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Tuesday … Musings and New Music

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It has been a very busy few days. Good busy that is.

People are moving around, and summer camp starts soon, so my guys are hurriedly tying up loose ends and getting step work completed prior to leaving in the coming days. I have some time before one of my guys leaves for camp for a few weeks then he is leaving the country to pursue his PHD in Pittsburgh.

The Big Birthday/Going Way bash is tomorrow night. We are all going.

For the first time since starting work with my sponsor, I went a couple of days without speaking to him, because I have been keeping long hours and the end of the day comes way past the call time limit.

And today’s topic was “Being good to yourself.”

One of those things is calling my sponsor and hearing his voice on the other end of the phone. I got to see him this evening. We hosted a full house for the meeting, which was nice. People are getting what they need after waiting and waiting.

The wait list to get taken at Fosters and many other rehab facilities is months. Meanwhile, go to meetings and find people who can help you, we have at least done that for them. Today some of our folks got their intakes done. Now the job falls to them to find the time to commit to rehab programs (outpatient) along with family, children, work and meetings.

With all those factors riding, finding the time to Be Good to themselves is lacking.

But we will work with them to help them along the process. Our folks are good for that kind of work.

Before the meeting I had some down time. So I called Baby Mama in St. John’s N.F. It is great to have Canada wide calling, it is very efficient.

I’ve been reading reports of Gigantic ice Bergs off the coasts of Labrador and New Foundland. Our girl is on the coast and she reports that even the weather there is affected by the presence of icebergs off the coast.

It was her birthday today, and Baby Louisa is a week old today. Mama and baby are doing alright. She is having trouble breast feeding, because she is not producing enough milk and has had to resort to formula. Even the baby is in on the game, the other day she was nursing an empty breast and she started pounding the BOOB for MORE !!!

Mom is having a hard time with nursing and the loss of that intimate connection, where the medical community says that breastfeeding is the best route and is so important – and mama cannot provide enough – so she is beating herself up over this. Sometimes the body does not respond in the ways we want it to. I tried to comfort her and her doctor is supportive along with her friends.

We’ll see what happens.

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I got an advanced copy of the new Linkin Park record – The Hunting Party.

It was released today in North America. I was reading the BBC entertainment page last night and the reported that they were playing a concert across the pond to rave reviews. So I had to get a copy.

I previewed it and it sounded noisy, but I put it on my phone anyway

1. “Keys to the Kingdom”
2. “All for Nothing” (featuring Page Hamilton)
3. “Guilty All the Same(featuring Rakim)
4. “The Summoning”
5. “War”
6. “Wastelands
7. “Until It’s Gone
8. “
Rebellion(featuring Daron Malakian)
9. “Mark the Graves”
10. “Drawbar” (featuring Tom Morello)
11. “Final Masquerade
12. “A Line in the Sand”

I have been a fan of Linkin Park for a long time. And if you have listened to their earlier works, they have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their sound is unique, you don’t hear it from any other artist that I listen to from my old school rock bands.

They are an acquired taste.

At first I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when I listened through the album. The tracks seamlessly blend from one to the next. That is a familiar sound from earlier productions. It is gritty and loud. Chester never ceases to amaze me with his vocals. And Mike Shinoda is a master at lyrics.

It was reported that some of the tracks were improvised and written “In process” of recording. All the contributors to this album were great. I’m not a professional reviewer, but I enjoyed the sound.

Every Linkin Park album is a listening experience. You must listen to it from start to finish. It is a journey. None of the reviews I read from Big Wigs, do not seem to notice the obvious. A new album was coming and it took some time to get here, and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

It is also reported that Linkin Park will be touring with Thirty Seconds to Mars. That is a ticket I would buy. That is a high powered ticket. “Thirty Seconds” albums are gritty and stand by themselves. But both bands on the same ticket is going to be one hell of a show. Hard, Pounding and Loud.

How much better can you get then Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and Jared Leto.

Rain is falling and it might be a bumpy night ahead.

More to come, stay tuned …


Twas the Night Before Christmas

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis lauded Jesus’ humble beginning as a poor and vulnerable baby as he celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass as pontiff Tuesday in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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Francis has dedicated much of his nine-month-old papacy to drawing attention to the plight of the poor, of children, and other vulnerable members of society.

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The bells of St. Peter’s rang as Francis, who turned 77 a week ago, walked briskly up the main aisle of the basilica for the ceremony, which began Tuesday 2 1/2 hours before midnight.
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Keeping with the theme of humility he has set for his new papacy, Francis carried the statue instead of an aide, and kissed a knee of the figure of the newly born Jesus.The occasional wail of babies in the basilica contrasted at times with the sweet voices of the choir.
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The Argentine-born pope has also encouraged his flock to be a joyful church, and he called Jesus’ “the light who brightens the darkness.”
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In the world’s history and our own personal history, Francis said, “there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. ” He added “if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us.”

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At the Vatican during the homily, Francis quoted the Apostle John, saying “‘whoever hates his brother is in the darkness”‘ and “‘does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”‘

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Wow, Pope Francis really knows how to hit it hard. I so needed to read this passage reported from his first Christmas Eve Mass.

