Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln’

And, The Oscar Picks Go To….

Do you prefer to call them the “Oscars” or the “Academy Awards”?  I like using both.

While I’m much better at predicting weather, I always like to make my picks for the award shows.  The People’s Choice Awards, the American Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Country Music Association Awards are the easiest to predict since they’re mostly based on popularity, or so it seems.  I’m horrible at picking Grammy Award winners.

Tonight is the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre) in Los Angeles, California.

I’ve never watched “Family Guy” or “The Cleveland Show”, but I still want to see “Ted”.  So, I know little about host Seth MacFarlane except that’s he’s supposed to be funny and that’s he a trained pianist and singer.  I ordered his debut album, “Music Is Better Than Words”, because I love his voice.

music is better than words

Back to the Oscars, yesterday, Ray and I sat down and picked our winners independently of each other.

My advantages are (1) I keep up on pop culture and entertainment (2) I read the bible of the entertainment world, “Entertainment Weekly”, and (3) I put more thought into it.  On the other hand, my disadvantages are (1) I keep up on pop culture and entertainment (2) I read the bible of the entertainment world, “Entertainment Weekly”, (3) I put more thought into it, and (4) to some extent, I have been influenced by other people’s thought processes.

Ray’s advantages are (1) that he’s goes by his gut feeling and (2) he has to listen to me quote “Entertainment Weekly”.

So, while I picked “Argo” to win Best Picture, if it does win, it will be a rarity because only three times in the history of the Academy Awards has a movie won for Best Picture if the director wasn’t nominated.  And, Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for Best Director.  The last movie to win Best Picture without a Best Director nod was 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy”.

In all honesty, I wasn’t influenced by this, but it’s adorable.

Goldens Pick Oscars

While I really think that “Lincoln” will win Best Picture, I’m going for an “Argo” upset.

And, for Best Actress, I think it’ll come down to Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), but I picked Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour).  I would be so thrilled (and shocked) if Quvenzhané Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) wins and becomes the youngest Best Actress winner ever.  Riva would become the oldest Best Actress winner if she gets the Oscar.

May the best man (or woman) win in the Oscars and the Oscar picks.

Anthony

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Random Thoughts 2012 Recap, Part Three

Okay, new blogs start tomorrow.  This is my final installment of the recaps of my “random” blogs from 2012.  Those are the ones where I talked about multiple topics in one blog.  Basically, it was whatever was on my mind that day!  To read the individual blogs from this fall, I’ve made it easy.  Just click on the title once you’ve opened today’s blog.

September 15, 2012

In this blog, I covered Osama bin Laden, 9/11, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Argo”, “Lincoln”, freaky fish, Asian carp, bananas, and marriage equality.

I’m Having More Random Thoughts

September 27, 2012

My random thoughts on this day included Ohio and the presidential election, heavy rain expected in Houston for my vacation, our fish pond and raccoons, “The Impossible”, Christmas, Reba and “Malibu Country”, “The New Normal”, “Elementary”, and new music from Calvin Harris.

A Buffet of Thoughts — A Little of This & That

November 10, 2012

In this blog, I put the elections into perspective and behind me and I covered the top-selling artists in English music history, how many people believe in God, Christmas cards, and featured new music from Reba McEntire.

My Early November Random Thoughts

November 15, 2012

In this blog, I talked about Channing Tatum being named the “Sexiest Man Alive”, Christmas, Christmas music from Rod Stewart and Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.  Also, I blogged about “The Campaign” and “Arthur Christmas”, bigotry, Madonna, and PSY.

I’m Thinking About Christmas & Much More Today

December 6, 2012

Christmas was on my mind in this blog, along with human rights, Hillary Clinton, the lack of snow, my sister, Tammy, Shania Twain in Las Vegas, Britney Spears and will.i.am, Christmas decorating, Ke$ha, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and “Love Actually”.

Random December Thoughts

December 15, 2012

And, finally, Christmas, “Dexter”, marriage equality, killing camels, ice, snow, winter, and the fish pond were on my mind in my last random blog of the year.

