Yes, I've been out of the loop for the past few days. But my hours were filled with cleaning floors, landscaping and staging - all in preparation to sell a house. But I'm back now with much to say. My only challenge will be finding the time to post as this week is starting off with a bang! So check back to see what's on my mind for this end of May, first week of June!
She was barely on the show for three weeks. But after seeing her chemistry with the judges panel and crowd first hand last week at the Chicago auditions, I'm not surprised Cheryl Cole is being replaced by co-host Nicole Scherzinger for the US version of X Factor. Not only was there a disconnect with Paula, Cherly just didn't seem comfortable. All of which means will Steve Jones host solo or will the network find a replacement for Nicole?
Shaved 4 Summer
Kat Graham Gets a Remix
If you watch The Vampire Diaries, you are familiar with Kat Graham as she plays Bonnie the witch. But did you know she's also a singer trying to break through into the pop world? It's a bit tough, but with dance remixes like the tribalesque remix of I Want It All by Bruno Knauer, things could quickly turn around. Check out the song below. And if you want to DOWNLOAD it, apparently it's a free for all!
Oprah Says Goodbye
Today, Oprah said goodbye. Not in the glorious ways of the past two days (or really the past year), but rather an intimate affair with an audience dressed like an Easter parade. It was a bit scripted and preachy for my taste, but she will be missed. Just when I get irritated by her antics, she does something that brings her back down to Earth. If anything, it's most amazing to see where she began, and where she is today. Quite the journey. So Oprah, you've done good.
Matter of Time
Jim Daly of the global Christian ministry Focus on the Family admitted that his side has "probably lost" the fight against gay marriage.
"We're losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don't know if that's going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We've probably lost that. I don't want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture."
"We've got to look at what God is doing in all of this…Have we done such a poor job with marriage, is He so upset with our mishandling of it in the Christian community, along with our lust of the flesh as a nation, that He is handing us over to this polygamy and same-sex situation in order to, perhaps, drive the Christian community, the remnant, into saying, 'OK, there's no no-fault divorce in our church?'"
Within the gay community, most of think it's just a matter of time. Sadly, it can't come fast enough. But it's not always the hare that wins the race.
Gaga on Letterman
If you have 15 minutes of free time, check out the Gaga on The Late Show with David Letterman last night. At times, she has crazy eyes, but her comic timing is quite good. And David Letterman knows how to play off her schtick. Check it the Perez Hilton video below.
Muppets and Turkey
It takes a bit too long to get to the "punch," but I'm excited to see Kermit and the gang none-the-less. Check out the latest trailer for the new Muppets movie hitting theaters this Thanksgiving.
Lady Gaga's Born This Way Reviews
If you're like me, and wondering how Lady Gaga's Born This Way was being reviewed, take a look below at a splattering of mostly positive opinions.
Rolling Stone: What makes Born This Way so disarmingly great is how warm and humane Gaga sounds. There isn’t a subtle moment on the album, but even at its nuttiest, the music is full of wide-awake emotional details. The friendliest cut is ‘Yoü & I,’ her love song to a ‘cool Nebraska guy.’ She has been playing it live for a while, but who knew she would let Mutt Lange put ‘We Will Rock You’ drums all over it? Or bring in Queen’s Brian May to play guitar?”
USA Today: On Gaga’s new album, Born This Way (**½ out of four), out Monday, it’s not always easy to distinguish between her creative ambition and her desire to simply sustain and milk our fascination.
BBC Music: “This is not quite the revolution, and certainly not the greatest album ever made. It’s a storming collection of high-concept pop brilliance designed to soundtrack every preposterously tremendous Gaga moment for the next 18 months. If there’s a gripe to be had, it’s regarding the length: At an hour long, Born This Way initially feels more like an assault than an event, and it could easily lose a couple of tracks. However, if she is planning on releasing nine singles from it, then nobody can come away feeling ripped off.”
Chicago Sun Times: The album isn’t so much an album as “an hour-long playlist of proposed new singles” says Born This Way beats us “about the head with the kind of bombastic, over-reaching production we’re used to from Elton John, Guns ’N Roses or especially Bonnie Tyler.”
NPR: “It’s a sign of how thoroughly politics and entertainment have merged (not that they were ever anything but inseparable) that the most powerful protest singer of our time is also our most commercially successful young star. Find Lady Gaga vapid at your own risk: On her just-leaked new album, Born This Way, she engages with and seeks to define the cultural conversation in ways that remind me of similar moves made by Bob Dylan circa 1963…for Gaga, the cause is gender equality, and her engines rev up on the dance floor, where gay and straight people alike (and often together) have historically opened themselves up to new forms of love, sensual pleasure, individual dignity and communal pride.”
