Posts Tagged ‘weekend’

Random Friday Thoughts — September 10, 2021

The weekend is upon us and I’m happy to be sharing some of the thoughts on my mind this week.

And, I appreciate you taking the time to check them out.

As always, we don’t have to agree. But, if you choose to disagree, be intelligent and diplomatic about it!

RAMPING UP THE FIGHT TO END THE PANDEMIC

Here is a Thursday afternoon breaking news headline and story from the Associated Press in President Joe Biden’s efforts to end the pandemic and to make America safer!

MR. ED WANTS HIS MEDS BACK!

This ISN’T about those of you that refuse to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccinations available in the United States. (But, I wish you would!)

However, it just boggles my mind that there are an increasing number of people that don’t trust the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but will go to a store and buy a horse de-wormer as a treatment measure!!!

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says Ivermectin is causing “all kinds of issues” in people consuming it, including liver problems and nausea.

Arwady adds, “First and foremost, do not ever, please, take any medicine that is formulated for animals. It’s dangerous, and it can really be a problem.”

Wait, there’s a call for you, idiots!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that Ivermectin overdoses can bring on seizures, coma, and, even death!

WHILE I’M TALKING VET DRUGS

Another example of a drug veterinarians use that should not be in the hands (or bodies) of the public — ketamine (aka “Special K”).

This anesthetic, which is, in many cases, is used illegally by people to get high.

This dissociative drug produces auditory distortion and a detachment from reality. Like GHB, some use ketamine-based drugs as a “date-rape” drug because it causes memory loss.

So… NO! NO! NO! to using drugs and medications that should be left to veterinarians!

The COVID-19 vaccines make much more sense!

IN OTHER HAPPIER NEWS (IF YOU HAVEN’T DISOWNED ME)…

OH, DADDY!

In the “Oh, how I wish it was with me, but it isn’t” category, congratulations go out to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten on becoming the parents of two newborns!

Buttigieg posted on Instagram, “Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents. We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family.”

NEW ELTON JOHN DUETS ALBUM

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the new Elton John/Dua Lipa hit, “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)”.

It features Elton singing part of his 1990 hit “Sacrifice” (one of his best and most underappreciated hits) and Lipa belting out his 1972 classic “Rocket Man”.

The song is remixed by Australia’s Pnau (brothers Nick and Sam Littlemore and Peter Mayes).

Now, I know it’s part of the new Elton John album, “The Lockdown Sessions”, and will feature sixteen duets.

Here’s the track listing:

The album drops October 22, 2021.

ABBA LIVES ON!

The iconic Swedish band ABBA shocked the world last week by announcing a new album later this fall and “tour dates” in the spring of 2022!

Fans already knew the legendary band had recorded some new music. However, the announcement that “Voyage”, the first new studio album since “The Visitors” forty years ago, will arrive November 5, 2021, was definitely earth-shattering!

The new album will feature ten new songs including the ballad “I Still Have Faith in You” and the upbeat pop song “Don’t Shut Me Down.”

Billboard magazine reports that ABBA “will be reborn as avatars that will take the stage with a live 10-piece band for the shows and “will perform a run of shows in a specially built arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London beginning on May 27, 2022”.

THE RYAN MURPHY UNIVERSE

While it may not be as well known or as lucrative as the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Ryan Murphy’s domination of the television medium is probably the equivalent to Marvel’s box office domination.

I was intrigued with the seven episode, first season of “American Horror Stories” (not to be confused with the long-running anthology series, “American Horror Story”). “Stories” was renewed for a second season.

Instead of one theme running through an entire season, “Stories” was pretty much like “The X-Files” when it featured a different monster or case of the week!

Now, I’m watching then tenth season of “American Horror Story: Double Feature”, which is unique because this season will feature six episodes with the “Red Tide” (“by the sea”) theme and the four final episodes are “Death Valley” (“by the sand”).

And, watching “American Horror Stories” and “AHS: Double Feature” got me excited about two more Ryan Murphy series.

“AMERICAN CRIME STORY: IMPEACHMENT”

Those two were keeping me entertained until the higher prestige series, “American Crime Story: Impeachment”, dealing with Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and the fallout, arrived.

I loved the first two Emmy Award installments dealing with the O.J. Simpson trial and the shooting death of Gianni Versace and the manhunt for Andrew Cunanan. If you haven’t seen them, binge watch now!

In “Impeachment”, it was interesting seeing Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton, although she was only in one scene in the series debut. Believe it or not, I’ve never watched Falco in anything — not even “The Sopranos” or “Nurse Jackie”.

The first episode aired earlier this week. It was okay, but I know it was just setting up the drama. I can’t wait to see the next nine episodes!

“RATCHED”

The other series from Ryan Murphy I’m ready for is “Ratched”!

I’m ready for more Sarah Paulson and Finn Wittrock (yes, one of my fantasies) in season two of the incredible series from Murphy.

No information yet for the release date!

MORE CHERNOBYL

Here are a few more things I found interesting from the Adam Higginbotham’s 2019 book “Midnight In Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster”.

