Posts Tagged ‘This Is The End’

My Ten Favorite Movies of 2013

Today marks the last day of 2013 and I’m ready for 2014.  With Oscar nominations coming out in a couple of weeks, there are still some movies I want to see.

These are my ten favorite movies that I saw in 2013 and here is a recap of #20 to #11 if you missed it yesterday.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/anthonys-favorite-movies-of-2013/

10

I Do

9

Behind The Candelabra

8

Scrooge and Marley

7

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE GROSS:  $83 MILLION

savages

6

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE GROSS:  $19.8 MILLION

Amour

 

5

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE GROSS:  $125.7 MILLION

This Is The End

4

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE GROSS:  $246,112

keep-the-lights-on

3

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE GROSS:  $15.8 MILLION (STILL IN THEATERS)

Dallas Buyers Club

2

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE GROSS:  $540 MILLION

world-war-z-poster-3

1

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE GROSS:  $26,966

OUT-IN-THE-DARK-Poster

Gag Me

My three least favorite movies I saw in 2013.

Silent Night

I have to include the trailer because it looked so promising!  The movie only grossed $14,567 in theaters.  Look again, that’s 14-thousand dollars and not millions!

Hansel & Gretel

Here’s what I wrote about the movie back in July:  “It was painful to watch Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner in “Hansel & Gretel:  Witch Hunters”.  If you love special effects, it was a great movie.  However, the story line was lacking and the violence was over the top.  Also, this is definitely not a movie for kids!”

GRADE:  D

D'Agostino

Bring the popcorn and let’s watch movies.

Happy 2014!

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — August 2

Happy weekend!  I’m ready to enjoy it since I have a six-day work week next week and off only one day next weekend.  I hope you have fun plans since the weather is going to be closer to average for summer.  Maybe we’ll brave the recent chill and jump in the pool even if it’s cool!!!!  Here are my random thoughts for this Friday.

THERE IS HOPE!

While I’m taking this response by Pope Francis with a grain of salt, it’s encouraging.  This is huge because the Catholic Church still considers homosexuality a sin.

Pope Francis

What a far cry from his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.  In 2005, Benedict XVI wrote that being gay was “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil” and that men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not become priests.

And, I admit that while I was writing this, I read several different accounts of what the Pope said and what commentators thought it meant, including one from Fox News!  OMG, I’m mentioning Fox News and I’m not going to make a snarky comment about it!

Father Jonathan Morris, a Fox News contributor, writes, “When Pope Francis says “who am I to judge” he is saying—and I think we need to hear more of this from religious leaders—that active homosexuals deserve the same kindness, love, and mercy that all of us sinners would hope to receive from God and from others.”

What I take away from that is that we’re all sinners and we all deserve to treated with love and respect.  It starts with you, it starts with me, and it starts with our enemies!

POLITICIAN OR JUST BUTT-HEAD’s FRIEND?

Is it just me or is there a strong resemblance between former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and Beavis, one of the stars of the late-1990s MTV smash, “Beavis and Butt-Head”?

InStyle Golden Globe After Party

It seems that the disgraced politician that was forced to resign from office two years ago this summer after sending sexually suggestive pictures and tweets has more than looks in common with Beavis.

The trio (with Butt-Head) are obsessed with sex and they don’t care who knows.  It appears that Weiner is up to his old tricks and sending out explicit pictures under the alias “Carlos Danger”, which is now diminishing his chances of becoming the next mayor of New York City.

Here’s a funny flashback in honor of Weiner’s similar physical similarities with Beavis.  NSFW (not suitable/safe for work for those scratching their heads)!

RUSSIA’S ANTI-GAY STANCE IS TURNING MORE VIOLENT

The situation in Russia is getting out of hand and becoming more dangerous.

Two weeks ago, in my “Random Friday Thoughts — July 19” blog, I wrote, “The new law that was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and went into effect June 30th allows the government to arrest or detain gay or “pro-gay” foreigners for up to two weeks before expelling them from the country.”

Russian Extremists Attacks

Now, Russian extremists are creating fake profiles on social media outlets and gay personal ads to attract unsuspecting people and then brutally beating, humiliating, sexually violating them and posting the disgusting pictures online!

The new law and the violence are prompting some groups to ask for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics Games in Sochi, Russia.

Boycott Sochi 2014

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been talking with the Russian government about how the new law will affect LGBT athletes and sports fans coming to Russia and it says, “To that end, the IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.”

However, that doesn’t sound like that’s the case.

Vitaly-Valentinovich-Milonov

Vitaly Valentinovich Milonov, a member of the legislative assembly of the city and region around St. Petersburg, Russia, who co-authored the law that Putin signed into effect, says that the President must “refrain from selective enforcement”.

