Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann’

Random Friday Thoughts — January 20, 2017

It seems like forever since I’ve written a “Random Friday Thoughts”.

While I shared my favorite movies, songs, and albums in blogs in December, I’ve mostly written about the weather lately.

As always, I appreciate you checking out my thoughts.  Feel free to share yours and if we disagree, do it diplomatically and concisely.  I won’t put up with tired rants! 🙂

LAST MENTION (HOPEFULLY)

I did share one more blog about you know who yesterday and that means I’ll be trying very hard not to bash him either.  You guessed it —  I’m not referring to him by name.

If you missed that, click here and it’ll open in another window.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/fasten-your-seat-belts/

IT’S AN HONOR….

Playing for the president of the United States, regardless of party, would be an honor for any performer.

But, after the decisive 2016 election, singers are catching hell for signing on or skipping this year’s inauguration and parties.

Garth Brooks is facing backlash from some of his conservative fans, but he says his decision not to play the inauguration was because of his world tour.

Brooks says, “We left it up to karma. If Cincinnati goes two weekends instead of one, then of course we are out.”

Strong sales prompted him to add three more shows over that weekend.

PresidentObama

Brooks adds, “I’ll tell you with this whole presidential thing: We got one going out. Pray for him and his family. And for the president going in, pray for him and his family to guide this nation. Let’s stay together.  Love, unity — that’s what it’s all about.”

As Garth sings in his amazing anthem, “We Shall Be Free”.

https://vimeo.com/8515766

However, it was the other way around for Jennifer Holliday.  When it was announced that the “Dreamgirls” star was planning on performing, the backlash from her fans — people of color and LGBT — was immediate.

Holliday dropped out and apologized.

jh-apology

While I’m happy for that decision, I’m appalled about a reporte that Holliday and her family received death threats once it was initially announced that she would be performing.

hate

If true, those people are as disgusting as the ones spewing their hate and ignorance before and after the 2016 presidential election!

Disgusting!

…BUT YOU’RE NOT DOING IT “FOR THE COUNTRY”.

While I said “it’s an honor” to play for the president, I’ve actually heard some performers say they do it for the country.

I think that’s stretching it quite a bit.

flag

Our uniformed men and women in the armed forces do what they do for the country!

WHERE IS THE SNOW?

It’s now January 20th and it’s been over a month since we’ve had measurable snow in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa.

Officially, in the Quad Cities,  in Moline, we’re at the same point we were at last winter at this time on snowfall — 13.8″ (as of Thursday).

winter-snow

Typically, we should be at around 16″ at this point in the winter.

Since Davenport had more snow with the first storm of the season in early December, the total there is up to 16.5″ this winter compared to 11.8″ at this point last winter.

No snow is expected until later next week.

“THE WIDOW”

While we’re only a few weeks into the new year, I’ve already finished two books while walking on the treadmill.

I mostly read autobiographies, biographies, or books about real life events.  Occasionally, I’ll read fiction.

Over the past year, my favorites were “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins and “Dietland” by Sarai Walker.

Dietland

If you’re looking for a thriller with the “Gone Girl”-like twist of who’s telling the truth and what is real and what isn’t, “The Widow” by Fiona Barton is a great book to check out.

widow.jpg

Jeanie is now a widow and is being pursued by journalists to tell her story after her husband Glen is hit by a bus.

But, this isn’t the first time that she felt badgered by the television and print reporters.  The last time, it was mostly about Glen and a crime for which he was charged.

There’s also twists and turns centering around a missing child and internet porn.

“DON’T BREATHE”

This psychological thriller is now out on DVD and it’s definitely worth catching.

Three down on their luck young adults are breaking into houses in Detroit and selling what they steal for money.   Yet, they feel they’re not getting the money they deserve for the stolen merchandise.

So, they decide to target one more person, an Army veteran, who won a settlement from a wealthy family after their daughter killed his only daughter in a car accident.

He appears to be an easy target because he’s blind.  Big mistake!

Let’s just say you’ll never look at a turkey baster the same way again! If your mind is already reeling, it’s not exactly what you’re thinking! 🙂

This thriller was very successful.  It made $155.1 million on a $10 million budget!

GRADE:  A

“LIGHTS OUT”

While “Don’t Breathe” is a psychological thriller and I love those types of crime capers, “Lights Out” is more of a suspenseful, supernatural movie.

It’s like an extended movie version of an episode of “The X-Files”.

A family is left to pick up the pieces after the dad is murdered at his business by something that can only be seen when it’s dark — “lights out”.

His wife, played by Maria Bello, suffers from a mental illness.

She sinks further into depression after her husband’s death and their adolescent son, Martin, is becoming more and more distressed after seeing his mother talk to a third unseen “person” in the room.

Unable to sleep, he falls asleep in school and goes to stay with his grown sister.  We learn that she left home because of her mother’s behavior.

It’s all because of Diana and Diana’s identity drives this movie.

The $5 million movie made close to $149 million and a sequel is in the works,

GRADE:  B

MORE FROM TERESA PALMER

Teresa Palmer is the star of “Lights Out” and she’s phenomenal.

Although movie goers will recognize her from “Warm Bodies”, “I Am Number Four”, “The Grudge 2”, and “Hacksaw Ridge”, I first saw the Australian actress in her incredible second movie, “2:37” from 2006.

If you come across it, it’s definitely worth checking out.

JENNIFER HOLLIDAY

I saw Jennifer Holliday in concert at Market Days in Chicago in 2007.  She was amazing, as usual.

JH.jpg

Most people remember her as Effie White in her Tony Award-winning role on Broadway in “Dreamgirls”.

That show also gave Holliday her only Top 40 hit on the “Billboard Hot 100” chart, “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going”.  It reached #22 in 1982.  (That song also reached #1 on the R&B charts and won her a Grammy Award.)