I’m Having More Random December Thoughts

Anthony

Anthony’s 2012 Favorite Movies

I love lists.  I love reading them and I love compiling my own.  When I sit down each December to put together my favorite movies and compact discs of the year, I consider anything that is new to me that year.  So, yes, a movie that was released in the past may make my Top Ten list, even though it isn’t “new”.

Here is my list of my favorites movies I saw in 2012.  I encourage you to check out the trailers for the movies that are not mainstream or blockbusters in the United States since you may not have heard of them.  And, some of them may be a little scandalous depending on your sensitivities!!!!  🙂

Before I get to my Top Ten, here are ten others that barely missed out!

#20

The Descendants

#19

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

#18

Drive

#17

The Ides of March

#16

The Skin I Live In

#15 Movie

Jitters

#14 Movie

The Men Next Door

#13

Worldwide Box Office:  $22.8 million

#12 Movie

Worldwide Box Office:  $247.9 million

#11 Movie

Worldwide Box Office:  $56.4 million

#10 MOVIE

Worldwide Box Office:  $28.3 million

Worldwide Box Office:  —

Worldwide Box Office:  $1.1 million

Worldwide Box Office:  $295.1 million

Worldwide Box Office:  $159.8 million

Worldwide Box Office:  $116.7 million

Worldwide Box Office:  $151.1 million

Worldwide Box Office:  $6 million

Worldwide Box Office:  $114.9 million

Worldwide Box Office:  $1 million

 

There you have it — my favorite movies.  What are your favorites movies you saw in 2012?

Anthony

Winter Storm Sinks Ship, But The Christmas Spirit Lives On

ChristmasCruise

When you think about Christmas, nautical disasters normally don’t come to mind.  And, with our cruise less than three weeks ago, I probably shouldn’t be putting these thoughts in my head!  There is a correlation to sinking ships and Christmas and that’s why I’m blogging about this today.

But, first a quick history lesson.  When it comes to deadly shipping/boating disasters, the one that is most well-known is probably the “RMS Titanic”.  The ship that was branded as “unsinkable” did just that in April 1912 on its maiden voyage about 275 miles from Newfoundland, Canada, after striking an iceberg and sinking.  It killed an estimated 1, 500 people.  But, if you use death toll as the basis, it’s only the sixth deadliest on record.

Titanic

The deadliest is the “MV Wilhelm Gustloff”, which sank in January 1945, after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine.  About 9,400 perished in that attack.

In its list of the “Ten Deadliest Shipwrecks in History”, the website, http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com, reports that three of them happened right here in the United States.  At #10 is the passenger ship, the “SS Eastland”.  It rolled over in the Chicago River while tied to a dock in 1915 killing about 845 people.

SS_Eastland

The “PS General Slocum”, a passenger steamboat, ranks at #7.  A fire broke out on board in New York’s East River in June 1904.  An estimated 1,021 people, mostly women and children from a church group heading to a picnic, died in that disaster.  This was the New York area’s worst disaster in terms of loss of life until the 9/11 attacks!

General_slocum_burning

And, at #4 is the “SS Sultana”.  An explosion aboard this Mississippi River steamboat paddle wheeler on April 27, 1865, caused it to sink just miles from Memphis, Tennessee.  It was carrying mostly Civil War soldiers.  While the boat had a legal capacity of only 376 people, it’s estimated that about 2,400 people were on board when it sank.  It’s listed that 1,547 people died, but that number could have been as high as 1,900.

Ill-fated_Sultana-_Helena-_Arkansas

That tragedy was overshadowed in America by the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln less than two weeks earlier.

BUT WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS?

This year not only marks the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the “Titanic”, but it’s also the 105th anniversary of the loss of the “Rouse Simmons”, a three-masted schooner, which foundered in a violent Lake Michigan winter storm on November 23, 1912, near Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Rouse Simmons

Ships sinking in Great Lakes winter storms in the month of November are not all that uncommon with gale or hurricane-force winds, heavy snow, and high waves.  However, the “Rouse Simmons” wasn’t just any ship.  In Chicago, it was known as “The Christmas Tree Ship”.