“whoever hates his brother is in the darkness… Because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

So true So true…

It is the Holiday before the Holiday. And as usual, traveling in the night was problematic. There were more buses going East, than buses going West. So on the way out we waited and waited …

We sat a humble group of folks, who came out of respect for the meeting and also, just for the chance to spend time with each other, before we all wandered off to fulfill family obligations this Christmas Eve.

The chair double dipped tonight, on a topic that, for many, is on the front of many brains during these days, Anger and Resentment.

“Anger is the dubious luxury of normal men, but for us alcoholics it is poison.”

I have been a bit angry and resentful.

The one thing I pray for every year, has not come to pass for me, again this year. And they say that if you pray for something, you must take the next action, thereby giving God an IN to help along that which you pray for.

I opened the holidays with a great effort, out of kindness and love. I took great pains to act in kindness, and once again, it was ignored.

Fuck me …

With all that is going on in the world, the lack of respect of each other from certain celebrity and certain family and politicians, is unnerving and upsetting.

And this week I reached a tipping point.

I culled my twitter account, now only including a handful of folks I want to follow. It bothers me to high heaven, the lengths some will go to denigrate and disrespect other human beings just because we are gay.

I am sick to death of politics.

I am sick of reading, watching, and focusing on people who do nothing but drink, get drunk, and fall down. So I have culled all those folks off my social media platforms. Maybe I am getting old in sobriety, but I just can’t stomach folks who drink alcoholically. Over and Over and Over … And think it is good video to watch on a daily basis.

The same went for Facebook. The only reason I keep it open is to stay in touch with friends here and there. I have culled all that shit that has gone too far and makes we want to puke.

We are Here, We are Queer, Get Used to It.

For Fuck sake …

God damn the celebrity with vile and unacceptable word of condemnation. And fuck the politicians who support them, and the media who give them time on their front pages and on news casts.

God Damn them all to hell.

It’s Christmas for Fuck Sake. Can’t we all get along for one day?

No, that would be too fucking difficult.

Thank the Baby Jesus I live up here, above the Northern Border.

I don’t give a shit about U.S. politics, celebrity with foul mouths, and all those people who rent them free space, because of the First Amendment.

Bullshit … Take them fuckers off the air for good.

Read your God Damned Bibles and try for some compassion and love.

And Jesus Wept !!!

It was good to see my friends. It is the one space on a regular basis that I get to spend time with people I care about and who care about me.

Tomorrow is Christmas. We shall cook and serve others.

I was promised a good story to read after presents tomorrow, so YAY for that. Thanks to a good friend.

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas filled with Light, Joy and Love.

More to come, stay tuned …


Giving it all away …

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What a day …

tumblr_mx79yoqZXL1qj5gd3o1_500 tom daley

Well done young man. On his own terms. On his own time.

In his own words.

So it has been a full day of goings on.

Last night we hit Golden Slippers for our meeting since our room was closed last night due to a concert at the church.

I was up early today because I was expecting a pick up from The Salvation Army… that was 9 a.m. this morning. They just got here at almost 5 p.m.

So now the great purge of 2013 is COMPLETE !!!

2 boxes and 4 bags full of clothing, a bag from a friend and a couple of coats were donated to charity. Someone will have a Merry Christmas, I am sure.

There is at least $1000.00 dollars plus of clothing that went to charity.

I spent the afternoon IN my mobile office running errands this afternoon. I bought these new Christmas Cards. In fancy little envelopes. I addressed them and on some I put my return address on the back …

WARNING … do not put your return address on the back of an envelope you are sending, because the reader machines may spit them back.

I had a stack of cards going all over the U.S. and Canada.

I took them to the Post Office and learned that the envelopes were to small, therefore not regulation, and the little address problem.

I took them back and headed to the church to pay rent and pick up a new key for the church, because I am rotating off the Sunday group soon.

And none too soon…

I have new headphones for my phone and they work really well when making calls on the fly. If you aren’t at home, your cell phone is a good tool.

On the way OUT I stopped at Target for some manila envelopes which are bigger and regulation. And took the tunnel through Westmount Square.

I did my business at the church and I had spoken to a friend about tonight’s district meeting, which meant I had to make a second stop at Target on the way home, and then on to the supermarket for some safari.

I got home around three, and sat down and RE-Addressed all my cards to go out in the mail tomorrow.

And just now the guys from the S.A. came to get the clothes.

Thank God. Because when they did not show this morning, I rescheduled the pick up for Friday, but here they were this evening. I didn’t want all those bags sitting in my living room for a week. UGH !!!

Almost time to go …

More to come, stay tuned …

THERE ARE ONLY 23 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS !!!


The Great Obsession …

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It is a sad day in the recovery community. But is it really? Millions of people each day die from the effects of alcohol or drugs. For the most part we just let that fact go in one ear and out the other. But we should be alarmed and concerned that addiction takes far too many people in any given year.

Cory Monteith – it was confirmed today, died of an overdose of heroine and alcohol.

It is a tragic loss of such a young life, to addiction. Smack is a killer. But so is alcohol, and when mixed becomes a lethal concoction.

My friend Alex asked this question the other day …

“Did he know that Saturday was going to be his last day on earth?” And “What was going on in his head that he could not just say NO???”

We talked about this subject before the meeting. And the topic came from the Big Book – More about alcoholism… And the great obsession, that one day, we would be able to drink like normal people…

How do you get sober in Hollywood and stay sober, when everybody parties and bar hops and lives life to the fullest. Why deprive ones self the social aspect of living with your costars and friends?

