Posts Tagged ‘Whitney Houston’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 7

The weekend is here and I hope you have a great one.  In the Quad Cities, Gumbo Ya-Ya is taking place in the District of Rock Island.  While I’ve broadcasted weather live from the event, I’ve never actually gone to it.  So, this evening, I’ll be there an hour or so for work and then I may sample some of the culture and the food.

On Sunday,we’re heading to Chicagoland to celebrate Gretel’s birthday a month early.  Two years ago, we took her to the “Glee Live” concert.  This time it’s Ke$ha and Pitbull.  While I was the one that really wanted to go, Gretel was very excited about getting to see the show, too.

KE$HA & PITBULL IN CONCERT

Ke$ha Pitbull

While I know that Ke$ha is strange and her songs are auto-tuned to the max, she’s still fun to listen to and who doesn’t love someone that’s not afraid to let their freak flag fly.  Her current album, “Warrior” is amazing.

The reviews of the concert are really good.  From what I’ve read, Ke$ha comes out first and performs about 55 minutes and then Pitbull brings his Latin magic to the stage for about 75 minutes.

Ke$ha’s new song, “Crazy Kids” featuring will.i.am is currently racing up the chart and is already Top 30 at pop radio.

KAISER’S LAST  WALK

In a heartwarming show of respect last Friday in Massachusetts, several Plymouth Police Department personnel gathered outside an animal hospital to salute Kaiser, their 2.5-year-old K-9 companion, as he walked into the veterinarian clinic to be put down.
Remembering Kaiser

The German Shepherd was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure this March, but his health problems became too severe early last week for him to work and the decision was made to end his pain.

Kaiser was one of the youngest dogs to ever attend the training academy – at just 10 months old.  After finishing the four-month Patrol Dog Academy, he was certified in human tracking, criminal apprehension and evidence recovery and was assigned to Plymouth Police Officer Jamie LeBretton.

LeBretton posted this on the Plymouth Police K-9 unit’s Facebook page, “I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue.”

Rest in peace, Kaiser!

TRAIN WRECK AMANDA BYNES HAS CROSSED THE LINE

Troubled actress Amanda Bynes is giving people plenty to talk about and it has nothing to do with her acting!

Following her last arrest on May 23, 2013, she tweeted, “Don’t believe the reports about me being arrested. It’s all lies.  I was sexually harassed by one of the cops the night before last which is who then arrested me. He lied and said I threw a bong out the window when I opened the window for fresh air. Hilarious. He slapped my vagina.  Sexual harassment…The cops were creepy.”  Um, okay.

Amanda Bynes

And, then last weekend, she was upset with “People” magazine and posted this on Twitter with a gay slur.

Amanda Bynes

Before it was deleted, RuPaul got wind of it and had this come back.

RuPaul

Amanda, you need help, but let me give you some advice.  You should really watch your mouth, especially dropping that f-bomb because one thing you don’t want in your twisted little life is for the LGBT community to come down on you, especially a 7-foot tall drag queen (with heels and wig)!

RuPaul

You better work!

YUM!

I finally had the new Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita and it was pretty tasty.  And, the nice thing is that it’s only 199 calories.  While it has more calories than a glass of wine or a vodka/diet tonic, I would not want to have more than one or two of them at a time anyways.  It seems more like a cordial or a dessert drink to me.  Also, I bet it would fun to make my own variation of the drink for a party!

strawberrita

As many of you know, I love making fun drinks or having a vodka tonic or a glass or two of wine, so this cartoon is rather fitting for me. 🙂

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Forecast  Know it allHuman

PRIDE PROTEST SHAME

Last weekend was 6th annual Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  I’ve attended three of them now.  Two with Miss ABBA and this one with Ray and Gretel.  I hear the turnout on Saturday was phenomenal!  Thank you, Quad Cities!

We went on Sunday and it wasn’t as busy during the afternoon.  As many of you know, I’m very outspoken about matters that are true to my heart.  I believe in equality for all and I stand behind my convictions and I don’t hide.  What you get is what you see!

As we were leaving Pride, Ray pointed out the two protestors standing by the entrance/exit.  While thousands attended the Quad Cities Pride, two people took it upon themselves to let us know that we were sinners in God’s eyes.

Pride Protestor

If this is a relative of yours, I offer my apologies on several levels.  But, most of all, if you have the nerve to condemn people on God’s behalf, please have “pride” in yourself that you don’t hang your head in shame when someone takes your picture.  I know there are many people who believe as this man does.  On the other hand, I know there are many more people who are proud to stand up for the rights of their LGBT brothers and sisters.