In the 1880s and 1890s, brothers Herman and August Schuenemann would sell Christmas trees to Chicago residents that they would get in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  In November 1898, August would die when the two-masted schooner he was sailing on, the “S. Thal” disappeared under the waters near Glencoe, Illinois, in a fierce winter storm.  His brother, Herman, would meet the same fate 14 years later.

Herman Schuenemann bought an interest in the “Rouse Simmons” in 1910 and expanded that to one-eighths of a share in 1912.  Throughout the early years of the 1900s, Herman became known as “Captain Santa” (center in photo).

CaptainSchueneman

Herman would sell Christmas trees for fifty cents to a dollar from a boat decorated with electric Christmas lights at the Clark Street Bridge in Chicago.  Since he didn’t have to pay a middleman by bringing in the trees himself, his slogan was “Christmas Tree Ship:  My Prices Are The Lowest”.  He would even give trees away to the needy.

Christmas-Tree-Ship

November 1912 was off to a relatively quiet start across the Great Lakes with only one storm reported that month.  Captain Schuenemann and his crew loaded the “Rouse Simmons” with about 5,000 fresh trees in the upper peninsula of Michigan and began their week-long journey to Chicago.  That number was well above the weight capacity that the ship should have been carrying.

On November 22nd, the seasoned captain and the long past its sailing days, 44-year-old-aging ship, left the harbor in Thompson, Michigan, just as a winter storm began to rage across the Great Lakes.  By the following afternoon, due to the wind and a heavy accumulation of ice and snow, the “Christmas Tree Ship” was in trouble.

A surfman working at a Life Saving Station in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, about 30 miles from Green Bay, alerted a station keeper that at 2:50 p.m. on November 23, 1912, he spotted a schooner heading south flying its flag at half-mast.  In navigation, that is the universal sign of distress.

That would be the last sighting of the “Rouse Simmons”.  A boat was sent out to try to rescue the distressed crew, but hours later it returned safely back to shore never having spotted the doomed ship.  The “Christmas Tree Ship” with “Captain Santa” and an estimated 1o-23 others perished in the icy cold waters.  It was just one of many ships that were lost in “The Great Storm of 1912”.

Rouse Simmons Discovered

The “Rouse Simmons” was discovered in 1971 in about 165 feet of water at the bottom of Lake Michigan near Two Fingers, Wisconsin.

After that fateful and deadly voyage, Herman Schuenemann’s wife, Barbara, and their three daughters, Elsie (pictured), Pearl, and Hazel, would continue the Christmas tree tradition each year until 1920.  But, they shipped the trees to Chicago by train.

elsie-schuenemann-christmas-tree-ship

These days, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter “Mackinaw” each year travels from northern Michigan to Chicago to bring symbolic Christmas trees to needy to remember Schuenemann and the “Christmas Tree Ship”.  Two days ago, on Friday, November 30th, it delivered 1,300 trees.

Anniversary Trees 2012

So, this Christmas when you look at your beautifully decorated tree, take a moment to remember Captain Schuenemann and his crew and the legend of the “Christmas Tree Ship” on this 100th anniversary.

And, what would a blog from Anthony be without a video?  While a fierce winter storm on the Great Lakes foundered the “Christmas Tree Ship” in 1912 and many others before and since then, a storm on Lake Superior sent the freighter “SS Edmund Fitzgerald” to its watery grave on November 10, 1975.

edmundfitzgerald

The freighter was carrying taconite ore pellets from Superior, Wisconsin, to Detroit, Michigan.  It left on November 9, 1975.  The next afternoon, it encountered hurricane-force winds and waves upward to 35 feet and it sank in Canadian waters about 530 feet deep about 17 miles from the entrance of Whitefish Bay near the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  All 29 people on board died.

