Posts Tagged ‘Tina Turner’

Random Friday Thoughts — October 2, 2020

The holiday seasons are fast approaching with Halloween up next!

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’ll be nice to put 2020 behind us and hope for a better 2021!

Just a clarification before you read it. I’m calling someone “scum of the earth” and I’m following my own advice of being “diplomatic”. The words I’d like to use would show far less diplomacy! 🙂

But, first…

HELEN REDDY, YOU’RE ALREADY MISSED!

International superstar, Grammy Award winner, Golden Globe Award nominee, and feminist Helen Reddy passed away earlier this week at the age of 78!

A movie honoring Helen and her iconic song, “I Am Woman” is out now and will be released on DVD on November 3, 2020.

I submitted an entry this summer on what Helen’s music and that song meant to me for an advertising campaign promoting the movie. I was chosen! 🙂

Here’s my original and unedited 1 minute, 10 second submission!

Here’s a little bit about my favorite Helen Reddy song!

While the song was included on her 1971 album, she re-recorded it and it was shipped to radio in May 1972. 

It stalled out at #97 and dropped off the chart! Months later, it was released again.

This time, it took off and by the end of 1972, “I Am Woman” topped the chart becoming the first #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 from an Australian-born artist and the first song written by an Australian to win a Grammy Award!

Helen, thank you for the music and you’ll be missed even though you’ll be in our hearts and souls! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

SCUM OF THE EARTH

Read this clearly: Most of us already know which candidate we’re going to vote for on November 3, 2020, so this isn’t about Joe Biden or Donald Trump!

But, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is scum of the earth!

In no time following the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, McConnell was on the fast track to have her replacement named and confirmed before the 2020 Election — just a little over a month away!

Again, I don’t care if you’re supporting Biden or Trump (well, I really do, but that’s not the point of this post!), it’s the principle.

SCALIA’S DEATH

Because it was a presidential election year, when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, McConnell was such an obstructionist!

He and the Republican-controlled Senate declined to take any action on President Barack Obama’s nomination, Merrick Garland, one month later.

That nomination expired with the end of the 114th Congress in January 2017 and #45’s nomination later that month was confirmed in the spring.

The bottom line is that “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”!

While a nominee has already been announced, we SHOULD WAIT for the outcome of the 2020 presidential election to move this process forward. The winner should be nominating the next Supreme Court justice!!!

THE “MILLENNIUM” SERIES

Although this Swedish crime series came out more than a decade ago, the three books have been sitting on my bookshelf.

I finally read the Stieg Larsson’s series — “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played with Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest” — and loved them!

The first book was my favorite and I felt the quality dropped off a little with the next two books.

I also watched the first two Swedish movies based on the books and Noomi Rapace was amazing as Lisbeth Salander.

I remember seeing David Fincher 2011’s English version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and it not making an impression on me. I’ll have to watch it again now that I’ve read the books!

“BETWEEN SUMMER’S LONGING AND WINTER’S END”

Leif G.W. Persson’s 2002 book was translated to English in 2010.

On the back cover, here how it’s described: “acclaimed as one of the greatest Swedish crime novels of all time” .

Well, based on the four that I’ve read, after the three “Millennium” books, I disagree! Halfway through the 638 page book, I was ready to discard it!

So, skip it!

There are definitely better Scandinavian crime novels out, like Norwegian Jo Nesbo’s “The Snowman” (2007, translated to English in 2010)!

And, totally irrelevant, 60-year-old Nesbo is so hot! 🙂

That’s just a bonus! 🙂

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

I normally read autobiographies, biographies, and books on real events, so my familiarity with fiction isn’t that great.

However, in the four Scandinavian crime novels that I read this year from Stieg Larsson and Leif G.W. Persson, one thing I appallingly noticed was the degradation and the violence directed toward women.

But, just the description of women in these books was gross and unjust.

Is it a crime novel thing? Heaven forbid, I can’t imagine that Scandinavian women would put up with this from men! Now, granted, these four books were written before the “Me Too” movement.

However, earlier this year, this was addressed by Nesbo in an interview with “The Guardian”.

He says, “Violence against women is a problem in society – it is something we should talk about. I would be more worried if there was an absence of violence against women in fiction, because it’s a problem in real life. Of course, it’s a question of how you do it, but in general I would be more worried if fiction pretended it wasn’t a problem.”

“MAGIC”

On a lighter note and one that excites me so much, Kylie Minogue treated us fans to the second single from her upcoming “Disco” album coming out November 6th!

“Magic” is the new single!

“MAGIC” BONUS TRACK!

I hope you took a few minutes and watched the amazing Kylie video.

So, now you know it’s not a remake of Olivia Newton-John’s four-week #1 smash from the “Xanadu” soundtrack from 1980!

MEGYN KELLY “SETTLE FOR MORE”

I enjoyed reading Megyn Kelly’s 2016 autobiography.

Along with stories about her childhood, her career as a successful lawyer, and how she gave it up to become a television reporter and anchor with no experience (really, I mean no real experience!), she spent a lot of time talking about her abuse from Donald Trump and his supporters in the 2016 presidential election!

She also talked about how great of a guy that toxic, creepy, nasty, dead pervert Roger Ailes was! He’s the one that sadly brought Fox News and Donald Trump into our lives!!!

By the way, “toxic, creepy, nasty, dead pervert” are my words, not Kelly’s!

It wasn’t until the end of the book that she addressed the sexual allegations that brought Ailes down. It felt more like, “Oh, I should mention that!”.

In fairness, Kelly shared a 2006 meeting with Ailes in his office when he once again came on to her. She said he tried “to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips”.

Kelly got away from him and as she moved toward the door, Ailes allegedly (I’ll say that word for legalities even though the scumbag likely said it with venom) said, “When in your contract up?”

She also states that Ailes earlier said, “I don’t like to fight, but when I do, I fight to kill.”

MORE THINGS SHE SHARED IN “SETTLE FOR MORE”

When she moved to Chicago in 1995 to take a law firm job, she looked out her Navy Pier apartment window drinking white Franzia boxed wine and listened to Tina Turner’s “I Don’t Wanna Fight” CD. She said that her “real life” was starting! (I only shared this one because I loved Franzia boxed wine!)

She told Roger Ailes that while she was raised in a Democratic household, she was “apolitical”. She went on to share a passage from her 1988 journal, “Am I a Republican or a Democrat? I seriously don’t know.”

There were rumor of her having an affair with married Fox News anchor Brit Hume. He thought it was funny and said people wouldn’t believe it. She disagreed by saying, “people love to dismiss potentially threatening women as ‘nuts or sluts’. Evidently, I didn’t pass as a nut, so I was to branded a slut…”

“BOMBSHELL”

If you haven’t seen the 2019 movie, “Bombshell”, check it out.

Here’s what I said about it in January.

“Even after seeing ‘The Loudest Voice’ on Showtime last year, watching ‘Bombshell’ was a different viewing experience about the toxic environment at Fox News.  (Oh, and about the toxic, creepy, nasty Roger Ailes!)

While John Lithgow was incredible as Ailes, it was definitely the women who made the movie — Charlize Theron (as Megyn Kelly), Nicole Kidman (as Gretchen Carlson), Margot Robbie (as a composite character created from many of the women that Ailes victimized), and Kate McKinnon (a co-worker, Jess Carr).

I expected Oscar nominations for Theron the Best Actress category and for Robbie in Best Supporting Actress category and they got them!”

GRADE:  B

“Bombshell” was my #13 movie of 2019!

“CHOW DOWN”

Although this parody of Wilson Phillips’ #1 1990 debut hit, “Hold On”, came out in 2012, I can’t watch it enough — even today! 🙂

The drag queen trio of Willam Belli, Detox, and Vicky Vox take on the anti-gay agenda of the Georgia chicken restaurant chain, Chick-fil-A.

Disclaimer: Yes, it’s hilariously funny and R-rated.

***It includes adult language and adult situations***!

The bottom line and I couldn’t have said it better myself:  “we just want a little meat without your Bible!”.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN!

While I wished my idol, President Jimmy Carter a Happy 96th Birthday last week, I’ll do it again since his birthday was October 1st!

In 2016, I left this message for the Carters when I visited the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

My Life: The First 35 Years

While it’s not a milestone birthday, like my first, another one is approaching.

My life’s longevity has surpassed both of my parents (my mother died at 47 and my father at 55) and I’m grateful for that.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that as we get older, we pontificate about life more.

We think about the past — good and bad — and wonder what the future holds. And, Good Lord, with 2020 and Covid-19, I hope it’s an improvement!

With that in mind, I started thinking about the events and the songs that have influenced me most in life.

So, today, I’m sharing the 13 most memorable events of my first 35 years (1964-1999). Why 13? It’s my favorite number and I was born on the 13th!

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#13 KENT STATE MASSACRE (MAY 4, 1970)

While I was only five years old when this happened and I didn’t understand the Vietnam War or the protests, I vividly remember the news that evening and this iconic photograph.

As you may recall, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students killing four and wounding nine others.

On the 30th anniversary of the deadly shootings, I covered the story for a television station in Mansfield, Ohio.

