Posts Tagged ‘Sophie Ellis-Bextor’

Random Thoughts — May 10, 2019

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of the moms and future moms out there, whether it’s children, godchildren, pets or plants!

Here’s a flashback to spring 1990 with my mother, Dessie, and my sister, Tammy.  While we didn’t know it then, this would be her last spring and Mother’s Day with us! 😦

Dessie 1990

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts.  If you disagree, feel free to diplomatically share yours with me!


Okay, we’re already past the first week of May and we just experienced record May snowfall in Duluth, Minnesota.

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10.6″ of snow fell Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  Of that, 8.3″ fell Wednesday night making it the snowiest May 8th on record and the snowiest single day in May.

An additional 2.3″ fell on Thursday making it the snowiest May 9th on record.

This is now the snowiest May on record with 10.9″ (so far).

For this snow season, we’re up to 104.4″ in Duluth, making this the 15th snowiest winter on record and these records go back to 1884!


As you know, I was miserable the year I spent in Panama City, Florida, before moving to Duluth.

While I made three amazing friends and I’m sure there were many other great people I didn’t meet, there were a lot of people there that believed every word that spews out of 45’s ugly mouth.

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He was in Panama City Beach this week and while talking about immigrants and how to handle the border, a woman in the audience shouted, “Shoot them”!

He smiled and commented, “That’s only in the Panhandle, you can get away with that statement. Only in the Panhandle!”

Sadly, it’s probably true!  Pathetic!


To “Entertainment Weekly” about the title track of her latest album, “Hurts 2B Human”, a duet with Khalid: “I feel like if you’re present in 2019 and not totally escaping your feelings and looking around at what’s going on in the world, especially this country, it hurts.  It fucking hurts your heart.  I think that’s a good thing, because that’s what creates change, and we’re starting to see change and people show up and fight back!” 


This 1985 autobiography is by Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro.

In 1984, she became the first woman to make it on a major presidential ticket when Democratic nominee Walter Mondale chose her as his running mate.


While she talked about her family, her mother raising her and her brother as a single parent after her father’s death and her early political career, the book focuses mostly on the weeks leading up to her nomination and the long and painful 1984 presidential run.

In the book, this story stood out to me and it’s very relevant today as we head into a bitter fight into the 2020 race to get Donald Trump out of office.

It was early 1983 and Ferraro was talking about which eventual Democratic candidate she’d support.  She wanted someone who shared her values to be the candidate, but she would campaign for any Democrat to defeat Ronald Reagan.

Ferraro wrote, “Even an imperfect candidate would be better than Reagan — that’s how strongly I felt.”


This 1985 book by my idol and former President Jimmy Carter traces the history of the Israeli-Palestinian turmoil back to biblical times when the Arabs, the Jews and the Christians all came from Abraham.

The Blood Jimmy Carter.jpg

If you’re not a reader of the Bible, some of the history is overwhelming and, to me, unbelievable (Abraham fathered children when he around 100 years old and he lived to 175!).

But, this was only in the first few pages of the book.

The great, concise book (just over 200 pages) details the torturous history of Palestine that only became more daunting once Israel came into existence in 1948 and Arab Palestinians didn’t have a home or home state.

As you recall, President Carter worked night and day for almost two week at Camp David in the summer of 1978 with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachen Begin to broker a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Arabs.

Sadly, there will never be peace between the two peoples over this small piece of real estate because neither side wants to give up anything to make peace.

Carter sums up the book talking about Abraham’s blood flowing through the veins of the Arab, Jew and Christian people and the bloody history of the Middle East with this chilling line, “The spilled blood in the Holy Land cries out to God — an anguished cry for peace.” 


It’s easy for Westerners to shake their heads over the long-standing history of violence in the Middle East.  But, that’s very narrow-minded of us.

Without being too judgmental, it’s like that right now in the United States.  We have strong race divisions, religious divisions, human rights divisions, and many more.

Just look at the divide between Democrats and Republicans, Hillary Clinton supporters, Bernie Sanders fans, and the ones that think that Donald Trump can do no wrong!

We’ve crossed a line from which we can’t (or will never) rebound!

I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist!


Madonna announced her latest tour this week to support her 14th studio album, “Madame X” coming out June 14th.

And, not surprising, it’s something new for the ever-changing icon.

Instead of taking her very expensive and incredible tours to arenas and cities all over the world, she’s doing mini-residencies in smaller theaters in large cities in the U.S. and Europe.

Madonna Madame X Tour.jpg

So far, only New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago have been announced.  The tickets sold out so quickly that five more shows were added in New York City and four more in Los Angeles.

While only 25 show dates are known now, she’s set to announce additional dates for Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, and Philadelphia for 2019.