While the “Christmas Tree Ship” will live on in Chicago and the Great Lakes, the “Edmund Fitzgerald” lives on in song.  Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot reached #1 in Canada and #2 in the United States with “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald” one year after the freighter foundered.  And, I found this amazing video that was produced to remember the 29 men that died to Lightfoot’s song.

Anthony

Oscar Is Tempting Us Into Movie Theaters

Going to the movies these days is not a cheap date.  By the time you buy two tickets (even at matinee prices), a large popcorn, and two large sodas, you’re looking at over $30.  I guess that’s not really all that bad for two hours of entertainment, but what if the movie is disappointing.

Prior to last night, I’ve gone to  the movies seven times this year.  I saw “This Means War”, “Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter”, and the original “Halloween” in the cheap theater.  As for first run movies, I saw “Dark Shadows”, “Magic Mike”, “Argo”, and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”.  I really hope that when the Oscar nominations are announced in January that we hear “Argo” and “Perks” among the nominees.

oscar-statues-02

When we get to November and December, we start seeing movie companies baiting Oscar.  The superheroes and the serial killer/slashers are replaced by more thought-provoking theatrical releases.  I saw one of those movies last night.

Lincoln

LINCOLN”

“And, the Academy Award for Best Actor goes to [sound of opening envelope] Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”.  There’s no need to draw this until the Oscars on February 24, 2013.

When the Oscar nominations come out in January, we’ll be seeing this movie nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Screenplay (Tony Kushner), Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), and likely nominations for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress (Sally Field) and Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones).

Much of the 2.5-hour-long movie takes place in January 1865 as the Civil War rages on and President Lincoln works behind the scene toward getting the 13th Amendment passed that would end slavery.  (In case history was your weak subject, he was assassinated in April 1865).

While watching the movie, I didn’t see Daniel Day-Lewis portraying our 16th president, I saw Abraham Lincoln!  Day-Lewis, who has already won two Best Actor Oscars for “My Left Foot” (1989) and “There Will Be Blood” (2007), was mind-blowing and has a very good chance of picking up his third Oscar.

I could have sat there for another two hours watching him play Lincoln.  You could see the heartbreak he felt about losing one of his sons and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers that died in the Civil War, and his quest to ensure that slavery would be abolished.  But, Spielberg and Kushner also gave us a chance to see Lincoln’s fun side when he would tell stories and jokes.

Sally Field definitely took advantage of the stories we’ve read about Mary Todd Lincoln’s unpredictable and unstable personality.  While going off the deep end in some scenes, she was very much in touch with the politics that her husband was dealing with and you could tell how much she supported him in other scenes.  Portraying both sides of Lincoln definitely raises Field’s chances for a third Oscar.

After the big vote about the future of slavery and the end of the Civil War, we see President Lincoln walking down the hallway and down the stairs at the White House.  If Steven Spielberg had asked me, I would have faded from that scene to the last scene of the movie of Lincoln giving a speech that led into the credits.  I would have cut out the five minutes or so of the movie (two scenes) that Spielberg left in there.  I won’t say what those two scenes were, but the movie didn’t need them.

But, who am I?  He’s Steven Freaking Spielberg!

GRADE:  A

“RISE OF THE GUARDIANS”

This Thanksgiving, many people will park themselves at the table or on a couch watching parades and football, while others will go shopping for “Black Friday” bargains.  Many will be heading to the movies and feasting on “Lincoln”, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2”, “Life of Pi”, “Silver Linings Playbook”, “Red Dawn”, and “Rise of the Guardians”.

Rise_of_the_Guardians_poster

However, on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Gretel and I have a date to see “Rise of the Guardians”.  (If we can convince Ray to go along with us, we’ll wait until the weekend of Thanksgiving!)

Why not hangout with Jack Frost and the Guardians (Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman) all in the same movie as they fight off the evil Pitch, the Nightmare King?  Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, and Jude Law voice the main characters in this $145 million dollar fantasy movie.