#12 MADONNA MARRYING SEAN PENN (AUGUST 1985)

It’s no secret that I love Madonna. I’ve seen her in concert four times and I remember buying her first album at Terrapin Station in Murray, Kentucky, in 1983, before she was a household name.

But, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I shed tears the day she married Sean Penn in 1985!

Not because I was happy. I just knew it wouldn’t last and it was my “Madonna”! 🙂

#11 JEFFREY DAHMER & MY MILWAUKEE SUMMER (1990)

Back in 1990, I moved from Kentucky to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While I was only there for the summer into the early fall, I enjoyed my job as a bartender at “Partners”, one of the oldest LGBTQ bars in the city.

OMG, I was so young — in stone-washed jeans and a New Kids on the Block t-shirt! 🙂

On a slow Sunday night, a couple came in and ordered drinks.  Jerry was a good-looking man and his lady friend, who was older than him, was D’nell. 

While Jerry flirted with me, it was my bond with D’nell that would stand the test of time. She became my “Mom” and I called her that until her death in early 2009.

One night I went out drinking with my friends and co-workers in the seedier part of the gay district at C’est La Vie and Club 219.

Needless to say, I had way too much to drink and the scary alley, while unsavory, was a great place to puke before we moved on elsewhere!!!

I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but when serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested, I got chills. Club 219 was one of his favorite haunts and he picked up many of his victims there!

I used to keep journals and my night at Club 219 coincided with the stalking and murdering timeline. He very well could have been lurking in the corner that night I was totally wasted!

#10 VANESSA WILLIAMS TURNING OVER HER MISS AMERICA CROWN (JULY 1984)

It was a beautiful night in 1983 when Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.

It was a very sad day in the summer of 1984, when the 21-year-old turned over her crown after artistic (and unauthorized) nude pictures surfaced in Penthouse. (Even as a gay boy, I bought the magazine to see what the fuss was all about!)

Another admission: I was saddened and cried watching this press conference! I was hoping that she’d fight to keep her crown and tell the Miss America pageant to “f*ck off”, but that didn’t happen!

But, Vanessa has gone on to a very successful singing and acting career with numerous Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominations!

As a bonus, my favorite Vanessa Williams song!

Here’s my blog from earlier in 2020 dedicated just to Vanessa! (It’ll open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2020/03/18/vanessa-williams-still-reigns/

Along with the events that impacted my first 35 years, I’m sharing my 35 favorites songs from those 35 years!*

Casey Kasem is my inspiration. I still recall all the weekends I spent listening to Casey count down the 40 biggest songs in America!

As I compiled my comprehensive list, it started out with 236 of my favorites!!!

As a teenager, I remember telling my grandmother Helen that a certain song was my “favorite” and she replied, “they’re all your favorites”!

But, when I was a youngster, there could only be one winner!

So here goes… enjoy the countdown and the videos!

#35 “GLORIA” (LAURA BRANIGAN) (1982)

#34 “SUGAR SUGAR” (THE ARCHIES) (1969)

#33 “LIZZIE AND THE RAINMAN” (TANYA TUCKER) (1975)

#32 “YOU ARE” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1983)

#31 “NEVER SURRENDER” (COREY HART) (1985)

MORE EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#9 “JOHN WAYNE GACY’S CHICAGO MURDER SPREE (1970s)

Just before Christmas 1978, John Wayne Gacy was arrested in Des Plaines, Illinois (near Chicago), for the murder of 15-year-old Robert Piest.

During his confession, police would learn there were many other bodies.

Gacy is known to have killed, at least 33 young men and boys. Of those, 26 were buried in the crawl space of his home!

When the news of this serial killer broke, I was a 14-year-old gay boy living in western Kentucky, just six hours away.

This had a very chilling effect on me since I was the same age as some of his victims. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that people could kill others just for the thrill of it!

#8 KAREN CARPENTER’S DEATH (1983)

Karen and Richard Carpenter were on “top of the world” in the 1970s topping the chart with their amazing melodies and her incredible voice.

After years of battling anorexia nervosa, the music world was shocked on February 4, 1983, when Karen died of a heart attack. The years of starvation had destroyed her body.

Karen’s battle with an eating disorder brought that subject to the forefront for America. I know the awareness has saved many lives.

#7 AIDS EPIDEMIC (FROM THE SUMMER OF 1981 TO NOW)

For almost 30 years from the 1980s through the early-2010s, I strongly despised, even hated, President Ronald Reagan.

In the summer of 1981, a new “gay cancer” (it would be called AIDS later) was attacking and quickly killing homosexuals in alarming numbers.

However, President Reagan didn’t mention the deadly disease publicly until a press conference in 1985. And, it’d be six years into the AIDS pandemic (1987) before he gave his first speech on AIDS — after more than 20,000 Americans had already died!

What a terrifying time for a 16-year-old boy that wasn’t even sexually active yet.

Four decades later, by the grace of God, I’m still HIV-negative, but I have friends that are positive and I’ve know people that have died of AIDS.

Thankfully, we now have drugs, when taken properly, make it impossible to spread the virus!

National Institute of Health: “U=U means that people living with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load—the amount of HIV in the blood—by taking and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others.”

#6 “HALLOWEEN IN HOUSTON” & ELECTING BILL & HILLARY CLINTON (1992)

My first time on a plane was in October 1992 when I flew to Houston to celebrate Halloween with my friends Steve and Dennis.

There were so many amazing costumes in the big city including 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot!!!

That pretty much summarizes the PG version of our nights on Montrose in the gay district.

There are many more scandalous pictures of that trip elsewhere in my blog’s history, including ones of yours truly!

Remember I was in my carefree 20s and it was before Facebook!!! 🙂

Clearly, there was boob admiration going on here between the two of us — he won!

Since my outfit was rather risque, I didn’t drink much that night and maybe that was a good thing! 🙂

However, after an intoxicating Sunday night with vodka cranberries, we flew back to Kentucky Monday and on Tuesday, I cast my first vote for the Clintons, which sent them to the White House for what would turn out to be eight years! 🙂

Now, back to the countdown!

#30 “MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING” (THE CARPENTERS) (1970)

#29 “SOS” (ABBA) (1975)

#28 “DREAMS” (GABRIELLE) (1993)

#27 “YOU MAKE MY DREAMS” (DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES) (1981)

#26 “SO EMOTIONAL” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1987)

#25 “TARZAN BOY” (BALTIMORA) (1985)

#24 “EMOTIONS” (MARIAH CAREY) (1991)

#23 “BORDERLINE” (MADONNA) (1984)

#22 “ONLY IN MY DREAMS” (DEBBIE GIBSON) (1987)

#21 “I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (WHO LOVES ME)” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1987)

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#5 THE DEATH OF MY FIRST IDOL — MY GRANDFATHER (1978)

My first two idols in life were my my mother, Dessie, and my grandfather, John Henry Peoples.

Sadly, my life with my grandfather was cut short since I had just become a teenager when he died in early 1978.

I’ll never forget his last Christmas as he was dying from colon cancer, it was remarkable how he stayed in good spirits.

I’ll always cherish the weekends we spent together at Kentucky Lake camping out and fishing.  Also, all of the memories of just piddling around in the back yard and in his work garage remain vividly clear in my mind.  He made me feel loved and appreciated.

I never really liked the taste of beer.  But, as a kid, it was so cool that he would let me suck the suds off his beer cans when he’d open them. 

Maybe it’s because of the suds that I’ve now moved on to bubbly champagne as an adult (along with vodka and wine)!

When I finally get to heaven, I can’t wait to say “thank you” and let him know how much I idolized him.  I know, as a kid, I never told him.

There was also talk that I was almost named after my father.  I’m grateful that I wasn’t.  However, it would have been an honor to have been a “John Henry” Junior!

#4 JIMMY CARTER BECOMING PRESIDENT (1976)

In November 1976, as a 12-year-old boy in Kentucky, I cast my first presidential vote for the Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter, and four years later, at 16, I voted for him again. 

So, you might be thinking, that’s impossible.  Many things go on in Kentucky that aren’t talked about in other states, but kids still can’t vote. 

Well, since my Grandmother Helen was not very literate, I accompanied her into the voting booth and I got to vote for the candidates of my choice.  Even then, I knew what I was doing.  🙂

Now, you might be thinking, why Carter?  Maybe it was because he was a Southerner and he talked like me!  I’m kidding.  I just liked him.

At age 12, I didn’t know anything about “gay rights”, but then again, there was no such thing as “rights” for those kind of people in the mid-1970s!

While Carter was a deeply committed Christian that taught Sunday school and prayed several times a day, he was the first president to address gay rights and his administration was the first to meet with gay rights activists.  He was opposed to the Briggs Initiative in California that would have banned gays from teaching in public schools.

In the summer of 2017, while living in Panama City, Florida, I drove through the darkness of night and across the backwoods of the Southeast to hear President Carter give a sermon at his church in Plains, Georgia, and I got to meet my idols, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter!

#3 MY DECADE LONG STRUGGLE WITH BULIMIA (1986-1995)

Over the years, I’ve written many times about eating disorders from Karen Carpenter’s anorexia nervosa to my own battle with bulimia.

Just know that eating disorders affect men and women, girls and boys, the young and the elderly!

