Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Randomness — Holidays, Movies & More

Since I’m taking a break from my “Random Friday Thoughts”, I still wanted to share some recommendations on things I watched and enjoyed lately.

If you saw these, too, let me know what you thoughts.  If you didn’t, you have some things to check out!

A QUEEN BRINGS LIFE TO THE NEWBORN KING!

Leave it to a queen, BeBe Zahara Benet, to bring life to the newborn king holiday ballad, “The Little Drummer Boy” !

This is an incredible, fun version of the song and I love the video. 🙂

BABY, BRING THE BUBBLY INSIDE!

Fun Mimosas.jpg

CHRISTMAS SONG THOUGHTS

I’m not even going to get into the whole “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” debate.  It was already one of my least favorite holiday songs even before this year!

But, here are a few things to think about when listening to Christmas music this year!

In “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, it lists the other reindeer and then asks a very silly question, “but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all”!

hermey-rudolph01

Seriously, if he’s the most famous reindeer of all, of course we remember him!

From “Do You Hear What I Hear”, “a child, a child, shivers in the cold, let us bring him silver and gold”.

While silver and gold would be nice to have, why not a damn blanket since the baby is cold!!!

Wise-Men-Baby-Jesus-Manger.png

And, I love the Carpenters!  But, in “Home For The Holidays”, I shake my head when Karen sings of going home and “Geez, the traffic is terrific!”

Traffic is terrific????  SAID.NO.ONE.EVER.

It’s more like…

gtfo

… of my way!

“IT’S CHRISTMAS, EVE”

I finally got around to watching “It’s Christmas, Eve” with LeAnn Rimes, which made debuted on the Hallmark Channel in November.

Rimes stars as Eve Morgan, who goes back home as Interim school superintendent to get the district out of financial trouble.  The easiest way to do it is to cut the arts program.

And, who does she meet living across the street from her mother and stepfather?  You probably guessed it — a very handsome music teacher, Liam (Tyler Hynes), at one of the schools on the chopping block!

While predictable, it’s still a cute movie.

The only thing I cringed about was the use of my least favorite (and widely overused) term these days:  “meet cute”.   It wasn’t used once or twice, but three times, if I’m not mistaken! 🙂

GRADE:  B

Before the show premiered, I wrote, “the soundtrack is incredible!  Okay, incredible is an understatement.  It’s the best Christmas album in the past few years!!!!” and I gave it an “A” grade!

REMEMBERING DREW & JUAN

After the summer 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre, I vowed that as long as I blog, I’ll remember the victims — especially 32-year-old Christopher “Drew” Leinonen and his 22-year-old boyfriend Juan Guerrero.

Christmas Was Perfect

While that Christmas was perfect for the young men and their families, I know the following ones have been difficult for the grieving families.

To their families. Christopher and Juan are still not forgotten this Christmas!

“JONESTOWN:  TERROR IN THE JUNGLE”

This past November marked the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre.  Some called it “mass murder” and others, a “mass suicide”.

I’m in the “mass murder” camp, since the Reverend Jim Jones was deranged and pretty much forced those people to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid at gunpoint!

More than 900 people died.

This SundanceTV documentary following Jones’ life from Indiana to the jungles of Guyana was incredible.

GRADE:  A

“PADDINGTON 2”

2014’s “Paddington” was fun.  The little bear is adorable and especially so, voiced by my big-time crush, Ben Whishaw!

Ben Whishaw

Plus, Nicole Kidman as a villain was icing on the cake.

This year’s $40 million sequel was box office gold.  It made $226.9 million.

Paddington is living in London and wants to buy his aunt a picture book.  But, this movie’s villain (played by Hugh Grant) wants the book because it holds clues to a treasure that no one knows about, except him.

The movie is very cute and heartwarming.  With just minutes before the end credits, Iit brought tears to my eyes!  🙂

Also, at one point near the end of the movie, a scene with two-time Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins made me feel like I was watching “The Shape of Water 2”! 🙂

GRADE: A-

“SEARCHING”

This incredible movie was made for just a million dollars and brought in an astounding $70.6 million in theaters.

It was shot mostly on smartphones and computer screens and is eerie and creepy.

John Cho stars as a dad that learns he knows very little about his 15-year-old daughter when she goes missing.

Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) is a detective that’s helping solve the case.

Cho is nominated for the “Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead”.