It looks fun and there’s even Oscar buzz for this movie for Best Animated Feature.

There are three other movies that are on my list to see this holiday season, but one will not open wide until January 11, 2013, although it opens before Christmas in New York City and Los Angeles.

“ZERO DARK THIRTY”

ZeroDarkThirty

This is the follow-up to Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker”, which also won “Best Picture” and “Best Original Screenplay, along with three other wins.  It follows the hunt to eliminate al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden and stars Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain.

It’s being billed as “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man.”

“THE IMPOSSIBLE”

the-impossible

Another touching movie that I want to see is already getting award season buzz.  “The Impossible” follows one family during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that left around one-quarter of a million people dead.

It stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts.  The $45 million movie has already made its money back since it was released in some foreign markets in October.  Most of the $46.3 million that the money has made is in Spain.

I know the movie opens December 21st in the United States, but I can’t confirm if that’s limited or wide release.  (I’m leaning toward limited.)

“LES MISERABLES”

les mis

And, finally, on Christmas Day, the movie adaptation of the successful stage musical, “Les Miserables”, opens across the country.

Watching a movie about a man who goes to prison for stealing bread and a poor woman who is ridiculed for having an illegitimate child and forced into prostitution!  What a depressing way to spend a glorious holiday that already depresses many people!

This movie has OSCAR written all over.  It’s directed by Tom Hooper, who also directed the Oscar-winning “The King’s Speech” and stars Hugh Jackman (“Real Steel”, “Swordfish”, and the “X-Men” series), Russell Crowe (“Gladiator” and “A Beautiful Mind”), Anne Hathaway (“The Devil Wears Prada” and “The Dark Knight Rises”), Amanda Seyfried (“Mamma Mia”), Eddie Redmayne (“My Week With Marilyn”), Sasha Baron Cohen (“Hugo” and “Borat”), and Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech” and “Dark Shadows”).

What movies are you excited about this holiday season?

Anthony

Wallflowers Do Blossom!

Thirty years ago, in high school, I was a wallflower and Ray was outgoing and fun (and he’s the one that went to a Catholic school)!   A wallflower is a loner or a shy person that doesn’t socialize or participate in activities at social events.

The only thing that I took part in during high school was reciting the creed in a Future Farmers of America (FFA) function my freshman year, only because it was required as part of the initiation process and then I opted out of FFA my final three years of high school.

The only things I thought about in high school were making straight-As and becoming a weatherman.  Look where both of those things got me.  🙂  Luckily, in college and beyond, I blossomed from an introvert to a very outgoing, public figure.

That is a good thing because I feel that confidence is something that I want to instill in my 11-year-old daughter, Gretel, as she goes through those ever-changing, drama-filled teen years!

Thursday night, Ray and I went to see the movie, “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” (now playing at the Rave Cinema in Davenport, Iowa, and in more than 700 theaters across the country).  And, it’s definitely a movie I suggest to parents with kids in  junior high or high school.  We may have forgotten just how bad or stressful high school really was and that it wasn’t always a blast.


The movie is based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Stephen Chbosky.  Luckily, when the movie was filmed last year in and near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the author also wrote the screenplay and directed the movie.

“Perks” follows Charlie, played by Logan Lerman, who’s biggest role has been playing demigod Percy Jackson in the series based on the books by Rick Riordan.  The first movie came out in 2010 and the sequel arrives in theaters next fall.

Charlie is a shy teenager beginning his freshman year of high school and he’s already counting down the days until he graduates from day one.  He writes letters to an anonymous person to express everything that happens in his life since he doesn’t feel that he can talk to his family.  His closest relative is his Aunt Helen and we see her in flashbacks.

At school, he develops a rapport with his English teacher, Bill, played with quiet subtly by Paul Rudd.  Bill encourages Charlie to read many classic literary works to expand the young man’s intellect.

In shop class, Charlie meets Patrick (Ezra Miller), a senior that is taking the class with the freshman because he’s such a cut-up that he can’t pass the course and move on.  We also learn that Patrick makes jokes about everything because he’s harboring his own secrets and heartbreak.

