Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Random Friday Thoughts — July 26, 2013

It’s Friday morning and since I’m working the afternoon and evening shift, I have not been up since 1 a.m.!  While I’ll have a shortened weekend, I’m looking forward to it, nevertheless.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  Here are the things on my mind this week — my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think of them and what you’re thinking about these days.

CHINA, KEEP YOUR FAST FOOD

As you know, I love buffets and Osaka Buffet in Moline, Illinois, and Wise Guys in Davenport, Iowa, are my favorites.  However, I know some people who hate buffets because they have issues with cleanliness and others touching the same serving utensils.

However, maybe they should reconsider their eating out options, especially if they’re going to China.

mcdonalds-kfc-kungfu

China Central Television tested the ice at McDonald’s, KFC, and Kungfu, a Chinese fast-food chain, in Beijing, and found that the ice cubes contained 13 times more bacteria than water from a toilet.  The worse offender in the undercover test was KFC.  There were 900 colony-forming bacteria units per milliliter.

KFC

Now, while this sounds very gross, Dong Qingli, a food safety expert, says the headline might get your attention, but the information is not useful stating, “The bacteria count on your teeth or on the bottom of your shoe is about the same. Instead you should look at which actual bacteria types exceeded levels.”

Nevertheless, all three restaurants promise to improve their sanitary procedures.

I guess I don’t have anything to worry about with this because I have no desire to visit China and even if I did, I wouldn’t be eating American fast food in Asia!

THREE UPDATES ON LAST WEEK’S BLOG

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the city’s Fox affiliate KTVU fired three producers involved with reporting the offensive and fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines flight 214 airplane crash that killed three people.  An investigative producer, a special projects producer, and a producer who tweeted “oh sh*t!” right after the names were read on the air were let go.

This is the graphic that started it all.

KTVU Asiana Flight 214

It now looks like Sasha Baron Cohen will not be playing Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991.  Deadline.com exclusively reported, “The reason is that the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer.”  That’s a bummer because I love Sacha and I know he’d be perfect in the role.  I guess I’ll have to watch him in “Borat” or “Les Miserables” again.

borat-mercury

And, Josh Rottenberg of “Entertainment Weekly” is reporting that Orson Scott Card, the controversial author of “Ender’s Game”, has “quietly stepped down from the board of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)”.

Ender's Game

As I blogged last week, NOM is an outspoken group that is against marriage equality and Card has been very vocal in the past with his views against gay people and same-sex marriage.

The $110 million movie, based on Card’s book, hits theaters November 1, 2013, and is facing a public relations’ nightmare and a boycott because of Card’s personal views.

You can read more about all three of these stories in my original post last Friday:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/random-friday-thoughts-july-19/

NAUGHTY SHIRLEY JONES

Although I was only 5-years-old when it premiered back in September 1970, I remember Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge on “The Partridge Family”, the musical comedy that lasted four seasons on ABC.

Partridge_Family_first_cast_1970

On the show, Shirley and her children record a pop song in their garage and it becomes a hit and then they get an old school bus and go on tour.

Fast forward 43 years and the Academy Award winning actress has just released her autobiography and she shared some very naughty stories.  You may want to close your eyes and not read some of the juicy stories she tells in the book (Spoiler alert:  I share some after this picture!).

Shirley Jones

She talks a lot about her troubled 18-year marriage to the late Jack Cassidy, the father of her three sons (including Shaun Cassidy) and the father of her stepson, David Cassidy, who played her television son, Keith, on “The Partridge Family”!  Jack’s body was found in December 1976 the morning after his penthouse went up in flames.

In the book, Shirley reveals that Jack was her first lover, that he was well endowed, and that he carried on a sexual affair with musician Cole Porter before and during their marriage.  Oh, and they had a threesome with a woman that she didn’t enjoy.

David Cassidy

Now, back to David.  Apparently, he and his father shared a family trait.  Wink, wink!  Shirley writes, “David’s brothers called him Donk, for Donkey.”