Just a few months out of rehab, that is the most dicey period of a sober persons journey. If you don’t sink into the program right away, your success at staying stopped diminishes by the day and the hour.

Well, I can go to a bar and not drink, but when it comes to mad hatter smack, I just can’t say NO. How many people do I know, or knew, that have died from such an addiction in my life? MANY …

And we say in closing:

“Eternal rest grant him and may perpetual light shine upon him.”

It is just sad.

I’ve seen big names get sober. I’ve met them in meetings, here and in other places. Most of them have succeeded in staying stopped and are successful at their craft. But we will never get to see this now dead, young person, succeed in his craft, because of heroine and alcohol.

Today … for me … the thought of a drink or a drug is far from my mind. My greatest obsession is that one day I would be able to do anything like a normal person.

But what is normal ?

I don’t know what normal is.

Another friend spoke today about having things and being happy … he writes:

I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.

~ Pablo Picasso
I recall a Peanuts comic in which Linus announced that when he grew up he wanted to be very successful, very famous and very humble. Successful, famous, humble. Charlie Brown just walked away muttering, “Good luck with that.”
Living in the monastery for thirty years taught me how to live as a poor man … with lots of money. I didn’t have much in the way of cash, no personal bank account or credit card, no car of my own and such. On the other hand, I had incredible amounts of security — great health insurance, a car available to me almost any time, a guaranteed roof over my head and three square meals a day, a graduate-level education, plenty of work I enjoyed and the freedom to arrange my own work schedule most of the time.

Not sure that I have a point here. Just that peace of mind does not depend on having a lot of money, but it sure is connected to how safe one feels and how much one feels in control of one’s life. And we keep searching for the thing that will give us control — money, weapons, power. None of that works. A wise and experienced nun told me once that she had come to realize that life was all about letting go. We live in a culture where life seems to be mostly about grabbing on.

Let go. Breathe. Smile.

Being poor in today’s world is the great fear of many people. Not having food in the fridge or money in your pocket is an obsession. Worrying about where your next meal is coming from or when you will have money to purchase things you need, when at the moment you have none, is my problem.

I am powerless over people, places and things.

It was far more important for my hubby to sit here week in and week out watching that goddamned George Zimmerman trial, night and day, around the clock, rather than spend that time using his efforts in finding a job, which he has failed to do as of yet. But we said those vows.

In sickness and in health for richer or for poorer. Till death do us part.

So I am stuck in a situation that I did not create. But maybe I did, maybe I should have been a cast iron bitch and become bitter and controlling. Shooting my mouth off and loosing my temper.

In as many years in sobriety, I have only lost my temper, truly, twice in twelve tears. And never at home.

Yes, I am disappointed. And over dinner the other night, I voiced my displeasure and I let it go at that. I had to, because if I didn’t let it go, the hamster would get on the wheel and the obsession would take hold and I would end up insane and crazy and wanting something to cut the edge off.

It is good that when I got up this morning and things were in the tank, I picked up my phone and called a friend, who carted me to and from the meeting tonight. It is good that at the meeting I go to on Tuesday nights, are other men my age who I can talk to and a couple of men with serious sober time who are wise and tell me how it is and what I need to do to change things.

I can’t get that same advice in a room full of women. I just don’t think pissing and moaning in a room full of women is going to do me any good. Not at the moment.

So I am winging it . one day at a time . one moment at a time .

That is all.

More to come, stay tuned …


Joy

 

“Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God”

Stephen Colbert …

 


Time to “Bring back Rock!”

We learn tonight that Steven Tyler is leaving the American Idol franchise to return to what he does well, SING !!! Tyler is reported to say that “It is time to bring rock back.”

Aerosmith played Laval, Quebec on Tuesday night to crowds of adoring fans.

We wish him well in all his endeavors.


Neil Patrick Harris Covers ‘Out’ With His Love Story

Lifted from: DanNation.Org

“There’s something kinetic about him and his being. He’s classically sexy, yet he’s very much a boy in his energy. It’s a great dynamic. When I see people who are equally attractive, they tend to seem more quiet and kind of Marlboro Man-y, and David’s the antithesis of that. He’s more like Tigger. I’m, in turn, very introspective — the thinker, rather than the doer. I tend to weigh options before making decisions, and David is the polar opposite of that. We’re hyper similar and also incredibly opposite. We share a wardrobe. We have the same shoe size, body size, height, and weight. We’re both Gemini. We both like the idea of family — not a nuclear family, but a social family. Yet, we’re incredibly opposite in the way we process information.”

Neil Patrick Harris on partner David Burtka, in Out magazine.

I love this piece. Hubby and I are very similar. I will have to get a copy of this.


Fade to Black …

Such a gifted entertainer. But in the end it was the drink/drugs that killed her.
Eternal rest grant her and may perpetual light shine upon her.

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LONDON (Reuters) – Amy Winehouse, one of the most talented singers of her generation whose hit song “Rehab” summed up her struggles with addiction, died in London on Saturday at the age of 27.

The Grammy winner, famed for her black beehive hair, soulful voice and erratic behaviour on and off stage, was found dead at her new home in Camden a month after a shambolic performance in Serbia forced her to cancel her entire European tour.