I wrote, “In early 1995, I was down to 116 pounds and I thought I was fat… I’m still obsessed with weight gains and losses, eating too much, and fighting the urge to binge and purge.”

Another time I shared, “… I fight the food demon of overeating every day.  A few pounds to the average person is a huge burden, a catalyst for insecurity, and a path for destruction to a food addict.”

While I was a practicing bulimic for nine years from 1986-1995, I got my act together for more than two decades.

Beyond the scope of this blog, I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times and then I just get up and start over again!

Like other addictions, it’s a daily struggle and not something that’ll just go away.

Let the countdown roll on….

#20 “AIN’T EVEN DONE WITH THE NIGHT” (JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP) (1981)

#19 “DIM ALL THE LIGHTS” (DONNA SUMMER) (1979)

#18 “ON MY OWN” (PATTI LaBELLE & MICHAEL McDONALD) (1986)

“ON MY OWN” (REBA McENTIRE, MARTINA McBRIDE, TRISHA YEARWOOD, & LINDA DAVIS) (1995)

#17 “NO FRILLS LOVE” (JENNIFER HOLLIDAY) (1985)

#16 “I AM WOMAN” (HELEN REDDY) (1972)

#15 “TWO OF HEARTS” (STACEY Q) (1986)

#14 “FASCINATED” (COMPANY B) (1987)

#13 “I LOVE MY RADIO” (TAFFY) (1986)

#12 “TOP OF THE WORLD” (THE CARPENTERS) (1973)

#11 “MISSING YOU” (JOHN WAITE) (1984)

“TAINTED LOVE” (SOFT CELL) (1982)

“WE DON’T HAVE TO TAKE OUR CLOTHES OFF” (JERMAINE STEWART) (1986)

“ONE PROMISE TOO LATE” (REBA McENTIRE) (1987)

“OH L’AMOUR” (ERASURE) (1986)

“DON’T YOU WANT ME” (THE HUMAN LEAGUE) (1981)

“HARPER VALLEY P.T.A.” (JEANNIE C. RILEY) (1968)

“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” (MARIAH CAREY) (1994 ORIGINAL)

“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” (MAKE MY WISH COME TRUE EDITION) (MARIAH CAREY) (2019)

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#2 MOVING TO CHICAGO (1994) & KICKING OFF MY TV CAREER (1996)

In November 1993, my grandmother Helen (the last of my living parents and grandparents) died.

I was still in my hometown helping to take care of her and since Tammy was young and had her own family, I had no reason to stay in Kentucky any longer.

I often wondered “Is There Life Out There?” (the title of a huge Reba McEntire song in 1992), and I struggled through the 1993 holidays and the early winter months of 1994.

In the spring of 1994, my friend Steve shared with me the PBS series, “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the Cities” and Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) became my inspiration to make a change in my life!

Over Memorial Day 1994, Steve, Dennis, and I went to Chicago to party for the weekend and we had a blast.

At Gentry’s on Rush, the owner started sending over free cocktails and the boys (and the music) were so hot!

It was there that I fell in love with “Dreams” by Gabrielle (back at #28) and Sarah Brightman’s “Once in a Lifetime” from the “Dive” album!

It was also that weekend that I decided I was moving to Chicago!

Six weeks later, over the Fourth of July weekend, I moved to the big city and it was the best decision I ever made!

It was an interesting two years — bartending in a country gay bar, meeting a psycho on my 30th birthday that ended up trying to kill me several times, and then meeting someone that would become my longest relationship (9 years).

It was also during my first residency in Chicago that my television news career took off in the spring of 1996. My first network-affiliated television weather job was in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, that summer. And, from there, jobs in Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota followed!

#1 MY MOTHER’S DEATH (NOVEMBER 7, 1990)

My beautiful, wonderful mother, Dessie, died of a heart attack on the morning of November 7, 1990.

While I’ve lived more than half of my lifetime without her, I’m grateful for the 26 years we had together.

She was there to see me make my theatrical stage debut in “The Curious Savage” and saw me present weather at Murray State University’s television station that was only broadcast on cable systems in two cities.

My mother was there in the spring of 1989 when I became the first college graduate in our family.

One of the funniest stories I have of my mother happened in the spring of 1990. I took her to Sunday brunch at 101st Airborne in Nashville, Tennessee.  

She didn’t drink, but her champagne glass was empty every time the server came by and mine was always full since I kept switching glasses with her. I’m sure the waitress thought Dessie was such a lush and I was so innocent allowing my mother to drink so freely while I just sipped my champagne! 🙂

There have been so many times over the past 30 years that I’ve wanted to grab the phone to share something with her and then realize that I couldn’t do it!

As I reflect back on my life with my mother, I was so fortunate to be loved. She wasn’t just my mother — she was my biggest supporter, she was my rock, and she was my friend!

When I think of all of the things I wrote about today and not having a chance to talk to her about them, I can still smile and feel warm inside.

I know that my mother is with me — in my heart and in my memories!

P.S. The #38 song at the bottom of the blog was played at my mother’s funeral!

To quote Casey again, back to the countdown because “we don’t stop until we get to the top!”

“XANADU” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1980)

“IMAGINE” (JOHN LENNON) (1971)

“LET IT BE” (THE BEATLES) (1970)

Casey, take us home, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!”

I appreciate you taking time to check out my fun little walk down memory lane.

Anthony

*Okay, since I ❤️❤️❤️ LISTS & COUNTDOWNS, I’m really sharing my 101 favorites!

Why 101? There were “101 Dalmatians”! 🙂

#101 “SO MANY MEN, SO LITTLE TIME” (MIQUEL BROWN) (1983)

#100 “LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER” (THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE) (1975)

#99 “DREAM WEAVER” (GARY WRIGHT) (1975)

#98 “KISS AN ANGEL GOOD MORNIN'” (CHARLEY PRIDE) (1971)

#97 “OBJECT OF MY DESIRE” (STARPOINT) (1985)

#96 “EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE” (THE POLICE) (1983)

#95 “ANOTHER SAD LOVE SONG” (TONI BRAXTON) (1993)

#94 “I’LL TUMBLE 4 YA” (CULTURE CLUB) (1983)

#93 “CHAINS” (PATTY LOVELESS) (1989)

#92 “FAITH” (GEORGE MICHAEL) (1987)

#91 “HIGHER LOVE” (STEVE WINWOOD & CHAKA KHAN) (1986)

#90 “CAN’T FIGHT FATE” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1989)

#89 “SAD SONGS (SAY SO MUCH)” (ELTON JOHN) (1984)

#88 “EDGE OF SEVENTEEN” (STEVIE NICKS) (1982)

#87SAY YOU, SAY ME” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1985)

#86 “IT MATTERS TO ME” (FAITH HILL) (1995)

#85 “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME?” (CULTURE CLUB) (1982)

#84 “I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME)” (ARETHA FRANKLIN & GEORGE MICHAEL) (1987)

#83 “JESSIE’S GIRL” (RICK SPRINGFIELD) (1981)

#82 “EXCEPT FOR MONDAY” (LORRIE MORGAN) (1991)

#81 “LOUISIANA WOMAN, MISSISSIPPI MAN” (CONWAY TWITTY & LORETTA LYNN) (1973)

#80 “I LOVE ROCK & ROLL” (JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS) (1982)

“I LOVE ROCK & ROLL” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2002)

#79 “HEAVEN’S JUST A SIN AWAY” (THE KENDALLS) (1977)

#78 “OPEN YOUR HEART” (MADONNA) (1986)

#77 “WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1989)

#76 “TAKE ME AS I AM” (FAITH HILL) (1994)

#75 “1999” (PRINCE) (1982)

#74 “MAMMA MIA” (ABBA) (1975)

#73 “I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU” (DAN HARTMAN) (1984)

#72 “EMPTY GARDEN (HEY HEY JOHNNY)” (ELTON JOHN) (1982)

#71 “ONLY IN MY MIND” (REBA McENTIRE) (1985)

#70 “NO MORE WORDS” (BERLIN) (1984)

#69 “WEST END GIRLS” (THE PET SHOP BOYS) (1984)

#68 “MAGIC” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1980)

#67 “I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT THE BLUES” (ELTON JOHN) (1984)

#66 “I RAN (SO FAR AWAY) (A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS) (1982)

#65 “TRUE” (SPANDAU BALLET) (1983)

#64 “IS THERE SOMETHING I SHOULD KNOW?” (DURAN DURAN) (1983)

#63 “DREAMLOVER” (MARIAH CAREY) (1993)

#62 “THIS WOMAN AND THIS MAN” (CLAY WALKER) (1995)

#61 “COLD HEARTED” (PAULA ABDUL) (1989)

#60 “COME GO WITH ME” (EXPOSE) (1987)

#59 “IT’S NOT RIGHT BUT IT’S OKAY” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1999)

#58 “YOU GOT IT (THE RIGHT STUFF) (NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK) (1988)

#57 “FLASHDANCE (WHAT A FEELING)” (IRENE CARA) (1983)

#56 “FRIENDS & LOVERS” (GLORIA LORING & CARL ANDERSON) (1986)

#55 “SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT” (COREY HART) (1984)