Last year, Miller starred in “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, which is still one of my favorite movies that I saw earlier this year.  He was even nominated for his performance in that chilling, psychological thriller that was grossly passed over by moviegoers and the Academy Awards.

The third of the major stars of the movie is also the biggest star in the movie.  Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movie series.  This is her first starring role since leaving Hogwarts behind.

All three actors are very believable and you feel their joy and their heartbreak throughout the 102-minute movie.  You’ll laugh and you’ll want to cry and you’ll be thankful that you survived high school.

The movie follows Charlie as he meets Patrick and Sam (Watson) at a football game and he mistakenly thinks that Patrick and Sam are dating.  Actually, they’re step-brother and sister.  Charlie writes about going out afterwards to a diner with Patrick and Sam, a ride through the tunnel that becomes a focal point of the movie, Patrick’s love affair, Charlie getting his first kiss and his first relationship, and his falling in love with Sam.

The funniest scene in the movie is when the group attends a party and Charlie samples brownies at a stoner’s house.  While the laced treats allow Charlie to be honest with his feelings, it also hints at the darker past that haunts the quiet teen.

There’s also a Christmas scene in the movie and I definitely have a weakness for movies that feature my favorite season.

“The Perks of Being A Wallflower” is a powerfully charged, must-see movie this fall.

Along with “Argo”, it goes to show that Hollywood does produce some quality offerings.  Now, bring on “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty”.

GRADE:  B

A Buffet of Thoughts — A Little of This & That

It feels like one of those days where I’d love to have a buffet!  But, I’m determined to eat healthy through Saturday when I leave for Houston.  So, I’ll have a blog buffet — where I talk a little about this and a little about that.

SO GOES OHIO, SO GOES THE COUNTRY

Watch out, Mitt Romney!!!  If the great people of the Buckeye State are correct and they have been since 1972, you’re in trouble.  Since Ohio is considered a “battleground” state that will be key in deciding the 2012 election, you’d better be spending much of your time, money, and efforts there.

Since 1972, Ohio has picked the winning candidate in the presidential election.  As a matter of fact, since 1944, the state has only picked the wrong candidate in the race for the White House one time!  Back in 1960, Ohio picked Republican Richard Nixon over Democratic winner John F. Kennedy by 6.6%.

In the latest CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll of Ohio voters posted on Real Clear Politics, President Barack Obama leads Romney by 10%!

And, speaking of President Obama, I entered a contest the other day and the winner gets to have dinner with the President before the election.  While a long shot, Gretel is very excited.

IS THAT A DINOSAUR?

While the Quad Cities will enjoy more “Indian Summer-like” weather (NOAA: “Indian Summer” is generally associated with a period of considerably above normal temperatures, accompanied by dry and hazy conditions ushered in on a south or southwesterly breeze”), from this weather map you’d think that a storm would be bringing a dinosaur into the middle of the country!  I saw this a while back and saved it.  Too funny!

Sadly, the forecast for Houston Saturday when we arrive doesn’t look too great and will likely keep us from seeing the “Balloon Glow” of hot air balloons at the Johnson Space Center!   Bummer!  😦

OUR FISH SHOULD BE VERY AFRAID

Overnight, I was awakened around 2 a.m. by a noise down on the patio, which is located right below our bedroom window.  One of the cats heard it, too, and she was in the window peering outside.  As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw it.  A raccoon was scurrying around trying to get the can of fish food open after it knocked the container off the patio table.  I ran downstairs and turned on the patio light and it ran up the steps into the backyard away from me.  Like a warrior, I grabbed the water hose and started spraying it into the direction that it ran.

Those are pictures of the fish earlier in the week.  I think we need to find something to keep the raccoons away from them this week while we’re gone.  We definitely didn’t  fatten them up to be a meal for a nocturnal beast!

RANDOM PICTURES I REALLY LIKE

REMEMBERING MY GRANDMOTHER

On Monday, my sister, Tammy, turned 46.  We celebrated by Ray making her dinner and we had pumpkin cake roll for dessert.  Tammy is not the only family member that would have been celebrating a birthday Monday.  She was born on my grandmother Helen’s birthday.

Had my grandmother been alive, she would have been 99 years old!!!

FALL MOVIES & OSCAR CONTENDERS ARE COMING

I’m so excited to see the new Ben Affleck movie, “Argo” when it’s released on October 12th.  I’ll be in Las Vegas and I plan on finding a movie theater.  I’ve already expressed interest in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “The Paperboy”, “Lincoln”, and “Zero Dark Thirty”.  Now, I’ve added another one to the list.

“Entertainment Weekly” calls “The Impossible”, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, a “shocking tsunami drama” based on one family’s experience of the Indian Ocean tsunami that hit on Christmas Day (our time) 2004.  The trailer looks incredible.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING

I know that I just blogged two days ago about the new Mattel Barbie coming out and that I still didn’t get my Reba doll from last year, but here are a few nice places you can shop this year and know that some of your money goes toward marriage equality.

FALL TELEVISION

While I wait for the new ABC Reba McEntire comedy, “Malibu Country” (November 2nd), the only new television show I’ve checked out this fall is “The New Normal”, from Ryan Murphy (“Glee”, “American Horror Story”, and “Nip/Tuck”).  It focuses on a gay Los Angeles couple (Bryan and David) wanting to have a baby.  Goldie, who just moved to LA from Ohio agrees to be their surrogate mother for $35,000 to go back to law school and to make a better life for her daughter, Shania.

It’s funny and enjoyable.  The premiere episode has been the best.  The ensemble cast is great and the standouts are Ellen Barkin (Goldie’s grandmother), NeNe Leakes (Bryan’s personal assistant), and Bebe Wood (Shania, Goldie’s pre-teen daughter).

Sadly, the ratings for the NBC show have already started slipping from almost 7 million viewers for the first two episodes to around 5 million for Tuesday night’s politically-charged episode, “Obama Mama”.  Check out this extended preview if you haven’t already watched the show.

Tonight (Thursday night), I want to check out CBS’ new take on Sherlock Holmes, “Elementary”.  It’s not because I’m a fan of the detective.  It’s because I’ve had the hots for Angelina Jolie’s ex-husband, Jonny Lee Miller, ever since he played “Eli Stone” on ABC (thanks for cancelling that ABC, bad call!).

Speaking of hots, Miller’s version of Holmes is even tattooed! 🙂

And, finally, Sunday night is the seventh season premiere of “Dexter”.  And, we’re only two weeks away from the new season “The Walking Dead”!  I love this post to thank the show’s 10 million Facebook fans!

And, the new season of “American Horror Story” is coming, along with the final season of “Fringe”.

FLOWERS

With the trees beginning to turn and mums opening up, colors are beginning to pop.  Did you know that in the winter of 1636, tulip mania hit Holland and for some time, bulbs traded for the price of houses? Crazy!  Although I’d never pay that much for anything, other than a house, the sight is majestic!

MY NEW MUSIC GUILTY PLEASURE

While I await the new Lady Antebellum Christmas CD, “On This Winter’s Night” and  Blake Shelton’s Christmas album (because it features Reba), the album I’m really excited about is Calvin Harris’ “18 Months” (October 29, 2012).

For those that don’t know him, he’s a Scottish DJ and producer.  He also spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Rihanna on “We Found Love”.  He’s also had other hits like, “Feel So Close” and “Let’s Go”.  His new song, “Sweet Nothing”, features Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.

And, FYI, I still cringe when I hear the current Taylor Swift song, “We Are Never Blah Blah Blah”!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I’ll leave with you this amazing quote from Chinese journalist Hu Shuli, “Believe in what you do, do it smartly, and never give up.”

Have a great day and thanks for checking out my buffet blog.

Anthony