Posts Tagged ‘sangria’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 22, 2018

It’s officially summer now and that can only mean one thing!

SBSangria

Yes, this Moscato Sangria will work just fine, thank you! 🙂

I appreciate you taking the time to check out my random thoughts.

PRIDE EVERYDAY — ESPECIALLY IN JUNE

As many of you know, June is “Pride Month”.  Yet, Pride festivities happen at different times of the year depending on where you are.

The Duluth Superior GLBTAQI Pride Festival will be held Labor Day weekend (August 30-September 2) this year.

I plan on attending, but I can guarantee it won’t be Chicago! 🙂

Speaking of my “second home”, here are two of my favorite Pride photos that I took in Chicago back in 2010.

Pride3

Pride4

So, cheers queers and to all of our “straight, but not narrow friends”!

pride-martini-collection

THANK YOU BRETT KISSEL

I’m a very liberal thinking person, but there are still things that I learn everyday — even about being more inclusive.

There are good people and bad people in every walk of life — regardless of demographics or whatever group they belong.

Country music is one of those genres that typically gets a bad rap (oh wait, rap is another) for not being very inclusive when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

Yes, there are exceptions:  Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, and others.

Now, add sexy Canadian country music singer Brett Kissel to that growing list!

Brett Kissel Pride.JPG

For years now, since I discovered his “Pick Me Up” album, I’ve written about Kissel and his amazing voice and stage presence.

Yes, he’s sexy, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to drop $10 for a CD!  But, he has what it takes to warrant buying his music — not just good looks!

He’s incredible with a beautiful wife, Cecilia, and two daughters, Mila and Aria.

Kissel Family.jpg

I like him even more knowing he supports all people, including me and my LGBTQ brothers, sisters, and they.

Here’s his latest single, “Guitars & Gasoline”.

Come on America, start playing Kissel!  He’s already had eleven Top Ten hits on the Canadian Country music chart.

“THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY”

If you didn’t catch this amazing FX series during its winter run earlier this year, watch it now!

I’ve written several times about the series and I’m bringing it up again as we near the Emmy nominations in July because it popped up in a recent issue of “Entertainment Weekly”.

Here’s what I wrote on March 30, 2018:

“Sadly, this excellent series is over.  I think when Emmy nominations are announced in July that Darren Criss and Judith Light will get acting nods for their roles of Andrew Cunanan and Marilyn Miglin.”

CrissMiglin

In the new “Entertainment Weekly”, critic Kristen Baldwin chose “The Assassination of Gianni Versace:  American Crime Story” as her #1 best TV show of 2018, so far.

Baldwin adds, “And if Darren Criss (who played Cunanan) and Judith Light (as the wife of one of his victims) do not win big come Emmy season, it will be (ahem) a crime.”

DIANA ROSS “MEMOIRS”

Since moving to Duluth, I haven’t had a chance to read a book and I’m starting to fall behind on magazines.

But, before moving, I read Diana Ross’s “Memoirs:  Secrets of a Sparrow”.

Diana Ross.jpg

It was interesting hearing her version of how she became the face and name of The Supremes and how that and other behind the scene dramas ended the successful trio.

She talked extensively about the racial tensions in the South in the 1950s and 1960s and how it made touring there scary.

Ross also talked about AIDS and her gay fans and friends.

An interesting story she told was going on her second honeymoon.  Since her husband owned the Tahitian island, they ran around naked! 🙂

At times, she sounded a little out there, but she comes across as a genuine woman and entertainer.

It was a little gossipy when she talked about her working relationship with Lionel Richie when they recorded the iconic ballad “Endless Love”.

Ross says, “the working relationship between us was difficult.”  She added, “I am a perfectionist.  I like to be on time always.  Lionel was not always on time.”

LIONEL THEN (?) AND NOW

I don’t doubt Diana Ross’ story of working with Lionel.  He was young and coming off huge success with the Commodores and was launching his solo career.

I know him as a gentle, fun man that I met in Las Vegas last December.  When I went to shake hands with him, he grabbed me and said, “I’m a hugger”.