I shared some last week.

Three years after the explosion, the “Moscow News” reported that parts of the Ukraine, just 40 kilometers west of the “Exclusion Zone” near Reactor Number Four were still radioactive hot spots. Farmers noticed a steep rise in the number of livestock with birth defects, such as “piglets with froglike eyes and malformed skulls, and calves born without legs, eyes, and heads.”

It was even reported that tons of pork and beef contaminated with radioactive cesium had been mixed in with sausages and sold to the unsuspected public. The government said this was not true and that Chernobyl sausage was safe to eat and it was processed “in strict accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the USSR.”

While the first three reactors were supposed to be shut down within five years of the 1986 explosion, the last of the Chernobyl reactors didn’t go offline until 2000.

“THE CHINA SYNDROME”

I finally got around to watching the 1979 classic, “The China Syndrome”, with Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas.

The nuclear disaster meltdown flick earned $51.7 million on a $5.9 million budget and earned four Oscar nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Lemmon and Best Actress for Fonda.

After watching six seasons of “Grace and Frankie” with octogenarian Fonda (she’s 83 now), it was awesome seeing her as a very sexy 41-year-old! (She’s very sexy now at 83, too!)

GRADE: B+

“GERALD FORD”

Douglas Brinkley’s 2007 book is part of “The American Presidents” series.

What I really liked about this book is that while it’s comprehensive (not as much as a real biography or an autobiography), it was an easy read at just 160 pages!

One interesting thing about Gerard Ford is that isn’t his real name. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1913, as Leslie Lynch King Jr.

His mother, Dorothy, left her abusive husband and moved in with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and met and married Gerald R. Ford in 1917. He informally adopted her child and named him after himself. The child would officially change his name in 1935!

After two failed assassination attempts against him in September 1975 by women in California, Ford, in 2003, said he told Betty, “I’m going to have to review my support for the Equal Rights Amendment. These women are trying to kill me.”

On Inauguration Day 1977, President Ford was deeply touched and surprised when the new President Jimmy Carter opened him speech with “For myself and for our nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.”

Carter and Ford, after a bitter campaign in 1976, became good friends and each asked the other to give the eulogy at their funerals. As you know, President Ford died on December 26, 2006, and President Carter did just as he promised!

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 20, 2021

Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend?

As much as I love my career and my job, I’m ready for the weekend from the moment when I wake up for work at 2:30 a.m. on Mondays! 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts. It’s okay to disagree, just do it diplomatically!

GET OVER YOURSELF, CHICAGO LEADERS!

I’m not going to harp too much about the current spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Yes, most of them are associated with the “delta variant”, yet the latter two are mostly those that are unvaccinated!

However, with all of the confusion about the pandemic, the vaccinations, and the ever-changing rules and mandates, I’m agitated with Chicago leaders.

The Chicago Department of Public Health issues weekly updates of states and territories in the U.S. that it’s issued travel advisories for that have the highest increase of COVID-19 cases.

It goes on to say, “Any unvaccinated people traveling from these states and territories are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival. Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine or receive a negative test.”

What bothers me is that people coming to Chicago ARE NOT LIKELY going to get a COVID-19 test within three days of arriving and ARE NOT LIKELY going to quarantine themselves for ten days!

So, stop the confusion if you’re not going to enforce this by stopping people on the interstates, bus stations, train stations, and airports!!!!

This is all for public relations!

Okay, I’ll step down from my soap box!

REMEMBERING JEANETTA JONES

For those that follow television weather and meteorologists, I have some sad news to share.

Jeanetta Jones, whose smiling face and cheerful presentation graced The Weather Channel from 1986-2006, has died from COVID-19!

I was such a big fan of her on-air presentation!

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Over the past week or so, people on social media have been sharing picture comparisons of their fall plans and their fall plans now that the “delta variant” is rampant across the country and the world.

I thought I’d join in with a comparison with a shout-out to my favorite Batman movie, 1993’s “Batman Returns”, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman!

“FRENCH EXIT”

Since I’m talking Michelle Pfeiffer, I just watched her latest movie, “French Exit” and it was great.

Pfeiffer picked up a Golden Globe nomination this year in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category, but she lost out to Rosamund Pike in “I Care A Lot”, which I really enjoyed, too.

“French Exit” was overlooked by the Academy Awards, but the Best Actress category was incredible this year — Carey Mulligan, Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, Andra Day, and Vanessa Kirby!

While it’s a comedy, it deals with some very heavy topics, such as suicide.

Pfeiffer plays Frances Price, a Manhattan heiress that’s almost broke after her husband’s death. She and her son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges), have few options.

So, from the title, they head to Paris with their cat, which plays a big role in the bizarre story.

In France, they meet Madame Reynard (a very enjoyable Valerie Mahaffey).

On the transatlantic voyage across the Atlantic, Danielle Macdonald makes an appearance as Madeleine, a “witch” that Malcom hooks up with. (It’s funny calling her a witch because Frances uses a very risque, hilarious description of her.