Holliday has also scored six Top Ten hits on the Billboard Dance charts.

“And I Am Telling You…” hit the Top Ten twice, in 2001 and 2007, but it didn’t chart when the song came out originally in 1982!

She’s also topped the dance chart twice with “No Frills Love” — in 1985 in its original release and again in 1996!

This is my favorite Holliday song!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — July 25, 2014

Happy Friday!   The weekend is here and I hope you have a great one.

While this is a condensed “Random Friday Thoughts”, it’s still something unexpected and fun to post since I’ve missed my blog.

MIDDLE EAST FIGHTING

As the fighting in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine escalates, the death toll continues to rise.  So far, roughly 760 people have died in Gaza and the Israeli death toll is around 35.

Earlier this week, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines both halted flights from the U.S. to Israel, while airlines in Germany, Italy, and France joined in prompting the European Aviation Safety Agency to issue an advisory.

“PRAY FOR PEACE”

Meanwhile, country music and entertainment superstar Reba McEntire released her first new song since 2012 asking the world to “Pray For Peace”.

Reba

Reba stated on her Facebook page, “The idea to write the song “Pray For Peace” came to me last year as I was walking on our place in Gallatin, Tn. For days I’d sing, “Pray for Peace”, over and over. It wasn’t until several months later did the other parts start to fall in place. Some, not until we got into the studio to record it.”

She adds, “It’s an act of perseverance, prayer, hope, fellowship and mostly love.”

You can see the finished video (with music) here:  http://reba.com/

MADONNA CATCHES HEAT

Also, international music icon Madonna is earning praise and a lot of flak for posting this picture on social media.

Madonna Flowers

The caption was “These flowers are like the innocent children of GAZA! Who has a right to destroy them? No One!!!! CEASE FIRE! #peaceinthemiddleeast” -Madonna.”

Responses on her Facebook page have been rather passionate.

Positive:   “She Can Support whoever she wants to… so whats the Problem? Im a Madonna’s Fan, Im Not Supporting Israel, Im not supporting Gaza, Im Just Supporting The Peace, The Children’s Life are Important, Doesn’t matter the side of they come from.

And, ” Thank you Madonna for shedding light on human rights abuses in the Middle East. Every life is precious and no child should die.

Negative: “you Madonna have no rights to say this kind of things about the children in Gaza !  These children are taught from childhood to hate us and want to kill us and destroy the people of Israel ! …  “SHAME ON YOU MADONNA !  I’m not a fan anymore!”

And, “Madonna talking about politics is a bit like George w Bush trying to point Iraq on a map before attacking it.”

Madonna Defend Human Rights

This prompted Madonna to post this follow-up an hour or so later.

Madonna Hamas

EMMY NOMINATIONS — A HIT AND TWO MISSES

Kudos to the Emmy Awards for nominating transgender actress Laverne Cox is the proper category “Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series” for her work in “Orange Is The New Black”!

Hannibal-NBC-Poster-2012

Sadly, no nominations were given to the NBC series, “Hannibal” or for any of the actors.  This is by far, the best and most intelligent show on television!  Maybe next year?

And, Emmy also snubbed “The Walking Dead” for acting awards AGAIN!  There was a lot of buzz and hope that Melissa McBride would get a nomination for her heartbreaking performance this season.

the-walking-dead-season-4-emmy-ad

McBride did win the “Saturn Award” this year and is nominated for the “Gold Derby TV Award” for Best Supporting Actress.

ERASURE IS BACK!

My favorite English band, Erasure, is gearing up for the release of their latest album, “The Violet Flame” in September.

The first single, “Elevation”, just came out and it’s incredible.  Andy Bell sounds amazing and it’s a fresh new sound for the every changing electronic duo.

I can’t wait to see them in concert in Chicago on October 4th.

If you’re not all that familiar with Erasure or you want to know just how much I love their music, check out this blog from June.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/my-fall-just-got-more-exciting-with-erasure/

GOP HAS A NEW FRONT RUNNER?

The “crazy train” may have derailed in 2012, but it may be back on the tracks for the 2016 presidential race.

Bachmann

Michele Bachmann tells RealClearPolitics, “there’s a chance I could run.”

REMEMBERING TAMMY FAYE

It was seven years ago last weekend that televangelist Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner died after an 11-year battle with cancer.

tammy-faye book

I just finished her book and it made me look at her in a new light.

If you missed my blog about her, the book, her life, and her thoughts, here’s the link:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/remembering-tammy-faye/

CANCER SURVIVOR INSPIRES ME

Cancer is scary and we all know or love someone that has been touched by it.

I have and I’ve already had three cancer scares.  I just read the most incredible and the best book ever about a Chicago chef that faced his biggest fear, tongue cancer — something that could have either killed him or ended his career.

Life+On+the+Line

Check out Grant Achatz’s amazing story in this blog.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/chicago-chefs-courageous-fight-makes-me-fear-cancer-less/

STILL LOVE THIS CRAZY SONG

The Chainsmokers are an American DJ duo that have remixed songs for The Killers, Icona Pop, and Ellie Goulding.

Their first radio hit in America, #SELFIE, reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top Ten on the Billboard Dance chart.

It also reached #1 in Finland, #2 in Sweden, and #3 in Australia and Norway.

VIDEO MAY BE APPROPRIATE FOR EVERYONE!

The video has been viewed more than 181 million times on YouTube.  Now, go take a selfie!

THAT’S IT

So there’s your surprise “Random Friday Thoughts”.  Have a great weekend!

Anthony

 

Random Friday Thoughts — March 14, 2014

It’s no surprise that I love my weekends.  It’s going to be relatively mild this weekend and I hope to take a few walks in the neighborhood and get some fresh air. I hope you have a great weekend, too.