Okay, Shirley, I really didn’t expect to hear such things!  But, I’ll definitely be reading your book!

BREAKING GAGA-LICIOUS NEWS!

Yes, I’m getting very excited about the new Lady Gaga single coming out in mid-August (the new album arrives this November).

Lady GaGa on stage at the KOKO club in London

Gaga sent out this news Thursday afternoon!

“It’s official! Lady Gaga returns to the stage at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on August 25th for the world premiere performance of the first single from ARTPOP!”

LEBANON IS EVOLVING

After being heavily criticized by the “Human Rights Watch” for mistreatment, torture (which included conducting “anal probes examination” to “test” if a person engages in anal sex as “evidence” of being gay), and arrests of LGBT people, some progress is being made in Lebanon, in the Middle East.

LEBANON-SOCIETY-HOMOPHOBIA-RALLY

The Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) made it clear last week that being gay is NOT a mental disorder and it does NOT need to be treated.  It went on to say that “conversion therapy” that falsely converts gays into straights has no scientific backing.  The LPS made these comments after Dr. Nabil Khoury stated on prime time television that being gay is a disease and it needs to be treated.

The group says, “Homosexuality in itself does not cause any defect in judgment, stability, reliability or social and professional abilities.  The assumption that homosexuality is a result of disturbances in the family dynamic or unbalanced psychological development is based on wrong information.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Cold Crazy Hungry

ADVANTAGES OF BEING A GAY DAD TO A 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL

One of the advantages is that you get to discuss which member of One Direction is the cutest.  I say it’s Harry Styles and for the most part, Gretel agrees.

Harry Styles Pics

And, we also both feel sorry for him for dating Taylor Swift (even though she likes Taylor and her music).

One

Harry and his band must be doing something right because they faced the fury of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC).  The cult calls One Direction “perverted” and went on to diminish them and the United Kingdom as “sin-chasing, fag-enabling, God-hating, Christ-rejecting”.

In June, the WBC released this statement about the band, “These freaks and their fans think it’s funny for these five perverts to grab each other’s asses on stage. “They glamorize sin and make a mock of God’s standards. Their one purpose is to encourage the youth of this generation to pursue every lust their evil hearts can imagine.”

So, last Friday night , the cult protested at One Direction’s Kansas City, Missouri, concert prompting Harry to send out this tweet.

Harry Styles

The cult quickly tweeted a compliment to Harry for mentioning God, before sending this follow-up.

WBC

All I can say is that at this point, the Westboro Baptist Church amuses me with their ignorance.    And, while I’ve used this before, it’s still perfect and I do it every day! 🙂

Live Your Life WBC

TINA TURNER GETS MARRIED

Pop superstar Tina Turner is a married woman again!

Deutscher Medienpreis 2005

The 73-year-old Tennessee native wed her longtime German-born record producer boyfriend Erwin Bach at their home in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, last Sunday.  Tina reportedly says, “I am happier than I could ever dream of.”

While the couple has lived in Switzerland for 18 years, it looks as though they will be staying there since Tina received her Swiss citizenship in late April.

“BLURRED LINES” HAS SOME COMPETITION

I love the biggest song in the country, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”.  The song is now spending its seventh week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it’s been the top-selling digital song for the past eight weeks ago.  A few weeks, I featured the PG version and the unrated versions (featuring women showing their boobies).

Today, I’m posting the best parody of the song and video from the Seattle-based Boylesque group, Mod Carousel, which has been viewed more than a million times this week on YouTube, to positive reviews.

COMIC REACTION TO PAT ROBERTSON

A couple of weeks ago, I featured a video of televangelist Pat Robertson talking about what makes him want to vomit.  I stated my opinions then, but here’s another. 🙂

Conan Pat Robertson Follow

“THE LONE RANGER” = BIG BOMB!

