren Franich (in The Bullseye “Entertainment Weekly” March 2021): “‘Clarice’ is a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ spin-off about… who cares, ‘Hannibal’ is on Netflix.”

“JUSTIFIED”

I just finished binge watching the 2010-2015 FX series, “Justified”, with Timothy Olyphant, and absolutely loved it!

It’s tells the story of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Olyphant) having to go back to his home state of Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains as punishment for shooting a Miami thug in a questionable manner. (Givens has his own set of justice that doesn’t set well with his bosses!)

I’ve had the biggest crush on Olyphant since I saw him in Greg Berlanti’s 2000 LGBTQ movie, “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy”.

His character, Dennis, did have major flaws though — he wasn’t into commitment, he definitely got around, AND, worst of all, he hated the Carpenters! 🙂

Fast forward ten years or so –this is how you rock your 40s (from “Justified”)!

And, there’s been industry buzz that the team behind the series may be bringing it back in some form with the Emmy-nominated Olyphant rumored to be coming back!

Final note: if you want to see a more comical side of Olyphant, he was amazing in the three seasons of the Netflix’s comedy “Santa Clarita Diet” with Drew Barrymore.

BEWARE OF HARLAN COUNTY

Since much of “Justified” took place around Harlan County, Kentucky, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” was featured prominently in five of the six season finales. (Only season three didn’t use it.)

It’s an amazing and haunting song. Brad Paisley’s version from his 2001 album, “Part II” is amazing and was used in the season one and season two finales.

However, my favorite version of the song is by Patty Loveless from her 2001 album, “Mountain Soul”.

“HIS VERY BEST, JIMMY CARTER, A LIFE”

Final comments from Jonathan Adler’s must read 2020 biography…

Nine months before Islamic Revolution “students” seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, and kept 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they briefly took over the embassy nine months earlier on Valentine’s Day, but released them!

President Carter sensed allowing the exiled Shah of Iran to stay in the U.S. could cause Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and his radicals to take over the embassy again. In March 1979, President Carter asked his Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, “What are you guys going to advice me to do if they overrun our embassy and take our people hostage?”

After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan over Christmas 1979, it led a longshoreman group’s members to refuse to load ships with grain headed to the Soviet Union. While high ranking officials in Carter’s administration was behind a grain embargo, Rosalynn (Jimmy’s wife and one his closest advisors) and Vice President Walter Mondale was opposed.

President Carter went along with it and that decision was later compared to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When Johnson signed that into law, it turned the Democratic South “red” (Republican) just as the embargo did for the farm belt states!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — February 5, 2021

Happy 2021! Yes, I know it’s the first weekend of February (where did January go?)!

However, other than my Christmas wishes in December and my favorite movies of 2020 in January, I haven’t had a “Random Friday Thoughts” blog since November 20, 2020!

So, here goes and thank you for checking it out!

SUPER BOWL WEEKEND

Who cares? While I don’t care, I know there are many that do.

The only time I’m even remotely interested in the big game is when there’s someone on the halftime show I want to see (J Lo in 2020, Lady Gaga in 2017, Madonna in 2012, and Janet Jackson (and her boobie) in 2004!

Again, it was NOT planned — it was a “wardrobe malfunction”! (I actually typed that with a straight face without laughing out loud!)

This year, it’s The Weeknd!

So, here’s my favorite The Weeknd song — my #9 song of 2015.

GUACAMOLE

While I’m talking about the Super Bowl, this weekend is the biggest selling weekend of the year for avocados!

It’s estimated that the United States alone eats enough guacamole this weekend to fill the Super Bowl stadium!

Meanwhile, the biggest selling food for other holidays: corn (Fourth of July), turkeys (Thanksgiving, duh!), and strawberries (Valentine’s Day).

Those interesting facts are from one of the most intriguing books I read last year — Michael Ruhlman’s 2017’s “Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America”!

A few fun other things from that book…

In the 1930s, inland Americans only ate about 10 pounds of chicken per person per year compared to about 50 pounds of beef and pork.

Two of the biggest changes in the way we shop came in 1988 thanks to Walmart Supercenters and Whole Foods Market!

While the grocery section accounts for a large portion of a store’s sales, produce (second in sales) is the most profitable.

It’s hard to educate ourselves to eat better because while there 535 lawmakers in Congress, there are more than 10,000 lobbyists in Washington to persuade (con) them — 20 lobbyists to each politicians!

“MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM”

The Golden Globes nominations were announced earlier this week and it comes as no surprise to me that Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman were nominated. I expect them to get Oscar nominations, too.

This was my #5 movie of 2020. As I wrote in January when I posted my 20 favorite movies I saw in 2020, “I could watch Oscar and Emmy winner Viola Davis act her way through a phone book.”

When I started hearing all the Oscar buzz about Boseman, I was hoping it wasn’t because he had just died in late August. Well, give that man his posthumous Golden Globe and Oscar now. Incredible performance!

You can see it on Netflix.

GRADE: A-

“PIECES OF A WOMAN”

And, speaking of the Golden Globes and the Oscars, Viola Davis will have some stiff competition from Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”).

This movie is downer, but Kirby’s performance in the opening 24 minutes of this drama is amazing!

It’s on Netflix.

GRADE: B+

KYLIE & DUA LIPA

While we look forward to see what the “new normal” will be in 2021 as the world tries to get a grasp on the Covid-19 pandemic, it’ll be interesting to see what awaits us in the world of entertainment.

For me, I want Kylie Minogue to announce a “Disco 2021 Tour” to support her critically acclaimed album (and my favorite of 2020), “Disco”.

The third single, “Real Groove”, features a fantastic version with chart-topper Dua Lipa!

And, the Studio 2054 remix is incredible!

