Posts Tagged ‘Love’

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 ūüéÖūüéĄ and decorations!

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

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! ūüôā

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

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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:

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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…

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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”!

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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!

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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…

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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‚Äôs 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”.

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

“Medell√≠n” (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 “Medell√≠n”, “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.

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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‚Äôs new album — her¬†divorce album.

Unlike “MDNA”, Madonna‚Äôs 2012 very angry and violent divorce album to her ex, Reba‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúNo U In Oklahoma‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúStorm in a Shot Glass‚ÄĚ.

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

Sadly, it‚Äôs a reality check ballad called “The Bar‚Äôs 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”.

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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 ‚̧ԳŹ , 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!

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THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts ‚ÄĒ August 10, 2018

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts and to see what I’m thinking about this week.

Have a great weekend!

OFFENSIVE?

“Arrow” star¬†Stephen Amell, a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, enjoyed Vancouver Pride last weekend and his shirt caused quite a stir.

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Some find the shirt offensive saying he’s not really our ally to wear it!

However, a poll about whether the shirt is offensive says otherwise!

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What do you think???¬† ¬†By the way, I voted “Seriously?”

Let me know while I run to the ATM!¬† I know I have $20 in my checking account! ūüôā

Now on to something really serious!

“CONVERSION THERAPY”

Conversion therapy is harmful and sad!

Kids that feel broken suffer even more and it doesn’t mend families, it destroys them.

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If you’re not familiar with “conversion therapy”, it’s an ill-fated, sad program that preys on a family’s fear of their son or daughter being LGBTQ.¬† It claims that you can change if you have feelings for someone of the same sex.

It uses psychological, physical, and spiritual torture to make an LGBTQ child “straight”.

In the United States, before 1981, ice-pick lobotomies, chemical castration with hormones, and aversion treatments (applying electric shock to the hands and/or genitals) were used to “change” gay people.

Electric shock treatment is still used in some places today!

A couple of popular expressions in the field are “Fake it till you make it” and “Pray away the gay”.

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In the United States, 12 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed conversion therapy for minors based on sexual orientation and gender identity of expression.  Those states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Maryland (October 1, 2018) and New Hampshire (January 1, 2019) will soon be added to the list.

There are many other counties, municipalities, and communities in the U.S. that outlaw conversion therapy for minors, even though it’s not recognized on the state level in those states.

As of this summer, there are bills to ban conversion therapy on minors that have been introduced or are pending in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico.

MICHELE & MARCUS BACHMANN

Minnesota’s own former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has a record of being very anti-LGBTQ, has a skeleton in her closet when it comes to “conversion therapy” or “reparative¬†therapy”.

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The procedure was notably performed at¬†Bachmann & Associates, a Christian therapy clinic started by Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, based in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

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Ironic that I used the word “closet” when discussing the Bachmanns because of the “rumors”!

“BOY ERASED”

Two movies dealing with conversion therapy are coming out this year.

“Boy Erased”, based on the 2016 memoir of¬†Garrard Conley, an Arkansas teenager outed in college to his fundamentalist parents.¬† His choice — be disowned or gay conversion therapy.

After seeing this powerful trailer, I’m convinced “Boy Erased” will be a strong Oscar contender.¬† It stars Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe and Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges.

I love Kidman and I’ve been a huge fan of 21-year-old Hedges since “Manchester By The Sea” and he was great in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.

It also stars out pop star Troye Sivan.

“Boy Erased” hits theaters November 2, 2018.

“THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST”

The other “gay conversion” movie,¬†The Miseducation of Cameron Post” starring¬†Chloe Grace Moretz,¬†debuted last¬†weekend, in very limited release.

In just two theaters, it had an incredible box average of $26,500!

Chloe is a great actress and I can’t wait to see her stunning performance.

“MADAM SECRETARY”

As the fourth season ended in May, it was bittersweet.  I smiled, but I wanted to cry.

Madam Secretary Elizabeth McCord tells her husband Henry, that she wants to run for president.

He replies,¬†“I’m with you!”

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MORE “MADAM SECRETARY” (BIG GUEST STARS!)

