Posts Tagged ‘Olly Alexander’

Random Friday Thoughts — October 29, 2021

Hello there and Happy Halloween!

The way I trick or treat continues to change. Yes, I’ll still take Snickers, Baby Ruth, Milky Way, Almond Joy, and Twizzlers if you offer.

But, this is more my way of thinking now!

I’ve only posted two new features over the past six weeks.

The first was about the biggest events and my 100 favorite songs of the second era of my life from 1999-2021 (since I did one last year for my first 35 years).

Here’s the link: https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2021/10/08/my-life-the-next-era-1999-2021/

The last one was some stories about my recent birthday trip to Greece.

Here’s the link: https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2021/10/22/my-big-fat-greek-holiday-2021/

I supplied the links if you didn’t get a chance to read them the first time or if you want to re-visit them.

While I’m not ready to start back my weekly “Random Friday Thoughts”, I want to share some with you this week just for the fun of it.

Happy Halloween! Be safe and beware of psychos!

I don’t mean the ones that are intentionally scary because of Hollywood and Halloween! 🙂

A “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” MEMORY!

Ten years ago, my golden retriever, ABBA, went trick-or-treating for the last time.

Here she is during “surgery”!

She went as a lobotomized dog with a rubber brain under the bandage. However, as you can see, she decided that part wasn’t for her when the trick-or-treating started! 🙂

ABBA was such a trooper and she got her own fun-size “3 Musketeer” bar and loved eating it!

Yes, I took it out of the paper! 🙂

At the bottom of today’s blog, another fun and very scandalous Halloween flashback of me partying in Houston in 1992!

“HALLOWEEN KILLS”

After a year delay because of the pandemic, I was excited to see “Halloween Kills”. After seeing it, I’m glad I watched it for free on Peacock instead of paying to see it in the theater.

First I’ll share what I liked about the movie: I loved that some of the actors from 1978’s “Halloween” returned. Some may be in 2022’s “Halloween Ends” and a few won’t!

The movie also filled in some of the blanks from what happened in 1963 when Michael Myers first killed to his 1978 killing spree in the original movie that kicked off the franchise.

To add to some of those tidbits, a new actor played Dr. Sam Loomis and the resemblance was startling! (Donald Pleasence died in 1995 after starring in five of the franchise’s first six movies. “Halloween Kills” is the 12th installment!)

The next to the last kill in the movie was phenomenal and the moment of death is classic. Also, the final kill was surprising and shocking!

Now what I didn’t like about it!

For starters, the lack of a storyline for Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode! After seeing this movie, I get it that they’re saving her for the “finale” (yeah, right) of the franchise.

The whole mob scene at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital went on way too long. The mentality of the mob was eerily similar to the real-life deadly events at the Capitol in January 2021 in Washington D.C. And, to think that the fictional mob scene in “Halloween Kills” was shot in the fall of 2019!

While I enjoyed the movie as a whole, I’ll never watch it again!

This movie’s predecessor, 2018’s “Halloween” made $255.6 million worldwide. “Halloween Kills” is a box office smash at $93.8 million worldwide against a $20 million budget.

Final thoughts: The trailer is better than the movie, you see many of the kills, you saved money by not going to see it, and you didn’t waste almost two hours!

GRADE: C

P.S. ONE MORE “HALLOWEEN KILLS” THOUGHT

Watch the 2018 “Halloween” movie instead. It’s much better.

Here’s what I said back then and I gave it a “B”:

“It was very entertaining and I loved the winks back to all of the other movies in the franchise that this one pretended didn’t exist.

I loved that the movie was very violent (Micheal Myers as a practicing dentist!).  It could be because he’s psychotic and has been locked up and drugged for 40 years!

While the movie was great, it didn’t scare me since nothing can compare to the 1978 original!”

“CRUELLA”

If horror isn’t your thing and that brand of “Halloween” violence may be too much for you, another fun Halloween-ish movie to check out is “Cruella”. (“Halloween-ish” because Cruella likes to dress up!)

While it came out in May, I just saw it on my flight back from Greece and it was very enjoyable.

This movie introduces us to Estella Miller, who as an adult becomes Cruella de Vil. Oscar winner Emma Stone (“La La Land”) is incredible.

But, my favorite character was Baroness von Hellman played by two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson (one of those Academy Awards was for acting and the other was for writing.)

GRADE: B

HOLD UP, ONE MORE “CRUELLA” THOUGHT

While Stone was incredible as a young Cruella and will be returning in the sequel, she’s no Glenn Close from 1996’s “101 Dalmatians” and 2000’s “102 Dalmatians”.

But, then again, Emma Stone has an Oscar and Close is, sadly, an eight-time Academy Award nominee without a win! Sacrilegious.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Who doesn’t love donuts (or doughnuts)? I know they are so, so unhealthy, but yum.

“THE DONUT KING”

I just watched the informative and entertaining 2020 documentary, “The Donut King”.

It tells the story of Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy, who came to United States in the 1970s, and built a multi-million dollar empire by baking donuts.

I was blown away by the fact that almost all of the privately owned donut shops in California at one time were owned by Cambodians!

This is a great rags to riches story! But, there’s a twist — how he ends up losing his fortune!

GRADE: B+

ANOTHER NIGHT AT THE “DISCO”

If you regularly read my blog, you know that I was absolutely enthralled by Kylie Minogue’s critically acclaimed, “Disco” album last November. It brought fun and optimism to a pandemic world!

And, I almost lost it in the fall of 2020 when Kylie commented on my tweet!

Now, I’m so excited that Kylie is ready for another round of late night partying, escapism, and disco beats with “Disco: Guest List Edition”!

It features duets and remixes with Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware, Gloria Gaynor, and Years & Years (Olly Alexander).

While that would be exciting enough, there’s also going to be a deluxe version, which features five discs (the original “Disco” deluxe album, the new Guest List Edition of duets and remixes, the Live Infinite Disco Livestream concert DVD, and a CD disc of the music from that virtual concert, plus a BluRay of the concert!)

I’m in heaven!!! I’m also captivated by the new video from Kylie and Years & Years “A Second To Midnight”, the album’s first release.

I keep watching it over and over! Is it November 12th yet? I want my new “Disco”!

AND, ONE MORE KYLIE NOTE!!!

The Queen liked a second tweet of mine this summer with three blue hearts! 💙💙💙

Now, if only there could be a “Disco 2022 Tour”, I’d never have to see another another concert after that!

“PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY”

My final movie thought is about “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”. While it was entertaining, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the original.

Back in the spring of 2018, I highly recommended “Peter Rabbit” and gave it a “B+”!

GRADE: C+

“AMERICAN HORROR STORY: DOUBLE FEATURE”

The latest season of “American Horror Story” just wrapped and it couldn’t end soon enough.

It was divided into two parts (six episodes of “Red Tide” and four episodes of “Death Valley”).