WALKING AND READING

I spend a lot of time walking and reading (12-plus miles daily) — yes, both at the same time. So, I get a lot of books read.

Although they weren’t new books (within the last few years), a disturbing trend I noticed was the lack of quotation marks with dialogue. It was so offsetting and hard to follow! Please stop this! 🙂

The first time I noticed it was in “LaRose”.

“LaROSE”

Over the years, when “Entertainment Weekly” gives a stellar review for a book that sounds interesting and I jot it down to read.

Over the years, that’s how I found Sarai Walker’s “Dietland”, “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, and “Sweetbitter” by Stephanie Danler.

This summer, I read three more from that old list.

Louise Erdrich’s 2016 “LaRose” was a very informative fictional book about the Ojibwe tribe.

It tells the story of a hunting accident that leaves a little boy dead and it’s heartbreaking what the hunter’s family has to do to make things right with the family that lost the child.

“THE IMMORTALISTS”

Chloe Benjamin’s 2018 best seller “The Immortalists” was a great book.

Four brothers and sisters in 1969 New York City go to see a fortune teller that specializes in telling people the day they’ll die.

The book follows the youngsters as they maneuver through life trying to deal with the fact that she might be right and how it shapes the decisions they make and how they live their lives.

I have to hand it to Benjamin on her amazing description of gay love and sex with one of the characters!

“THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR”

And, another book on that “EW” list was Canadian author Shari Lapena’s 2016 crime caper, “The Couple Next Door”.

Marco and Anne are heading to dinner at their duplex neighbor’s townhouse when their baby sitter cancels on them at the last minute.

Since they live in a nice, safe neighborhood, they decide to leave their baby Cora at home with a baby monitor and they take turns checking on her every 30 minutes.

When they finally get home after midnight, Cora is missing! Was she kidnapped for ransom? Was she taken and murdered?

Of these three, it was the best.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — October 9, 2020

What an interesting week across America! And, hello to my friends beyond our borders! 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to check out my thoughts. While we don’t have to agree, we must do it diplomatically!

“HAPPY HOLIDAYS” DOESN’T REALLY COVER IT!

Let’s start off light and cheery! I found a new greeting to get us through the next three months!

And, this is still one of my favorites!

COVID-19 LATEST

I’ve been trying really, really hard to stay out of the fray that is the past four years of 45’s presidency.

But, just when you think nothing else can shock you, SURPRISE!

What? WTH? WTF?

More than 212-thousand people in the U.S. have died this year from Covid-19 and more than 7.6 million have tested positive for it and he tweets, “Don’t be afraid of Covid.” and “Don’t let it dominate your life.”!

While I’m no doctor or medical expert, I feel pretty confident in saying that many people testing positive for Covid-19 are doing so because they’re following pathetic advice like that and not following safety protocols!

This GIF has nothing to do with his comments, but it works!

“VOTE NOT GLOAT”

“Halloween” movie icon Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted an incredible and powerful message last Friday after Donald and Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19.

As you can see, I approve this message!

PROOF THAT MASKS SAVE LIVES!

If you don’t believe that masks save lives, I have two words for you –Hannibal Lecter!

Now I want to watch 1991’s Oscar winning Best Picture, “The Silence of the Lambs”, again!

#1 SELLING NON-CHOCOLATE CANDY BAR

I recently read the 1991 Chicago Sun-Times book by Don Hayner and Tom McNamee called “Metro Chicago Almanac”.

Since Halloween is nearing, I’ll share this candy stat from the book.

It states that PayDay is the top selling non-chocolate candy bar in the U.S.!

If you love that candy bar, but you crave chocolate, too, a new PayDay was introduced in August — Chocolatey PAYDAY!

What are your favorite candy bars?

Mine are (#4) Milky Way, (#3) PayDay, (#2) Snickers, and at (#1) Zero!

By the way, the original Zero candy bar was produced in Centralia, Illinois!

HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY MARY GRIFFITH

Mary Griffith died earlier this year at the age of 85. She shared the same birthday as me (October 13th).

Most of you don’t know the name. But, in the 1980s, she became an icon after she saw the light and became one of the strongest advocates for the LGBTQ community.

However, it took a tragedy for that to happen.

Because of her faith in religion and the Bible, she terrorized her gay son, Bobby, constantly with Bible verses and with the fear of God after he came out to her.

Bobby ended his life is the summer of 1983 when he jumped off a Portland, Oregon, overpass into the path of an 18-wheeler!

Over time, Mary realized that God didn’t need to change Bobby because her son was perfect just as God created him — gay!

Through heartache and pain, she became a staunch advocate for PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in her northern California chapter.

Mary, now that you and Bobby are reunited, I hope you’re enjoying the happiness you never found together on Earth.

I’m honored to share a birthday with you!

If you want to read Mary’s story, Leroy Aarons’ book, “Prayers For Bobby” is excellent.

And, there’s a great Lifetime movie with Sigourney Weaver.

“LOVE, VICTOR”

When this project was announced, I was excited thinking it was a movie and a true sequel to 2018’s “Love, Simon”. When I found out it was a 10-episode Hulu series and would not be a Nick Robinson-series, I was less excited.

So, I waited a almost three months after it premiered. Boy, was I wrong!

“Love, Victor” has a great cast including the adorable lead, Michael Comino as Victor, Anthony Turpel as his best friend, Felix, and George Sear (Benji) and Rachel Hilson (Mia) as his two crushes.

And, it’s a well-rounded story that just doesn’t just focus on Victor’s coming of age story and coming out. His parents have their own drama!

Plus, Nick Robinson does make a brief appearance in a later episode.

“Love, Victor” was renewed for a second season.