Here are my random thoughts for this week.

MICHELE BACHMANN, THE WORLD HAS CHANGED!

Minnesota Representative and failed Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is still behind the times and she thinks that President Obama, liberal judges, and gay people are out to “take away” her religious rights.

Bachmann

I guess that’s better than her thinking we want to take her husband away from her!

Marcus Bachmann

Okay, let me get back on track.  She’s upset with not only the LGBT community, but also Arizona Governor Jan Brewer because she vetoed the very bad SB 1062 last month.

Bachmann says, “There’s nothing about gays in there. But the gay community decided to make this their measure.  I think the thing that is getting a little tiresome, the gay community, they have so bullied the American people, and they’ve so intimidated politicians. The politicians fear them, so that they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere.”

ELECTION 2016

Since 2014 is just getting underway and the next presidential election is still about two years away, who are Iowa voters most excited about?

For Democrats, former Secretary of State, former First Lady, and 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has incredible support with Democrats with 88% saying it’s a good idea for her to run for President and 11% saying it’s a bad idea.

president-hillary

Current Vice President Joe Biden only has 58% of the polled saying it’s a good idea for him to run in 2016.

Potential Iowa Voters

On the Republican side, of the candidates that were asked about, 2012 Vice President wannabe Paul Ryan has the support of 67% of Republicans with only 16% thinking it’s a bad idea.

Right behind him with 65% thinking it’s a good idea is former Arkansas Governor and failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

“GAYEST PRESIDENT YET”

Kudos to Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.

Last summer, she could have been arrested for holding up this rainbow flag in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.

Tilda Swinton Moscow

Recently, at  SXSW  in Austin, Texas, she topped herself by saying this about Russian President Vladimir Putin, “Well, Russia has the gayest president ever. No, that’s an offensive thing to say—not to him, but to the gay community.”

Putin

Tilda, if I didn’t already love you for your amazing work and, especially, your performance in “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, I’d love you even more now.

WINTER, GO AWAY!

As much as I love snow, a few days of 50° or higher this week and I’m now in “spring” mode!

When it comes to farmers’ almanacs and long-term forecasts, it’s fun to looked at the books’ generalized forecasts for the upcoming winter season.  But, there’s definitely no scientific validity to the daily forecasts for each month.  It’s definitely guess-work.

But, check out this “Farmers’ Almanac” forecast from last fall that I blogged about on August 30, 2013.

Farmers' Almanac

With temperatures from December 2013 through March 2014 running more than nine degrees below average in the Quad Cities and 62.4″ of snow this winter, almost twice the average winter’s snowfall, I say “kudos” to the “Farmers’ Almanac” for nailing this winter’s outlook.

“BAGGAGE CLAIM”

The romantic comedy, “Baggage Claim”, was the funniest movie I’ve seen since “We’re The Millers” last year.

Baggage Claim

Paula Patton stars a Montana Moore, a flight attendant who finds out that her younger sister who’s still in college is engaged.  She begins to feel the pressure from her mother who’s been married five times.

When her boyfriend, Graham, invites her, by letter, to spend Thanksgiving with him in Chicago, Montana is convinced that he’s going to pop the question.  Wait, he sends a letter inviting her????  What year is this?

Well, things don’t go as planned.

That’s when her two flight attendant friends, Gail and Sam, devise a master plan to get her married or engaged before her sister’s wedding in thirty days!

Gail and Sam Baggage Claim

Jill Scott is hilarious as the promiscuous Gail and Adam Brody is adorably cute and funny as Montana gay best friend, Sam.

With the help from others that work within the airline industry, the trio tracks down Montana’s exes that are flying over the holidays to see if any of them have changed and if they could now be the “one”.

While predictable, it’s funny, sexy, and cute.  Dare I say this, but it’s a modern-day “Pretty Woman” without Julia Roberts and prostitutes.

“Baggage Claim” is a definite must-see and I’m even considering buying the DVD!

GRADE:  A-

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Spring Forward Yelling

CONGRATULATIONS BELINDA CARLISLE

Today marks a very special anniversary in former Go-Go’s lead singer, Belinda Carlisle’s life.

It was nine years ago today that she stopped using drugs after almost 30 years of abuse!

belinda_carlisle_lips_unsealed_cover

She made those revelations in her memoir, “Lips Unsealed”, which I blogged about earlier this week.

Here’s an excerpt from my blog:  “In March 2005, Belinda was in London rehearsing for some tour dates and having talks about a new venture for her, an album of French pop songs.   In heartbreaking detail in the book, she went on a cocaine frenzy in her hotel room and envisioned herself dead of an overdose.  It gave her the strength to do something she had never been able to do.  She was going to finish the last of the cocaine sitting on the table and quit cold turkey.”

Belinda

Belinda, congratulations on nine years.  I know that overcoming an addiction is a daily fight and I wish you and your family the very best.

Here’s Belinda from last year with “Sun”.

If you missed my blog about Belinda, here’s the link:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/belinda-carlisle-from-the-germs-the-go-gos-to-beating-demons/

AMERICANS BECOMING MORE OPEN-MINDED

There will always be prejudiced against <insert minority group here>.  Otherwise, what would close-minded people have to talk about?

I want to comment and focus on the LGBT community and marriage equality.

“USA Today” reported in late February that a study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows that the number of Americans supporting marriage equality has risen from 32% in 2003 to 53% last year!

LoveMarriageEquality

In that same time period, 17 states and the District of Columbia have allowed same-sex marriages.

The PRRI study also shows that in the past ten years, the number of people who say same-sex marriages are against their religious beliefs dropped from 62% to 51%.