Gretel, who turns 12 next month, asked, “What is he protesting?”  I told her, “he thinks God doesn’t want your two dads married”.  And, her response was priceless, “Why?”  I ♥ my little girl!

I can hear the angel Whitney Houston singing in my head, “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way”.  So, I’ll share it with you now.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

It’s been almost 16 months since the incredibly talented and beautiful Whitney Houston left us.  Her music still sounds as good today as it did when she blasted onto the music scene in 1985 with her first hit, “You Give Good Love”.  From that first Billboard Hot 100 hit that peaked at #3 to her last Top 40 appearance in 2001 (“The Star-Spangled Banner, #6), Whitney scored 30 Top 40 hits.  Of those, 24 reached the Top Ten, and eleven made it all the way to the top of the chart!

As a matter of fact, from 1985-1988, Whitney topped the Billboard Hot 100 with seven consecutive songs:  “Saving All My Love For You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.

In addition to those seven consecutive chart toppers, Whitney also reached the top with “I’m Your Baby Tonight”, “All The Man I Need”, I Will Always Love You”, and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”.

She also topped the Billboard Dance Chart fourteen times.

DONUT VODKA LAST YEAR AND NOW WHAT?

Last year at this time, I was anxiously awaiting the “Glazed Donut” vodka from 360 Vodka, which the company called the “irresistible taste of America’s most-popular donut.”  I wasn’t impressed when I bought it, so I need to try it again to see if I was wrong last summer.

Today, on National Donut Day, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering not only a free donut with the purchase of a beverage, but it’s also offering a new, relatively healthy breakfast (or I guess, anytime) treat, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich!

donut-sandwich

The company describes the 360 calorie, 20 fat grams sandwich this way, “The glazed donut is light and fluffy and gives you just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the lightly salted, smoked bacon, the texture and flavors marry together in a wonderful way. It’s a delicious bite of the perfect harmonization of sweet and savory flavors.”

So, would it be overkill to have this new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich and a 360 Vokda Glazed Donut cocktail for dinner tonight??? 🙂

Speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts, the chain’s Moline, Illinois, store on Avenue of the Cities that was struck by a hit and run stolen pickup truck almost three months ago is still closed.  And, it will remain that way indefinitely.  While I’m not a regular customer there, I thought it was rather odd that it has taken so long to re-open.  So, I did some investigating and no building permit has been requested from the Moline Building Division for the repair work.  Interesting!

I guess if I really want my free donut and to try this sandwich today, I’ll have to go to Davenport!

“THE WALKING DEAD”

While we’re still months away from the start of the fourth season of “The Walking Dead”, I got excited earlier this week when it was announced that season three arrives on DVD on August 27th!  Yes, I’m one of those people who don’t watch enough television to pay Mediacom’s outrageous prices for cable.

I can’t wait to see the third season because I hear it was fantastic.  And, yes, I’m aware that some of the main characters die since you can’t avoid spoilers these days, especially if you wait for shows to arrive on DVD.

The season 3 finale was watched by 12.4 million people making it the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), I’ll see you in less than three months!

“DEXTER”

While I love “The Walking Dead”, my favorite show is “Dexter”.  The final season begins June 30th on Showtime!

Dexter The Final Season

And, guess who graces the cover of my favorite magazine, “Entertainment Weekly’?

Dexter -EW-COVER

While my issue will arrive in the mail today, I already know part of what it says about season 8.  Since I don’t believe in spoiling things for others, in case you’re not caught up, here’s what I’ll let out of the bag.  According to “EW”, the final season picks up six months after the shocking season seven finale.  Debra has a new job and Dexter is desperate to get close to his sister again after the all of the turmoil she faced last season after she found out what Dexter is!

And, this sounds like an awesome new storyline:  “Enter Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a psychiatrist with a secret: Decades ago she helped Dexter’s father write the Code that he’s used to manage his psychotic impulses. Now she’s being stalked by a mysterious killer and wants Dex’s help.”

Ray and I just watched Season 7 and I have to say that it was my favorite season so far, but season one is very close!

Since I love ranking and grading pop culture, here goes:

Season 1: (A+)   — Three words:  Ice Truck Killer!  Plus, I love Sergeant Doakes (“Surprise Motherf***a”)!

Season 2: (B)  —   I gave it a higher grade for Doakes and a lower grade because of Lila (you gotta love Paris)!

Season 3: (B-) —  This season had so much potential especially when Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) saw Dexter kill someone early on, but the show lost its way for most of the season.

Season 4:  (A) —  The Trinity Killer & Rita taking a much deserved bath!

Season 5:  (B-) — Lumen got old fast, but having Jonny Lee Miller (Jordan Chase) on the show saved it from getting a “C”.  However, the story line was weak.