There were many funny one-liners including this one from Benji to Victor about Dolly Parton:

“She’s actually one of the few things that gay sons and straight guys agree on!”

“LOVE, SIMON”

This was my #10 movie of 2018 grossing $66.3 million in theaters. When I saw it March of that year, I gave it a grade of B+ and wrote:

“LGBT icon and trailblazer Harvey Milk once said, ‘You gotta give them hope.’ The new romantic dramedy, ‘Love, Simon’, gives LGBTQ teenagers and young adults a lot of hope.

Nick Robinson is adorable as closeted high school student Simon Spier living in an Atlanta suburb.  He has a great family and a group of close friends at school, but he a “huge ass secret” — he’s gay.”

I went on to add, “I loved the movie and the message it presents to youngsters and young adults (and their families).

However, as a realist and an older gay man, the movie was wrapped up a little too perfect even with the drama Simon experienced.

But, regardless of age, we all want a happy ending!”

SELENA

One day I was singing a Selena song and then in a scene that night in “Love, Victor”, his mother was singing one of her songs!

It took me back to my 1997 Lubbock, Texas days when I was a reporter and weekend anchor at the CBS affiliate, KLBK.

That was the year that the movie, “Selena”, with Jennifer Lopez came out. I felt like I was on the Selena “beat” because it seem like I was always doing stories on the movie.

And, I remember interviewing Jackie Delgado, who I honestly believe was Selena’s biggest fan in West Texas!

In 1994, I became a Selena fan when I moved to Chicago and bought her fourth album, “Amor Prohibido”.

At the time of her death, at the age of 23, in the spring of 1995, Selena was working on her English language debut album, “Dreaming of You”.

That album debuted at #1 that summer and produced her only Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (the title track).

“SELENA: THE SERIES”

This new series debuts December 4, 2020, on Netflix with Christian Serratos (“The Walking Dead”) playing Selena.

“A HOLLY DOLLY CHRISTMAS”

This is Dolly Parton’s first new Christmas album is 30 years.

I loved the duet with Michael Bublé, “Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas”, and the duet with Willie Nelson on his holiday classic, “Pretty Paper”.

Also, her upbeat duet with her brother, Randy, “You Are My Christmas” is great. And, her giddy versions of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Holly Jolly Christmas” are fun.

I also liked her originals “Christmas on the Square”, “Circle of Love”, and “Comin’ Home for Christmas”.

Now, the downside, her duet with Billy Ray Cyrus would have been much better as just a Dolly song. Despite his success in the 1990s, who said he could sing? And, the pairing with Miley Cyrus was forgettable.

However, the most unforgivable song on the album is Dolly’s remake of Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, with Jimmy Fallon!

While I love Dolly and I like Fallon, this song is iconic and it shouldn’t have been so gimmicky!

All I can say is “Mariah, I’m sorry!”

After the first listen, I didn’t feel too cheery. On the second listen, the grade went up some. I hope it continues to grow on me!

GRADE: B

HARVEST SEASON

It’s harvest season, so watch out for farmers and farm machinery on the roadways.

Also, you never know what you might find in your gardens! 🙂

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

When I Was Young (and Ignorant)

I’ll be the first to admit this since I’m now on the receiving end of it:  I was once young and ignorant!

This is something that I’ve always known, but it took Jennifer Lopez on the Super Bowl halftime show and Blanche Devereaux to drive it home again!

The best meme of the week highlighted “50 years old in 1985” and “50 years old in 2020”!

Rue McClanahan of “The Golden Girls” was dressed to kill as a “Maneater” (another 1980’s reference — you’re welcome Hall & Oates) and J. Lo was swinging from a pole in her performance a la “Hustlers”.

50 Blanche J Lo

As a youngster just getting ready to turn 21-years-old, I thought Blanche was old!

Maybe it’s because McClanahan was surrounded by a cast of actresses more than a decade older than her (Betty White, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty).  Or, was it was because they were called “The Golden Girls”?

The Golden Girls

I know that McClanahan was selling “sexy” as an older woman and J. Lo is selling “sexy” as vivacious! (Let me tell you, it works!)

J Lo Super Bowl

Yet, on the other hand, I never considered my mother, Dessie, old.

When she died at the age of 47, in 1990, I still considered her a “young” woman.  Yet, I saw Blanche as old!

Bizarre!

Dessie Birthday 1989

And, here’s where my youth and ignorance really showed, in the 1980s, even though I didn’t recognize it then.

When I started going out to “the bar” in Paducah, Kentucky, I’d see men that were probably 30-years-old or in their 30s and I thought “they’re OLD”!

Now, I’m that “OLD” person (and I’m not even talking 30s or 40s)!

These days, when I see and hear the gay youth (20s) saying the same thing, I think, “You’re so stupid!  Just wait, you’ll be on the receiving end of it before you know it!”

And, here’s something that totally confounds the age logic for me back then even more.

Anthony 1980s

When I was back home on break from college as a 19-year-old, I had a chance “encounter” one hot summer night with the neighborhood hottie that all the women lusted after!

He was 29 — ten years older than me!

Yet, it was so thrilling, I didn’t even think of the age difference.  Maybe because he wasn’t 30! 🙂

ss

So, just remember, age is just a number!

Also, keep in mind, that most of us in our 40s and 50s shouldn’t try emulating J. Lo!

J. Lo Super Bowl

This all reminds me of Arnold Becker (Harvey Fierstein) as he was getting into drag in “Torch Song Trilogy”!

I think my biggest problem is being young and beautiful. It’s my biggest problem because I’ve never been young and beautiful. Oh, I’ve been beautiful. And God knows I’ve been young, but never the twain have met.”