While I enjoyed some of it, it was the worst season of “American Horror Story” and there have been some stinkers!

I definitely didn’t enjoy most of the season, yet I kept watching!

GRADE: D

Now that this season is over (and the series has been renewed for three more seasons!), how do the ten seasons rank in my opinion?

#10 “Double Feature” (season ten, 2021)

#9 “Freak Show” (season four, 2014) — The highlight!

#8 “Hotel” (season five, 2015)

#7 “Roanoke” (season six, 2016)

#6 “Apocalypse” (season eight, 2018)

#5 “Coven” (season three, 2013)

#4 “1984” (season nine, 2019)

#3 “Murder House” (season one, 2011)

#2 “Cult” (season seven, 2017)

#1 “Asylum” (season two, 2012)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Houston 1992

And, then there’s this one from 2010. I think I made a great Lady Gaga!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

My Life – The Next Era (1999-2021)

It’s time for the sequel of my life!

If you’re a regular reader of my random thoughts, you know I love making lists and countdowns.

On September 11, 2020, I posted a blog of the 13 biggest events of my first 35 years. (13 because I was born on the 13th and it’s my favorite number).

Along with that, I intended to share my 35 favorite songs of those first 35 years. Well, the initial list ended up with 236 songs, so I decided to be like the Billboard Hot 100 and share my top 100 songs of that era of my life.

In case you didn’t see it last year or last week when I posted it again, here it is:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/my-life-the-first-35-years/

Well, it was well-received, so why not be like Hollywood and make a sequel???

So, here are the top eight events that shaped the next era of my life (1999-2021) along with not my just my 22 favorite songs of the past 22 years, but my 100 favorites of that era!

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY LAST 22 YEARS

MEETING REBA McENTIRE (APRIL 2005)

While Reba McEntire became a powerhouse superstar in the mid-1980s, I was all about dance and pop music in my 20s during her rise to super stardom.

However, I discovered her at Sidetrack, in Chicago, on country night in 1990.  That voice singing “Rumor Has It” blew me away and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

Regardless of what was happening in my life, good or bad, when Reba released a new album, there were songs I felt she recorded just for me.

I’ve now seen Reba in concert thirteen (13) times and I got to meet her in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 2005.

MOVING BACK TO CHICAGO (JUNE 2002)

After my mother died in November 1990 and my grandmother, Helen, passed away in November 1993, I felt it was time to leave Kentucky and I moved to Chicago the following summer.

I stayed for two years before kicking off my television news career in the summer of 1996 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. After jobs in Lubbock, Texas, and Mansfield, Columbus, and Youngstown, Ohio, working for a homophobic, racist, and sexist news director, I felt it was time to take a break from television.

So, Miss ABBA, my golden retriever, and my ex, Christopher, headed back to Chicago, where we had met in early 1995. (Look at how youthful we were 26 years ago!)

It was a very enjoyable return to the “windy city”.

I had a great time at Roscoe’s Tavern (a very popular gay bar on Halsted), worked as a freelance writer for the morning show at Fox News Chicago, and went back to school to earn my meteorology certification.

By the way, I don’t make it a point to lie, but I saw that sticker and it was just too much fun not to stick it on my shirt for a photo op! 🙂

In the summer of 2004, Christopher and I realized our nine-year relationship had run its course, so I took a job in Salisbury, Maryland, and Miss ABBA and I moved to Delmarva for a year-and-a half before returning to the Midwest in November 2005.

When I started putting together the recap of my second era (1999-2021), I thought about the events that shaped the past 22 years of my life and I started thinking of my favorite songs of the past two decades-plus.

That list started with 221 songs and after the first cut, it was still at 155. After thinking long and hard, I narrowed it down to one hundred, just like the Billboard Hot 100!

Here’s to you, Casey Kasem! (Hint, the other 60 are at the bottom of this blog, along with some surprises!)

#40 “LOVE YOURSELF” (JUSTIN BIEBER) (2015)

#39 “I’LL BE” (REBA McENTIRE) (2000)

#38 “WOMANIZER” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2008)

#37 “FADED” (ALAN WALKER) (2015)

#36 “THE EDGE OF GLORY” (LADY GAGA) (2011)

While that’s the official version of “The Edge of Glory”, here’s the version I love more. And, I “borrowed” the sparklers idea for my wedding reception!

#35 “WHO WOULDN’T WANNA BE ME” (KEITH URBAN) (2003)

#34 “CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2001)

NOW, BACK TO MY LIFE EVENTS….

LIVING NEAR MY SISTER AGAIN (AUGUST 2011)

Other than my years of living on campus at Murray State University in the 1980s, less than a half hour from where I was born and raised, I never lived apart from my sister, Tammy, until I moved to Chicago in 1994 and she moved away, too.

My career took me all over the country and my sister made Clarksville, Tennessee, home. After her marriage with her L-O-S-E-R husband ended and life dealt her several bad hands, I convinced her to move to the Quad Cities (Moline, Illinois) in 2011.

While she wasn’t thrilled to have to make her home there and deal with more snow than she was used to, it was nice to be in the same city again. We could now see each other whenever we wanted and we’d spend holidays together again.

After I moved away for 3.5 years, she joined me in Decatur, Illinois. It’s nice to have my best friend around again!

Love you Tammy!

MY 50TH BIRTHDAY TRIP TO PARIS & TEL AVIV (OCTOBER 2014)

While I don’t remember my first birthday, you see from the picture above that it happened and it was celebrated.

Other birthdays that stand out for me are my 30th, in Chicago, when I met a very attractive man that ended up being a psycho that try to kill me (stalker much?), my 48th, in Las Vegas, in 2012, seeing Elton John the night before and Madonna on the big day…

… and my 54th on an incredible solo trip to Morocco with a surprise birthday cake from my tour group!

However, it’s going to be really hard to top my 50th birthday!

In 2013, I took my first “real” international trip (officially, Cancun was the first in the early-1990s, but North America doesn’t really count any more!).

For my ex’s 50th, he chose a Danube River cruise of Europe. The following year, for my 50th, I chose to celebrate the milestone birthday with a trip to Europe (Paris, France) and the Middle East (Tel Aviv, Israel).

While the trip was incredible and I paid my own way, my actual birthday present was like a fairy tale. (He did well!)

I was treated to a dinner cruise on the Seine River, followed by a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night to see the sprawled out city of Paris twinkling in the distance.

And, the night didn’t end there. 

It was then off to the historic Moulin Rouge for a show and champagne. 

At midnight, I turned 50 during the show sitting right at the stage staring at boobies, acrobatic routines, and a woman in a water tank with snakes!

For the record, years later, in the spring of 2019, I’d have my own encounter with a beautiful albino python in Bangkok, Thailand. I called it my Britney Spears moment! Britney is now free!

Then it was off to Tel Aviv for three days. From the hotel room, you could see the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea!