It’s always great to see Macdonald. I loved her in “Patti Cake$” and “I Am Woman”.

GRADE: B+

WHAT IS MIDDLE AGED?

Recently, I watched the 1976 Oscar-winning classic, “Network”. However, watching it in 2021, one thing that caught my attention was that William Holden’s character was constantly referred to as “middle aged”.

Wait, Holden was almost 58-year-old when filming got underway and that really baffled me.

But, it made sense since the director, the producers, the writer, and both male leads were all in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. So, I just chalked it up to old white men running the show and calling themselves “middle aged”!

However, one thing I learned when looking up the definition of “middle age” is that it’s usually accepted as 45-65 years old — the middle of age of adulthood, which starts at 18!

Since I’m closing in on Holden’s age at the time of that movie, I still wouldn’t refer to myself as “middle age”, but if the dictionary says I am, I should start enjoying my middle-aged years and take a new lease on life! 🙂

BUT, here’s the irony about both William Holden and his co-star, Peter Finch. Finch died less than two months after the movie was released over Thanksgiving 1976 and Holden would be dead five years later.

So much for middle aged! 🙂

WHY I DRINK WINE!

Thanks Debby for sharing this with me! 🙂

“PLEASE LIKE ME”

I absolutely loved this four season Australian comedy (with a few dashes of drama) from quadruple threat Josh Thomas (creator, co-writer, co-director, and star).

The series ran from 2013-2016.

Josh is hilariously funny, but I definitely couldn’t date his character, Josh! 🙂

His roommate and best friend, Tom (Thomas Ward) is great and it introduced us to comedian Hannah Gadsby, who plays Hannah! 🙂

My absolute favorite character was Arnold (Keegan Joyce). And, he was SO.DAMN.SEXY.!

You can catch it on hulu.

“GRACE AND FRANKIE” UPDATE

Last week, I mentioned that I had watched the first six seasons of the Netflix series, “Grace and Frankie”, and couldn’t wait for the final season.

Well, last Friday, Netflix surprised fans by dropping the first four episodes of the seventh and final season. The concluding twelve episodes are expected in 2022.

So, I’ve decided to wait and binge watch all sixteen episodes in the new year!

When the series concludes with 94 episodes, that’ll make it the longest-running Netflix original series!

“NETWORK”

After 45 years, I finally watched the 1976 four-time Oscar winning movie, “Network”.

The black comedy is a satire of the television news business and the thin line between news and entertainment! (Wait, is that a real thing?)

Um, that rhetorical question is satirical, too! 🙂

Peter Finch (Best Actor), Faye Dunaway (Best Actress), and Beatrice Straight (Best Supporting Actress) won Academy Awards for acting and Paddy Chayefsky won for Best Screenplay.

William Holden was also nominated in the Best Actor category.

Five years later, Dunaway would play Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest”, a role and movie that she said ruined her career.

Well, her Diana Christensen was quite over the top in “Network”, too, and, in hindsight, it prepared her well for “Mommie Dearest”!

GRADE: B

“AMERICA IN SEARCH OF ITSELF”

Last week, I mentioned that this 1982 book by Theodore H. White subtitled, “The Making of the President 1956-1980”, was an enlightening read.

Here are a few more things I learned:

In the 1956 presidential election, Democrat Adlai Stevenson started hitting sitting President Dwight D. Eisenhower hard about his age.

Stevenson said that Ike was too old, at 66, to be a good President. Boy, have things changed since then. (Hello Ronald Reagan, 45, and Joe Biden!)

White wrote that President Richard Nixon blamed Gerald Ford’s loss to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential election on his inability to get the Italian vote in New York. That state would have swung the win to Ford.

In the 1980 election between President Carter and Ronald Reagan, the federal government only gave each candidate $29.4 million to spend on the campaign ($93 million in 2021 USD). Meanwhile, the three networks spent north of $50 million for coverage ($165.7 million in 2021 USD)!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 16, 2021

The weekend is upon us and I hope you have fantastic plans.

I’m working part of it, but will make the most of it!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts!

AGATHA CHRISTIE

Okay, I’ll kick off with an astounding statistic that might blow your mind! (There’s a theme here for me to kick off with a writer that’s been dead for 45 years, the same year her last novel, “Sleeping Murder”, came out.)

English writer Agatha Christie, who’s mostly known for her 66 detective novels, has had more than 2 billion (that’s with a “B”) copies of her work published!!!

In 2019 alone, she moved 2 million copies!!!

She’s only been outsold by the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare!

Jokingly, some could say that “fiction sells”! 🙂

ARMIE HAMMER

34-year-old Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominee Armie Hammer is still under investigation for sexual assault by the Los Angeles Police Department.

This comes after multiple women came forward earlier this year about abuse they had allegedly experienced during relationships with Hammer.

His wife of ten years, Elizabeth Chambers, announced their separation in the summer of 2020 — before the allegations surfaced.

