It’s hard to believe that this is my last “Random Friday Thoughts” blog before Christmas and the next to last one of 2013. Where has this year gone?
Before I share my thoughts this week, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Happy Kwanzaa. And, if you’re Jewish, I hope you had a nice Hanukkah! Regardless of what you celebrate, Happy New Year early!
“FRUITY” IS DEROGATORY!
“Homeland” actor Damien Lewis is making nice after his derogatory comments about why he dropped out of theater early in his career.
Lewis didn’t want to become “one of these slightly over-the-top, fruity actors who would have an illustrious career on stage, but wouldn’t start getting any kind of film work until I was 50 and then start playing wizards.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who he might have been talking about.
Out actor Sir Ian McKellen, who’s had a long career in theatre and has found movie success in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies shot back at Lewis.
McKellen says, “I wouldn’t like to have been one of those actors who hit stardom quite early on and expected it to continue and was stuck doing scripts that I didn’t particularly like just to keep the income up.”
He went on to say, “As for a fruity voice? Well, it may be a voice that is trained like an opera singer’s voice: to fill a large space. It is unnatural. Actors have to be heard and their voice may therefore develop a sonorous quality that they can’t quite get rid of, so you think actors are as pompous as their voice is large. I suppose Damian was thinking of that a little bit, too.”
Lewis apologized to Sir Ian saying, “I am hugely embarrassed that comments of mine have been linked in a negative way to Sir Ian McKellen. I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian’s. He’s one of the greats and one of the reasons I became an actor. My comment in the Guardian was a soundbite I’ve been giving since 1999 – it was a generic analogy that was never intended to demean or describe anyone else’s career. I have contacted Sir Ian McKellen and have given him my sincerest apologies.”
And, this is how gracefully Sir Ian responded to the apology.
My final thoughts to Damien and to anyone reading this. I remember being a young gay man back in 1980s Kentucky and my cousin took my aunt to see The Judds in concert. She commented to my cousin that one of the band members was “a little fruity”.
That word was offensive then and it is now. I can excuse a woman who had not been around many gay people more than I can excuse an actor that is around fellow actors who are gay and use the word “fruity”.
Lewis claims that he’s used that soundbite since 1999! He should have been called out on it then. Now that it is public, just know that “fruity” is vulgar and offensive!
RUPAUL TACKLES RACISM & PAULA DEEN
In the December 2013/January 2014 issue of “Instinct”, glamour maven RuPaul says, “Everybody uses their mind to discern who is who, what is what. In that respect, we look at a person’s race, sex, how short they are, whatever, and we decide in our minds who they are and whether we should get to now them and like them. In that respect, everybody on the face of the earth is by definition a racist. Everybody.”
“We all do it. Nobody talks about it. The thing is, you just can’t get caught. And for everybody to point their finger and pooh-pooh her [Paula Deen], it’s f*cked up. And that’s the kind of stuff I’ve hated my whole life — that we’re such hypocrites. She’s a lovely person, and I think it was unfortunate that she got caught.”
DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT SANTA?
With Christmas just days away and Santa on his way back to the North Pole to check his list twice, here are some interesting tidbits from “Boston” magazine:
93% of Santas have their beards yanked — almost half the time by skeptical moms; 44% of Santas are sneezed on up to 15 times a day; and that 28% of Santas are peed on at least once a season.
The maximum time a Santa wants to spend with a child is 60 seconds and the best answer to tough requests for presents is “Santa will see what he can do”.
This might fall under “fail”! But, then again, depending on your sense of humor, maybe not. 🙂
FORGET VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS….
CHRISTMAS PICK HIT
Back in 1998, Australian singer Sherrie Austin scored her first country hit with “Lucky in Love”. It reached #37 on the Billboard Country chart. Since then, she’s scored three more hits with the biggest, “Streets of Heaven reaching #18 in 2003.
Shane Stevens, one of her best friends, is a singer songwriter from South Carolina, that penned Lady Antebellum’s #1 hit, “American Honey”.
Sherrie and Shane are BFFs on the Sundance Channel’s “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys”.
Stevens, who is a self-proclaimed “full-on Jesus freak”, doesn’t have a problem being a gay Christian, but being “out” in Nashville and on the show can be a little difficult, “What’s interesting about it being in Nashville…it’s such a rub to be gay in the Bible Belt. In New York City, there’s not really a rub. I can walk down the street and hold hands with my partner. There I’ve had a bottle thrown at me. It’s hard. But it’s a beautiful place and it’s one of the fastest growing cities in America and I love it.”