And, because I mentioned 1982’s “Maneater”, Daryl Hall & John Oates’ longest running #1 song at four weeks, here it is!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — January 17, 2020

Happy 2020!

2020

I hope the new year is off to a great start for you.  Even though we’re only a few weeks into 2020, I already feel overwhelmed with some of the things I’m working off that I’ll share one day!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my “Random Friday Thoughts”.  If you want to comment, feel free.  If you disagree, do it diplomatically!

MOVE ALONG, YOU’VE PROVED YOUR POINT!

We’re now just a few weeks away from the beginning of the voting process for the Democratic nominee for president in 2020.

After a few more suspended campaigns, we’re down to twelve “active major” candidates, which is still several too many!  (It’s a stretch that Bennet, Delaney, Gabbard, and Patrick are still in the race!)

I’m sure the Iowa caucus (February 3), the New Hampshire primary (February 11), the Nevada caucus (February 22), and the South Carolina primary (February 29) will weed out several more of those running.

However, it’ll likely be Super Tuesday on March 3, 2020, that will narrow the field to just the front runners.  Fourteen states have their primaries on that day.

So, Hillary Clinton, it’s time to jump into the race!

Still

Say what you want — diplomatically!

WE CAN CHANGE THE FACE OF INAUGURATION DAY 2020!

JFK JUNE 1963

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

High Crime.JPG

EERIE, SAD COINCIDENCE

Melanie Panayiotou, the sister of pop legend George Michael, died on Christmas Day.  She was in her 50s!

What’s eerie is that Michael also died on Christmas Day in 2016!  He was 53.

George Michael.gif

They are survived by their father and an older sister.

MILLIONAIRE “LOVER”

My favorite CD of 2019 was also the ONLY album to sell more than a million copies last year!

It’s astounding that the music landscape has changed so much with streaming, downloading singles, etc.!

Taylor Swift Lover

Taylor Swift’s “Lover” sold 1.085 million copies.  Of that, 699,000 were physical units (including mine) and the other 386,000 were digital copies.

Now I’m getting excited to see what the fourth single will be from the album.  I hope it’s either “I Forgot That You Existed” or “The Man”.

I would have added “Cornelia Street”, too, but it’s a ballad and her last single, “Lover”, was a ballad!

“FAST FOOD NATION:  THE DARK SIDE OF THE ALL-AMERICAN MEAL”

This incredible, eye-opening, and mind-boggling book by Eric Schlosser came out in 2001.

Fast_food_nation

While I know there have been improvements and advancements in raising animals for human consumption and in food processing and distribution, something tells me there are still so many horror stories today that threaten our health and our lives.

Even before reading this book, I was already considering giving up eating meat.  The first step will be to stop buying it for home (except when I’m hosting) and only eating meat when I’m out.

I’m sure I can do it since I gave up beef more than a decade ago!

While I know the research in the book is reliable, if only a fraction was true and our lives weren’t dictated by huge corporations and shady politicians, we Americans would change our eating habits.

Not just because it’d be healthier, but the production of meat, from raising livestock to slaughtering them for food, is so cruel and unsanitary!

A very compelling documentary to watch from 2009 is called “Food, Inc.”, which was nominated for Oscar!

In 2012, I wrote a very interesting blog called “Our Eating Habits Are Killing Us.”

Here’s the link if you want to read it and see some of the monstrosities we serve in our restaurants, including this:

6pound_000

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/our-eating-habits-are-killing-us/

“UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS: A STORY OF LOSS AND AGAIN”

I can’t believe that it took me so long to read Portia De Rossi’s 2010 heartbreaking book about her fight with food addiction and the obsession with weight loss!

Portia

I also didn’t expect that reading it would trigger me to fall off the food addiction wagon!

For a recovering bulimic or anorexic, eating is a nightmare.

Once you fall, it’s hard to get back on track.  The scale entices you with weight loss that you can’t do easily just by eating right and exercising.

Every pound that disappears is not just one step closer to a goal.  Sadly, it’s only more encouragement for the physically destructive behavior to continue!

After nine years as a practicing bulimic (1986-1995), I spent the next two decades “on the wagon”.  A separation (and ultimate divorce) caused a relapse for a few months, in 2017, but I overcame it.

And, I know I’ll overcome this recent relapse, too.  I just hope it’s sooner rather than later!

SKIP THIS BOOK!

“Call Me By Your Name” was my favorite movie I saw in 2018.  Afterwards, I read the book by Andre Aciman.

I was so excited when it was announced in 2019 that a sequel, “Find Me”, was on the way.

andre-aciman-call-me-by-your-name-find-me

I was thoroughly disappointed!

I was so excited that I’d see where Elio and Oliver were in life and if they ended up together!  However, most of the book (the first part) was about Elio’s father!

When we finally caught up Elio and in a fleeting moment, Oliver, it was too little, too late.

As for “Find Me”, don’t even look for it!

Pretend that this sequel doesn’t exist and just enjoy the beauty of “Call Me By Your Name” again!

It’s peachy!  🍑🍑🍑

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MORE BOOKS I READ LATELY

“Dispatches From The Edge:  A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival” by Anderson Cooper (2006)

What a riveting book about what Cooper saw in 2005 from the aftermath of the Indonesian tsunami, various wars, and Hurricane Katrina.

Anderson also talked quite a bit about his brother’s suicide.

I sure hope that he sought therapy after 2005 because he sounded very depressed and down.

Or, like me, writing is therapy and maybe authoring the book was therapeutic for him!

“Vice:  Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of The American Presidency” (2006) by Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein

I knew from living through the George W. Bush presidency that Dick Cheney was a despicable man.  However, I didn’t know that his wife, Lynne, was also a mean, snake of a woman, too.