He’s now been dropped by his talent agency and his publicist is no longer with him. He’s also been fired/dropped out of several new movies, including one with Jennifer Lopez.

If that sexual assault allegations weren’t bad enough, texts with “disturbing sexual fantasies” involving cannibalism surfaced!

DEATH ON THE NILE”

So, what does this mean for the blockbuster release of the Kenneth Branagh-directed movie, “Death on the Nile”, which Hammer co-stars alongside Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”), Annette Benning (“The Kids Are All Right”), and Branagh?

The movie opening has already been delayed, at least, six times.

It was originally scheduled for December 20, 2019, and was pushed back to October 9, 2020. Then with COVID-19, it was pushed back to September 17, 2021.

Last month, it was rescheduled once again to February 11, 2022! And, I’d bet money this was due to the Hammer scandal!

COSTLY SCANDAL SOLUTION

What I think will happen is that unless Hammer’s role is a major one, his scenes will be re-shot this summer with a new actor.

This happened with Kevin Spacey in “All The Money in the World”.

After his sex/rape scandal, his scenes were re-shot with the late Christopher Plummer. Plummer earned an Oscar nomination for his performance.

If you don’t remember the story, gay actor Anthony Rapp, a star of Broadway’s “Rent” and the CBS All Access’ series, “Star Trek Discovery”, alleges that back in 1986, then 26-year-old Spacey invited him to a party at his Manhattan apartment, when Rapp was only 14!

Rapp told “Buzzfeed” Spacey tried to seduce him and that “I was aware that he was trying to get with me sexually”.

It was then that Rapp says that Spacey “sort of stood in the doorway, kind of swaying. My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk … He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me.”

Spacey’s career disintegrated and he was written out of the final season of “House of Cards”. I absolutely loved that show and would still watch it again with Spacey, but it would a little cringy.

However, my main draw to the show was always Robin Wright as Claire Underwood.

“CALL ME BY YOUR NAME”

Now, with Hammer, I’m torn because the LGBTQ+ classic “Call Me By Your Name” with Hammer and Timothee Chalamet was my favorite movie of 2018!

I know I’ll still watch it, but just like listening to the music of Michael Jackson, I still do it. It just adds creepiness to it!

MOVING ON!

THEY SAID WHAT???

GEORGE H.W. BUSH (then Republican National Committee Chairman, in his August 6, 1974, diary entry three days before President Nixon resigned, on President Ford and President Nixon): “this era of tawdry, shabby, lack of morality has got to end… I will take Ford’s decency over Nixon’s toughness because what we need at this juncture in our history is a certain sense of morality and a certain sense of decency.”

LEGENDARY DIRECTOR MARTIN SCORSESE (about Glenn Close, who was recommended to play Tony Montana’s (Al Pacino) mistress in “Scarface” by Oliver Stone in his book, “Chasing The Light”: “She’s got a face like a horse!”

Um, WTF? Glenn Close is beautiful! Well, definitely not in “Hillbilly Elegy”! 🙂

Darren Franich (in The Bullseye “Entertainment Weekly” March 2021): “‘Clarice’ is a ‘Silence of the Lambs’ spin-off about… who cares, ‘Hannibal’ is on Netflix.”

“JUSTIFIED”

I just finished binge watching the 2010-2015 FX series, “Justified”, with Timothy Olyphant, and absolutely loved it!

It’s tells the story of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Olyphant) having to go back to his home state of Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains as punishment for shooting a Miami thug in a questionable manner. (Givens has his own set of justice that doesn’t set well with his bosses!)

I’ve had the biggest crush on Olyphant since I saw him in Greg Berlanti’s 2000 LGBTQ movie, “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy”.

His character, Dennis, did have major flaws though — he wasn’t into commitment, he definitely got around, AND, worst of all, he hated the Carpenters! 🙂

Fast forward ten years or so –this is how you rock your 40s (from “Justified”)!

And, there’s been industry buzz that the team behind the series may be bringing it back in some form with the Emmy-nominated Olyphant rumored to be coming back!

Final note: if you want to see a more comical side of Olyphant, he was amazing in the three seasons of the Netflix’s comedy “Santa Clarita Diet” with Drew Barrymore.

BEWARE OF HARLAN COUNTY

Since much of “Justified” took place around Harlan County, Kentucky, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” was featured prominently in five of the six season finales. (Only season three didn’t use it.)

It’s an amazing and haunting song. Brad Paisley’s version from his 2001 album, “Part II” is amazing and was used in the season one and season two finales.

However, my favorite version of the song is by Patty Loveless from her 2001 album, “Mountain Soul”.

“HIS VERY BEST, JIMMY CARTER, A LIFE”

Final comments from Jonathan Adler’s must read 2020 biography…

Nine months before Islamic Revolution “students” seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, and kept 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they briefly took over the embassy nine months earlier on Valentine’s Day, but released them!

President Carter sensed allowing the exiled Shah of Iran to stay in the U.S. could cause Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and his radicals to take over the embassy again. In March 1979, President Carter asked his Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, “What are you guys going to advice me to do if they overrun our embassy and take our people hostage?”