GRADE: A-

“THE GOOD DOCTOR” WINTER FINALE

While I still like “The Good Doctor” on ABC, I recently wrote that I’ve cooled on the show.  Well, that all changed with the winter finale, “Quarantine”!

If you’ve never watched the show or you don’t watch it religiously, watch this episode “On Demand”!!!

And, if you’ve never watched it, all you need to know is that Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is autistic and is considered a savant!

It was intense and scary to think that this could really happen!  And, which major characters will die?

“The Good Doctor” returns on ABC Monday, January 14, 2019.

“JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS”

Two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda, who turns 81 next week, is still turning out award nominated work both on the big screen and on television (“Grace and Frankie”).

There are still people in the U.S. that dislike (okay, hate) Fonda for a mistake she made back in the Vietnam conflict.

But, this HBO documentary is amazing.

It shows Fonda in five acts:  from Henry Fonda’s daughter and her first years as an actress through the men that try to define her (three ex-husbands) to her current work.

GRADE: A-

“BLACKkKLANSMAN”

This Spike Lee picture was made for $15 million and made $88.2 million in theaters.

It’s based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American to join the Colorado Springs Police Department in Colorado in the early-1970s.

John David Washington (Denzel’s son) plays Stallworth, who contacts the Ku Klux Klan and then has to coach a white officer (Adam Driver) to pose as Stallworth to meet the hooded haters!

While this story took place in the ’70s, there were subtle and not so subtle references to “that man”, 45!

The nominations are coming in for BLACKkKLANSMAN”!  It’s up for five Critics Choice Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor (Driver).

It’s also nominated for four Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Actor – Drama (Washington) and Best Supporting Actor (Driver).

While this movie was very enjoyable and entertaining, my favorite Spike Lee movie is still 1999’s underappreciated “Summer of Sam”.

GRADE: B+

“SORRY TO BOTHER YOU”

Lakeith Stanfield will be a name you’ll hear more of in the future.

He leads this movie about a telemarketer who learns that using a “white voice” helps his sales and will move him up the corporate ladder at WorryFree faster.

But, it comes with a price.

This comedy is crazy and definitely goes off the rails with well-endowed horse people (you’ll have to watch the movie)! 🙂

Sexy Armie Hammer (“Call Me By Your Name”) stars as the CEO of the company.

It made $17.6 million in theaters and is nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.

GRADE: B

“HEREDITARY”

I like horror movies and I love Toni Collette (“Muriel’s Wedding”), but I wasn’t drawn to the theaters to see “Hereditary”.

I finally saw it on DVD and I made the right decision to avoid it.

Supernatural movies have less appeal to me than horror movies with deranged serial killers!  Hello Michael Myers!

Halloween

“Hereditary” does have a very surprising and shocking death scene that I didn’t see coming.

While Collette and Alex Wolff, who plays her 16-year-old son, are great, the movie was too long and convoluted.

Yet, it was a box office hit earning $79.3 million.

GRADE:  B-

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

 

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Random (Christmas) Thoughts — December 22, 2017

Christmas is here in a few day!

Thank you for checking out my festive, holiday version of “Random Friday (Christmas) Thoughts” today.

“CHRISTMAS GHOSTS — LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT”

MARIAH CHRISTMAS TO YOU!

I just saw the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Mariah Carey show in Las Vegas.  She was absolutely gorgeous and flawless and her voice was crisp and angelic.

MC ALL I WANT VEGAS

The sets were magical and stunning and for just over 90 minutes, all my unhappiness was a distant memory!

Here’s my Facebook album of the amazing show.

https://www.facebook.com/anthony.gene.13/media_set?set=a.10155163332614849.1073742044.500579848&type=3

By the way, the title track to the new holiday movie, “The Star”, by Mariah has already been nominated for a Golden Globe award and is in contention for an Oscar nomination!

POINSETTIAS

The poinsettia, traditionally an American Christmas flower, originally grew in Mexico; where it was known as the “Flower of the Holy Night”.

Poinsettia 1

It was first brought to America by Joel Poinsett in 1829.

CANDY CANES

During the Christmas/Hanukkah season, more than 1.76 billion candy canes will be made.

christmascocktails

I wonder how many of those billions end up as garnishes in festive holiday drinks?

CHRISTMAS TREES

The National Christmas Tree Association reports that Americans buy 37.1 million real Christmas trees each year.  And, of that number, one out of every four are from the country’s roughly 5,000 choose-and-cut farms.