MTV: “But above all, Born This Way succeeds because it is almost always interesting. Politics aside, this is a sonic smorgasbord, packed with forward-thinking rhythms (the eternally building strut of ‘Schiße,’ the icy synths of ‘Bloody Mary,’ the gnarly electro-guitars of “Bad Kids,” the pulsing pump of ‘Heavy Metal Lover’) that make it the most compelling pop album in recent memory. Even at its most indulgent, it’s still undeniably real.”
I'm personally loving the album - especially the track Edge of Glory (having awoken to singing it at 3:41 a.m. today). There's something about that Clarence Clemons sax that just takes me back.
Overshadowed by Neil Diamond
Finding Chris Powell
Last night, while out and about in Chicago, my friend Randy asked me if I had seen the host, "...of that new weight loss show on ABC." "Nope," I replied. He suggested I look for him when I got home. So today, I went looking for this man of mystery. Turns out his name is Chris Powell. And according to ABC's show WEBSITE, "Chris exploded onto the fitness scene with his unorthodox approach." After seeing his photo, I'm thinking it also had something to do with his good looks. However, as handsome as he may be, he's still no match for the #1 fitness hottie on TV, Jessie Pavelka (host of Lifetime's Diet Tribe.
What a Hold!
A Wink from Simon
Today I met Paula and Simon. Yes, our seats at X Factor were close enough that I got to shake their hands as they entered the arena (5th row, stage right). And upon his return from a bathroom break, Simon winked at me as he took his seat. So look for us next fall on Fox. Because based on today's talent, it will be more fun to play, "Where's Dave" than listen to the singers (unless the other three audition times produced Beyonce-like wailings).
PTT Reviews Gaga
Of course, being able to download and listen to Lady Gaga's new release, Born This Way, in its entirety would be illegal. But let's say if I had heard the album, I might just write that it's quite good.
Sure, my expectations are low considering the promo releases, such as Judas, were train wrecks. But if I had snuck a peek, I'd add the anthemic dance tracks are probably some of the weakest. And the disco stick Gaga from Just Dance days isn't completely gone - making an appearance on Americano and a few others. But what would surprise me the most, if I had the opportunity to be one of the first to listen to Born This Way, is how much I love Scheiße. Its Eastern European vibe is one of my favorites.
Now the question is will Lady Gaga sell 1MM copies? I doubt it. But she should push around 500M. I might go higher but the Judas, perhaps, has scared some away. And no amount of Hair will get them back.
Pink Trash Travels 2: The Doctor
Turning 40 hasn't hit me hard. But today, when updating my patient information at the doctor, for some reason writing "40" wasn't easy to do. Perhaps it's because I was having a physical - addressing my mortality. That, and riding up in an elevator with an old man didn't help (as it made me think one day I'll be that old with nobody giving me a second look).
Not only that, for the first time, the doctor checked my prostate. So in addition to coughing, I was asked to bend over. Let's just say I didn't jump for joy.
Sexy (and No it's Not Porn)
I'm not sure how this video link showed up on my iPhone, but it did. After I watched it, of course I had to share the video for Gregg Homme underwear. Not only is the model hot, but it's something we all think about. Well, at least some of us. I've never used a web cam. Maybe I should start?
PS - And yes there's a sequel. Look for it soon!
It's been too long since I've featured Club One on PTT. So when I heard a new version of Brit's World track, one that's boasts bangin' beats and electro sounds, I had to not only find the mix, but who did the production and a link as well. It wasn't easy as my LR2 doesn't feature extended text display on Sirius, but with the help of Twitter, I located the track. Wanna listen? Go HERE.
Fighting 4 Marriage Equality in NY
AFER attorney Ted Olson and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have penned a joint opinion piece in the New York Daily News. Their article argues that civil unions are not a substitute for marriage equality. Best bits include:
"In New York, there are more than 1,300 state rights and responsibilities that come with a marriage license. From spousal inheritance rights to the ability to file joint tax returns to child custody rules to the transferring of workers' compensation benefits, the scope of marriage-related law is expansive. Some are fundamental, others mundane - but all serve to underscore how deeply interwoven New York's marriage laws are and how extraordinarily they reach into the lives of countless people...
...A civil union is not a marriage, nor is it an adequate substitute for one. To suggest otherwise is a cruel fiction. Even if all of the inherent confusion and complexities could be resolved and civil unions could somehow provide couples with the same rights and responsibilities of a true marriage, the separation of the two institutions creates a badge of inferiority that forever stigmatizes the relationships of committed same-sex couples as different, separate, unequal and less worthy."