Season 6:  (A-)  —  The “Doomsday Killer” and the Book of Revelations killings were intriguing.   The “Nebraska” filler episode dropped the season back a partial grade.

Season 7:  (A+) — The dynamics of Dexter and Debra this season after she witnessed his kill at the end of season six were incredible.  Debra’s fragility of discovering what Dexter is and having to compromise her position with Miami Metro to save her brother was a powerful story to watch unfold.   And, it was fun seeing Dexter as the mouse in the “cat and mouse” game with his every move being watched by not only Debra, but also by Isaac Sirko and the Koshka Brotherhood (the Ukrainian based international crime syndicate).  If that wasn’t enough, he and Debra then had to come up with a strategic plan after Captain LaGuerta found evidence that Doakes wasn’t the “Bay Harbor Butcher” and she started investigating Dexter!

And, the icing on the cake, I finally got a Christmas “Dexter” episode!

RENT THIS!

If you’re looking for a movie to rent this weekend, I suggest “Silver Linings Playbooks” (A-), “The Life of Pi” (A), and “The Impossible” (A).

the-impossible

“The Impossible” is about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that struck many southeast Asia countries on December 26, 2004.  Indonesia was hardest hit with the most damage and casualties.  Around a quarter of a million people died.

This movie follows a British couple played by Naomi Watts (who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance) and Ewan McGregor and their three sons on a holiday vacation to Thailand.  After enjoying opening presents for Christmas, the movie moves on to their fight for survival during and after the waves hit their resort.

Watts’ performance was subtle, but very touching.  In a weaker Oscar race year, Tom Holland, who played the couple’s 12-year-old son, Lucas, would have have nominated.

The special effects of the tsunami and the aftermath of the raging water that turned land into an extension of the Indian Ocean were so realistic.

A must-see!

AND, TAKE A CHANCE ON THIS!

K-11

This was one of the craziest, but entertaining, movies I’ve seen in some time.

It’s the directorial debut of Hollywood veteran script supervisor Jules Stewart, the mother of the “Twilight” series star Kristin Stewart.  At one point, K-Stew was attached to the movie, but had to drop out because of a scheduling conflict.  Her brother, Cameron Stewart makes his acting debut as a prisoner.

The movie stars Goran Visnjic, of “ER” fame, as hard partying, boozer, and druggie music producer Raymond Saxx, Jr.  He ends up in jail one night after a blackout and then mistakenly (one guard bribing another is more accurate) gets taken to K-11, a part of the Los Angeles County Jail, that houses gay or transsexual inmates to keep them “safe” from the general jail population.

K-11 is a cesspool of drugs and bad behavior and is controlled by Mousey, a street wise transsexual inmate played by actress Kate De Castillo.  De Castillo is incredible.  It’s a case of Julie Andrew’s “Victor Victoria” gone bad.  A woman playing a man dressing as a woman.  I seriously thought that De Castillo was a man playing a woman or a transsexual.

The movie is violent and does have drug and rape scenes, so it may not be for the faint of heart.

GRADE:  B

OBSESSED WITH THIS VIDEO!

I love the latest song and video from singer and songwriter Hailey Rowe.  When I first saw the video, I loved it because it was fun and both Hailey and video “boyfriend”, actor Blake Peyrot, are so damn cute.  Now, I just can’t stop watching it.  And, the song was added to the playlists at stations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Palm Springs, California.  I think it would be so awesome for this song to take off at Top 40 radio this summer!

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

A mini-vacation sounds nice right now, but we don’t have any planned.

However, last year at this time, Ray, Gretel, Betty (“Mom”) and I spent the weekend at “Four Mounds”, a little getaway in Dubuque, Iowa, overlooking the Mississippi River.  They have a little cabin that we’ve rented several times.  We just relaxed, played cards, walked in the woods and along the River, and ate some good food like my favorite meal that Ray makes — chicken piccata.  That’s also the first meal he cooked for me and Miss ABBA in early 2009 when we met.

June 8 2012 Betty AP Ray Ray AP June 9 2012 Ray Gretel June 8 2012Chicken Piccata June 8 2012

Okay, that’s enough random thoughts.  You know I always welcome your thoughts on anything that I’m talking about or something totally off the subject.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

They Said What??? Cissy Houston, John McCain, & Ted Nugent

ROCKER TED NUGENT

(a gun rights activist to CNN’s Piers Morgan):  “Do you care about murders? Or do you only care about about murders with guns?  I don’t think you do. I think you care about guns. You’re obsessed with guns.”