The top three religions that were deemed most “unfriendly” to the LGBT community were the Catholic Church (58%), the Mormon Church (53%) and Evangelical Christian churches (51%).

gays_in_church

Robert P. Jones, the CEO of PRRI, says that 24% of those polled left their childhood religion and now have no religious identity.  One of the main reasons given was their church’s negative teachings or treatment of LGBT people.

In younger people, ages 18 to 33, that number jumps to 31%!

MILEY-KATY CAT FIGHT

There’s a pop music cat fight going on now and Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Elton John are not involved!

Recently, at Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz Tour” stop in Los Angeles, Katy leaned in to give Miley an innocent kiss during the song, “Adore You”.

Miley Katy Kiss

So, here’s Katy’s side of the story.

Katy on Miley's Tongue

Well, Miley didn’t take kindly to Katy’s comment and Tweeted this.

Miley Response

Ladies, since we never really know where other people’s tongues have been, let’s just use Scope, kiss, and make up!

“ROMEO & JULIET”

We all know the story of the dreaded feud between the Montagues and the Capulets that doomed the love affair of their children, Romeo and Juliet.

In the latest box office bomb, Romeo is played by the stunningly drop-dead gorgeous English actor Douglas Booth and Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) portrays Juliet.

romeojuliet1

The movie is definitely getting a bad rap.  If it wasn’t bad enough that the $24 million dollar movie only made $1.2 million in theaters, it was mostly panned by critics, and has an approval rating of only 21% on the website, “Rotten Tomatoes”!

I didn’t think the movie lacked energy as many have stated.  If you want to see a new version of the classic story, you won’t be thoroughly disappointed.

And, look on the bright side, if you start watching it and you think I’m wrong about the movie being okay, just stare at the beautiful Douglas Booth and make the best of it.

romeo-douglas-booth

GRADE:  B

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

Texan Clay Walker first appeared on the country music scene in 1993 when his debut single, “What’s It To You” and its follow-up, “Live Until I Die”, both topped the Billboard Country chart.

He was so dreamy and quickly became my favorite male country singer.

Clay Walker

I finally saw him in concert in Merrillville, Indiana, in early 1996.

Clay charted with 29 country hits with 17 of them reaching the Top Ten.

Of those, six topped the chart!  Including the two I previously mentioned, “Dreaming With My Eyes Open” (1994), “If I Could Make A Living” (1994), “This Woman And This Man” (1995), and “Rumor Has It” (1997) were also chart toppers.

I have many favorites of Clay’s, but I think this is my absolute favorite.

THAT’S IT

Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend to you.  If you have a lot of green beer, make sure you have a designated driver!

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — October 18

It’s been a hectic week since I celebrated my birthday last weekend and this weekend is going to be another crazy one.

After work this morning, we’re off to Chicago for my annual physical and then this evening, we take off for Zurich, Switzerland.

We’ll be there for about 24 hours and then fly to Budapest, Hungary.  Originally, that’s where we were going to board our “Sound of Music” Danube River cruise of Europe to celebrate Ray’s 50th birthday.  But, there is a mechanical problem at a dam and the cruise ship cannot get to Budapest.  We now have to take a two-hour bus ride and embark on the cruise in Bratislava, Slovakia!

Sound of Music Cruise

If you missed the details of the trip, here’s the blog I wrote about it back in August:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/plans-for-a-milestone-birthday/

Here are my random thoughts for the week!  Enjoy your weekend!

HOBBY LOBBY ISN’T VERY HOLLY JOLLY!

It’s not even Halloween yet, so many of you might not be thinking of decorating for Christmas.  But, if you are, you can find anything you want for the holidays at Hobby Lobby!

Hobby Lobby

That is, unless you celebrate Hanukkah!

The chain of more than 550 stores nationwide is owned by conservative billionaire Steve Green and it seems that Hobby Lobby refused to carry Hanukkah items like paper dreidels, menorah-making kits, or greeting cards because of Green’s “Christian values”.

hobby-lobby-jewish-hanukkah-goods

New Jersey blogger Ken Berwitz made this public in late September.  He even quoted a Hobby Lobby employee telling a woman asking about bar mitzvah cards, “We don’t cater to you people”.

The company then responded to Religion News Service, “Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is currently working with our buyers over our merchandise selection. Our customers have brought this to our attention and we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future.”

Steve Green

After the uproar, it now appears that things will change at some Hobby Lobby stores.  Green issued this statement, “We do not have any problems selling items that celebrate Jewish holidays.  We have in the past and have decided we would try it again in some of the markets where we have Jewish population.”

A group that fights anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League, accepts Green’s apology.  The group says, “We are satisfied with the apology of Hobby Lobby and appreciate the company’s efforts to investigate the incident and to ensure that it does not happen again.”

TORN ABOUT ELTON JOHN’S DECISION

Weeks ago, Cher declined an invitation to play at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, because of the country’s anti-gay laws it implemented this past summer.

Boycott Sochi 2014

However, Elton John refused to cancel his early December shows in Kazan and Moscow stating, “I’m aware of the situation and I will be diplomatic. I’m not going to go into Russia and tell [Vladimir Putin] to go to hell and things like that. That’s not the way things are done. You chip away at something, and you hope there will be dialogue and that the situation can get better. You don’t just go in there with guns blazing and say, ‘Well, to hell with you.’ Because they’re going to say, ‘To hell with you, and get out of the country.’ That’s not going to solve anything.”

las-vegas-shows-elton-john

I understand that Elton playing those two shows will raise awareness of the deplorable laws that are in place to target Russia’s LGBT community.  But, it’s an uphill battle since those laws and documented cases of violence toward gays are supported not only by Russian officials, but a large portion of the Russian population.

This Pew Research survey came out two months ago.