#54 “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY” (JANET JACKSON) (1986)

#53 “LOOKING FOR A NEW LOVE” (JODY WATLEY) (1987)

#52 “DANCING ON THE CEILING” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1986)

#51 “LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY” (DENIECE WILLIAMS) (1984)

#50 “IF YOU LOVE ME (LET ME KNOW)” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1974)

#49 “MAKING LOVE OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL” (AIR SUPPLY) (1983)

#48 “(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU” (THE CARPENTERS) (1970)

#47 “LET ME BE THERE” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1973)

#46 “HOW WILL I KNOW” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1985)

#45 “WHAT MADE YOU SAY THAT” (SHANIA TWAIN) (1993)

#44 “KARMA CHAMELEON” (CULTURE CLUB) (1983)

#43 “BLAME IT ON YOUR HEART” (PATTY LOVELESS) (1993)

#42 “TOO SHY” (KAJAGOOGOO) (1983)

#41 “BELIEVE” (CHER) (1998)

#40 “THE REFLEX” (DURAN DURAN) (1984)

#39 “FOREVER YOUR GIRL” (PAULA ABDUL) (1989)

#38 “WIND BENEATH MY WINGS” (BETTE MIDLER) (1989)

#37 “I’LL BE YOUR SHELTER” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1990)

#36 “KIDS IN AMERICA” (KIM WILDE) (1981)

Random Friday Thoughts — July 24, 2020

I know many of you are taking advantage of the summer heat and humidity and enjoying outdoor activities.

Some may just be vegging out inside in the air conditioning.

Me, I’m just fantasizing! Oh, I mean, I’m dreaming of fall and winter! 🙂

Actually, we’re only five months from Christmas! I’ve already decided how I’m decorating my two trees this year! 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts. If you’d like to comment (or disagree), do it diplomatically!

THE IRONY!

In the 2016 failed presidential election, there was all this talk about building “a wall”, the “wall”, that “wall”, the wall THAT.NEVER.HAPPENED.!

And, now this recent headline about Mexico shutting down the borders — to keep Americans out!

Again, the irony! 🙂

LESS IRONIC, BUT JUST AS TRUE!

“HALLOWEEN KILLS” …. DEAD FOR A YEAR!

While it comes as no surprise with the rampant spread of Covid-19 and rising death tolls, Michael Myers’ victims will live to see another day (well, actually 364 of them)!

The latest installment in the “Halloween” franchise, which was scheduled to hit theaters October 16, 2020, has been pushed back to October 15, 2021.

Here’s what director David Gordon Green and original “Halloween” director John Carpenter had to say about the delay.

TINA TURNER IS BACK!

Norwegian DJ/Producer Kygo is making the world a better place. Okay, he’s taking our mind off real life events for four minutes.

He talked Tina Turner into briefly coming out of retirement for a new remix to her 1984 hit, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, her only #1 solo hit on the Billboard Hot 100!

And, since we won’t see a new season of “Younger” anytime soon, enjoy seeing sexy Charles Michael Davis in the video, which also stars Laura Harrier.

“THE CLINTON TAPES”

Taylor Branch’s 2009 book is subtitled, “Wrestling History with the President”.

This mammoth book (668 pages) was a very interesting read.

Branch, a long-time friend with President Clinton, met almost monthly with Clinton during his eight years in the White House.

They had one-on-one conversations (except when Hillary or Chelsea would drop in to say good night) about life and events he was dealing with as President. He’d use these recordings to vent, write his memoirs, and put the transcripts in his Presidential Library.

What I learned from the book:

In February 1999, Clinton told Branch that he thought George W. Bush would be the GOP candidate for the 2000 presidential race and that he thought Elizabeth Dole could be his running mate.

Also in that session, while he said he was behind Hillary running for the Senate in New York, it “would waste her unique strength across the country”. Clinton thought that a Gore-Hillary ticket would be their best chance to beat Bush in 2000, “but I don’t think Al would ever do it.”

As the 2000 race was getting underway, Clinton sized up the two leading Republican candidates. He thought George W. Bush was “unqualified to be president, but he had shrewd campaign instincts”. On the other hand, he thought John McCain “would make a good president, but he had no idea how to run”.

When they left the White House, the Clintons’ debt from having to hire personal lawyers during the seven-year-plus Whitewater investigation by special prosecutors Ken Starr and Robert Ray was $14 million! (That investigation led to the Paula Jones investigation and the Monica Lewinsky affair and testimony.)

All this starting from a failed land deal in which the Clintons lost more than $35,000 (about $135,000 today — adjusted for inflation)!

The Whitewater investigation that lasted through much of Clinton’s two terms ended with “no charges, required no admissions, made no adverse findings, and alleged no misstatements from Clinton in any sworn testimony”, which had been the whole basis for the impeachment!

Clinton said it was “irksome” that no major news outlets wanted the story, but he was glad it was over.

“THE POLITICIAN” SEASON 2

While there’s no Jessica Lange this time, I absolutely loved the second season of Netflix’s “The Politician” with Ben Platt.

Also, it’s incredible having Bette Midler and Judith Light in high profile roles. I expect Emmy nominations for both next week! 🙂

Definitely check it out.

UPDATE ON “BUBBLES”

No, I’m not talking about Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee (neither are no longer with us)!

I’m talking about Bubbles, the python that Britney Spears accessorized with at 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.

It’s still alive and has retired! 🙂

I had my own Britney moment in March 2019 when I visited the WHO Snake Farm in Bangkok, Thailand.

At the conclusion of the snake show, we not only got to see an Albino Burmese Python, which is white with patterns in butterscotch yellow or burnt orange (most Pythons are dark colored), but we could have it draped over our shoulders!

It was so cool, but Britney wore it better. And, no, I didn’t start lip-syncing “I’m A Slave 4 U”! 🙂

On a humorous side note, we were told not to worry about the snake being hungry since “it had a small child yesterday”! 🙂

FYI — snakes have poor eyesight and they don’t have ears, so they can’t hear you.  If you encounter one, let it crawl on by — or slowly move away and once you’re out of striking distance, run! 

That’s not my advice — that’s what we were told to do! (Thailand has a lot of snakes, so they should know!)

MY LOVE OF ABBA

It’s no secret I love the Swedish band ABBA.

Recently, I shared how I came to be a fan and what inspired me to name my golden retriever after the band.

It wasn’t just them or their music, it was actually something from Australia!

Also, I shared my ten favorite ABBA songs. (By the way, “Dancing Queen” barely made the Top Ten!)

If you missed it, just click here and it’ll open in a new window.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2020/07/17/abba-the-iconic-band-the-dog-the-six-degrees-of-separation/

Now, sing and dance around the room embarrassing your spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, or co-workers! 🙂

“WALK OF SHAME”

I just watched the 2014 box office bomb, “Walk of Shame” again and I laughed as much as I did six years ago! (The movie only made $59,209 — yes, that’s thousands and NOT millions!)

It doesn’t hurt that Elizabeth Banks is so adorable and funny and her co-star is my future ex-husband, James Marsden.

Here’s what I wrote about the movie the first time I saw it.

“Critics hated it and it was panned by the few movie goers that saw it… Elizabeth Banks plays Meghan Miles, a Los Angeles television news anchor, who is dumped by her fiance.  Her two friends force her to go on the town.  After getting drunk and hooking up with the very hunky Gordon, played by James Marsden, she leaves his place when he falls asleep and checks her messages.  The network is coming to see her show for a promotion to do the national news.

When she leaves Gordon’s place, her car is being towed away with her purse in it.  In her quest to get the car back, she runs into altercations with local drug dealer, prostitutes, the police, and that’s only part of the drama and the chaos.

Many of us have done the ‘walk of shame’ and this is one I’d definitely do again!”

GRADE:  B

trailer

And, if that wasn’t enough, it was my 10th favorite movie of 2014, so here’s a bonus!

“THE WEATHERMAN”

This 1995 creepy thriller by Steve Thayer is fiction, but it covers three things I know a bit about: the weather, television news, and serial killers. It also takes place in Minnesota!

As a major weather event occurs each season, a woman is murdered. As police zero in on the killer, you guessed it, the (television) “weatherman” becomes the prime suspect.

Horror novelist Stephen King loved the book!

“DIRTY JOHN: THE BETTY BRODERICK STORY”

The second season of was definitely NOT as exciting as season one of the series with Connie Britton and Eric Bana.

“The Betty Broderick Story” stars Amanda Peet (“The X-Files”) and Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”) in the true life story of a scorn woman pushed to murder her ex-husband and his new wife.

Both actors are great, but the story line was too simplistic, repetitive, and way too drawn out.

I was totally over it by the finale!

GRADE: C

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Thank You For The Beautiful Music and a Lifetime of Wonderful Memories!

Life is a funny thing.

Most of us try to do what’s right.  We strive to treat those we love and care for with affection.  But, with real life constantly getting in the way, do we really stop long enough to tell them how much we care for them and appreciate them?

That’s my purpose today.

When I’m done, I’ll call my sister and tell her I love her.  But, this is about Olivia Newton-John.  I want her to know how much she has touched my life!

Olivia 1

As you likely know, especially since I regularly write about her, Olivia is battling cancer again.