Police were called to the address at around 1500 GMT and nearly five hours later the body was removed for a post mortem after it appeared she had lost her battle with drink and drugs.

“Inquiries continue into the circumstances of the death,” said police superintendent Raj Kohli. “At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained and there have been no arrests in connection with the incident.”

He said reports that Winehouse had died of a suspected drugs overdose were speculation at this stage.

Family members had long warned that Winehouse’s lifestyle, which saw her in and out of rehab and blighted her career as a live and recording artist, could be her downfall.

(more…)


I met a man …

It is a full plate kind of night. It is Tuesday on top of that. I had a lot to do today and a full day to do it.First, I had to take some time to do my readings and pray. And I start my day reading a sober blog written by a man named Dan. [...And I am Somebody]. He is a member from Minneapolis. He has a blog that he is writing on from Mexico right now. We have been on lake Atitlan for the last 2 weeks. You can click the link and go read him. It is a fabulous read.

After I caught up on my daily readings I set off for the afternoon.

This afternoon I did my housework and shopping done for the meeting and hurried out at 4 p.m.

I just had a feeling.

I got to the church, it was just me and God for almost 1.5 hours. I set up quietly and efficiently. And then went upstairs to sit outside and people watch in the neighborhood. It was a beautiful day today. Not too hot or humid. But just right.

We had a good showing for the early meeting. And a few newcomers attending their first meeting. And lucky us, one of our old timers came to visit us today, which was a real treat. It is good to see friends come to visit, even if they were on a 12 step mission.

The room was buzzing with spirituality. It was great. We did the swap out and readied for the late meeting. And tonight’s speaker came to us from Friday Finchley.

I’ve never heard someone of another culture share at a meeting before. And I have a lot to write about this topic. Our speaker got sober in the 90′s and is originally from Iran. He has been in Canada for many years, having fled the country after the revolution.

He spoke of Shah time, a time when the Shah of Iran was in power and Iran was more Western than it is today under the hard line regime. Iran, he told us, was more European. Men and women could socialize in the same spaces, go to school together and alcohol was not forbidden as hard line Islam decrees. The eldest of seven children he grew up in an oppressive home with a father who was in the military.

He lost his father at 43, and military service was mandatory. He shared bits and pieces of his life story, and I was captivated with his story. When alcohol was forbidden opium became easier to get.

Cultures are very different. Yet our speaker tonight told us a story about fear, hatred, misery and addiction. After the revolution, he sent one of the brothers to the UK for university because that was not an option for many in Iran. He fled the country via a second country to get to Canada.

This is where things get interesting. And I have to ask him about this at a later time, but he did not explain his religious practice at this time, being a Muslim man in Montreal. But alcohol is forbidden in Islamic custom.

Coming to Canada did not stop him from starting a bender that almost killed him, and ended him up in the pen. He got out of the pen and went to rehab and started doing meetings. And you could tell that there was passion in his voice about gratitude, thanks and just how serious he takes his program today.

I was speechless at the end of his share. I was so touched by his story and his courage to persist, to stay sober, to be connected to meetings, a home group and service. He truly carried the message, from one side of the world to another. It was a great honor to have him speak for us tonight.

We had newbies at the late meeting, We gave one chip away, we had one silent pick up from the desk while I was counting money and we sold a Big Book, which I let go for half price, Rick is gonna kick my ass. But that boy I sold it to promised he would return to the meeting next week.

Redemption

Hubby downloaded the next episode of Deadliest Catch, Redemption the other day and I skimmed through it but did not concentrate on the last 5 minutes of the show word for word. Tonight we watched it on tv. I am glad I saw it on tv tonight and not a few days ago, even if I know what happens in the end.

In the last moments of the episode Phil looses his life after having a second incident. After doctors worked on him for a long while there came a point that a decision had to be made to end life saving procedures.

Jake is off to rehab. Josh now is in Anchorage taking care of dad, who has passed away. The crews on the Bering Sea are facing a 1000 km size storm at sea. And Next week, Valhalla, Josh will contact the fleet about his fathers passing. That much I know.

Hopefully Jake won’t go crazy and get all up in the bottle. We shall see, if he stays or he returns to Anchorage. Hopefully he stays on the straight and narrow.

That was my day in a nutshell. Goodness, sadness, and gratitude for a good day spent with friends and fellows in the program. I am very glad that I am sober today because I get to do fantastic things like I shared with you tonight.

more to come, stay tuned…


Redemption …

I got a sneak copy of the next episode of Deadliest Catch and it seems that things are on the level. We are still an episode shy of Valhalla, here with Redemption. Jake checked himself into a rehab in Seattle. He made the right choice. Better he be there safe, clean, and sober, than out in the world on a self destructive path. I see that Valhalla, the last episode of the season will run in the states on July 20th. I imagine that we are still a week off the schedule here.

It seems that the other crews are facing their own demons on the Time Bandit, Northwestern and the others that slip my mind at this hour. What will happen to Deadliest Catch next season???

Hopefully I will get the copy of Valhalla before the air date.

I hope that what Jake started he finished cleanly. And even with the passing of his father, that he stayed on path.

More to come, Stay tuned…


Deadliest Catch' captain Phil Harris dies after recent stroke

Found on:  The L.A. Times Online Here.

February 9, 2010 |  9:14 pm

Phil Harris, captain of the Cornelia Marie on the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch,” has died.

On the show’s Web page, where updates on Harris’ condition had been posted since his Jan. 30 stroke, sons Jake and Josh Harris gave notice of their father’s passing:

“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad — Captain Phil Harris. Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end. For us and the crew, he was someone who never backed down. We will remember and celebrate that strength. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers. — Jake and Josh Harris”

Harris, who was based out of Seattle, suffered the stroke during an offload of crab. He was found unconscious in a stateroom, was airlifted to Anchorage for 12 hours of surgery, then placed in a medically induced coma. He’d shown signs of improvement last week, squeezing hands and even telling his doctors and nurses, in his signature gruff style, to not screw things up.

Deadliest Catch” follows several crews working the Bering Sea during the area’s crab fishing seasons. Harris, a 32-year crab fisherman, was a co-owner of the Cornelia Marie, which he’d captained for 18 years; Jake and Josh work on the ship as deck hands, and Josh had remained on the ship immediately after his dad’s stroke, awaiting the arrival of relief captain to continue the work.

Fans reached out Tuesday night on the show’s message boards — where comments have been posted since Phil Harris fell ill — offering condolences to the family.

Discovery Channel in its statement referred to Harris as “more than someone on our television screen. Phil was a devoted father and loyal friend to all who knew him. We will miss his straightforward honesty, wicked sense of humor and enormous heart.”

– Christie D’Zurilla

Photo: Capt. Phil Harris with sons Josh, left, and Jake, right. Credit: Discovery Channel.


Oprah Winfrey to end talk show in Sept 2011

LOS ANGELES, Calif. –

Oprah Winfrey will announce on Friday that her popular daytime talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” will end its run in 2011, Tim Bennett, the President of Harpo, announced in a letter released to ABC affiliates on Thursday.

“Tomorrow, Oprah will announce live on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ that she has decided to end what is arguably one of the most popular, influential and enduring programs in television history,” he wrote in the letter, obtained by Access Hollywood. ” The sun will set on the ‘Oprah’ show as its 25th season draws to a close on September 9, 2011.”

Bennett said he was sending out the letter to keep the affiliates from being surprised at tomorrow’s announcement.

“Before she speaks to her loyal viewers, we wanted to share her decision first with you – our valued partners for more than two decades,” he wrote.

And he urged the stations to “share this news this evening with your colleagues and viewers.”

“Oprah’s personal comments about this on tomorrow’s live show will mark a historic television moment that we will all be talking about for years to come,” he added.

Just a few weeks ago, a rep for Oprah said the TV queen planned to make an announcement by year’s end about whether she was planning to make a leap from her current daytime talk show to her previously announced cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

It appears the decision was one that was made only recently. Just two weeks ago — at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York City — Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King, said Oprah was still weighing her options.

“I know she’s thinking,” Gayle told Access. “I know she’s thinking.”

But Gayle said she wasn’t playing advisor over the decision, just longtime friend.

“Listen, Oprah and I have been friends since we were 21 and 22 and now we’re 54 and 55,” she said, citing her and Oprah’s ages, respectively. “We talk about everything but she’s a big girl. She will make the decision that is right for her. No question about that. Whatever that is. It’ll be the right decision for her.”

Previously, at the September Toronto premiere for “Precious,” a film Oprah executive produced, Oprah revealed she was still putting in the deliberation hours.

“I haven’t made a decision yet and I have until the end of the year,” she said. “But you know I think that deserves more thoughtful consideration than a red carpet.”

No details were available about the rumored move to OWN and a rep for Discovery was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Access.


Boyzone singer Gately dies in Spain at 33

steven gately

MADRID (AFP) – Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, 33, died on Saturday while on holiday in Majorca off the coast of Spain, the Irish band with a string of hits in the 1990s said on its website.

“Stephen tragically died yesterday whilst on holiday with his partner Andrew in Majorca,” the site said on Sunday.

The Boyzone members, including lead singer Ronan Keating, were heading to Majorca following news of the death.

The circumstances surrounding Gately’s death remained unclear but (Britain’s) News of the World newspaper reported he died after a night out.

Boyzone manager Louis Walsh told the newspaper: “We’re all absolutely devastated.”

He said: “I’m in complete shock. I was only with him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don’t know much about what’s happened yet… He was a great man.”

Speaking to the newspaper late Saturday, band member Shane Lynch said: “Me and the boys are flying out in the morning.

“We just need to get over to where he’s passed and work out what we need to do.”

Gately, who married his partner Andrew Cowles in a civil union in 2006, sent ripples through the pop music world 10 years ago when he announced that he was gay.

He joined Boyzone in 1993 after answering an advert in Dublin to audition for Ireland’s first boyband.

The band went on to enjoy huge success with six number one singles in Britain, but split up in 2000.

They reunited seven years later, but their recent 19-date Better tour failed to fill stadiums, despite offers of free tickets.

Gately also starred in West End musicals in London, including “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.

Boyzone lead singer Keating was “completely distraught”, the News of the World said, and former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern paid tribute to Gately, whom he knew, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

He said: “The Gatelys are in my own constituency. I know the family, I know Stephen.

