Posts Tagged ‘same-sex marriage’

Random Friday Thoughts — September 27, 2013

It’s Friday and this is my first blog of the fall season.  Happy Autumn!

Fall

Miss Betty was here last weekend and this weekend, it’s just me and Ray.  I really wanted to go to Chicago to see the Pet Shop Boys in concert, but that didn’t work out.  So, we’re planning on going to a few yard sales before the rain Saturday and then do a double feature at the movies!

I hope you have a great weekend and I appreciate you checking out my random thoughts.

SUMMER’S LAST HURRAH –SORTA!

Last Friday, the second to last full day of summer, I was shocked to see this weather observation from Monticello, Iowa, which is about 80 miles northwest of the Quad Cities.

Monticello Weather

While that 129° reading would have beat the old Iowa state record of 118°, what is even more incredible is the dew point of 127°, which is not even achievable on Earth.  The combination of the temperature and the dew point produced a heat index of 459°!!!!!

The weather sensor at the airport there is now corrected!

THIS MAKES ME SMILE

Former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter, Barbara, are supporters of marriage equality.  However, that support ends with her husband, George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. President.  At least that was his opinion in 2004 since he won’t comment on the subject today.

However, this past weekend, his father, George H.W. Bush, the 41st U.S. President, was an official witness at the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends, Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen in Kennebunk, Maine.

George H.W. Bush

I love how he rocks the one red and one blue sock!  And, Barbara looks very happy at the ceremony.

George Barbara

This gives me hope!

Sadly, the next two thoughts are more about despair!

NOT EVERYONE THINKS RUSSIA IS WRONG

Six American organizations have joined a worldwide coalition of more than 100 conservative groups that are behind Russia’s anti-gay legislation.  One of those groups, World Congress of Families, is located right here in northern Illinois, in Rockford.

Larry Jacobs, the managing editor of the organization, says, “Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has shown that sexually transmitted diseases, drug use and suicide rates are significantly higher among what it discreetly calls a ‘sexual minority.’  CDC data also demonstrates that there is much greater health risks among teenagers who practice homosexuality than those who do not engage in homosexual behavior.”

Jacobs_Family_Christmas

Jacobs adds, “All the law does is to prohibit advocacy aimed at involving minors in a lifestyle that would imperil their physical and moral health.”

Sadly, I’m more concerned with the lies, the close-minded attitudes, and the “family values” he’s teaching his own children!

WHO OWNS THE RAINBOW?

Scott Lively, who runs Abiding Truth Ministries, a church dedicated to combating “the homosexual agenda” in Springfield, Massachusetts, is a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calling him “the defender of Christian civilization”.  (Maybe Lively should move to Russia to show his love!)

Scott Lively

Recently, Lively made a recommendation to Russian Olympic officials to fly a rainbow banner over the games to steal the thunder of gay activists that plan on rainbow-bombing the games.  His reasoning?  To show “the global homosexual movement” that “the rainbow belongs to God”!

Rainbow Unicorn

Really?  What is he going to tell me next?  That God doesn’t want to share unicorns with the LGBT community either?

ROSIE HAS A VALID POINT

And, I have one more thought in this arena before I move on to happier topics.

Over the years, I’ve been indifferent about out lesbian actress and former talk show host, Rosie O’Donnell.  While I loved her on “Nip/Tuck” as Dawn Budge, she definitely could get under my skin with some of her comments.

I’ve never thought of her as a spokesperson for the entire gay community, just as my comments are likely not supported by all in the LGBT community,.  However, I admire the fact that she speaks out.

Rosie O'Donnell

O’Donnell recently said this about the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and it got me to rethinking my thoughts about supporting a boycott.

She says, “I have really mixed feelings about it. Part of me feels yes, we should boycott it. And part of me feels trepidation about all those athletes, some of whom are gay, who have spent their entire lives waiting for this moment that only comes once every four years. Would it be better if America went there and everyone wore a rainbow flag on their arms? I don’t know. It’s a very tough decision. You know, when I hear those stories about what’s going on in Russia, you know, we have to remind ourselves of the amount of gay bashing that happens in our country. Although ours is not sanctioned by the president — you know, Putin seems to be very pro-gay-bashing — it still occurs in our country at a rate that is shameful.

Great point about the gay bashing that takes place here at home!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Heaven Earth Hell

GagaHold It

CHER FINALLY MAKES BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

This has been a very big week for Cher.  Yes, that Cher!

Cher Closer To The Truth

The 67-year-old entertainment icon released “Closer To The Truth”, her first new studio album in almost twelve years (“Living Proof” came out in late 2001) and she announced the dates of her “Dressed To Kill” tour that kicks off in the spring.