She was first diagnosed back in 1992 and beat it.  It returned in 2013, then again in May 2017 and just last month, I learned that she now has Stage IV cancer.

One thing I know from being a fan is that Olivia is a fighter and I know she’ll continue living life to its fullest.  That’s more than some, including myself, are doing even without cancer!

Olivia Don't Stop Believin

I just finished reading Olivia’s autobiography, “Don’t Stop Believin'”, and it was beautiful!

I enjoyed hearing about her childhood, her singing and acting career, and her dear friendships with two ladies I truly admire and love, Karen Carpenter and Helen Reddy.

Olivia Karen

helen olivia.JPG

It was Helen Reddy and her ex-husband that were instrumental in Olivia taking on the iconic role of Sandy in “Grease”!

I’ve been a huge Olivia fan since I heard her first Top Ten hit, “Let Me Be There”, in 1973, as an 9-year-old listening to country music on WNGO-AM 1320, back in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Olivia Newton-John - Let Me Be There

All these years later, I have a confession to make.  As an little kid, I thought the beautiful voice belonged to Olivia Newton and the booming, manly back-up singer was named John! 🙂

From her first hit, “If Not For You”, in 1971, to her last Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 smash, “Soul Kiss” (#20, 1985), the English-born, Australian-raised singer charted with 27 Top 40 hits. Of those, 15 reached the Top Ten!

Olivia had five of those Top Ten hits reach #1:  “I Honestly Love You” (1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), “You’re The One That I Want” (1978, with John Travolta), “Magic” (1980), and “Physical” (1981), which spent ten weeks at the top of the chart!

Olivia 2

In early 2014, Olivia announced “Summer Nights”, a 45-show residency at the Donny and Marie Showroom at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on the Strip between April and August.

I saw her amazing show on May 30th of that year.

Olivia

Since it’s my favorite number, I’m counting down my thirteen favorite Olivia Netwon-John songs that charted in America!  It was so hard narrowing down the list! 

(Chart positions are from the Billboard Hot 100 unless otherwise noted and the year listed is when the song peaked.)

Along the way, I’ll add three bonus songs and share some personal stories about a few of the hits!

Again, Olivia, thank you for the music!

13

“TWIST OF FATE” (#5, 1984)

12

“MAKE A MOVE ON ME” (#5, 1982)

#11 Movie

“I HONESTLY LOVE YOU” (2 WEEKS AT #1, 1974)

#10 MOVIE

“YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE” (with Chloe Lattanzi & Dave Aude)

(#1 Billboard Dance Club Songs, 2015)

In this re-imagining of Olivia’s #1 hit “Magic”, which you’ll see later in my countdown, DJ extraordinaire Dave Aude takes Olivia and her daughter Chloe Lattanzi to the top of the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart!

The fun video features an incredible looking Olivia and a graveyard of Las Vegas signage of the city’s casino history, show girls, Chippendales, and Britney, Tina Turner, Marilyn Monroe, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.  Oh wait, those are illusionists! 🙂

“You Have To Believe” was my #16 song of 2015!

Bonus

Being a gay teenager in small town Kentucky in the early-1980s without knowing anyone else like myself was very isolating.

Back then, you didn’t think about falling in love since you didn’t hear about those things, but the release of “Physical” and its homoerotic video was definitely eye-opening and it gave this kid hope!

“PHYSICAL” (10 WEEKS AT #1, 1981-1982)

9 CD

“A LITTLE MORE LOVE” (#3, 1979)

#8 MOVIE

“HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN MELLOW” (1 WEEK AT #1, 1975)

In 1978, Olivia had the starring role as Sandy in “Grease”, a movie that racked up $396 million at the box office.

When I saw the movie, I was a shy, introverted 13-year-old boy still listening to country music.  Occasionally, I’d sneak a listen to ABBA, the Bay City Rollers, and the Bee Gees!

I connected with the innocent Sandy and was petrified when she came out dressed to the nines in leather and holding a cigarette!

I’m no longer naive! 😉

olivia-newton-john-grease-sandy

That was a turning point for me.  Somewhere after “Grease”, I started listening to more pop or Top 40 music and I came across an 8-track recording of Olivia’s sultry album “Totally Hot”.

Totally Hot

It was one of three 8-tracks that I owned.  The other two were “Helen Reddy’s Greatest Hits” and “Glass Houses” by Billy Joel.

#7 CD

“DEEPER THAN THE NIGHT” (#11, 1979)

#6 CD

“MAGIC” (4 WEEKS AT #1, 1980)

#5 MOVIE

“IF YOU LOVE ME (LET ME KNOW)” (#5, 1974)

Bonus

“I NEED LOVE” (1992)

In the summer of 1992, Olivia was ready for another comeback with the release of her third greatest hits album, “Back to Basics:  The Essential Collection 1971-1992”.  It included four new songs.

A world tour was also planned, but it was scrapped when Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The first single from the collection, “I Need Love” really touched me more than a quarter-century ago.  It’s even more powerful for me now as I approach the age of 55 and still single a couple of years after my divorce.

The song talks about wanting more than just a one-night stand or cheap sex.  These lyrics sum up exactly how I felt then in my 20s and how I feel now in my 50s!

“Another place, another time/I would take my chances/Oh I know I could take you home tonight/But I don’t want to wake up with you wishing I was alone”

“I’m not lookin’ for a Band-Aid on loneliness/I’m not lookin’ for a temporary get me through the night/I’m holding out for something more than physical/I need love to make the sex right”

Give the song a listen because unless you’re a die-hard Olivia fan, I know you probably never heard it on the radio!

4

“PLEASE MR. PLEASE” (#3, 1975)

green 3

“SUDDENLY” (with Cliff Richard) (#20, 1981)

#2 MOVIE

“LET ME BE THERE” (#6, 1974)

#1

We’re now up to my favorite Olivia Newton-John song!

I’ve watched the movie “Xanadu” several times and I can’t hear this song without smiling and feeling good.

The soundtrack was more popular than the movie and the title song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980.

Back in 2014, when I turned 50, I compiled the soundtrack of my life — my all-time favorites songs — and “Xanadu” came in at #4!

Olivia, as your birthday nears, I wish you a “Happy Birthday”!

olivia-newton-john john-easterling.png

Stay strong and keep fighting!

Bonus

“YOUR GOOD GIRL’S GONNA GO BAD” (FROM “SORDID LIVES”)

Years after mainstream fame was behind her and Olivia was living life to the fullest, her friend Del Shores gave her an incredible role.

In 2000, when he made a movie of his play, “Sordid Lives”, he cast Olivia as Bitsy Mae Harling, a lesbian bar singer with a “reputation”!

She reprised the role in the 2008 Logo miniseries.

sl onj.JPG

If you’ve never seen this Texas “black comedy about white trash”, you have to find it and spend two hours laughing!

Here’s Olivia singing the theme song (contains adult language) and her and the cast in the end credits performing Tammy Wynette’s “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad”.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — March 16, 2018

I hope March is treating you well.  For the winter-weary, spring can’t be too far away.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my “Random Friday Thoughts”!

AN UNOPPOSED MORON

Leslie Gibson, a Republican running unopposed in Maine’s House 57th District, deleted a tweet calling 18-year-old Emma Gonzalez a “skin head lesbian”.

She’s a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where last month a shooter killed 17 people and injured 14 others.

Skinhead

The complete tweet said, “There is nothing about this skin head lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat.”

Gibson apologized in another tweet:  “I would like to extend to you my most sincere apology for how I addressed you. It was wrong and unacceptable.”

He added, “You are doing work that is important to you. I would like to extend my hand in friendship and understanding to you.”

While he’s a moron, he does have a right to an uneducated opinion.  But, maybe he does know a thing or two about being a “frothing at the mouth moonbat”, whatever the hell that is!

By the way Gibson, Gonzalez is not a lesbian.  She identifies as bisexual — you know the “B” in LGBT!

“CALL ME BY YOUR NAME” ON DVD!

If you didn’t catch this four-time Oscar-nominated, critically acclaimed movie in its theatrical run, please see it now!

89-year-old James Ivory won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie.

call me

It’s beautiful, touching, loving, heartbreaking, and sensual.

As I wrote back in January, “It’s not only a coming-of-age love story between Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and a slightly older American graduate student Oliver (Armie Hammer) visiting northern Italy, but it’s a beautiful bond of love between a teenager and his parents.”

GRADE:  A

WE ALL DESERVE AN ELIO MOMENT

After I saw “Call Me By Your Name”, I shared my own stories of innocence, lust, and living.

It’s been my most read blog (non-weather-related) of 2018!  Thank you for all of you that checked it out the first time.

Anthony1982

If you didn’t get a chance to read it, please click below on the link and it’ll open in a new window so you won’t lose your place in this week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/we-all-deserve-an-elio-moment/

MIKE WALLACE

Just finished reading my sixth book of the year, Mike Wallace’s “Between You and Me: A Memoir”.  While it isn’t an autobiography, it did cover part of his career.

MW

It tells stories about the news he covered including interviews with Anwar Sadat, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X.

Also, it talks about some of the people he admired — Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, and Shirley MacLaine.