But, then again, why should that shock me???

“Christmas in the Old West” (2003) by Sam Travers

A very informative and fun look at Christmases when the West was truly wild.  How people survived back then (1800s and early 1900s) still amazes me!

“The Words Lincoln Lived By:  52 Timeless Principles To Light Your Path” (1997) by Gene Griessman

A great quote from the book, which is perfect for the new year!

Lincoln (1858):  “By all means, don’t say ‘if I can’; say ‘I will'”. 

“THE FAREWELL”

“The Farewell” was my favorite movie of 2019!

Its star was also in my #5 movie of 2018, “Crazy Rich Asians”, in a much different role.

In “Asians”, Awkwafina was comedic relief and in “The Farewell”, she shows off her dramatic acting chops.

She also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical this month, but was snubbed and didn’t get an Oscar nomination!

It’s a the story of a Chinese family going back to their homeland from the U.S. to visit a loved one who’s dying of cancer.  However, the family chooses not to let her know!

GRADE:  A

“JUDY”

What an incredible movie!

If you’re a Judy Garland fan, you’re already familiar with what is covered in the movie.

If you just know Garland as Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” and maybe as Liza Minnelli’s mother, then definitely check out this movie.  It’s on DVD!

Renee Zellweger won the Golden Globe Award earlier this month in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama category and will be the one to beat when the Academy Awards are handed out.

“Judy” was my #5 movie of 2019!

GRADE:  A

“BOMBSHELL”

Even after seeing “The Loudest Voice” on Showtime last year, watching “Bombshell” was a different viewing experience about the toxic environment at Fox News.  (Oh, and about the toxic, creepy, nasty Roger Ailes!)

While John Lithgow was incredible as Ailes, it was definitely the women who made the movie — Charlize Theron (as Megyn Kelly), Nicole Kidman (as Gretchen Carlson), Margot Robbie (as a composite character created from many of the women that Ailes victimized), and Kate McKinnon (a co-worker, Jess Carr).

I expected Oscar nominations for Theron the Best Actress category and for Robbie in Best Supporting Actress category and they got them!

“Bombshell” ended up being my #13 movie I saw in 2019.

GRADE:  B

A WARM YOU UP THIS WINTER FLASHBACK!

Since we’re into the “dead of winter”, here’s something to warm you up!

It still astounds me that Kim Wilde only scored two Top 40 hits in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Kids in America” reached #25 in 1981 and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” topped the chart in 1987.

She came close to scoring two more hits with “You Came” in 1988 (#41) and this one, “Say You Really Want Me” (#44), in 1987.

This video is so sexy and hot, but it was deemed “raunchy” in the U.K.!

SUPERBOWL TEASE

And, ahead of her Super Bowl halftime performance, a 2020 megamix of the sexiest woman alive — Jennifer Lopez!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

 

Goodbye 2019 & Hello 2020

The December holidays are underway (Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa) and that means that 2020 is quickly approaching, too!

This isn’t exactly a “Random Friday Thoughts”, but we can pretend that it is since there hasn’t been one in almost two months!

Enjoy your weekend and thank you for checking out my thoughts!

CHRISTMAS MAY BE OVER, BUT…

By this time, I know some of you have already taken down your Christmas tree 🎅🎄 and decorations!

To each his and her own, but that truly baffles me — just like watching people buy a tree 🎄 to decorate on the weekend before Christmas!  🎅

There is just something for me about the beauty and serenity of enjoying a lighted tree for months!

Christmas Tree 2019

 

Mine went up the first weekend of November and will stay up until the last day of January!

ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS COMMERCIAL!

Mariah Carey’s commercial for Walkers Crisps is so awesome!

“HUSTLERS” & AN OSCAR NOMINATION FOR JENNIFER LOPEZ?

“Hustlers” was an incredible movie and is based on a true story.

While Constance Wu was amazing and earned top billing in the movie, Jennifer Lopez is definitely the star attraction.

I predict that she’ll definitely hear her name called in the “Best Supporting Actress” category when the Oscar nominations come out.

Cardi B was fun and sassy in her minor role and you definitely see more of Lizzo than I was expecting — both were very sexy!

And, I was surprised that male genitalia made an appearance or two! 🙂

GRADE: A

“GOOD BOYS”

This was the worst movie I saw in 2019!

I knew it was going to be raunchy and expected it to be juvenile.  But, seriously, sixth grade boys in today’s internet world are not that clueless when it comes to sex!

Watch the trailer and save 90 minutes of your life and the money for the rental!

GRADE:  D

NEW YEAR OPTIMISM

Never Give Up.jpg

MY FIRST REQUEST FOR (LATE) 2020

While I’m already asking for a lot in planning the #NextChapter and #Pug 2020, if the big man upstairs is listening and taking requests, I have one more — a boyfriend!

Other than a pulse, here are a few requirements:

Boyfriend List.jpg

TWO MUSICAL WISHES FOR 2020

Since the state of country radio is pathetically sad (sexist and ageist, for starters) and will not play new music from Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Patty Loveless…

Reba Dolly Patty.JPG

I’d love for Reba, Dolly, and Patty to release an album together just like Loretta Lynn, Dolly and Tammy Wynette did in 1993 with “Honky Tonk Angels”!

HonkyTonkAngels.jpg

By the way, Dolly ended 2019 dancing up the Billboard charts with Galantis and Mr. Probz.

“Faith” was #1 at Dance radio stations!

My other musical wish in 2020 is to see Kylie Minogue in concert!

I was really wanting to see the “Golden Tour”, but it didn’t come to America.  However, in early December, Kylie released it on DVD!

And, it’s amazing!