Since I didn’t get to Vegas last year, I’m planning on seeing Madonna for the fifth time when the show plays at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

And, while the dates aren’t public yet, I’d venture to say that it’ll be in December since no headliner has been announced there in that month! 🙂


I couldn’t take the suspense any longer.  After finishing season one of the critically acclaimed BBC America series, I slowly started watching season two.

I’m four episodes in (five of the eight season two episodes have aired).

In the second episode, I almost peed myself with a line that likely went over the heads of most Americans!

Giving a power point presentation to her new team of detectives about Villanelle’s murders, Eve mentions that Bill was killed (oops, spoiler!) on a club’s dance floor and she quickly replies:

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“Murder on the Dance Floor” by Sophie Ellis Bextor was a minor dance club hit here in the U.S. in the early 2000s, yet it hit the Top Ten in, at least, 18 countries worldwide.

I fell in love with this song at Roscoe’s when I moved back to Chicago in 2002.

It’s from her fantastic debut album, “Read My Lips”.


While Christmas is still more than seven months away, Mariah Carey recently announced that she’ll be performing her holidays standards again in Las Vegas.

Her “All I Want For Christmas Is You” will be returning to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace for five shows November 22-30, 2019.


Trust me, this is a phenomenal show!  I saw a version of it in December 2017 in Vegas.

This is what I wrote about it on my return, “She was absolutely gorgeous and flawless and her voice was crisp and angelic. The sets were magical and stunning and for just over 90 minutes, all my unhappiness was a distant memory!”


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


Random Friday Thoughts — May 3, 2013

After working eleven of the last twelve days, I’m ready for the weekend.  While the weather will not be perfect, it’s going to be better than the rainy, chilly 40s that we’re going to experience today or the 4-11″ of snow that parts of Iowa saw Thursday!   Have a great one.  Here are the random thoughts on my mind today.

Iowa Mow Snow


While I exercise daily, I really haven’t mastered the art of losing any weight.  Thus, I’m still 13 pounds from my ideal weight for the summer.  One of these days I’ll get back into the same groove from last summer when I lost 25 pounds.  Don’t worry, I didn’t have any trouble finding twenty of those pounds!  🙂


Saturday night, we’re having friends over for dinner.  I’m making the appetizers, the salad, a veggie dish, and two desserts, while Ray is making two entrees (one meat and one vegetarian).  Gretel is looking forward to it because there will be three other girls here that she’s never met.

On Sunday, I’m taking part in a fundraiser for the “Metropolitan Community Church QC” as a judge in a chili cook-off contest!  I’ve done this in the past and it’s a fun time.  So, if you don’t have plans Sunday evening and you’re in Moline, come on by.

MCCQC Chili Cook-Off


After getting disgruntled with “The Following” midway through the season, I knew that the finale would be mind-blowing and it was!   All I can say is AMAZING!  The payoff was worth it and I’ll be tuning in next January to see what happens.  For a time there, I was ready to move on after this season, but not now!



The countdown to season seven of  “Dexter” on DVD is now down to 11 days and I can’t wait!  The final season (the eighth) begins on Showtime at the end of June and I bet that they have it out on DVD before Christmas because if spoilers announce how the series ends, who would want to buy it on DVD?


Spoiler alert:  The season 8 trailer is incredible.  Don’t watch it unless you have already watched season 7!!!!!!!!


Censorship continues to thrive at the NBC affiliate, KSL, in Salt Lake City.  In August 2012, the station refused to air “The New Normal” and it passed on “The Playboy Club” (as did the rest of America, by choice), and it doesn’t show “Saturday Night Live”.

The latest victim of the station’s self-imposed programming censorship is “Hannibal”.


On its Facebook page, the station posted this:  “PROGRAMMING NOTE: After viewing the past few episodes, as well as receiving numerous complaints from viewers, KSL TV will cancel the airing of the NBC show “Hannibal” on Thursday evenings.  This decision was made due to the extensive graphic nature of this show. The time slot will be replaced with a special edition of KSL 5 News at 9 p.m.  NBC remains a valued partner to KSL TV.  KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so.”

It really ticks me off when individual stations pick and choose what they think people should see.  Let people decide by watching or not watching the show.  As much as I love “Hannibal” and its gore and violence, America doesn’t seem to agree with me.  The premiere garnered 6.77 million viewers and the ratings have dropped big time in just four episodes.


As I was watching the episode, “Coquilles”, last Thursday night, I felt a disconnect with the show.  It felt like something was missing.  There was no mention of characters Abigail Hobbs or Dr. Alana Bloom, both integral to the plot line in the first three episodes.  Upon a little investigating, I found out why.

Show producer Bryan Fuller decided to pull the original “fourth” episode, “Ceuf”, because of the recent real-life events in Boston and the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings last December.  In this episode that will air in its entirety in international markets (and will likely appear on the DVD), Molly Shannon plays the “criminal of the week”, a teacher who brainwashes kids into killing other kids.