BRETT KISSEL

Two years ago, in February 2016, I blogged about a hot Canadian country music singer in “American Country Radio Needs Brett Kissel”.

I was talking about his amazing album, “Pick Me Up” and I concluded that blog with, “Here’s hoping American audiences will get to hear Brett on the radio in 2016!”

Well, that didn’t happen in 2016 or 2017!  Hopefully, 2018 will be Kissel’s year to break here in America.

Brett Kissel

Last December, he released his latest album, “We Were That Song”.

Brett-Kissel-We-Were-That-Song-Album-Cover

The title track became his 10th Top Ten hit song on Canadian country music radio!

The album features many standouts and potential singles.

My favorites are “Damn!”, “Cecilia”, “Slow Me Down”, “Between You and Me”, and “Guitars and Gasoline”.

By the way, “Damn!” features Dave Mustaine of Metallica and Megadeth fame and country music legend Charley Pride makes an appearance on the track, “Burgers and Fries”.

The second single, “Anthem”, just cracked the Top Ten in Canada on the country charts marking his 11th Top Ten.  It’s also one of my favorites from the album.

“We Were That Song” is a strong album, but it’s not doing as well on the Canadian country album chart as its predecessor.

“Pick Me Up” was fantastic, so check out the new album, too.

By the way, American Country Radio (STILL) Needs Brett Kissel!

GRADE:  B+

Here’s that blog from two years ago to hear more about and from Brett Kissel:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/american-country-radio-needs-brett-kissel/

THEY SAID WHAT???

Margaret Sanger (founding mother of the “birth control” movement before women were given the right to vote in 1920):  “No woman can call herself free who does not have control over her own body.”

margaret-sanger

Sanger, who died in 1966, was not afraid to go up against and speak out against the very powerful Catholic church and its views on birth control and natural law.

She told CBS newsman Mike Wallace, “Oh, I certainly take issue with it, and I think it’s untrue and I think it’s unnatural.  It’s an unnatural attitude to take.  How do they know?  I mean, after all, they’re celibates.  They don’t know love, they don’t know marriage, they know nothing about bringing up children nor any of the marriage problems of life, and yet they speak to people as if they were God.”

Just imagine what she would have said about the sexual abuse scandal!

“THE FLORIDA PROJECT”

This movie about people down on their luck and finances living in a “project” (The Magic Castle Motel) in Kissimmee, Florida (near Walt Disney World), is sad and incredible.

The real star of the movie is Brooklynn Prince, who plays 6-year-old Moonee.  She’s spectacular for a child actor expressing a happy childhood of not knowing just how bad things are in her life.

Bria Vinaite, is great as Moonee’s white trash mother, Halley.

My sister and I grew up in a bug-infested apartment and we didn’t have much during our childhood, so I could definitely relate to this movie.

Willem Defoe earned a “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar nomination for his role as Bobby, the manager of the motel.  Either it was a slow year for actors in that category or Defoe was just too great and very subtle in his touching role.

GRADE:  B+

“DARKEST HOUR”

This historical drama about Winston Churchill earned six Oscar nominations including “Best Picture” and “Best Actor” for Gary Oldman.

A couple of weeks ago, I predicted that Oldman would win the Oscar, even though Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) deserved it more.

I went on to say this about Oldman, “He was great and so was the make-up.”  By the way, the movie did get a nomination for “Best Makeup and Hairstyling”.

However, while compelling, “Darkest Hour” was too cut and dry.

I enjoyed John Lithgow’s Churchill on the first season of “The Crown” better.

GRADE:  B-

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — August 30, 2013

The weekend is almost here.  I’m not in Cancun and I’m not back from there for one day before heading to Chicagoland to see Depeche Mode like last weekend.   Don’t get me wrong.  Both were awesome.

However, this weekend, with the intense summer heat, I’m vegging out with Ray and my sister, Tammy.  Maybe we’ll spend some time floating in the pool, grilling out, and devouring humans and taking part in the bloodshed of the undead.  Simply put, we’ll be watching season three of “The Walking Dead”!!!  It arrived Thursday.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3

Whatever you do this weekend, be safe outdoors.  Drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and take some air conditioning breaks!  For now, check out my random thoughts this week!

WINTER IS COMING!

I believe in forecasting several days in advance with a decent degree of accuracy.  I refrain from giving forecasts for an entire season, yet people love to hear outlooks for the upcoming winter.  So, here goes…

The “Farmers’ Almanac”, which has been forecasting weather since 1818, just released its winter forecast and it looks pretty cold (biting or piercing) for us in the Quad Cities.  Whatever you do, don’t cross the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois unless you want a “snowy” winter!!! 🙂

Farmers' Almanac

However, NOAA is not forecasting  “piercing” or “biting” cold this winter.  It’s calling for above average temperatures this winter!

NOAA Winter Temp Forecast

On that note, there’s a local television meteorologist in the Quad Cities that’s probably already calling for 20″ with every snow event that develops this winter!

If you really want me to go out on a limb, I expect many days with really cold temperatures, several round of light snow, a few heavier snowstorms, and many people dreaming of a “White Christmas”.  Since the “Farmers’ Almanac” and “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” both boast a high degree of accuracy with their vague forecast, I bet my vague prediction there is pretty accurate, too. 🙂

March Snow

WHERE DOES PAULA DEEN GO FROM HERE?

A few weeks ago, I talked about the “racial discrimination” lawsuit against Paula Deen being dismissed.  Last Friday afternoon, Judge William T. Moore of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia signed an order of dismissal in the case of Jackson vs. Deen.

What this means is that Lisa Jackson, the woman who filed the lawsuit against the celebrity chef that brought down her culinary empire after Deen admitted using the “n-word” many years ago, reached an undisclosed settlement with Paula and her brother, Bubba Hiers.

PaulaDeen2012

While Deen said she was happy and was looking to put this all behind her, I’m agitated with the money-hungry accuser Jackson.  Here is what she (or her lawyers) released after the settlement:

“I assumed that all of my complaints about the workplace environment were getting to Paula Deen, but I learned during this matter that this was not the case. The Paula Deen I have known for more than eight years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone. I now know that the workplace environment issues that I raised are being reviewed and will in the future no longer be at issue. I wish Ms. Deen and her family all the best in all of their future endeavors and I am very pleased that this matter has been now been resolved and can now be put behind us.”

Wait, let me read this again, The Paula Deen I have known for more than eight years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone.”

That doesn’t sound like the kind of woman I’d file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against, but maybe I’m wrong!

Despicable!

SPEAKING OF DESPICABLE

Two words:  Pat Robertson.

Pat Robertson

Just when I think the man might have just an ounce of humanity, clarity, or compassion, he proves me wrong and solidifies my belief that he’s a moron!  I will not even apologize or sugar coat it for people who like him or listen to his drivel.

Earlier this week, a question was posed from a woman who drove a man dying of AIDS to church on Sundays.  She did this more than twenty times.  However, she wasn’t told he had AIDS and she feels deceived and is going to another church until she “sorts this out.”

In response, Robertson starts out with a moment of sanity before it goes south.

Pat Robertson response

His co-host Terry Meeuwsen is compassionate about the situation adding, “I think you were doing a good thing by transporting this man.  I have known people in AIDS and have never felt fearful even if you had had a car accident.”

And, now, here’s where it goes to hell.  Robertson says, “You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people. So if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger,” he said. “Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”

Seriously????

CNN’s Anderson Cooper had the best response to Robertson’s hateful, hurtful, and stupid comment, along with some of the best of the worst of Robertson’s God-loving “advice”.  (For the uninitiated, that was sarcasm!)

I’m glad I have God in my life and I’m glad I don’t have to find him through some vile little man like Robertson.

Oh, by the way, even “The 700 Club” or The Christian Broadcasting Network obviously knew that Robertson was so far off his rocker that it edited that segment out of the show before posting it to their website later that day!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Syria MileyCow CliffHappy Hour

MEMORIES OF CANCUN

Since our trip to Cancun was all-inclusive for food and drinks, here are a few pictures of my favorite drink there.

Green Drinks

Anthony Green Drink

Ray Green Drink

It was a heavy pour of Smirnoff Vodka, melon liquor, a splash of sour mix topped off with a little blended (not frozen) pina colada.  It was incredible!  Maybe I’ll have to make some at home by the pool this weekend!

OKAY, I’VE GOT TO MEET THIS WOMAN AND HANG WITH HER!

While I’d love to meet Madonna, Gaga, Britney, Kylie, Olivia, Reba (again), and Gillian (Anderson of “The X-Files” and “Hannibal”), I just read an article in “Out” that made me fall in love with Angela Raiola!

If that name doesn’t ring a bell, try “Big Ang”, from the second season of VH1’s “Mob Wives” and the one season of “Big Ang”, the spin-off.

??????????????????????????????? Toasted Big Ang

She just opened her second bar, “Miami Monkey” in South Beach and that’s where she’s enjoying that big orange fruity drink.

I don’t watch reality television, so I don’t know anything more about her than what I read and she sound like a hoot!!!   I think she and Divine would have made an awesome team.

And, she told “Out” that she’s an incredible cook and her favorite hot-weather dish:  tangerine zest linguine (minced garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano, fresh linguine with tangerine zest, salt, and pepper).

She seems like a down-to-earth gal that also knows how to have a good time.  Big Ang, let’s hang some time!  It might even be fun attending one of her Botox parties!  She loves them and she’s not shy about it. 🙂

DEPECHE MODE CONCERT

Last Saturday night, we saw Depeche Mode in concert at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park, outside of Chicago.

I have to admit that I was really scared that we’d miss the opening of the show because traffic was such a cluster (you know the rest of the word).  It took us more than an hour to travel one-quarter of mile once we were within 1.5 miles of the venue.  Needless to say, we missed the opening act, Bat For Lashes, and I was seated for only about ten minutes before Depeche Mode took the stage.

Tinley Park, EPIC FAIL!

However, Depeche Mode was great and it was well worth the 30-year wait to see them in concert.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

The big winner (and loser) was Miley Cyrus at last Sunday’s ceremony in New York City.  More on that in a moment.

I never thought it would excite me so much for Mother Monster to be booed and have people say “I hate her”.  However, that was part of the act as Lady Gaga kicked off the awards show in a triumphant return to performing after having to cancel much of the North American leg of the “Born This Wall Ball” tour for hip surgery earlier this year.

vma-mtv-2013-lady-gaga-performance-4-red-carpet-getty__oPt

“ARTPOP”, Gaga’s new album featuring “Applause” comes out November 11th!

The biggest reaction from the show was Miley Cyrus’ over-the-top sexual performance of “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke.

Miley Robin Thicke

After watching the performance, the dirty dancing and sexcapades with Thicke didn’t bother me since you see that kind of action in music videos and movies all the time.  I think the thing that was most creepy to me was Cyrus sticking out her tongue like an animal and the hideous bear costume she was wearing.

Love it or hate it, the performance got Cyrus what she wanted:  free publicity for her album “Bangerz” which comes out in early October.  The first single and song she performed Sunday night, “We Can’t Stop” is a Top Ten radio airplay hit after reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, it’s already sold two million copies, and the video has been viewed on Vevo almost 166 million times!   And, if you saw this video, you should have known that “Hannah Montana” would not be at the VMAs!

If you didn’t like Cryus’ performance and you wonder what happened to little Hannah Montana, just remember that Miley’s birth name is Destiny Hope Cyrus.  Maybe this was her “Destiny” and there’s still “Hope”. 🙂

Earlier this week, I blogged my in-depth thoughts about the performance and the Miley-bashing that took place for days afterwards.  Here is that much-viewed blog if you didn’t a chance to read it:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/she-blurred-lines-but-mileys-not-the-antichrist/

ONE CHILD STAR TO ANOTHER

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet

Former Disney Channel star Selena Gomez,  who is scoring hits at pop radio and won a Moonman at the VMAs Sunday night has this to say of Miley’s sex-driven performance, “Amazing. I thought it was awesome.  I love Robin Thicke, too, so I like that they collab’d.”

Before becoming a Disney star herself, Gomez appeared on three episodes of “Hannah Montana” with Miley.

TAYLOR SWIFT, GO AWAY!

Full disclaimer:  I own an early Taylor Swift CD and I saw her in concert with Keith Urban several years ago and, at that time, she was enjoyable.  Now, enjoyable, for me, has turned into annoying.

At the MTV VMAs, while One Direction was accepting the award for “Song of the Summer”, Swift is caught on an “audience cam” apparently mouthing the words “Shut the F&*k Up”.

taylor-swift-selena-gomez-shut-the-fuck-up-vmas-2013

Was she talking about her ex-boyfriend, Harry Styles’ band onstage or did Selena comment on how cute the boys are?

Whatever the reason and I don’t really care if we’re misunderstanding the lip-reading or not, just go away Taylor.  Please.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Since sex was mentioned early in the blog (hello Miley and Robin), why not flashback to the 1980s with a song that doesn’t even beat around the bush with the sex in the title?

“Sex (I’m A…) was the second single from “The Pleasure Victim” album by new wave band, Berlin in 1982.  Imagine how scandalous this was to a 17-year-old Kentucky boy.

pleasurevictim

However, this one was a little to hot to handle for American pop radio where it peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It did, however, reach the top ten on the American Mainstream Rock and the Dance charts.  Canada wasn’t so shy.  It peaked at #5 on the Canadian Hot 100.

The band would go on to score huge hits with “Take My Breath Away”  (#1) from the “Top Gun” soundtrack and “No More Words” (#23).

PICK HIT RE-DUEX

While I was in Cancun last week, it was interesting listening to the radio.  We found a station that was a mix of ’70s, ’80s, 90’s, ’00s, and today in both English and Spanish.  One song that I really liked was “Take A Picture” by Carly Rae Jepsen.  And, they were also playing was a song I picked as a future pick hit back in May.  I chose it as a potential song of the summer.  Maybe next summer!

Here’s Erika Jayne, featuring Flo Rida with “Get It Tonight”.

FINAL THOUGHT ON MILEY CYRUS

Okay, I know personally that my Facebook page blew up with negative comments about Miley Cyrus following her VMA performance Sunday night.

And, then you started seeing reactions from celebrities in the audience and the one that caught my attention was Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and their two kids, Willow and Jaden. For the record, this shot of the Smith family was during the Lady Gaga performance and Willow was in mid-chew with her gum and Jada was rubbing her nose.  It had nothing to do with Miley as some believe or have posted.

Smith-family

Now, about Jada. She is a beautiful woman. However, in that photo, I don’t know if the look of horror is from seeing the performance on stage or that she just realized, for the first time, her poor rip-off of Tina Turner’s amazing “Auntie Entity” look from 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”. 🙂

Jada

Ripped Off From Thunderdome

Tina Turner as “Auntie Entity”

tina_aunty_entity

Here’s a “Peeps’ ’80s Friday Flashback” bonus — Tina Turner’s #2 smash from the summer of 1985, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”.

Have a great weekend everyone and thank you for checking out my blog!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — July 26, 2013

It’s Friday morning and since I’m working the afternoon and evening shift, I have not been up since 1 a.m.!  While I’ll have a shortened weekend, I’m looking forward to it, nevertheless.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  Here are the things on my mind this week — my random thoughts.  Let me know what you think of them and what you’re thinking about these days.

CHINA, KEEP YOUR FAST FOOD

As you know, I love buffets and Osaka Buffet in Moline, Illinois, and Wise Guys in Davenport, Iowa, are my favorites.  However, I know some people who hate buffets because they have issues with cleanliness and others touching the same serving utensils.

However, maybe they should reconsider their eating out options, especially if they’re going to China.

mcdonalds-kfc-kungfu

China Central Television tested the ice at McDonald’s, KFC, and Kungfu, a Chinese fast-food chain, in Beijing, and found that the ice cubes contained 13 times more bacteria than water from a toilet.  The worse offender in the undercover test was KFC.  There were 900 colony-forming bacteria units per milliliter.

KFC

Now, while this sounds very gross, Dong Qingli, a food safety expert, says the headline might get your attention, but the information is not useful stating, “The bacteria count on your teeth or on the bottom of your shoe is about the same. Instead you should look at which actual bacteria types exceeded levels.”

Nevertheless, all three restaurants promise to improve their sanitary procedures.

I guess I don’t have anything to worry about with this because I have no desire to visit China and even if I did, I wouldn’t be eating American fast food in Asia!

THREE UPDATES ON LAST WEEK’S BLOG

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the city’s Fox affiliate KTVU fired three producers involved with reporting the offensive and fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines flight 214 airplane crash that killed three people.  An investigative producer, a special projects producer, and a producer who tweeted “oh sh*t!” right after the names were read on the air were let go.

This is the graphic that started it all.

KTVU Asiana Flight 214

It now looks like Sasha Baron Cohen will not be playing Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991.  Deadline.com exclusively reported, “The reason is that the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer.”  That’s a bummer because I love Sacha and I know he’d be perfect in the role.  I guess I’ll have to watch him in “Borat” or “Les Miserables” again.

borat-mercury

And, Josh Rottenberg of “Entertainment Weekly” is reporting that Orson Scott Card, the controversial author of “Ender’s Game”, has “quietly stepped down from the board of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)”.

Ender's Game

As I blogged last week, NOM is an outspoken group that is against marriage equality and Card has been very vocal in the past with his views against gay people and same-sex marriage.

The $110 million movie, based on Card’s book, hits theaters November 1, 2013, and is facing a public relations’ nightmare and a boycott because of Card’s personal views.

You can read more about all three of these stories in my original post last Friday:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/random-friday-thoughts-july-19/

NAUGHTY SHIRLEY JONES

Although I was only 5-years-old when it premiered back in September 1970, I remember Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge on “The Partridge Family”, the musical comedy that lasted four seasons on ABC.

Partridge_Family_first_cast_1970

On the show, Shirley and her children record a pop song in their garage and it becomes a hit and then they get an old school bus and go on tour.

Fast forward 43 years and the Academy Award winning actress has just released her autobiography and she shared some very naughty stories.  You may want to close your eyes and not read some of the juicy stories she tells in the book (Spoiler alert:  I share some after this picture!).