Each morning, I looked forward to the Israeli breakfasts, which are world-renowned and very tasty and filling! 

However, my favorite meal was at בני-הדייג, which translates to Benny The Fisherman, right on the Sea.

That was just the salads and “starters” that they brought out.  Yes, fifteen of them, including the bread basket!

Sadly, I didn’t get a stamp on my passport from Israel.

This was during the 2014 Ebola scare and the customs agent was so flustered from ranting at a woman in front of us for sticking her passport in her mouth that he forgot.  He refused to let her go through his line because he wasn’t going to touch her passport.  And, I really don’t blame him.  However, his approach was a little abrasive.

On the return flight home, the snow-covered Alps were beautiful!

This crazy song went viral in 2013 and ended up being my third favorite song of that year. It didn’t make the Top 100 on this countdown, but it was on the initial list. So, it’s a bonus. 🙂

Now, back to the countdown of my favorite songs of the past 22 years!

#33 “LOOKIN’ FOR A GOOD TIME” (LADY A) (2008)

#32 “TURN ON THE RADIO” (REBA McENTIRE) (2010)

#31 “I KNEW I LOVED YOU” (SAVAGE GARDEN) (1999)

#30 “TOXIC” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2004)

#29 “YOU BELONG WITH ME” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2009)

And, of course, there’s a cute and sexy alternative version of the Taylor teen love story!

#28 “IF I DIE YOUNG” (THE BAND PERRY) (2010)

#27 “MUSIC” (MADONNA) (2000)

#26 “LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2002)

#25 “LIFE GOES ON” (LEANN RIMES) (2002)

#24 “BECAUSE OF YOU” (REBA McENTIRE & KELLY CLARKSON) (2007)

#23 “IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS” (MICHAEL BUBLE) (2011)

What! A Christmas song made it onto the countdown!!! Don’t be shocked!

My fourth favorite song of my first 35 years was Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”!

NOW BACK TO MY LIFE EVENTS OF THE PAST 22 YEARS!

MEETING PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER & ROSALYNN CARTER (JULY 2017)

In September 2016, I got to visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

However, it would take a major change in my life and relocation to meet my childhood idols, President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter.

In the summer of 2017, I was living in Panama City, Florida, and I drove 180 miles (3.5 hours) through the backwoods of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia in the darkness of night to fulfill that life-long dream.

Once I arrived in Plains, Georgia, at the Marantha Baptist Church, I was one of the last people to make it in to hear a Sunday school lesson from President Carter.

After his lesson and the Sunday service from the pastor, I got to meet the man and woman that I helped put in the White House in the 1976 presidential election.

For the record, I was just a 12-year-old boy, but I got to go into the voting booth with my grandmother Helen back in Mayfield, Kentucky.  She let me choose her candidate and, of course, it was Jimmy Carter.

My vote four years later didn’t keep the Carters in Washington D.C. and they headed back to Plains.

You might notice that the photo is autographed! I sent a copy of the photo inside of an anniversary card to the lovely couple and they signed it and sent it back!!!!!!!!!!

AND HILLARY CLINTON (JANUARY 2016)

I’ve admired Hillary Clinton since she became the First Lady of the United States in January 1993.

There is no politician that hasn’t been raked over the coals in their career.  And, now with 24-hour news channels and less objectivity in their reporting for higher ratings, it’s easy to vilify people, especially if it’s a strong woman — like Hillary.

I went to hear Hillary speak on a cold winter’s day in Davenport, Iowa, in January 2016.

When she finished, I politely edged my way through the crowd toward the roped off area in front of the stage.  I lucked out and we talked a little – we exchanged hellos and I wished her success.

“Politely edged” sounds nicer than “aggressively made” my way through the crowd! 🙂

Now, my 22 favorite songs of the past 22 years!

#22 “I WANNA GO (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2011)

#21 “CAN’T FIGHT THE MOONLIGHT” (LEANN RIMES) (2000)

#20 “SURRENDER” (LAURA PAUSINI) (2002)

#19 “IF I FALL YOU’RE GOING DOWN WITH ME” (THE CHICKS) (2001)

I’ve never met Natalie Maines of The Chicks and it’s one of the biggest regrets of my life.

When I took my second television job in Lubbock, Texas, (Natalie’s hometown), in 1997, as a reporter and Saturday anchor at the CBS affiliate, her sister, Kim, was the 10 p.m. weekday producer.  What a sweetheart!

1997 was also the year that Natalie and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison exploded onto the country music scene with “I Can Love You Better”, which went on to reach #7 on the Billboard Country chart.

I had a chance to see them and meet the unknown band and real life prevented me from going! Bummer!

#18 “MY BOYFRIEND IS GAY” (HAILEY ROWE) (2013)

#17 “SOMEBODY LIKE YOU” (KEITH URBAN) (2002)

#16 “YOUTH” (TROYE SIVAN) (2015)

#15 “WE’RE SO GOOD TOGETHER” (REBA McENTIRE) (2000)

#14 “SOME DAYS YOU GOTTA DANCE” (THE CHICKS) (2001)

#13 “SILENCE” (MARSHMELLO & KHALID) (2017)

#12 “YOU’LL THINK OF ME” (KEITH URBAN) (2004)

NOW, BACK TO MY BIGGEST LIFE EVENTS OF THE PAST 22 YEARS!

MEET, FALL IN LOVE, GET MARRIED, AND THEN DIVORCE (2009-2017)

We’ve all been there (well, at least half of us).

You meet someone that’s an Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) to your Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) — with or with sex work involved!

You fall in love and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

I got to have a wedding, a beautiful reception, and a gorgeous cake!

And, I was a “like a dad” and I got to experience helping to raise a child. I loved and was loved in return, we traveled the world — Europe, Israel, China, and Scandinavia — and my golden retriever, ABBA, had two more people to shower her with love, and I got to foster 60 koi and goldfish!

While things didn’t work out, I’m glad that I got to experience the good before the bad.

There are many things I miss about those days and there are things I don’t miss. The serenity of the koi pond is definitely high on the list of things I miss!

This is a feeding frenzy in the summer of 2016!

Oh, if you were hoping for sordid details, there were several circumstances leading to the demise of the relationship. Those are being saved for the book (which is being written)!

WE NEED A BREATHER!

Now, back to my favorite songs of the past 22 years!

#11 “SOMETHING” (LASGO) (2001)

#10 “TILL THE WORLD ENDS” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2011)

#9 “BAD ROMANCE” (LADY GAGA) (2009)

#8 “BLANK SPACE” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2014)

#7 “EVERYTIME WE TOUCH” (CASCADA) (2005)

#6 “EVERYTIME” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2004)

NOW BACK TO THE BIGGEST EVENTS OF MY PAST 22 YEARS

MISS ABBA (MAY 2000-FEBRUARY 2012)

My golden retriever, ABBA, and I traveled down many roads together. 