I knew the latest Johnny Depp movie, “The Lone Ranger” was going to bomb at the box office.  The marketing ploy told the story.  When I saw “World War Z” and “White House Down”, the previews for “The Lone Ranger” basically stressed that it was a movie that you had to see in theaters for full effect.  In others words, please come see it and don’t wait to watch it on DVD.

The Lone Ranger

The movie’s budget is reportedly $215 million and since its July 3rd opening, it has only made $148.9 million worldwide ($82.5 million of that is from the U.S.).  It’s not the only bomb lately.  “R.I.P.D.”, “Red 2”, “White House Down”, and “Turbo” also tanked.  “Pacific Rim” performed poorly in the U.S., but is doing very well across the rest of the world.

A MOVIE RECOMMENDATION & TWO TO AVOID

We rented movies recently from Redbox.  Avoid “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “Hansel & Gretel:  Witch Hunters”.

Hansel & Gretel

It was painful to watch Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner in “Hansel & Gretel:  Witch Hunters”.  If you love special effects, it was a great movie.  However, the story line was lacking and the violence was over the top.  Also, this is definitely not a movie for kids!

While it made $55.7 million in the U.S., it was a blockbuster around the rest of the world with a total take of $225.7.  A sequel is on the way!

GRADE:  D

Texas Chainsaw

There have been much better Texas Chainsaw movies and the only reason to watch this movie would be for the eye candy.  No, I’m not talking about Leatherface!   The movie earned back its budget grossing $39.3 million.

GRADE:  C-

Side Effects

The movie you should definitely rent soon is “Side Effects”, which was in theaters earlier this year.  The $30 million dollar movie ended up making $60.3 million.

It stars Oscar nominee Rooney Mara and Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with Jude Law and Channing Tatum.

It’s a suspenseful drama that focuses on a trial drug and who’s responsible if something bad happens while someone is taking that pill.  It has plenty of drama and a few surprise twists including the finale!  It’s a must see movie.

GRADE:  B

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

Even before I saw the tweets between Harry Styles of One Direction and the Westboro Baptist Church, I caught a snippet of the band latest song, “Best Song Ever” and I actually liked it enough to check out the video.  And, I’m glad I did.  It cute and humorous and the song is fun.  Yes, I admit to liking a One Direction song!

And, I’m not alone.  The “Best Song Ever” video debuted Monday and broke the Vevo record for most views — 10.9 million views in the first 24 hours!

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Jennifer Holliday is best known from her Tony Award-winning role of Effie White from Broadway’s “Dreamgirls”.  “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from that musical was her only top forty Hot 100 hit, reaching #22 in 1982.  It also won her a Grammy Award.  However, “No Frills Love” hit #1 two times on the Billboard Dance charts, first in 1985 and, again, in 1996.

I got to see fabulous Jennifer Holliday in concert at Market Days in Chicago in August 2010!

And, as a bonus to kick off your weekend, here’s the extended dance remix of “No Frills Love”.  Have fun this weekend!

Anthony

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Random Thoughts 2012 Recap, Part Two

Here’s another round of the random blogs that I posted this summer that covered multiple topics.  To read each random blog, I’ve made it easy so you only have to click on the highlighted title inside the blog.  Have a great Saturday.

June 21, 2012

You Know What I’m Thinking?

In this blog, I talked about classic rock and kitchen renovation, causes of death in the United States, the summer drought and being ready for fall and winter, Olivia Newton-John, my future pick hit from Chris Wallace, and chocolate wine.

July 10, 2012

I’m Thinking About These Things Today (And You May Agree or Disagree)

In this blog,  just ten days before the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting spree, I said “guns don’t kill, people do”.  I know that guns caused the actual deaths, but there was a person behind them.  Sadly, when I wrote this segment of the blog, I referenced the Tucson, Arizona shooting and I had no idea of what would happen later in the month.  And, now we have the fresh, sad memories of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.  You might find the reading interesting and I welcome your feedback.