“He (Gately) was with us the other night with his boyfriend Andy, he came to my book launch.”

Ahern, whose daughter Georgina is married to Nicky Byrne of boyband Westlife, continued: “It’s just such a tragedy.

“Boyzone and Stephen, they’ve all been part of Irish life and far wider than that, the last 15 years, and so successful, so it’s a huge, huge tragedy. It’s so sad.”

Gately last posted a message on his Twitter page on October 6, writing: “Still busy, lots going on. Focusing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here.”

British actor and comedian Stephen Fry said on Twitter that he was shocked at the news.

“Just heard the very sad news about dear Stephen Gately. What a dreadful shock. He was loveable and sweet natured and will be hugely missed.”

Stephen Gately has died.

The 33-year-old Boyzone singer passed away in his sleep yesterday (10.10.09) while holidaying on the Spanish island of Majorca with his partner Andrew Cowles – who he wed in a civil ceremony in March 2006 – and friends.

His manager Louis Walsh said: “We’re all absolutely devastated. I’m in complete shock. I only saw him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don’t know much about what happened yet.

“He was a great man.”

The ‘Love Me For A Reason’ singer’s friends are mystified by his death, which happened after a night out.

One pal said: “It looks like he went for a few drinks, then got back, fell asleep and never woke up.”

Fellow Boyzone star Ronan Keating – who is currently in Chicago – is said to be “devastated” by the news.

A source said: “Ronan is completely distraught. No-one saw this coming. He loved Stephen like a brother, they were close. It’s absolutely floored him.

“It’s a massive shock to everyone and no one can take it in yet. He was a man in the prime of his life, and this is a huge tragedy.”

Stephen’s bandmates – Ronan, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham – are planning to fly to Majorca tomorrow (12.10.09) .

Shane told Britain’s News of the World newspaper: “Me and the boys are flying out. We just need to get over to where he’s passed and work out what we need to do.”

Boyzone formed in 1993 and achieved six UK number one singles.

They disbanded in 2000 – with Stephen the first member to launch a solo career – and reformed in 2007.


Friend With Aids and Funeral

The Shock At Someone To Die With AIDS

Friend With Aids & Funeral


Daniel Radcliffe Teams Up with the Trevor Project to Help LGBT Youth

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Filed by: Waymon Hudson @ Bilerico

What a magical match up!

Daniel Radcliffe, the star of Harry Potter, has made a major donation to our friends at The Trevor Project, the non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide suicide-prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth.

The 20-year-old actor joined The Trevor Project’s Circle of Hope, a community of major donors which plays an essential role in providing the financial leadership and support that makes the organization’s critical lifesaving work possible.

Radcliffe had this to say:

I am very pleased to begin my support of The Trevor Project, which saves lives every day through its critical work. It’s extremely distressing to consider that in 2009 suicide is a top three killer of young people, and it’s truly devastating to learn that LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.

I deeply hope my support can raise the organization’s visibility so even more despondent youth become aware of The Trevor Helpline’s highly trained counselors and Trevor’s many other resources. It’s vitally important that young people understand they are not alone and, perhaps even more important, that their young lives have real value.

Radcliffe has long been outspoken about his support for the LGBT community, and often speaks out about his love for the community, whom he calls his best friends and family. Having such a high profile supporter, who has such a huge following and a cash-cow movie franchise, can only help a group like The Trevor Project and the issues around LGBT youth.

Charles Robbins, the executive director of The Trevor Project, seemed extremely excited about Radcliffe’s support:

We’re incredibly grateful to Daniel for his truly inspiring and historic generosity and support. He is setting a meaningful example for millions of young people around the world by embracing diversity and demonstrating that he cares deeply about the well-being of LGBTQ youth.

So kudos Radcliffe for putting his money and support where his mouth is. We love our allies who step up to help!


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

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The dark and brooding way in which this film is presented gives it a new feel, unlike all the other movies. Some have called this the best of the movie yet so far. I will hold that judgment until the final film is out.I liked the way in which this film was “filmed” and shown.

Firstly, I though that Bellatrix and her cohorts were given way too much screen time, as deatheaters don’t show up much in the book. The whole doing the unbreakable deed at Pettigrew’s with Narcissa and Bellatrix was something. I don’t know if Cissy looks the part, from the way she is described in the Deathly Hallows. Helena Bonham Carter is devilishly evil in her portrayal.  But why does her crew get all this screen time? Are they trying to bait us with an impending battle to come?

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Did you know that Harry Potter and I share a birthday – the 31st of July. I think that they gave good time to the rest of the story in the book. But refraining from telling more about the romances between Harry and Ginny and the brooding budding relationship between Ron and Hermione was telling.

What DID strike me as odd was the wand fight at the Burrow… Why did Bellatrix and company move on the Burrow. And where did they get that sequence from – because I went back to the book looking for it – I just wondered why they would destroy the burrow and leave the Weasley’s homeless when the burrow plays a pivotal part in the opening of the next movie – or are they going to skip the whole Harry’s Birthday and the wedding of Bill and Fleur in the next installment? Are they giving the Weasley’s an out?

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The whole disapparating visual was great. And the way that they told the story of the memories and the pensieve were well done. It was very close to the telling in the book. The youthful Tom Riddle was well played. The fact that they only placed one group of deatheaters in the castle – at the time of Dumbledore’s death was also telling. They are saving the big battle for the final film. I think they gave us at least a hint of what it will look like when we finally get there.