He added, “I haven’t heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know that it is acting in accordance with Russian law.  And if a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn’t have the authority.”

AVOIDING RUSSIAN VODKA

While no decision will be made about the Winter Olympics any time soon, several gay bars around the country, including Sidetrack in Chicago, have stopped serving the Russian vodka, Stolichnaya.   Some of London’s biggest gay bars have pulled Stoli from their shelves, too.

Stoli

From West Hollywood, California, to New York City, politicians, bar owners, and bartenders are having ceremonies where they are pouring out their Stoli supply.

Stoli Boycott

This isn’t making the CEO of Stoli, Val Mendeleev, very happy.    He says, “Stoli has been a friend of the LGBT community and has been an opponent of the Russian government.  Stoli was singled out by the community with which we associated in a way that we don’t believe was appropriate. If you look at our relationship with the Russian government, we’ve been boycotted by the Russian government for the past 10 years. We’ve been threatened, raided. And now we are being boycotted by the LGBT community.”

Vodkas

On a vodka note closer to home (my house), I checked the 40 different vodkas we have and none of them are Russian vodkas!

ACTRESS TILDA SWINTON WANTS YOUR HELP

Academy Award winning actress Tilda Swinton  wants everyone to share this picture of her holding up a rainbow flag in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.

Tilda Swinton Moscow

She risked being arrested by doing this and she says, “In solidarity. From Russia with love”.

BEST COMEDY I’VE SEEN IN YEARS!

Last Sunday, Ray and I walked to the cheap theater down the road and saw “This Is The End” and I’m so glad I didn’t wait until October 1st for it to come out on DVD.

The $32 million comedy has already grossed more than $107 million!  In the movie, many of Hollywood’s hottest stars (and some singers, Rihanna) play altered versions of themselves.  It totally skewers actors and Hollywood.

This Is The End

I love James Franco and I love him even more after this movie.  Just from the roles he takes, I gather he’s a very intelligent freak in real life.  And, in the movie, he plays the self-centered, often rumored to be gay, role to the max.

While rated “R”, I’m very surprised that the movie was not released as “unrated”.  I can’t wait until it comes out on DVD to see if there is a “Director’s Cut”.  But, then again, I can’t imagine what could have been cut out since it was so raunchy and over-the-top.

Oh, what’s it about?  James Franco is throwing a fun Hollywood party complete with stars, drugs, alcohol, and sex.  Armageddon begins and Hollywood is basically destroyed by wildfires, an earthquake, an alien invasion, and a very promiscuous and well-endowed demon!  And, in the final scene, there’s a performance in heaven that will take you back to the late-1990s.  It’ll either make you smile (I did) or cringe.

This is the movie that “Ted” could have been.  There is talk of a sequel, but I think that “This is the End” is perfect enough to watch over and over without having a part two.  However, I’d definitely see if it James Franco is in it.  If you’ve seen the movie, it’s possible.  It’s Hollywood!

I rarely laugh out loud in movie theaters, but this one had me in stitches.

GRADE:  A

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Wine CupcakesNagging

 NEW MUSIC FROM THE JONAS BROTHERS

The Jonas Brothers are back on the radio with their latest hit, “First Time”.

Nick Jonas

The youngest Jo Bro, Nick, posted this sexy snapshot on Instagram earlier this week.  The 20-year-old singer added, “I never do this, but …  Healthy living and fitness update. Post workout picture. #diabeticinshape #2.0.”

What was I saying about the Jonas Brothers?  Who cares!
Dream

THE WOMAN OF MY DREAMS

In my lifetime, only two female celebrities have made me cry because of their real-life situations.  I must have been a sensitive boy because the first occurred on July 23, 1984 when Miss America Vanessa Williams was pressured into giving up her crown because of some racy pictures that had surfaced of her.

Vanessa-Williams-Crowned-Miss-America

It turned out okay because she went on to become an award-winning singer and actress.

Vanessa-Williams---The-Right-Stuff-single-cover

The other tears fell on Madonna’s 27th birthday on August 16, 1985, when she married Sean Penn.

Madonna Sean Wedding

Thirty years ago this fall, yes that’s 3-0, I started my freshman year at Murray State University and became a television weather man for the first time.  It doesn’t matter that the college campus television station was only broadcast on the cable systems in Murray and Mayfield, Kentucky.   Mayfield, my hometown, is only 22 miles from Murray.

That fall, I met my first pseudo-boyfriend (“pseudo” because we never said we were dating, only hanging out), enjoyed Pagliai’s Pizza (the best pizza I had ever eaten — at the time.  Now, it’s Wise Guys Pizza in Davenport, Iowa), and I met the girl of my dreams at Sunset Boulevard Music, the local record store.

It’s hard to believe that it was 30 years ago this week that Madonna’s first album, simply titled “Madonna” came out.

Madonna 1983 Album

She had already had two dance hits that reached #3 before her first radio hit, “Holiday” peaked #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1984.  However, I bought the album before most of mainstream America knew who she was.  And, now she’s one of the most iconic singers and entertainers on the planet!

Madonna, thank you for the 30 years of music and fun.  And, thank you for spending my last birthday with me in Las Vegas!

“UNDER THE DOME”

Under The Dome

If you haven’t started watching this incredible show on CBS, you have to get on board.  Last Monday’s episode was the best of the six that have aired.  And, here’s a spoiler — it can rain inside the dome!

Now is the time to catch up if you’re not watching because it was just renewed for a second season!

MORE MOTHER MONSTER NEWS — ARTWORK & SINGLE REVEALED

I’m sure between now and the August 19th premiere of the new Lady Gaga single AND video from her forthcoming “ARTPOP” album in November, there will be new things revealed weekly to get Little Monsters excited.  This week Lady Gaga released the single artwork and the name of her new single — “Applause”.

Applause

Lady Gaga says it’s going to be a happy song.  However, it hasn’t been revealed whether it’s a fast or mid-tempo dance number or a slow song.  I’m thinking it’ll be mid-tempo.  This other revealing promotional picture of Gaga also came out this week!

Lady Gaga

EXCITEMENT BUILDING FOR FALL

In addition to the new music from Gaga, I’m also excited that the new Britney Spears CD comes out in the next few months, too.  Also, Madonna’s “MDNA Tour” that I saw in Las Vegas last October on my birthday comes out on DVD in early September.

And, that isn’t the only Madonna news.  She’s being very secretive about a new project with fashion photographer Steven Klein simply called “Secret Project”.  What is it about?  It sounds controversial and will likely push buttons.  But, it is Madonna!

THIS ONE COULDN’T WAIT FOR MONDAY’S “THEY SAID WHAT???”

Last week, I blogged about adorable Harry Styles of One Direction standing up to the Westboro Baptist Cult (oops, Church).  Now, in the new British “GQ”, the singer answers a question about his sexuality.

Harry British GQ

When told that there were rumours (it’s English, remember!) that he was dating British DJ Nick Grimshaw, Harry said, “Oh, really? I didn’t even know.  We’re not dating, no. We’re just friends.”

Harry was then asked if he was bisexual and he replied, “Bisexual? Me? I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure I’m not.”

Sweet!  Play it for what it’s worth.

PICK HIT

Latin heart-throb Enrique Iglesias is back and looking and sounding hotter than ever!  His latest song, “Turn The Night Up”, the first single from his upcoming November album is already a smash in the U.S.

Enrique Iglesias

You might not really know how big of a star the 38-year-old singer is.  I didn’t.

Since his first Latin hit in 1995, Enrique has sold more than 60 million albums and he holds the record for the most #1 singles on the Billboard Latin Tracks chart with 22 (his first eight releases all hit #1).

On the Billboard Hot 100, he’s already scored 12 Top 40 hits.  Of those, five have reached the Top 5, including his two #1 smashes, 1999’s “Bailamos” and 2000’s “Be With You”.

While an official video is expected in early August, Enrique released this fun fan video to promote the song.  I love it — the song, the video, and Enrique!

PEEPS’ ’80s FLASHBACK

Here’s something about Madonna again.  Wait, don’t stop reading!  Usually, on Friday, I feature one of my favorite ’80s songs.

Madonna1985

However, since it is Madonna’s 30th anniversary in the music industry, here is a video countdown of her biggest hits, as ranked by Billboard magazine.  And, yes, she’s had more Top Ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 than the Beatles!!!!!

Check out the countdown in this link of her 20 biggest hits.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/whos-that-girl-thats-had-more-top-10-hits-than-the-beatles/

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 28, 2013

I don’t think that I’ve looked so forward to the weekend as I am to this weekend.  With the deadly tornadoes and severe thunderstorms Monday that caused tens of thousands of Quad Citians to lose power (ours was out 44 hours Monday through Wednesday), I’m ready to just chill some.

We’re going out to dinner with four of our friends Friday night in Port Byron, Illinois, and then Saturday, there’s a work picnic.  On Sunday, we’re planning on a movie double feature.  And, I still didn’t get my pancakes last weekend, so that may be this weekend!