ABBA's First Christmas 2000

I did that back in 2000 and 2001 for Miss ABBA’s (my late golden retriever) first two Christmases.

In retrospective, I felt guilty for cutting down that big, gorgeous tree!

TURKEYS

The Christmas turkey first appeared on English tables in the 16th century.

Our Turkey 2012

However, in rich households, it didn’t immediately replace the traditional goose, beef or boar’s head.

CHRISTMAS STAMPS

I chose these stamps this year to help out a very financially stressed United States Postal Service.  I sent out 136 cards and that’s really the only time I use the USPS except when I order things online.

Stamps 1

It’s ironic that the USPS is about to go under because as early as 1822, the postmaster in Washington, D.C. wanted to limit the number of cards people could send at the holidays.

People were sending out so many homemade cards, since commercial cards weren’t available then, that an extra sixteen postmen had to be hired in the nation’s capital to handle the extra mail.

The Postmaster General would be ecstatic if that was the case today!

I guess this is my chance to say once again, stop Saturday mail service and save yourself a lot of money!

“SILENT NIGHT”

“Silent Night” was written in 1818, by Austrian priest Joseph Mohr.

On Christmas Eve, he was told that the church organ was broken and it would not be repaired for service that evening.

Saddened, he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music and he sat down and wrote three stanzas.  Later that night,  “Stille Nacht” was performed for the first time in that little Austrian church.

BABY JESUS & THE MANGER

Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, was born in a cave, not in a wooden stable.

Back then, animals were kept in caves because they were much warmer and the carpenters of Jesus’ day were really stone cutters.

Thus, wood was not widely used.  So, whenever you see a Christmas nativity scene with a wooden stable, that’s the “American” version, not the Biblical one.

And, this is Miss ABBA wanting to be a part of the “Americanized” Christmas nativity scene.

ABBA in the Manger Christmas 2006

“JINGLE BELLS”

And, finally, the Christmas classic, “Jingle Bells”, was composed in 1857 by James Pierpont.  It was originally called “One-Horse Open Sleigh.”

Check out this version of the popular holiday carol at Germany’s largest supermarket chain, Edeka.

It made me smile.

GLOWING TURTLE

Here’s a holiday bonus, “glowing turtles” were found a couple of years ago off the coast of the Solomon Islands (northeast of Australia).

Glowing Turtle

The biofluorescent species glow red and green!

“TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS”

And, while it isn’t one of my favorite holiday songs, crazy town’s Janice Dickinson’s version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” is over-the-top fun.

However, the song was written to help Catholic children, in England, remember different articles of faith during the persecution by Protestant Monarchs.

Now, I found this online and didn’t take the time to verify it, but it’s still interesting.

In the song:

The “partridge in a pear tree” = Christ.
2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity– the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which relays the history of man’s fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of Creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

HOLIDAY BREAK

While I have a few year end “best of” or “favorites” blogs coming, I’m taking time off from “Random Friday Thoughts”.

If there’s something that I really want to talk about, I’ll write something just about that. 🙂

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 7, 2016

October is here and I’m excited that cooler days are in the forecast and the holiday seasons are right around the corner.  (Notice I said “seasons”?  While Christmas is my favorite, I do love my Halloween candy and the Thanksgiving feast!)

Now that the summer heat is giving way to fall temperatures, we’ll probably be eating fewer Popsicles.

Popsicle

But, it’s always the perfect time for ice cream!

As political as I get sometimes, I admit that I really want November 8th to get here and have this long, drawn out election cycle and 2016 presidential election behind us.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random Friday thoughts and as always, if you disagree, do it diplomatically!

CREEPY CLOWN SIGHTINGS

I’m not sure what’s behind this sudden fascination with creepy clowns showing up and freaking people out.

I’d venture to guess that social media and 24-hour news cycles are huge factors for us hearing so much about it.  Aren’t those two always to blame? 🙂

john-wayne-gacy-killer-clown

When it comes to creepy clowns, this is the creepiest by far!  On the brighter side, this particular “killer clown” in no longer a threat to anyone.

If you’re too young to know, that’s John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer and rapist that murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 inside his Chicago-area home.  Let me tell you, as a teenager when that killing spree was exposed, it creeped me out big time.