Cher

Her last road trip, the “Farewell Tour” ended in 2005 after playing 325 dates in twenty countries over three years.

The “Dressed To Kill” tour kicks off in March 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona, and will hit 49 cities wrapping up about four months later in San Diego, California.

Earlier in the week, she performed on the “Today” show and said, “The road is horrible, but the concerts are great.  I understand why guys in bands tear up hotel rooms and throw TVs out the windows, because it’s a very lonely place. The only time you have fun is at the concerts.”

Cher Dressed to Kill Tour

If you live in the Midwest, she’ll be playing in St. Louis, MO (June 4), Milwaukee, WI (June 6), Chicago, IL (June 7), Des Moines, IA (June 9), and Minneapolis, MN (June 11).

The first single from the new album, “Woman’s World” didn’t get mainstream radio airplay, but it became her latest #1 hit on the Billboard Dance chart.

Des Moines, here we come!

“BEHIND THE CANDELABRA”

This past Sunday night, “Behind The Candelabra”, Stephen Soderbergh’s HBO movie based on the life of flamboyant pianist Liberace won an incredible, record-tying eleven awards for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie at the Primetime Emmys.  “Eleanor and Franklin”, in 1976, also won eleven Emmys.

Behind The Candelabra

Oscar winner Michael Douglas also picked up the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie playing Liberace beating out his co-star, Matt Damon, who played Liberace’s much younger lover, Scott Thorson.

The movie covers the last ten years of Liberace’s life and the ups-and-downs of the couple’s relationship.  The movie is based on Thorson’s book, “Behind The Candelabra:  My Life With Liberace”, which was published after the entertainer’s death in 1987 of AIDS-related complications.

With that being said, it does paint Liberace in more of a negative light and Thorson as an innocent teenager that was taken in and controlled by the entertainer, who was in his 50s when their relationship started.

I mentioned “innocent”, when talking about Thorson, because he’s had many run-ins with the law including an arrest earlier this year in Reno, Nevada, for burglary and using a credit card without consent.

As I watched the movie, I kept that in mind and told myself that Liberace (“Lee”) probably wasn’t as mean as he was portrayed in the movie.  Instead, I marveled at how Douglas disappeared in the role as the over-the-top piano man.

matt-damon-behind_the_candelabra-02rob-lowe-behind_the_candelabra-01

“Behind The Candelabra” also picked up Emmys for Outstanding Costumes, Hairstyling, Makeup (Non-Prosthetic), and Prosthetic Makeup.

It was incredible how the makeup artists made Damon, who’s in his early-40s, look like a teenager when he met Liberace.  Also, sexy Rob Lowe was almost unrecognizable as Liberace and Scott’s plastic surgeon.

Everything was lavish and over-the-top.  The $23 million movie that was finally picked up by HBO Films because Hollywood movie companies said it was “too gay” to gamble on was a fabulous two hours of entertainment.

GRADE:  A

It just saddens me that Liberace lived in an era (not so much different from today for some lead actors) where he had to pretend to be straight and that he just hadn’t found the right woman for him to settle down and marry.

liberace

Gay?  No way!  Who would have even imagined such a thought?  But, seriously, showmanship and acting can only get you so far.  🙂

VEGAS REGRET

When I was in Las Vegas in 1993, the Liberace Museum was still opened.  I wanted to visit it, but my friend that I was traveling with, Dennis, did not want to see it.  Now, I regret not venturing out on my own to check it out.  The museum, which opened in 1979, closed in the fall of 2010.

Liberace Museum

I’m hoping with the success of the HBO movie that someone will re-open it in 2014 when we’re there to see Britney “It’s Britney, bitch” Spears!

WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?

We’re just days away from our two-year wedding anniversary.

While Ray and I have been together going on five years, we made it official on September 30, 2011, in Davenport, Iowa, in a small ceremony attended by Gretel, our now 12-year-old daughter, my sister, Tammy, Ray’s sister, Cindy, and Betty, the woman I call “Mom”.

Wedding Park Fountain

Here is the video I put together of our first three years together.  I posted this the day we made the announcement that we had gotten married.

The song is “So Good Together” by Reba.

Reception 2011

The following day, October 1, 2011, we created the most beautiful majestic, magical reception in our backyard.

The song in this reception video is “In This Life” by Bette Midler.  The photographer was Jenny Butler Hipskind.

Happy Anniversary Ray!  Here’s to many more years together!

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

While the duo, Quadron, has only charted in their native country of Denmark, I love their recent song, “Hey Love”.

Quadron

Singer Coco O (Coco Maja Hastrup Karshøj) and musician/producer Robin Hannibal released their self-titled debut album in 2009 and it made “New York” magazine’s top ten album list that year.

They’ve had a big summer.  Coco O recorded “Where The Wind Blows” for “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack and the duo’s second album, “Avalanche”, reached #3 after its May release in Denmark.  The album also peaked at #16 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop album chart in the U.S.

The first  single, “Hey Love”, peaked at #8 on the Danish Charts.

MOVIE DOUBLE FEATURE THIS WEEKEND

This weekend, we plan on seeing “Prisoners” and “Don Jon”.

Prisoners

Don Jon

You gotta love Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhall, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Daryl Hall and John 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).

I love Hall & Oates and one of my favorite songs from the duo is from the “Voices” album.  “You Make My Dreams” reached #5 in 1981.

That’s enough random thoughts, insanity, and fun for one week.  I should stop before my head starts hurting.  Here’s to the weekend!

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — March 29

It’s “Good Friday” and to me, that’s the same as any Friday.  I try to be good. 🙂

“HAPPY EASTER”

Kidding aside, it’s Easter weekend and I wish all of you a “Happy Easter”.  We’re having friends over for dinner Saturday night (not Easter-related) just for fun and then on Sunday, we’re making ham and having my sister over for Easter brunch.

I hope the Easter Bunny brings you plenty of chocolate and fun candy if that’s your thing!  But, after seeing this earlier in the week, I hope he doesn’t leave you a bunny as a pet.

Easter Bunny

I remember getting a “chick” (the animal, not a girl) one year for Easter when I was a kid and it died a couple of days later.  No thanks, candy is fine with me.

EQUALITY IN THE HEADLINES

There’s been a lot of talk in the news this week with what I call “marriage equality” and what many, even in the media, call “gay marriage”.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s gay marriage ban.  And, on Wednesday, they heard the case of Windsor vs. United States, which tackles the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which basically states that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Edie

If you don’t know about Edith Windsor, the 83-year-old woman at the center of this Supreme Court debate, check out this heartwarming story.  It’s only three minutes long, but it shows you what true love is and that love knows no boundaries!

It may be months before we get a decision from the SCOTUS, if they even decide.  Edie and California, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Marriage Equality

Cow SnowmanDiet   GI Joe    Oreo SpeedwagonSarcasm

SLEEP AND MY STRANGE WORK HOURS

Since I work 2-10 a.m. Monday through Friday and get roughly three to four hours of sleep each weeknight (I get more on the weekends), it always frightens me when I hear news stories about all of the health issues that people develop when they don’t get a good night’s sleep.

Putting that aside, I read in the September 2011 “Men’s Journal” there’s something better than becoming over-caffeinated to stay awake and alert when I start to drag.  Dr. Bob Arnot says “studies show that just 10 minutes of shut-eye can net you 155 minutes of mental clarity.”

“PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

In the early 1980s, when this country boy moved away from that musical genre, I moved quickly and it was all about “New Wave” music starting with Kim Wilde and Soft Cell.  The English band, A Flock of Seagulls, was at the top of my list, too.

I mean, seriously, Mike Score’s  (the lead singer) hair was incredible.  I know if I had the nerve then, I would have been a hit in Mayfield, Kentucky, but then again, I would have probablygotten beat up , too.

A Flock of Seagulls’ first hit in America was also their biggest.  “I Ran (So Far Away)” was released in October 1982 and it made it all the way up to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

While the two follow-up singles, “Space Age Love Song” and “Wishing (If I Had A Photograph of You)” both cracked the Top 40 in America, they only made it to #30 and #26, respectively.

“Wishing” was also featured in the aforementioned movie, “Edge of Seventeen”.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

It was two years ago this week that Miss ABBA was diagnosed with a terminal cancer and given only two to three months to live.  She was a fighter and never got down and sick until the day before she went to puppy heaven ten months later on February 3, 2012.

These pictures were taken on April 1, 2011, just days after having a non-malignant “fatty tissue” removed during that terminal diagnosis (notice the cute shaved leg!), when she received a package in the mail from my friends Tracy and Steve Weinberger.  They were friends from my old neighborhood in Moline and they knew that Miss ABBA loved Peeps.  Whenever they’d walk by with their little girl, Miss ABBA would always share Peeps with her.

As you can tell, ABBA loved opening her own gifts and presents and was very excited when it turned out to be an edible treat — Peeps!