“UNDER THE DOME” WINS MONDAY NIGHT, BUT…

Under The Dome

While “Under The Dome” was the most watched show Monday night (13.1 million viewers), I didn’t get a chance to watch it with the power outage.  However, you can find the full episode on cbs.com or on television.  CBS will re-air Monday night’s premiere episode this Sunday night (June 30) at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. Central.   I wish that I was watching the season eight premiere of “Dexter” Sunday night, but we don’t have Showtime.  So, I’ll avoid the spoilers and wait for the DVD. 😦

Now, here are my random thoughts this Friday.

GOOD RIDDANCE DOMA

The Supreme Court of the United States made a landmark ruling Wednesday calling DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, unconstitutional.  For those of you that may not be very familiar with it, DOMA is a 1996 federal law that would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.

That may sound simple to some, but it also denied federal benefits, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns for married same-sex couples.  So, while a gay couple could be married in one of twelve states or the District of Columbia, it would not be recognized by the federal government.

Thank you Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elana Kagan for your votes to strike down DOMA, 5-4.

DOMA Justices

And, Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence “Anita Hill” Thomas, and Samuel Alito, I hope you evolve.  President Obama did it and America is doing it.  I think it’s time that you do, too!

In the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote, “Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways.  DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.”

SIMPLY PUT, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR RELIGION?

Nothing!  You can still pray to God each night and attend church when it’s open.  While you may get married in a church, the official document is issued by the government, not the church.  It’s that document from the government that makes marriages legal and it’s also that government that’s based on the notion that “all men are created equal”.  After Wednesday, I feel more equal and less like a second-rate citizen.

Love Knows No Limits

What does this mean to your marriage if you’re in an opposite-sex “traditional” marriage?  Nothing at all — because you should be spending your time making each other happy and worrying less if  two men or two women can now share the same government benefits as you and love each other in a committed marriage bond, too.

Let God judge.  Amen!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ding Dong Dead DOMA   Live Your Life WBCFood Is A DrugLaughing Inside

PAULA, STOP TALKING AND BE WITH YOUR FAMILY!

Food Network star Paula Deen is all over the television these days.  She’s the talk of radio, her face is all over the magazines, and blogger are feasting on a buffet talking about her.  There are many things being said about her — some say give her a break because she hasn’t said anything you probably haven’t said and some say she’s a racist.

Paula Deen Happy

Paula’s whirlwind downfall started recently after she was called to testify last month in a 2012 $1.2 million sexual and racial workplace discrimination lawsuit brought against her and her brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers by former restaurant manager Lisa Jackson.

Jackson, who is white, claims that Deen said this when asked about a theme for a wedding, “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n—–s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around.  Jackson says that Deen laughed and said, “Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn’t it?  But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”

In that deposition last month, Deen admitted to using the “n-word” in the past.  However, she maintains that she hasn’t used it in years and when she did, it was because a black man held a gun to her head at her former place of employment.   Earlier this week on “Today”, Matt Lauer asked Deen , “Are you a racist?” and the 66-year-old grandmother responded, “No, I am not.” and “The day I used that word it was a world ago.  It was 30 years ago.”

This week, Deen was fired from the Food Network and she lost sponsorships with Wal-Mart, Smithfield Foods, Home Depot, and Target.  QVC is still deciding on Deen’s fate.

Domestic Diva Martha Stewart says, “”I feel sorry for Paula Deen.  She’s a public figure and I know you have to be extremely careful being a public figure.”  And, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton adds, “A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago” and “You cannot deal with what is fair or not fair until we see an outcome of the present circumstances she is accused of, not something that happened 20 years ago.”

So, with that being said, I want to know what you think.  Here’s what I think.

IF (and notice that’s a big IF) Paula made that joke about the wedding idea in any era, then or now, it’s not funny.  It’s stupid.  If Paula responded with the n-word after a man held a gun to her head as she stated, while not still acceptable, it’s more likely a case of forgiveness given the circumstances.

I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s South and that awful word was a commonly used word.  Sadly, my late father, was one of the most racist, homophobic, sexist, and the list goes on, man I think I’ve ever met.  And, even my late grandmother, who was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, uttered that word in my childhood, but she wasn’t using it to be ugly.  As I grew from a child to a teenager, I educated her that although people use that word, it’s not right.

And, as Paula stated in the interview with Lauer, that word is used too freely in today’s society in movies and music.  I agree and that has to stop, too.  I don’t care if you are an African-American or you identify as a black man or woman, that word has to stop in all circles.  While I’m a gay man, I don’t refer to myself as the derogatory “f-word” and I’d be truly offended if someone else did.

In this country, you’re supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”.  How do we know that Lisa Jackson is telling the truth?  I’d really be saddened to know that Paula Deen was not a racist and these allegations ruined her life and career.