Kylie Golden Tour.JPG

I bought the “Golden” album when it came out in April 2018 and this new combo not only comes with concert DVD, but two CDs of live music from the show!

Since I’m making a wish list, I might as well add another one or two!

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In addition to wanting to see Kylie in concert in 2020, I’d also love to see Toni Braxton…

Toni Braxton.gif

and Vanessa Williams doing a Christmas show — all as Las Vegas residencies!!!!!

Vanessa Williams.gif

Those are the last three of my musical divas I’ve always wanted to see in concert, but haven’t!

Other than the Kylie “Golden Tour” CD/DVD combo, I bought five other albums in 2019.

“MERRY CHRISTMAS DELUXE ANNIVERSARY EDITION”

25 years after the classic “Merry Christmas” was released on November 1, 1994, Mariah Carey re-released the original with one new song on that disc and added a full new disc of previously unreleased material!

The “Deluxe Anniversary Edition” of “Merry Christmas” came out November 1, 2019.

MC Deluxe

It’s divine!  Just look at the track list on the second disc!

Track List CD2

And, for the first time ever, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Only one other Christmas song has topped that chart.  Back in 1958, Dave Seville and the Chipmunks reached the top for four weeks with “The Chipmunk Song”!

This year, Mariah also released a gorgeous new video directed by Joseph Kahn!  It’s phenomenal!

So, “Mariah Christmas” everyone!

“LOVER”

Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album “Lover” came out in August.  It’s almost perfect and is my favorite album of new material in 2019.

Taylor Swift Lover

Along with the hit title track, it features the #2 smashes, “Me” with Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco and “You Need To Calm Down”, Taylor’s love letter to her LGBTQ fans.

My favorite songs from the album are “I Forgot That You Existed”, “The Man”, “I Think He Knows”, “Cornelia Street”, “False God”, “You Need To Calm Down”, and “Afterglow”.

I hope the next single will be “I Forgot That You Existed”!

GRADE:  A

“MADAME X”

In June, Madonna released her first new album in four years with “Madame X”.

Madonna Madame X

While Top 40 radio ignored the album, Madonna found continued success in the dance clubs.

“Medellín” (with Colombian hottie Maluma), “I Rise, and “Crave” (with Swae Lee) became her 47th, 48th, and her record-extending 49th number one songs on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

“Crave” also got some play on Adult Contemporary radio and reached #11.

My favorite songs are “Medellín”, “God Control”, “Crave”, “Crazy”, and “I Don’t Search I Find”!

“God Control” is a very powerful and brutal video.

While some were disgusted that the video was so graphic, I’m with Madonna in the “sorry, not sorry” camp!

GRADE:  B

“STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH”

Reba McEntire’s latest album, “Stronger Than The Truth, is up for the “Best Country Album” Grammy Award and is one of the most underrated country albums ever!

The spring 2019 release was her first country album in four years.

Reba Truth

It debuted at #4 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, which is a great accomplishment since country music radio programmers are pretty much sexist, ageist, and racist in what they play!

Ouch!  But, it’s the truth!  Look at how many women, women of a certain age, and people of color that are on country radio these days.  It wouldn’t take long to count!

Forgive me for deviating from Reba’s new album — her divorce album.

Unlike “MDNA”, Madonna’s 2012 very angry and violent divorce album to her ex, Reba’s album deals with loss and heartbreak, but it does offer some hope and optimism.

On the album, Reba goes back to her 1980s country roots and it kicks off with the fun, upbeat “Swing All Night With You” and then Reba does what she does best.

She rips your heart out on a modern day “Rumor Has It”, the first song that we heard from the new album, the title track.

Heartbreak is what Reba is known for and she does it so well on this album with my two favorite ballads, “Tammy Wynette Kind of Pain” and “The Bar’s Getting Lower”.

Upbeat songs are also a Reba specialty and my absolute favorite song on the album is one of the two tracks on the Target exclusive.  Sadly, people that bought the album from amazon or iTunes will miss out on “While You Were Sleeping”.

It starts out sounding like a gentle love song, but quickly turns into a fun kiss off!!!!

My other favorite upbeat songs are “No U In Oklahoma” and “Storm in a Shot Glass”.

I’ve been a die-hard Reba fan since 1990’s “Rumor Has It” album.  And, it seems that regardless of what’s going on in my life when a new Reba album comes out, good or bad, there’s a song (or two) on the album that I feel that Reba is singing just to me.

Sadly, it’s a reality check ballad called “The Bar’s Getting Lower”.

Disclaimer:  I fully stand behind everything I said about country radio, but, in all fairness, part of the blame for the album’s commercial failure falls back on Reba and the record company.

There was no official video for the single “Freedom” or the title track when it was advanced!

GRADE:  B+

“LOVE”

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Michael Buble in concert twice and he’s an amazing performer and vocalist.

If Mariah Carey is the “Queen of Christmas”, I think that Buble should be the “King of Christmas”.

MichaelBubleChristmas

His 2011 album “Christmas”, has already sold 4.3 million copies in the U.S. and was ranked at #24 on the biggest albums of the past decade chart — the highest ranked holiday album!!!

But, his late 2018 release, “Love” (stylized as ❤️ , the red heart emoji), is beautiful.

I’m including it here because I got it in 2019!

Michael Buble Love

You might not recognize Loren Allred, but it was her beautiful voice in “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman” for the Jenny Lind character!

GRADE:  B

“LAST CHRISTMAS”

If you’re a fan of Christmas movies, I recommend “Last Christmas”.

Last Christmas

It isn’t a perfect movie, by far, but Emilia Clarke is absolutely stunning (funny and heartbreaking) and Henry Golding is still so dreamy. (I’m still swooning after multiple views of “Crazy Rich Asians”!)

