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Random Friday Thoughts – June 13, 2014

Happy Friday and Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there.

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts this week and have a great weekend!


It’s been almost two weeks since two-time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill (“This Is The End”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and “Moneyball”) screamed out a homophobic remark to the paparazzi that was hounding and berating him in a Los Angeles neighborhood near Hollywood.

He quickly went into damage control mode expressing how disgusted he was with himself because that’s not how he really feels and that he’s always been very supportive of the LGBT community.

While he’s a solid actor, I can’t say that I’m a fan.  On the other hand, I don’t dislike him.

I feel he’s genuinely sincere with his apology.  However, if he was really pushed into lashing out, he could have still said, “Suck my d***” without the derogatory f-word that precipitated this whole apology tour.

When I’m mad, I may use choice words, but they definitely don’t start with “F” or “N”, because those words are not part of my daily vocabulary and shouldn’t be a part of anyone’s!


I met country music superstar Brad Paisley back in 2001 in Canfield, Ohio, when he was just starting out and was promoting his second album.  (That’s a much younger me in the middle with the microphone).

Interviewing Brad Paisley 2001

At the time, he was new to business and came across as rather shy.  Now, he’s very outgoing and outspoken.

Here’s how he handled the Westboro Baptist cult outside his show in the Kansas City, Missouri, area back on June 1st.

Brad Paisley WBC

He took a selfie with the group that was protesting him and said that they’d “play loud” enough that night for the group to hear outside.



At this point, I might as well feature Brad as my weekly country music pick of the songs and artists that I’ve loved or admired when I listened to country music.

Brad first hit the chart in 1999 when “Who Needs Pictures” peaked at #12.  The follow-up, “He Didn’t Have To Be” topped the chart in December of that year.

In all, he’s had 37 hits on the Billboard Country chart with 30 of them reaching the Top Ten.  Of those, 18 have reached #1.  As a matter of fact, he had an amazing run from 2005-2009 with ten consecutive number one hits on the charts!

While I love, “He Didn’t Have To Be”, “We Danced”, and “When I Get Where I’m Going” with Dolly Parton, my pick hit today is convenient.  “Celebrity” reached #3 in 2003.

Brad has sold more than 12 million albums, picked up three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 14 Country Music Association Awards.


Hugh Jackman from Sunday night’s “Tony Awards” broadcast:  “There’s the amazing Neil Patrick Harris, nominated for Hedwig.  He is a legendary four-time Tony host.  But, Angela Lansbury has hosted five times. So, Neil is right behind her and I was right behind him, which is still illegal in 13 states.”

Hugh Jackman

Disclaimer:  That picture of Hugh Jackman has nothing to do with the Tony Awards.  Oh well….


It’s now June and I’ve only gone to the movies once this year.  I saw “August:  Osage County” back in January.

I still want to see “Godzilla” on the big screen and I’ll wait to see “Neighbors” on DVD.  Other than that, there’s nothing out there or coming out anytime soon that I can’t wait for to watch at home.

The next movie I anticipate seeing is “The Hundred-Foot Journey” with Academy Award winner Helen Mirren (“The Queen”, 2006, Best Actress).

The movie is co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey and is directed by Lasse Hallstrom (“Chocolat”, “The Cider House Rules”, and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”).

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” opens August 8th.


This fall, music and screen icon, Cher, will be making another stop in the Quad Cities on October 22nd with her “Dressed To Kill Tour”.  Pat Benatar is opening for her.

Cher 2014 311

I saw her last Friday night in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Cyndi Lauper opening for her.  The show, from the costumes, the sets, the choreography, and Cher’s humor and voice, was amazing.

I saw Cher and Cyndi back in 2002 in Chicago on “The Farewell Tour” and the “Dressed To Kill Tour” was much better and more entertaining.


Ryan Lewis is part of the biggest act that has hit pop and rap music in the past few years.  He’s the good-looking half of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

But, could you pick him out a crowd?  Obviously, New Yorkers couldn’t.  Lewis is so funny in this clip from “The Tonight Show”.


I got really excited when I saw that Chips Ahoy had birthday frosting and Oreo creme filled cookies.

Chips Ahoy Filled Cookies

I wasn’t impressed.  I think the cookies would have been much better if they were crunchy Chips Ahoy with the creme frosting filling.  I’ll save my 75 calories per small cookie for something more rewarding.