After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan over Christmas 1979, it led a longshoreman group’s members to refuse to load ships with grain headed to the Soviet Union. While high ranking officials in Carter’s administration was behind a grain embargo, Rosalynn (Jimmy’s wife and one his closest advisors) and Vice President Walter Mondale was opposed.

President Carter went along with it and that decision was later compared to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When Johnson signed that into law, it turned the Democratic South “red” (Republican) just as the embargo did for the farm belt states!

THAT’S IT

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

Anthony

Severe Storm Threat Today; Snow By The Weekend?

UPDATED POST:  Monday, March 6, 2017, 4:15 p.m.

After another balmy day with highs near 70° in the Quad Cities, conditions are favorable for severe storms tonight with damaging winds being the biggest threat.  We could also see large hail and a few tornadoes.

A “Tornado Watch” remains in effect through 10 p.m. for much of Iowa.  This includes our western counties of Jefferson, Johnson, and Washington.

TW4.jpg

The line of strong to severe storms is firing up over western and central Iowa this afternoon.  This radar image is from around 4 p.m.

358.jpg

 

 

 

This line of storms will race across Iowa and should be in eastern Iowa by 8-10 p.m. and east of the Mississippi around midnight.

I’ll continue monitoring the situation and let you know if the “Tornado Watch” is expanded eastward to include more of our counties and the Quad Cities.

If severe storms are not your thing, it’s looking more and more likely that we could be in for a decent accumulating snow starting Friday night into Saturday.

This is the latest GFS forecast map for noon Saturday!

Sat Noon.jpg

I’ll have more on that tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Let’s get through tonight first.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, March 6, 2017, 5:37 a.m.

Very warm temperatures are in the forecast again today with highs approaching 70°.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that we could be seeing a repeat of last Tuesday’s weather with severe storms later today.

monday-severe-threat

Like last week, the biggest threat from the severe storms later this afternoon and early tonight will be damaging winds of 60 miles-per-hour or higher, large hail, and even a few tornadoes.

A line of storms will be forming across central Iowa this afternoon and will be moving into eastern Iowa by evening.

That line of storms will be crossing the Mississippi River by about 10 p.m.

severe-storms-later-monday

The threat of severe weather should exit our eastern hometowns by midnight.

Temperatures will remain mild through Thursday in the 50s.

However, winter may return later Friday into Saturday.

It’s possible that we could be seeing an accumulating snow to kick off the weekend.

Snow Saturday Morning

There’s plenty of time to fine tune the forecast for the snow this upcoming weekend.

But, the big story today is the severe weather threat later this afternoon and early tonight.

Anthony

Best Movies of 2016

It’s that time of the year when critics rank the best and worst movies of the year.  They get to see movies before the rest of us, so they’ll have Oscar contenders on the list that many of us will see in 2017 and so they’ll likely be on my list next year.

That means you’ll see some movies that won at the Oscars last winter on my “best of” list for 2016.

2016-movies

Additionally, you’ll see a couple of movies on this year’s list that are several years old. When I rank my movies, I include movies that I see for the first time in 2016 regardless of the year it was released.

So, before I start counting down my 20 favorite movies of the year, I want to share my favorites from the past few years.

My favorite movie of 2010 was “The Kids Are All Right” with Annette Benning, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo.  In 2011, my favorite was “Children of God”.

Weekend

“Weekend” was my favorite movie of 2012 and “Out of the Dark” topped my list in 2013.

My favorite movie of 2014 was “Bridegroom” and last year, it was “Lilting”.

You may have noticed that most of the top movies I listed from 2010 through 2015 were not mainstream.  Sadly, LGBT movies don’t get the same distribution and promotion.

It’s now time to start the countdown and I’ll let you in on a secret.  While my #1 movie this year is not LGBT, it wasn’t a widely seen movie either (in the U.S).

#20

“THE PURGE:  ELECTION YEAR”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $118.4 MILLION

#19

“BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $400,000

*WARNING:  R-RATED TRAILER*

18

“MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $25.1 MILLION

#17

“STONEWALL”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $187,674

Note:  This movie was reviled by the LGBT community because it loosely fictionalized the Stonewall events through the character of Danny, a white Midwestern boy (Jeremy Irvine).

However, I know the story of Stonewall and I’ve written about it many times.  I know that drag queens, transgender, and people of color were at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots back in 1969.  I’ve done my homework.

With that being said, I still enjoyed the movie for what it was — a movie.

I hope that the few people that saw it and weren’t familiar with Stonewall took the time to Google the real story.  We should never get our news or learn about history from headlines, social media, or Hollywood.

And, finally, just because I crush on Irvine, that alone doesn’t justify a place in the Top 20.