There are holes in some story lines and some could have been shortened.

But, you can’t go wrong with a movie that features a George Michael soundtrack, Christmas, love, and the gorgeous Michelle Yeoh!

In a trying, complicated, divisive world, you gotta have faith at Christmas!

GRADE: B

“LAST CHRISTMAS”

George Michael and Wham’s original version of “Last Christmas” is perfect, but here are two of my other favorite versions.

I love the Cascada’s dance version of the song and the gorgeous Christmas setting and the beautiful friends make the video!

And, I absolutely love Darren Hayes’ version!

NOW, ON TO 2020!

As we put the highs and lows of 2019 and the 2010s behind us and look forward to new adventures (and a new president-elect) in 2020,  I wish you and yours a very Happy News Year!

gif-happy-new-year-2019

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Thoughts — May 3, 2019

Now that May is here and the weather will start being nice on a regular basis (I hope), I’m ready to get out more and enjoy life.

So, I have just a few more blogs to share with you before I go on hiatus.

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  Feel free to share your thoughts about what I’m talking about and if we disagree, that’s fine.  Just do it diplomatically!

GET VACCINATED!

I know I probably have friends that don’t believe in vaccinating their children, but this is a subject where we sorely disagree.

If you don’t vaccinate, I’m sure you have your reasons.

I think people, of any age, should be up to date on their shots to help prevent the spread of contagions!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tweeted this on Monday!

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Measles.JPG

KENT STATE MASSACRE

This weekend marks the 49th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre!

As you recall, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on the campus and the shootings left four students dead.

In May 2000, I was a reporter in Mansfield, Ohio, about 75 miles away from Kent State University and I got to cover the 30th anniversary of the shooting spree.

It was very eerie and I can’t believe that next year will be 50 years!

Here is the report that I filed in 2000.  My apologies for the quality since this was recorded on my phone from TV and VHS!

The story is still great!

2019 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS

The 2019 Billboard Music Awards were amazing! It was a total throwback for me to the fun 1980s American Music Awards — so many great, exciting visual performances!

Madonna & Maluma, Taylor & Brendon Urie, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Paula Abdul and The Jonas Brothers rocked Las Vegas and the MGM Grand, along with Halsey and Kelly Clarkson (both performances)!!!

2019 BBMA.JPG

I’m still crushing on Brendon!

“KILLING EVE”

We’re midway through the eight-episode second season of BBC America’s “Killing Eve”.

I just finished binge watching the first season’s eight episodes and finally brought myself to start watching the second season.

After the shocking season one finale, I hesitated to start this season because I know I’ll have to wait for the next four episodes to air on television and then wait another year for the third season!

The show is absolutely incredible!

Sandra Oh, who won Best Actress awards in a drama from the Critics’ Choice Television Awards and the Golden Globes, is amazing, as Eve Polastri, an MI5 officer in London.

And, every time that Jodie Comer, who plays psychopathic, hired assassin Villanelle, is on screen, I’m mesmerized!

And, of course, I’m crushing on Sean Delaney, who plays Kenny Stowton, an ex-hacker who has been recruited by Eve in her search for Villanelle!

Sean Delaney.JPG

“SECOND ACT”

I love Jennifer Lopez and I’m hoping to see her in concert this summer.

Until then, you can catch her on this hit from last winter.  The $16 million comedy brought in $72.3 million in theaters.

Lopez plays Maya Vargas, an assistant manager at a Value Shop store, who is ready for a big promotion after working there for 15 years.

She’s passed over because she doesn’t have a college degree.

On her birthday, she makes a wish that is far-fetched.  But, through the magic of the internet and social media, things start happening for Maya, but it’s based on a lie!

Leah Remini is hilarious and sexy Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”) plays Lopez’s boyfriend.

Okay, the movie is cute, sexy, and funny, but it’s not totally realistic.  But, that’s why we watch some movies!

GRADE: B+

“ON THE BASIS OF SEX”

This movie is based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It covers her life from her college years, when not too many women were enrolled at Harvard Law School, to her trying her first big case.

Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”) plays Bader and dreamy Armie Hammer (“Call Me By Your Name”) plays her husband, Martin Ginsburg.

It’s a well told story and both actors are great, so I recommend it.  However, I’d highly suggest that you watch the superior “RBG” instead or in addition to “On The Basis of Sex”.

GRADE: B

“RBG”

In September 2018, I wrote, “This superb 97-minute feature directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen documents the career of 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”  

GRADE: A

“SANTA CLARITA DIET” CANCELLED

I haven’t gotten around to watching the third season of this Netflix comedy.

I guess I should laugh and cherish each episode since it was cancelled!

Where will I watch Timothy Olyphant now?

SPECTRUM “ON DEMAND”

My cable company, Spectrum, is pretty much like any other cable company, most notably, Mediacom — very expensive and very unreliable.

While recently on a customer service call, I was told that “On Demand” is free.

I politely told the agent that while Spectrum may consider it “free” and there may not be a line on my bill that charges me for “On Demand”, when I pay them $140.40 a month, when I turn on the television to watch something on cable, it’s not free!

I was calling because there was a missing episode in season three of “Veep” and there are four missing episodes scattered about in seasons three and four of “Younger”!

“YOUNGER”

Speaking of… I’ve been trying to binge watch the TV Land series, “Younger” for over a year now.

I watched season one last spring while I was still in Panama City.  When I got to Duluth, Minnesota, seasons two through four were not available “On Demand”, yet I did DVR season five.

Now “On Demand”, all five seasons are available with random missing or unavailable episodes.

I’m just finished season four and for the missing episodes, I just read the Wikipedia episode synopsis and ventured on. 😦

“Younger” is from creator and producer Darren Star, who brought us the classics “Beverly Hills, 90120”, “Melrose Place” and “Sex and the City”.