Malfoy gets a lot of screen time. In his attempt to get the cupboard in the room of requirement working correctly, this portion of the movie played true to the text. The bathroom scene with the wand fight between Harry and Malfoy was very dark and telling as well. There is no friendship between them. And no love lost when Harry uses “Sectumsempra” on him.

Snape is as sinister as he is in the book. The fact that Harry uses the “Sectumsempra” on Snape was in the book, but the visual on screen does not follow the book. The Flight of Snape and party was intertwined with the realization that Snape is the Half Blood Prince and he lets Harry be there, and does nothing to get him the the Dark Lord. Strange – nobody bothered him at this point of the movie. There was no big Dark Lord fight…

The fact that they left out the funeral for Dumbledore leads me to believe that they have a lot of action to get into the next two films. A funeral – the last of the Dursley’s – the leaving of the house and the lifting of the trace – the wedding and the crashing of the Death Eaters – the quest for the horcruxes and the final battle for the castle is going to take up much of the screen time, if the film makers believe that can keep continuity in telling the rest of the story.

They did well with the sea cave – the locket and the drinking of the potion was very true to the book. They did a good job with the visual of the Inferi and the lake of the dead. I went back to my book to try and piece together what they showed in the movie as to what is in the book.

They added film sequences that throw the book continuity out of synch – they did not spend enough time on telling the story as the book reads. They gave minor characters in the 6th book more air time than the book gives them, and in the end, I enjoyed the film.

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I am a little too fond of the Weasley’s and was sad the see their house get burned to the ground. I don’t know why they did that to them, as we know that Molly and Belltrix go head to head in the final battle – maybe the destruction of their house gives Molly a BIGGER resentment to see Bellatrix dead in the final film.

I still adore the final book. They have big shoes to fill in the last two film installments. I would be disappointed if they did not maintain story telling continuity through the last of the Half Blood Prince – they need to give Dumbledore closure and they need to open the next film with a BIG piece of the story – I hope they don’t leave anything major out of the story telling.


Kings: Ep. 112 – The New King pt.2 – Season Finale

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With William Cross and his son – with Jack’s help, move to make Jack King of Gilboa over Silas, who is still alive, and addresses the people on the radio that indeed Silas is still King and that He will return… People start dying, left and right. Reverend Silas tells Jack that “he is not the one God wants to rise to the throne, there is another …

Cut to location with Silas and David – David agrees to help Silas, but when he sees him sit on the throne, he will leave. As Jack is moved to be crowned one of the cabinet raises the point the the king is still alive, and he is shot dead. The princess and the queen stand in opposition as well, “are you going to kill us too?” Jack has them removed and sequestered.

The King returns walking into the city – with guns pointed at him and tells the army to stand aside. David follows with a tank brigade to back up Silas as he tells them to stand aside as well.

William Cross and party are fleeing to an airplane to get away, but his son Andrew is missing. Jack decides not to flee and remains at the city. Jack’s coronation is stopped and is found … and sequestered …

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Andrew remains in the city and speaks to the King and Queen, he tells them where his father is – and where his was going. And since everyone is at odds that maybe Andrew can be part of the family now??? hmm… will he???

The King gives an order that David is to be found and brought to the mansion, where they have an arguement after the King has a conversation with a stormy God – who tells him that David is destined to be the next king in Silas’s place.

The king is a very jealous man. And he starts a fist fight with David over what God has told him, he believes that God has been whispering behind his back to David, but David denies he has had any contact with God, so to speak. They beat each other up. The king believes that David has stolen God’s favor from him.

David flees the King to the chapel, where earlier we saw Reverend Samuel get shot to death. (he is still alive) Michelle brings David to the reverend and asks his for help, and the revered tells David that he must flee and the only place he can go where the king won’t find him is Gath.

David and Michelle exchange – I will always love you, and Michelle gives him a ring, and we hear the reverend say the words Husband and wife, because they have been married long before this moment. The baby secret is never shared with David.

Poor Jack is locked in a bedroom and we find next that the king wants to give Jack a living death, to brick him up in a wall. Then the kings assistant brings Jack a woman, whom he cannot stand… And by decree of the King Jack is paired with someone he cannot stand, to produce an heir for the king to raise right !!! Jack begs her not to do this, and she replies, that “Jack is no longer charming as he was, and tells him to just close his eyes and dream of someone who is dead…”Jack will be forced to have sex with a woman to produce an heir – a fate worse than death for a gay man. The king will punish him to no end with this decree…

fade out …

The queen and king are sitting in the mansion where we find that the King has decreed that Michelle is banished from the kingdom for collusion – she is stripped of her title and responsibility for one year … The queen whispers to her that “she would always take care of her.”

Michelle is taken away.

Silas is conversing with the reverend. The King wants to hunt David down and kill him because of his problem with God. The reverend tells king Silas that David and his family are safe and that he will not be able to kill David. The King is clearly at war with David…

So Jack is confined with a concubine.

David flees to Gath to be saved.

Michelle is sent away for a year – there goes the baby.

What will happen to the Kingdom now???