A decade or so later, I had a “too close for comfort” brush with Jeffrey Dahmer.  That’s a story for another time!

KIM KARDASHIAN ROBBED AT GUNPOINT

Reality star Kim Kardashian West was reportedly robbed at gunpoint earlier this week at her Paris hotel residence by five men dressed as police officers.

kim-kardashian-kanye-west-wedding

While she was “badly shaken but physically unharmed”, it had to be a scary ordeal!

At least $11 million in jewelry was taken including a jewelry box worth about $6.7 million and a ring valued at $4.5 million.

Unless I win the lottery, I’ll never know what it’s like to have that kind of money and anything of that much value in my house.

The thing that baffles me most about the ordeal is that if someone had that much money or jewelry, wouldn’t you keep it at a safer location like a bank or a vault?

In Kardashian West’s case, if she wanted any particular piece of her collection that was safely tucked away, she could have someone fetch it for her!

MAGIC MIKE MISFIRE

I really enjoyed “Magic Mike”, but I hated the sequel.

Now, James Marsden reveals that he regrets not signing on for the movie.

Well, that makes two of us.  Okay, three if you count Ray and I know the number doesn’t stop there!

With that in mind, if Marsden is still up to strip down, this might actually excite me for a third installment!

“FEAR THE WALKING DEAD” SEASON FINALE

The second season of AMC’s “Fear The Walking Dead” wrapped up last Sunday night with back-to-back episodes for a two-hour finale.

spoiler_alert_300_w2

While the first season’s six episodes were slow, it was still enjoyable.  However, the second season was stronger and much more powerful.

The finale featured one of the most intense “walker” deaths of the series.  It was a wrenching scene that lasted beyond the comfort level and that’s a good thing.

We also saw one of the show’s original cast members die.  While the death may not have come as a surprise, how it was executed was a shocker to me.  I tweeted the actor about his amazing two seasons and he liked the tweet.

While I gave the season and the finale a high grade (see below), I have a complaint.

It’s becoming monotonous when the characters disembowel a walker and smear the blood on themselves now that they’ve learned they can walk freely among the walking dead by doing that.

This is much more believable and is done with more intensity on “The Walking Dead”.  And, it isn’t overused as a gimmick.

rick

If “Fear The Walking Dead” is going to keep doing this, why not make it a “chore” and each day for several hours, people can go out, get exercise, and rid themselves of the walker population in their area.  But, this would be boring.

That’s my only complaint and I can’t wait for season three in 2017.

GRADE:  A-

“THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN”

After what seems like an eternal wait since I read the book, “The Girl on the Train” finally hits theaters this weekend.

I’ve highly recommended the Paula Hawkins book several times in my blog and I can’t wait to see the movie, which I think will easily debut at #1 in the U.S. and at worldwide box office.

“WILL & GRACE” TAKE ON VOTING

If you miss the NBC hit comedy, “Will & Grace”, you got a treat around the time of the first presidential debate.

The cast gathered ten years after the comedy left television to raise awareness on the importance of voting in this November’s election.

This is hilarious (and even borderline offensive to some).

Disclaimer:  it’s definitely not made for NBC’s “standards and practices”!

A LESS “BRAGGADOCIOUS” LOOK BACK

Comedian Randy Rainbow takes a much different approach to last week’s first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

I think this is the best skit I’ve seen him perform.

“MONEY MONSTER”

This Jodie Foster-directed suspense thriller starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O’Donnell (“Unbroken”) was high on my list to see this summer when it hit theaters.

Life got in the way, so I caught it on DVD.

I’m glad it worked out that way because I wouldn’t have been too happy if I had spent $35-plus for tickets, popcorn, and sodas.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’d watch Julia Roberts read the newspaper.

The story was intense and the way it ended was fulfilling, but I had higher expectations.

I guess most of all, I want to see Foster back in front of the camera!

GRADE:  B

“RISEN”

This movie about the search for a risen Jewish messiah (yes, Jesus) was a modest box office hit earlier this year.

The $20 million movie grossed $46.1 million and most of that was here in the United States.

It was an entertaining movie without being too preachy for those that proceed with caution with religious-based movies.

The very sexy Joseph Fiennes plays Clavius, a Roman tribute, assigned to investigate the story of Jesus rising from the dead.  By the way, Jesus is played by Cliff Curtis, who plays Travis on “Fear The Walking Dead”.