I also referenced work and seniority, which is another ill-fated topic since I’m no longer there.

There were also random thoughts about Hank Williams Jr. calling President Obama “Hitler”, food, the remake of “Steel Magnolias”, Carrie Underwood, and the music of Laura Pausini.

August 7, 2012

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

The heavy topic on my mind here was about returning soldiers and the demons they face, which leads to more suicides.  I also touched on human rights.  On a lighter note, I had random thoughts about “Dexter”, fall, food, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Artpop”, Lady Gaga, “The Paperboy”, “Lebanon”, and the music of Demi Lovato.

August 26, 2012

Oh No, He’s Thinking About Random Things

Topics here:  nuclear power plants, healthy eating and cheesecake, bigotry, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, fall, Thomas Roberts’ upcoming marriage, hot new music from Zedd and Madonna, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Argo”.

One more coming tomorrow.

Anthony

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

Every once in a while, I like to blog about all of the things that have crossed my mind or crossed my path during my time on the internet and Facebook.  It may be nothing more than a picture or something that I read in a magazine or online, but I don’t want to write an entire blog about it and today is one of those days.  Here are the things that made me smile or got me to thinking.  As if I need to think more?

“DEXTER”

Season six of my favorite television show, “Dexter”, will be released on DVD one week from today.  I’m very excited to see it because everyone that I’ve talked to says that it was a great season.  Religion plays a big role in the twelve episodes and I just love the promotional material with the angel’s wings made from blood.  That’s so Dexter Morgan.

I’ve also learned that we’re down to the last two seasons of “Dexter” since it will end at season eight and that the executive producer already knows how it will end!

If you don’t watch it first run on Showtime and you’re waiting for the DVD like I am, here’s the trailer for season six.

In addition to “Dexter” season six arriving on DVD next week, Gretel is more excited about “Glee” season three on the same day.  Later this month, “The Walking Dead” season two arrives and in early September, it’s “Fringe” season four.  I will be watching a lot of television this fall!

SIMPLE ISN’T IT?

 

WE REALLY FORGET VETERANS WHEN THEY RETURN HOME

While I registered with the draft in 1982, which was required by law, I was lucky that I never got called to war.  Some choose the military as careers and for some, the military chooses them.  Our brave men and women of all walks of life go to foreign lands and fight for our freedom.  Some may only go once and some are called to serve multiple duties and they see things that we only see in movies.

And, when they return, they may get a parade or a hometown welcome and then once the last of the confetti falls, what happens in their lives then?

Recently, I came across the story of  Matthew Magdzas, a National Guardsman, who killed his family (a pregnant wife and daughter), their dogs, and then himself in Superior, Wisconsin, in August 2010.

While tragic, what’s even scarier are these stats that “Time” magazine reported at the time:  In 2010, 113 National Guard members committed suicide;  the Guard’s suicide rate is up 82% from 2009 and 450% from 2004 and now exceeds that of active-duty soldiers;  they lack jobs, support and camaraderie found on military bases when they return from war; and 42% of Guard troops come back from war with mental illness compared to 20% for active-duty counterparts that have more thorough training and are more prepared for longer periods at war.

With the wars that we’re engaged in across the world, we really need to make it where the National Guard is more prepared for what it will face away from home and what to expect when they return.  Many of the duties of the Guard changed from helping at state levels after 9/11.  Guardmen/women now account for about 20% of the combat troops at war instead of helping with state floods, weather disasters, and forest fires.

FALL IS GETTING CLOSER

I’m ready for fall to get here to break the incredible heat that we’ve experienced with the drought this summer.  It also means that our vacation season kicks off next month with Houston, Las Vegas, and then our pre-Christmas cruise.  On a much smaller scale, we’re heading to Fort Dodge, Iowa, this weekend for Ray’s 30th high school reunion.