From the llama farm in Ohio where I picked her up in July 2000 to swimming in Lake Michigan when we lived in Chicago to the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and then back to the cold, snowy Midwestern winters in the Quad Cities, Miss ABBA loved it all and she loved life!

She didn’t mind doggie sitting (or walking) her blind Shar Pei friend, Panda, and she loved road trips so much that you had to spell out R-I-D-E. She loved her fast food hamburgers and she loved treats and cakes!

And, she was the perfect drinking buddy!

From that first ride from the Ohio llama farm to her new life away from Dolly and Fletcher (her mom and dad) and her siblings to the last fateful ride, she enjoyed life so much and never met a stranger.

I wish we were more like ABBA!

As I was lying on the bed comforting ABBA on those final two days in early 2012, these words just came to me and I put them on paper.

While I’m not a poet, I still love this — my goodbye to Miss ABBA!

If you can’t read my writing through the tears:

The fog hangs in the air shrouding the light, not only in the sky, but in your eyes

You look lost and just want to sleep with me close by your side

I listen to you breathe and each breath sounds deeper

Is it the end or just a peaceful sleep

As I caress your neck and shoulder blades,

You snore even louder as I try harder to hold back the tears

I don’t want you to hear me cry,

I want you to let go and not fight for me

You’ve been there for me all your life

And I want to be there for you now, my love.

My best friend — ABBA (May 22, 2000-February 3, 2012)

This is one of my favorite pictures taken of Miss ABBA in her last month with us…

The song in the video tribute below is “Over My Shoulder” by one of my favorite singers, Patty Loveless, from her 1994 album, “When Fallen Angels Fly”.

Okay, this silly photo will take the sadness away…

FINAL BONUS TRACK!

When I put together a recap of my first 35 years and my 100 favorite songs of that era of my life (1964-1999), Olivia Newton-John placed four songs on the countdown: #3 “Xanadu”, #47 “Let Me Be There”, #50 “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)”, and #68 “Magic”.

I finally got to see her in concert at The Flamingo in Las Vegas in May 2014.

As a bonus, I’m featuring two of my favorites in one video — Olivia and Las Vegas.

In 2015, DJ Dave Aude re-worked Olivia’s hit “Magic” and “You Have To Believe” became a #1 dance song for Olivia and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi.

And, one final fun fact, Olivia met her future husband and Chloe’s dad, Matt Lattanzi, on the set of the movie, “Xanadu”!

Just a random thought, since you know me for random thoughts, I think #Pug2020, which became #Pug2021, and then #Pug20-something, needs to become a reality in 2022!!!

I need a new drinking partner or, at least, a movie and television binge-watching partner!

When I was in Bangkok, Thailand, in the spring of 2019, I saw this in the taxi and I know it was a sign!

NOW BACK TO THE COUNTDOWN OF MY FIVE FAVORITE SONGS OF THE PAST 22 YEARS!

#5 “SOMEBODY” (REBA McENTIRE) (2004)

#4 “NOT READY TO MAKE NICE” (THE CHICKS) (2006)

#3 “CONSIDER ME GONE” (REBA McENTIRE) (2009)

Before I reveal my two favorite songs of the past 22 years, how about another bonus track!

This one didn’t make the list of my Top 100 favorites, but it was one of the 221 on the initial list and was my 13th favorite song of 2014! 🙂

As I reveal my two favorites from 1999-2021, both are two of the most underrated songs that radio should have sent to the top of every chart!

#2 “ALL THE LOVERS” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2010)

This one did top the airplay chart in Poland and it reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Club songs chart!

And. it’s so naughty and scandalous! 🙂

#1 “DANCING ON MY OWN” (ROBYN) (2010)

This one only topped the chart in Robyn’s native Sweden!

NOW, THE BIGGEST EVENT OF MY PAST 22 YEARS…

THE DEPLORABLE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! (NOVEMBER 8, 2016)

While this could be a divisive discussion starter, that is not the purpose.

We know “what happened”, since there’s a book about this with that title. It’s been five years now — almost half of the country was on the winning side, but a majority of us were on the losing end.

That statement, “a majority of us were on the losing end”, doesn’t just mean the almost 66 million people that voted for Hillary Clinton.

I’m talking about America’s reputation on the world stage and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first months — a major misstep that had now resulted in more than 700,000 deaths since early 2020 in the United States.

DISCLAIMER: If Hillary Clinton had been elected president, we would still likely have seen a significant death toll from Coronavirus. However, I believe with all my heart and intelligence, it wouldn’t be at 709K and counting…

But, is that why the 2016 U.S. presidential election is the biggest event of my past 22 years? In part, yes. However, it ranks above ABBA’s death and the failure of my relationship because it’s partly to blame for the separation and divorce.

That loss affected me greatly as 2016 turned to 2017. In the five years since, I’ve accepted it and moved on. Does it still bother me? Yes. Is there anything I can do about it? No.

Michelle Obama, in her 2018 autobiography, “Becoming”, sums it up best the day after that shocking loss: “And I will always wonder about what led so many women, in particular, to reject an exceptionally qualified female candidate and instead choose a misogynist as their president. But the result was now ours to live with.”

If you want to share comments about how/if that win or loss affected you, feel free. Do it diplomatically with respect to me and my friends.

The point was not to discuss politics, I’m just sharing my life — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Thank you for taking the time to travel down the road of the second era of my life!

Before you leave, if you’re not interested in #41 to #100, scroll down a little for some of my favorite photos of the past 22 years!!!

Will I write a third? Probably not. Do you know how old I’d be by then! 🙂

However, if I had two front-runners for favorite songs for my final chapter of life — the new Kylie Minogue and Elton John songs rock my world and are on repeat!

Now, that’s it…. except for some of my favorite photos of the past 22 years!

Wait, my friends, let’s keep going. They haven’t made “last call”!

You know I love lists and I’ve mentioned 100 favorites songs several time in this life recap even though the countdown started at #40 like “American Top 40”.

Scroll down and see which songs just missed out.

You might find one of your favorites on here, you might discover several songs you’re not familiar with, and some that might make you say, “Anthony has some very interesting tastes”, or “No <musical act> on the countdown?”

#41 “MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1999)

#42 “NEED YOU NOW” (LADY A) (2009)

#43 “THAT’S THE KIND OF MOOD I’M IN” (PATTY LOVELESS) (2000)

#44 “MURDER ON THE DANCEFLOOR” (SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR) (2001)

#45 “SAY SOMETHING” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2020)

#46 “CHOW DOWN (AT CHICK-FIL-A)” (WILLAM BELLI, DETOX, VICKY VOX) (2012)

#47 “YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2019)

#48 “OH SANTA” (MARIAH CAREY) (2010)

#49 “KING” (YEARS & YEARS) (2015)

#50 “ALL FOR YOU”(JANET JACKSON) (2001)

#51 “TEQUILA MAKES HER CLOTHES FALL OFF” (JOE NICHOLS) (2005)

#52 “WHAT DO YOU SAY” (REBA McENTIRE) (1999)

#53 “SUDS IN THE BUCKET” (SARA EVANS) (2004)

#54 “GOOD DIRECTIONS” (BILLY CURRINGTON) (2006)

#55 “DANCING” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2018)

#56 “DAME OTRO TEQUILA” (PAULINA RUBIO) (2004)

#57 “THE WAY YOU LOVE ME” (FAITH HILL) (2000)

#58 “WHAT WAS I THINKIN'” (DIERKS BENTLEY) (2003)

#59 “BORN TO FLY” (SARA EVANS) (2000)

#60 “LONG TIME GONE” (THE CHICKS) (2002)

#61 “REMEMBER WHEN (PUSH REWIND)” (CHRIS WALLACE) (2012)

#62 “HOME” (MICHAEL BUBLE) (2005)

#63 “COWBOY TAKE ME AWAY” (THE CHICKS) (1999)

#64 “BORN THIS WAY” (LADY GAGA) (2011)

#65 “LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO” (TAYLOR SWIFT) (2017)

#66 “FREE AND EASY (DOWN THE ROAD I GO)” (DIERKS BENTLEY) (2007)

#67 “I’M YOURS” (JASON MRAZ) (2008)

#68 “FREE” (FAITH HILL) (2002)

#69 “CAN’T FEEL MY FACE WITHOUT YOU” (THE WEEKND) (2015)

#70 “POKER FACE” (LADY GAGA) (2008)

#71 “TURN UP THE RADIO” (REBA McENTIRE) (2012)

#72 “HIGHER LOVE” (KYGO & WHITNEY HOUSTON) (2019)

The original by Steve Winwood and Chaka Khan from 1986 also made my list of my favorite songs of my first 35 years — #91!

#73 “LOT OF LEAVIN’ LEFT TO DO” (DIERKS BENTLEY) (2005)

#74 “I DON’T FEEL LIKE DANCIN'” (THE SCISSOR SISTERS) (2006)

#75 “DON’T TELL ME” (MADONNA) (2000)

#76 “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” (JUSTIN BIEBER) (2015)

#77 “BLEEDING LOVE” (LEONA LEWIS) (2007)

#78 “WORK FROM HOME” (FIFTH HARMONY) (2016)

#79 “CALL ME MAYBE” (CARLY RAE JEPSEN) (2011)

#80 “SORRY” (MADONNA) (2006)

#81 “SIT STILL LOOK PRETTY” (DAYA) (2016)

#82 “I NEED YOU” (LEANN RIMES) (2000)

#83 “CRAZY IN LOVE” (BEYONCE) (2003)

#84 “SORRY” (JUSTIN BIEBER) (2015)

#85 “FIREWORK” (KATY PERRY) (2010)

#86 “AIRWAVES” (BRETT KISSEL) (2015)

#87 “I RUN TO YOU” (LADY A) (2009)

#88 “I DIDN’T JUST COME HERE TO DANCE ” (CARLY RAE JEPSEN) (2015)

#89 “PLAY” (JENNIFER LOPEZ) (2011)

#90 “YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL” (JAMES BLUNT) (2005)

#91 “TOUCH MY BODY” (MARIAH CAREY) (2008)

#92 “CRUSH (1980 ME)” (DARREN HAYES) (2003)

#93 “MUST BE DOIN’ SOMETHIN’ RIGHT” (BILLY CURRINGTON) (2005)

#94 “HAVEN’T MET YOU YET” (MICHAEL BUBLE) (2009)

#95 “DON’T CHA” (THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS) (2005)

#96 “DON’T SAY GOODBYE” (PAULINA RUBIO) (2002)

#97 “LET ME LOVE YOU” (DJ SNAKE & JUSTIN BIEBER) (2016)

#98 “WHEN GOD FEARING WOMEN GET THE BLUES” (MARTINA McBRIDE) (2011)

#99 “RAIN” (BEN PLATT) (2019)

#100 “ON THE FLOOR” (JENNIFER LOPEZ) (2011)

Now, that’s it….

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 28, 2021

For those of us celebrating the “holiday”, I say “Happy Memorial Day weekend”!

For the men and women in our Armed Forces that died during their military duties to keep us safe, I say, “thank you”!

And, for those checking out my random thoughts this week, I appreciate it.

NEW CDC GUIDELINES

More states are relaxing their mandates with the drop in COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Concerts are happening again, businesses are going back to 100%, and more stores are allowing customers without having to wear masks.

While I’m fully vaccinated, I’m still going to wear my mask into stores, in indoor public places, and in heavier populated areas until more of America is fully vaccinated!

Sorry, not sorry! 🙂

What are your thoughts? Will you continue to rock the mask or ditch it?

DOGS IN BANGKOK

Thailand is taking a new approach after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases — using dogs to sniff out Coronavirus!

Angel, Bobby and Bravo are three of six Labrador Retrievers trained by veterinary researchers at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok to sniff out a unique odor in people’s sweat produced by Coronavirus!

The three have tested thousands of samples in May from college staff, students and people outside the university.

After a few seconds of sniffing sweat samples in metal containers, the dogs can tell which people have the virus. If the test sample is positive, the dog will sit in front of it!

Another reason to love dogs!

“BORN THIS WAY” TURNS 10

Can you believe that Lady Gaga released her iconic album, “Born This Way”, ten years ago this week?

Where does time go?

The Grammy-nominated album topped the charts around the world and went on to sell more than six million copies.

The first release, the title track, hit #1 all across the world and spent six weeks at the top in the U.S. Worldwide, it sold more than 10 million, making it one of the best selling singles of all time!

Three other singles from the album, “Judas”, “The Edge of Glory”, and “You & I” all reached the Top Ten in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100.

“BETTY FORD”

Lisa McCubbin’s 2018 biography, subtitled “First Lady, Women’s Advocate”, Survivor, Trailblazer”, is amazing!

Many know the former First Lady because of her addiction to alcohol and prescription medication that led to her time in a recovery program and for starting the Betty Ford Clinic in 1982.

What an incredible woman! I would have loved to have met her!

Here are a few things I learned from McCubbin’s book:

  • When President Ford took over for Nixon, he and Betty still lived in their Alexandria, Virginia, home for a period. On his first day on the job, he came home to a small party with ham, salad, lasagna, and champagne.

As Betty took a tray of lasagna out of the oven, she replied, “Jerry, something’s wrong here. You’re president of the United States and I’m still cooking.”

  • Betty Ford was known for speaking honestly and candidly, whether the topic was the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), abortion, marijuana, or pre-marital sex. After giving an interview with “McCall’s” magazine asking her some very personal questions, Betty responded, “They’ve asked me everything but how often I sleep with my husband and if they’d asked me that, I would have told them: as often as possible!”

“ARMY OF THE DEAD”

Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead” is finally here and to no one’s surprise, it was the most watched movie of the weekend on Netflix!

I’ve been so excited ever since I heard about it. It’s a heist movie featuring two things I love — Las Vegas and zombies.

Maybe I was too excited for it! While enjoyable, I was a little surprised with its 2.5 hour running time.

It was definitely over the top with violence (great for a zombie movie), but there were several parts that could have been cut. A two-hour running time would have worked better.

My favorites characters were Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) and Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer).

And, of course, the “G–damned zombie tiger”, which the story tells was part of Siegfried & Roy’s show!

Would I watch it again? Maybe.

I definitely recommend it, but Snyder’s 2004 remake of “Dawn of the Dead” was better!

By the way, a follow-up prequel, “Army of Thieves”, has already been shot! It was directed by actor Schweighöfer, who stars in both movies.

GRADE: B

“JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH”

This 2021 drama is the story of Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in Chicago in the late-1960s.

He was betrayed by William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield), an FBI informant.

While Kaluuya won every Best Supporting Actor award for his performance, I really think that Stanfield, who was also nominated in the Oscar category with Kaluuya, deserved it more!

“Judas” picked up six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and came away with two wins — Kaluuya’s acting award and the other for Best Original Song.

GRADE: B

ANOTHER OSCAR THOUGHT (OR TWO)

While Kaluuya was great in “Judas and the Black Messiah”, I thought that his co-star, Stanfield, should have won the Oscar after seeing the movie.

I felt the same way after seeing all of the nominees in the Best Actress category. Frances McDormand won for “Nomadland”.

Maybe it’s just that Kaluuya and McDormand are just so incredible and subtle that I just expect so much from them that I overlooked both to win the Oscar.

Oh, by the way, I picked Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman” for Best Actress. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s fantastic and I want to see it again.

When I graded it earlier this year, I gave it an “A”!

“STARSTRUCK”

Regular readers of my blog already know that Kylie Minogue’s “Disco” was my favorite album of 2020. I still listen to it several times a week!!!

I’m excited that Kylie is working on releasing an extended version of the critically acclaimed album later this week.

If I were a gambling man (and I am), I’d venture to say that a “Disco Tour” will also be announced for 2022! 🙂

Ahead of the “new” album, Kylie joined Olly Alexander for a remake of the “Years & Years” hit, “Starstruck”, which I expect on the new album!

Here’s the lyric video and the song.

🎶 If I could bottle you up, I would sip you like cosmic juice”! 🎶

Happy Birthday 🎂 Kylie!!!!!!!! 🍾🥂🌼🌷

“CASTLE ROCK”

If you’re a Stephen King fan, this two season Hulu series was probably very enjoyable for you with all of the references to his huge horror catalog.

While I’m familiar with only some of his work, I still enjoyed it.

Season one focused quite a bit on the Shawshank State Penitentiary (years after the movie). I loved it because of Sissy Spacek and the creepiness of Bill Skarsgard (“It”).

However, I watched “Castle Rock” mainly to see season two and a young Annie Wilkes of “Misery”.

Lizzy Caplan was amazing as the woman made famous by Oscar winner Kathy Bates in the hit 1991 blockbuster movie. Also, Tim Robbins was great, too.

SEASON ONE GRADE: B

SEASON TWO GRADE: A-

“BORN THIS WAY BONUS — “THE EDGE OF GLORY”

While this isn’t the “official” video to “The Edge of Glory”, it’s definitely a favorite of mine and it makes my heart melt!!!

See, my jaded, divorced heart still has hope for a happy ending! 🙂

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

P.S. Here’s the full blog about the “Born This Way Ball” concert I saw in Las Vegas in January 2013.


			

Random Friday Thoughts — May 21, 2021

It was just last week that I referenced Memorial Day being the “unofficial” start to summer.

After dealing with frosty temperatures a week ago, it’s now feeling like summer here in Illinois with highs heading up well into the 80s.

Our big warm-up started Thursday and will last into next week!

Yuck! I only like the 80s when we’re talking music!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts!

GOODWILL AND GOOD GRIEF!

My sister loves going to Goodwill stores. Yard sales are more up my alley.

Now that the people across the country are feeling more comfortable and getting out of their homes, some are doing some spring cleaning.

You’d think that Goodwill store would benefit greatly from this. However, check out this headline and tidbit from the Associated Press:

The Twitter post states, “Americans cleaning out their homes during the pandemic have been donating defective and unusable items to Goodwill. The stores say the donations are hurting them rather than helping and want people to stop giving them their trash.”

Come on people, throw your damn trash away and recycle things that are still in good shape!

“ARMY OF THE DEAD”

I’m so excited that the Zack Snyder Las Vegas/zombie heist film hits Netflix this weekend!!!! I know what I’ll be watching!

A follow-up, a prequel, “Army of Thieves”, has already been shot!

It was directed by actor Matthias Schweighöfer, who stars in both movies.

“THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW”

Six-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams and Oscars winners Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) and Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh star in this Netflix psychological thriller.

Okay, no matter what JJL does, I’ll always see her as “Hedy” in “Single White Female” (1992)!

It’s basically an update of the 1954 Jimmy Stewart/Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Rear Window” and 2007’s “Disturbia” with Shia LeBeouf.

In this version, Amy Adams’ Anna Fox is a New York City agoraphobic who spends her time drinking red wine and watching her neighbors.

That’s it!

Ha, just kidding!!!

One night she sees a neighbor being attacked. Or, did she? Was it a just part of a drunken stupor?

This movie definitely rises above the fray and now I plan on reading the book.

By the way, I didn’t see the plot twists ahead of time and that brought the grade up!

GRADE: A

VERY RANDOM THOUGHTS

The internet and entertainment word is abuzz about the possibility that “Bennifer” is a thing again.

Am I jaded and the only one that doesn’t care if Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are together again?

I just have so little faith in Hollywood couplings and marriages (maybe in marriage altogether)!

My only real concern if they’re together again is that there could be a “Gigli 2”? (Okay, I didn’t actually see the 2003 original, but neither anyone else, in theaters, since it was a box office bomb!)

After watching season four of “Fargo”, the television series, I don’t think Chris Rock should give up his day job as a comedian to be a dramatic actor.

He wasn’t convincing as a mob boss! However, his final scene in the series had potential!

However, the highlight of the season was seeing Timothy Olyphant playing Dick “Deafy” Wickware , a 1950 Mormon U.S. Marshal agent.

What? Another U.S. Marshal? Yes, but it was much different than Raylan Givens on “Justified.

MUST SEE VIDEO!!!

I’ve earned back some of my gay points!

A few weeks I commented that I wish Madonna would just focus on making music again because her Twitter feed seems so desperate.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love her and I can’t wait to see the Netflix documentary on the “Madame X Tour” since I didn’t get to see it.

However, I’m obsessed with the incredible performance of Elton John and Olly Alexander (from the group Years & Years) at the 2021 BRIT Awards.

They performed the Pet Shop Boys 1987 Top 10 hit “It’s A Sin” (which is also the name of the HBO Max series featuring Alexander about the early AIDS epidemic in London).

You can tell that Elton is ready to hit the road again this fall with his “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” farewell tour.

“YOU” BOOK SERIES

After watching the first two season of the creepy, stalker, “love story” Netflix series, “You”, I decided to read the first two Caroline Kepnes book it’s based on.

It was interesting to see how the author saw Joe Goldberg, Beck, and Love and how much was changed when it became a television series.

Spoiler (not really): Book 1 (“You” — 2014) and Season 1 were pretty close, yet there was much more of difference between Book 2 (“Hidden Bodies” — 2016) and Season 2.

A third book, “You Love Me” came out in April 2021, but I haven’t read it yet. The third season of the series is expected later in 2021.

Here’s the trailer for the first season, which originally aired on Lifetime.

“MEMORIAL”

Bryan Washington’s fall 2020 fictional book, “Memorial”, is a great read.

It tells the story of a young gay interracial Houston couple, Ben and Mike, navigating a failing relationship and a cultural divide.

Mike is waiting for his mother from Japan to arrive when he decides to fly to Japan to spend time with his dying father, who abandoned the family when Mike was a teenager.

Mike drops the bombshell that he’s leaving his mother there with Ben, who’s Black, and has never met his boyfriend’s mother for an indefinitely period of time!

“PARTY DOWN”

A revival of the comedy, “Party Down”, is in development more than a decade after it ended.

I recently watched the two-season, 20 episode series that originally aired in 2009 and 2010.

It’s about a group of entertainment types (actors, writers, and comedians) working at a catering company, Party Down, to pay the bills while they wait for their big break.

It stars Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”), Lizzy Caplan (“Castle Rock”), and Jane Lynch (pre-“Glee”).

Season one was very funny and season two was enjoyable, but not as funny.

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 1, 2016

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us and that means the first half of the year is already behind us.  Time flies when you’re having fun or so they say.

Have a safe holiday weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  As always, feel free to let me know your thoughts.

NO DOG IN MY FUTURE — MAYBE EVER!

ABBAAnthonyLD2009

It’s been almost four-and-a-half years since Miss ABBA went to puppy heaven and people understandably ask, “When are you getting another dog?”.  I always thought that we would one day.

However, over the past week, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t think I need one!

As you know, Ray and I built our first fish pond a few years back and last summer, we expanded it from a mere 200 gallons to 1,000 gallons.

Fish Pond

It’s so much fun to watch the 50-plus fish at feeding time and the sound of the waterfall is so relaxing.

Sadly, it’s likely that Blizzard, the largest and most recent fish we acquired, or one of the small koi we just bought was sick.

Without warning, Blizzard died early last week.  It came as a total shock and then the real trauma hit me.

Last Friday, my favorite fish, Pumpkin Pie, the one I saved from the mink last summer, died.

Pumpkin Pie is the orange one with black spots and Snowflake is the yellowish/white one.

Snowflake Pumpkie Pie

I held her (or him) as it died.  It was heartbreaking and I cried.  At that point, I realized that I’ll not ready for the heartbreak of losing another pet.

After Blizzard and Pumpkin Pie, two days later, Strong, a koi that we adopted from our friends Nathan and Amanda died, followed by one more large fish, Norma Bates, the next day.  (Yes, we name the big ones and a few of the small ones.)

As hard as we work to keep the fish pond clean and happy, the fear quickly set in that this wasn’t just a coincidence and that a fish bacteria or virus was raging through the pond.

The pond is now being treated by a strong anti-virus treatment and we hope that the last of the five or so large fish survive.  So far, none of the 40-plus small fish (mostly goldfish) have been affected.

In memory of the four fish, we planted ornamental grasses around the pond.

Here’s a another look at a happier day not too long ago when Pumpkin Pie, Strong, and Norma Bates were alive and well!  (All three are in this video — the largest ones!)

PEOPLE NEED SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

Many people choose the Bible when they need something to believe in.  However, others put their faith and money, money, money into self-help books and motivational speakers.

Look at 56-year-old infomercial star Tony Robbins.  He’s made so much money convincing people that they can do almost anything they set their minds to.

That trust and faith sent dozens to the hospital late last week in Texas.

About thirty people were burned and had to be treated after walking on hot coals in a fire walking event at a seminar in Dallas.  Several were hospitalized and others were transported to medical facilities that treat burns.

Coal Fire Burns

Jennifer Connelly, a spokesperson for Robbins says, “The fire walk portion of the event has been celebrated for 35 years.”

She adds that the goal of the exercise is to have guests to feel no discomfort afterwards, but it’s “not uncommon to have fewer than one percent of participants experience ‘hot spots’, which is similar to a sunburn, which can be treated with aloe.”

Um, I think she has this terribly wrong.  Burn treatment at a hospital sounds much different than hot spots and a sunburn.

Seriously people, believe in yourself and not some person that wants your money because they know you’re weak!

PRIDE HIGHLIGHTS

Pride parades were held all across the world this past weekend and earlier in June.

Years & Years, the English dance band, with openly gay lead singer Olly Alexander played the annual Glastonbury Festival in England last weekend.

IFDecked out in a rainbow flag outfit, he told the crowd, “As you might be able to tell by the way that I’m dressed, I’m gay. And in fact, I’m really, really, super gay.

And, then he got more serious about the recent tragedies like the Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.

“But what I keep thinking about in the last year, some crappy and messed up stuff has happened.  As a queer person, as queer people, we know what it’s like to be scared and we know what’s it like to live with fear as part of our every day. But tonight, at Glastonbury, I would like to ask you to join me on Pride weekend and say, ‘no thank you fear. Bye fear bye.  Shove a rainbow in fear’s face.  All I have to say to finish is, I am here and queer and sometimes I am afraid but I am never ashamed of who I am.”

Jessie-Eisenberg-London-Pride

Meanwhile, on Pride weekend in London, “Now You See Me 2” actor Jesse Eisenberg left a West End stage rehearsal of “The Spoils” and walked by an anti-Pride Christian group.

He was asked “Is your mind closed?” by a man offering a brochure.  Eisenberg responded, “That’s so f*cking sad.”

The man asked the same question again and Jesse scoffed and laughed adding, “Is my mind closed?  That’s so f*cked up” and walked away.

Hillary PrideBack in the the United States, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit and walked in New York City’s Pride parade.

NO PRIDE HERE, JUST SHAME!

As many of you know, Pride parades and celebrations started 46 years ago when the gay community took a stand and said we’re not hiding away in the shadows of society any longer.

We’ve made so much progress and there’s still so much more room for advancement.

Sadly, in the LGBT community as it is in society in general, there are those that do things that shine a really bad light on others.

Tennessee Violent Crimes

YouTuber Calum McSwiggan claims that three men attacked him outside a West Hollywood, California gay bar earlier this week.

But, police now say that he faked the report and actually injured himself inside the cell with a pay phone to cover up his arrest on vandalism charges!

I’m not sharing McSwiggan’s picture because if he lied (and police and a witness say he did), he’s just desperate for fame and attention and I’m not giving him face time.  Pulling a stunt like this makes him scum of the earth.

Pulse

As we saw at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and from all the hate talk that comes from politicians, the Westboro Baptist Church, and other haters, the LGBT community has to be vigilant enough already without having some media whore desperate for attention lying about an anti-gay attack!

McSwiggan is now being charged with filing a false police report.

THIS WEEK, THE POPE SAYS…

While I’m not Catholic, much of my family is.

I believe that Pope Francis, who began his papacy in March 2013, is good for Catholicism and is working to bridge the religious and real world divide between the Church and LGBT people.  However, he’s really hard to figure out.

This is what he said in the summer of 2013.

Pope Francis

While he opposes marriage equality and he thinks being a practicing homosexual is intrinsically immoral, he believes gay people should be treated with respect and love.

He’s making headlines again.  On a trip to Armenia last weekend, Pope Francis declared on the flight, “I think that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it offended, but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons.”

He’s not the first Pope to apologize for Catholics and Christians, but he’s the first to ask for an apology to the LGBT people.  In 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II apologized to several groups including Jewish people, immigrants, women, and indigenous peoples.

It’s a step forward if he doesn’t contradict his statement the next time he speaks on the matter!

CLUELESS CAITLYN

I applauded Caitlyn Jenner for coming out as transgender, but I never had any faith in her advancing the cause for my transgender brothers and sisters.  So far, I’d say I’m correct.

Caitlyn

The more I see her name in the press and the more she opens her mouth, the more I cringe. Okay, that’s a polite way of expressing how I really feel about her views.

Jenner’s latest ignorant and misinformed statement:  “Trump seems to be very much for women.  He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue. He backed the LGBT community. But in Trump’s case, there’s a lot more unknowns. With Hillary, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get with the LGBT community.”

Maybe she meant to say that Trump is “very much behind” on issues regarding the LGBT community!

I agree with the Huffington Post calling it a “WTF of the week”!

NATE SILVER PREDICTS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT

American statistician and writer Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com has spoken and he predicts that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.

HIllary Flag

If you don’t know him, you definitely don’t follow politics as closely as I do.

The baseball and politics analyst successfully predicted the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008’s U.S. Presidential Election.

In the next election cycle, in 2012, Silver successfully called all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Earlier this week, he made his first prediction for the 2016 presidential race and gave a big edge to Clinton.  Here’s how he made his prediction.

538 Predicts

PICK HIT

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony was one of my favorite songs of last year.

Earlier this year, the band released the first single, “Work From Home”, from their new album “7/27”, that came out in late May.  It topped the airplay charts at Top 40 radio.

It’s an incredibly catchy song with a super hot, sexy video.  (I featured it last week, so just glance back one week to watch it.)

Their new song, “All In My Head (Flex)” is already racing up the charts and it’s catchy, too.  It features the hot ladies of Fifth Harmony, more sexy men, and rapper Fetty Wap.

By the way, what the hell is Fetty Wap singing?

ANOTHER PICK HIT

Michael Ray topped the country radio airplay chart last year with “Kiss You In the Morning”.  It ended being one of my favorite songs of last year and his self-titled album was my #9 album of 2015.

He’s back with a new video for the third single from the album, “Think A Little Less”.

If you’d like to know more about Michael Ray and his incredible album, here’s my blog review.  (It’ll open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/michael-ray-could-bring-me-back-to-country-music/

FIRST LADIES

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing little known (or well known) tidbits about the wives of the presidents of the United States from the book I read by Betty Boyd Caroli called “First Ladies”.

I’ve covered Martha Washington to Frances Cleveland.  Here’s more trivia that may help you in “Jeopardy” or “Trivial Pursuit”.

First Ladies

Caroline Harrison:  She became ill in the last year of her husband’s presidency and died a few weeks before the 1892 election becoming only the second First Lady to die while in the White House.  She’s best remembered for having electricity added to the White House during 1891’s spring renovations and for starting the White House china collection.

Frances Cleveland:  She served two non-consecutive terms in the White House as First Lady.  In my last blog, here’s what I wrote about her:  “She was 21-years-old when she married the president, who was 28 years older than her!  Frances was the daughter of a former law partner to President Cleveland and he had known her since she was born.  He also bought her her first baby carriage!  Okay, that’s just downright creepy”.

Ida McKinley:  She was very sick and frail as First Lady.  In public, she was prone to seizures.  President McKinley would have a white handkerchief on hand and he’d place it over her face when she had a seizure and would remove it when it was over.  They would continue on in conversation as if nothing had happened.

Edith Roosevelt:  She controlled the information going out to social reporters very carefully and handle criticism well.  Once a famous woman was quoted in a national magazine that the First Lady “dresses on 300 dollars a year and looks it.”  She happily clipped the column and placed it in her scrapbook.

Helen Taft:  She was known to push her husband into positions that would align him to become president one day.  She was influenced by the years she spent in the Orient and as First Lady, she had thousands of Japanese cherry trees planted and the spring blossoms are now a major tourist attraction in Washington D.C.

Ellen Wilson:  She became the first First Lady to address Congress to improve housing conditions in Washington D.C., especially the slums, with “Ellen Wilson’s Bill”.

Edith Wilson:  President Woodrow Wilson’s second wife was highly criticized for “petticoat government” after he suffered a stroke in the fall of 1919.  She kept people away from him until he recovered enough to carry out his presidential responsibilities.  That’s why people didn’t really know who was running the government.  Meanwhile, she set a good example during World War I by having “meatless days” at the White House and she even brought in sheep to graze the lawn to save money and would auction off the wool to raise cash for the American Red Cross.

Florence Harding:  She was known to manipulate the White House press corp.  Because of that, the public never knew how sick she and the president really were and thus their deaths came as more of a shock.  Publicly, she blamed their extended illnesses on food poisoning and other things.

Grace Coolidge:  Her husband, President Calvin Coolidge, was very strict and never allowed her to give interviews.  While he often demeaned her, he spent a lot of money to buy her a lavish wardrobe.

Lou Hoover:  She was a geologist who moved to China with husband and then added Mandarin to the languages she spoke.  She embraced radio and gave many speeches with a feminist slant.

I’ll have the final installment next week.

THAT’S IT

I hope you found something interesting this week in my many random thoughts.  As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me, even if we disagree.  Just do it diplomatically.

Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend.  Happy 240th Birthday America!

Anthony