Swedish music producer and DJ Avicii has produced songs for some of the biggest names in music — Madonna, Coldplay, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Daft Punk, Robyn, and many more.

He even scored his first hit album with himself as the star.  “True” debuted at #5 in the U.S. last fall and was one of my favorite albums of 2013.

The first two songs from that album have made a big impact on Top 40 radio in America and both have topped the Billboard Dance chart.

“Wake Me Up” reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013 and was downloaded more than 4 million times.  The follow-up, “Hey Brother”, peaked at #16 on the Hot 100.

His new song, “Addicted To You”, has already topped the Billboard Dance chart and is now racing up the Top 40 radio chart.

Warning:  the video does include shots of butts!


It seems that she is hard at work on her 13th studio album.  While there is no release date set, it appears that she’s working with Avicii,  the English duo Disclosure (who’s scoring big on American radio right now with their Top 15 hit, “Latch”), American DJ and producer Diplo, and English singer/actress Natalia Kills.

I really thought that Natalia Kills would have been big in the U.S. in the wake of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.  However, that didn’t happen even with on her side.

But, “Wonderland” is still one of my favorite songs and videos.  Warning — it’s disturbing.


Have a splendid weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts this week!



Random Thoughts 2012 Recap, Part Three

Okay, new blogs start tomorrow.  This is my final installment of the recaps of my “random” blogs from 2012.  Those are the ones where I talked about multiple topics in one blog.  Basically, it was whatever was on my mind that day!  To read the individual blogs from this fall, I’ve made it easy.  Just click on the title once you’ve opened today’s blog.

September 15, 2012

In this blog, I covered Osama bin Laden, 9/11, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Argo”, “Lincoln”, freaky fish, Asian carp, bananas, and marriage equality.

I’m Having More Random Thoughts

September 27, 2012

My random thoughts on this day included Ohio and the presidential election, heavy rain expected in Houston for my vacation, our fish pond and raccoons, “The Impossible”, Christmas, Reba and “Malibu Country”, “The New Normal”, “Elementary”, and new music from Calvin Harris.

A Buffet of Thoughts — A Little of This & That

November 10, 2012

In this blog, I put the elections into perspective and behind me and I covered the top-selling artists in English music history, how many people believe in God, Christmas cards, and featured new music from Reba McEntire.

My Early November Random Thoughts

November 15, 2012

In this blog, I talked about Channing Tatum being named the “Sexiest Man Alive”, Christmas, Christmas music from Rod Stewart and Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.  Also, I blogged about “The Campaign” and “Arthur Christmas”, bigotry, Madonna, and PSY.

I’m Thinking About Christmas & Much More Today

December 6, 2012

Christmas was on my mind in this blog, along with human rights, Hillary Clinton, the lack of snow, my sister, Tammy, Shania Twain in Las Vegas, Britney Spears and, Christmas decorating, Ke$ha, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and “Love Actually”.

Random December Thoughts

December 15, 2012

And, finally, Christmas, “Dexter”, marriage equality, killing camels, ice, snow, winter, and the fish pond were on my mind in my last random blog of the year.

I’m Having More Random December Thoughts


Random December Thoughts

Holy blinking lights, Batman, can you believe there’s only 25 days left in December?  Where has this year gone?  By now, you’re probably making your list and checking it twice and trying to figure out who’s been naughty or nice, how you’re going to get everything done, and how you’re going to pay for everything!  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and if you celebrate a different holiday this time of the year, I hope you have a happy one.

Today, I’m just talking about random things that are on my mind.


I want to begin with a heartwarming comment that my political idol made one year ago today.  While addressing the United Nations Human Right Council in Geneva, Switzerland, in front of a crowd that included some anti-gay leaders from around the world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and I hope, the 2016 U.S. President) said:  “It should never be a crime to be gay” and “Gay rights are human rights.”  And, she said this:



What a way to start the month of December with temperatures averaging 16.1° above where they should be this time of the year.  In the Quad Cities, highs for the first four days of December were 61°, 59°, 69°, and 60°.  While I do love snow, I’m selfishly hoping that there will be no big winter storms over the eastern half of the country on December 18th and 19th (as we head to Chicago and then New Orleans for our 4-day Christmas cruise) and then on the 24th as we travel back to the Quad Cities from New Orleans.  A big snow late on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day would be fine with me.