04012011 ABBA Opening Package04012011 ABBA Anthony  04012011 ABBA Peeps

MY GOLDEN, ABBA, HAS A NEW FRIEND IN “PUPPY HEAVEN”

A few weeks ago, I blogged about Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine’s golden, Frankie, crossing over the “Rainbow Bridge” to play with Miss ABBA and now Ginger has joined them, too.

Ginger, like ABBA, also died of cancer, as so many goldens sadly do.

Here is what Ginger’s “humans” posted on Ginger’s Facebook page March 19th:  “Ginger’s cancer was very aggressive and she was declining rapidly. We couldn’t let her suffer anymore, and with the help of a vetrinary [sic] oncologist made the decision to put her down this afternoon. Our family is heartbroken, but we know she ran up to heaven on the wings of your prayers and well wishes. Thank you all for your support. Many of you mentioned you have gone through it before or going though it now. Our hearts are with you. It has been a cold and snowy few days here in Michigan. We took Buddy for a walk a bit ago and the wind got really strong and we looked up and suddenly the sun peaked through the sky, just for a little bit. We like to think that was Ginger lighting up heaven with a grand entrance! Thank you again for your support and friendship.  With deepest gratitude, Scott and Barb ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥”

SEASON ONE OF “MALIBU COUNTRY” IS OVER

The first season of one of the shows that I watched this fall, “Malibu Country” with Reba and Lily Tomlin, came to a close last week.  ABC hasn’t announced whether it will be renewed for a second season.  However, I feel that it will since it is the highest rated new comedy on network television.

RebaLily

While the show is uneven and copies a lot of the jokes from Reba’s former “WB” and “CW” show “Reba” (2001-2007), I love seeing Reba and Lily Tomlin, as her marijuana loving mother.

If the show is renewed, I hope Reba sings more and that we see less of her daughter, June, and her puppy love crush on the boy next door, Sage.  And, if Sage is going to be front and center with his singing career next season, cut his hair!  Please!

And, Reba needs to start dating Mr. Bata, the head of the record company.

‘THE FOLLOWING”

With five more episodes to go (season one finale is April 29th), this show is testing my loyalty.

The Following

While I know I won’t stop watching since I’ve invested ten weeks into it, but I want some fun things to happen.  Yes, the deaths are brutal, shocking, and clever.  But, the FBI really needs to win one in the game of cat and mouse with the serial killer, Dr. Joe Carroll.

Or, at least let us know who in the FBI is working for Joe and not let it be revealed to his/her colleagues until the season finale.  And, it had better not be Mike Weston!  My money is on Agent Parker or the new guy brought in to head up the capture of Carroll.

Emma must die at the hands of Jacob!!!!  And, while I’m voicing what I’d like to see, how about a crossover with ABC’s “Nashville” so that one of Joe’s “followers” can take Scarlett out, too! 🙂

What a way to end a blog on Easter Sunday weekend.

Have a great one.

Anthony

They Said What??? Ben Affleck, Elton John, Lady Gaga, & Sam Champion

“GOOD MORNING AMERICA” WEATHERMAN SAM CHAMPION

(discussing his upcoming wedding and the outpouring of support):  “I felt like we lived in a small town… I was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and to me that’s exactly what it felt like. We walked out on the street and everyone was like, ‘Hey, congratulations.’ Thank you for the tweets, and the Facebook and just coming up on the street and saying the most wonderful things.”

ACTOR/DIRECTOR BEN AFFLECK

(to Sam Champion):  “I want to congratulate Sam.  It’s to our shame that you can’t get married in every state in the union, but one day I hope you will be able to. It’s very exciting. I was very inspired…a moving, love story.”

ELTON JOHN

“I know a lot of people, and perhaps especially religious people, will say that David and I should count ourselves lucky for living in a country that allows civil partnerships, and call it quits there. Well, I don’t accept this. I don’t accept it because there is a world of difference between calling someone your ‘partner’ and calling them your ‘husband’. ‘Partner’ is a word that should be preserved for people you play tennis with, or work alongside in business. It doesn’t come close to describing the love that I have for David, and he for me. In contrast, ‘husband’ does. A ‘husband’ is somebody that you cherish forever, that you would give up everything for, that you love in sickness and in health. Until the law recognises David Furnish is my husband, and not merely my partner, the law won’t describe the man I know and adore.”

FORMER CEO OF WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT & REPUBLICAN CONNECTICUT SENATORIAL CANDIDATE LINDA McMAHON

“I have changed my position on DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act, which states marriage is between a man and a woman] because, with gay marriage now approved in the state of Connecticut, I don’t think it’s fair.”