Anti-Gay Russia

When Madonna and Lady Gaga played shows in Russia, they spoke out against the country’s barbaric attitudes to Russia’s LGBT community and faced fines and jail time.

There’s a part of me that wants Elton to go there and speak up and say “screw you”!  However, I’ll be appalled if he performs and takes the money without making a stand for equality and progress.

…BUT SOME AREN’T TORN ABOUT ELTON PLAYING THERE

Seidzhagfar Lutfullin, a conservative imam from Russia’s predominantly Muslim Tartarstan region, wants the concerts cancelled.

He thinks by allowing Elton to play that God could rain destruction on Russia as act of revenge because “sodomy…is what the world famous homosexual Elton John, (sic) who recently wed a man in public, is promoting.”

Other conservative groups want Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the concerts.

Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill

And, a coordinator for the Christian group Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods says, “The statement by this gay guy – Elton John – about his support for gays and other perverts during the upcoming concert in Moscow is an insult to all Russian citizens.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Right

Confusing Wine SelectionHappy Hour

SERIOUSLY, LIGHTEN UP!

I admit that I’m a very strong supporter for equality and I’ll be the first to stand up to someone being anti-gay or derogatory.

However, I think that people can be a little oversensitive and try to find things to be upset about.

I love Britney Spears!  I did fifteen years ago when “…Baby One More Time” came out and topped the charts.  I was concerned when she had her breakdown and I thought her career was over, but she sure showed me and the rest of the world with “Femme Fatale” and that tour solidified “It’s Britney, Bitch”.

Britney July 2011

Some people think that her use of the word “bitch” is part of her catering to the “gay” audience.  Seriously?  People can’t just enjoy the music and not think that it’s “too gay”.  Do you think that Madonna, Lady Gaga, or Cher sits around and wonders if they cater to a certain demographic?  They know who still lines their pockets with gold!

Recently, Britney told a DJ, “A lot of my hair stylists and my beauty team that I work with are gay so I hang out with gays a lot and I just think they’re adorable and hilarious.”  And, then some gay bloggers took issue with her choice of words.

Let me say that if anyone ever want to call me “adorable and hilarious”, I’m okay with it!

Get a life, Mary!  Wait, maybe I shouldn’t refer to a man as “Mary”!  Well, here’s a little Britney with a “rock & roll” edge.  It doesn’t sound that “gay”, does it? 🙂

“THE MEANING OF MATTHEW”

It was 15 years ago last week that 21-year-old Matt Shepard died from injuries after being relentlessly beaten and tied to a wooden fence in Laramie, Wyoming.

After starting the Matthew Shepard Foundation with her husband, Dennis, and their son, Logan, Judy Shepard released her book, “The Meaning of Matthew:  My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed”, in 2009.  I just got around to reading it and it’s fantastic.

The Meaning of Matthew

While we’ve read the tragic headlines and seen the pictures of Matthew and his killers splashed across the news, this book lets us know who Matt was from the people who knew him.

Judy said it best in the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, “You know him as Matthew.  To us he was Matt.  I have tried to reconcile the two within these pages.  It would be unfair to Matt if only Matthew’s story was told.  Matt was so much more than “Matthew Shepard, the gay twenty-one-year-old University of Wyoming college student.”  He had a family and countless friends.  He had a life before the night he was tied to that fence.”

I only have one small complaint about the book —  no pictures of the Matt that the Shepard family remembers.  Judy talks about Matt dressing as Dolly Parton twice as a child and I would have loved to see that photo.

But, that’s minor!  Check out this book because it’s phenomenal.

“BATES MOTEL”

While we await the arrival of the final season of “Dexter” on DVD (November 12th), Ray and I checked out the first season of A&E’s “Bates Motel”.

The 10-episode thriller focuses on the lives of a young Normal Bates (“Psycho”) and his very alive mother as they start a new life in a small Oregon town and manage their new business, the infamous Bates Motel.

Bates-Motel-Title

Freddie Highmore (“Toast”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and “Five Children and It”) is creepy and enchanting as 17-year-old Norman Bates.

Max Thieriot and Mike Vogel (“Under The Dome” and “Cloverfield”) smolder on the screen as Norma Bates’ son, Dylan, and her lover, Deputy Shelby, respectively.

Max Thieriotbates-motel-trust-me-vera-farmiga

But, let’s talk about the real star of “Bates Motel”, Vera Farmiga, who was nominated for an Emmy for her performance of Norma Bates.  (She was also nominated for an Oscar for 2009’s “Up In The Air”.)

Farmiga is electrifying from the first moment we see her and she is totally captivating in every scene.  Regardless of the scene she’s in, whether it’s violent, sad, or happy, you can’t take your eyes away from her!

)Norma Norman

I want a one-way ticket to this crazy-town.

And, a final note.  The first episode of the series features W. Earl Brown, as Keith Summers, the former owner of the Bates Motel, known then as the Seafairer Motel.

W Earl Brown Keith Summers

Earl is from western Kentucky and we were in the Radio-Television department together at Murray State University and I was one of two actors in a one-act play he directed back in the early-1980s!

He’s also starred in “There’s Something About Mary”, “Scream”, and HBO’s “Deadwood”.

Way to go, Earl!

NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Except this….

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

The world first became aware of Ke$ha when she sang back-up on Flo Rida’s #1 hit “Right Round” in 2009.  Later that year, she scored her first solo #1 on her first try with “Tik Tok”.

Kesha

Since then she’s tallied up a total of 13 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  Ten of those reached the Top Ten, including another #1 hit, “We R Who We R”.

Pitbull

Pitbull has charted with 18 Top 40 hits on the Hot 100.  Of those, nine have reached the Top Ten.  He topped the chart with “Give Me Everything” with Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer in 2011.

pitbull-kesha

This summer, we drove to Tinley Park, just outside of Chicago, to see Ke$ha and Pitbull in concert.  While they didn’t perform a number together, they must have been working on something behind the scene!

“Timber”, which features Ke$ha, is the first single from Pitbull’s upcoming album.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Earlier I featured Britney Spears’ version of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”.

While Britney’s version hit the Top Ten in Germany and Ireland, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts spent seven weeks at the top of the chart with the song in 1982 here in the U.S.

Jett scored eight other hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40, but only two of them reached the Top Ten — “Crimson and Clover” (#7, 1982) and “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (#8, 1988).

That’s it for today.  Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 31

Happy Friday everyone!  Another weekend is upon us and I hope you have a nice one planned.  Today is Gretel’s last day of school and her last day as a sixth grader!  I think she wants to go out to lunch at Osaka Buffet, one of our favorite places to eat.  I should do it because tomorrow is June 1st and that is the date that Ray and I agreed upon to eat healthier, limit our buffets, and exercise more.

This is also Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  We might go and check it out.   The late, great Miss ABBA and I went to a couple of the festivities.  This picture is from the 2010 Quad City Pride.

May 2013 005

I’ll have to check with the weatherman to see which day would be better! 🙂

ONE LESS RAT IN THE RAT RACE

Early Wednesday morning, I got the best news that brought a smile to my face.  There will be one less rat in the 2014 “rat race” election season.

Failed Republican presidential wannabe and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann announced that she will not be seeking re-election.  She said, “I fully anticipate the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term.  They always seemed to attempt to find a dishonest way to disparage me. But I take being the focus of their attention and disparagement as a true compliment of my public service effectiveness.”

michele bachmann

The woman is, how do you say it, bat-sh*t crazy.  She’s currently being investigated because of her campaign spending and in the last Congressional election spent a lot of money and barely won re-election with less than two percentage points.  Her competitor in that race, Jim Graves, recently announced that he would be running again in 2014.

Now, if I didn’t filter how I really felt, I’d say she came to realization that American handily told her we didn’t want her for president, that it took a lot of money to barely convince Minnesota to keep her in office the last time, and keeping her husband in the closet is a full-time job!   But, that would be mean and that is just a rumor about her husband — for now! 🙂

Marcus Bachmann

I would say good riddance, but Bachmann vows to continue fighting for traditional marriage and family values.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

SHARKCrazyStalker

We The People

GALLUP POLL

A recent Gallup poll shows that gay or lesbian relations are accepted by 19% more people today than just 12 years ago.  Today, with twelve states and the District of Columbia with marriage equality (and Illinois is considering it), 59% of Americans polled find gay or lesbian relationships acceptable.  In 2001, only 40% did so.

Also, Americans find having babies and having sex outside of marriage much more acceptable today than a decade ago.   Even divorce and polygamy are 9% and 7% more acceptable today, respectively, than just a decade ago.

Gallup Poll

Of the 20 topics surveyed, the most unacceptable now compared to 2001 is medical testing on animals.  It’s down 9% in the past decade.  Also seeing a decrease in acceptability today, compared to 2001, is doctor-assisted suicides.  That is down 4%.

REMEMBERING “DR. DEATH”

While more Americans find doctor-assisted suicides less acceptable today than a decade ago, according to that recent Gallup poll, I’m taking a moment to remember the man whose name is synonymous with that subject.  He died two years ago next week.

Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan born pathologist, gained national attention in late 1998 when he allowed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to air a videotape he made two months earlier of the voluntary euthanasia of 52-year-old Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating disease that causes progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

After a two-day trial, a Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder.  After serving time, he was paroled eight years later.

He may have been involved in more than 130 deaths and Kevorkian told “Time” magazine, “My specialty is death.”

So, what is your view on doctor-assisted suicides?  Feel free to tell me, even if we disagree.

I’m all for it.  I’ve seen people wither away to almost nothing in so much pain. I look at their lives and I see that some have no quality of life.  My mother died of a sudden heart attack at age 47.  While we were unable to say goodbye, I’m thankful that she never suffered for a long period like some people do.

If I’m ever in a terminal health situation where there is no chance of recovery (short of a miracle) and I’m in unimaginable pain, I’d welcome being euthanized.  Why is it that we’re in a position in this country where we have to watch our loved ones suffer until they die naturally, but we can do the “humane” thing to keep our beloved pets from immense suffering when they reach that point of no return by euthanizing them?

february-3-2012-daddy-a-abba

On February 3, 2012, Miss ABBA, our golden retriever that was just like a child to us, took that final R-I-D-E in the car.  I carried her to the car that morning and into the vet’s office.  I sat on the floor holding her when the doctor administered the two shots and she peacefully crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

Many of you already know that Miss ABBA lived ten fantastic months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was only given two to three months to live.  She never got sick or down until the day before she died.

I’m blessed for the almost 12 years Miss ABBA and I had together.  I’m so glad that she never had to suffer and that I had that option to ease her pain when her quality of life ended.  I would want the same for myself or for my human counterparts.

RICK SPRINGFIELD ROCKS!

Let me lighten the mood now by saying last Friday night’s Rick Springfield concert in the Quad Cities was incredible.  The ’80s heart throb played for about two hours and he still sounds as good as he did back in his heyday when “Jessie’s Girl” was #1 and he had other top ten hits like “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“DEXTER SEASON 7 IS AWESOME!”

We are eight episodes into season 7 of “Dexter” and I absolutely love this season.  Only four more episodes to go and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.  Please don’t spoil it for me or for anyone who hasn’t seen this season, but I hope Joey Quinn bites the dust.  I’m over his character. 🙂

As for “Dexter”, fans already know that the new season begins on Showtime June 30th and this will be the final season!!!!!!!!  😦

Who’s going to be my favorite serial killer then?  And, how will I handle not seeing sexy Michael C. Hall?

Dexter-michael-c-hall

So, what are your favorite seasons?  Other than season seven, my other favorites are seasons one, four, and six!

SPEAKING OF SERIAL KILLERS

Good news!!!!  The Hollywood website, deadline.com, is reporting that “Hannibal” has been renewed for a 13 episode second season!

hannibal

There was concern that the graphic drama about our favorite cannibal might be cancelled because it only brings in a rating of about 4.7 million people weekly.

But, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “We’re so proud of Bryan’s [executive producer Bryan Fuller] vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling.  There are many great stories still to be told.”

And, here’s an interesting fact.  NBC says that “Hannibal” is the youngest drama on NBC, CBS, and ABC, with a median viewer age of 45.7 years.

AMAZING ALBUM I KNOW YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE!!!

While I love all genres of music, I’m partial to dance and 1980s.  I’ve moved away from country music.  I mean, no country radio without new Reba and Patty Loveless music is boring.  You can take your Taylor Swift and… what was I saying? 🙂

I have to highly recommend an album that came out last fall that I just can’t stop listening to and it’s been nine months.  It’s “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago band, the White Tie Affair.  I saw them at Market Days in Chicago a few years ago and Chris is amazing.

Push Rewind

I totally agree with “Entertainment Weekly” when it said “Push Rewind” was “the best pop album you probably haven’t discovered yet.”  Meanwhile, iTunes called “Push Rewind”, the “best breakthrough pop album of 2012” and his first solo hit, “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, one of the “best songs of 2012”.

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” reached #25 on the Billboard “Pop Songs” chart, which is based on radio airplay.

If you liked the first single, you’re going to love the CD.  “Keep Me Crazy” (the second and new single), “Hurricane”, and “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” are all fun upbeat dance numbers.  If those are a little too dance-oriented for you, you’ll love the mid-tempo tracks “Don’t Mind If I Do”, “Best Mistake”, and “Invincible”.

When Wallace slows it down for the ballads “I’ll Be There” and “Ready To Fall”, his soulful voice just captivates you.

He closes the disc with the perfect slow-building mid-tempo “Do It All Again”.

There aren’t too many albums where I love every song.  This is one of them.  I sure hope that radio and America learn who Chris Wallace is and that he becomes the star he should be.

GRADE:  A

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Two years ago this week on June 4, 2011, we went to the Chicago suburbs to celebrate Gretel’s 10th birthday by seeing “Glee” in concert.  Gretel absolutely loves the show and Kurt is her favorite character.  And, while he was walking by, sexy crooner Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, shook hands with me!

Gretel June 4 2011Darren Criss June 4 2011

And, this week last year, we were in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the week of Memorial Day.  We had a fantastic time just chilling by the Lake.  We also did a little boating, fishing, and we visited Arnold’s Park, an amusement park.  That’s where we took this cute family photo.

Arnolds Park May 30 2012

“PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

Canadian Bryan Adams has scored 22 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

After reaching #10 with his first American hit, “Straight From The Heart” in 1982, his follow-up, “Cuts Like A Knife” reached #15.

Of his 22 hits, 11 of them reached the Top Ten here in the U.S.  Of those, four reached #1:  “Heaven” (1985), “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991) from the motion picture, “Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves”, “All For Love” (1993) , and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1995) with Sting and Rod Stewart, from the movie “Don Juan DeMarco”.

ENOUGH FOR THIS WEEK

With the severe weather Thursday and working until after 6 p.m., I had to cut this short a little.  But, it’s enough for one week.

Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for checking out my blog of random thoughts!

Anthony

I’m Imposing A Political Gag Order on Myself

This is it!  I’m done with it.

Mark October 18th on your calendar because unless something happens over the next few weeks to tick me off, I’m not going to mention the race for the White House again until I breathe a sigh of relief on the evening of Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

I’ve made it clear that President Obama has my vote and I admit that he’s had a rough four years.  It also should come as no surprise that I think Republican presidential wannabe Mitt Romney is having an equally hard time keeping his stories straight to even know what he thinks or believes.

On election night, I’ll be glued to the television just like I did when I was younger watching the returns come in from around the country.  I will waiting to see if America chooses to re-elect President Obama (which I think they will by a small margin) or if Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States.

However, that is just one race that I’m concerned with this year.  I’ll be watching to see how the great people of Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington vote on making marriage possible for all residents in their respective states.

In Maryland and Washington, the governors of those states initiated this process and things look good for marriage equality.  A SurveyUSA poll in Washington show that 55% support marriage equality and 40% are opposed.

And, in Minnesota, things are looking good for marriage equality for the first time this election season.

On the ballot this November is a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.  The latest poll from Public Policy Polling show that only 46% support this ban and 49% are opposed!

Independent voters are credited with the swing in the polling.  52% now oppose the ban.

Another race that is important to me is also in Minnesota.  I want to see former failed Republican presidential candidate (and whack job) Michele Bachmann voted out of office.

The latest poll from SurveyUSA/KSTP shows Bachmann leading her Democratic opponent, Jim Graves, in the race for the 6th Congressional District by a margin of 50-41%.

What is shocking to me is that Bachmann has an 18% lead among the men polled, while Graves leads in women polled by 1%.

Graves is definitely feeling the momentum in this race and there’s no disputing the fact that Bachmann feels threatened in her re-election campaign.

I was very vocal last spring about Bachmann’s anti-gay rhetoric when she was a contender for the Republican nominee for president and that is why I want her voted out of office in Minnesota this fall.  This woman is mean.

Bachmann’s lesbian stepsister, Helen LaFave  says that she’s “hurt and disappointed that my sister is leading this charge.”  LaFave and her partner, Nia, have been together for almost 25 years.

In the past, she sent Bachmann a letter that the candidate never responded to and said, “You’ve taken aim at me.  You’ve taken aim at my family.”

Family is everything and everyone should do whatever they can for their family.  Bachmann’s children have campaigned for her and I sense that the congresswoman loves her family — as long as your family is not gay.

Anthony

 

Allies Come Forward in the Fight, While Opponents Preach The Same Tired Story

“Should marriage be redefined in our state, the very foundational nature of marriage for the good and strength of human society would be harmed beyond repair.”  Those are the words of consistently anti-gay Washington Bishop Peter Sartain.  (He was a Chicago-area bishop until 2010 when he moved to Seattle and I’ve posted an interesting link at the bottom of the blog on why this man should not really be casting stones and living in a glass house!)

Washington is one of four states that can make marriage equality a reality for all of its residents in November and this has some pushing the panic button to scare people.

The last time I checked Iowa was still a state and it had not fallen into the Mississippi River.  As a matter of fact, with over three million people, the population has increased 4.6% since the 2000 census.  Since the state legalized same-sex marriages in 2009, people are not leaving Iowa in droves for California and North Carolina, two states that recently voted down marriage equality.

When Americans go to the polls in November, the biggest contest will be to re-elect President Barack Obama or replace him with Mitt Romney.  This race is important to me and so are four other ballot measures that I cannot even vote on because they are in other states.

Voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington will decide if marriage equality is important to them and if every loving couple that live in their state should have the same rights.    Six states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New  Hampshire, and New York) and the District of Columbia already allow same-sex couples to marry.

Those rights were awarded by legislation or court rulings.  When voters in the previously mentioned four states go to the polls and approve marriage equality, history will be made and the tide will turn.

Sarah Warbelow, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy group, says, “We’re feeling positive. The reality is, we haven’t won a ballot measure on marriage yet.  I think it’s very reasonable and realistic to expect that we’ll win one or more of these ballot measures; certainly the polling suggests that all four are … a possibility.”

And, while polling numbers before an election can be off and misleading, there is definitely reason for optimism.

In Maine, a mid-September poll showed 53% support marriage equality, while 44% are opposed.

Last February, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire pushed forward and made same-sex marriage legal in that state.  However, enough signatures were gathered to force a vote in November.  The good news is that an early September poll shows that 56% are for upholding that law and making marriage equality a reality there, while 38% want it overturned.

The same thing happened in Maryland.  On March 1, 2012, Governor Martin O’Malley made same-sex marriage legal, but opponents got enough signatures to put it on the November ballot.  In a July poll, 54% of those polled are for marriage equality and 40% are against it.

However, in Minnesota, the current home state of conservative whack job Michele Bachmann, the race is much closer with 48% wanting to ban same-sex marriage and 47% for it.  While Bachmann has never been shy with her anti-marriage equality rhetoric during her failed presidential bid, she is facing stiff competition for her congressional seat in Minnesota from Jim Graves.

Graves states, “My stand is, I’ve been for 39 years in a loving and committed relationship.  I’m very fortunate. It’s been the best thing in my life and, by gosh, everybody in America has the same rights under the law and everyone should be able to marry who they want to, when they want to. As far as what churches want to do, or synagogues, again, I believe in separation of church and state. I don’t care what the Catholic Church wants to do. I happen to be born a Catholic. But under the law everybody has the same rights and I believe very strongly in dignity and respect for everybody.”

And, Graves isn’t the only high profile ally we have in Minnesota and in Maryland.

Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a father of two, is for marriage equality.  He has been fighting for it since 2009.

Once Maryland’s governor signed marriage equality into law this year, Ayanbadejo’s support meant even more.  This provoked Maryland state assembly delegate Emmett Burns enough that he wrote a letter to the owner of the Ravens on official state letterhead demanding that he “take the necessary action … to inhibit such expressions from your employee.”

The Ravens’ owner and president responded with “we support Brendon’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment” and Brendon vowed not to remain silent.  And, while football is a tough contact sport, Ayanbadejo got support from another NFL  player halfway across the country in a state where the fight for marriage equality was also being waged — in Minnesota.

Minnesota Vikings’ punter Chris Kluwe, a married father of two, wrote the most eloquent letter defending Brendon and marriage equality and blasting Burns.  And, he added a new phrase to lexicon of gay life! 🙂

Kluwe wrote, “I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful c–kmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population.”

If you are Catholic, please don’t take this the wrong way.  However, I really have issues with people like Bishop Sartain.  Here is more of the quote I posted at the beginning of this blog:

“We urge our Catholic people to uphold our consistent Catholic teaching on marriage for the good of the Church, society, husbands and wives and their children. Therefore, we bishops reject the redefinition of marriage as a ‘civil contract between two persons.’ … Redefining marriage as a means of dealing with important issues of equality and respect for all persons will not achieve the goal of defending the rights of all and would overturn centuries of common law. To suddenly change the God-given and time-honored understanding of marriage would be a very harmful thing for our state and for the world. … Should marriage be redefined in our state the very foundational nature of marriage for the good and strength of human society would be harmed beyond repair.”

Bishop Sartain should not be condemning marriage equality and talking about how “human society would be harmed beyond repair” for two men or two women to get married.  According to this blog, he has other skeletons that he should be working to get out of the closet rather than fighting against same-sex marriage.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/09/j_peter_sartain_new_seattle_ar.php

It’s nice to know we have people like Governor Gregoire, Governor O’Malley, and Governor Andrew Cuomo (New York), Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Jim Graves, and people like you (I know I have many friends that support marriage equality)  on our side, the right side of history, and I wish we had fewer people like Bishop Sartain and his followers that speak out against equality while closing their eyes and ears to indiscretions in their own house.

Anthony