Paula Deen Crying

My only advice to Paula is stay off television, avoid interviews, and stop posting internet apologies.  I know you’re hurt and scared, but the tears and the pleas make you seem too apologetic.  As you’ve stated, people who know you know the truth — whatever that truth is.

The bottom line is that if Paula Deen is a racist and she freely used the n-word as Jackson claims, more people would be coming out of the woodwork to make other allegations.  They haven’t!

And, I have to say that I commend Paula for the heartfelt and seemingly genuine comments in the interview, “I believe every creature on this Earth … was created equal, no matter who you choose to go to bed at night with [and] no matter what church you go to pray.”  And, “There’s a couple of kinds of people that I don’t like that I am prejudiced against, Matt, and that’s thieves and liars.”

Lisa Jackson, if you’re a liar, I hope you get yours.

THE SAD LIFE OF A PIG (AND OTHER FARM ANIMALS)

Oh, how I wish that every pig was like Hollywood’s “Babe”.

This past Tuesday, I took part in the “Celebrity Showmanship” contest at the Rock Island County Fair.  In less than an hour, I had to learn as much as I could about pigs and about showing one from my 4-H member, Grace.  I aced my quiz from the judges and answered all of my questions correctly.

However, when it came time to show my pig, I learned that “my” pig has been competing all day in the summer heat and it was exhausted.  The judge told me “if he lays down, just let him”.  Well, the poor creature did and I think it cost me a ranking in the Top Seven!  I did get a special “honorable mention” for my knowledge of pig farming, so I’m telling myself that I came in 8th place out of 15 people.  I also won $50 for my charity, the Quad City Animal Welfare Center in Milan, Illinois.

As you look at this picture, you’ll see that the pig was exhausted.  But, once he was sprayed with water and cooled off, after the competition, he walked away happily to his barn to sleep.

Pig Showing Contest

(Photo courtesy:  Thomas Geyer of the Quad City Times.)

The whole learning process made me think even more about the lives of pigs and cows.  While I don’t condemn people for eating steak or hamburger, I haven’t eaten either in a very long time and I will not.  As for pork, I’ve been on the fence the past few months.  After Tuesday and learning that the pigs “go to market” in about five to six months, I decided that pork is another meat that I’ll have to decline eating in the future.  What a short little life for the creatures!

Again, I don’t condemn others for eating beef or pork, but I’ll have to stick to chicken, turkey, and seafood for now.  I don’t have the same guilt toward them –yet.

BIG SCREEN SPECTACLE

I love “The Walking Dead” and I love George Romero’s “Night of The Living Dead” and all of its sequels and remakes.

When Brad Pitt announced that he would be starring in “World War Z”, a zombie epic, I got excited.  Then when I saw the trailer for the first time, it looks intriguing, but I got a little concerned about the trailer not showing much of the zombies.  And, then the stories about the problematic shoot started surfacing:  it was going way over budget and the entire third act went through a reshoot.

WWZ

The movie opened last weekend to $66.4 million in U.S. ticket sales alone, which is the biggest open for a Brad Pitt movie.

“World War Z” wasted no time getting right into the action.  Pitt plays Gerry Lane, who used to work for the United Nations.  He gave it up to be a stay at home dad to two girls.  As the family is heading out-of-town (Philadelphia), they encounter an unprecedented traffic jam that turns into chaos with planes flying overhead and then it happens — the undead come alive and start attacking the living.  City after city across the world fall to the zombies.

After spending the night holed up hiding out with a family, they make it out just in time to be taken to a fleet of ships out in the ocean off New York City safely away from living hell on land.  There’s only one catch.  They want Lane to go back to work for the U.N. to try to find what started this epidemic that has killed millions and if he agrees, his wife and two children can stay on the vessel.

Lane agrees and heads off to South Korea where he’s told by a hot-shot young doctor from Harvard that “Mother Nature is a serial killer” and that she leaves little clues to get caught.  While there, Lane and most of his crew barely escape, but he learns that the zombies are attracted by noise.

From there, he’s off to Jerusalem, where he finds out how the Israelis learned about the zombies and how they’ve managed to keep the zombies and the plague from wiping them out.

WWZ Israel

The scene turns deadly as the zombies attack and Lane once again barely escapes to Wales on the most exciting and slightly unrealistic airplane ride ever!

WWZ Airplane Scene

As the massive real-world destruction continues, Lane figures out a couple of more things that might stop the deadly zombie apocalypse.  Let me just say that I’m glad that the trailer did not feature the zombies prominently.  They were amazing, but not your typical zombies.

If you want a thrilling psychological drama, a “Contagion” with action, this is the movie.  It accomplishes the excitement and fear without the blood and gore of “The Walking Dead”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the gory AMC series, but it was fun to see this thriller dominated by the shock of fear and not guts!