REPUBLICAN MICHIGAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOM McMILLIN

“Well, I think that the thousands of people that have been in that lifestyle and come out would say that it was their choice when they were in and came out of the lifestyle.”

“ONE MILLION MOMS”

(protesting the as-yet-unproduced Jennifer Lopez lesbian-themed television show, “The Fosters”):  “Hollywood is continuing to push an agenda that homosexuality is acceptable when scripture states clearly it is a sin. As Christians, the Bible also says that we must speak up against sin. If we remain silent then we are guilty of sin also.

LADY GAGA

(tweeting after vomiting several times on stage in Barcelona, Spain):  “Was praying nobody saw but actually its quite a good laugh if u need one! Check out Lady PukeGA doing Swan ‘Vomit’ Lake.”

This Man Could Cost Mitt Romney The 2012 Election (& It’s Not President Obama)

There is a Republican that I would vote for, but, unfortunately, he doesn’t stand a chance.  However, he will shape the outcome of the 2012 Election.

An average of the latest polls posted on Real Clear Politics shows that President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney are pretty much neck and neck in the 2012 race with President Obama up less than three points at 48.1% to 45.4%.  (At this point in 2008, Barack Obama had a 7.6% lead over John McCain.)

Those percentages will fluctuate until the first presidential debate on October 3rd and it’ll be interesting to see what happens after the vice presidential debate eight days later.

Let me introduce or re-introduce you to former (January 1, 1995-January 1, 2003) two-time Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.  This man will be instrumental in whether Barack Obama wins a second term as president or if the Republicans take back the White House.

Johnson will be running on the Libertarian ticket this election.  He’s still awaiting a decision in Michigan and Oklahoma of having his name put on the November ballot.  If he succeeds, he will be the ONLY challenger to President Obama and Governor Romney in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC).

Meanwhile, the Green Party ticket of Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala will appear on ballots in, at least, 33 states and DC.

Gary Johnson’s running mate is Judge Jim Gray of Newport Beach, California.

So, what are Johnson’s political views?  He’s fiscally conservative, he believes in limited government and military non-interventionism (which means he wants to stay away from alliances with other nations that could involve us in wars that are not for direct territorial self-defense).

He’s opposed to foreign wars and says he’ll cut military budgets 43% in his first presidential budget.

Johnson received the highest score of any presidential candidate from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  He announced in 2011 that he’s for same-sex marriage, he criticized President Obama’s May announcement that while he believe in marriage equality, it should be thrown back to the states to decide, and Johnson wants a constitutional amendment to protect equal marriage rights!

Johnson is pro-choice when it comes to abortion and he’s opposed to the Patriot Act.

And, there are people who believe in his message.  A recent CNN poll (9/10/12) that finally added Johnson and Green candidate Stein to the polling shows that both candidates are scoring points:

Barack Obama (D) – 50%
Mitt Romney (R) – 41%
Gary Johnson (L) – 4%
Jill Stein (G) – 2%

And, the news gets even better for Johnson if you believe polling.  Zogby International, a leading polling firm in the United States, released this information about Johnson:

  • 10.1% of Independent Voters plan to vote for him
  • 7.5% of Hispanic voters plan to vote for him
  • 7.0% of 18-29 year-old voters plan to vote for him
  • 5.9% of 30-49 year-old voters plan to vote for him

It’s going to be a tough road for Johnson.  While he really doesn’t stand a chance of winning the 2012 election, he will shape the outcome of this fall’s race like Independent candidate Ross Perot did twenty years ago.

Most will not deny that the 19% of the popular votes that Perot earned in 1992 likely put Democrat Bill Clinton in the White House and kept Republican George H.W. Bush from earning a second term.  Clinton won that race with 43% of the popular vote to Bush’s 37.5%.

I recently read that a vote for Johnson is one vote against President Obama and two votes against Mitt Romney, which basically means that if more people vote for Johnson and he loses, chances are that Romney will lose, too.

Could that be true?  Consider the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  In each of those states, polls show that the two leading candidates (Obama and Romney) have leads of only 0.2% to 4.8%.

If you throw Johnson in the mix, that could easily sway the race.  Arizona is currently leaning toward Romney.  However, a recent poll there shows Johnson picking up 9% of the vote.  That could turn Arizona blue.  In New Mexico, where Johnson was the former governor, he is polling at 13% and while the state is leaning toward President Obama, that’s a huge percentage that could turn the state red.

You will definitely be hearing a lot more about Gary Johnson (and Jill Stein) in the next seven weeks.  And, I would not be surprised to hear Mitt Romney not only going after President Barack Obama, but also Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Anthony