Shirley Jones

She talks a lot about her troubled 18-year marriage to the late Jack Cassidy, the father of her three sons (including Shaun Cassidy) and the father of her stepson, David Cassidy, who played her television son, Keith, on “The Partridge Family”!  Jack’s body was found in December 1976 the morning after his penthouse went up in flames.

In the book, Shirley reveals that Jack was her first lover, that he was well endowed, and that he carried on a sexual affair with musician Cole Porter before and during their marriage.  Oh, and they had a threesome with a woman that she didn’t enjoy.

David Cassidy

Now, back to David.  Apparently, he and his father shared a family trait.  Wink, wink!  Shirley writes, “David’s brothers called him Donk, for Donkey.”

Okay, Shirley, I really didn’t expect to hear such things!  But, I’ll definitely be reading your book!

BREAKING GAGA-LICIOUS NEWS!

Yes, I’m getting very excited about the new Lady Gaga single coming out in mid-August (the new album arrives this November).

Lady GaGa on stage at the KOKO club in London

Gaga sent out this news Thursday afternoon!

“It’s official! Lady Gaga returns to the stage at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on August 25th for the world premiere performance of the first single from ARTPOP!”

LEBANON IS EVOLVING

After being heavily criticized by the “Human Rights Watch” for mistreatment, torture (which included conducting “anal probes examination” to “test” if a person engages in anal sex as “evidence” of being gay), and arrests of LGBT people, some progress is being made in Lebanon, in the Middle East.

LEBANON-SOCIETY-HOMOPHOBIA-RALLY

The Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) made it clear last week that being gay is NOT a mental disorder and it does NOT need to be treated.  It went on to say that “conversion therapy” that falsely converts gays into straights has no scientific backing.  The LPS made these comments after Dr. Nabil Khoury stated on prime time television that being gay is a disease and it needs to be treated.

The group says, “Homosexuality in itself does not cause any defect in judgment, stability, reliability or social and professional abilities.  The assumption that homosexuality is a result of disturbances in the family dynamic or unbalanced psychological development is based on wrong information.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Cold Crazy Hungry

ADVANTAGES OF BEING A GAY DAD TO A 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL

One of the advantages is that you get to discuss which member of One Direction is the cutest.  I say it’s Harry Styles and for the most part, Gretel agrees.

Harry Styles Pics

And, we also both feel sorry for him for dating Taylor Swift (even though she likes Taylor and her music).

One

Harry and his band must be doing something right because they faced the fury of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC).  The cult calls One Direction “perverted” and went on to diminish them and the United Kingdom as “sin-chasing, fag-enabling, God-hating, Christ-rejecting”.

In June, the WBC released this statement about the band, “These freaks and their fans think it’s funny for these five perverts to grab each other’s asses on stage. “They glamorize sin and make a mock of God’s standards. Their one purpose is to encourage the youth of this generation to pursue every lust their evil hearts can imagine.”

So, last Friday night , the cult protested at One Direction’s Kansas City, Missouri, concert prompting Harry to send out this tweet.

Harry Styles

The cult quickly tweeted a compliment to Harry for mentioning God, before sending this follow-up.

WBC

All I can say is that at this point, the Westboro Baptist Church amuses me with their ignorance.    And, while I’ve used this before, it’s still perfect and I do it every day! 🙂

Live Your Life WBC

TINA TURNER GETS MARRIED

Pop superstar Tina Turner is a married woman again!

Deutscher Medienpreis 2005

The 73-year-old Tennessee native wed her longtime German-born record producer boyfriend Erwin Bach at their home in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, last Sunday.  Tina reportedly says, “I am happier than I could ever dream of.”

While the couple has lived in Switzerland for 18 years, it looks as though they will be staying there since Tina received her Swiss citizenship in late April.

“BLURRED LINES” HAS SOME COMPETITION

I love the biggest song in the country, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”.  The song is now spending its seventh week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it’s been the top-selling digital song for the past eight weeks ago.  A few weeks, I featured the PG version and the unrated versions (featuring women showing their boobies).

Today, I’m posting the best parody of the song and video from the Seattle-based Boylesque group, Mod Carousel, which has been viewed more than a million times this week on YouTube, to positive reviews.

COMIC REACTION TO PAT ROBERTSON

A couple of weeks ago, I featured a video of televangelist Pat Robertson talking about what makes him want to vomit.  I stated my opinions then, but here’s another. 🙂

Conan Pat Robertson Follow

“THE LONE RANGER” = BIG BOMB!

I knew the latest Johnny Depp movie, “The Lone Ranger” was going to bomb at the box office.  The marketing ploy told the story.  When I saw “World War Z” and “White House Down”, the previews for “The Lone Ranger” basically stressed that it was a movie that you had to see in theaters for full effect.  In others words, please come see it and don’t wait to watch it on DVD.

The Lone Ranger

The movie’s budget is reportedly $215 million and since its July 3rd opening, it has only made $148.9 million worldwide ($82.5 million of that is from the U.S.).  It’s not the only bomb lately.  “R.I.P.D.”, “Red 2”, “White House Down”, and “Turbo” also tanked.  “Pacific Rim” performed poorly in the U.S., but is doing very well across the rest of the world.

A MOVIE RECOMMENDATION & TWO TO AVOID

We rented movies recently from Redbox.  Avoid “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “Hansel & Gretel:  Witch Hunters”.

Hansel & Gretel

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!

While it made $55.7 million in the U.S., it was a blockbuster around the rest of the world with a total take of $225.7.  A sequel is on the way!

GRADE:  D

Texas Chainsaw

There have been much better Texas Chainsaw movies and the only reason to watch this movie would be for the eye candy.  No, I’m not talking about Leatherface!   The movie earned back its budget grossing $39.3 million.

GRADE:  C-

Side Effects

The movie you should definitely rent soon is “Side Effects”, which was in theaters earlier this year.  The $30 million dollar movie ended up making $60.3 million.

It stars Oscar nominee Rooney Mara and Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with Jude Law and Channing Tatum.

It’s a suspenseful drama that focuses on a trial drug and who’s responsible if something bad happens while someone is taking that pill.  It has plenty of drama and a few surprise twists including the finale!  It’s a must see movie.

GRADE:  B

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

Even before I saw the tweets between Harry Styles of One Direction and the Westboro Baptist Church, I caught a snippet of the band latest song, “Best Song Ever” and I actually liked it enough to check out the video.  And, I’m glad I did.  It cute and humorous and the song is fun.  Yes, I admit to liking a One Direction song!

And, I’m not alone.  The “Best Song Ever” video debuted Monday and broke the Vevo record for most views — 10.9 million views in the first 24 hours!

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Jennifer Holliday is best known from her Tony Award-winning role of Effie White from Broadway’s “Dreamgirls”.  “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from that musical was her only top forty Hot 100 hit, reaching #22 in 1982.  It also won her a Grammy Award.  However, “No Frills Love” hit #1 two times on the Billboard Dance charts, first in 1985 and, again, in 1996.

I got to see fabulous Jennifer Holliday in concert at Market Days in Chicago in August 2010!

And, as a bonus to kick off your weekend, here’s the extended dance remix of “No Frills Love”.  Have fun this weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 21, 2013

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

A Night of (Fake) Stars

Now that I’ve been back from Las Vegas for almost two weeks, I’ve blogged about the Madonna and Elton John concerts, the fantastic food I ate, and seeing “Argo” and knowing that it’s going to be big at this year’s Oscars.

This is the final blog entry about that trip.  While some paid hundreds to more than a thousand dollars to see Madonna for her two concerts in Vegas, Ray and I really hit the jackpot on our last night in town.

We saw some of the biggest names in the entertainment business:  Madonna, Gaga, Whitney, Diana, Rihanna, Janet, Katy, Bette, and Dolly, all at the same show for the bargain ticket price of only $56 for the two of us!

Okay, it wasn’t the real stars.  It was part of the longest running show on the Las Vegas Strip, “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino.  But, Frank, who does an incredible Joan Rivers, wasn’t there that night.  However, there was no shortage of star power.

While the real Madonna was entertaining down the Strip at the MGM Garden Arena, the Diva’s “Madonna” held court as she opened the show.

The same entertainer that did Madonna also did Lady Gaga.

And, Dolly Parton!

While she wasn’t in “Thunderdome”, Tina Turner was there.

The late, great Miss Whitney Houston was alive and well on stage.

And, that performer returned later as “The Boss”, Diana Ross.

Katy Perry was on hand for the fun.

Oh, I think I forget to mention that the back-up dancers were hot!

Vegas would not be Vegas without the “Divine Miss M”, Bette Midler.

While Michael is resting in peace, Janet Jackson was definitely in “control”.

And, the performer that did Janet came back later in the show as Rihanna.

 

The emcee of the show filling in for Frank Marino was very funny and entertaining and she had a costume change after each performer!  I would have loved to see her do a number, too.

Sadly, Cher, Britney, and Reba were missing from the show.  Oh, Beyonce, was there.  However, it was more of a comical number that didn’t go over that well with me.  The performer was much better as Tina Turner.

If you’re in Vegas, you have to check out the “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” show.

Oh, did I mention that the Diva performers are female impersonators?

Anthony