Sunday Evening

A couple of days ago, I blogged that we had the possibility of a seeing a sticking snow Sunday evening or Sunday night.  While it doesn’t look very impressive now, we could still see a dusting of snow.  The best chance will be from the Quad Cities northward.  This map is for Sunday evening and it definitely shows snow chances, but as you know with weather, it could change again.  I’ll keep my eyes on it!


In January, if the cold air really settles in, this is something that I going to try to decorate the sidewalks!



God, please don’t let me jinx her.  I say that because I posted on Facebook late last January that Miss ABBA was doing well and then she took a turn for the worse and went to “puppy heaven” the following week.  But, here goes.  It was one year ago today that my sister, Tammy, had a heart attack and we almost lost her.  (She also had a near heart attack the previous December in Tennessee, too!)

She’s doing well, except that she never stopped smoking and she was told to stop.  Bad Tammy!

I’m so happy that she’s in the Quad Cities and that she’s going on the cruise with us.  Here’s to another great year ahead, my sister!  I love you!


Canadian country music star Shania Twain last weekend opened her two-year stay, “Still The One”, at Caesar’s Palace’s Colosseum Palace in Las Vegas.  To promote the event in mid-November, the city shut down the Strip for a short time for Shania’s arrival on a horse.


This is Shania’s first concert tour in eight years!  Billboard magazine reports that she performed a  90-minute set of 18 songs, including many of her biggest hits.

Although she didn’t perform that 1993 song in her Vegas concert opening weekend, it introduced me to Shania Twain and it’s still one of my favorites.  In the U.S., “What Made You Say That” only reached #55 on the country chart from  her first album that went pretty much unnoticed.

However, with the albums, “The Woman In Me” (sales of 20 million worldwide) “Come On Over” (sales of 40 million worldwide), and “Up” (sales of 20 million worldwide), Shania ruled both the country and pop charts from 1995 to 2004.


Billboard Magazine reports that Shania performed six of her seven #1 country songs in the concert.  The only one she didn’t perform was “Love Gets Me Every Time” from 1997.  On the country charts, Shania has had 28 Top  40 songs.  Of those, 15 have reached the Top Ten.  Her last Top Ten hit on the country chart in America was “Party of Two” with Billy Currington.  It reached #7 on Christmas Day, 2004.


Same Sex Parent


This past Sunday was Britney Spears’ 31st birthday!  Happy birthday, Britney.  And, what a way to celebrate.  She’s engaged to Jason Trawick, earning $15 million a year as a co-host on “The X-Factor”, and she debuted this week at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 with on “Scream and Shout”, her fourth highest debut ever on the chart.


In its first week out, it was the most downloaded song in America (196,000).  I just love her.

Oh, Happy Birthday to Bette Midler, too.  Her birthday was December 1st.


After losing the Facebook poll debate over icicles or not on the big Christmas tree in the living room, Gretel and I did not accept defeat! 🙂  The big tree is still icicle-free.

New Tree Pic

However, with a gift card we had, plus an addition $12, we added another tree to the living room with icicles. 🙂


And, we got a new seasonal flag for the front yard in memory of Miss ABBA.




Okay, I’m not Catholic.  But, I want to confess.  I would never want to see Ke$ha in concert.  Unless all of her concert is pre-recorded and she lip syncs, I want no part of her singing live.  I adore Lady Gaga and I think she is the neatest thing ever.  There are times that I think Ke$ha is just a Lady Gaga-wannabe with her bizarre and uneven television appearances.

I remember watching her on “Saturday Night Live” and her first performance “Tik Tok” was painful to watch and then I was blown away by the craziness of “Your Love Is My Drug”.


And, then her performance a few weeks ago of “Die Young” on the “American Music Awards” prompted me to post this on my Facebook page:  “Ke$ha = Worst.Performer.Ever!  Shouldn’t her 15 minutes of fame ended years ago??  Thank God for Auto-Tune and DJs that remix her songs to make them fun and listenable!”

You can read that two ways.  I don’t like Ke$ha or I do like her overproduced and computerized final product.  It’s the latter.  I broke down and bought her new album “Warrior” that came out Tuesday!  There are many fun, upbeat songs on it and she is a creative story-teller.