Capture2

Earlier this week, Lionel turned 69!  To honor that, here’s my favorite Lionel Richie song.

If you want to know what my other 19 favorites are since you know I love countdowns, click here.  It’ll open in a new window!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/my-20-favorite-lionel-richie-songs/

90s NOSTALGIA

Living in Duluth, my television market covers parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin and two counties in Upper Michigan.

My part of the state is called the “Northland”, which is not to be confused with the “Northwoods” of northern Wisconsin!

My first Wisconsin experience was in the late-1980s visiting a friend’s family in Merrill.  In the summer of 1990, I moved to Milwaukee for four months before moving back to Kentucky.

In July 1996, I took my first network affiliate television job in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  I was there for just about five months.

However, moving back to the upper Midwest makes me nostalgic about those times even though they were short.

So, over the new few weeks, I’ll share some of the songs that were impressionable to me during those times!

Remember this one from 1990?

That was Taylor Dayne’s seventh consecutive Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 hit.  It was the third release from the “Can’t Fight Fate” album.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

My Wandering Mind — Here’s What I’m Thinking About

Every once in a while, I like to blog about all of the things that have crossed my mind or crossed my path during my time on the internet and Facebook.  It may be nothing more than a picture or something that I read in a magazine or online, but I don’t want to write an entire blog about it and today is one of those days.  Here are the things that made me smile or got me to thinking.  As if I need to think more?

“DEXTER”

Season six of my favorite television show, “Dexter”, will be released on DVD one week from today.  I’m very excited to see it because everyone that I’ve talked to says that it was a great season.  Religion plays a big role in the twelve episodes and I just love the promotional material with the angel’s wings made from blood.  That’s so Dexter Morgan.

I’ve also learned that we’re down to the last two seasons of “Dexter” since it will end at season eight and that the executive producer already knows how it will end!

If you don’t watch it first run on Showtime and you’re waiting for the DVD like I am, here’s the trailer for season six.

In addition to “Dexter” season six arriving on DVD next week, Gretel is more excited about “Glee” season three on the same day.  Later this month, “The Walking Dead” season two arrives and in early September, it’s “Fringe” season four.  I will be watching a lot of television this fall!

SIMPLE ISN’T IT?

 

WE REALLY FORGET VETERANS WHEN THEY RETURN HOME

While I registered with the draft in 1982, which was required by law, I was lucky that I never got called to war.  Some choose the military as careers and for some, the military chooses them.  Our brave men and women of all walks of life go to foreign lands and fight for our freedom.  Some may only go once and some are called to serve multiple duties and they see things that we only see in movies.

And, when they return, they may get a parade or a hometown welcome and then once the last of the confetti falls, what happens in their lives then?

Recently, I came across the story of  Matthew Magdzas, a National Guardsman, who killed his family (a pregnant wife and daughter), their dogs, and then himself in Superior, Wisconsin, in August 2010.

While tragic, what’s even scarier are these stats that “Time” magazine reported at the time:  In 2010, 113 National Guard members committed suicide;  the Guard’s suicide rate is up 82% from 2009 and 450% from 2004 and now exceeds that of active-duty soldiers;  they lack jobs, support and camaraderie found on military bases when they return from war; and 42% of Guard troops come back from war with mental illness compared to 20% for active-duty counterparts that have more thorough training and are more prepared for longer periods at war.

With the wars that we’re engaged in across the world, we really need to make it where the National Guard is more prepared for what it will face away from home and what to expect when they return.  Many of the duties of the Guard changed from helping at state levels after 9/11.  Guardmen/women now account for about 20% of the combat troops at war instead of helping with state floods, weather disasters, and forest fires.

FALL IS GETTING CLOSER

I’m ready for fall to get here to break the incredible heat that we’ve experienced with the drought this summer.  It also means that our vacation season kicks off next month with Houston, Las Vegas, and then our pre-Christmas cruise.  On a much smaller scale, we’re heading to Fort Dodge, Iowa, this weekend for Ray’s 30th high school reunion.

This fall, I’m awaiting confirmation on the title of the new Osama bin Laden movie, which follows the special operation forces as they try to capture or kill the Afghan terrorist.  It’s the follow-up movie from Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow of “The Hurt Locker”.  The rumored title of the movie is “Zero Dark Thirty” and it stars Jessica Chastain “(The Help”), Joel Edgerton (“Warrior”) and Kyle Chandler (“Super 8”).  The movie comes out Christmas week.

ARTPOP

The follow-up to “Born This Way” is on the way.  We no longer have to wait for the title of Lady Gaga’s new album coming out late in 2012 (more likely in early 2013 when she should be touring America on “The Born This Wall Ball” tour).  The album is called “ARTPOP”.

Gaga tweeted, “make sure when writing about my new album/project ARTPOP that you CAPITALIZE the title, *its all in the details* good morning twitter!”

“PRECIOUS” FOLLOW-UP LOOKS AMAZING

Director Lee Daniels’ follow-up to the incredible Oscar nominated film, “Precious”, arrives in theaters this October.  (Mo’nique won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Precious”.)

It’s called “The Paperboy” and it looks amazing.  I haven’t been following the race to the Oscars in 2013, but I can guarantee that one of my favorites, Nicole Kidman, will be one of the Best Actress nominees based on this trailer.  And, you get a bonus!  Zac Efron in “tighty whities”!

The movie also stars Matthew McConaughy, John Cusack, David Oyelono, Macy Gray, and Scott Glenn.

LEBANON

The best movie that I saw recently was the award-winning  2009 Israeli movie, “Lebanon”, which followed a lone tank and paratroopers that were dispatched to a hostile town during the First Lebanon War in 1982.  It was gripping, suspenseful, and claustrophobic.

“The New York Times” called it “an astonishing piece of cinema” and “Variety said it is “the boldest and best” of recent Israeli films based upon the Lebanon wars.  Meanwhile, the British newspaper “The Guardian” called it “anti-war”.

GRADE:  A

 

GREAT FOOD & REFRESHING DRINKS MAKE LIFE MORE ENJOYABLE

While I would probably never have the patience to make this colorful cake (maybe before next June’s pride, I will), it looks fun and delightful.

However, I am planning on making this strawberry-basil sangria.  I found the recipe on treehugger.com.

Strawberry-Basil Sangria

  • ½ lb of fresh strawberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
  • 1 bottle of Cline Cellar’s Cool Climate Chardonnay
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1 cup of white grape juice

1. Trim and thinly slice the strawberries.
2. Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.
3. Score the basil leaves with a fork. I did this instead of cutting the leaves into strips as I did not want my guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink. Simply just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
4. Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You’ll see it turn a bit red.
5. Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.

MUSIC I’M EXCITED ABOUT

Of course, I’m excited that Madonna is at #8 on the Billboard Dance Chart with “Turn Up The Radio”, the third single from “MDNA”.  The new remix by Far East Movement (“Like a G6”) is out of this world.  It’s one time when I agree that adding rap to a pop song makes it even better.  The rap in Maroon 5’s “Payphone”, not so much!

My other favorite songs right now are “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters, “Postcards From Paris” by The Band Perry, and these two.

I’ve never been a fan of Demi Lovato, but I knew who she was by having an 11-year-old daughter.  She’s had it rough over the past couple of years with “physical and emotional issues”, but it seems she’s got her act together now and I just love her new top ten song, “Give Your Heart a Break”.

Also, at the top of my list of favorites now is Chris Wallace’s “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which I featured a month or so ago. It’s now about to crack the top 40!

I saw him at Market Days a couple of years ago when he was the lead singer of The White Tie Affair, which had a modest hit with “Candle (Sick and Tired)”.  I can’t wait for the debut album!

I’ve let my mind wander enough.  There was one more thing I wanted to talk about today, but this is enough for now.  Have a great day and thanks for checking out my random thoughts.

Peace,

Peeps