Posts Tagged ‘Pitbull’

Random Friday Thoughts — July 24, 2015

It’s hard to believe that July is almost over and that means we’re getting closer to fall, my new favorite season.  Sorry winter!

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

BLAKE & MIRANDA GETTING DIVORCED

Marriages and relationships take a lot of work and when both people are celebrities, it’s much harder.  So, I’m a little surprised at people’s shock about the impending divorce of country singers Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert after four years of marriage.

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Blake Shelton, left, and Miranda Lambert arrive at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Shelton and Lambert announced their divorce after four years of marriage.A statement from Sheltonís spokesman provided a statement from both of them on Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Blake Shelton, left, and Miranda Lambert arrive at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Shelton and Lambert announced their divorce after four years of marriage.A statement from Sheltonís spokesman provided a statement from both of them on Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Yes, I’m bummed about it.  But, I’m not shocked.

Country singer Chris Young, who has toured with Miranda and considers himself a friend of the couple, is speaking out that he had nothing to do with the couple’s marriage problems.

CY

That response was prompted after the gossip-mongers at TMZ reported what they learned from “multiple sources familiar with the situation”!  Have I ever mentioned that I can’t stand TMZ and its bitterness?

I always hope that love is real for everyone and I hope Blake and Miranda find it again.  I’m definitely a romantic that wants the fairy tale.

SPEAKING OF FAIRY TALES

Can you believe this year marks the 25th anniversary of “Pretty Woman”?

pretty-woman

The romantic comedy that skyrocketed Oscar winner Julia Roberts to fame made $463 million dollars at theaters after its spring 1990 release.

“THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN”

Okay, this one is far from the fairy tale or a romantic comedy!

I just finished reading Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train”.   I walked so much on the treadmill just to finish the book because I didn’t want to put it down!

The Girl on the Train

This is a definite hands down, take the train, bus, car, bicycle, or whatever means necessary to pick up this book!  Actually, you probably already have since “Variety” reports “The Girl on the Train” is the fastest-selling adult novel in history, having sold more than two million copies in the U.S. alone since it was published in January.”

In the book, Rachel is an alcoholic, divorced woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she sees on a regular basis from the train she takes into London.

One day, Rachel sees something strange that will trigger a series of events that will have you feverishly turning the pages to see what’s real, what’s not, and what really happened.  It’s a page turner until the end!

It’s been reported that Emily Blunt (“Into The Woods” and “The Devil Wears Prada”) is set to star as Rachel (and also reported that she’ll play Jess/Megan).

Emily Blunt

Since I’m a real-life television meteorologist and not a Hollywood casting agent, as a fan of the book, here’s my dream cast. And, in case you haven’t read the book, I’m only giving character names and not how they play into the story.

I know actors and projects have to line up, so I’ll offer several people for each role.

Tom — Michael Fassbender, Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”), Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal”), James Marsden, and Andrew Lincoln (“The Walking Dead”)

Michael FassbenderDexterHugh DancyJames MarsdenAndrew Lincoln

Scott — Grey Damon (“Aquarius”) and Shawn Ashmore (“The Following”)

Grey DamonShawn Ashmore

Let’s go with it that Emily will take the role of either Rachel or Jess/Megan.

Jess/Megan and Anna —  Elisabeth Rohm (“Stalker), Jennifer Aniston, and Evan Rachel Wood (“True Blood”)

Elisabeth RohmJennifer AnistonEvanRachelWood

And, finally, Dr. Kamal Abdic — Manish Dayal (“The Hundred-Foot Journey) and Enrique Iglesias

Manish DayalEnrique Iglesias

Okay, I’ve enjoyed my fantasy casting enough.  One more “reported” claim about the movie is that the locale will move from London to the United States.

Tate Taylor (“The Help”) has signed on to direct.

Paula, your thoughts on the casting?

And, in honor of Rachel! 🙂

gordons_gin__tonic_in_can_250ml

“THE SNOWMAN”

Normally, the books I read are about real people and real events.  Just before I jumped on the train, I read “The Snowman”, a 2007 crime thriller by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo.  It’s the seventh book in the Detective Harry Hole series.

Nesbo+Snowman

“Time” magazine featured an article years ago about Scandinavian authors that may achieve the success of Stieg Larsson and his “Millennium series” (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played with Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest”.)

I wrote Nesbo’s name and “The Snowman” down on a piece of paper and finally got the book and it was incredible.

Detective Harry Hole is on the trail of Norway’s first serial killer.  And, is there a connection between the season’s first snow, the appearance of a snowman, and the victims?

Another must-read if you like crime novels!

There is talk of a movie adaptation of the book.  Legendary director Martin Scorsese was once attached to it, but now director Tomas Alfredson (“Let The Right One In” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) is set to direct it.

THEY SAID WHAT???

Remember on Mondays back when I blogged all the time, I had the feature, “They Said What???”  Why not revisit it with these fun ones!

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL WANNABEE LINDSEY GRAHAM

(on “CBS This Morning” about Donald Trump’s racist comments about Mexicans): “Run for president but don’t be the world’s biggest jackass.”

Pitbull

POP SINGER PITBULL

“I want to tell Marco Rubio, step it up!  Jeb Bush, step it up!  Hillary Clinton, step it up!  Because Donald Trump can’t be president.”

(More Pitbull to Trump):  “I want him to know I’m not a politician. I’m a musician. I’m a Latino first. I support our people.”

DIRECTOR/ACTOR TYLER PERRY

(speaking of the media reporting on Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown):  “It makes me sad to know that everybody wants to be the first to report something awful. So much so, that they find it OK to speak death onto those who are still alive. May I ask you all to please show some decency and respect?”

IRRELEVANT “ONE-HIT WONDER” SINGER SINEAD O’CONNOR

(on Facebook blasting “Rolling Stone” for its Kim Kardashian West cover):  “What is this c**t doing on the cover of Rolling Stone? Music has officially died.  Who knew it would be Rolling Stone that murdered it? Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh can no longer be expected to take all the blame. Bob Dylan must be f**king horrified. #BoycottRollingStone”

Kim KW Rolling Stone

SHOCK JOCK HOWARD STERN

(responding to “North Dakota Today” news co-host Chris Berg.  When talking about Stern’s salary of a reported $95 million, Berg asked how Stern could be making that much money.)

Berg

“Douche, you can do the same thing. Leave Fargo, get a show and work on your comedy chops and work on being interesting.”

Howard Stern Rolling Stone

(MORE STERN):  “The reason I worked so hard is so I wouldn’t have to live in Fargo, North Dakota, honestly. No offense if you live there. I’m pretty sure if you’re living there, you’re trying to get out … Gee whiz … I didn’t know Fargo still existed … Good lord. Well, anyway.”

DJ/PRODUCER SKRILLEX

(on Justin Bieber):  “Justin is a f**king virtuoso.  He’ll school you at every-thing: Ping-Pong, basketball, freestyle rapping.  The kid is so competitive.  Whatever he does he’s super good at, so you don’t stand a chance.  It’s not even fair.”

And, here’s Justin’s latest with Skrillex and Diplo.  I love this song and the video is so cool.  It’s takes me back to the fun days of music videos on MTV.