Logo's The A List: Dallas Announced
Looks like Logo's The A List: Dallas has at least has one up on their counterparts in NY - there's more than one attractive fellow in the bunch. Hopefully they won't all be stereotypes (though I'm guessing at least one will sashay his way through every episode). Check out an article on the show HERE.
Lady Gaga's Hair
Lady Gaga today released another track from her upcoming LP Born This Way. All part of a promotions blitz, the track seems to be modeled after the Max Martin/Katy Perry formula (good) - but with terrible lyrics (bad). With each passing day, the album gets less appealing and morphs into a bit of a disappointment. Take a listen below and judge for yourself.
You ring up your own groceries at the superstore, so why not your Big Macs? While living in Europe, I never tried one of McDonald's new kiosks, but it looks like they must have been a SUCCESS.
I've seen this video on FB links before, but was afraid to click on it as it seems every link on FB lately is a virus. But today, I found my way safely to YouTube to check out "the talking dog." Cute.
Talking Brides and Their Maids
Speaking of Bridesmaids, as we drove to the movie, we had a discussion about the title. We wondered if it was Bridesmaids or Bridemaids? Because aren't the maids tied to just one Bride? Not multiple brides? So shouldn't it be Bridemaids?
PTT Quickly Review Bridesmaids
I've been excited to see Bridesmaids for a few weeks now. The comedic genius that is Kristen Wiig was the biggest draw. So there were some expectations set before seeing the film today. All of which means I was a bit disappointed, but still happy about the end result.
The film is loaded with some golden moments, but is downgraded because of some of the dead space that fills the gaps. After all, does a comedy need to be 2:05 long? If execs would have cut the film by 15-20, it's pace would have been better (all of which makes sense after watching THIS clip about the difficulties of scene selections).
Of course, you'll appreciate Kristen Wiig. But look out for Melissa McCarthy. She comes close to stealing the show.
Nicole on X Factor
Nicole Scherzinger is ready to take over America! With her singles doing well in the UK, she's finally getting traction stateside. This week, it's been announced she'll be singing her new single, Right Here with 50 Cent on American Idol. Check out the vide to Right Here below.
PS - If she's performing Thursday night in LA, she'd better find her way back to Chicago Friday for the X Factor auditions (as I'll be there live and in person and I expect her to be in attendance).
Azerbaijan Wins 2011 Eurovision Song Contest!
Azerbaijan, represented by Ell and Nikki and their song, Running Scared, gathered 221 points followed by Raphael Gualazzi from Italy with 189 points and Sweden's Eric Saade who collected 185. In my opinion, Saade should have won with his melodic and Lady Gaga inspired song, Popular. Check out the winning song below followed by second and third place.
We've tried to see Bridesmaids now both Friday and Saturday night. But unfortunately, the good seats were sold. So we're going tomorrow afternoon, Sunday. From what I hear, it's funny - someone quoted as saying, "My face hurts" (in regards to laughing of course).
All of which adds up to about a $23M opening weekend for the gal pal flick which was only expected to reach mid teens. So congratulations, it seems, will be in order for Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and their counterparts for a job well done come Sunday evening.
Ashton's In? Charlie's Out?
A & F and 100 Guys in Paris
For some reason, Blogger has been down since Wednesday. So I can honestly say it's the first time PTT has gone dark for two full days, without a post. And I've had much to share! All of which made me think about jumping to WordPress. Then again, that opens up another whole can of worms. And right now, there's no need to start a worm farm. So I'll keep with Blogger until it happens again. Then, that farm may see the light of day.
If you look to the right, you'll notice Dorothy's introduction of, "And now a word from our sponsors." I relocated the advertising to a more prominent position once Google AdSense illustrated how lucrative the space could be. Not that I write this blog for money, but it sure doesn't hurt. After all, summer is around the corner and I need some new duds.
Dorothy Would Like You 2 Know...
As you'll see (if you look to the right), the advertisements have now been relocated to a more prominent location on the blog. I realized that "click throughs" can be quite lucrative. So, now Dorothy (or Dot) introduces you to the sponsor content - up front and prominent. Feel free to visit any of the ads created by Google AdSense. I've never written the blog for money, but if readership can buy me some new duds, I'm all for it. After all, summer is just around the corner! (Though if ads like IT Tech continue to pop-up, I'll be wearing shorts from 2010!)
First Ads. Now Comments.
I received an email today noting that "I ask a lot of questions but don't allow for any comments." As I wrote back, "The questions are mostly there to stimulate thought vs. conversation." That, and because when readers were allowed to comment, it seemed there was nothing but SPAM. So, in the spirit of conversation, I'll give it another go. So if you read something, and want to leave a comment, feel free to do so by clicking the small icon at the end of each post. Now go ahead and share your thoughts!