16

“PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  unknown

15

“BROOKLYN”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $62.1 MILLION

14

“BURNT”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $36.6 MILLION

#13

“THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $34.9 MILLION

12

“STEVE JOBS”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $34.4 MILLION

11

“THE WALK”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $61.2 MILLION

#10 MOVIE

“HOLDING THE MAN”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $909,122

#9 MOVIE

“FORCE MAJEURE”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $1.4 MILLION +

#8 CD

“THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $171.7 MILLION

#7 CD

“MR. HOLMES”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $29.4 MILLION

6'eren_RGB_FINAL

“ROOM”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $35.4 MILLION

GREEN 5

“JOY”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $101.1 MILLION

red-number-4

“THE REVENANT”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $533 MILLION

#3 MOVIE

“FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $27.4 MILLION +

#2 CD

“CAPTAIN FANTASTIC”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $5.9 MILLION

Before revealing my favorite movie of 2016, it’s time for the worst movie I saw this year.

Gag Me

Let me say that Dan Stevens has a chance for redemption in March 2017 with the live action “Beauty and the Beast” movie and John Travolta was incredible in “Saturday Night Live”, “Grease”, and “Swordfish”.

But, “Criminal Activities” was not the movie to see!  It was so bad that I won’t even torture you with the trailer.

Bonus

For much of 2016, I had a five-part BBC America miniseries as my second favorite movie of the year. I mean, if “American Horror Story” can brand itself as this or that to qualify and win Emmy Awards, why can’t I call a miniseries a movie?

But, I decided to share “London Spy” as a must-see bonus!

Ben-Whishaw

It’s also a chance to mention the adorable and very talented Ben Whishaw and the amazing Charlotte Rampling.

Okay, focus Anthony!

#1 CD

My favorite movie I saw in 2016 was an Austrian film from 2015 starring the incredible Susanne Wuest and twins, Elias and Lukas Schwarz.

“GOODNIGHT MOMMY”

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $1.2 MILLION +

So, there’s my list.

What are your favorite and least favorite movies you saw in 2016.  Let me know.

Anthony

Warm Weekend, But Then Snow?

UPDATED POST:  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 4:39 p.m.

Nice sunshine this afternoon warmed our high temperature in the Quad Cities to 40°, easily surpassing the forecast high.

Warmer weather is expected through the weekend with some hometowns approaching 50° Saturday.

Then, all eyes focus on a storm coming in early next week.  Today, that storm is way out in the Pacific.

Looking at the latest afternoon NOAA GFS model, I still expect light snow to develop Monday night and then change over to rain Tuesday as the low pressure system tracks close to the Quad Cities.

A transition over to snow Tuesday evening into Wednesday will bring us accumulating snow.  How much?  It’s way too early to say and if you see a forecast with amounts, they’re just trying to get you excited.  Ignore it!

It’s still almost a week away, so there’ll be many changes to the forecast.

This is just an informational blog for planning purposes to give you a heads up.

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 7:31 a.m.

While we may see a few snow flurries later today, a rather tranquil weather pattern is in place through the first half of the weekend.

We’ll also see a warming trend that will take us from the mid-30s today to near 40° tomorrow and the mid-to-upper-40s for the weekend in the Quad Cities!

By Sunday, some light rain moves in during the afternoon and that’ll change over to light snow Sunday night.  This will not be a big deal.

However, there is a big deal on the way to the Midwest next Tuesday and Wednesday.

6pm Tuesday GFS

This is the forecast weather map from NOAA at 6 p.m. Tuesday.  We see two areas of low pressure — one moving into Missouri and the other over Oklahoma.

That storm system will bring copious amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

Depending on the path this storm takes across the Midwest, we could be seeing moderate to heavy rain and/or snow.

At this point in the game, parts of Iowa could be seeing heavy snow.

In the Quad Cities, we’ll definitely see snow, it’s just a matter of whether it starts out as rain Tuesday and changes to snow Tuesday night and Wednesday.  Or, if the storm tracks more to our east and south, we’ll be on the cold side and could see more snow.

It’s way too early to pinpoint who gets the most and how much.  However, it’s not too early to get the word out that a big storm could be moving in early next week.

Anthony

Losing Weight & Degrading Women Is Torture In “Dietland”

When it comes to recommendations, you expect me to suggest movies (you still need to see “Lilting”, “Bridegroom”,”Weekend”, and “Mr. Holmes”), music (“Deja Vu” by Giorgio Moroder, “Communion” by Years & Years, and “Emotion” by Carly Rae Jepsen were tops last year), or television shows (loving “The Man In The High Castle” and “Quantico” while I wait for my regulars to return.)

Last year, I even suggested a couple of books — the incredible “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins and “Day Four” by Sarah Lotz — both debut novels.

Normally, I read non-fiction books, autobiographies, and biographies.  Since it’s an election year, I’m going to devour political books this year and I’m starting off with “It Takes A Village” by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, thanks to “Entertainment Weekly”, I had to get one more book in before polluting my mind with politics.

It named “Dietland” by Sarai Walker as one of the ten best books of 2015.

Dietland

And, I totally agree.  I devoured the stellar 307-page novel like Plum would choke down greasy cheeseburgers, cupcakes, and homemade lady fingers.