GRADE:  A+ (And, I rarely give a movie an A+!)

WEEKEND DOUBLE FEATURE

In last week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”, I mentioned that we might go see a double feature at the movie.  We only got in “World War Z”.  So, this weekend, it’s going to be “This Is The End” (you can see the trailer in last week’s blog), and the new Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx action thriller, “White House Down”.

For all you women and men (openly gay, closeted, or just secretly jealous), I think we need to get crazy like Precious and Miley Cyrus and check out and sing along to the humorous “(I Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum”.  Thanks, Jimmy Kimmel.

TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT MY BIRTHDAY?

While my birthday is still more than three months away, I don’t think it’s too early to think about it.  I mean, last year, we bought tickets to see Madonna in Las Vegas in February for my birthday, October 13th, which was still eight months away.

This year, I think I’ll hint to Ray that I want to see the Pet Shop Boys in Chicago in late September.  While the 1980s new wave duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe may be absent from American radio, they’ve been recording new music for the past thirty years and their new album, “Electric” comes out in mid-July and the single, “Axis” is fantastic!!!!!  Check it out

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

It’s very interesting how the music scene works on each side of the Atlantic.  Since exploding on to the music scene in the mid-1980 with their #1 international hit, “West End Girls”, the Pet Shop Boys have only scored five more hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.

Four of the other five hits made the top ten:  “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) (#10, 1986), “It’s A Sin” (#9, 1987), “What Have I Done To Deserve This” with Dusty Springfield (#2, 1987), and “Always on My Mind” (#4, 1987).  They also reached #18 with “Domino Dancing”.  Since then, the duo has scored many Billboard Dance hit.

However, in England, the Pet Shop Boys have scored 42 Top 40 hits with 22 of those reaching the Top Ten and 4 reached #1.

Here’s the song that kicked it all off around the world, “West End Girls”.

CELEBRITY REACTION TO THE DEATH OF “DOMA”

DOMA Lady Gaga

Dan Savage DOMA DOMA Ben Affleck DOMA Piers Morgan  DOMA Neil Patrick HarrisDOMA Jack

BY THE WAY, WHO IS JACK MACKENROTH?

His tweet about DOMA was funny, so who is he?  Well, he’s a 44-year-old American swimmer (winning medals in the Gay Games), model, and was a contestant on the fourth season of the reality show, “Project Runway”.

Jack Mackenroth

Mackenroth is also a HIV/AIDS activist.  He was diagnosed as HIV-positive in August 1990 and has lived openly about his status to combat the stigma of  having HIV.

He says, “I am most proud of the fact that I was open about my positive HIV status on the show and exemplified that a person can manage HIV and live a successful life.  Every time a person with HIV is open about his or her status it helps everyone who is living with the disease…. I am a living testament to what you can accomplish by letting go of shame and being your own advocate.”

AND, WE OWE IT ALL TO EDIE

And, as I conclude my blog this week, I dedicate it to Edie and to the memory of Thea.

Thea and Edie

Thea Clara Spyer and Edith “Edie” Windsor were together for 40 years when they got married in Canada in 2007.  It was two years later that New York state began recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states..  And, it was also the year that Thea Spyer died.

After Thea’s death, Edie, now 84, was required to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of her wife’s estate.   However, if Thea had been a man and the two were married, or if DOMA was not a federal law, Windsor would have qualified for an unlimited spousal deduction, and paid no federal estate taxes.

Edie got the ball rolling toward the Supreme Court in the summer of 2012 and now the rest is history.

Edie Celebrating Decision

After the ruling, Edie replied, “One of the things I felt did not have to do with the money but had to do with…with my country is not giving dignity to this beautiful person I lived with.  And today, my country gave dignity and appreciated who she was.”

Edie, I’m so proud of you and the fight you fought for your wife and your rights.  Thank you for all you’ve done for every one us that will now benefit from your determination.

Now, we have 38 more states to win over for every American to have the same rights.  The fight is far from over.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think about any or all of it and have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 21

I’m very happy that the weekend is here and that I have no commitments!  Last weekend, we had some friends and co-workers over for appetizers and drinks and had a good time.  Next weekend, I have a couple of things going on, so nothing to do this weekend sounds incredible.  I may try to convince Ray to go to a few yard sales Saturday morning.  My sister talked about going to the casino for crab legs and a little gaming, so I might do that and leave the bank card at home!  And, since I’ve been craving pancakes, maybe that would be good Sunday morning.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, have fun and drink plenty of water.  Summer is officially here and so is the summer heat and humidity!  Yuck!  The good news is that the days are getting shorter, but the bad news is that fall is still months away!  Now, sit tight and check out my random thoughts on this Friday.