This fall, I’m awaiting confirmation on the title of the new Osama bin Laden movie, which follows the special operation forces as they try to capture or kill the Afghan terrorist.  It’s the follow-up movie from Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow of “The Hurt Locker”.  The rumored title of the movie is “Zero Dark Thirty” and it stars Jessica Chastain “(The Help”), Joel Edgerton (“Warrior”) and Kyle Chandler (“Super 8”).  The movie comes out Christmas week.

ARTPOP

The follow-up to “Born This Way” is on the way.  We no longer have to wait for the title of Lady Gaga’s new album coming out late in 2012 (more likely in early 2013 when she should be touring America on “The Born This Wall Ball” tour).  The album is called “ARTPOP”.

Gaga tweeted, “make sure when writing about my new album/project ARTPOP that you CAPITALIZE the title, *its all in the details* good morning twitter!”

“PRECIOUS” FOLLOW-UP LOOKS AMAZING

Director Lee Daniels’ follow-up to the incredible Oscar nominated film, “Precious”, arrives in theaters this October.  (Mo’nique won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Precious”.)

It’s called “The Paperboy” and it looks amazing.  I haven’t been following the race to the Oscars in 2013, but I can guarantee that one of my favorites, Nicole Kidman, will be one of the Best Actress nominees based on this trailer.  And, you get a bonus!  Zac Efron in “tighty whities”!

The movie also stars Matthew McConaughy, John Cusack, David Oyelono, Macy Gray, and Scott Glenn.

LEBANON

The best movie that I saw recently was the award-winning  2009 Israeli movie, “Lebanon”, which followed a lone tank and paratroopers that were dispatched to a hostile town during the First Lebanon War in 1982.  It was gripping, suspenseful, and claustrophobic.

“The New York Times” called it “an astonishing piece of cinema” and “Variety said it is “the boldest and best” of recent Israeli films based upon the Lebanon wars.  Meanwhile, the British newspaper “The Guardian” called it “anti-war”.

GRADE:  A

 

GREAT FOOD & REFRESHING DRINKS MAKE LIFE MORE ENJOYABLE

While I would probably never have the patience to make this colorful cake (maybe before next June’s pride, I will), it looks fun and delightful.

However, I am planning on making this strawberry-basil sangria.  I found the recipe on treehugger.com.

Strawberry-Basil Sangria

  • ½ lb of fresh strawberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
  • 1 bottle of Cline Cellar’s Cool Climate Chardonnay
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1 cup of white grape juice

1. Trim and thinly slice the strawberries.
2. Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.
3. Score the basil leaves with a fork. I did this instead of cutting the leaves into strips as I did not want my guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink. Simply just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
4. Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You’ll see it turn a bit red.
5. Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.

MUSIC I’M EXCITED ABOUT

Of course, I’m excited that Madonna is at #8 on the Billboard Dance Chart with “Turn Up The Radio”, the third single from “MDNA”.  The new remix by Far East Movement (“Like a G6”) is out of this world.  It’s one time when I agree that adding rap to a pop song makes it even better.  The rap in Maroon 5’s “Payphone”, not so much!

My other favorite songs right now are “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters, “Postcards From Paris” by The Band Perry, and these two.

I’ve never been a fan of Demi Lovato, but I knew who she was by having an 11-year-old daughter.  She’s had it rough over the past couple of years with “physical and emotional issues”, but it seems she’s got her act together now and I just love her new top ten song, “Give Your Heart a Break”.

Also, at the top of my list of favorites now is Chris Wallace’s “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which I featured a month or so ago. It’s now about to crack the top 40!

I saw him at Market Days a couple of years ago when he was the lead singer of The White Tie Affair, which had a modest hit with “Candle (Sick and Tired)”.  I can’t wait for the debut album!

I’ve let my mind wander enough.  There was one more thing I wanted to talk about today, but this is enough for now.  Have a great day and thanks for checking out my random thoughts.

Peace,

Peeps