Okay, I need to back up because there’s also Alicia and we definitely can’t forget Jennifer!

“Dietland” is centered around Plum, a reclusive woman from California, now living in New York City and working for a fashion magazine catering to women.  Actually, her job, that allows her to work at home or from the cafe she frequents, is to answer emails from young women that think they’re writing to the editor of the magazine, Kitty, for advice.

And, she’s likely not working from the Austen Media Tower high rise in Manhattan because she doesn’t fit the editor’s or the magazine’s ideal woman mold — Plum is very overweight, clocking in at over 300 pounds.

Although she’s tried dieting and weight loss programs since she was young, her weight keeps going up.

She feels her only alternative is to have gastric bypass surgery.  That’ll allow “Alicia” (her given birth name and the skinny woman deep down inside her overweight body) a chance to shine — a chance to live life, wear fun clothes, date, and fall in love.  Those are the things that Plum feels she’ll never have.

One day, she realizes that she’s being followed.  This eventually leads to a confrontation with the person tailing her and Plum meeting other people including a woman with ties to a weight loss program Plum tried and failed at when she was younger.

In the meantime, a series of high profile events involving men suspected of rape, domestic violence, and other acts against women — directly or indirectly — are starting and gaining national and international attention.

These are not court cases.  No, I’m talking about men being dropped from a plane to their deaths in the desert and much more.

But, who’s doing this?

Is Jennifer the mastermind behind the series of attacks on men and the media that objectify women.  Is Jennifer an alias of one of the main characters or an underground group?  And, how long will it take before she starts a whole revolution of women lashing out at men and institutions that demean them with unrealistic expectations?

And, then the big question is how does this all tie into Plum and her aversion to saying the one word, the f-word, that she’s never been able to say about herself — that’s she fat!

Sarai Walker

“Dietland” is a stellar debut novel from Sarai (pronounced sa-RAY) Walker and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

Walker has mastered what it feels like to be an outsider.  An outsider that learns if you love yourself, it doesn’t matter what other small-minded people think — since killing them is still against the law!

In a perfect world and if Hollywood took real chances, this book would be optioned for a movie — like five minutes ago!

Anthony

Best of 2010-2014 — Flashback

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting my favorite albums, songs, and movies of 2015!

I love lists and creating them, so I hope you check them out and in doing so, you might find some new songs or movies that you didn’t know about before my countdowns.

So, to prepare, here are my favorites from the past few years — just for fun.

2014

Last year, my favorite song of the year was Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”.

If you’re curious and want see the other 19 favorites, click here and listen away!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/my-top-20-songs-of-2014/

For album of the year, there was a tie for my top album.

Enrique Iglesias’ “Sex and Love”

Enrique SEX AND LOVE

and Erasure’s “The Violet Flame”.

The Violet Flame

Here’s the complete Top 14 list of my favorite albums from 2014.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/my-14-favorite-albums-of-2014/

And, in 2014, my favorite movie was “Bridegroom”.

Here’s are the others in the Top Ten last year.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/my-ten-favorite-movies-of-2014/

In 2013, my favorite album was “Push Remind” by Chris Wallace.

Push Rewind

Here’s the rest of 2013’s album countdown.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/my-top-ten-favorite-albums-of-2013/

My favorite song of 2013 was Hailey Rowe’s “My Boyfriend Is Gay” featuring the hilarious and gorgeous Blake Peyrot.

Here are my other favorite songs of 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/i-love-that-song-but-skip-that-one/

And, my favorite movie in 2013 was “Out In The Dark”.

Here’s the rest of my movie favorites in 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/my-ten-favorite-movies-of-2013/

In 2012, my favorite movie was “Weekend”.

Here’s the rest of my favorite movies three years ago.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/anthonys-2012-favorite-movies/

And, my 2012 favorite album was “MDNA” by Madonna.

MDNA

Here’s the rest of the 2012 favorites.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/my-2012-favorites-cds/

Now, this is so much fun.  If you’re still looking, you’re curious, too. 🙂

My favorite album in 2011 was “Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears.

Britney-Spears-Femme-Fatale

Here are the others that made the list in 2011.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/favorite-albums-of-2011/

In 2011, my favorite movie was “Children of God”.

The rest that made the list in 2011…

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/favorite-movies-of-2011/

And, while we’re at it, let’s finish out this decade.  In 2010, my favorite album was “Night Work” by Scissor Sisters.

SCISSOR SISTERS NIGHT WORK

Here’s the rest of 2010 list of favorites.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/favorite-movies-albums-of-2010/

And, my favorite movie was “The Kids Are All Right”.

The rest of my favorites in 2010!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/favorite-movies-of-2010/

So, now I’m excited to start sharing my favorites of 2015 with you starting tomorrow.  Thanks again for checking out my blogs.

Anthony

Winter 2015-2016 Kicks Off Friday Night

UPDATES POST:  Thursday, November 19, 2015, 4:35 a.m.

Happy Snowstorm Eve!