He goes on to add, “The most problem you find is just in church and the religious people and I’ve learned over the past few months doing this show that God doesn’t like to be put in a box. Even I’ve been guilty of trying to put him in a box. I was saying the other day that I wish I was raised an atheist so I didn’t have to un-learn everything that I’ve learned. But God loves his so much he’ll just get in your box with you and love you and hang out with you. ”
I’ll choose naughty!
SAD TO SAY GOODBYE TO DEXTER
If you watch your television shows as they air, you said goodbye to Showtime’s “Dexter” on September 22, 2013. The 9 p.m. broadcast brought in the largest overall audience in Showtime’s history.
I’m one of those that try to avoid the spoilers and watch “Dexter”, “American Horror Story” and “Bates Motel” on DVD.
So, now that I’ve watched the final season and I don’t give away spoilers, it was a satisfying season, but it wasn’t my favorite.
I loved the character of Evelyn Vogel, the doctor that came up with the “code” for Harry and Dexter to follow with Dexter’s need to kill. The “Brain Surgeon” was an interesting villain for the season and the return of one of Dexter’s old girlfriends was fun.
My problem with the season was Dexter spending so little time doing what he does best — getting rid of bad people who slip through the cracks of the criminal justice system! With my sexy man Dexter, I want more blood!
If you’ve never seen “Dexter”, you have to start watching it. It’s one of the best shows ever on television. Yes, sadistic and gory at times, but intelligent, sexy, and fun. My last comment before I grade this last season, the last scene should have been left out and left to our imagination!
I ranked my favorite “Dexter” seasons back in my June 7, 2013 blog, and here is what I said then and I’ll add season 8 to the list.
Season 1: (A+) — Three words: Ice Truck Killer! Plus, I love Sergeant Doakes (“Surprise Motherf***a”)!
Season 2: (B) – I gave it a higher grade for Doakes and a lower grade because of Lila (you gotta love Paris)!
Season 3: (B-) – This season had so much potential especially when Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) saw Dexter kill someone early on, but the show lost its way for most of the season.
Season 4: (A) – The Trinity Killer & Rita taking a much deserved bath!
Season 5: (B-) — Lumen got old fast, but having Jonny Lee Miller (Jordan Chase) on the show saved it from getting a “C”. However, the story line was weak.
Season 6: (A-) – The “Doomsday Killer” and the Book of Revelations killings were intriguing. The “Nebraska” filler episode dropped the season back a partial grade.
Season 7: (A+) — The dynamics of Dexter and Debra this season after she witnessed his kill at the end of season six were incredible. Debra’s fragility of discovering what Dexter is and having to compromise her position with Miami Metro to save her brother was a powerful story to watch unfold. And, it was fun seeing Dexter as the mouse in the “cat and mouse” game with his every move being watched by not only Debra, but also by Isaac Sirko and the Koshka Brotherhood (the Ukrainian based international crime syndicate). If that wasn’t enough, he and Debra then had to come up with a strategic plan after Captain LaGuerta found evidence that Doakes wasn’t the “Bay Harbor Butcher” and she started investigating Dexter!
Season 8: GRADE: B
It’s been just over a year since Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago-based band, The White Tie Affair, released his debut solo album, “Push Rewind”. It’s an incredible album that should not have been overlooked.
The first single, “Remember When (Push Rewind)” made it up to #24 on the Top 40 radio airplay charts and the follow-up, “Keep Me Crazy” just recently cracked the Top 40 radio airplay charts. The video came out this past weekend.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
WINTER STORM THIS WEEKEND
UPDATE: Friday, December 20, 2013, 4:05 p.m.
It is looking more and more likely that we’ll be seeing a major winter storm Saturday afternoon into Sunday afternoon.
With the storm less than 24 hours away now, our “Winter Storm Watch” has been upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning” (fuchsia-colored shading) from 6 p.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday.
Those snow totals look pretty good at this point based on this updated map of available moisture.
ORIGINAL WEATHER POST: Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:24 a.m.
For days now, meteorologists have been working feverishly to pin down the winter storm for this weekend. While there’s still room for error since temperatures will be right on the borderline for snow, freezing rain, sleet, and snow, here goes…
There will be some slippery driving conditions Friday and early Saturday from the light freezing rain that fell across parts of the area Thursday night and Friday. Be careful!