One thing that cracked me up was the silly MPAA rating at the beginning of the movie.

For this one, it warned viewers of “Biblical Violence”.

Okay, while implied more than glorified with blood and gore, the movie was rather savage, at times, and violence is violence.  Putting the word “biblical” in front of it doesn’t make it less painful or deadly, right? 🙂

GRADE:  B-

PICK HIT

I admit that since I don’t hear any new music from my country favorites on the radio these days and I’m not a fan of “bro-country”, I don’t make it a point to listen to the genre.

However, Canadian country music star Brett Kissel is one of my new favorites even though he doesn’t get airplay on American country radio.

Recently, “Entertainment Weekly” showcased several women making inroads in the country music field.  Two of them stood out to me.

Margo Price, who was born in Aledo, Illinois, in Mercer County, just down the road from the Quad Cities, is one of them.

Her debut album, “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter”, which hit #10 on the Billboard Country Album chart earlier this year, features some great country music.

“4 Years of Chances” is a favorite of mine.

Next week, I’ll feature another standout and if you like traditional country music, you’ll love it.

ANOTHER PICK HIT

As I’ve stated before, “7/27”, the latest CD from Fifth Harmony is a great album.

It’s already produced the #1 hit “Work From Home” and the smash “All In My Head (Flex)”.

“That’s My Girl” is their latest release.

Right now, it’s at #36 on the Top 40 radio airplay charts.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Christmas, Did You Know???? (Part 2)

Recently, I shared a blog of Christmas tidbits.  Since I learned from it and I enjoyed putting it together, here’s the sequel.

During the Christmas/Hanukkah season, more than 1.76 billion candy canes will be made.

christmascocktails

I wonder how many of those billions end up as garnishes in festive holiday drinks?

The poinsettia, traditionally an American Christmas flower, originally grew in Mexico; where it was known as the “Flower of the Holy Night”.

It was first brought to America by Joel Poinsett in 1829.

Poinsettia 1

My poinsettias are starting to turn red and they are so huge.

The Christmas turkey first appeared on English tables in the 16th century.  However, in rich households, it didn’t immediately replace the traditional goose, beef or boar’s head.

 

Our Turkey 2012

“Silent Night” was written in 1818, by Austrian priest Joseph Mohr.

On Christmas Eve, he was told that the church organ was broken and it would not be repaired for service that evening.

Saddened, he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music and he sat down and wrote three stanzas.  Later that night,  “Stille Nacht” was performed for the first time in that little Austrian church.

Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, was born in a cave, not in a wooden stable.

Back then, animals were kept in caves because they were much warmer and the carpenters of Jesus’ day were really stone cutters.

Thus, wood was not widely used.  So, whenever you see a Christmas nativity scene with a wooden stable, that’s the “American” version, not the Biblical one.

And, this is the late, great Miss ABBA wanting to be a part of the “Americanized” Christmas nativity scene.

ABBA in the Manger Christmas 2006

Again, I hope that Bible story and information is correct since I didn’t verify it.  The big man upstairs didn’t get back with me on that one.

And, finally, the Christmas classic, “Jingle Bells”, was composed in 1857 by James Pierpont.  It was originally called “One-Horse Open Sleigh.”

Check out this German grocery store’s holiday rendition of the popular carol.

That’s it for today.  Have a very Merry, Happy holiday season.

Anthony

 

Random Friday Thoughts — May 17

It’s Friday and it finally feels like spring and summer!  Can you believe this crazy weather?  It was 90° here Tuesday, but the story gets even crazier in Sioux City, Iowa.  Sunday morning, it was a frosty 29°.  Two days later, they hit an all-time May record high of 106°!  These other cities hit record highs for the date.

Tuesday Record HIghs

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be emceeing the kick-off to the Heart Walk in Rock Island, Illinois, and then I’m lying low this weekend to catch up on movies, television shows, and spending some time with Ray, Gretel, and Tammy.  We still have to take her out to brunch Sunday for a belated Mother’s Day gift since she worked last Sunday.  I hope you have a great weekend.  Here are the random thoughts on my mind today.

QUIET WEEKEND UNTIL SUNDAY NIGHT

Just a quick heads up that the weather could become a little scary Sunday night into Monday.  Severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible.  Here’s the latest Storm Prediction Center map of the threatened area.  I’ll touch on this topic again Saturday or Sunday.