More data is in and it’s looking very wintry Friday night and early Saturday and this will likely turn into a moderate snow event (a heavy snow event to the north of the Quad Cities).

Snow Forecast

Remember that the first flakes will not arrive until Friday afternoon or evening, so this forecast could change many times before then with the snow forecast totals shifting north or south and the numbers could go up or down.

Keep up on the latest forecast.  That’s why you have me!

Anthony

ORIGINAL POST:  Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 4:40 p.m.

The first half of this week featured temperatures in the 60s and over two inches of rain.  After a sunny day Thursday and for part of Friday, our first measurable snow of the new winter season arrives Friday evening and Friday night.

The quick-moving snow maker will not only whiten the ground with possibly several inches of snow, but it’ll bring in the coldest air of the season.   By Sunday morning, low temperatures will be dropping into the lower-teens with a few single digits possible.

A rain/snow mix will develop Friday afternoon across eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.  Temperatures will be around 40°-45°.

By evening, as the air cools into the 30s, the wintry mix will change over to all snow and continue into the early part of Saturday.

If you’ve been following my forecast and analysis of this system, I said the snow will have to come down hard enough Friday night to overcome the warm and wet ground.  I’m thinking that will happen and we could see the snow fall at a nice pace for about six to nine hours Friday night.  Lows in the 20s will help the snow to accumulate.

Snow Friday Night

This map shows that the highest chances of seeing snow accumulations of two inches Friday night into Saturday morning will be north of Interstate 80.  Where you see light blue and peach, chances are 70-90%.

In the Quad Cities, those chances are at 30-60%.

At this point in the game, remember that the storm that will race across the Rockies and Plains Friday and into Iowa and Illinois Friday night and early Saturday is still out in the Pacific Ocean near Alaska.

Once it comes ashore, we’ll have a very good data to help forecast this snow event.

The bottom line is that (1) we’ll pretty much see our first snow of the 2014-2015 winter season, (2) accumulations are likely in our area and heavy snow will likely fall in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, (3) the coldest air of the season arrives this weekend in the wake of the snow, and, most importantly, (4) the forecast will change some Thursday as sampled data from the storm comes in and we’ll have a solid forecast for snow amounts.

Have those shovels ready in case you need them.  At the very least, be ready to sweep off your steps, sidewalks, and driveways with a broom.

Anthony

Heavy Snow Arrives Saturday Night & Sunday

Happy Saturday!

I hope you’re stocked up on whatever you might need to wait out this weekend’s snowstorm.  If not, you still have until early Saturday afternoon.

This is going to short and sweet if you like snow.

Heavy snow is on the way Saturday evening through Sunday evening and some hometowns may have a foot of new snow on the ground by the time it ends late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

A “Winter Storm Warning” has been issued for all of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois from Saturday evening through early Sunday night for heavy snow this weekend and gusty winds, considerable blowing and drifting snow, and falling temperatures Sunday.

A rain and snow mix will begin early Saturday afternoon across our southern hometowns and it will move northward and quickly change over to snow.

Moderate to heavy snow is likely for about a 12-hour period Saturday night into early Sunday.

This is the where the GFS has the storm system at 6 a.m. Sunday.  The darker shades of green show where the moderate to heavy snow will be falling.

Now, let’s talk snow amounts.

The storm has made another shift to the north in the overnight hours, so that means that the heaviest snow will also shift northward out of central Illinois, which was the thinking Friday night.

For simplicity’s sake, 6-12″ of snow are possible with this storm from Saturday evening through late Sunday night or early Monday morning!

In the Quad Cities, I’m expecting around 10″ of snow.

Right along Interstate 80 and to the north, that’s where the heaviest snow will fall.  Amounts of 8-12″ are likely.

If you live south of I-80, you’re still going to be heavy snow.  Amounts of 6-10″ will fall there.

Remember that with any snow event, there could be isolated higher totals in any of these ranges.

LAST TIME WE SAW THIS MUCH

If we pick up more than 8.3″ of snow in the Quad Cities from this storm, it’ll be the biggest storm since that much fell back on February 26 and 27, 2013.

And, it was four years ago today (on the calendar) that a three-day snowstorm started in the Quad Cities that would bring 18.4″ of snow to the area, tying a 1979 snowstorm for the biggest snow event in Quad Cities history.

Groundhog Blizzard of 2011

In that 2011 storm, 14.8″ of that 18.4″ total fell on February 1st alone.

BOTTOM LINE…

This is a dangerous situation unfolding with heavy snow, strong winds Sunday approaching 40 miles-per-hour, and considerable blowing and drifting snow.

Additionally, by Monday morning, temperatures will be near zero and wind chills will be much colder.  Monday’s highs will only be in the teens.

Since all of the pieces of the puzzle are in place, this is my only post today — unless something drastic and unforeseen happens.

Be safe and have a great weekend!

Anthony

P.S.  I’d like to thank my friends at the National Weather Service offices for the “Winter Storm Warning” base maps. 🙂