My problem with this is that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings took place almost five months ago and if the producers were that uneasy about the theme of this episode, they knew that back there and they could have done some editing or re-shoots to maintain continuity in the show!  Come on, NBC “Hannibal”, nobody is watching you anyway, so don’t tick me off. 🙂

I’m still patiently waiting for Gillian Anderson’s five episodes as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, Lecter’s psychotherapist!  Her hair may not be as gingery as FBI agent Dana Scully from “The X-Files”, but she is one hot mama!



Two years ago this week, Mr. Panda, our little blind shar pei friend from Chicago, was spending the spring with us.  As you can see, he was sunning and Miss ABBA was enjoying the shade.  Panda, now 11-years-old, may be coming back to spend some time with us soon.

May 2011 Panda ABBA

The planting and gardening season was much further along last year.  We had already planted tomato and peppers plants in memory of Miss ABBA.  We always grew tomatoes for her because she couldn’t get enough of them!

May 6 2012 ABBA Memorial Garden


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As I’ve said before, I always read the new “Entertainment Weekly” when it arrives and I don’t get too far behind on “Instinct”, “The Advocate”, and “Out”.  However, I had a huge stack of old “Men’s Fitness”, “Details”, and “Boston” magazines that I’ve recently blown through and recycled.  Now, I’m working on the three-year-old “Rolling Stone” issues.  Luckily, the subscription was only for six months!

Ironically, last week in my blog I talked about my health and the thought of dying.

And, in the July 8-22, 2010, double issue of “Rolling Stone” with Lady Gaga on the cover, she talked about her health.  And, it sort of touches on what I talked about and was pretty much a scary precursor of her own health issues this past winter when she was forced to cancel the rest of her “Born This Way Ball” tour because of a labral tear of the right hip caused by strenuous repetitive movements involved in the shows and required surgery.

Lady Gaga Las Vegas

On becoming a hypochondriac, Gaga said, “I don’t want to be one, so most of the time I’m like, ‘F**k it, I’m fine.’  At a certain point, you’re so beyond the point of exhaustion that you don’t know:  Do I have a health problem that may or may not be real, or am I just really tired.”

I guess I’m not alone. 🙂

I saw Lady Gaga in concert in Las Vegas this past January before she cancelled the rest of the tour.  She was incredible and the mammoth set was over-the top!

Born This Way Ball Tour Stage

Check out this amazing time lapse video of how much work and detail went into putting on this spectacle of a show in each city.


By telling “Sports Illustrated” this week, “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay”, Jason Collins becomes the first professional athlete in the United States to come out.  Most of the reaction to his announcement has been positive.


While I’m happy that Collins can finally live his life without hiding who he is, I’m just sorry that we still live in a world where it still matters!  The bottom line should be “good for him” and “who cares”, just be happy”.  People are just so concerned with what others are doing when they should be focused on their own lives.

Pro tennis player Andy Roddick says, “Yesterday was an incredible day for athletes everywhere. Jason Collins’ courage and leadership in coming out reminds me of how important it is for an athlete to be able to be true to him or herself.  As an Athlete Ally, I want to support every athlete to feel comfortable and confident being themselves and to make sure that all people – players and fans alike – are  welcome and included in tennis.”


Good for you, Andy!  And, good for us. 🙂


In about a month (June 9th), we’ll be seeing Ke$ha and Pitbull in concert outside Chicago for Gretel’s birthday!  I cannot to see Ke$ha just to see what crazy things she’ll do.  Say what you will about her auto-tuned music, but it’s fun.

Ke$ha Tickles The Ivory

And, regardless of what you think of her, check out this outrageous interaction with Conan O’Brien about how she composed some of her favorite songs on her “Warrior” album, which came out in late 2012 that I gave a grade of “A” and blogged about in January!

Too flipping funny!

It’s okay Ke$ha, I love dinosaurs, too!  Roar!!!!!!


Everyone knows Madonna and everyone has an opinion about her.

In 1983, my freshman year in college, I fell in love with her when she was just a dancer and singer from Detroit, Michigan who moved to New York City to be a star.  Before her first song, “Holiday”, made it to pop radio in the fall of 1983 and peaked at #16, Madonna had already scored two #3 dance club hits, “Everybody” and “Burning Up”.


English singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor has scored 9 solo hits in the U.K with six reaching the Top ten and the first three reached either #2 or #3.  She was also featured on two other hits in the U.K., including Spiller’s #1 smash, “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”.  “Groovejet” also reached #3 on the Billboard Dance chart here in the U.S.

Sophie never crossed over in America.  Her biggest chart success on this side of the Atlantic was the #26 Billboard Dance hit, in 2002, “Murder on the Dancefloor”.  It was one of my favorite songs during my last two-year stay in Chicago and at Roscoe’s.  It’s from the album, “Read My Lips”, which includes a remake of the Cher smash, “Take Me Home”.

Now, I want to dance and have fun.

Have yourself a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.