When the fifth season of kicks off Sunday, October 7th on CBS, the shows will have some heavy hitters making guest star appearances.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and Madeleine Albright will star.

This will be Albright’s second appearance on the show.¬† She guest starred in 2015.

P.S.¬† In 45’s revolving door of cabinet and staff, whoever is Secretary of State was probably not invited. ūüôā

THEY SAID WHAT — ABOUT 45???

Madonna (to “Vogue Italia”):¬† “I felt like we needed a change, and I wanted to get out of America for a minute ‚Äē as you know, this is not America‚Äôs finest hour.”\

Hollywood show runner Ryan Murphy (on having a 1980s version of “that man” on his FX hit series “Pose” and then scrapping the idea):¬† “I just don‚Äôt want to see him. I do not want to see that face, didn‚Äôt want to hear that voice, didn‚Äôt want that presence to pollute something very pure and beautiful. We almost never say his name, it‚Äôs a Pavlovian cringe at this point. I think it was a right decision.”

Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham:

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“WHO IS AMERICA”

If you haven’t seen this Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime series, you’re missing out on mind-boggling reality television!

I call it reality because, sadly, it shows how really f***ed up some are in this country!

The blatant racism is sad to watch and the things people say or do to show their blind love for 45 is just incredible.

After his ignorant and racist appearance on the show, Republican Georgia lawmaker Jason Spencer resigned his position.

Here’s what I tweeted to Cohen and Showtime about the show.

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Cohen also duped former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.¬† It’s unknown if that segment will air or not!

RETURN DATES ON MY FAVORITE SHOWS

Now that “Pose”, “Dietland”, “Claws”, and “Sharp Objects” are done or winding down and “The Sinner” is just getting started, I can’t wait for my next round of favorite series to return this fall.

Here are the return dates on those:

September 12 — “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” (FX)

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The first trailer came out earlier this week!

September 23 & 24 — “9-1-1” (FOX) (2-night premiere)

September 24 — “The Good Doctor” (ABC)

September 27 — “How To Get Away With Murder” (ABC)

October 7 — “Madam Secretary’ (CBS)

November 2 — “House of Cards” (Netflix)

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Still no date on the return of season 4 of “Mr. Robot” (USA).

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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90s NOSTALGIA

In the late-1980s and 1990s (and beyond), I was obsessed with Taylor Dayne and her music.

I’ve seen her in concert twice (and almost a third time, but we won’t talk about that).

My favorite album is still “Can’t Fight Fate” from 1989.

That album produced Taylor’s only #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Love Will Lead You Back”, and two more Top Five hits, “I’ll Be Your Shelter”, and this one, the album’s lead single, “With Every Beat of My Heart”.

This is such a stunning and sexy video!

“Heart of Stone”, the fourth single, peaked at #12 on the Hot 100.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

We All Deserve An Elio Moment

While my thoughts today are inspired by the Oscar-nominated motion picture, “Call Me By Your Name”, it’s not a review of the movie.

About that, I’ve written that the movie “is stunning, sensual, and heartbreaking” and 22-year-old Best Actor nominee¬†Timothee Chalamet “deserves the Oscar nomination and I could definitely see him as a front-runner”.

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In “Call Me By Your Name”, it’s 1983 in northern Italy and Elio’s summer takes a tender turn when the 17-year-old meets and falls in love with a visiting 24-year-old American graduate student, Oliver, who’s there for six weeks working with his father.

It’s a friendship and romance that’s both approved and encouraged by Elio’s loving parents.¬† Remember, this is Italy and the ages the story presents are more acceptable in Europe than it would be here in the United States — in the 1980s or today!

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I’ve always been an out gay man even when it wasn’t popular as a high school and college student in small town Kentucky in Ronald Reagan’s conservative, “Christian Right” America.

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For teenagers today, it’s much different than it was in the early-1980s navigating between being gay and living an open honest life when America and the world didn’t want us to be out of the closet.

My mother knew I was gay, but she still couldn’t always hide her concern with how life would be for me or with some of my decision making.

I remember one summer weekend before I started my sophomore year of college.  We lived about 25 miles from my university and an older college student, who lived near campus, invited me there for the night.   My mother was more concerned that I was spending the night with a guy than the fact that I might be taking part in underage drinking.

That first year of college living away from the watchful eyes of my parents was exciting for me as a teenager.

Decades later, I still fondly remember the butterflies I felt staring across the college dorm television room and locking eyes with the mustachioed student that came over and started talking to me.  And, still vivid are the memories of meeting and spending the night with the divorced dad in my neighborhood that was ten years older than me when I was 19.

Those three encounters happened in a one-year time span.

While I’ve gone on to fulfilling and loving relationships in my adult life, they could never compete with the excitement and the loss of innocence for a naive kid experiencing the physical sensations of becoming a young man.

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Watching innocent teenager Elio in “Call Me By Your Name”, in 2018, brought back the rush I felt on those exciting nights in 1983 and 1984.¬† Now, as an older man, I felt a sense of happiness that those nights were definitely worth it.

Luckily, for all of us, things are changing.

In the age of social media, which pretty much covers the last decade of my career as a television meteorologist, and with my personal blog, my “private” life is played out in public.

That’s given me a forum to educate people on what it’s like to be part of the LGBT community.¬† ¬†It shows people that we’re just like them — we work, we pay taxes, we cook dinner, we watch Netflix and movies, and so on.

It’s been very rewarding having mothers, grandmothers, and aunts reach out to me about how to handle their child or loved one’s “coming out” or being gay.

It’s better now because of the resources available online and in person for LGBT youth (and adults) questioning their sexuality or for parents and friends needing answers with PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

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While acceptance is higher these days, there’s also the backlash that comes with that increased visibility.

The same freedom, strides, and public acceptance that LGBT people fought for and earned (some with their lives) are being stripped away with that hateful man sitting in the White House.

The venom Donald Trump spouted in the 2016 presidential campaign and in his first year in office has given some of his followers, that already had poisoned minds, the power to openly attack (verbally and physically) others based on their sexuality (real or perceived), race, religion, gender, and the list goes on.

Sadly, our transgender friends are the ones feeling the brunt of that hate.

I know that most of the people that read what I write access it through Facebook.¬† And, according the site’s analytics, 72% of my Facebook followers are women and the ones that correspond and comment the most are straight.

While I want this to touch them, I really hope that this moves beyond my usual circle of readers because they are the ones that need to see it more.¬†¬†We all know someone that is LGBT and it’s likely that some of them may be questioning their life and future.

In today’s political climate, this is the perfect time for “Call Me By Your Name”.

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I hope that any scared, alone, or questioning teenager or adult from any small town in America — whether it’s the backwoods of Alabama and Mississippi, the “Bible Belt” South, the wilderness of the Mountainous West, or the barren tundra of Alaska — can see “Call Me By Your Name” and know that it’s okay to have their own Elio moment, they’re not sick, and they deserve to find love and happiness!

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Anthony

P.S.¬† Now that you finished my thoughts, I’m sharing the Oscar-nominated song from “Call Me By Your Name”, “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens.

Also, here are three inspiring songs that got me through those days and nights in the 1980s.

“Never Surrender” — Corey Hart

“People are People” — Depeche Mode

“I Want Your Sex” — George Michael¬† (Even in this risque song, George was singing about wanting to be “out and proud”!)

“There’s things that you guess/And things that you know/
There’s boys you can trust/And girls that you don’t/
There’s little things you hide/And little things that you show”

 

 

Listen Up! This Might Be About You!

Opinions, social media, professionalism, and tolerance are at the forefront of my thoughts today and I just have to vent.

We all have opinions and we express them to our friends and to people we might not even know through social media. ¬†Facebook, I’m looking at you.

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I have two Facebook pages — one personal and one professional. ¬†On my personal page, I share my thoughts, my travels, my family, and so on. ¬†On my work page, I only share weather updates and weather-related stories.

Clearly, some of the 3,550 “friends” I have on my personal page are linked to the wrong page. ¬†It’s taken this divisive election and its aftermath for some to see that.

You clearly need to “like” my professional page if you want my accurate forecasts and updates without my personal opinions!

Let me share some personal things about me:  I love my family, my job, my real friends (in person and online), wine, champagne, vodka, desserts, buffets, and the f-word.

The bottom line is that I’m human and I’m not perfect. ¬†As we all know, I’m not alone.

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Because of my profession, I’ve developed a thick skin over the years, but people can still occasionally get under it. ¬†Trust me, that f-word comes to mind and it does come out. But, because of work and that I’m a “southern gentleman”, I publicly suppress it.

Two days ago, a woman told me I was just as bad as Donald Trump. ¬†Seriously, that makes me want to LOL. ¬†Never in my life have I uttered or even thought, “grab her by the p—y”!!!

For the record, there are very few things that Donald Trump and I have in common: ¬†I’m sure we’re anatomically similar¬†and, in 1993, I used sun-in on my brown hair and instead of getting the desired ginger-color I was going for, my hair turned a shade of orange! ¬†The horror! ¬†The horror!

I guess where we’re most similar is that we both hold grudges — I forgive, but I don’t forget!

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Sorry, I got sidetracked there.

And, then yesterday, I had my own Meryl Streep/post-Golden Globe moment.

A Facebook “friend” posted on my page: ¬†“I think it’s about time that you quit whining also I’ve heard enough of crap I’ve heard enough from you he will be our president like it or not accept it for what it is your complaining is not going to change a thing spend a little more time doing your weather instead of complaining give the man a chance”

Trust me, I didn’t change the incoherent thought process, the run-on sentences, and the lack of punctuation in the post! ¬†(I did highlight for you where he gave me work advice.)

So, let’s clear up some things. ¬†March will mark my seventh year on Facebook. ¬†I only had a personal page then and not a professional page.

If you’re one of those people that sent a friend request because you know me as a television meteorologist, but you don’t¬†want me to have opinions and share them, you have two options: (1) like my professional page where you’ll only find weather and unfriend me on my personal page, or (2) just unfriend me on my personal page.

I don’t send Facebook “friend request” to people. ¬†In the seven years on the site, I can count on two hands the number of people I’ve sent a “friend request” to and they’re “celebrities”.

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I look at Facebook as my online “home”. ¬†Since I’m not a bobble head or a “bubble headed bleached blonde [who] comes on at five”, I’ll continue to share¬†my opinions with people that visit.

If you don’t like what I have to say or you disagree, I allow you to express that diplomatically. ¬†But, when you hijack my page with a long string of comments or are rude to me or my other guests, I definitely don’t want to be your “friend” and I’m more than happy for you to go away!

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With that being said, I want the country to survive the next four years.

However, that doesn’t mean I should keep my thoughts about him or his presidency to myself. ¬†I know you’ve heard the all the things said about President Obama over the past eight years and¬†about Hillary Clinton for the past thirty years!

You can’t have it both ways!

Recently, someone I trust dearly said to me, “For someone who talks tolerance, that wasn’t very tolerant”.

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It got me to thinking and I’ll quickly expand on that. ¬†When I talk “tolerance”, it’s not a wide umbrella that encompasses everything.

For me, it’s human rights and equality. ¬†No one person — regardless of race, sexual orientation, sex, religion or lack of religion, age, financial status, and the list goes on and on — is better than another person.

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There are people that recite passages from that good book about being made in his image and then there’s the document that this country was built on that mentions “all men are created equal”.

Those things may be true, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t extend courtesy to our fellow man. ¬†Basic¬†human rights are what I’m talking about when I speak of “tolerance”. However, I draw the line¬†with ignorance. ¬†That’s not under my umbrella of “tolerance”!

If you’ve made it this far, when you visit my blog or my social media “home”, show that your mother raised a decent child and be diplomatic.

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Just as I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you may have voted for Trump, you’re probably thinking the same thing about me and my love for Hillary Clinton.

I’m a “Hillary flunky” (Trump-ism there) and if that’s too much for you to handle, then grow a pair and just unfriend me. ¬†Or, if I post something you don’t like about #45, then scroll on by the comment and carry on with your day.

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Anthony

Merry Xmas (Christmas) To All

ORIGINAL POST:  November 23, 2016

UPDATED:  November 28, 2017

I guess you can say the holiday season is here —¬†trick-or-treating is behind us and we’ve already enjoyed our Thanksgiving feasts.

Our Turkey 2012

People are decorating their homes, writing out Christmas cards, and making holiday gift lists and checking them twice.

Meanwhile, radio stations are transitioning from their tired playlists to treat us with holiday standards while sprinkling in a few new offerings of Christmas musical cheer.

I added one Christmas CD to my collection, “My Kind of Christmas” by Reba McEntire.

REBA

Yet, I know I’ll resort to listening to The Carpenters’ “Christmas Portrait” (1978)¬†, Michael Buble “Christmas” (2011), Mariah Carey “Merry Christmas” (1994), and Reba McEntire’s “Merry Christmas to You” (1987) and “The Secret of Giving: ¬†A Christmas Collection” (1999) over and over again.

I love Christmas music so much that I could listen to it year around.

Christmas is just so magical.¬† I’m mesmerized by the twinkling of the lights and I love holidays parties. I can’t get enough of the appetizers and the baked goodies — the¬†cookies,¬†fudge and divinity, and even the fruitcake!

funny_fruitcake

Each year, my Christmas cards are mailed the day before Thanksgiving to begin the trek across the country.

Xmas.jpg

I’m smiling now because I’m sure someone has already commented on Facebook where the link to this blog was first posted because I put Xmas in the title line.

I know that many people get their tinsel all twisted (that’s a Christmas way of saying “get their panties in a wad”) when they¬†see “Merry Xmas”!

christ-in-chrismas

They say that writing Xmas takes Christ out of “Christmas”. ¬†After all, he’s the reason for the season!

The whole Christ, Christmas, and Xmas debate got me to thinking.

People get so up in arms about leaving “Christ” in “Christmas”, yet many of those same people claiming to be Christians and living for the Lord can be so hateful and judgmental.

All of a sudden it hit me. ¬†Maybe these same people should take a moment to put Christ back into¬†Christian”!¬†At that point, I decided to write about it and I really thought I was on to something.

As Indiana’s governor, we had Vice President Mike Pence doing all he could do to be discriminatory to LGBT people in his state until businesses started moving out (or threatening to)¬†and it cost Indiana money.

Pence

He’s one of those people — “Christians”. ¬†Note there that “Christians” is in quotation marks. They are the ones that use religion to hate or discriminate —¬†“Christians”.

Then there are those that love and live for the Lord that also love their fellow man for who they are.  They are the true Christians!

As someone who doesn’t believe in “organized religion”, but prays to God and believes in a higher power, I’m all about loving the Lord and trying to live the best life I¬†can.

However, when you “religious freedom” to hate, I don’t think my Lord would like that very much.

pence-gay-marriage

So, when I started putting this together, I did a quick Google image search to add a fun and colorful graphic to the story.

It was then that I found¬†that my whole thought process of¬†putting “Christ” back in “Christian” to off set “Christ” in “Christmas” wasn’t such an original idea!

Christ in Christian.jpg

Here’s the bottom line for me. I never write Xmas in a Christmas card, nor do I type it online (except in today’s blog to drive home a point!).

It has nothing to do with keeping “Christ” in Christmas.

In the same line of thinking, when you go to talk about “Christ” this Christmas, live up to what he was preaching. ¬†Love your fellow man (or woman) whether they live the same way of life as you.

It’s something that I try to do every day and not just at Xmas.¬†¬†(Ha, I was just seeing if you were still reading.)¬† I¬†fail¬†and then I just try harder the next time.

Christmas will always be Christmas to me and not Xmas.

Merry Christmas! ¬†Happy Holidays!¬† Happy Christmas! Season’s¬†Greetings!¬†Happy Hanukkah! ¬†Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Krampusnacht!¬† Happy Yule!¬† Happy Chalica!

Whatever you celebrate, have a great December and an even better 2017!

christmascocktails

Anthony

Deadly Gay Nightclub Attack — We’re all “One”

The worst mass shooting in American history took place Saturday night in an Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub called “Pulse”.

In a story that’s still developing as I write this Sunday, Orlando’s mayor says 50 people are dead and another 53 are hurt. (Monday, the total was updated to 49 victims inside the club, plus the shooter.)

Pulse.jpg

This is deadlier than the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 or Sandy Hook five years later.

I pray for each and every person — gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or straight — in that nightclub. ¬†I pray for their families and their friends that someone took it upon himself to come into that nightclub to destroy the lives of everyone there and for the people¬†who¬†love them.

This is a disgusting act of cowardliness and it’s a sad expression of where some in humanity stand in life. ¬†It’s pathetic¬†and heartbreaking!

The motive is still unknown as I write this.

If this shooting and mass murder took place because it was a gay nightclub, that compounds an already inhumane act.

Hate is hate!  No one has the right to inflict emotional or physical pain or death upon another person because they think being gay is a sin.

Let God decide that when the time comes.

Learn to be human and talk about your differences or move along down the road in a different walk of life.

PrideFlag

June is the month for Americans to celebrate “Gay Pride”.

It’s a time to celebrate diversity and everything that we in the LGBTQ community has had to fight for in life — from being discriminated against for who we are, to having others neglect them and kick them out of their homes for being different, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Stonewall_Inn_1969

“Gay Pride” was established in 1970 after the Stonewall Riots in New York City in the summer of 1969.

Bar patrons, who already had to hide in the shadows to meet, said to police who came in harassing them on a regular basis, “enough is enough”.

They fought back with bottles, rocks, and whatever they could find to protect themselves. Harassment, even at the hands of police, who demeaned and mocked gay people at the bar, is harassment and is wrong. ¬†(You read can more about the “Stonewall Riots” at the bottom of this blog. ¬†I re-posted my blog from four years ago.)

Stonewall_riots

The “Stonewall Riots”¬†started a revolution! ¬†Gay people could be themselves anywhere in America — whether it be Mayfield, Kentucky, ¬†Pocatello, Idaho, or San Francisco, California.

When America is faced with an act of terrorism, such as the 9/11 attacks in September 2001 or terrorist attacks on a smaller scale, we stand strong in the face of sadness, tears, and blood.

As Gay Pride events take place this month, I hope all our friends embrace the LGBTQ community and look out for us, just as we would do for you — we are one!

I’m thinking of the U2 song, “One” right now and I think it’s appropriate.

I hope America and the world come together at this sad time to open their arms and open their hearts to their brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community.

We’re human just like you — we love and we want to find love, we work and pay taxes, we’re someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, niece, nephew, friend, or co-worker.

And, when some coward charges into a nightclub armed with¬†“an assault-type weapon, a handgun” and “some type of (other) device”, we bleed and die just like the rest of America and the world.

All we want is peace, love, and understanding.

peace_love_understanding

That starts at home, at schools, and at work.  That starts with each one of us.

Please pray for those hurt and killed, their families and friends, and the world.  We all need that prayer now.

Anthony

If you want to read more about the “Stonewall Riots”, I posted this in 2012, so it’s now been 47 years, not 43.

Click here:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/push-comes-to-shove-43-years-ago-the-stonewall-riots/

Mom — 27 Years & Half of My Lifetime Without You

If you’re married and you make it to your silver anniversary or if you work at your job for twenty-five years, you know that you’ll go through a lot of changes — some good and some bad.¬† But, you achieved that milestone.

Today, my sister, Tammy, and I are marking a more solemn, 25-year anniversary — the death of our wonderful mother, Dessie.¬† She died of a heart attack on the morning of November 7, 1990.

This picture was taken on Mother’s Day that year.

Dessie 1990

In the past 25 years, there have been so many changes in the world — we now have the internet, cell phones, and in the United States, marriage equality (actually, more general equality than ever before), our first African-American president, and next November, we could very well elect the first woman president.

I know there are people who lose their mother in childhood or during childbirth and grow up not knowing what it’s like to have a mother.¬† Because of that, I’ll always be grateful that I got to share 26 years in this world with Dessie.

Dessie

She was there to see me make my theatrical stage debut in “The Curious Savage” and saw me present weather at Murray State University’s¬†television station that was only broadcast on cable systems in just two cities.

MSUspring1985

My mother was there in the spring of 1989 when I became the first college graduate in our family.

Dessie Christmas 1989 Anthony Graduation Picture

I’ll never forget taking my mother to Sunday brunch at 101st Airborne in Nashville, Tennessee, in the spring of 1990. ¬†She didn’t drink, but her champagne glass was empty every time the server came by and mine was always full since I kept switching glasses with her. ¬†I’m sure the waitress thought Dessie was a lush and I was so innocent allowing my mother to drink so freely while I just sipped my champagne.

While there, I bought my mother the cassette single to Patty Loveless’ #1 hit, “Chains”. ¬†At the time, I didn’t listen to country music. ¬†But, when I started listening to the genre, Patty became one of my favorite singers and I can thank my mother for that.

As grateful as I am for the time we had together, I can’t help but think of the all of the things over the past 25 years that I never got to share with my mother.¬† There have been so many times in my life that I wanted to grab the phone and share something with her and then realize that I couldn’t do it.

My mother wasn’t here when I made the big decision, in the summer of 1994, to leave my small town Kentucky life and move to Chicago, the third largest city in America.

Chicago

She wasn’t here to see me start my paid, network-affiliated television weather career in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and then move on to other jobs in Texas, Ohio, Maryland, and Illinois. ¬†She didn’t witness me achieving my childhood dream of becoming a meteorologist and earning my “Seal of Approval” from the National Weather Association.

APWQAD8

My mother didn’t get to meet my best friend and the pride and joy of my life, Miss ABBA.

ABBA's First Christmas 2000

My mother was only 20-years-old when her mother, Reba, died of a heart attack.  Less than a year later, she was married and expecting her first child that came prematurely in October 1964.  (Yes, that would be me!)

Dessie-Hollie-Anthony -- Fall 1964

By 1966, she had two children and a stepdaughter and was in an unhappy (and seemingly loveless) marriage with an alcoholic womanizer.

She probably felt she had limited options because people stayed married.¬† Her paycheck from her minimum wage job provided me and my sister no frills, just the necessities — food and clothing.¬† But, she never complained about what she didn’t or would never have in life, including medication that may have kept her alive longer.

Dessie

While we didn’t sit around and talk about it, my mother always knew I was gay. ¬†After all, she did buy me the “Colour By Numbers” album by Culture Club for my 19th birthday! ūüôā

CultureClubColourByNumbersAlbumcover

Dessie was raised in a backwards, small town, Southern mentality and she was married to a sexist, racist, homophobic alcoholic.  When you add the conservatism of the Reagan era to her fire-and-brimstone-preaching church and the AIDS epidemic that exploded in the 1980s, you can fully understand why we never talked about my sexuality.

In the mid-1980s, when the story of actor Rock Hudson dying of AIDS broke and the disease continued to ravage the gay communtiy, she and most Americans probably thought that every gay person would contract HIV and AIDS and die.  Back then, it was pretty much a death sentence.

HIV AIDS

I became sexually active during that dark time and to this day, I’m still grateful to God that I remained HIV-negative when I knew many people that contracted HIV and AIDS — some are still living and some didn’t make it.

Dessie probably thought that the prospects of her openly gay, first-born son were bleak.¬† I wonder what she’d think today seeing me relatively successful and healthy at 51-years-old — something that wouldn’t have seemed very likely.

So much has changed on that front, too.  Today, with medication and a healthy lifestyle, people that are HIV-positive can live a normal life expectancy.

And, back then, a majority of people thought that gay people would have to live very secret and lonely lives without ever having the chance to find love and get married!

While it failed (in 2017), I got that chance and it was beautiful.  Thank you Iowa!

OurWeddingWedding Park Fountain

I did get married.  Thank you Iowa!

And, while this date is tough for me, it’s even rougher for my sister, Tammy.

TammyDessie

When my mother died, Tammy’s first son was just a toddler and her second son had just been born a couple of weeks earlier.¬† They never got to know what a great woman their grandmother was and would have been to them.

Dessie Birthday 1989

As I reflect back on my life with my mother, I was so fortunate to be loved. ¬†She wasn’t just my mother. ¬†She was my biggest supporter, she was my rock, and she was my friend.

When I think of all of the things I talked about today and not having a chance to talk to Dessie about them, I can still smile and feel warm inside.

I know that my mother was really with me all the time — in my heart and in my memories.

Anthony