A “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect Saturday evening through Sunday evening.
A mix of rain, sleet, snow, and freezing rain will develop south to north across the area Saturday with the heaviest snow expected Saturday night and Sunday morning. There will be about nine hours of moderate snow. The snow will start winding down by midday Sunday.
I gave you early snow projections Thursday night and as of Friday morning, I’m sticking to them. The map above from NOAA shows that there’s about a 70% chance in the blue-shaded area seeing more than 4″ of snow.
I’m thinking 6-9″ of snow may fall from Freeport, Illinois, to the Quad Cities, to Burlington, Iowa, to the northwest to Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Southeast of the Quad Cities, 3-6″ of snow could accumulate.
Again, there will be some changes to the forecast as we get closer to Saturday, but this is a good place to start. As with any snow, there could be isolated higher totals and some totals in that range may be on the lower end and some on the higher end.
Some people actually sing!
After Katy Perry recent lip-synching debacle in France (she was “singing” along to a backing track of “Roar” and her lip sync was off so bad that the show was stopped and she started over sounding shaken and scared), it was incredible to see Lady Gaga perform her current Top Ten hit, “Do What U Want” with Christina Aguilera on “The Voice”.
What amazing vocals and incredibly sexy!
*Video deleted on YouTube.
‘THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE”
I have not read “The Hunger Games” books and I plan on holding off until “Mockingjay” Part 1 and 2 arrive in theaters in November 2014 and November 2015, respectively.
While I really enjoyed “The Hunger Games”, I liked the sequel, “Catching Fire” more. Without having read the book, I feel the story lines were fleshed out more, especially the love between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth).
Also, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) was much more human and less robotic in the sequel and her feelings toward Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were very touching. And, her over-the-top costumes were amazing. (With that being said, Katniss and Peeta’s clothing rocked in this movie, too!)
I liked the more violent approach to the competition once “The Hunger Games” started. The tributes are fighting for their lives and it felt like kid’s play in the first movie. Granted, the kids that saw the first movie are about one-and-a-half year older and that may be part of the ramped up realism.
Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are great additions to “Catching Fire”.
JOSH IS SO ADORABLE
21-year-old Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark, in the “The Hunger Games” franchise is such an adorable Kentucky boy. When I say “adorable”, I’m not talking about being cute (which he is, but I’m old enough to be his father), I’m talking about his open-minded, intelligent logic.
In a very honest article in the November 2013 “Out” magazine, Josh melted my heart when he said, “I have this dream that one day, my kid’s gonna come home from school and be like, ‘Dad, there’s this girl I like, and there’s this guy that I live, and I don’t know which one I like more, and I don’t know what to do.’ And it’d just be a non-issue.”
When the magazine came out, much of the worldwide press that picked up on the interview focused on his thoughts of his sexuality (“mostly straight”) and when he jokingly said that the three lead characters in “The Hunger Games” series should have a threesome, a “triad” relationship. I’m just mentioning it because it was in the article. While awesome, dwelling on it would be reductive!
We need more people in this world that think (and look) like Josh.
PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK
Daryl Hall & John Oates, Kiss, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, and Cat Stevens will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The 29th annual induction ceremony will take place April 10, 2014 in Brooklyn.
Hall & Oates met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back in 1967 and released their first album in 1972, but it didn’t make the Billboard charts.
Their first single, “She’s Gone” peaked at #60 in 1974. However, from their first Top 40 hit, “Sara Smile” (#4, 1976) to their last, “So Close (#11, 1990), they scored 29 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Of those, 16 reached the Top Ten, 11 made the Top Five, and 6 topped the chart: “Rich Girl” (1977), “Kiss On My List” (1981), “Private Eyes” (1981), “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (1982), “Maneater” (1982), and “Out Of Touch” (1984).
FINAL NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
Director John Waters (“Hairspray”) set out to make “the trashiest motion pictures in cinema history” and I would say that he succeeded with such camp classics as “Pink Flamingos” and “Female Trouble”, both starring Divine.
I absolutely love “Female Trouble”, a very twisted, dark, and hilarious movie. Here’s a Christmas scene from the movie and it does contain “adult language”, enough to get an R-rating in this two-minute clip alone! 🙂
Merry Christmas, my friends, and don’t forget those cha cha heels.