I HOPE I DON’T GO TO JAIL!

In the past, I’ve purchased concert tickets, movies, books, and CDs from eBay.  My latest purchase is a first and I hope it doesn’t land me in jail!

I’ve always wanted a Jerusalem Cherry plant, but I was never able to have one because the fruit is poisonous and it resembles tomatoes.  And, we all know how Miss ABBA loved tomatoes.  She was a tomato thief that would walk by plants and snag the changing colored fruit.  She wouldn’t have known the difference between the edible ones and the toxic ones.

Jerusalem Cherry

Well, I haven’t had any luck finding one that’s already started, so I bought seeds online!  In addition to the Jerusalem Cherry seeds, I bought “Ice White Cherry Tomato” and “Pink Pampas Grass”.

I’m going to start the Jerusalem Cherry seeds soon and the Ice White Cherry Tomato and Pink Pampas Grass seeds in the winter, so they’ll be ready to transplant outdoors in the spring.  I think the Pampas Grass along the fence would be very fun and colorful.

Seeds

Now, what does that have to do with jail?  Wouldn’t it be crazy if the seeds were that of an illegal, medicinal plant? 🙂  Maybe I should Google and play FBI or DEA and see what those seeds look like!

“CHURCH” CULT DIRECTS HATE TOWARD KIDS, TOO

Sadly, for the open-minded of the Baptist faith, the cult bearing their religious name, the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) in Topeka, Kansas, is well-known for hating just about everyone in the name of God.

Their latest target is 5-year-old Jayden Sink.

Jayden Sink Lemonade

Last weekend, Jayden and her dad, Jon, set up a “Pink Lemonade For Peace” stand to raise money for Planting Peace outside the Equality House.  Jon is the also the founder of FRESHCASSETTE – Creative Compassion, a “project to showcase music, art, and video…while bridging these creative outlets with humanitarian and philanthropic efforts”.

Equality House

The Equality House — a rainbow-colored home, is owned by Planting Peace, a nonprofit that campaigns for anti-bullying efforts, human rights, and gay rights.   It just so happens that it opened up three months ago right across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound.

The lemonade sale was a huge success raising around $400, with many active soldiers from the nearby Fort Riley Military Base stopping by on their motorcycles to support peace and have the refreshing lemonade.  Along with the drink sales, more than $11,000 was raised through the online site, Crowdrise!

Clearly, this did not set well with the WBC and they posted this nasty message on their marquee two days later.

WBC Lemonade

And, that was just the most recent nastiness displayed by the religious fanatics.  Following the deadly tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, that killed 24 people, including 10 children, the WBC tweeted this heartless boast.

WBC Oklahoma Protest

Thank God, the Patriot Guard Riders and other bikers surrounded little Nicolas McCabe’s funeral and the Westboro Baptist Church was a no-show!

Bikers Stop WBC

Serious, WBC, stay in your compound and have a party “drinking the Kool-Aid”!  I know that isn’t a very Christian thing to say, but …

MOVIES…

There are a couple of movies that I want to see that I’ve already decided that I’ll be waiting to see them on DVD instead of the movie theaters.  The first is “Man of Steel” with the incredibly dreamy Brit Henry Cavill playing Superman.

Henry Cavill

And, the other is “Now You See Me” with the always incredible Morgan Freeman, the quirky, sexy Jesse Eisenberg, and the other hot Franco, Dave.

Now You See Me

I say, the other hot Franco, because James is the first.  When I first read about his latest movie, “This Is The End”, I thought it sounded dumb.  But, then the trailer blew me away.  I really want to see a really funny comedy because the last one I saw disappointed me.  I’m talking about you, “Ted”!  “Silver Linings Playbook” was funny, but it was more of a dramedy.

WARNING:  This is “red band” trailer FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY for “This Is The End” — contains adult language, images, and situations!

Here is the edited “green band” version of the trailer.

So, I’m thinking a double feature of “This Is The End” and the new Brad Pitt zombie apocalypse thriller, “World War Z”, sounds like a good way to beat the heat this weekend. “World War Z” has been on my must see list since its release date was announced.  “Entertainment Weekly” gave it an “A-” and “This is the End” an “A”.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Relax If You're Single Vokda

WHY SETTLE FOR “VODKA FLAVOR”?

I think someone in my house (the one that writes the blog) may have something of a OCD problem.  I just organized the vodkas and we have 46 bottles in 40 different flavors!

Vodkas

THANK YOU TO THREE BRAVE REPUBLICANS

I wish there were more politicians on both sides of the aisle like Lisa Murkowski.

AK Senator Lisa Murkowski

Earlier this week, the Republican U.S. Senator from Alaska announced her support for marriage equality.  After years of opposing the issue, she said that her views were “evolving” this past March.

