Posts Tagged ‘Planet Hollywood’

“It’s Britney, B*tch” — My 20 Favorite Songs

The countdown is on for me to see Britney Spears in concert for the second time — the first for her Las Vegas residency, “Piece of Me”, at the AXIS at Planet Hollywood.

I’ll be there tonight, March 22nd, for the kickoff to the 18th leg of the residency!

Britney Piece of Me

I first saw Britney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the summer of 2011, on the “Femme Fatale Tour”.

Britney Spears

Anthony Britney 07092011

In anticipation of the show, I’m sharing my 20 favorite Britney songs and based on a previous set list, I may see and hear 15 or more of them!

Britney Whip

#20

19

18

17

16

15

14

#13

12

#11 Movie

#10 MOVIE

9 CD

#8 MOVIE

#7 CD

#6 CD

5

4

#3 CD

BIRTHDAY-CAKE-2-year-old

1

So, there you have them — my 20 favorite Britney Spears songs.

Now, I must go get ready to see Britney, bitch! 🙂

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 5, 2016

I’m back from my five-night getaway to Las Vegas!

I’ve never been there in late July and I’ll likely not visit that time of the year again since it was 115° the day we arrived and the following day!  I’ve always said “it’s a dry heat”, but after experiencing it, hot is hot!

AP Ray Night View Vegas

We’re still highly considering making Las Vegas home in a few years.  But, for now, we’ll just make our annual pilgrimage there.

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts and, as always, feel free to share yours and if we disagree, do it diplomatically.

VEGAS & BUFFETS

We prepared for the incredible amount of food we would indulge in by eating very healthy and working out longer hours for three weeks before the trip.

I love buffets.  I only take very small portions, so I can sample more things.  Usually a bite or two will be enough, but I did have two helping of the amazing Lobster Eggs Benedict at Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace and the incredible chilled crab legs at Stratosphere.

We always visit the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood to see our favorite server, Viena, and feast on the Mediterranean food, cupcakes, and cotton candy.

Last year, we discovered Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan and went back again this time.  It was incredible.  This year, my favorites were the Eggs Benedict, the Almond Joy gelato, and the creme brulee!

So, how much food is eaten in Las Vegas?

Vegas Buffets.jpg

Incredible!

I WAS ONE OF THE “WILD BOYS” WITH DURAN DURAN

It’s only taken me more than three decades, but I finally got to see one of my favorite 1980’s bands, Duran Duran, in concert for the first time and it was well worth the wait.

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Original band members Simon LeBon, John Taylor, and Roger Taylor were full of energy and had the crowd at Mandalay Bay singing and dancing right along with them. (Nick Rhodes is still on the “The Paper Gods Tour”, but he’s having to miss a few shows to attend to family matters back in the U.K.)

But, while many of my favorite songs were performed, my all-time favorite Duran Duran song wasn’t on the playlist. 😦

Here are my Top Ten favorite Duran Duran songs (this will open in a new window).

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/my-ten-favorite-duran-duran-songs/

What’s your favorite Duran Duran song?

NAUGHTY, BUT NICE!

We also saw the very naughty and sensual Cirque du Soleil show “Zumanity” at New York-New York.  I’d highly recommend it.

20160731_203118.jpg

This is my third Cirque show.

A couple of years ago, I saw “Michael Jackson ONE” and “The Beatles LOVE”.  Those shows are in a different category because not only do they feature amazing acrobatics, but the music is the soundtrack to many of our lives!

On my next visit to Las Vegas, I definitely want to see the aquatic show, “O”, at Bellagio.

“GLORY”, GLORY, HALLELUJAH

I’ve decided if I nap all the way to August 26th, then it’ll be like tomorrow and then I won’t have to wait three weeks for…

Glory BS

“Glory”, Britney Spears’ ninth studio album!!!

She’s calling it “the beginning of a new era”.  I can’t wait and I hope to see her again in early 2017 in Las Vegas.

Summerfest in Milwaukee, in 2011, seems so long ago!

Now that I’ve had my “come-to-Jesus” moment, I can focus on this week’s random Friday thoughts.

THIS WEEK JUST GOT SO MUCH BETTER & HOTTER!!!

After Britney announced “Glory” earlier this week, I didn’t think the week could get any better.  Wrong!

Friday afternoon, she dropped the video to “Make Me (Oooh)”!!! Early on, I thought the hottest video of the summer would be Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home”!

No way, it’s Britney, bitch!

This video is so hot that it makes the Las Vegas “heat wave” seem like a cool summer day!

You’ll actually need misters in your house to cool you off while watching this.  Beware:  it’ll also make your popsicles melt in the freezer!

BREAKING AND ENTERING TO MAKE ME (OOOH)!

While I don’t watch late night television with my work schedule, Jimmy Kimmel is definitely becoming one of my favorites!  (To the other Jimmy, I still like you, too.)

It’s stuff like this that makes me smile. 🙂  It helps that Britney and her hot dancers are involved in the funny act!

CAUGHT UP ON “THE WALKING DEAD”?

spoiler-alert

If you haven’t finished season six, don’t watch the trailer or read what I wrote down below. Same for season two of “Fear The Walking Dead” — spoilers ahead.

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

Hillary Clinton is the official Democratic nominee for president of the United States after last week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Hillary AP

Yes, I’m with her!

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS

Bernie Sanders:  “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight.”

DEM 2016 Debate

Bernie Sanders:  “Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.”

First Lady Michelle Obama:  “Because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters…can take it for granted that a woman can be president.”

CHELSEA THOUGHTS

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Hillary and former President Bill Clinton, sent out this fundraising email in July during the Republican National Circus  Convention:

“When Republicans repeatedly get on stage at their national convention and toss attack after attack at my mom, calling her things I’d never say in front of my children — let alone on live TV — they’re talking about a caricature they’ve imagined, not the woman that I love and respect.

My mom is compassionate, kind, and hardworking — when I was growing up, it seemed like she could do anything. She’d spend all day in court litigating on behalf of children and families, then come home and ask me over dinner what I learned in school, what my favorite part of my day was, and what I hoped would happen tomorrow. And then she would sit with me while I did my homework or practiced the piano or worked on my science project.”

chelsea hillary

I live in the real world and I know there are people that won’t support Hillary for whatever reasons they want, but what a lovely testament to a mother!

I’d be saying the same things if my mother were alive and running for president.

SUSAN SARANDON, WHY BOTHER TO ATTEND?

Don’t get me wrong, I love actress Susan Sarandon.

We just happened to be on the different side of the fence this political season (and she still is) — Team Hillary here and she’s Team Bernie.

And, clearly, she’s making no effort to unify.

ss.gif

I fully understand her frustration if it was still spring and we weren’t at the Convention.  I was feeling this way in early summer 2008, but I quickly got behind Senator Barack Obama and fully supported his successful bid for president.

Susan, move on or move out!

MY POST-REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CIRCUS CONVENTION THOUGHTS

I didn’t watch it and I only saw the soundbite versions.  That was enough for me.

So, Heather Mooney, please assist me.

How was the convention?

HeatherMooney

With that, I can’t wait to share “Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion” with my 15-year-old daughter now that she’s old enough to see it!

LET’S RETURN TO THE “BEACHES”

“Beaches”, with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, is one of my all-time favorite movies and the soundtrack still holds a special place in my heart.  We had “Wind Beneath My Wings” played at my mother’s funeral in 1990.

Later this month, production gets underway on the “Lifetime” movie remake with Idina Menzel playing Midler’s movie role of C.C. Bloom.

The cool thing is that the movie and Menzel have Midler’s approval.

Midler Beaches

Menzel will be performing at least two Midler classics from the movie, “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Glory of Love”.

Of course, those songs are iconic.  But, “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” is also one of absolute favorite tear jerkers.

The movie is set to air in 2017.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

NRA.jpg

“THE WALKING DEAD” SEASON 7 

I’m so ready for October 23rd to get here.  No, that’s not my birthday (that’s October 13th).

Season 7 of “The Walking Dead” returns on AMC.  We’ll finally find out which character dies a violent death at the hands of Negan and his barbed wired-covered baseball bat Lucille.

If you’re a die-hard fan, you’ve probably already seen this incredible three-minute trailer released at Comic-Con.

I love how the first 82 seconds teases you and the last 104 introduces you to new characters and the ones that were safe from Negan and Lucille!

We already know that a major character is savagely murdered.  My guess is Abraham, but an online poll has Glenn at 36% and Abraham at 32%.

Here’s a thought:  Why not shock everyone and just have Negan go completely batty and kill off TWO PEOPLE?  We wouldn’t expect that!

“HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS”

This little comedy stars Oscar and Emmy Award winner Sally Field and Max Greenfield of Fox’s “New Girl”.

Doris, a single woman in her 60s, is dealing with losing her mother and comes under pressure to sell all of the junk from her house where she and her mother lived.  Doris is a hoarder.

At work, after an elevator encounter, she become increasingly obsessed with a new co-worker that’s young enough to be her grandson.

There were a couple of moments in the movie when the cute little comedy teetered on the borderline of creepy.

Field is incredible, as always, and this movie proves how funny she is while still allowing her to have dramatic crying scenes, for which she is famous.  Think M’Lynn from “Steel Magnolias”.

GRADE:  B+

“THE FAMILY FANG”

This dysfunctional family dramedy stars Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken and Golden Globes winner Jason Bateman.

Kidman is spectacular, as always.  But, that’s about it.  The trailer is better than the movie.  It’d save you a couple of bucks and a couple of hours.

This movie only made about $15-thousand in theaters.

GRADE:  C

“FEAR THE WALKING DEAD”

I’ve already talked about the return of “The Walking Dead” in October.

The second half of the much improved second season of “Fear The Walking Dead” also premiered a new trailer at Comic-Con.

“Fear The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on Sunday, August 21.

SONG OF THE SUMMER

In reality, it seems like Drake’s “One Dance” and Justin Timberlake’s infectious “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” are the top contenders for “Song of the Summer”.

However, the one that I can’t stop listening to when it comes on the radio is Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too”, my pick for song of the summer.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

My 20 Favorite J. Lo Songs

It’s my second favorite time of the year after Christmas — my annual trip to Las Vegas!

Las Vegas

I absolutely love the city! Ray and I have talked about it and one day, a few years down the line, we may move there.

The next few days will be filled with lounging by the pool in the 100°+ heat, people watching, playing slots, sipping drinks and mimosas, and eating some great food.

Spice Market Buffet Las Vegas

We also plan on catching a show and seeing Duran Duran and Jennifer Lopez in concert.  (And, if it works out, maybe even catching Reba for the 14th time, along with Brooks & Dunn for a second time).

JLo AP

But, this is all about J. Lo., one of the world’s most beautiful women!

No, I haven’t been lucky enough to meet her (or see her in concert).  This photo was taken last March at Madame Tussauds in New York City.

In anticipation of seeing J. Lo’s incredible “All I Have” Vegas show, I went back and listened to every track from her eight studio albums.  Here is a countdown of my 20 favorite J. Lo songs.

20

19

18

17

16

#15 Movie

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3


2

Another number 1

And, because J. Lo is so stunning and I love her attitude (hello to objectifying men), here’s a bonus!

Bonus

Anthony

 

 

 

Random Friday Thoughts — June 3, 2016

IS IT SUMMER YET?

Depending on who you listen to, it might already be summer.  Some say Memorial Day is the “unofficial” start to the summer season and meteorologists call the three hottest months of the year (June, July, and August) “meteorological summer”.

However, if you go by the calendar, the summer solstice begins Monday, June 20th at 5:34 p.m. CDT.

Whatever you call it, I hope your spring or summer is off to a great start.  Since I had so much fun bringing back “Random Friday Thoughts” last week, here’s another one!

IT ALREADY FEELS LIKE SUMMER

After a pretty chilly start to the month of May in the Quad Cities, it sure got hot over the last week or so.  Check out these recent unseasonably warm temperatures in Moline, Illinois, right on the Mississippi River.

May Temps.png

After a cooler weekend, warmer weather is forecast to return through, at least, the middle of June.

HOW DID PRINCE DIE?

A medical examiner and the toxicology report confirm that musical icon Prince died of an accidental opioid fentanyl overdose.  Even before that news broke, there was widespread speculation that an overdose was the cause of death.

Opioid fentanyl is a very potent pain reliever — 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Prince.jpg

Even before the news broke Thursday, I was already writing about Prince in today’s “Random Friday Thoughts”.  Here’s what I had already written:

“It’s now been six weeks (!) since music icon Prince died at Paisley Park, his Minneapolis-area home, but we still don’t know how he died.

I know medical examiners want to be thorough when determining the cause of death, but six weeks?  Typically, toxicology results are released a couple or a few weeks after someone dies.”

While Prince is gone, his music will live on.  Following his death, in the first full week of sales, he had 19 albums on the Billboard Top 200 chart.  That broke the Beatles’ record of 14.

To honor the musical legend, here’s my favorite Prince song — it’s so hard to narrow it down to one!

ARE SOME PEOPLE “FOR REAL”?

Social media is great to reconnect to people you’ve lost contact with over the years and to communicate and share ideas with others.

However, the anonymity it provides allows people to say things they normally wouldn’t say to someone in person.

Some people can handle it and blow it off, but some can’t.  For me, I have a tougher skin from working in a public forum all these years.  While crazy or mean comments on social media still tick me off, it has to be really bad to even remotely hurt my feelings.

For example, look at this inspirational picture I posted again earlier this week.

Fish Be You

It got a lot of love on Facebook.  However, I have to share this Twitter correspondence with some anonymous person.

Unique.jpg

 

I’m the kind of person that tries to respond to all comments (good or bad), but I’ll not carry on a lengthy debate and waste my time with someone who’s main objective is just to argue just for the sake of it.

Trust me, most of the posts on this person’s Twitter page proves he/she just trolls the internet and social media to make negative comments.

Move on and troll elsewhere!

BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTERS, PLEASE READ (AND COMMENT)

Voters in California and New Jersey, two very delegate-rich states, head to the polls Tuesday, June 7th.

From a mathematical standpoint, Hillary Clinton will almost certainly become the presumptive nominee for the Democratic party.

Hillary AP

In full disclosure, if you’re reading my blog for the first time, I’m a Hillary Clinton supporter.  However, I’m not writing today to boast or gloat.

I’m trying to understand things from the perspective of a Bernie Sanders supporter and I want your diplomatic feedback.  But, first, here’s a little set-up to my questions.

Much to my chagrin back in 2008, after a long fight, Hillary dropped out of the race and fully supported Senator Barack Obama in his successful bid for president that November.

In a perfect world, we’d have more than two parties choosing candidates with a real chance of being elected president.  If we had three or four strong, viable parties fighting for the job, the House and Senate would work for the people and with the president to get things done.  Now, it’s just say the opposite of what the other side is saying!

If this was the case, Sanders could run as an independent and he’d likely be on the ballot in November in a race on equal footing with the other candidates.

This election season (especially lately), there’s been a lot of talk about the “superdelegates” having the power to choose the nominee.  That’s a realistic part of the process now, as it was in 2008 and many elections before that. Should that part of the election process change?  Probably.

Also, I wish that every state and territory had primaries and we’d totally do away with caucuses.  We should be able to go into the booth and choose the candidate we want.  We shouldn’t have to argue and debate it in a room full of people.  Let the candidates debate and just let us vote.

DEM 2016 Debate

Thus far in the race for the Democratic nomination, I’ve been mature and I’ve taken the high road not to personally bash Senator Sanders.  However, since we’re being honest, it’s getting harder and harder and I’m very frustrated with his mean-spirited rhetoric lately.  I know he wants to win and I know you want him to win and aren’t happy with the way it’s turning out.

Now, Bernie supporters, here’s what I want to know — at what point do you think that he should move toward backing Hillary since he’s running on the Democratic ticket?  After California and New Jersey?  Before the Democratic National Convention?  At the convention?

I’ve also heard, “I’d rather not vote than to vote for her”.  How many of you would actually want Donald Trump to be president if it isn’t Sanders?  Doesn’t that fly in the face of everything that Bernie stands for?

I want to hear what you have to say — as long as you’re diplomatic!

MURDERED ZOO GORILLA

Unless you’ve been on vacation or living under a rock, I know you’ve heard of the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden last weekend.

A 3-year-old child crawled through the barrier and then fell twelve feet into the gorilla enclosure.

Zoo officials, fearing for the life of the child, shot and killed Harambe, the 17-year-old silverback gorilla.

The way the incident was handled has sparked outrage online.  Hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition wanting the boy’s parents to be held criminally responsible.

A witness, Kimberley Ann Perkins O’Connor, told CNN that she overheard the boy joking to his mother about going into the water and the next thing you know, he was inside the exhibit with the gorilla.

But, Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard stands by the decision to kill the gorilla, “That child’s life was in danger. People who question that don’t understand you can’t take a risk with a silverback gorilla — this is a dangerous animal.  He adds, “Looking back, we’d make the same decision. The child is safe.”

Famed zookeeper Jack Hanna agrees “1,000 percent” with the zoo’s decision.

Watching the (frightening, at times) video, I fully believe the gorilla felt it was protecting the child.  However, I don’t know the nature of gorillas and it could have ended up hurting or killing the child with all of the commotion going on.

I know that “kids are kids” and that they can be elusive, but you can’t tell me that the mother was fully in control of that child.  Should she go to jail?  No.  Should there be some penalty?  Yes!  How about community service at the zoo?

What do you think?  Was the right decision made to shoot and kill the gorilla with a rifle instead of tranquilizing him?  Should the parents face any criminal charges — neglect or child endangerment?

AIN’T YOUR MAMA

I’m ready for my next trip to Las Vegas in late July.  I can’t believe it’s been over a year since we were there.  During that trip, we ate plenty of great food and enjoyed many mimosas.

Since 2012, we’ve seen Elton John, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Olivia Newton-John, Shania Twain, and, last year, Bette Midler in Vegas.

Bette

This time, I’m working to get my hands on tickets to see one of the sexiest women ever (okay, maybe not “one of the sexiest”, but “the sexiest”), Jennifer Lopez.

JLo All I Have Vegas

J. Lo danced her way onto the entertainment scene as a “Fly Girl” on Fox’s “In Living Color” in the early-1990s, endeared herself to movie and Tejano music fans playing slain international singer Selena in the 1997 hit movie, “Selena”, and then blasted to the top of the music charts in 1999 with her first international hit, “If You Had My Love”.

She’s back with a fun dance song with a strong feminist point of view.

“Ain’t Your Mama” even features a very powerful message from former Secretary of State (and possibly the next president of the United States) Hillary Clinton, “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s right are human rights once and for all.”

“Ain’t Your Mama” is already a Top Ten hit in Finland, Hungary, Lebanon, and Spain.  Here is the U.S., it’s finally cracking the airplay charts at Top 40 radio.

I can’t wait to go back and listen to all of J. Lo’s music (and not just the songs she performs in the “All I Have” Las Vegas show at The Axis Planet Hollywood) and rank my favorites.  I’ll post that in July before I see the incredible show!

PICK HIT

As we near the halfway point of 2016, “Matter”, the latest album from the New York City-based synth-pop band St. Lucia, is one of my favorites of the year.

st-lucia-matter-new-albumThe band makes dance music that sounds new and refreshingly 1980s at the same time.

I reviewed the album back in February giving it an “A”.

Here’s what I said then, “Most of the eleven songs on his second album are very upbeat and very synth-heavily.

My favorites are “Dancing on Glass” (which I’m sharing with you),”Home”, “Rescue Me”, and “Physical”, which is very energetic, but ends very chill.  “The Winds of Change” is very similar in composition — higher beats-per-minute, but ends chill.

“Help Me Run Away” is so retro in feeling that it makes me giddy every time I hear it.”

And, I’m even more giddy now because St. Lucia just released “Help Me Run Away”, which was co-written by Jack Antonoff of fun. and Bleachers, as the next single and video.

If you haven’t heard of them and you need a fantastic album to get you through summer, grab “Matter” now.

The band is getting ready to embark on a nationwide tour that kicks off next week and runs through late October.

In October, they’ll be playing in Des Moines, Iowa, which is just three hours from the Quad Cities.  I just might have to drive in, see the show, and drive back home just in time to go into work for the graveyard shift! 🙂

PICK HIT BONUS — COUNTRY STYLE

Canadian country music star Brett Kissel now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and has opened for some of the biggest names in the business like Garth Brooks.  However, here in the U.S., he’s probably unknown outside of the Nashville music circles.  I hope that changes soon.

Since his 2013 debut album, “Started with a Song”, generated five Top Ten Canadian Country songs, he’s moved into superstar status there with his second album, “Pick Me Up”, which arrived last fall.

Brett Kissel

It produced his first #1 song, “Airwaves” and the Top Ten follow-up, the title track.

His new single, “Cool With That”, is out now and it’s racing toward the Top Ten in Canada.  I’m featuring it as my pick hit today and I hope this is the one that introduces him to American country radio.

If you’d like to know more about Brett and his music, here’s a blog from February.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/american-country-radio-needs-brett-kissel/

MORE ST. LUCIA

How about a bonus track from “Matter” and St. Lucia?

THAT’S IT

As always, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to check out my random thoughts and I value your opinions, too.  We can disagree, as long as it’s diplomatic.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

 

 

 

Random Friday Thoughts — May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  It’s the unofficial kick-off to the summer season.  I hope you have a great one.  It’ll be especially nice for those with a three-day weekend (Ray!).

I wasn’t planning on an installment of Random Friday Thoughts, but here it is.  Surprise!

Pool

We’re running behind schedule this year, but we’re putting up our pool this weekend.

We closed it down in late September, but I’m ready to float the weekends and afternoons away — especially now that we’re enjoying summer-like, above average temperatures in the Quad Cities.

R.I.P. BETH HOWLAND

Beth Howland, who played ditzy waitress Vera, on the long running 1970s-1980s CBS sitcom, “Alice”, has died of lung cancer. She was 74.

Vera

Howland actually died December 31, 2015, but her actor husband, Charles Kimbrough, told The Associated Press that it “her choice” not to have a memorial service or funeral.  That’s why the news is just now coming out.

As a kid, I loved her character and comedic timing.

“GOODNIGHT MOMMY”

For whatever reason, the 2014 Austrian psychological thriller/horror movie, “Goodnight Mommy”, just hit Redbox and I highly recommend it!

Susanne Wuest is incredible in the role as “The Mother” and twins, Elias and Lukas Schwarz, are mesmerizing.

The movie was Austria’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 88th Annual Academy Awards, but it wasn’t picked as a nominee.  Oscar fail!

Before I saw the movie, I wrote, “the trailer definitely creeps me out”.  Wait until you see the movie!

I don’t give too many movies this grade, but “Goodnight Mommy” gets….

GRADE:  A+

LET’S CHARGE FOR PLASTIC BAGS!!!

I know Earth Day is in April.  But, there’s something that we can do to cut back on pollution and some communities are working hard to make it happen.

As I travel across the country (and the world), I see more and more businesses charging for those paper-thin, flimsy plastic bags that Walmart and other stores use.

They’re cheap to produce and many aren’t used again because they rip open before you even get home!  Many end up blowing in the wind or floating in area lakes and rivers.

Ban Bags

More businesses are selling cloth reusable bags and I think that’s fantastic.

Aldi stores sell the reusable bags, but they also have plastic bags.  However, if you want one (whether you throw it away or reuse it), you pay for it.

I know it’d get expensive if you’re paying for the plastic bags at big stores like Walmart, but it’d probably prompt you to buy quality, reusable bags.  And, the environment would love you for it.

Many communities are even banning or proposing bans on the plastic bags.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY (AND EVERYDAY)

Fish Be You

POLITICS TIDBITS

I was wrong!

In my “Random Friday Thoughts — December 19, 2014”, I predicted that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush would be the two candidates on November’s ballot for U.S. president.

Hillary AP

Well, it looks like I’ll be right with the Democratic nominee come June 7th once New Jersey and California vote, but who would have thought the presumptive nominee out of seventeen candidates on the Republican side would be Donald Trump!

DT Masks

Scary, right?  Yes!  I don’t need to wait for an answer!

NEXT VEGAS PLAN CHANGES 

Going to Las Vegas is an annual pilgrimage for me and Ray.

We love to eat, gamble, catch a couple of shows, walk, walk, walk, and see the sights.

Las Vegas

We love checking out the beautiful hotels and casinos — especially the displays made of flowers at the Bellagio.  I really want to visit one December when the glitzy city is decorated for Christmas.

However, our next trip in late July will not include a visit to the gorgeous The Venetian and The Palazzo.

The CEO is donating $100 million (yes, million) to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign! I’m sorry, but I will not help fund in any way that sorry excuse of a man that wants to be president!

There are plenty of other places there to try my luck at the slots — and eat desserts!

We’ll be visiting the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood.  It’s a tradition for us to eat there and have the weekend champagne brunch at the Stratosphere.

Spice Market Buffet Las Vegas

Have I mentioned how much I love buffets, slot machines, and Las Vegas?

FOR THE LOVE OF NANCY REAGAN

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died earlier this year of congestive heart failure at the age of 94.  Her husband, Ronald, our country’s 40th president, died back in June 2004 at the age of 93.

JustSayNoNancyReagan

Since it’s an election year, I’ve mostly been reading biographies and autobiographies of political figures.  I’ve read books from Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jimmy Carter, plus books on presidential wannabees Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee.

I just finished Nancy Reagan’s “My Turn” and Kitty Kelley’s “Nancy:  The Unauthorized Biography”.

What I concluded from Nancy’s book is that she definitely heavily influenced Ronald Reagan in his two terms as California’s governor (1967-1975) and his two terms as president (1981-1989).

Even in her own words, I don’t think she was probably a very nice person (outwardly).  However, I don’t think she was the evil pariah that Kelley made her out to be.

But, reading some of the accusations made by Kelley — including an affair with Frank Sinatra, date rape, and unplanned pregnancies — it definitely makes one wonder what was really going on in the lives of one of the most conservative political families.

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To restore some of my faith in Ms. Reagan, I read Michael Deaver’s “Nancy: A Portrait of My Years with Nancy Reagan”.

Although it’s a short book, don’t waste your time.  It’s basically the “CliffsNotes” version of Nancy’s “My Turn”.

He told the same stories she did with very little new insight.  The book only one earned its worth when in the last thirty or so pages, he addressed Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s Disease.

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There’s one thing that I would never dispute about the Reagans — their love for each other in their 50+ years of marriage.  It’s very admirable.

I still have a few more books to read about them — about their love and President Reagan’s autobiography.

PRESIDENT REAGAN, I NO LONGER HATE YOU

I didn’t personally know or like the Reagans (especially the President).

There’s one big reason that I used to despise Reagan and it was much deeper than him defeating my favorite President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election.  Here’s a blog from the summer of 2012 to explain.  (Clicking on this blog link will open a new window, so you won’t lose your place in today’s reading.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/president-reagan-i-no-longer-hate-you/

TWO WEEKS IN CHINA

Since my last “Random Friday Thoughts”, Ray and I spent two weeks in China.  We met some really nice people in our tour group from all over the world, including New Zealand.

We climbed the Great Wall of China, cruised on the Yangtze River (when we weren’t fogged in and unable to move), saw the stunning Gorges, endured the worst smog I’ve ever seen in Beijing where our trip started and ended, and witnessed the lights and glamour of Shanghai, the reason we went to China!

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Maybe because it was for a tour group, the food was pretty bland and too Westernized.  I’m ready to enjoy my favorite Asian food in the Quad Cities, Osaka Buffet, in Moline, for some “real” tasty cuisine.

Would I ever go back to China?  Probably not.  Would I recommend seeing it once in your lifetime?  Definitely!

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

The first time I heard “Faded” by 18-year-old British-born Norwegian record producer Alan Walker (with vocals by Iselin Solheim), I fell in love with the song.

Instantly, I searched out more songs from Walker and much to my chagrin, I found there isn’t an album — yet.

The ethereal, very moody, and captivating song is already a chart-topping smash in Austria, Belgium,  France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vietnam, and eight other counties!

Here is the United States, the song is racing up the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart jumping from #26 to #17 this week and it’s already in the Top Ten on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.

It’s getting some airplay at Top 40 radio here, but I hope it really catches on soon.  If you haven’t heard it, here it is.

Call B100 and 101.3 KISSFM here in the Quad Cities and request it.  Just tell them that Anthony from Local 4 requests that you play it. 🙂

“LONDON SPY”

If you’re looking for an intelligent television series to add to your summer viewing, you have to check out this five-part BBC America series. (You can catch it on Netflix.)

“London Spy” stars one of the best English actors working today, Ben Whishaw, who’s also appearing on Broadway in “The Crucible”.

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It doesn’t hurt that Whishaw is charming and adorable, too!  But, I’m recommending this thriller because he’s incredible and the story is very suspenseful.

It also stars Jim Broadbent (“Moulin Rouge!”) and Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”).

GRADE:  A

THAT’S IT 

Since I don’t write as much as I used to or as much as I’d like, I appreciate you checking out this week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”.  As always, feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree — just do it diplomatically.

Have a great holiday weekend and remember the great men and women that made this Memorial Day weekend a holiday.

Anthony

Here I Come Vegas — Britney, Are You Ready? I Am!

As a television news personality, there are four months out of the year that we can’t take off because of the all important “sweeps ratings period”.  May is one of those months.

However, the May sweeps ends today and my 2015 vacation season officially kicks off this afternoon.  After a quick flight to Chicago, I’ll be boarding another plane to Las Vegas.

If both flights are on time (and I can get decent seats this close to show time), I’ll be one of the thousands screaming and singing along to Britney Spears at the last concert on this leg of her Vegas residency show, “Piece of Me”!

Britney Piece of Me

I saw Britney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the summer of 2011 on her “Femme Fatale Tour” and she (and Nicki Minaj) were amazing.  I can’t get enough of Britney!

Britney July 2011

So, as I psyche myself up for the Memorial Day holiday weekend in Vegas eating plenty of food, checking all of the sites and hotel displays, and having a few tasty drinks, I’ve been singing along to all of my favorite Britney songs.

Allow me to be your jukebox today as I count down my favorite Britney Spears songs and I’ll share my five favorite Britney songs that were never released as singles (but should have been).

Let me say this was very tough since Britney has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide since her 1999 debut, “Baby One More Time” and is one of the best-selling artists of all time!

#20

“PERFUME” (2013)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #76

19

“ME AGAINST THE MUSIC” FEATURING MADONNA (2003) 

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #35

18

“GIMME MORE” (2007)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #3

#17

“RADAR” (2009)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #88

16

“CIRCUS” (2008)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #3

15

“I’M A SLAVE 4 U” (2001)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #27

14

“STRONGER” (2000)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #11

13

“PIECE OF ME” (2007)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #18

12

“…BABY ONE MORE TIME” (1998)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #1

11

“SCREAM & SHOUT” WITH WILL.I.AM (2012)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #3

10

“3” (2009)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #1

9

“HOLD IT AGAINST ME” (2011)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #1

8

“(YOU DRIVE ME) CRAZY” (1999)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #10

7

“OOPS!… I DID IT AGAIN” (2000)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #9

6

“SOMETIMES” (1999)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #21

5

“WOMANIZER” (2008)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #1

#4 MOVIE

“I WANNA GO” (2008)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #7

#3 CD

“TOXIC” (2004)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #9

#2 CD

“TILL THE WORLD ENDS” (2011)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #3

1

“EVERYTIME” (2004)

BILLBOARD HOT 100 PEAK:  #15

Britney Whip

And, here are the five songs that I think Britney should have cracked the whip to get released as singles in the United States!

#5 MOVIE

“TIK TIK BOOM” FEATURING T.I. (2013)

FROM THE ALBUM “BRITNEY JEAN”

red-number-4

“NOW THAT I FOUND YOU” (2013)

FROM THE ALBUM “BRITNEY JEAN” 

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“BIG FAT BASS” FEATURING WILL.I.AM (2011)

FROM THE ALBUM “FEMME FATALE” 

#2 MOVIE

“I LOVE ROCK & ROLL” (2002)

FROM THE ALBUM “BRITNEY” 

#1

“(DROP DEAD) BEAUTIFUL” FEATURING SABI (2011)

FROM THE ALBUM “FEMME FATALE” 

So, there’s my countdown of my favorite Britney songs and my five favorite Britney songs that only fans know because they weren’t radio releases.

If I’m lucky, tonight I’ll hear “It’s Britney, bitch” live from The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino!

Anthony

Cupcakes For A Dining Experience To Remember

As you know, we’re still in Las Vegas.  I had promised to blog about the Lady Gaga concert Friday night.  However, because I want to add some video of my “Born This Way Ball” experience, it will now be on Tuesday once I get back to the Quad Cities.  Let me just say that it was amazing.  Here’s one photo to whet your appetite.

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Seven rows from Lady Gaga!

The resort that we stayed at Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night is off the strip, so we’ve gotten to do a lot of walking.  As a matter of fact, we walked more than 16 miles on Friday.  That is not a typo!  Needless to say, I don’t think we’ve gained any weight while here even with buffets.  The reason is that we’ve limited our meals and buffets to one a day.

On Thursday, we ate lunch at Palace Station.  It’s located off the Strip and is a favorite for locals.   It was very cheap and you pretty much got what you paid for.  While not great and not bad, it served the purpose of a quick-lunch once we got situated in our room.

We had one meal Friday for lunch and I’m talking about that today because it was fantastic.  We also ate dinner at the Mirage Friday night at Cravings Buffet thanks to a buy one, get one free deal (with free unlimited wine) from Travelzoo.  Today, we’re having our one meal, Sunday brunch at the Stratosphere with unlimited mimosa and champagne for only about $20 a person.  We ate there for my birthday in October and it was probably the best brunch/buffet I’ve ever eaten.  I hope it is today, as well.

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But, this is about the Spice Market Buffet in Planet Hollywood.  It was picked as one of the Top Ten buffets in Las Vegas and after having lunch there, I agree.

I made a video of me walking from one end of the food section of this restaurant to the other that I’ll download and post when I get back to the Quad Cities.  Let’s just say that it took me more than two minutes to record it.  That is how many selections this place had.  A picture would not do it justice since there were so many stations to choose from:  several American presentations, Italian, Middle Eastern, Seafood, Mexican, salad bar, and many others.

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That’s one of my plates.  Yes, I had more than two.  But, I also just grab a bite of what I want to sample and if it’s exceptional, I’ll get more like that red-colored Mediterranean grilled chicken kabob.

One of the best things we ate was a herb coated, boneless fried chicken!

Now, I want to share the part that blew me away.  The dessert station consisted of traditional fare like bread puddings and fruit tarts, but it’s the selection of cupcakes that pushed this dining experience to spectacular.  You didn’t have a couple of traditional flavors to choose from, you had rows and rows of cupcakes.  I can recall seeing pumpkin, caramel apple, red velvet, chocolate mousse, cannoli-flavored with a cannoli sticking out of the top, and banana just to name a few.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, if that wasn’t enough to set the Spice Market Buffet apart from other Las Vegas buffets, you could top off your dining experience with cotton candy!

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I’m sure there are many other great buffets in Las Vegas that I haven’t tried yet.  I know the next time we come, we’re buying the 24-hour buffet cards that certain hotels offer where you can try different casinos and hotel buffets all in one day.  My plan is to have dinner at one place, breakfast at another the next day, and then stop by the Spice Market Buffet for lunch just to eat desserts.  Yes, I want my cupcake and eat it, too.

Anthony