7am Sunday - 7am Monday

WHY INVEST TIME IN NETWORK SHOWS?

Either I pick crummy shows to watch or networks don’t allow a show to breathe these days and find an audience.  I was fortunate that “The Following”, “Elementary”, “Nashville”, and “American Horror Story” were both renewed.  However, in the past week, “The New Normal” and “Malibu Country” with Reba were cancelled!

The-New-Normalmalibu-country

A few years ago, I invested in “Invasion” and “Commander In Chief” and both of them only lasted one season on ABC.  “Eli Stone”, another favorite of mine, made it to two seasons before being cancelled.  Luckily, I can get my Jonny Lee Miller fix these days on “Elementary”!  It seems that only reality TV can find an audience!

On a final television note, I’m thinking that “Hannibal”, another one of my favorites, may be cancelled, too.

REBA’S FUTURE

Now that “Malibu Country” has been cancelled, I hope Reba gets to work on picking out fantastic songs for a new album.  While I’m hopeful, I don’t even care if country radio embraces new Reba music.  I know I would enjoy it and so would her fans.

Also, although I’ve seen Reba in concert twelve times, I want her to do something she hasn’t done since the late 1990’s.  I want her to do a large concert production with multiple sets and costume changes.  I know it’s a lot of work, but if Madonna, who’s in her 50s, and Cher, in her 60s ,can do it, I know “Red” can do it.

Since I’m placing my order, Reba, how about a resurrection of  “The Singer’s Diary”, which I never got to see when it was presented about 15 years ago.

SPEAKING OF REALITY TV

I never watched “Jersey Shore” in its six seasons on MTV, the network that was fun when was actually “music television”!  However, even having never watched it, you couldn’t escape the train wreck of a cast.  But, I have a confession — while skanky, Snooki is adorable!

Snooki

I was reading an old “Rolling Stone” (August 5, 2010) and I have to share this Snooki quote:  “To be honest with you, I Google myself every single day.  The negative stuff?  I get off on it.  Because the only reason why people talk negative is because they’re jealous.  Every time they call me a midget, Oompa-Loompa, orange, they’re just jealous.  It makes me want to be more ridiculous and more stupid”.

Let your freak flag fly, mama!

One last thought about “Jersey Shore”, you have to admit that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is a hottie.  And, didn’t Snooki make him mad by insinuating that he was gay? 🙂

mike_0644 the-situation

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ann Coulter

Absolut-ely  Got Milk Secrets

WAY TO GO, MINNESOTA!

Have a Gay Day

Minnesota becomes the 12th state (along with the District of Columbia) to vote in favor of marriage equality.  After the 37-30 state Senate vote Monday, Governor Mark Dayton signed it into law Tuesday afternoon.  Same-sex couple will be able to marry later this summer.  In just the past two weeks, three states (Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota) have made it possible for everyone in the state to marry!

While watching and listening to the state senators talk before the vote, here’s what I posted on my Facebook page Monday:  “I’m listening to Minnesota senators talk about why they’re for/against marriage equality before taking a historic vote. I’ve smiled several times, but I also realize that in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, there must be a lot of big rocks near those lakes that some of these politicians have been living under!”

patricia-torres-ray

A couple of the senators really touched me like Patricia Torres Ray.

Speaking in English and Spanish (her native language for the first time on the Senate floor), Torres Ray said her faith would lead her to vote for marriage equality, “Many people may ask why a Catholic, immigrant woman feels so strong about this and why it is I have been so vocal about this campaign and why I stand in strong support.  My commitment to work on their behalf here and on behalf of all issues that i consider to be fair and just. I hope I get invited to their wedding now. I hope I’m able to celebrate their relationship, see their children having children, and continue on this journey of loving our kids, loving our partners together.”

In Spanish, she added for her family that didn’t necessarily support her beliefs for marriage equality, “Son las mismas cosas … Es sobre egualidad,”, which basically confirmed her commitment to all issues that would promote equality for everyone.

MEANWHILE IN MINNESOTA, A NOT SO HAPPY ENDING

Just one month after linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was released from the Baltimore Ravens, punter Chris Kluwe was cut from the Minnesota Vikings.

Now, professional players get cut from teams all the time or leave teams to become free agents.  However, I find it a little odd that both players, both straight men with wives and children, and very strong advocates for marriage equality, were cut so close together.