Murkowski now says, “I am a life-long Republican because I believe in promoting freedom and limiting the reach of government.  I support the right of all Americans to marry the person they love and choose because I believe doing so promotes both values: it keeps politicians out of the most private and personal aspects of peoples’ lives – while also encouraging more families to form and more adults to make a lifetime commitment to one another.”

Murkowski becomes the third Republican U.S. Senator to throw their support behind marriage equality.

OH Senator Rob Portman

In March, Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman became the first sitting Republican U.S. Senator to support marriage equality.  His son, Will, came out as gay to the Senator and his wife in 2011.

Official Portrait

And, in April, Republican Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk announced his support for marriage equality.

You can read Murkowski’s very personal op-ed here:  http://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=OpEds&ContentRecord_id=8295b7c7-e504-4b32-bc25-354b3aef41dc

Lisa, Mark, and Rob, thank you!

MY SUMMER REPLACEMENT FOR “HANNIBAL”

Last night, “Hannibal” completed its first season and it was so delicious as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) exclaims, “Controversial dish, veal”, while discussing the death of young Abigail Hobbs after the ultimate showdown between Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).

Hannibal Finale

The second season returns in 2014.

And, while I await the final season of “Dexter” (later this month on Showtime, but I’ll see it on DVD), the second season of “The Walking Dead” on DVD in late September, and the second season of “American Horror Story:  Asylum” (no DVD release date set), I’ve found what might be my new summer guilty pleasure.

Beginning Monday night, June 24th, the television adaptation of Stephen King’s 2009 science fiction novel, “Under The Dome” premieres on CBS, the most watched network for the ninth time in the past ten years!

Wikipedia:  “Set in the near future, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the small town of Chester’s Mill, who suddenly find themselves cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious, impenetrable barrier that surrounds the town. As the town begins to tear itself apart through panic, a small group of people attempt to maintain peace and order while also trying to uncover the truth behind the barrier and how to escape from it.”

And, here’s something totally freaky!  If you go to the website and type in your address and city, you will find your home placed “Under The Dome”.  It is an awesome feature, but it creeped me out!

Website:  http://underthedome.com/

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Greatest hits and compilation albums excluded, the last mediocre hit album by Tina Turner was 1999’s “Twenty Four Seven”, which only reached #21 in the United States, but it hit the Top Ten in Austria, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.  It also hit #1 in Switzerland.  The album’s lead off single, “When The Heartache Is Over”, was one of Tina’s best songs since her hit making hey day in the 1980s.  Sadly, it didn’t even crack the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States!

Once Tina Turner left that abusing ex-husband, Ike, and scored her first solo hit in 1983, she had a total of 19 Top 40 hits on the Hot 100.  Of those, six reached the Top Ten with 1984’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” becoming her only solo #1 hit.

For my “Peeps’ ’80s Friday Flashback”, I wanted to feature her #2 hit from 1986, “Typical Male”, but there’s some copyright thing with the video on YouTube, so here’s another one of my favorite, sexy Tina videos.  “What You Get Is What You See” reached #13 in 1987.

SAME VIDEO CONCEPT, COUNTRY STYLE

Okay, Tina started something there with me in the 1980s and Reba continued it in the 2000s.  If you like your men hot in a desert backdrop with more of a country flavor, try this under appreciated country gem.  “I’m Gonna Take This Mountain” was the first single from Reba’s 2003 album, “Room To Breathe”.  The song only peaked at #14.  Boo to you, country radio!

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

It’s Pride weekend in Chicago and since I won’t be there, here are some of my favorite Facebook pictures from this week three years ago when I last attended Pride.  That first picture is one of my favorites that I’ve even taken!

06282010 Gretel ABBA Returning Home

Looking at the second picture, do those guys work or just work out?  In the third picture, I love that the young man is showing support for his gay mother.

The fourth picture is of Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, who was running for President Obama’s vacant senate seat in Illinois.  He lost the 2010 general election to Mark Kirk by less than 2%.  He now works at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., where he works as Terry Diamond’s senior adviser.

And, the final picture is of Miss ABBA and Gretel all comfortable for the three-hour drive back to the Quad Cities after a long, Pride weekend.

THAT’S ENOUGH FOR ONE WEEK

I love doing this feature so much that I had to go back and edit out some thoughts and hold them for next week because it was getting too long.  I really do have a lot of random thoughts!  After you check mine out, let me know what you’re thinking.

By the way, after stating in last week’s random blog (June 14) that we’d probably not put up the backyard pool this year.  Well, we did and I know it’ll come in handy this weekend.  Stay cool and have a great one.

Anthony