DONUTGATE

I like donuts and I cannot lie!  (You can sing that along to “Baby Got Back” if you want.)

Donuts

And, while they’re so delicious, the unhealthy treat was thrust into the national spotlight recently when pop tart Ariana Grande was busted “allegedly” licking a donut in a California shop without paying for it.

I’m glad that charges will not be filed against her for the silliness.  Yes, it’s gross if she actually Frenched the pastry for someone else to buy, but there are more pressing matters for us to deal with here in America.

Here’s another perspective on the matter.  When you were young, could you see yourself doing that if you were dared by a friend?  I can’t say that my young self would have done it, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t have!

SUMMER 2016 PROJECT

While there’s still several weeks left in summer 2015, I’m already making plans for next summer and setting my goals high.

Back in the summer of 2012, I ventured into making jelly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made 44 jars of mint, jalapeno-mint, apple mint, lemon balm-basil, and rosemary-lavender-lemon-mint jellies in many festive colors. While rainbow-colored, I didn’t call it “gay jelly”.

I just came across a recipe for pickling vegetables and it looks simple and tasty.

So, next year, pickles and pickled veggies!

ACCEPTANCE OF THOSE IN LOVE

As I’ve talked about in the past, my relationship with my alcoholic father was strained at best.  When sober, he was more tolerable.  However, overall, he didn’t like people, including his own family.

I know if he was alive today he would likely not be a part of his gay son’s life.  But, who knows, he could have softened in his golden years and surprised me.

I usually don’t think of him (he died in 1987), but I did think of him again when Jennifer Hudson’s “I Still Love You” was nominated earlier this week for an MTV VMA “Moonmen” award for “Video With a Social Message”.

The album (and song) didn’t catch on with radio or music buyers, but the video and the song are incredible.

TILDA SWINTON AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN HER

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton is all for looking bad for a great role.

She’s hardly recognizable in “Snowpiercer” as Deputy-Minister Mason or as Madame D. in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, a very old woman.

But, check out the 54-year-old actress in the new movie, “Trainwreck”!  (It’s the picture on the left.)

tilda-transformation

Incredible!  What a chameleon.

SKIP “IT FOLLOWS” AND RENT “THE BABADOOK”

“It Follows” was critically acclaimed and made enough money that a sequel is being discussed.

The premise is cool — a supernatural “it” stalks people after they’ve had sex.  The only way for it to leave you alone is if you pass it along to someone else.

After watching the very SLOOOOOOOW movie, I realized that if “It Follows”, it’d definitely catch them!

Watch the trailer, which is better than the movie and save a couple of dollars renting it.

GRADE: C

However, if you want something supernatural that’s scary, check out the Australian-Canadian psychological thriller, “The Babadook”.

“Mister Babadook” is a pop-up storybook that mysteriously appears and re-appears in the home of a mother and her 6-year-old troubled son.

The supernatural entity starts tormenting people when they are made aware of its existence.

Essie Davis are Noah Wiseman excellently portray the fear and horror of being tormented by the “Babadook”.

And, how cool is the word “Babadook”?

GRADE:  B

MID-YEAR CANADIAN MUSIC LEADERS

In my last “Random Friday Thoughts” back on July 3rd, I reported that at the halfway point of 2015 that Taylor Swift leads in album sales and Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have the top-selling single in the U.S. with “1989” and “Uptown Funk”, respectively.

I guess our friends to the north in Canada have the same taste.  Here are the sales there through mid-year and T-Swizzle has now surpassed Ed Sheeran in album sales and Ronson and Mars lead there, too.

Taylor_Swift_-_1989

Top Selling Canadian Albums (through June 30, 2015)

1. Taylor Swift, 1989 — 172,000 sold
2. Ed Sheeran, X — 170,000
3. Fifty Shades Of Grey, soundtrack — 134,000
4. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour — 132,000
5. Yoan, Yoan — 101,000
6. Hozier, Hozier — 101,000
7. Drake, If You’re Reading This… — 101,000
8. Maroon 5, V — 92,000
9. Meghan Trainor, Title — 86,000
10. Mumford & Sons, Wilder Mind — 84,000

Top Selling Singles (through June 30, 2015)

1. Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk! — 526,000 sold
2. Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud — 346,000
3. Wiz Khalifa Feat. Charlie Puth, See You Again — 315,000
4. Maroon 5, Sugar — 289,000
5. Rihanna/Kanye West/Paul McCartney, FourFiveSeconds — 289,000
6. Hozier, Take Me To Church — 279,000
7. Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do — 245,000
8. Omi, Cheerleader — 242,000
9. Andy Grammar, Honey, I’m Good — 204,000
10. Walk The Moon, Shut Up & Dance — 200,000

“SHOW ME YOURS”

A couple of years ago, singer Hailey Rowe released “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.  It was a fun song and the video was incredible frisky and sexy.  It ended up being my favorite song of 2013.

Now, Canadian singer and internet sensation Scotty Dynamo has released the next big gay thing.

His “Show Me Yours” video reminds me of a modern-day version of “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, which was very scandalous and controversial back in 1981.  Maybe that’s why the song ended up spending ten weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and was the biggest-selling single of the 1980s in the U.S.

BETTE MIDLER & DIVINE INTERVENTION

Congratulations to Bette Midler on the 32 sellouts shows on the “Divine Intervention Tour”!  It made an incredible $36 million!

Bette

We saw the amazing Las Vegas show in May!

GUESS THAT’S ENOUGH FOR NOW

As I’ve said many times, I wish I was wealthy enough to just write all the time.  But, I must pay the bills and find time to get a few hours of sleep, pay the bills, and go on vacation.

Thank you very much for checking out my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think about them.  If you agree with something, let me know.  If not, tell me that, too.

I value your thoughts as much as I appreciate you checking out mine.

Anthony

My Top 20 Songs of 2014

It’s time to share the songs that I loved this year and to share one that I couldn’t stand!

There are no country songs on the list since country radio pretty much doesn’t play the artists I want to hear (except their oldies), so I don’t listen to country.

However, I really liked Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song”, but I don’t know if it was for the cute video or the song, so here it is as an extra!

MADDIE & TAE — “GIRL IN A COUNTRY SONG”

20

HAILEY ROWE — “DON’T NEED YOUR APPROVAL”

19

CASH CASH (featuring BEBE REXHA) — “TAKE ME HOME”

18

ERASURE — “ELEVATION”

17

CASCADA  — “BLINK”

16

HOZIER — “TAKE ME TO CHURCH”

*The song is amazing, but the video is heart-breaking and poignant.  Why does this have to happen?*

15

RENEE FLEMING — “WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES”

14

WISIN (featuring JENNIFER LOPEZ & RICKY MARTIN) — “ADRENALINA”

13

THE CHAINSMOKERS — “#SELFIE”

12

MILKY CHANCE — “STOLEN DANCE”

11

KYLIE MINOGUE — “INTO THE BLUE”

10

DISCLOSURE (FEATURING SAM SMITH) — “LATCH”

9

ARIANA GRANDE & ZEDD — “BREAK FREE”

8

NICK JONAS — “JEALOUS”

7

MICHAEL JACKSON & JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE — “LOVE NEVER FELT SO GOOD”

6

TAYLOR SWIFT — “SHAKE IT OFF”

5

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS & PITBULL — “I’M A FREAK”

4

NICKI MINAJ — “ANACONDA”

3

ERASURE — “REASON”

2

MADONNA — “LIVING FOR LOVE”

Casey_Kasem

Since I’m counting down my favorite twenty songs of 2014, I want to take a moment to remember the man who got me interested in music charts and countdowns, Casey Kasem.

Kasem died this past summer at the age of 82 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.

As Kasey told us each week on his “American Top 40” countdown, “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars”.

Before we get to my favorite song this year, let’s take a look back to my favorite song of 2013.

HAILEY ROWE — “MY BOYFRIEND IS GAY”

Now, on with the countdown and my favorite song of 2014!

This is the second appearance from T-Swizzle from her “1989” album.

Another number 1

TAYLOR SWIFT — “BLANK SPACE”

Thank you for checking out my countdown.  Let me know what you liked or didn’t like.

Gag Me

Speaking of not liking, my least favorite song of 2014 was “Wiggle” by Jason DeRulo (which is sad because his first album in 2010 was one of my favorites of the year!

Jason+Derulo+JasonDeruloCoverTCC

There was another song that I didn’t really care too much about on the radio, but once I saw the over-the-top, crazy, dirty video, then I liked it more.  But, not enough to be one of my twenty favorite songs of 2014.  But, here it is as an extra.

This video is sick!

DJ SNAKE & LIL JON — “TURN DOWN FOR WHAT”

As I look forward to 2015, I sure hope that Reba’s new song, “Going Out Like That”, that hits country radio on January 6th makes the list and gives me a reason to listen to country music again.  Also, let’s get some new Patty Loveless music, too.

Reba 2011

Happy New Year!

Anthony

Fortunate In 2014 & Looking Forward To 2015

Happy Holidays, my friends, it’s my favorite time of the year.  I love the sights and sounds, the music, and the fact that I get to catch up with my dear friends.

Christmas 2014

I hope 2014 was a great year for you, but more importantly, I hope 2015 is even better.  May you be blessed with good health, good fortunes, love, and happiness!

It was a fun year for us.  I’ll get to that, but first let me update you on our lives.

I’m nearing the end of my two-year contract as the morning meteorologist for the CBS affiliate here in the Quad Cities.  While I love what I do, I’m not sure how much longer I want to get up at 1 a.m. for work five days a week.

Ray is still the Planning and Economic Development Director for the city of Moline.  He’s been there nine years and loves what he does.  But, were both eyeing his semi-retirement and Gretel’s high school graduation in five years to move to a warmer climate.

Yes, Gretel is now an eighth grader and a teenager!  She wants to be a movie director when she grows up.

Anthony Gretel Ray

My sister, Tammy, is still living in the Quad Cities.  She’s been here for three years and while she’s happy, I can definitely see her return to Tennessee to be closer to her two granddaughters one day.

Tammy

It’s been almost three years since we lost Miss ABBA and we still don’t have a dog.  However, I hope that changes in the next year or two — if we travel less.  We did quite a bit of traveling this year.

ABBAFashionShowJan2012

We got away to Las Vegas for a few days this summer and saw Olivia Newton-John and Shania Twain in concert.

OliviaShania

While there, we also saw two Cirque du Soleil shows, “The Beatles LOVE” and “Michael Jackson ONE”.  Both were simply amazing with the theatrics, the acrobatics, and, of course, the fantastic music.  I’d highly recommend seeing one of these shows when you’re in Vegas.

Other concerts we enjoyed this year were Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan in Clinton, Iowa

Anthony, Pam, & Lorrie

Cher and Cyndi Lauper in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Cher 2014 311

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull in Chicago, Illinois

Enrique

We also saw my favorite ’80s band, Erasure, in Chicago, the next night!

Erasure

We spent a few days in Branson, Missouri, on a summer vacation trip for Gretel and her friends, Zoe, in June, and I accompanied Ray on a conference to beautiful Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada, in September.  I got to sight see while he worked.

Ottawa

And, then in October, we went on the big vacation to celebrate my 50th birthday!

Yes, the big 5-0!  I’ve always wanted to go to Tel Aviv, Israel, and when we were booking the trip, it took us through Paris to sit at the airport for a few hours.  We thought, “why not stay a few days since we’re already going to be there?”  So, we cut Tel Aviv to four nights and stayed in Paris three nights.

Paris Birthday

For my birthday, Ray bought a package deal that included a Seine River dinner cruise, a visit to the Eiffel Tower (the view from the top at night was incredible), and a cabaret show at the world-renowned “Moulin Rouge”.  Since we were on Paris time, I actally turned 50 sipping champagne as the show girls (and boys) performed at the “Moulin Rouge”!

Paris was incredible, but Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean Sea, was so beautiful and the religious history surrounding the city was mind-blowing.

Ray Anthony Old Jaffa

Old Jaffa, just miles away, is more than 4,000 years old.

And, we had a yard sale this summer and started saving change and a few dollars to go on a holiday cruise to the eastern Caribbean in early December with Tammy and Gretel.

Eastern Caribbean

Needless to say, we didn’t buy many presents for each other this Christmas.  The trip was the present.

It been an enjoyable year and we’re definitely looking forward to see what 2015 brings!

As you start to take down the holiday decorations and winter sets in, I hope that you’re looking to the new year for bright new adventures, good health, and much happiness.

“May hope and faith conquer fear and hate” in 2015.

Anthony

 

 

 

 

Getting Our Freak On With Enrique & Pitbull

My big birthday celebration to Paris, France and Tel Aviv, Israel is now about two weeks away.

However, we’re getting the party started early as Ray and I celebrate our wedding anniversary and both of our birthdays with Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull in Rosemont (Chicago) on Friday, October 3rd, and with Erasure the following night in downtown Chicago!

This will be our first Enrique and Erasure concerts and our second Pitbull show.  We saw him last year with Ke$ha.

Pitbull

Before I get into today’s love fest with Enrique, I need to quote our 13-year-old daughter, Gretel, because of some of the less than stellar reviews of his recent concerts in Washington D.C., Montreal, and Toronto.

Enrique Iglesias

Several years ago, we were discussing a movie she wanted to see that was earning poor reviews.  In her youth innocence, she said, “that’s just one person’s opinion.”  And, I’m going to keep Gretel’s words alive in my head as we head to Rosemont to see Enrique on October 3rd.

I know we’re going to have a blast at the concert in Chicago.  Enrique, we’re center stage right, so feel free to drop by, wish us a happy anniversary and birthday, and bring the shots!

Enrique Seats

I’ve been a huge fan of Enrique’s since he crossed over to the pop charts in 1999 with “Bailamos”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the dance charts.  That song was also his eleventh #1 on the Billboard Latin singles charts.

Since then, Enrique has topped the Billboard Latin singles chart 25 times.  He’s also collected a total of 14 chart-toppers on the Billboard Dance/Club Songs chart, more than any other male artist and Billboard has named him the “King of Latin Pop” and “King of Dance”.

“Be With You” is Enrique’s other #1 Hot 100 hit from 2000.  It’s also one of those 14 #1 dance hits.

And, he’s sold more than 60-100 million records worldwide!

Enrique Iglesias

His voice is incredible and he’s so talented.  And, being drop dead gorgeous doesn’t hurt any.

Just the other day, Ray and I were talking and we’re quite baffled that he’s never been named “People” magazine’s” “Sexiest Man Alive”!  Maybe when the magazine makes its announcement in November, it’ll be Enrique.

At 39, he’s stunning, as is his long-time girlfriend, Anna Kournikova.

Anna Enrique

But, I’m writing today to express how thrilled I am to see Enrique and Pitbull on the “Sex and Love Tour”.

By the time we see the show in Rosemont, October 3rd, it will have already played Washington D.C., New York City, Montreal and Toronto in Canada, Boston, and Detroit.

The tour will trek across the U.S. and wrap up in Orlando in late October and then head over to Europe in November and December.

Enrique SEX AND LOVE

Earlier this year, in March, Enrique released his latest album, “Sex and Love” within days of Kylie Minogue’s “Kiss Me Once”.

Kiss Me Once

The gorgeous duo even sings a song together, “Beautiful”, and it appears on both albums.

All spring and summer, I’ve listened to both albums and, at this point, Enrique’s album has the slight edge.  It probably doesn’t hurt that “Bailando”, is one of the ten most played songs on American radio today.

Like me, even if you don’t know Spanish, you can definitely feel the love, passion and energy in the music and the words of Enrique’s non-English songs like the number one smash, “Loco” with Romeo Santos.

Two of the first few releases from the latest album failed to ignite at American Top 40 radio and that is definitely their loss, because “I’m A Freak” and “Turn Up The Night” are definite party hits and Enrique and Pitbull have too much fun in the “Freak” video playing naughty men!

And, then there’s Mr. Worldwide, Pitbull, who’s a bundle of energy when he’s on the stage.  What an entertainer!

My two favorite songs from him are “International Love” and his duet with Ke$ha (now Kesha), “Timber”.

10.02.14-Enrique-v1-620x330

Enrique and Pitbull, we’re excited to see you for a night of crazy beats and fun on your “Sex and Love Tour” in Chicago!

Peace!

Anthony

Why not have another one here for just fun!

I Love That Song, But Skip That One

Radio back in the 1980s was so much fun and the music was amazing.  I’m not a big fan of radio these days because you hear the same songs played over and over.  Here’s a look at my favorite songs of 2013 and three of my least favorites.

Interesting enough, many of these songs and, especially, the top five got little, if any, radio airplay.

Take that, commercial radio.  (Apologies to my radio DJ friends that are constrained as to what you can play!)

13

“LIMPIDO”

LAURA PAUSINI & KYLIE MINOUGUE

12

“SAME LOVE”

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS WITH MARY LAMBERT

11

“WAKE ME UP”

AVICII

#10 MOVIE

“TREASURE”

BRUNO MARS

#9

“FOLLOW YOUR ARROW”

KACEY MUSGRAVES

#8 CD

“TIMBER”

PITBULL & KE$HA

#7 MOVIE

“C’MON”

KE$HA

#6 CD

“DO WHAT U WANT”

LADY GAGA & R. KELLY

#5 MOVIE

“NOW THAT I FOUND YOU”

BRITNEY SPEARS

#4 MOVIE

“VOCAL”

PET SHOP BOYS

green 3

YLVIS

“THE FOX (WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?)”

#2 MOVIE

“RED”

CHER

Another number 1

“MY BOYFRIEND IS GAY”

HAILEY ROWE

So, those are my thirteen favorite songs of the year.

Gag Me

Here are three that I didn’t really care for.

I know I’ll lose gay points for one choice, but I’ll gain them back for fighting back at disgusting homophobia with another choice.

Yes, I’m talking about you, Eminem!

Eminem-Rap-GodRoyalsOoh la la

And, as a bonus to earn back my lost gay point for including a Britney song, here’s one of the sexiest videos of the year.  And, radio, this song should have done much better!

If you’re still reading and you didn’t check it out the other day, here are my ten favorite albums of 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/my-top-ten-favorite-albums-of-2013/

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 14, 2013

The weekend is almost here and it’s not just any weekend, it’s Father’s Day weekend.  Whether you’re a dad, a granddad, or a great granddad, have a great one.  Ladies, while you had your day of celebration last month, I hope you have a great day, too.  I know first hand that there are some women out there that are better fathers than the biological father could ever be!

While the weather isn’t shaping up to be all that great this weekend with showers and thunderstorms, especially Saturday and Saturday night, I hope you make the best of whatever we get!

FATHER’S DAY

We have Gretel this weekend and she hasn’t mentioned doing anything for us.

Last year, she made us the cutest card.

Card Front Card Inside

It had only been four months since Miss ABBA went to “puppy heaven”, but she still made an appearance on the card in her urn. 🙂

With assistance, Gretel made Father’s Day dinner for us in our old kitchen as it was being renovated.  When you check out this video, listen to the age reference and why she’s doing it!

As Alf exclaimed in the 1980s, “Ha, I kill me!”

ALF HA

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY CELEBRITY STYLE

I just want to say a special Happy Father’s Day to Ricky Martin and his partner, Carlos Gonzalez Abella, from their twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, who turn five this August.

Exclusive - Ricky Martin Spends Time With His Partner And Children

Also, to Neil Patrick Harris and his partner, David Burtka, from their twins — son, Gideon Scott, and daughter, Harper Grace.  They turn three in October.

neil-patrick-harris-david-burtka-saint-tropez-with-the-kids

And, to Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, from sons Zachary, who turns three on Christmas Day, and Elijah, who was born five months ago.

Elton John and family

Happy Father’s Day!

THE DOWN SIDE TO BEING VISIBLE

While the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community continues to gain visibility, support, and equality across the United States and other countries at incredible rates, it’s coming with a price.

Gay bashing has always been a problem.

Beatings and harassment at the hands of police prompted the historic “Stonewall Riots” in June 1969 (I blogged about this last Gay Pride and I’ll provide the link below for those of you unfamiliar with it).

I remember standing outside the gay bar and sitting by the Riverfront in Paducah, Kentucky, with my friends back in the mid-1980s and rednecks would drive by making crude comments and hurling the derogatory f-word at us and on a few occasions, they’d even threaten us with baseball bats.

But, that was about 30 years ago and you’d think people would be more educated and more accepting today.  Many are, but there’s still a long road to travel.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that violence toward gays in New York City was up 4% last year over 2011.  And, the number of gay bashing reports have doubled this year.  In May alone, there were 10 reported anti-gay attacks in the Big Apple, including the shooting death of 32-year-old Mark Carson on May 17th in the West Village.

Mark Carson Killed In May

And, it’s not confined the country’s largest city.  In Ohio, “Outlook Columbus” reports that three gay men were beaten in separate attacks in the college town in the past week, including Christopher Ashcraft, who was visiting from Kentucky.

columbus beating

He told police that several men approached him asking for a jump-start.  When he got his keys to help the men, he was attacked.

Ashcraft told a Cincinnati television station, “Once I was on the ground, they just kicked me in the face a couple times until I was unconscious. It was my guess an hour to an hour-and-a-half later before I woke up and, from what I’m told, crawled back to the bar where I was found laying behind the bar.”

While one reason for the increase in the number of attacks may be that people, like in rape cases, are not as afraid today to come forward to report the crime, the bottom line is that ONE attack is ONE attack too many!  I hope the bastards that get a cheap thrill out of beating people for being different (or beating, in general) get what they deserve and much more.

The violence has to stop!

“Push Comes To Shove 43 Years Ago — The Stonewall Riots:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/push-comes-to-shove-43-years-ago-the-stonewall-riots/

FALLING IN LOVE … AGAIN!

On a much lighter note, last Christmas I asked for a turntable.  My album and dance single collection from the 1980s and the 1990s disappeared about 20 years ago, but I wanted to start buying some albums to get that vinyl feeling when listening to music.

Albums

Except for a few skips here and there, the second-hand albums that I’ve buying at used record stores and yard sales are so much fun.  And, we all know how radio only plays the singles.  It’s been interesting listening to the albums that I never would have bought back in the day and to hear many of the ten or so tracks that I would have missed.

YARD SALE BARGAINS

Last weekend, Ray, Tammy, and I went to several yard sales and it was so much fun checking out people’s treasures (and junk) that they were trying to get rid of it.

In addition to the previously mentioned albums, I bought some VHS movies (yes, we still have a player since I’m not converting my VHS collection to DVD), some books, and Christmas ornaments.  I think I’ll have to check out more sales this summer.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

VodkaNot SpeakingAdam Levine

FUNNY “HANNIBAL” JOKE

First, a programming note:  Only one more episode left!  The season finale is Thursday, June 20th.

My friend, Stephanie Bowen, shared this “Hannibal” joke with me regarding characters Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter.

Will Graham and Hannibal

Hannibal: “Will, your lack of appetite worries me. How much do you weigh?”
Will: “One graham.”
(Hannibal stares dumbfoundly — Will smiles sheepishly)
Hannibal: “Don’t make me have to kilogram.”

ALF HA

GONNA MAKE ME SWEAT!

Now that I’ve officially set the date for my annual physical in October, I have to get serious about eating healthy and working out again.  I think I’ve figured out how to jump-start my weight loss this summer:  No air conditioning and walking on the treadmill until I sweat!  Tuesday and Wednesday were perfect for that, although we broke down Wednesday and turned on the AC!

KE$HA & PITBULL CONCERT

We all had a great time at last Sunday’s Ke$ha and Pitbull concert in Tinley Park.  Gretel was excited to wear make-up and fake eyelashes and to color her hair.

Gretel for Ke$ha

Ke$ha was fun and her back-up dancers were a hoot dressed as warriors, drag queens, and animal mascots.  While Ke$ha may have relied heavily on singing along to her own pre-recorded lyrics, it was still enjoyable.  During one number she was going to put on a jacket to” add some color” to her outfit, but there was a wardrobe malfunction putting it on and she went on without it with a “Oh, f*ck it”!

Ke$ha

Pitbull had an incredible light show and the man sure has some energy.  He sang many, if not all, of his hits in his 75-minute set with many of the big stars (Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, and Ne-Yo) he’s performed with appearing on the stage monitor behind him.  But, after a while, some of his songs blended together and sounded the same.

Pitbull

What a great night with very enjoyable shows from Ke$ha and Pitbull.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

We have been debating on whether to put up Gretel’s outdoor pool this year.  I think we’re leaning toward “no”.

It came in handy in the summer of 2010.  Miss ABBA, who loved swimming, sure enjoyed it.  This picture is from this week three years ago.

61910 ABBA Gretel

Earlier in my blog, I talked about Gretel making dinner for us last Father’s Day.  Here is the final product — linguine with lemon pepper and garlic chicken and veggies.

Gretel 06182012

NEW SONG I’M LOVING

Last week, I featured the video for Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay”.  I love that song and video.  Another song that I’m really loving right now, in just two months, is already the most popular song in the country and one of the most played on Top 40 radio.

Robin Thicke scored his first Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Lost Without U”, in 2007.  While the song hit #14 on that chart, it topped the R&B chart.  He’s gone on to score two more #1 songs on the R&B chart with “Sex Therapy” in 2009 and his new song, “Blurred Lines” featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.  “Blurred Lines” is also the new #1 song on the Hot 100.

It’s the first release from his new album of the same name that is being released at the end of July.

By the way, there is an “unrated” version of the video that was banned by YouTube.  *Warning:  Contains Boobies*  *NSFW*  *Not suitable when children are in the room*.  Oh, who am I kidding, you’ve already clicked on the link!

parental_advisory_explicit_content

http://www.vevo.com/watch/robin-thicke/blurred-lines-unrated-version/USUV71300526

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Since I just featured Robin Thicke with one of my favorites songs out there today, let’s keep it in the family with one of my favorite female vocalists of all time.  Robin is the son of actor Alan Thicke (“Growing Pains”) and actress/singer Gloria Loring (“Liz Chandler Courtney DiMera Craig Curtis” on “Days of Our Lives” from 1980-1986).

As a singer, Gloria Loring is best known on television as a singer on “Days of Our Lives” and for co-writing the themes to “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life” with her ex-husband Alan Thicke.  Gloria also sang the theme song to “The Facts of Life” from the second season to the end of the series.

Gloria has released twelve albums dating back to her first in 1968.  Although she is one of my favorite singers, her only Top 40 appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 came in 1986 when “Friends & Lovers”, a duet with Carl Anderson, reached #2.  It hit #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.

RAY, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

This song, “The Best Thing About Me Is You” (“Lo Mejor de Mi Vida Eres Tu”) by Ricky Martin hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Latin charts in 2011.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts.  I hope you took a moment to enjoy the videos.  Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Letting The Freak Flag Fly Tonight

“Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy/(Hey, what up girl?)/Grab my glasses, I’m out the door, I’m gonna hit this city/(Lets go)/Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack/’Cause when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back”

Okay, that’s not exactly true.  This afternoon, Ray, Gretel, and I are heading off to Chicago to celebrate Gretel’s birthday a month early.  While we’re going to try to dodge showers and thunderstorms, we’re spending the evening with Pitbull and Ke$ha at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park.

pitbull-kesha

After the show, we’re driving the 2.5 hours back to the Quad Cities and I’ll shower and head straight into work.  So, I’m getting my Ke$ha on by staying up more than 24 hours!  I know it’ll be worth it.  For the night, I’m going to be one of those “Crazy Kids”!

Say what you will about Ke$ha and I’m sure I’ve heard it all before.  I might have even said some of the same things.  Let’s see, “she can’t sing” (wrong, she has a great voice), “her songs are so auto-tuned” (true), “she’s a freak” (you’re damn right she is!  Let that freak flag sister!), and “Blah Blah Blah”!  Oh, by the way, for the Ke$ha uninformed, that’s the title of one of her Top Ten songs with 3OH3!

This past December, I bought her new album, “Warrior”, and when I blogged about it, I gave it an “A”.  It’s amazing and for the first few months this year, it was the only CD in my player!  Rock on, Ke$ha.

Ever since she released her first solo single, “Tik Tok”, in the summer of 2009, I loved the fun vibe of her songs and the many more Top Ten hits that followed:  “Blah Blah Blah”, “Your Love Is My Drug”, “Take It Off”, “We R Who We R”, “Blow”, and “Die Young”.

I know that Gretel, who turns 12 next month, will hear a few choice words tonight since there is a “parental advisory” label on her album “Warrior” for “explicit content”.  Yes, she says the “f-word” several times, but this isn’t the 1950s and I’m not Ward or Jean Cleaver!

Kesha 2

Although Ke$ha’s show will feature dancers dressed as life-sized stuffed animal mascots and drag queens, the show is full of fun and energy and songs that carry a strong message.

Her #1 hit, “We R Who We R” became a symbol for the LGBT community and especially when there was a rash of gay teen suicides in 2010 and 2011.

Ke$ha says, “I wanted to inspire people … to be themselves. It’s a celebration of any sort of quirks or eccentricities.  I was really affected by the suicides that have been happening, having been subject to very public hatred [myself]. I have absolutely no idea how these kids felt. What I’m going through is nothing compared to what they had to go through. Just know things do get better and you need to celebrate who you are. Every weird thing about you is beautiful and makes life interesting. Hopefully the song really captures that emotion of celebrating who you are … I just felt like people hate because they don’t understand or they’re jealous, It’s all coming from a very negative place and I really feel like people don’t need to pay attention to that.”

Ke$ha, thank you for taking the heat for not conforming!  Be yourself.  If people think you’re a freak, that means that they’re thinking of you!

Kesha

And, then Pitbull will be bringing a taste of Latin flavor and high energy to the stage for more than an hour after Ke$ha.

Pitbull

He’s dominated Top 40 radio for years now as both a solo artist and by making guest appearances with other big name singers.  He’s scored hits with Enrique Iglesias (“I Like It”), Jennifer Lopez (“On The Floor”, “Live It Up”, and “Dance Again”), and Chris Brown (“International Love”).

His most recent hit, the #1 dance and Top Ten Hot 100 smash, “Feel This Moment” featured Christina Aguilera.

We’re looking forward to a fun-filled night with Pitbull and Ke$ha!

This place is about to “Blow”!  (This video is so funny and awesome if you’ve seen it.  Take that James Van Der Beek, aka Dawson Leery!)

So, will I embarrass Gretel when I sing “C’mon” along with Ke$ha?

“Feeling like I’m a high schooler/
Sipping on a warm wine cooler/
Hot ’cause the party don’t stop/
I’m in a crop top/
Like I’m working at hooters/
We been keeping it PG/
But I wanna get a little frisky/
Come gimme some of that yum like a lollipop/
Let me set you free”

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 7

The weekend is here and I hope you have a great one.  In the Quad Cities, Gumbo Ya-Ya is taking place in the District of Rock Island.  While I’ve broadcasted weather live from the event, I’ve never actually gone to it.  So, this evening, I’ll be there an hour or so for work and then I may sample some of the culture and the food.

On Sunday,we’re heading to Chicagoland to celebrate Gretel’s birthday a month early.  Two years ago, we took her to the “Glee Live” concert.  This time it’s Ke$ha and Pitbull.  While I was the one that really wanted to go, Gretel was very excited about getting to see the show, too.

KE$HA & PITBULL IN CONCERT

Ke$ha Pitbull

While I know that Ke$ha is strange and her songs are auto-tuned to the max, she’s still fun to listen to and who doesn’t love someone that’s not afraid to let their freak flag fly.  Her current album, “Warrior” is amazing.

The reviews of the concert are really good.  From what I’ve read, Ke$ha comes out first and performs about 55 minutes and then Pitbull brings his Latin magic to the stage for about 75 minutes.

Ke$ha’s new song, “Crazy Kids” featuring will.i.am is currently racing up the chart and is already Top 30 at pop radio.

KAISER’S LAST  WALK

In a heartwarming show of respect last Friday in Massachusetts, several Plymouth Police Department personnel gathered outside an animal hospital to salute Kaiser, their 2.5-year-old K-9 companion, as he walked into the veterinarian clinic to be put down.
Remembering Kaiser

The German Shepherd was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure this March, but his health problems became too severe early last week for him to work and the decision was made to end his pain.

Kaiser was one of the youngest dogs to ever attend the training academy – at just 10 months old.  After finishing the four-month Patrol Dog Academy, he was certified in human tracking, criminal apprehension and evidence recovery and was assigned to Plymouth Police Officer Jamie LeBretton.

LeBretton posted this on the Plymouth Police K-9 unit’s Facebook page, “I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue.”

Rest in peace, Kaiser!

TRAIN WRECK AMANDA BYNES HAS CROSSED THE LINE

Troubled actress Amanda Bynes is giving people plenty to talk about and it has nothing to do with her acting!

Following her last arrest on May 23, 2013, she tweeted, “Don’t believe the reports about me being arrested. It’s all lies.  I was sexually harassed by one of the cops the night before last which is who then arrested me. He lied and said I threw a bong out the window when I opened the window for fresh air. Hilarious. He slapped my vagina.  Sexual harassment…The cops were creepy.”  Um, okay.

Amanda Bynes

And, then last weekend, she was upset with “People” magazine and posted this on Twitter with a gay slur.

Amanda Bynes

Before it was deleted, RuPaul got wind of it and had this come back.

RuPaul

Amanda, you need help, but let me give you some advice.  You should really watch your mouth, especially dropping that f-bomb because one thing you don’t want in your twisted little life is for the LGBT community to come down on you, especially a 7-foot tall drag queen (with heels and wig)!

RuPaul

You better work!

YUM!

I finally had the new Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita and it was pretty tasty.  And, the nice thing is that it’s only 199 calories.  While it has more calories than a glass of wine or a vodka/diet tonic, I would not want to have more than one or two of them at a time anyways.  It seems more like a cordial or a dessert drink to me.  Also, I bet it would fun to make my own variation of the drink for a party!

strawberrita

As many of you know, I love making fun drinks or having a vodka tonic or a glass or two of wine, so this cartoon is rather fitting for me. 🙂

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Forecast  Know it allHuman

PRIDE PROTEST SHAME

Last weekend was 6th annual Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  I’ve attended three of them now.  Two with Miss ABBA and this one with Ray and Gretel.  I hear the turnout on Saturday was phenomenal!  Thank you, Quad Cities!

We went on Sunday and it wasn’t as busy during the afternoon.  As many of you know, I’m very outspoken about matters that are true to my heart.  I believe in equality for all and I stand behind my convictions and I don’t hide.  What you get is what you see!

As we were leaving Pride, Ray pointed out the two protestors standing by the entrance/exit.  While thousands attended the Quad Cities Pride, two people took it upon themselves to let us know that we were sinners in God’s eyes.

Pride Protestor

If this is a relative of yours, I offer my apologies on several levels.  But, most of all, if you have the nerve to condemn people on God’s behalf, please have “pride” in yourself that you don’t hang your head in shame when someone takes your picture.  I know there are many people who believe as this man does.  On the other hand, I know there are many more people who are proud to stand up for the rights of their LGBT brothers and sisters.

Gretel, who turns 12 next month, asked, “What is he protesting?”  I told her, “he thinks God doesn’t want your two dads married”.  And, her response was priceless, “Why?”  I ♥ my little girl!

I can hear the angel Whitney Houston singing in my head, “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way”.  So, I’ll share it with you now.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

It’s been almost 16 months since the incredibly talented and beautiful Whitney Houston left us.  Her music still sounds as good today as it did when she blasted onto the music scene in 1985 with her first hit, “You Give Good Love”.  From that first Billboard Hot 100 hit that peaked at #3 to her last Top 40 appearance in 2001 (“The Star-Spangled Banner, #6), Whitney scored 30 Top 40 hits.  Of those, 24 reached the Top Ten, and eleven made it all the way to the top of the chart!

As a matter of fact, from 1985-1988, Whitney topped the Billboard Hot 100 with seven consecutive songs:  “Saving All My Love For You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.

In addition to those seven consecutive chart toppers, Whitney also reached the top with “I’m Your Baby Tonight”, “All The Man I Need”, I Will Always Love You”, and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”.

She also topped the Billboard Dance Chart fourteen times.

DONUT VODKA LAST YEAR AND NOW WHAT?

Last year at this time, I was anxiously awaiting the “Glazed Donut” vodka from 360 Vodka, which the company called the “irresistible taste of America’s most-popular donut.”  I wasn’t impressed when I bought it, so I need to try it again to see if I was wrong last summer.

Today, on National Donut Day, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering not only a free donut with the purchase of a beverage, but it’s also offering a new, relatively healthy breakfast (or I guess, anytime) treat, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich!

donut-sandwich

The company describes the 360 calorie, 20 fat grams sandwich this way, “The glazed donut is light and fluffy and gives you just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the lightly salted, smoked bacon, the texture and flavors marry together in a wonderful way. It’s a delicious bite of the perfect harmonization of sweet and savory flavors.”

So, would it be overkill to have this new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich and a 360 Vokda Glazed Donut cocktail for dinner tonight??? 🙂

Speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts, the chain’s Moline, Illinois, store on Avenue of the Cities that was struck by a hit and run stolen pickup truck almost three months ago is still closed.  And, it will remain that way indefinitely.  While I’m not a regular customer there, I thought it was rather odd that it has taken so long to re-open.  So, I did some investigating and no building permit has been requested from the Moline Building Division for the repair work.  Interesting!

I guess if I really want my free donut and to try this sandwich today, I’ll have to go to Davenport!

“THE WALKING DEAD”

While we’re still months away from the start of the fourth season of “The Walking Dead”, I got excited earlier this week when it was announced that season three arrives on DVD on August 27th!  Yes, I’m one of those people who don’t watch enough television to pay Mediacom’s outrageous prices for cable.

I can’t wait to see the third season because I hear it was fantastic.  And, yes, I’m aware that some of the main characters die since you can’t avoid spoilers these days, especially if you wait for shows to arrive on DVD.

The season 3 finale was watched by 12.4 million people making it the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), I’ll see you in less than three months!

“DEXTER”

While I love “The Walking Dead”, my favorite show is “Dexter”.  The final season begins June 30th on Showtime!

Dexter The Final Season

And, guess who graces the cover of my favorite magazine, “Entertainment Weekly’?

Dexter -EW-COVER

While my issue will arrive in the mail today, I already know part of what it says about season 8.  Since I don’t believe in spoiling things for others, in case you’re not caught up, here’s what I’ll let out of the bag.  According to “EW”, the final season picks up six months after the shocking season seven finale.  Debra has a new job and Dexter is desperate to get close to his sister again after the all of the turmoil she faced last season after she found out what Dexter is!

And, this sounds like an awesome new storyline:  “Enter Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a psychiatrist with a secret: Decades ago she helped Dexter’s father write the Code that he’s used to manage his psychotic impulses. Now she’s being stalked by a mysterious killer and wants Dex’s help.”

Ray and I just watched Season 7 and I have to say that it was my favorite season so far, but season one is very close!

Since I love ranking and grading pop culture, here goes:

Season 1: (A+)   — Three words:  Ice Truck Killer!  Plus, I love Sergeant Doakes (“Surprise Motherf***a”)!

Season 2: (B)  —   I gave it a higher grade for Doakes and a lower grade because of Lila (you gotta love Paris)!

Season 3: (B-) —  This season had so much potential especially when Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) saw Dexter kill someone early on, but the show lost its way for most of the season.

Season 4:  (A) —  The Trinity Killer & Rita taking a much deserved bath!

Season 5:  (B-) — Lumen got old fast, but having Jonny Lee Miller (Jordan Chase) on the show saved it from getting a “C”.  However, the story line was weak.

Season 6:  (A-)  —  The “Doomsday Killer” and the Book of Revelations killings were intriguing.   The “Nebraska” filler episode dropped the season back a partial grade.

Season 7:  (A+) — The dynamics of Dexter and Debra this season after she witnessed his kill at the end of season six were incredible.  Debra’s fragility of discovering what Dexter is and having to compromise her position with Miami Metro to save her brother was a powerful story to watch unfold.   And, it was fun seeing Dexter as the mouse in the “cat and mouse” game with his every move being watched by not only Debra, but also by Isaac Sirko and the Koshka Brotherhood (the Ukrainian based international crime syndicate).  If that wasn’t enough, he and Debra then had to come up with a strategic plan after Captain LaGuerta found evidence that Doakes wasn’t the “Bay Harbor Butcher” and she started investigating Dexter!

And, the icing on the cake, I finally got a Christmas “Dexter” episode!

RENT THIS!

If you’re looking for a movie to rent this weekend, I suggest “Silver Linings Playbooks” (A-), “The Life of Pi” (A), and “The Impossible” (A).

the-impossible

“The Impossible” is about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that struck many southeast Asia countries on December 26, 2004.  Indonesia was hardest hit with the most damage and casualties.  Around a quarter of a million people died.

This movie follows a British couple played by Naomi Watts (who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance) and Ewan McGregor and their three sons on a holiday vacation to Thailand.  After enjoying opening presents for Christmas, the movie moves on to their fight for survival during and after the waves hit their resort.

Watts’ performance was subtle, but very touching.  In a weaker Oscar race year, Tom Holland, who played the couple’s 12-year-old son, Lucas, would have have nominated.

The special effects of the tsunami and the aftermath of the raging water that turned land into an extension of the Indian Ocean were so realistic.

A must-see!

AND, TAKE A CHANCE ON THIS!

K-11

This was one of the craziest, but entertaining, movies I’ve seen in some time.

It’s the directorial debut of Hollywood veteran script supervisor Jules Stewart, the mother of the “Twilight” series star Kristin Stewart.  At one point, K-Stew was attached to the movie, but had to drop out because of a scheduling conflict.  Her brother, Cameron Stewart makes his acting debut as a prisoner.

The movie stars Goran Visnjic, of “ER” fame, as hard partying, boozer, and druggie music producer Raymond Saxx, Jr.  He ends up in jail one night after a blackout and then mistakenly (one guard bribing another is more accurate) gets taken to K-11, a part of the Los Angeles County Jail, that houses gay or transsexual inmates to keep them “safe” from the general jail population.

K-11 is a cesspool of drugs and bad behavior and is controlled by Mousey, a street wise transsexual inmate played by actress Kate De Castillo.  De Castillo is incredible.  It’s a case of Julie Andrew’s “Victor Victoria” gone bad.  A woman playing a man dressing as a woman.  I seriously thought that De Castillo was a man playing a woman or a transsexual.

The movie is violent and does have drug and rape scenes, so it may not be for the faint of heart.

GRADE:  B

OBSESSED WITH THIS VIDEO!

I love the latest song and video from singer and songwriter Hailey Rowe.  When I first saw the video, I loved it because it was fun and both Hailey and video “boyfriend”, actor Blake Peyrot, are so damn cute.  Now, I just can’t stop watching it.  And, the song was added to the playlists at stations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Palm Springs, California.  I think it would be so awesome for this song to take off at Top 40 radio this summer!

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

A mini-vacation sounds nice right now, but we don’t have any planned.

However, last year at this time, Ray, Gretel, Betty (“Mom”) and I spent the weekend at “Four Mounds”, a little getaway in Dubuque, Iowa, overlooking the Mississippi River.  They have a little cabin that we’ve rented several times.  We just relaxed, played cards, walked in the woods and along the River, and ate some good food like my favorite meal that Ray makes — chicken piccata.  That’s also the first meal he cooked for me and Miss ABBA in early 2009 when we met.

June 8 2012 Betty AP Ray Ray AP June 9 2012 Ray Gretel June 8 2012Chicken Piccata June 8 2012

Okay, that’s enough random thoughts.  You know I always welcome your thoughts on anything that I’m talking about or something totally off the subject.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

When Once Is Not Enough

As you read this, depending on the time of the day and if the flights are on time, either I’ll be at Midway Airport in Chicago or in Las Vegas.  Tomorrow night is the big “Born This Way Ball” concert with Lady Gaga.  I think I’ll venture over to the MGM Grand and see if the “Born Brave Bus” has arrived from last night’s show in Phoenix, Arizona.

I can’t wait to see Gaga!  This will mark my second or third time seeing Mother Monster.  You’re probably asking, “why don’t you know how many times you’ve seen her in concert?”  Let me explain.  I saw her for the first time in January 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois, on a smaller version of “The Monster Ball Tour”.

Gaga 2010

Later that year, in August, Gaga was the headliner for Lollapalooza, the outdoor music festival in Grant Park in Chicago.  We were in town for Market Days, but Ray and I decided to venture down and see how close we could get to Grant Park to “hear” Gaga.  As it turns out, many people were standing across Lake Shore Drive by the Lakefront listening to the show and watching it on the monitors.

Gaga Lolloapoolza

So, this was our view of the concert.  It didn’t matter that several lanes of Lake Shore Drive separated us from Lady Gaga.  It also separated us from the estimated 90,000 people inside the park!  We still got to hear Gaga and, for the record, when the Emmy-award winning HBO concert special of “The Monster Ball Tour” came out on DVD, I bought it.  So, Mother Monster still got money from me.

With that being said, I’ll call tomorrow night’s show in Las Vegas my third Lady Gaga concert.

Yesterday, in my blog, I shared with you all of the fun artists that I saw in concert one time.  Today, here are the artists that I’ve seen multiple times.  I hope you enjoy this trip down music memory lane with me.  And, trust me, it’s not as long as the blog Wednesday. 🙂

2x

 

 

No, I’ve never seen British singer Ann Lee in concert.  I just recalled this fun song from 1999 and wanted to see how many of you remember it.  It was a dance hit in the U.S., but it didn’t make it onto many radio stations in the U.S.  However, it hit #1 in Belgium and the Top Five in Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Okay, let’s stay focused Anthony.  Here are the acts that I’ve seen in concert two times.

Cher & Cyndi Lauper (Chicago, 2002; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2014) 

*Fun “Vegas” theatrical show*

Cher 2014 311

Cyndi Lauper

Pam Tillis (Bettendorf, Iowa, 2012; Clinton, Iowa, 2014) 

*I finally got to see her in concert in 2012!  What a funny and talented lady!  I was then lucky enough to see her and Lorrie Morgan together for a second time on the “Grits and Glamour Tour” and meet them!*

Pam Tillis

Anthony, Pam, & Lorrie

Lorrie Morgan (Nashville, Tennessee, 2013; Clinton, Iowa, 2014)

Lorrie Morgan

Pitbull (Tinley Park, Illinois, 2013; Rosemont, Illinois, 2014)

Pitbull 2014

Michael Buble (2008 & 2011, Moline, Illinois)

2008 Michael BubleMichael Buble

Taylor Dayne (2007 & 2010, Chicago)

Taylor Dayne 2007Taylor Dayne

Tiffany (1988, Du Quoin, Illinois; 2010, Chicago)

Tiffany 2010

Brad Paisley (2001, Canfield, Ohio; 2005, Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Interviewing Brad Paisley 2001

The Band Perry (2011, Moline; 2012, Davenport, Iowa)

The Band Perry 2011

Lonestar (1996, Merrillville, Indiana; 1997, Lubbock, Texas)

Lonestar

Brooks & Dunn (1998, Cleveland, Ohio; 2001, Canfield)

Brooks & Dunn

Gary Allan (1997, Lubbock; 2001, Niles, Ohio)

Gary Allan

Tommy Page (1988, Du Quoin; 1990, West Allis, Wisconsin)

Tommy Page

3x

Madonna (2006 & 2008, Chicago; 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada)

Madonna 2012

Lady Gaga (2010, Rosemont, Illinois; 2010, Chicago; 2013, Las Vegas)

Anthony Gaga 2010 Gaga 2010 Bad Romance

Gaga Las Vegas

Terri Clark (1996, Rhinelander, Wisconsin; 1998,  Cleveland; 2002, Chicago)

Terri Clark 1996

New Kids on the Block (1988, Du Quoin; 1989, Cincinnati, Ohio; 1990 East Troy, Wisconsin)

New Kids

 

Winner

12

REBA

(1995, Tinley Park, Illinois; 1996, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 1998, Cleveland; 1999, Indianapolis, Indiana; 2001, Darien Lake, New York; 2004, Baltimore, Maryland; 2005, Virginia Beach, Virginia; 2007, Orillia, Ontario, Canada; 2008, Bloomington, Illinois; 2008, Moline; 2011 Rosemont; 2011, Moline)

Reba Anthony 2005Reba 2011  Reba2

 

 

 

Anthony