It's truly amazing that so much energy is devoted to ensuring the rights of gays and lesbians are kept at bay. Everyday, it seems a group has decided to attack the rights of this community instead of focusing their energy on other social issues needing attention. When will they realize they're fighting an uphill battle that there bound to lose?
"Peaing" in Andersonville
Tonight, for the first time, it hailed in Andersonville. Perhaps it has before, but not in the two years we've lived here. So there I stood, staring out into the backyard, as the pea-sized pellets fell from the sky. "Just like back home in Kansas," I thought. But this time, we weren't scared of a tornado sweeping us away and dumping us on a wicked witch.
Come on Steven!
PTT Discusses Gaga
You know it was bound to happen. Gaga has jumped the shark. I blame her efforts to constantly outdo herself. As a result, her latest single Edge of Glory sounds like a mash-up of Cher's Song for the Lonely and anything Max Martin produced for Kelly Clarkson. Combine this with the mess that was Judas and you can see why Gaga's album isn't quite living up to her description as it being the "Album of the Decade." All of which is unfortunate because I really wanted her to succeed. I did, after all, discover her in 2008. Yes, I take credit for the Haus of Gaga.
Mark, Patrick is Waiting
Changes Set 4 McD Restaurants
Have you heard that McDonald's is planning a $1 billion-plus store-by-store makeover? Are you curious about what's changing? As the burger giant helps to support our lifestyle, I feel as though you should know (so you can continue spending money with the House of Ronald). Here's what's expected to change:
Redoing roofs. The bright red roofs that have topped McDonald’s for several decades are getting the heave, replaced with flatter, more conventional roofs.
Muting paint. The neon yellows and reds common to the interiors and exteriors are becoming history, replaced with much more subtle oranges, reds, yellows and even greens.
Nixing fiberglass. The familiar fiberglass tables that have been a mainstay are being replaced mostly by wood.
Updating chairs. Those industrial steel chairs are giving way to wooden chairs, colorful stools and, in some cases, vinyl-covered chairs that resemble leather. Some stores will have larger lounge chairs similar to the kind you might expect to find in a coffee shop.
Doubling drive-throughs. To ease lines inside and outside stores, many locations are adding second drive-through windows to speed up service.
Splashing color. McDonald’s hasn’t junked its familiar red and yellow colors altogether, but it is making them far less obvious. Instead of filling the restaurants with them, it’s splashing bright yellow and red here and there for effect.
Junking the fluorescent look. Overhead fluorescent lights are being replaced with more contemporary lamps that make the lighting in stores look less like that of offices.
Dividing dining areas. The sea of tables and chairs is history in the remodeled stores. The new dining rooms are divided into separate eating zones for larger groups, eat-and-run customers and folks who want to stay and lounge.
Adding flat-screens TVs. Large, flat-screen TVs — some playing contemporary music — are showing up in many locations, though fewer than half of the remodeled stores will display them.
Erecting semi-swooshes. Curving across the top of the newly flattened roof is what McDonald’s calls the yellow “brow” — or half of a golden arch. It’s got the familiar, bright-yellow design but encased in a Nike swoosh-like arc.
PTT Goes Commercial
After six years of writing a commercial free blog, I finally decided today to feature Google AdSense (as traffic continues to grow). So you'll see both text and rich media ads along the right side of the blog. Feel free to click on one that applies or is interesting to you. I suppose my holdback was purely based on aesthetics - not wanting to "junk up" the site. But I feel I found a good place to feature the ads and one that's not annoying to the user. Now, in the process of writing about my life from a unique perspective, if I can make a few bucks, why not?
Come Out of the Closet Already
The net, especially the gay one, is abuzz over Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock's Men's Health "shirtless" cover shot and inside spread. We're now just waiting for the gay sex scandal to surface. Because with that body, and such negativity towards the gay community, you know it's bound to happen.
Happy Mom's Day!
Not only is Paula Abdul confirmed as the fourth and final X Factor judge, Nicole and Steve will be emceeing the auditions as well! More reasons to rally and drive hours to Hoffman Estates for the auditions in Chicago.
X Factor Hosts Announced
I noted the possibility of Steve Jones hosting X Factor back in August. The UK hottie has always been a favorite of Simon Cowell. Well today, it was announced he'll be co-hosting with Nicole Scherzinger (as the original Corbin Blue was quickly dismissed by the former Pussycat Doll).
And speaking of X Factor, I received four tickets to the Chicago Live Auditions May 20th at 1:00. It should be fun to see Simon, possibly Paula, Cheryl Cole and Antonio "L.A." Reid judge hopeful contestants from the Windy City.