It stars Sutton Foster, as Liza, a 40-year-old recently separated mother of a teenager, who’s trying to jump start her once thriving career.  She tries to get a job in publishing, but she realizes the industry is obsessed with much younger employees!

Her roommate and best friend, Maggie (Debi Mazar), gives her a makeover and she lands a job as a “26-year-old” and works for Diana Trout (a hilarious Miriam Shor) and alongside Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff).

She meets and falls for young, inked, and insanely sexy Josh (Nico Tortorella), a tattoo artist, who thinks Liza is around his age, mid-20s!

I’ve crushed on Tortorella since he was on the first season of Fox’s “The Following”.

Nico Tortorella

On ‘Younger”, the bisexual/genderfluid actor is absolutely stunning!

And, the sexiness doesn’t end with Tortorella.  There’s also Peter Hermann (Charles) and Dan Amboyer (Thad).

Dan Amboyer

Amboyer (above) came out as gay in 2017 and announced he had married his long-term partner.

And, my new hottie in seasons three and four is Ben Rappaport!

Ben Rappaport

Season six debuts on June 12, 2019, on TV Land.

“ME”

Taylor Swift is back and she seems happy after the awesome, darker 2017 “Reputation” album.

This time she’s teaming up with sexy Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco.

Wonder if there’s going to be a duet with The Dixie Chicks on the new album?

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 25, 2018

May is almost over and it’s Memorial Day weekend, which is the “unofficial” start to the summer season.

After today’s blog, I’ll be going on “hiatus” to get moved to Duluth, Minnesota.

When I make new friends up north, I hope that some of them grill out!

kEBOB

In addition to missing companionship, my friends and family, and my koi pond, grilling out is another thing I’ve really missed since leaving the Quad Cities!

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How are you doing on those “New Year’s Resolutions”?

I’m sure many are history and some of you are still paying for those unused gym memberships! 🙂

I decided to look back at my first two blogs of the year, “2018: Looking Ahead, Not Back”  and “Random Friday (2018) Thoughts”, to see how I’m doing on my resolutions and predictions.

If you want to see the pictures, videos, and read the complete blogs, both links are here and they’ll open in a new window, so you won’t lose your place in today’s blog.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/2018-looking-ahead-not-back/

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/random-friday-2018-thoughts/

In the January 1st blog, I wrote, “The highlight of my Christmas season was the 90-minutes-plus I spent in Mariah Carey’s Christmas wonderland for her “All I Want For Christmas” show in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.”

MC ALL I WANT VEGAS

It’s now almost summer and that night still crosses my mind.  It was truly magical!

I also talked about battling bulimia and how I used to be so spontaneous.

While visiting Chicago over Memorial Day weekend in 1994, I had a “Come to Jesus” moment.  A little over a month later, I left Kentucky and moved to third largest city in the U.S.!

But, that was then, this is now.   Somewhere along the way, I became a “planner” and lost my spontaneity and I want to find it again!

As last year ended and 2018 began, I needed change and the words of my favorite song of 2017, “Silence” by Marshmello featuring Khalid, hit me hard while I was reflecting on my life:

“I’m in need of a savior, but I’m not asking for favors/My whole life, I’ve felt like a burden/I THINK TOO MUCH, I HATE IT/I’m so used to being in the wrong, I’m tired of caring/Loving never gave me a home, so I’ll sit here in the silence”

I do think too much.

I wrote that it was time to “shake it off” and leave Panama City if I wasn’t happy, “I have four cities in mind for a fresh start. Two of them, I’d move to with or without a television job…”

The two I would have moved to without a television job were Palm Springs, California, and Las Vegas.

Vegas

Well, it’s funny how you make plans and set a timeline and then God sits back and laughs.

I said if I didn’t have a television job by Halloween 2018, I’d be out of here anyways.

Well, I’m leaving Florida next week and I’ll be moving into my new apartment in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 2nd, to call the “Northland” home!

Duluth at Christmas

I’m so thrilled to not only start the next chapter in my life, but to start living again!  Cheers!

Claire

In “Random Friday (2018) Thoughts”, (posted 1/5/18), I stated that after seeing five concerts in Las Vegas in 2017 (The Australian Bee Gees, Britney Spears, Tanya Tucker, Lionel Richie, and Mariah Carey), I’d like to see Rod Stewart, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez this year.

Those shows aren’t going to happen for me now, but I’m still holding out that if I only see one concert this year that it’s Kylie Minogue.

Kylie

Come on Kylie, add Saint Paul, Minnesota, to your North American tour dates when you announce the “Golden Tour”.

As for movies, I’ve already seen the first two on my list, “Call Me By Your Name” and “Love, Simon”.

I can forget “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (7/20) now — unless I find out for sure that Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep) is alive in more than a couple of scenes!

I’ve replaced it “Crazy Rich Asians”, which could be the new “Pretty Woman” — well, without Julia Roberts and turning tricks in Los Angeles.

Also, I’m excited about “Halloween” (10/19) with Jamie Lee Curtis returning as Laurie Strode.

jamie-lee-curtis-halloween

“Bohemian Rhapsody” about Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury has been moved up to November 2nd from Christmas Day 2018.  It stars the incredible Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot”.

Here’s the new trailer!

And, finally, on Christmas Day 2018, there’s Emily Blunt and Ben Whishaw in “Mary Poppins Returns” (12/25).

Mary-Poppins-Returns-EW-Exclusive-2

So, it looks like I’m doing okay on my resolutions and my prospects of being a happy person again!

And, I’m looking forward to snow and a “White Christmas” again!

White Red Christmas

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony