Posts Tagged ‘Michael Sam’

Random Friday Thoughts — May 16, 2014

Another weekend is upon us and I can’t believe that next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to the summer season.

Have a fantastic weekend and I appreciate you checking out my random thoughts.  As always, let me know what you agree with and what you don’t.  I love feedback as long as you’re nice about it.

OKAY PEOPLE, OPEN YOUR MIND AND CLOSE YOUR MOUTH

There were basketball playoff games over the past week, but the big story is the National Football League (NFL) draft and Michael Sam.

Sam, the University of Missouri football first-team all-star player that publicly came out as gay three months ago, became a seventh round draft pick by the St. Louis Rams.

Michael Sam

If he plays this fall in a professional game, he’ll become the first active NFL player to have publicly come out.

When the announcement was made that he was drafted by the Rams, a very emotional Sam cried and then smashed cake into the face of his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, a former University of Missouri swimmer.

And, then, for the love of God, he kissed his boyfriend to celebrate!  OMG, clutch my pearls!

Michael Vito Kiss Cake

It was a monumental moment and the White House sent out this message from President Barack Obama, “The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey. From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”

While Sam got encouraging and welcoming tweets from future Rams’ teammates, there was a big uproar over the kiss!

Former Super Bowl champion Derrick Ward tweeted, “I’m sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national tv”.  He added:

Derrick Ward

And, Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones tweeted “horrible” and “OMG” about the kiss.  Those tweets were deleted and he was reprimanded by the team, given a fine, and ordered to attend sensitivity training.

jones_dolphins

He has since apologized to Michael Sam about the tweets.  However, I don’t know about Michael, but I don’t want Jones to apologize for speaking out about how he feels.  His disapproval and ignorance is real.  His apology is empty, condescending, and nothing more than damage control.

I have more to say about this whole reaction to Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend and people’s negative response.  But, I want to share a link about a previous blog I wrote back in June 2012 about public apologies after homophobic comments are made.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/your-apology-really-doesnt-mean-that-much-to-me/

Now, back to Michael Sam and his boyfriend, Vito.

Michael Vito Beach

They appear to be a happy couple and I’m glad that Sam is out now and the two of them can be public about the love they share for each other.

I’m also very happy that they can openly celebrate Sam’s accomplishment.  How many little boys and teenagers wish that one day they’ll be drafted into the NFL?  And, when that time comes, they should be able to share it with the one that they love!

People that were appalled by the public display of affection really need to get over it.  They find that kiss unacceptable, but they’ll accept bad and criminal behavior from their NFL stars?

Ray Rice

Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens is awaiting sentencing for dragging his fiancée out of an Atlantic City casino elevator.  He was found guilty of third-degree aggravated assault and could face a 3-5 year sentence and a fine for the spousal abuse.

Then there’s Daryl Washington of the Arizona Cardinals.  He pleaded guilty last month of choking his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his child, and causing her to fall and break her collarbone.

daryl washington

And, Michael Boley of the Cincinnati Bengals was arrested for abusing his child.

Michael Boley

And, the list of bad behavior and criminal acts from NFL players goes on and one and people are bent out of shape over a same-sex kiss!  This is the 21st century people and love is love.

Michael, congratulations.  Michael and Vito, I wish you the very best in life and love!

Vito Michael Champagne

Cheers!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Pug FactoryEating  Laughing

KARL ROVE IS SUCH AN IDIOT

Karl Rove, the Senior Advisor for President George W. Bush is in news again and this time, in desperation, he stoops to an all-time low.

Rove Clinton

Rove is on the defensive after suggesting that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suffered a brain injury in a fall she suffered back in 2012 that required hospitalization.  Rove made this sick insinuation based on the glasses Clinton wore during  testimony a month later!

Even people in his own party are speaking out against this tactic.

Former House Speaker and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says he is “deeply offended” by Rove’s comments.

newtngingrich

With Clinton, Gingrich sees a correlation to what people were saying about former President Ronald Reagan’s health when he was a candidate, “I was angry when people did this to Reagan in 1980 and I am angry when they do it to her today”.

Gingrich also added, ” I’ve have many policy disagreements with Hillary[,] but this kind of personal charge is exactly whats wrong with [A]merican politics.”

Karl Rove, go away — now!

2016 RUN FOR PRESIDENT

Earlier this month, before Rove’s comments, Zogby Analytics polled 893 likely voters and found that Hillary has a substantial lead over former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a possible showdown for the 2016 race for President.

hillaryclinton_jebbush

With a +/-3% margin, Mrs. Clinton leads Bush 52%-36%.  Her lead over Paul was 52% to 35% and she was 16% ahead of Christie.

None of these candidates have thrown their hat into the ring yet.

PICK HIT

I’ve been a huge fan of the German dance band, Cascada, since I first heard “Everytime We Touch” back in late 2005.  That song went on to reach #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2009, Cascada had another Top 40 American radio hit with “Evacuate The Dancefloor”.  It made it up to #25.

Those two songs and 2008’s remake of Rascal Flatts’ #1 country hit, “What Hurts The Most” all topped the Billboard Dance chart.

Cascada-Blink

Cascada is back with a new single, “Blink”.

MORE “HANNIBAL” ON NBC

NBC’s “Hannibal” is without a doubt one of the best shows on television.

I’m so thrilled that the network has enough faith in the critically acclaimed, but severely ratings-challenged drama to renew it for a third season.

Hannibal

There are only two episodes left this season (the season two finale is next Friday night, May 23rd) and we already know that the serial killer Hannibal could be going down in the finale.

In case you’re one of the millions that haven’t watched “Hannibal”, here’s how season two started before the episode flashed back twelve weeks to show us how this showdown came about.

How will it end now that Jack Crawford knows Hannibal is a killer?

ARE JOURNALISTS PSYCHOPATHS?

Since I work in the news business and I’m talking about “Hannibal”, I have to share a couple of funny lines from the May 2nd episode, “Naka-Choko”.

Hannibal - Season 2

Shady, sensationalist reporter Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) confronts FBI profiler, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).

Freddie Will Allegedly

And, then there’s this correspondence between Will and Hannibal.

Will Psychopath

PICK HIT BONUS

This week, the latest Michael Jackson album, “Xscape”, was released.  I featured the first single, “Love Never Felt So Good”, in my blog last week.

The official video is out now and it’s incredible!

The song debuted at #20 last week on Billboard’s Hot 100 and the album could debut at #1 on next week’s chart.

I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

The country band, Lonestar, from Texas, have hit the chart with six gold and platinum albums since their self-titled debut release in the fall of 1995.

Lonestar

Their first hit, “Tequila Talkin'”  peaked at #8 in 1995 and the follow-up, “No News”, topped the chart for three weeks in April 1996.

In all, Lonestar has charted 23 Top 40 songs on the Billboard Country chart.  Of those, 18 made the Top Ten, and nine have reached the top!

Also, their hit “Amazed” was number one on the Country charts for eight weeks in 1999 and it even made it to the top of the Hot 100 for two weeks the following year!

Back in 1997, I interviewed lead singer Richie McDonald and keyboardist/vocalist Dean Sams in Lubbock, Texas, and they were both great guys.

Lonestar Sara Evans

For those near the Quad Cities, Lonestar and Sara Evans will be playing at this year’s Rosefest Outdoor Concert Series at the Wild Rose Casino in Clinton, Iowa, on July 11th.

THAT’S IT

I think that’s enough this week.

We have a wedding to attend in Dubuque, Iowa, this weekend.  While the weather is going to be nice Sunday, I’m torn about whether to work outside to get the garden ready when we get home or go to the movie.

We’ve only been to the theater once this year.  Back in January, we saw the Oscar-nominated and amazing “August:  Osage County”.

godzilla_2014_poster

I really want to see “Godzilla (2014)” after seeing the trailer.  With the suspense and creepiness of the previews, I think it could be this year’s “World War Z”!

“Godzilla” opens Friday!

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — April 25, 2014

The weekend is here and that means, at least, two things:  my random Friday thoughts and two days off work.

Over the past two weekends, I had to work an extra day on one of them and I had two events to attend on behalf of work the other weekend.  However, it’s all about relaxing this weekend for me.  Enjoy yours and thank you for checking out my random thoughts today.

The Following S 2

Warning:  If you’re a fan of “The Following” and you haven’t watched this last episode, stop reading my blog when you get to the country music segment remembering a music star that recently died.

Translation:

spoiler-alert

I’m venting at the bottom of this blog about last Monday night’s episode and why I may not be following “The Following” next season!

PAT SAJAK, MAY I BUY A CLUE?

I’ve known who Pat Sajak is since I was a teenager and he started hosting the mega-popular game show, “Wheel of Fortune”.

sajak

Until last Friday, I didn’t know much more about him and didn’t really feel I needed to until he sent out this tweet.

PatSajak

At first glance, I thought it was interesting.  Then, I thought about it a little more and starting thinking that either he had had a few drinks or that he was being funny.

On closer examination of why he may have sent it, I thought that it was a way to express his conservatism.  It’s well-known that he’s right-wing, that he blogs for conservative websites, and he’s made many contributions to Republican political candidates.

I’ve concluded that it’s his way to offset all of the recent “coming out” stories by gay celebrities.

I was never a fan of Sajak’s, nor did I dislike him.  And, I still don’t dislike him.  Whatever his reason, this correspondence soothed my feathers a little.

Pat Follow

Tweet away, Pat.  You do your thing and I’ll do mine.

DO PEOPLE NEED TO “COME OUT”?

That last tweet I shared between Maliheh and Pat Sajak brings up a topic that I’ve talked about many times.  My headline on this random thought is ‘”Do People Need To “Come Out?”‘ and I’ll keep my answer short.  Yes!

daniel-franzese

Just this week, “Mean Girls” star Daniel Franzese came out as “gay”.

In February, “Juno” actress Ellen Page and college football player Michael Sam announced that they were gay, as did Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley, this past December.

ellen-page-

Michael SamTom Daley

Yes, I think people need to come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, whether they’re celebrities or not.  While some may argue that it’s nobody’s business if someone is LGBT and that’s it personal.  That’s true.

But, coming from someone (me) that’s known he was gay since childhood, I know firsthand that everyone needs role models and someone who “feels” like they do or who are like them.

It’s a scary, lonely world when you think you’re alone.

Anthony April 1969

It’s a lot different today than in the late-1960s and early-1970s when I was looking for someone like me and someone to say, “Just be yourself” or “You’re not alone”.

SIR CLIFF RICHARD’S PERFECT RESPONSE

73-year-old English singer Cliff Richard has scored nine Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 here in the United States.

However, in the U.K., he’s charted an incredible 126 Top 40 hits since he first first appearance in 1958.  Of those hits, 69 reached the Top 10 and fourteen topped the chart.  And, just last fall, he released his 100th album.  That’s one reason that in England, he’s Sir Cliff Richard.

I’ve always been a fan of his music and, as a teenager, I didn’t know if he was married, gay or straight, or whatever.  All I know is that I loved his voice, he was cute, and he sang with Olivia Newton-John!

olivia_newtonjohn_cliff_richard-suddenly

Recently, he was on Australia’s “A Current Affair” and addressed why he never married and the rumors about his sexuality.

While having people to look up to is important, I loved his perfect response, “If I was gay, would it make any difference?  Would you not come to my concert if I was gay?”

Cliff_Richard

Here in the U.S., his highest charting hit was “Devil Woman”.  It reached #6 in 1976.

However, “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, which was released in late 1979, became his biggest selling song of all time with five million copies sold.   When the song spent two weeks at #7 in January 1980, Richard became the first artist to reach the Top 40 on the Hot 100 with songs in the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s.

From that video, you can see why this 15-year-old (back in 1980) had the biggest crush on him.  That crush only intensified when he sang a duet, “Suddenly”, with Olivia Newton-John later that year!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Boy ToyUdder

Earth Day

DID LINCOLN MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION WITH THE SOUTH?

Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian, takes a look at how the south differs from its counterparts across the rest of the country.

This is a hilarious look at a sad situation — and I grew up in the South!  (And, yes, this right ticked a couple of people off, but it’s humor!)

Mrs. Betty Bowers is played by Canadian comedian Deven Green, who now lives in Los Angeles.

CONGRATULATIONS JODIE FOSTER!

One of my favorites actresses is now a married woman and I wish the couple the very best of luck!

Jodie Foster Alexandra Hedison Marry

Last weekend, Oscar winner Jodie Foster married her girlfriend, Alexandra Hedison, in a private ceremony.

And, for those that thought Jodie’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes in January 2013 was a little cryptic and wondered if she was “coming out”, I think she’s gay. 🙂

You can read about that night here and why I thought that speech was so powerful and why is was and wasn’t important.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/jodie-foster-coming-out-why-it-is-and-isnt-important/

“FROZEN” — NEWS WORTHY

Coming from this Quad Cities’ morning meteorologist, Bob Herzog is one of the funniest local news men on television.

He’s the traffic reporter and one of the morning anchors for Local 12, WKRC, Cincinnati’s CBS affiliate.  Bob also does a segment called “Dance Party Friday”.

Bob Herzog

Recently, he took advantage of the wicked winter weather and did this incredible parody to “Let It Go” from “Frozen”.

Bob is not only funny, but has an incredible voice.  Kudos!

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

The country music world lost one its 1990s hit makers last weekend when 43-year-old Kevin Sharp died.

His mother stated the cause was “complications due to cancer” and his website added “ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues” as a cause.

Kevin Sharp

Sharp was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer when he was a teenager and was given little chance of survival.  He beat the odds, but continued to have problems with the radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

In 1996, he exploded on the country music scene and topped the chart with his first release, “Nobody Knows”.

The two follow-up, “She’s Sure Taking It Well” and “If You Love Somebody” peaked at #3 and #4 respectively in 1996 and 1997.  His last three singles failed to reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Country charts.

R.I.P. Kevin!

“THE FOLLOWING” SHOCKER BEFORE THE FINALE!

This your last chance to look away.

If you stop here, I appreciate you checking out my blog this week.  Enjoy the season finale of “The Following” Monday night.  I’m sure I will, too, with one exception!

spoiler_alert_300_w2

In season one of “The Following”, my favorite characters were Agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), Emma (Valorie Curry), Jacob (Nico Tortorella), and Paul (Adan Canto)!

Shawn AshmorePaul, Emma, & Jacob

Two of them didn’t make it to season two!

This season, my favorite characters are the two survivors from season one, Mike and Emma, along with Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen) and her two psychotic sons, Luke and Mark, played with amazing creepiness by English actor Sam Underwood (Zach Hamilton on the last season of “Dexter”).

The Following - Sam Underwood

So, I had this season all figured out going into the last three episodes of the season.  I knew it was going to come down to a confrontation between Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and Mike Weston and the villains: Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), Emma, Luke, Mark, and Lily.

Lily Gray

And, then Lily was murdered in the final minutes of the second episode from the finale!

I had to re-think my plan.  I knew that the twins would have to avenge their mother’s death, so they’d play a big role in the final two episodes.

Joe-Emma

In the first season, Emma was strong-willed and cold-hearted.  However, she was still vulnerable around Joe.  For much of this season, she was under-utilized and weak until the last couple of episodes when her iciness re-surfaced and I loved it.

Emma was beginning to doubt whether Joe had lost focus (he has) with this whole boring cult-loving, Bible-quoting, God-like vision he has of himself.

Joe  Emma Cult The Following

Since “The Following” was renewed for a third season, I saw Emma taking all she could take of Joe and his carelessness and killing him!  At that point, she and the twins would go on to terrorize Ryan, Mike, the FBI, and America next season.

However, that theory was shot to hell when Emma was brutally murdered in the final minutes of Monday’s episode by Joe Carroll’s ex-wife, Claire (Natalie Zea).  While I was shocked beyond belief with the killing, it was incredible drama!

The Following Silence

I know that Emma is dead, but if you’re holding out for the magic of television and drama to reveal that she’s alive, stop hoping!

Valorie Curry, who plays Emma, tells tvguide.com, “They really wanted to drive the point home.  It’s so funny, because people are on Twitter like, ‘She’s just in a coma! Maybe she’s alive.’ I’m like, she was stabbed, she was thrown out a window, and then staked like a vampire. There’s no coming back from impaling.”

R.I.P. Emma Hill!

Valorie Curry   The Following

Valorie Curry, you are amazing and thank you for the past two years!  Best wishes!

Now, what do I think will happen on the season two finale?

Joe will escape the church and be killed for real this time by Claire, who will be murdered by Tilda (Mackenzie Marsh), the Korben member and Joe Carroll follower.

Tilda

 

Carrie Cooke, the author and television reporter and Ryan’s love interest, will die.

Carrie Cooke

And, I think that Luke will also meet his death at the hands of Agent Weston as he tries to get revenge for Lily’s death.  And, since Lily told Mark, the sensitive twin, to “man up” right before she died, I think he’ll survive and wreak havoc in season three.

following Mark

Stay tuned.  The season finale is Monday night, 10 Eastern/9 Central, on Fox!

Have a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s going to be a snowy one in Iowa and Illinois, but it’ll make it more romantic! 🙂

champagne

I hope you and yours have a great weekend.  If there’s no “yours”, you still have every reason to enjoy the day and make the most of it.

I had many single years and I still treated myself to champagne and chocolates whenever I wanted them!  Indulge.  Life is too short.

Here are my random thoughts this Friday.  As always, thank you for checking them out.  If you agree with me, let me know.  If you disagree, let me know nicely. 🙂

BEST WISHES TO MICHAEL SAM

Michael Sam, the Associated Press defensive football player of the year in the Southeast Conference, came out last Sunday telling the public something that his teammates have known since last fall.

Sam told ESPN, “I came to tell the world I’m an openly proud gay man.”

Michael Sam

Sam is expected to be drafted into the National Football League and that would make him the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL.

Michael, I wish you the very best in football and in life and I’m not alone.

Bette Midler

And, here is an incredible commentary from Dale Hansen, a sportscaster with WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas.  This is so true!

However, we still have a long way to go.  This is a series of tweets from Kent State University wrestler Sam Wheeler.  He’s been suspended indefinitely until the athletic department decides on how to handle the situation.

Sam Wheeler Kent State Wrestler

ZOMBIES SLAY OLYMPIANS

While the ratings for the 2014 Winter Olympics for NBC are off slightly from four years ago, people were watching this past weekend.

However, last Sunday night, in the key television viewing demographics, 18-49-year-olds, the season four mid-season premiere of “The Walking Dead” killed the rush for the gold, silver, and bronze.

The Walking Dead

In that demo group, “The Walking Dead” scored a rating of 8.2 beating the 6.9 for NBC’s Sochi Winter Olympics.  Overall, 15.8 million people tuned in for “The Walking Dead”.

RACIST SOCHI TWEET?

Former Russian gold medalist figure skater Irina Rodnina, who lit the Olympic torch for the opening ceremonies of the Sochi games, is now at the center of a controversy that screams of racism.

Rodnina

Rodnina, who is now a member of Parliament in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, tweeted this doctored picture of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama from last September.

Racist Sochi Tweet

Pro-Kremlin television personality Vladimir Soloviev says this is not a big scandal and that Rodnina is free to post whatever she wants.  He went on to say the Tweet was not racist and that the reaction is too sensitive, “I advise everyone who attacked her that the next time they go out for a coffee, they should not call it a black coffee but an African-American coffee.”

I think this is racist whether it’s posted by a Russian politician or someone in the United States who feels as Rodnina does!

Your thoughts?

THIS “ARROW” HITS THE BULLS EYE

“Arrow” actor Stephen Amell wishes the athletes that have been training all their lives the very best in Sochi, Russia, but he holds nothing back on this thoughts about the country’s anti-gay laws.

Stephen Amell

On Facebook, Amell posted, “For everyone asking, we’re taking a mini hiatus so people can grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia and mediocre public interest.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHTS

Weather ChannelSnow

Davenport Cold

That was in Davenport, Iowa, the other morning.  Luckily, it was actually only -23°!

SO LONG, MULDER & SCULLY

We just finished watching all 202 episodes of “The X-Files” and the two movies.  While enjoyable, I still feel that the series finale was rushed and not very rewarding for such a stellar nine-year series that changed television.

the_x_files_i_want_to_believe-wallpaper

After watching “The X-Files:  I Want T0 Believe” again, the 2008 big screen movie is incredible and greatly under appreciated.  While it did have the feel of a more adult (language, violence, and gore) expanded television monster-of-the-week episode, it is very powerful.

Mulder, Scully, Skinner, Doggett, Reyes, Krycek, The Smoking Man, the Lone Gunman, aliens, and Chris Carter, thank you for the memories.

HELLO FISHER FAMILY OF FREAKS

Before we move on to “Fringe” to wrap up the last two seasons, we’re going back to “Six Feet Under”.  We’re now on season three (of five).

six feet under

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dysfunctional family like the Fishers and their crazy friends and loved ones.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love Michael C. Hall.  And, to see him as a very tormented David Fisher, who’s also gay, is very interesting.

PICK HIT

Singer Hailey Rowe is back with a very inspiring song and video.

Hailey Rowe

While she isn’t a household name, she scored my favorite song and video of 2013 with “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.

Her latest release is “Don’t Need Your Approval”.

“CAPTAIN PHILLIPS”

“Captain Phillips” is nominated for six Oscars this year, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Barkhad Abdi.  It also gained attention when Tom Hanks was snubbed for a Best Actor nomination.

Captain Phillips

The $55 million movie earned $215.3 million at the box office.  It’s based on real life events when Somali hijackers took over the “MV Maersic Alabama” in April 2009 and kidnapped the cargo ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, for ransom.

It’s a well crafted movie by director Paul Greengrass (“United 93”) and Oscar winner Hanks does a great job playing Phillips as a strong leader in the face of terror and possible death.  Even Adbi and the other three first-time Somali actors hold their own in the movie.

If you didn’t follow the story when it was news almost five years ago, you’ll enjoy the movie more.  As I was watching it, I kept wondering if Hollywood would change something in the outcome for dramatization since it’s “based on a true story”.

After seeing the movie, was Hanks snubbed?  I don’t think so based on the two Oscar-nominated performances I’ve seen so far (Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” and Christian Bale in “American Hustle”).  Will Abdi win the Supporting Actor award?  No.

If you like an action packed thriller, you’ll definitely like “Captain Phillips”.  If you want to see Greengrass at his best, watch “United 93”.

GRADE:  B

“RUNNER RUNNER”

This thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck is entertaining enough with a few twists.

Runner Runner

Timberlake plays Richie Furst, who used to work on Wall Street and is now getting his Master’s Degree.  Since he isn’t eligible to get help with his tuition, he recruits college students to gamble online and he get a kick back.  When he’s reported, the school’s dean tells him he must quit or he won’t get his degree.

He takes a chance gambling on the site knowing the odds and loses all his money.  He then flies to Costa Rica to try to get his money back from Ivan Block (Affleck), who is the online gaming king.

It’s a cat and mouse game, but you don’t know who’s playing who.

GRADE:  C

NEW TWITTER FOLLOWER

I’m still relatively new to Twitter and I find it interesting.  I only have 142 followers, but one of my new followers is someone I’ve been a fan of for almost 30 years — Andy Bell of Erasure.

Andy Bell

Since the follow, we’ve corresponded a couple of times.  If you’re an Erasure fan, check out this encouraging and fun tweet from Andy.

Andy 2

“Make It Wonderful” is the second single from last fall’s “Snow Globe” album and the remixes will be available February 24th.  Here is the amazing “Morlando Club Mix”.

Some of the “many” things that Andy may have been talking about is the anticipated new album and tour this fall!

“BABYCAKES” & “SIGNIFICANT OTHERS”

If you read my “Random Friday Thoughts” each week, you know that I’ve been spending a lot of time on the treadmill walking and reading.  I’ve lost 8.8 pounds since the beginning of the year, but it’s getting harder now.

I’m also reading Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of The City” series.  I just finished the fourth and fifth books in the nine-book series.

“Babycakes”, the fourth book, takes place around 1983, seven years after the first book.

babycakes

The AIDS pandemic claims the life of a recurring character and a main character is dealing with the loss of his best friend and lover.  He takes a trip to England and runs into a major character that was absent in the third book.

One character becomes a television reporter after breaking the story of the survivors of the Jonestown Massacre.  Another story line involved a favorite couple trying to have a baby with sterility and infidelity playing a major role.  As the book ended, one life started and another ended.

This was my least favorite of the four books, so far, and part of it might have been the fact that it was new to me since it wasn’t made into a miniseries like the first three books.

SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

The series found its mojo with the fifth book, “Significant Others”.

Two different retreats, one for a women’s festival (lesbians) and one for older men (rich Republicans), take place on Russian River north of San Francisco in 1985.  We meet three new characters that play a big role in some of the lives of the original “Tales of The City” group.

One character faces the unknown when he takes the HIV test and what he’ll tell his wife and another is still dealing with the loss of his friend/lover from AIDS in the third fourth.  He meets a new friend that could be something long-term, but they live on opposite coasts!

I can’t wait to see what happens in the sixth book!

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

Kentucky-born singer John Conlee had a long, successful string of 27 hits on the Billboard Country charts from 1978-1987.  Of those 27 hits, 22 reached the Top Ten, and 7 topped the charts.

My two favorites are “Backside of Thirty”, his third hit and second number one from 1979, and his first country hit, “Rose Colored Glasses” that peaked at #5 in 1978.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

Have a great weekend.  I think we’re having heart-shaped pizza and a heart-shaped strawberry ice cream cake this weekend with Gretel and my sister, Tammy.

Anthony