Brendon Ayanbadejo

Ayanbadejo and Kluwe have both been longtime and a very loud voices for the LGBT community.  Both vow to keep fighting for equality.

Kluwe

After Kluwe was cut from the Vikings, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he “doesn’t feel good” about the decision and he made this accusatory statement, “public officials should be honest about what’s going on.”

Was the heat too hot in the kitchen for the teams with high visibility athletes supporting marriage equality and the LGBT community?  I think it was a huge factor, but Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of the gay website, outsports.com, doesn’t think that LGBT advocacy was a factor.  Will we every really know?

Nevertheless, Brendon & Chris, thank you for your support and good luck!

KATY PERRY:  A LITTLE OUT THERE OR AWESOME?

As I was catching up on my old “Rolling Stone” magazines, there was a really good article about Katy Perry’s very religious background and her using a sexy image to sell fun, pop music (August 19, 2010).

In the article, she says, “I still believe that Jesus is the son of God.  But I also believe in extraterrestrials, and that there are people who are sent from God to be messengers, and all sorts of crazy stuff.  I look up into the sky and I’m just mindf**ked — all those stars and planets, the neverendingness of the universe.  I just can’t believe that we’re the only polluting population.  Every time I look up, I know that I’m nothing and there’s something way beyond me.  I don’t think it’s as simple as heaven and hell.”

Whoa!  Beauty, brains, boobs, and fun music that makes you want to dance.  I admit that I was late becoming a Katy Perry convert, but she’s incredible and “Teenage Dream” is definitely a must have album.

By the way, “Teenage Dream” spawned an incredible 8 Top Three hits, with six of them topping the Billboard Hot 100.   Katy also tied Michael Jackson as the only artist to have five consecutive #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 from one album.  She did it with “California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, “Firework”, “E.T.”, and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).  Michael did it with 1987’s “Bad” album and the singles, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man In The Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”.

And, “Teenage Dream” is the only album ever to have 9 songs top the Billboard Hot Dance Club Song charts.  In addition to the eight radio hits, “Peacock” topped the dance charts!

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

These two pictures were taken on May 19, 2011.  In the front yard, Miss ABBA found the perfect place to beat the summer heat by hiding out in the shrubbery.  And, in the back yard, we had a visitor that was just passing through in the ravine.

May 19 2011 ABBA Hiding Out May 19 2011

SHE’S AMAZING AND “SHE’S SO UNUSUAL”

80s pop star Cyndi Lauper is still touring, making music, and writing soundtracks for Broadway!  (“Kinky Boots” is nominated for 13 Tony Awards this year).  She’s a strong ally to the LGBT community and is a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS education and awareness.  Lauper says, “Having never been a person who was afraid to speak up, I knew I had to help make some noise and do whatever I could to make a difference. You fight fear and ignorance through education and awareness.”  (It seems that I have, at least, two things in common with Cyndi —  being unusual and speaking out about things I believe in!)

Cyndi Lauper

Lauper says that while people are not dying from AIDS like the 1980s and the 1990s, we can’t stop the fight now and must continue to educate people.  She says, “the biggest challenge today is that people don’t think HIV is that much of an issue anymore. While the drug therapies have done an incredible job of keeping people with HIV alive, it is an arduous journey for people taking the drugs. The side effects are significant. The public does not see HIV as a death sentence anymore. We need to continue to reinvest in prevention efforts and to put all the resources we can into ending the epidemic.”

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Cyndi Lauper’s debut album, “She’s So Unusual” turns 30 years old this October (it was released just one day after I turned 19-year-old)!  Don’t do the math. 🙂

In the 30 years since, she’s sold 50 million albums, more than one million DVDs, and over 20 million singles.  On the Billboard Hot 100, Cyndi has scored 11 Top 40 singles.  Of those, all but two have hit the Top Ten.  Six of them have reached the Top Three:  “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” (#2, 1983), “Time After Time” (#1, 1984), “She Bop” (#3, 1984), “We Are The World (#1, 1985, as part of USA For Africa), “True Colors” (#1, 1986), and “Change of Heart” (#3, 1987).

She’s had so many amazing songs to choose from, but I picked one of my favorite performances and a song that was never officially released as a single.  Cyndi performed the Prince classic, “When You Were Mine”, at the 1985 American Music Awards.

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.   I love doing this segment.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony