Posts Tagged ‘Pretty Woman’

My Life – The Next Era (1999-2021)

It’s time for the sequel of my life!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY LAST 22 YEARS

MEETING REBA McENTIRE (APRIL 2005)

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

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

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

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

MOVING BACK TO CHICAGO (JUNE 2002)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#39 “I’LL BE” (REBA McENTIRE) (2000)

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

#37 “FADED” (ALAN WALKER) (2015)

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

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

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

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

NOW, BACK TO MY LIFE EVENTS….

LIVING NEAR MY SISTER AGAIN (AUGUST 2011)

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

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

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

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

Love you Tammy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, the night didn’t end there. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#30 “TOXIC” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2004)

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

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

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

#27 “MUSIC” (MADONNA) (2000)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEETING PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER & ROSALYNN CARTER (JULY 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AND HILLARY CLINTON (JANUARY 2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#16 “YOUTH” (TROYE SIVAN) (2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a feeding frenzy in the summer of 2016!

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

WE NEED A BREATHER!

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

#11 “SOMETHING” (LASGO) (2001)

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

#9 “BAD ROMANCE” (LADY GAGA) (2009)

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

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

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

NOW BACK TO THE BIGGEST EVENTS OF MY PAST 22 YEARS

MISS ABBA (MAY 2000-FEBRUARY 2012)

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

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

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

And, she was the perfect drinking buddy!

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

I wish we were more like ABBA!

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

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

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

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

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

I listen to you breathe and each breath sounds deeper

Is it the end or just a peaceful sleep

As I caress your neck and shoulder blades,

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

I don’t want you to hear me cry,

I want you to let go and not fight for me

You’ve been there for me all your life

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

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

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

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

Okay, this silly photo will take the sadness away…

FINAL BONUS TRACK!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#5 “SOMEBODY” (REBA McENTIRE) (2004)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And. it’s so naughty and scandalous! 🙂

#1 “DANCING ON MY OWN” (ROBYN) (2010)

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

NOW, THE BIGGEST EVENT OF MY PAST 22 YEARS…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scroll down and see which songs just missed out.

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

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

#42 “NEED YOU NOW” (LADY A) (2009)

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

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

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

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

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

#48 “OH SANTA” (MARIAH CAREY) (2010)

#49 “KING” (YEARS & YEARS) (2015)

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

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

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

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

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

#55 “DANCING” (KYLIE MINOGUE) (2018)

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

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

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

#59 “BORN TO FLY” (SARA EVANS) (2000)

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

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

#62 “HOME” (MICHAEL BUBLE) (2005)

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

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

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

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

#67 “I’M YOURS” (JASON MRAZ) (2008)

#68 “FREE” (FAITH HILL) (2002)

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

#70 “POKER FACE” (LADY GAGA) (2008)

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

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

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

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

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

#75 “DON’T TELL ME” (MADONNA) (2000)

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

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

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

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

#80 “SORRY” (MADONNA) (2006)

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

#82 “I NEED YOU” (LEANN RIMES) (2000)

#83 “CRAZY IN LOVE” (BEYONCE) (2003)

#84 “SORRY” (JUSTIN BIEBER) (2015)

#85 “FIREWORK” (KATY PERRY) (2010)

#86 “AIRWAVES” (BRETT KISSEL) (2015)

#87 “I RUN TO YOU” (LADY A) (2009)

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

#89 “PLAY” (JENNIFER LOPEZ) (2011)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#99 “RAIN” (BEN PLATT) (2019)

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

Now, that’s it….

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — November 20, 2020

Happy Holidays and thank you for taking the time to check out what’s on my mind this week.

While I have a couple of more blogs to posts in December, I’m taking a break from my “Random Friday Thoughts” until January!

Happy Thanksgiving and Season’s Greetings!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THANKSGIVING FORECAST

COVID DINING FOR ONE

In these unsettling times, we just need something adorable and cute to make us forget everything else for a few monents.

This is how Atlanta-based writer Angela Hansberger deals with things. She arranged a pop-up restaurant for this cute little chipmunk she named “Thelonious Munk”.

She says it arrives daily to feast on “fun-sized sushi, almond crust pizza, and intricately-prepared micro tacos.”

“THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7”

“The Whole World Is Watching!”

It’s sad that a movie about the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago resonates so strongly in the United States in 2020!

The movie and Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay and directing are definite shoo-ins for Oscar nominations.

While there are many compelling performances, I think Yahya Abdul-Mateer II, as Bobby Seale, National Chairman of the Black Panther Party, has the best chance of getting a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Seale was the eighth defendant and not part of the “Chicago 7”.

The Whole World Is STILL Watching!

GRADE: A

“DISCO” UPDATE

Last week, I raved on how awesome the new Kylie Minogue album, “Disco”, is and I guess I’m not alone.

It debuted at #1 in the U.K. and is the biggest selling album of 2020 in its opening week.

By topping the chart, it’s now Kylie’s eighth #1 album there. She rules supreme as the artist with the most chart toppers — more than Elton John, George Michael, and Cliff Richard!

And, she becomes the first female artist in the U.K. to top the Official Charts in five consecutive decades!!! Kylie’s had a #1 album in the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s, and the ’20s!

This is one of my favorite songs from the album, “Where Does the DJ Go?”!

“I AM WOMAN”

I finally got around to watching the Helen Reddy biopic based on her life and her signature hit.

Tilda Cobham-Hervey was amazing as Helen and Danielle MacDonald was great in a limited role.

Evan Peters (“American Horror Story”) was also great as Helen’s manager and loser of a husband, Jeff Wald. (And, I’ll add “loser” in relation to Helen’s life and career. He may be in a much better place these days!)

I only have one complaint about the movie and it’s a small one.

The movie moves along so quickly that it made it sound like the anthemic song, “I Am Woman” was a smash out of the gates at Top 40 radio in America.

That wasn’t the case. The album version was released and it flopped. The song was re-recorded and then it became iconic.

But, that’s just nitpicking!

GRADE: B+

MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Since this is my last “Random Friday Thoughts” of 2020, I’ll include a few early thoughts about Christmas.

Now that I’m much older I don’t want or need Christmas gifts (unless it’s homemade desserts). But, I have four Christmas presents that still stand out as my favorites in my life.

As a child, the first toy I can remember asking for and getting was a red cash register like this one.

I’m sure playing with money as a youngster helped me excel in math and money management today!

My favorite Christmas present growing up was a Panasonic tape recorder that I got in 1976.

I spent hours listening to the radio recording songs, making montages, and I remembering making a “Hurricane Allen” tape as the storm hit Texas in 1980.

The first song I ever recorded was “You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)”, which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it won a Grammy for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.

And, while Christmas 1990 was a sad one since my mother, Dessie, died in early November of that year, I’ll always remember my presents.

My mother had already put our Christmas presents in layaway.  I had chosen a $30 stone-washed denim jacket at Wal-Mart and the VHS (yes, VHS!) copy of “Pretty Woman”.

After my mother died, my lovely sister, Tammy, got those things out of layaway for me.

I still have that jacket and I’ll cherish it forever!

JAPANESE CHRISTMAS DRINK

Here are a couple of fun looking Japanese holiday drinks.

The first one (from 2019) is a Christmas Tree Latte from the Italian Coffee chain Segafredo.

It was light on the coffee and cream based and sweet like eggnog. On top of a mound of whipped cream were colorful, fruity balls that popped in your mouth!

And, here’s a Japanese Starbucks drink this year. Yum!

It’s red raspberry-flavored meringue/cheesecake pieces and white chocolate shavings topped with lots of whipped cream to create a classic red-and-white Christmas color palette.

AND, THANKS ALDI!

For this Christmas, we’ll be enjoying this Eggnog Wine treat that I picked up at Aldi.

It’s marketed as “a blend of white wine, egg yolk, festive spices, and finest cream!

“THIS IS HOW WE JEW IT”

If you loved “Chow Down (At Chick-Fil-A)” I shared a few weeks ago, let’s celebrate Hanukkah early!

This is from the 2015 holiday album, “Christmas Queens”.

Detox Icunt is amazing and so is this adorably cute Jewish boy!

Oh, how I’d love to be back in Tel Aviv, Israel again!

“FULL SERVICE”

This 2012 book by Scotty Bowers was subtitled, “My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars”.

Some of the gay people that Bowers wrote about were Vincent Price, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Randolph Scott. He also shared very dirty stories about composer Cole Porter.

Since all of the big stars that Bowers dished on are dead, I’m just a little skeptical on how much of his stories are true. All of them could be!

Bowers died in the fall of 2019 at the age of 96.

A very toned down version of the book was the premise of Ryan Murphy’s amazing Netflix series, “Hollywood”.

Back in June, here’s what I said of the series, “It’s a very honest and risque look into Tinseltown. It’s amazing that it was so open about ‘homophobia’ and ‘racism’ in Hollywood back in the heyday! (Oh hell, who am I kidding? It’s still rampant today!) Another bold move for the series was having the mesmerizing Patti LuPone, at 71-years-old, in a lead role.”

ROYAL NAUGHTINESS

Bowers shared some naughty secrets about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, in his book.

All I know is that Queen Elizabeth II can keep her corgis. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor loved pugs!

He owned at least eleven of them and most were bred in the United States.

Some of their names were “Imp”, “Disraeli”, “Trooper”, “Mr. Chu”, “Rufus”, “Winston”, “Davy Crockett”, “Minoru”, “Ginseng” and “Diamond”.

And, no, my #Pug2021’s name is not on that list! 🙂

AND, SPEAKING OF THE ROYALS…

The new season (four) of “The Crown” is now on Netflix.

While I haven’t watched it yet, I can’t wait to see more of Josh O’Connor (“God’s Own Country”) as Prince Charles.

And, of course, there’s the “chick I’d switch for” — Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.

P.S. If you haven’t seen “God’s Own Country”, it’s incredible!

It was my #8 movie of 2018.

LEE HARVEY OSWALD IS HOT!

Okay, let me quickly clarify.

Australian actor Daniel Webber, who plays Oswald in “11.22.63”, is hot! 🙂

This 2016 Hulu series is based on a Stephen King novel. In it, James Franco’s character time travels back to 1960 to try and stop the assassination of President Kennedy.

If he does, it’ll change the future.

While this would be great for Kennedy (and America), how would that change everything else in the next 50-plus years?

GRADE: B+

TAKING A BREAK

Happy Holidays, my friends!

AND… LAST CALL… ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD!

This one from 2018 slays and is probably the best “Little Drummer Boy” version ever!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 17, 2018

It’s hard to believe that we’re already into the middle of August.

After one of the hottest weekends of the summer last weekend in the Northland, I’m ready for a long, comfortable Duluth, Minnesota autumn!

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

“FAKE NEWS” — FOR SURE

It’s bad enough to have to look at 45 and listen to his ramblings with the traditional trite catch phrases, “witch hunt”, “crooked Hillary”, or “fake news”.

Well, last week, CNN ran a story comparing the approval rating of  “that man” vs. President Barack Obama.

Real.JPG

But, Junior, that’s Donald Jr. posted a fake image on his Instagram page with 45’s job approval rating at 50% instead of the actual 40%!

Don Jr..JPG

After being called out numerous times, he finally deleted it last Friday.

FAKE NEWS in the 45 White House circle of hell is alive and well!

“CRAZY RICH ASIANS”

I’ve only been to the movies twice this year.

In January, I saw “Call Me By Your Name” and in March, I went to see “Love, Simon”.  I highly recommend both of them!

But, today, I’m indulging with a large popcorn, a Coke Zero, and “Crazy Rich Asians”!

Crazy-Rich-Asians-Movie.jpg

I first mentioned the movie in my blog last November when I was crushing on 31-year-old British-Malaysian actor Henry Golding, the lead in the movie.

Henry Golding

A couple of months ago, I wrote, “I think ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ could be the new ‘Pretty Woman’!  Well, without Julia Roberts and turning tricks in Los Angeles!

I’m so excited to see MUCH MORE of Henry Golding and the chemistry between his character, Nick Young and Rachel (Constance Wu).

Also, I hear that Goh Peik Lin (played by Awkwafina), Rachel’s Singaporean college best friend, is hilarious.”

ARETHA FRANKLIN (1942-2018)

The world lost music legend Aretha Franklin Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer.  She was 76.  Her family and friends were with her when she passed on.

aretha640

Franklin got her start singing in her father’s Detroit church.

She scored her first hit in 1960 on the Billboard R&B chart when “When I Sing The Blues” reached #10.

That was the first of 81 hits she charted on R&B charts.  Of those, 52 reached the Top Ten, with 37 making the Top 5!

On the R&B chart, she had 20 number one hits.

Meanwhile, on the Billboard Hot 100 (which combines all music), she scored 43 hits with 17 making it to the Top 5.

She had two #1 hits on the Hot 100:  1967’s “Respect” and 1987’s “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”, with George Michael.

My three favorite Aretha songs were “Chain of Fools” at #3, “Freeway of Love” at #2, and this one is my favorite.

Aretha’s duet with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” was also my favorite of all of Michael’s hits, too!

Franklin also picked up 17 Grammy Awards for her recordings and thee more Special Grammy Awards!

AUGUST 16TH

On this date, August 16, we lost the “King” Elvis Presley in 1977 and the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin in 2018.

On a happier note, the “Queen of Pop” Madonna was born in 1958!

Elvis Aretha Madonna

Happy 60th Madonna!

In her honor, here are my all-time favorite Madonna songs.  I’ll be your jukebox today!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/my-favorite-iconic-madonna-hits/

“FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL”

While I still haven’t seen two of the Best Actress performances from the 90th Academy Awards, I have to say that Annette Benning was robbed of an Oscar nomination in “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”.

Jamie Bell was equally deserving.

This romantic dramedy is about the love affair of an older woman and a younger man and is based on the true story of actress Gloria Grahame.

While Grahame won an Oscar in 1952 for “The Bad and the Beautiful”, many people probably know her best as Violet Bick from 1946’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  (Yes, the staple of Christmas television!)

Bick.jpg

Bening was fantastic as Grahame and it’s great to see Jamie Bell all grown up and sexy!

I loved him, when barely a teenager, in his movie debut, 2000’s incredible “Billy Elliot”.

And, it was fun seeing him reunited with Julie Walters (“Mamma Mia”), who played his dance teacher in “Billy Elliot” and his mother in “Film Stars”.

GRADE: A

“SAFE”

If you’re looking for a new series to binge watch on Netflix, check out the latest from Michael C. Hall, who played adorable serial killer, “Dexter” on Showtime for eight seasons.

Dexter-michael-c-hall

I still have the biggest crush on Hall!  I was very fortunate to see him “off Broadway” in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” in New York City in January 2015.

Hedwig

In “Safe”, an eight episode series, Hall plays an English doctor who goes on the search for his teenage daughter when she and her hot boyfriend go missing.

It’s filled with many twists and turns and the conclusion is a shocker!

GRADE: A

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Kahlusion

MY 15 MINUTES OF FAME WITH JEFFREY DAHMER

Back in 1990, I spent the summer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and unbeknownst then, a menacing serial killer was praying on young men in the city.

When the timeline of Jeffrey Dahmer’s killing spree, complete with cannibalism and lobotomies, came to light, I had been in Club 219 two nights before Dahmer picked up one of his victims!

Jeffrey Dahmer.jpg

Who knows, he might have been creeping around in the corner of that seedy bar that night!

MY FRIEND DAHMER”

There have been several movies released about Dahmer.

“Dahmer” (2002) with Jeremy Renner playing the serial killer is a little bit better than this one, but it’s not great either.

“My Friend Dahmer” focuses on the high school years of Dahmer in Ohio, with Ross Lynch of Disney Channel fame, playing a teenage Dahmer.

While Lynch is convincing, Anne Heche’s performance as his unstable mother is a bit much to take — too comical.

GRADE:  C

CRAZY OCCURRENCES IN JIMMY CARTER’S TERM

Watching “My Friend Dahmer”, I did learn something that I didn’t know.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that Jimmy Carter is my favorite president.

While on a high school trip to Washington D.C., Dahmer called the White House and talked his way into a tour and even got to meet Vice President Walter Mondale.

MONDALE

That isn’t the only strange occurrence during the Carter White House years with a serial killer.

In a turn of events that’s much more widely known, First Lady Rosalynn Carter was photographed with John Wayne Gacy in May 1978 for his part in the annual Polish Constitution Day Parade in Chicago.

Rosalynn Gacy.jpg

Around Christmas 1978, Gacy was arrested and eventually convicted of killing 33 young men and boys outside Chicago.  He buried many in his house in the crawl space.

john-wayne-gacy-killer-clown

He was also known for dressing up as a clown, thus earning the nickname “Killer Clown”.

“CHAPPAQUIDDICK”

We know the story of the Kennedy curse:  Joe was killed fighting in World War II and John and Bobby were assassinated, so it was up to Ted to get to the White House.

But, on a fateful summer night near Martha’s Vineyard, those dreams almost disappeared in an alcohol-induced accident that left Mary Jo Kopechne , who worked on Bobby’s 1968 campaign, dead.

If you liked Kennedy, this movie definitely won’t make you like him any more.  If you already disliked him, you’ll like him even less.

GRADE:  B-

TED KENNEDY

I’ll admit for all his faults, Ted Kennedy did a lot for us in his almost 47 years as Senator.

TKENNEDY.jpg

However, I’ll never forgive him for making a run in 1980 for the Democratic nomination for president.

While dealing with the Iranian hostage situation and the faltering economy, this definitely hurt sitting President Jimmy Carter that spring and gave Ronald Reagan the advantage he needed.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 25, 2018

May is almost over and it’s Memorial Day weekend, which is the “unofficial” start to the summer season.

After today’s blog, I’ll be going on “hiatus” to get moved to Duluth, Minnesota.

When I make new friends up north, I hope that some of them grill out!

kEBOB

In addition to missing companionship, my friends and family, and my koi pond, grilling out is another thing I’ve really missed since leaving the Quad Cities!

Capture1

How are you doing on those “New Year’s Resolutions”?

I’m sure many are history and some of you are still paying for those unused gym memberships! 🙂

I decided to look back at my first two blogs of the year, “2018: Looking Ahead, Not Back”  and “Random Friday (2018) Thoughts”, to see how I’m doing on my resolutions and predictions.

If you want to see the pictures, videos, and read the complete blogs, both links are here and they’ll open in a new window, so you won’t lose your place in today’s blog.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/2018-looking-ahead-not-back/

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/random-friday-2018-thoughts/

In the January 1st blog, I wrote, “The highlight of my Christmas season was the 90-minutes-plus I spent in Mariah Carey’s Christmas wonderland for her “All I Want For Christmas” show in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.”

MC ALL I WANT VEGAS

It’s now almost summer and that night still crosses my mind.  It was truly magical!

I also talked about battling bulimia and how I used to be so spontaneous.

While visiting Chicago over Memorial Day weekend in 1994, I had a “Come to Jesus” moment.  A little over a month later, I left Kentucky and moved to third largest city in the U.S.!

But, that was then, this is now.   Somewhere along the way, I became a “planner” and lost my spontaneity and I want to find it again!

As last year ended and 2018 began, I needed change and the words of my favorite song of 2017, “Silence” by Marshmello featuring Khalid, hit me hard while I was reflecting on my life:

“I’m in need of a savior, but I’m not asking for favors/My whole life, I’ve felt like a burden/I THINK TOO MUCH, I HATE IT/I’m so used to being in the wrong, I’m tired of caring/Loving never gave me a home, so I’ll sit here in the silence”

I do think too much.

I wrote that it was time to “shake it off” and leave Panama City if I wasn’t happy, “I have four cities in mind for a fresh start. Two of them, I’d move to with or without a television job…”

The two I would have moved to without a television job were Palm Springs, California, and Las Vegas.

Vegas

Well, it’s funny how you make plans and set a timeline and then God sits back and laughs.

I said if I didn’t have a television job by Halloween 2018, I’d be out of here anyways.

Well, I’m leaving Florida next week and I’ll be moving into my new apartment in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 2nd, to call the “Northland” home!

Duluth at Christmas

I’m so thrilled to not only start the next chapter in my life, but to start living again!  Cheers!

Claire

In “Random Friday (2018) Thoughts”, (posted 1/5/18), I stated that after seeing five concerts in Las Vegas in 2017 (The Australian Bee Gees, Britney Spears, Tanya Tucker, Lionel Richie, and Mariah Carey), I’d like to see Rod Stewart, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez this year.

Those shows aren’t going to happen for me now, but I’m still holding out that if I only see one concert this year that it’s Kylie Minogue.

Kylie

Come on Kylie, add Saint Paul, Minnesota, to your North American tour dates when you announce the “Golden Tour”.

As for movies, I’ve already seen the first two on my list, “Call Me By Your Name” and “Love, Simon”.

I can forget “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (7/20) now — unless I find out for sure that Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep) is alive in more than a couple of scenes!

I’ve replaced it “Crazy Rich Asians”, which could be the new “Pretty Woman” — well, without Julia Roberts and turning tricks in Los Angeles.

Also, I’m excited about “Halloween” (10/19) with Jamie Lee Curtis returning as Laurie Strode.

jamie-lee-curtis-halloween

“Bohemian Rhapsody” about Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury has been moved up to November 2nd from Christmas Day 2018.  It stars the incredible Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot”.

Here’s the new trailer!

And, finally, on Christmas Day 2018, there’s Emily Blunt and Ben Whishaw in “Mary Poppins Returns” (12/25).

Mary-Poppins-Returns-EW-Exclusive-2

So, it looks like I’m doing okay on my resolutions and my prospects of being a happy person again!

And, I’m looking forward to snow and a “White Christmas” again!

White Red Christmas

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 11, 2018

I always appreciate you taking the time to check out my thoughts and I want to hear your thoughts, too!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

To all my female friends and any dads that fulfilled both roles as a parent, I hope you have a special weekend!

While it would be easy just to forget Mother’s Day altogether since my Mom has been gone for almost 28 years, I’m remembering her today.

Dessie 1990

There have also been other “Moms” in my life that deserve a special mention today:  Betty, Donna, D’nell, and Linda.

But, I really want to say Happy Mother’s Day to a special person in my life that never gets the love, respect, and appreciation that she deserves on this day and every day — my sister.

tammy PCB

Tammy, I’m so impressed with all that you’ve accomplished in life, especially the past seven years.

While you’re not alone in dealing with setbacks (we all have those), I want you to always appreciate all that you’ve done, all that you’ll do, and look for the silver lining in life and don’t focus on the clouds.

Happy Mother’s Day!

KANYE WEST’S EGOTISM

I’ve never been a fan of Kanye West and I don’t put him in the musical genius category as many do.

Also, I could care less if he’s a fan of Donald Trump and why.

kanye west

In the same token, there are people that say the same thing about me being on Team Hillary!

Hillary AP

However, when West basically says that 400 years of slavery was “a choice”, he went too far for publicity.  And, I’m not alone in my disappointment over that comment.

I’m not going overboard in bashing him over it because I don’t know if he’s saying all these things to bring attention to himself to drop new music or if he’s suffering another mental breakdown or exhaustion like back in 2016.

MICHELLE WOLF’S ROAST

The hoopla over comedian Michelle Wolf’s hosting the White House Correspondent’s Dinner is beginning to calm down.

Some thought she was too abrasive to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

MichelleWolfHuckabeeSanders

I think her bit on abortion was a little harsh, but the final punchline was spot on about powerful people getting abortions for their mistresses!

And, life Wolf said, I think it was a little soon for the Southwest Airlines joke.

But, the comments about Sanders were well within the safe zone.  Look at the some of the comments #45 and his supporters have made over the past few years (and still make)!

Bitch about it and move on!

WAS IT BULLYING?

A friend and loyal reader of my blog posed these questions to me, “Is roasting another form if [sic] bullying? Where does the line get drawn before roasting becomes rude and distasteful? Should the press hold itself to a higher standard? Would love to read your thoughts.”

Some could say that roasting is a form of bullying.  However, roasts have been going on for generations and we know what to expect from them.

We’ve become such a divisive nation that being mean or hateful is just common.  With social media, it’s even easier and more instantaneous to be nasty.

As for where to draw the line and was it crossed, it really depends on which side you’re on.  I thought many of Wolf’s jokes were funny and a couple were too strong.  (I mentioned them above.)

But, when it comes to comedians, when do they play it safe?

As for Sanders, before she agreed to attend in the place of #45 who was afraid to attend last year and this year, did she really think it would be warm and cuddly?

“THE TERROR”

The latest AMC series, “The Terror”, is very enjoyable.

It’s based on a true story (with creative dramatic liberties taken) about two navigation ships exploring the Arctic Circle in the 1840s.  The ships get stuck in the ice for several years.

The crews not only face “cabin fever” and starvation, but also a mysterious illness and a beast (imagined or real) that’s stalking the ships.

While the first episode starts out slow and talky, it definitely develops into a great and creepy series!

And, it does feature a very cruel and graphic flogging scene!

From an acting standpoint, thank you Adam Nagaitis, as Cornelius Hickey, for sharing your talents and assets!  Yikes!

Another thing that creeps me out is that the surgical procedures are conducted without gloves (it’s the 1840s) — all that blood and disease!

Nagaitis is sexy (especially without all the welts and blood), but he isn’t the only sexy standout in “The Terror”.

There’s also Ronan Raftery and Liam Garrigan!

REMEMBERING TAMMY WYNETTE

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Miss Tammy Wynette, the “Queen of Country Music”.

If you’re not a country music fan, you probably don’t know that she had 44 solo hits on the Billboard Country charts with 31 of them reaching the Top Ten.  Seventeen topped the chart!

And, with former husband George Jones, she scored 13 more hits with eight of them making the Top Ten and three reaching #1.

However, she also hit #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Billboard Dance chart in 1991 with the British duo, the KLF on “Justified and Ancient”.

How many of you remember this one?

The song also reached #1 in Austria, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, and Sweden, and make it all the way to #2 in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.K.

“CRAZY RICH ASIANS”

I’ve now seen the first trailer for “Crazy Rich Asians”, which I first talked about last November, and I’m so excited to see the movie.

Back then, I wrote, “You may not know the name ‘Henry Golding’ now.  But, you will when ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ hits theaters August 17, 2018!  Golding is a 30-year-old British-Malaysian actor and he got married a year ago in August! 🙂 😦”

Henry Golding

I think “Crazy Rich Asians” could be the new “Pretty Woman”!  Well, without Julia Roberts and turning tricks in Los Angeles!

I’m so excited to see MUCH MORE of Henry Golding and the chemistry between his character, Nick Young and Rachel (Constance Wu).

Also, I hear that Goh Peik Lin (played by Awkwafina), Rachel’s Singaporean college best friend, is hilarious.

“Crazy Rich Asians” opens Friday, August 17th.

LIES LIES LIES

I just finished my 16th book, “Lies: And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them” by LIBERAL former U.S. Minnesota Senator (2009 to 2018) and “Saturday Night Live” comedian.

He resigned earlier this year after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Franken

In this funny and factual book, he takes on right-wing lunatics Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity.

But, he also expresses his dislike for former President George W. Bush and his cronies, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice, mainly over the lies told about the “weapons of mass destruction” that led us into the Iraqi War in 2003.

While he’s also tough on Colin Powell, he shows that he has more respect for him than the others.

There is a humorous quote from Franken (especially in the wake of #MeToo and the allegations against him) when trying to expose the fake Bob Jones University in South Carolina, when he says, “I never lie.  That is, unless it’s absolutely necessary”.

I’d advise Republicans that toe the party line to skip the book because many of the FACTS will startle you.  Or, as Coulter, O’Reilly, or Hannity would call them, “Lies”.

REMEMBER THIS ONE?

The English trio The Thompson Twins first hit the American Top 40 in the spring of 1983 with “Lies”.

That song would peak at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it topped the Billboard Dance charts.

They went on to score seven Top 40 hits in America with three of them reaching the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100:  “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1984), “Lay Your Hands on Me” (#6, 1985), and “King for a Day” (#8, 1985).

“Doctor! Doctor!” just missed out on the Top Ten peaking at #11 in 1984.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

I’ll Let You In On A Secret!

“I’m tired of living day-to-day and hand-to-mouth/This could be the day I finally find my way out”

“I’m gonna climb that mountain high/I’m gonna see what’s on the other side/I’m gonna kiss this town good-bye/I’m gonna climb that mountain”

“How I arrived here, heaven only knows/Seems more like the kind of place the devil would’ve chose…I know somewhere down the road my dreams will come true”

“Climb That Mountain High” is from Reba McEntire’s 1990 album, “Rumor Has It”.  It was one of the first CDs I bought and my first from Reba!

That song has always been a beacon of encouragement for me.  It was there when I was looking to launch my television news career and every time I was awaiting my next move.

I’ve been listening to the song again daily for weeks now!

“CHANGE”

Almost a year ago (in “Change”), I shared details of some big changes in my life that would take me to Panama City, Florida, “So, as much as I love Midwestern snows, I’m trading it all in for the occasional hurricane and tropical storm!”

hurricane.gif

What the hell was I thinking — giving up snow and four distinct seasons?

In my “Christmas Update” blog on December 18, 2017, I pontificated, “I’m miserable… life is too short to feel this way and if things don’t change soon, I’ll make a change for myself and not just accept a “Band-Aid” to cover something that needs more attention – my happiness.”

In a talk after the holidays with my fantastic news director Tom Lewis, he agreed that life’s too short to be unhappy.  I said I’d start looking to return to Midwest and if I didn’t find a job, I’d be gone by Halloween!

In February, I contacted some stations across Illinois to try to get back closer to my sister and my friends in the Quad Cities, where I spent 11.5 years before the ill-fated move to Florida.

Sadly, there were no openings and many “we’ll keep you in mind when we have a position available”.

“CHANGE 2.0”

Change

In television news, like most professions, talent and experience are major factors to be considered.  However, timing and luck also play huge roles.

I contacted a station about an opening that was posted just after Thanksgiving.  I wondered why, four months later, the position wasn’t filled.

It turns out they were not in any hurry to fill the position and were waiting for the right person.

And, now back to that “timing and luck”.

The news director was at the end of his search.  He and I started corresponding and eight days later, I was offered the job and I accepted it.

My friends, in June, I’ll be the Chief Meteorologist at the Fox affiliate in Duluth, Minnesota, seven hours north of the Quad Cities.

I’m getting my four distinct seasons and my snow back!

From Wikipedia: “At 85″ per year, the port city of Duluth has the highest average snowfall total of any city in Minnesota”!

Two last weather notes:  I’ll have to get used to the bitter cold again.  The record low there is -41°, but it’s never reached 100° (97° is the record high).

I honestly feel like George Bailey in Bedford Falls at Christmas in “It’s A Wonderful Life”! Pottersville (Panama City, for me) was just an alternate universe!

Bedford Falls.gif

While some love it here and many love visiting the beaches (they think Panama City and Panama City Beach are the same), I just didn’t connect with the area.

At the beginning, from a dating standpoint, I wasn’t looking for anything since I was still reeling from the big changes in my personal life.

But, not one date in a year!!!

I’m now at the point where I’m ready to find my knight on a white horse like Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”).

“I would pretend I was a princess, trapped in the tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly, this knight, on a white horse, with these colors flying, would come charging up and draw his sword… and I would wave, and he would climb up the tower, and rescue me.”

PW 1.gif

PW 2.gif

However, I did find two dear friends here — Cathy and Gerard Rifenburg.

Cathy founded the Panama City PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter.

AP G C

A month after I moved here, they graciously invited me to a function they were hosting at their house.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed dinners and parties together, including Christmas Day.

Cathy and Gerard, I’ll miss you dearly.

Another highlight of my move to Florida was an early Sunday morning road trip last July to Plains, Georgia, to meet my childhood idols, President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter!

Autograph Carters

One thing I definitely won’t miss — this mentality! (Disclaimer: I know not everyone fits into this category!)

bubba

By the way (and this had no influence in my decision, but it makes me happy), Minnesota has only voted “red” once in my life time!

In 1972, it went along with 48 other states to re-elect Richard Nixon.  Yes, Reagan and Trump lost Minnesota!

So, I’ll proudly display my faded sticker on my car. (I did so in “red” Bay County, Florida, too!)

HCAnthony

 

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

Random Friday Thoughts — March 14, 2014

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

Here are my random thoughts for this week.

MICHELE BACHMANN, THE WORLD HAS CHANGED!

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

Bachmann

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

Marcus Bachmann

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

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

ELECTION 2016

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

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

president-hillary

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

Potential Iowa Voters

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

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

“GAYEST PRESIDENT YET”

Kudos to Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.

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

Tilda Swinton Moscow

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

Putin

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

WINTER, GO AWAY!

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

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

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

Farmers' Almanac

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

“BAGGAGE CLAIM”

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

Baggage Claim

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

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

Well, things don’t go as planned.

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

Gail and Sam Baggage Claim

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

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

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

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

GRADE:  A-

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Spring Forward Yelling

CONGRATULATIONS BELINDA CARLISLE

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

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

belinda_carlisle_lips_unsealed_cover

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

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

Belinda

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

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

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

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

AMERICANS BECOMING MORE OPEN-MINDED

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

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

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

LoveMarriageEquality

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

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

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

gays_in_church

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

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

MILEY-KATY CAT FIGHT

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

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

Miley Katy Kiss

So, here’s Katy’s side of the story.

Katy on Miley's Tongue

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

Miley Response

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

“ROMEO & JULIET”

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

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

romeojuliet1

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

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

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

romeo-douglas-booth

GRADE:  B

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

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

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

Clay Walker

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

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

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

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

THAT’S IT

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

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — December 6, 2013

Happy Friday everyone.  I hope you’re having a great week and that you’re looking forward to the weekend.  Here are my random Friday thoughts.

GREETINGS FROM “MUSIC CITY USA”!

When we left the Quad Cities Wednesday, it was 47° and we drove seven hours to Grand Rivers, Kentucky, to check out the Christmas lights and have dinner at my favorite restaurant, Patti’s 1880’s and the temperature there was 72°.

Lights at Patti'sAnthony's Dinner

That’s my dinner.  It’s called “Ella Mae’s Chicken”:  freshly grilled asparagus over grilled chicken breast topped with black forest ham and sautéed mushrooms covered in homemade cheese sauce.  This was after appetizers of homemade cheese sticks and a blossoming onion and before we ate dessert!

On Thursday, we drove the final two hours to Nashville, Tennessee, dropping my sister off in Clarksville, about an hour northwest of Nashville, so she could spend the weekend with her kids and two granddaughters.

REBA EXHIBIT

Our first stop in Nashville before checking into the Opryland Hotel was a visit to the Reba McEntire exhibit, “All The Women I Am”, at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Anthony Reba

These are various “Fancy” performance dresses.

Reba Fancy Dresses

IT LOOKS LIKE CHRISTMAS AT OUR HOTEL

Opryland Hotel

THE ROCKETTES’

Last night, we saw the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes”.  The sets were incredible and the dancing was festive and fun.  Sadly, no pictures were allowed!

REST OF THE WEEKEND PLANS

Tonight, in a major ice storm, we’ll see “Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas & Dinner Show”.  Tomorrow, it’s a lunch cruise on the Cumberland River on the General Jackson and tomorrow night, Opry at the Ryman, with Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, Chris Carmack (who plays Will Lexington on ABC’s “Nashville”) and many others.

Chris Carmack

SINGER BECOMES BIG TIME SONG WRITER

Shane McAnally

25-year-old Texan Shane McAnally was signed to Curb Records and released his first single, “Say Anything” in 1999, which peaked at #41.  The follow-up single, “Are Your Eyes Still Blue” was his only Top 40 country hit, peaking at #31.

I loved both of those songs and I was probably one of the few people who took a chance on the newcomer and bought his debut and only album. After that, Shane dropped off the radar and moved to West Hollywood, California, and started bartending and performing as “Shane Mack”.

Shane Mack

In California, Shane was able to be openly gay.  Since he started living his life openly, he married his partner of six years, Michael Baum, in September 2012, and the couple welcomed a daughter and a son in December of last year.

I was pleasantly surprised this fall to see “Entertainment Weekly” give Shane the much overdue recognition that he deserves.

Shane returned to Nashville in a big way in 2008 as a co-writer of LeAnn Womack’s Top 15 hit, “Last Call”.  Since then, he has written #1 songs for Kenny Chesney, Jake Owens, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, and Miranda Lambert.  He also penned three songs for Reba McEntire’s 2010 album, “All The Women I Am” album.

Music Review Kacey Musgraves

And, this year, he co-produced my favorite country album 0f 2013, the #1 “Same Trailer Different Park” by Kacey Musgraves.

Shane, I wish you, Michael, and your children much happiness in 2014 and here’s to continued success in country music.  I hope to hear more of your singing in the future, too.

MEANWHILE, NOT SO GOOD TENNESSEE NEWS

While we’re having a good time in Nashville, a recent report from “24/7 Wall Street” doesn’t paint a rosy picture of Tennessee, ranking it as “the most dangerous state” in the United States.

It’s followed by Nevada, Alaska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Delaware, Louisiana, Florida, Maryland, and Oklahoma!

Tennessee Violent Crimes

The site ranks Tennessee #1 for aggravated assaults and in the top ten for murders and robbery.  In 2012, there were 388 murders, which is up for the second straight year.

Across the nation, Memphis ranks fifth and Nashville is at #18 for violent crimes.

Take this ranking and the information from “24/7 Wall Street” with a grain of salt, since the “Crime in Chicago” website reported 537 murders in the “Windy City” in 2012.  (As of December 1st, the site reports there have been 422 murders in Chicago in 2013.)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ice Hole Deer  squirrelSnow's a comin'

ICE STORM SOUTH, SNOW IN THE QUAD CITIES

Two rounds of ice will be heavily glazing the Nashville, Tennessee, area tonight and, again, Saturday night.  It’s going to get scary down here.  Meanwhile, on Sunday, several inches of snow are expected in the Quad Cities.  It looks like, at least, two inches are likely.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow to keep you ahead of the snow in Illinois and Iowa.

FRESH VENDING MACHINE SALAD

I know it’s easy to grab fast food or something out a vending machine when you’re working and eat it at your desk.  However, if you had the option, would you choose a fresh salad from a vending machine for a healthy alternative?

That is the option for people living or working near the Loop in Chicago near Clark and Lake.

Farmers Fridge Chicago

Farmer’s Fridge has installed its first vending machine salad, fruits, and vegetables prepared fresh daily and packaged in recyclable plastic jar.

The $8 salads are available at 10 a.m. and come in seven varieties including North Napa, Mediterranean, Crunchy Thai, The Cheater, and three other flavors.  The dressings include lemon tahini, spicy soy peanut, red wine vinaigrette, and four other flavors.

ISRAELIS TAKE A STAND AGAINST RUSSIA

As you know from reading my blog, I’ve been very outspoken against Russia’s homophobic laws and the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which are two months away.  There’s now a new Israeli campaign speaking out about the bloodshed and violence against the LGBT community in Russia.

Red Flag

“Red Flag”, similar to the American NOH8 campaign, was started by David and Jonathan, the publisher of the international lifestyle magazine, “F.O.D.”, for the Tel-Aviv gay man community.

Actors, singers, activists, drag queens, and the LGBT community were encouraged to take part in the photo shoot wearing Russian army uniforms with blood coming out of their mouths to bring attention to the violence brought against Russian and Ukrainian LGBT people.

Red Flag2

Organizers say, “Russia 2013 is a death trap for the LGBT community. This discriminating law is backed up with aggressive enforcement by the army and the police. Arresting activists in the LGBT community or any person suspected of being involved in “propaganda” has become a normal routine. This law refers to tourists from out-of-state and even athletes participating in the winter Olympics.”

PICK HIT

Earlier in the blog, I profiled Shane McAnally and mentioned that he co-produced Kacey Musgraves’ debut album.

He also co-wrote nine of the album’s twelve songs, including the first three singles:  “Merry Go Round” (#14), “Blowin’ Smoke” (#31 peak), and her current single, “Follow Your Arrow”,which is at #28.

“Follow Your Arrow” is witty and poignant.  Here’s a sample of the lyrics:  “You’re damned if you do/and you’re damned if you don’t/so you might as well do whatever you want, so make lots of noise/kiss lots of boys/kiss lots of girls/if that’s something you’re into”

Cheers, Kacey & Shane!

DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB

“And, the Academy Award for Best Actor Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club”.

Dallas Buyers Club

The movie is based on a true story.  Ron Woodruff was a homophobic, hard-living, good ol’ Texas boy who loved his liquor, drugs, and women.  In 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS and told that he had 30 days to live.

He tried to get on the AZT trials that were being rushed onto the market to fight the AIDS pandemic.  Since he was denied that opportunity, Woodruff started buying it on the black market.  When he almost died, he came up with a plan to smuggle medications out of Mexico to try to stay alive.  Since Ron couldn’t sell the drugs, he started a membership only “buyers club” to distribute the Food & Drug Administration-unapproved medication.

DALLAS-BUYERS-CLUB

McConaughey, who plays Woodruff, lost about 50 pounds for the role and his co-star, Jared Leto, who plays transgender AIDS patient, Rayon, who befriends Woodruff, lost about 40 pounds for the role.

Both actors were electrifying and sold the story.  After initially gasping at McConaughey’s first appearance in the movie, I was sold for the next two hours that both actors were HIV-positive people fighting for their lives, while the government dragged its feet.

If you lived through the 1980s and saw friends getting sick and dying, you saw those friends in Ron and Rayon.  If you know people who have become HIV-positive in the past decade, where with medication, healthier living, diet, and exercise, it’s become a manageable disease, there’s a sense of relief that AIDS is no longer a certain death sentence.

GRADE:  A

CHRISTMAS PICK HIT

I just added “A Mary Christmas” by Mary J. Blige and “Christmas, With Love” by British singer Leona Lewis to my holiday collection this week.

Leona Lewis  Christmas With Love

Leona’s fourth album and her first Christmas colelction featured seven classics and three new songs, including the first single, “One More Sleep”.

Many of you probably remember Leona from her debut #1 single in 2008, “Bleeding Love” and its followup, “Better In Time”.

“SHELTER”

While I love “Dexter”, “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story”, love stories are at the top of my list, too.  “Pretty Woman” (1990), “Latter Days” (2003), “Shelter” (2007), “Weekend” (2011), and “Out in the Dark” (2012) are the ones that I can watch over and over and over.

Shane Mack (Shane McAnally) performed five songs on the “Shelter” soundtrack and since I’m in Nashville and I’m a strong advocate for being out and proud, here’s another one from Shane.

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND

Have a fantastic weekend and I appreciate you checking out my random thoughts this week.  Let me know what you think.

Bundle up if you live across the eastern part of the country.  It’s going to be cold.

Anthony

Hits & Misses — What Is The Key To Succeed?

I think I have good taste.  I also think I have a good ear for music and can pick out great movies.  But, that doesn’t always translate into mainstream success.  Maybe I’m just not mainstream???

In 1990, I loved “Pretty Women” and it was huge at the box office ($463.4 million) and it made that stunning Julia Roberts a star and showed how sexy Richard Gere was with gray hair.

Okay, women, gay friends, and jealous straight men, you have to admit that young Richard Gere was breathless.

On the other hand, in 1991, I absolutely loved “For The Boys” with Bette Midler.  I’m still enthralled with it today, but it bombed at the box office.  The $40 million movie only made back $23.2 million.

This weekend, I predicted that “Looper” would be huge and for the weekend of October 12, 2012, “Argo” will rule the box office and I’ll be checking that one out in Las Vegas.  I can’t wait.

However, before I get totally sidetracked about movies, this blog is really about picking music.  And, if you stay with me to the end, a very sexy, naughty new video that should be big.  If not, I don’t know what to say. 🙂

In 1983, I fell in love with a dancer and singer that specialized in club music before she was mainstream.

When Madonna charted with her first few radio hits, “Holiday”, “Lucky Star”, and “Borderline”, music industry skeptics said that her career would be over soon and that Cyndi Lauper was the real star.  I loved Cyndi’s music and I still do.  I appreciate all that she’s done for the LGBT community, but let’s face it, Madonna is the biggest star.

On the other hand, I thought that Kim Wilde would be big in the U.S.  She scored 21 Top 40 hits in her native England.  However, in America, she only hit #25 with “Kids In America” in 1982, and she topped the chart in 1987 with “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”.

In 2005, I loved Cascada and they scored a few big radio hits in the U.S. (“Everytime We Touch” and “Evacuate The Dancefloor”).  And, in early 2008, I fell in love with another blonde dance artist named Lady Gaga before she went mainstream and she’s doing pretty good!

Last spring, I predicted that Carly Rae Jepsen would be huge this summer and I think you may have heard her song “Call Me Maybe” a few times.  Okay, a few thousand times.

Recently, my pick hits have been Chris Wallace, Calvin Harris, and Martina and the Diamonds.

So far, Chris had some modest airplay with Remember When (Push Rewind) and Calvin Harris sent Rihanna to the top of the chart with “We Found Love” and scored big hits with “Feel So Close” and “Let’s Go”.

The act that I really expected to do much better in America was Marina and the Diamonds.  The new album, “Electra Heart” is great.  It sounds like 1980s new wave combined with 2012 angst.  Marina even  sounds like Katy Perry.  That should be enough for U.S. radio success.  However, the first single, Primadonna” didn’t even chart of the Billboard Hot 100 despite modest radio airplay.

Her new song, “How To Be A Heartbreaker” may receive the same cool reception at radio, but the video is nothing short of HOT!!!!  Prepare yourself ladies and gay men!

Okay, before I post it, there is some drama associated with it.  After the video was finished, here’s what Marina tweeted, “So, someone at my record label wont let me release the video bc I look ugly in it apparently + we need more $ / time to paint out ugly parts'”.

There’s that whole freaking image thing again and how young woman in entertainment are supposed to look.  Let the woman sing and do her thing!!

“HOW TO BE A HEARTBREAKER”

As a bonus (if you’re still reading), here’s Marina’s video to “Primadonna” and Chris Wallace’s “Remember When (Push Rewind).  Both are amazing and under appreciated.

“PRIMADONNA”

“REMEMBER WHEN (PUSH REWIND)”

Have a great weekend.

Anthony