I already know that I’ll have to fast forward past her duet with Iggy Pop called “Dirty Love” after a couple of listens.  It sounds dreadful, even with the awesome Iggy Pop line, “Santorum did it in a v-neck sweater”!

santorum vest

So, I may live to regret buying “Warrior”.  I also bought, “I Am The Dance Commander + I Command You To Dance:  The Remix Album” because I love dance remixes and it has all six of Ke$ha’s Top Ten solo hits prior to “Die Young”, the most played song in the U.S. right now.

Ke$ha Dance Commander

Seriously, if Ke$ha really brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack, paid a gardener five dollars to sneak under Prince’s fence to leave a demo tape, AND she threw up in Paris Hilton’s closet, I think I deserve to give her a chance.  She sounds like a freak and is “too kool for skool” [sic]!

And, two years ago, Ke$ha released “We R Who We R”, after a rash of bullying episodes led to several gay youth suicides.  Ke$ha hoped the song would inspire pride in those that saw themselves as quirky or eccentric and to just be themselves.

Ke$ha, let that freak flag fly!


Homosexuality Sinful



I do.  I never watched “Third Rock From The Sun”, so I didn’t pay that much attention to Joseph Gordon-Levitt years ago.

That changed when I saw him in 1998’s “Halloween H20”.  After that, he appeared in one of my favorite movies of all time, 2003’s “Latter Days”.   I’ve also checked out his movies, “Mysterious Skin” (2004), “Inception (2010), “50/50” (2011), and this year’s “Lincoln”.

I still want to see him in “(500) Days of Summer”, “G.I. Joe:  The Rise of Cobra”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, and “Looper”.

What you may or may not know is that he’s also a musician.  Check out this awesome performance of “Bad Romance”.  Warning:  He does swear at the beginning of the song.


Love Actually

Although this hugely successful ($247.9 million) British romantic comedy/Christmas movie was released in 2003, Ray and I just checked it out for the first time a few weeks ago and it was quite enjoyable.  It features an all-star cast:  Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Keira Knightly.

It also starred a very dapper and sexy Hugh Grant as the new Prime Minister, who may or may not find love at Christmastime, and a crazy, funny, and amazing Bill Nighy as a washed up rock star unhappily reworking one of his old hits to benefit on the Christmas music cash cow.

My favorite story line involved Liam Neeson as a grieving husband, who just lost his wife, and his relationship with his young stepson, Sam, who was madly in love!

While most of the movie was a downer, it was had enough fun and quirkiness to keep it from being totally maudlin (including a porn movie storyline!).

“Love Actually”  had a big surprise in store for me and I’m letting it out of the bag since most of you have probably already seen the movie  — a very young, sexy, and adorable Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes of “The Walking Dead”)!  Okay, what I thought might have been a gay storyline involving his character turned out to be more borderline creepy!





Happy Holidays!  I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts!  What are yours?


She’s Back To Scream & Shout And Let It Out!

Happy Friday everyone.  I hope you have great plans for the weekend.  Have fun!

With Thanksgiving and traveling to Fort Dodge, Iowa, last week and weekend, and then coming home to decorate for Christmas, it seems we haven’t had any down time.  My unemployed  life doesn’t count!  However, we’re going to chill out this weekend and watch movies and season three episodes of “Fringe”.

As I’ll do each Friday in December and January, I re-posted a ’80s Flashback earlier for those that new to my blog or missed them back in the spring and summer.  But, I want to share a new video that is fun.

You know I love Britney, but I have no desire to watch “The X-Factor”.  I saw her in concert in July 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the “Femme Fatale” tour and I knew she wouldn’t have a new album this year.


But, she’s back — as a guest.


Britney and The Black Eyed Peas’ are racing up the charts with “Scream & Shout”, from his new album, #willpower, due in early 2013.  Actually, this is the fifth single from the unreleased album!!!  The first was released last November and you can probably guess, none of them have done well on the charts.  However, this time, he has star power.  “It’s Britney, bitch”.  (Note:  The “s-word” is in the video if you’re watching it at work or in front of little ones!)

This isn’t the first time that Britney has worked with  He appeared on “Big Fat Bass” from her “Femme Fatale” album and appeared on tour with her via video!  This was shot by a fan at the concert I was at.

And, here is a fun and exciting video to the song by a very sexy Aaron Milo and Daniel Skelton, actors in “Eating Out: Drama Camp” and “Eating Out:  The Open Weekend”.  I love this version. (Aaron is originally from Rockford, Illinois).