MORE NUGENT

“99.99% of the gun owners of America are wonderful people that you are hanging around with here today. Perfectly safe. Perfectly harmless. Wonderful, loving, generous, giving, caring people. Would you leave us the hell alone? Go after the nut jobs, go after the murderers, because I don’t know any. We need to lock up the bad guys and when people show dangerous, murderous intent, which everyone one of these mass-murderers showed.”

ARIZONA SENATOR JOHN McCAIN

(in a Tweet than some in his party see as racist):  “So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week? “Iran launches monkey into space”

MORE McCAIN
(in response to the backlash): “Re: Iran space tweet – lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?”

BALTIMORE RAVEN BRENDON AYANBADEJO

“Everyone’s been talking to gay people their whole lives whether we know it or not. We really believe that you’re born gay. I’ve had plenty of conversations with people that are gay and they say they are born gay, no different than me being born this beautiful almond coconut color that I am. People are born gay. So why treat them any differently? It’s time that we treat everybody fairly.  And not only are we trying to dictate who should love, we’re also trying to dictate who people should be.  If a woman wants to wear a man’s clothes or if a man wants to wear a woman’s clothes or you feel like you’re a woman on the inside and you’re really a man. Who cares? Let’s just treat everybody equally. Let’s move on. Let’s evolve as a culture, as a people.”

POP SINGER JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

(at a New Orleans Super Bowl concert before singing his hit “Cry Me A River”):  “Sometimes in life, you think you found the one, but then one day you find out that she is just some bitch.”

MORE TIMBERLAKE

(clarifying that he wasn’t talking about his ex, Britney Spears, in a Tweet):  “Ok. I see you. Wouldn’t disrespect ANYONE personally. Ever. #Relax #ItsBritneyBitch I do love that saying though*with accent* #Respect.”

LIBBY PHELPS ALVAREZ

(granddaughter of Fred Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church.  She left the church four years ago):  “They think that they are the only ones who are going to heaven and if you don’t go to that church you’re going to hell.  There was a point when we started praying for people to die.  I didn’t actually do that but I was around when they did it.”

SINGER CISSY HOUSTON

(about getting an invitation to Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party where he was going to have a tribute to her daughter, Whitney):  “[It’s] the most obscene thing. I don’t know why they would want me to come to the party in which she died, you know? Unheard of.”

Anthony

Whitney Houston’s Mother & Her Conditional Love

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a year since the world was shocked by the death of pop songstress Whitney Houston.

Whitney

On February 11, 2012, the 48-year-old singer was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, one day before the Grammy Awards.  The autopsy showed that she drowned in the bathtub and subsequent toxicology reports attribute that to heart disease due to chronic cocaine use.  That is old news and heaven is now blessed with her angelic voice.

What disturbs me and prompted today’s blog is a revelation that Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, makes in her new book, “Remembering Whitney”, that was released yesterday.

Remembering Whitney

In the book, she talks about Whitney singing in the church choir, becoming a superstar, her struggles with fame, her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, and the drug use that ended her life.

Anyone who was a fan of Whitney knew about all of that.  What some people might not have known about were the gay rumors that dogged the pop star back in the late-1980s.  There was always gossip that Whitney’s relationship with her personal assistant, Robyn Crawford, was more intimate than just working together.

Whitney Robyn

In her book, Whitney’s mother writes, “I knew I didn’t want Robyn around my daughter, and I told [Whitney] that. There wasn’t much I could do though. [Whitney] liked Robyn. She was past the age when I could forbid her from seeing someone. Kids have a mind of their own when they get older. They want to experiment with all kinds of things. And I don’t know if it was more than that.”

Recently, Cissy sat down with Oprah Winfrey.  Oprah read that excerpt and asked Cissy, “Would it have bothered you if your daughter, Whitney, was gay?” and she replied,  “Absolutely.”

Cissy went on to say that she would not have liked it at all.

When I hear that, I try to be objective.  Cissy Houston is 79-years-old and religion and gospel music play an integral role in her life.

However, it really disturbs me that a parent could not or would not accept their son or daughter for who they are.

I’m sure there are some people who know if Whitney and Robyn had more than a professional relationship.  But, who’s to say what would have become of Whitney if she were a lesbian or bisexual.  If she and Robyn had become an open couple, she might not have ever dated and married Bobby Brown and she may not have gone down the road of destruction with drugs.  But, then again, she might have anyways.  That’s all speculation.

I’ve always found it very disheartening, and even more so now that I’m a dad, that there are parents who do not accept and love their children unconditionally if they knew or suspected that he or she were LGBT.  I’m not sure if religion is the reason that Cissy would have found it upsetting if her daughter was gay or if there were other reasons.

All I know is that my God, the one I pray to each night, loved Whitney for what she was, his child — straight, gay, or anything in between.  And, he’s happy to have her with him now.

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