Season Finale …


Kings – "Javelin" July 11 episode

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Hubby was gracious enough to find me a download of last weeks King’s so I could catch up on the story line to better inform last night’s post. It seems that the King and Jack have one thing in mind, to get rid of David because of his rising star. What seems to be a union of minds now, will end up very differently to the end of this episode.

David is accused and put on trial for treason and Jack is the prosecutor for the court trial. But we find out that others are conspiring to fight this effort. David is whisked away one night to meet with the king’s brother in law and the reverend Samuel, trying to get him out of the country and away from prosecution. The alter-plot is unfolding.  Something is going on behind the scenes. And David disagrees with fleeing – he will stand trial, because as David said, “he only serves his king.”

Jack is called to the jail to visit David, who tells him of the plot against him (A coup of sorts) and the king, and that David can be trusted with such information. The information is passed, but Jack is unmoved. For now…

Cue Michelle and the queen, after a quick doctors visit, Michelle tells her mother that she is PREGNANT with David’s child. The queen is elated for the family, and she will protect her daughter – but the king must never find out about the baby coming, because he will see the child dead first.

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The trial continues – with the King speaking to David about his treason indictment and that David should fall on the mercy of the king. David protests his innocence as the trial ends. In the final five minutes of the episode Jack turns on the king and the court, voicing his displeasure with the proceedings and speaks out in defense of David, saying that he is a “Better person than he is and even the King, who is deserving of respect.” The King begins to unravel screaming that Jack and David be taken into custody – that both of them are traitors. The King spits at Jack, “you never had respect you FAGGOT!!!

The King is loosing his love for his son – and Jack’s sexual orientation is getting in the way of the relationship between him and his father …

The gauntlet is thrown down. The King is delirious and screaming as David is taken into custody – they try to get the king out of Unity Hall – where the people are demonstrating in the streets. They are stopped in their tracks.

In the end we find Jack exiting the building and being held by the military guard and the brother in law is waiting for him. They pull their guns and Jack responds “So this is how it is – no trial?The brother in law congratulates Jack for his performance – Jack said he could not go along with the case any longer.  The brother in law says that Jack now has the allegiance of the military and all the generals, and that they should act now …

fade to black …


The Faith of the Centurion…

Do you believe in Love

Matthew 8:5-13

The Faith of the Centurion

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

The alchemist said, “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

The Alchemist, The story about dreams, pgs. 156-159

Scripture from the Gospel of Matthew

May all of those who rest tonight, rest in the peace of God forevermore.


Michael Jackson Dies

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Posted Jun 25th 2009 5:20PM by TMZ Staff

We’ve just learned Michael Jackson has died. He was 50.

Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We’re told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back.

A source tells us Jackson was dead when paramedics arrived.

Once at the hospital, the staff tried to resuscitate him but he was completely unresponsive.

We’re told one of the staff members at Jackson’s home called 911.

LaToya ran in the hospital sobbing after Jackson was pronounced dead.

Michael is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince “Blanket” Michael Jackson II.

King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead: report

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Michael Jackson, the child star turned King of Pop who set the world dancing to exuberant rhythms for decades, died on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times said. He was 50.

“Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times,” the newspaper reported on its website.

Jackson had been taken ill at his home and found not breathing by paramedics who rushed him to a hospital, the paper said.

The paper’s report followed news of Jackson’s death first reported by the TMZ entertainment website, which said that the singer suffered a cardiac arrest. There was no immediate comment from spokespersons for Jackson.

Known as the “King of Pop,” for hits that included “Thriller” and “Billie Jean,” Jackson’s dramatic stage presence and innovative dance moves were imitated by legions of fans around the world.

His one-gloved eccentric style also earned him plenty of critics and another nickname, “Wacko Jacko.”

Jackson, who had lived as a virtual recluse since his acquittal in 2005 on charges of child molestation, had been scheduled to launch a comeback tour from London next month.

TMZ said on its website that Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. “We’re told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back,” the site said.

Earlier, the Los Angeles Times said the singer had been rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital by fire department paramedics. The newspaper said paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the singer’s home before taking him to the UCLA Medical Center hospital.

COMEBACK CONCERTS

Jackson had been due to start a series of concerts in London on July 13 running until March 2010. The singer had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months.

The shows for the 50 London concerts sold out within minutes of going on sale in March.

His lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he received, makes him one of the most successful entertainers of all time.

There were concerns about Jackson’s health in recent years but the promoters of the London shows, AEG Live, said in March that Jackson had passed a 4-1/2 hour physical examination with independent doctors.

New Yorkers and tourists in the city’s Times Square were shocked at the news of Jackson’s death.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s sad, it’s really, really sad,” said Nicole Smith, an 18-year-old student from Brooklyn, New York, in Times Square. “My mother was a fan. I listened to his music.”

“I’m shocked. I thought someone was lying to me when I first heard it. I was a fan from when he was a little boy and then he got weird,” said Sue Sheider, 51, a teacher from Long Island.

CHILD STAR TO MEGASTAR

Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, the seventh of nine children. Five Jackson boys — Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael — first performed together at a talent show when Michael was 6. They walked off with first prize and went on to become a best-selling band, The Jackson Five, and then The Jackson 5.

Jackson made his first solo album in 1972, and released “Thriller” in 1982, which became a smash hit that yielded seven top-10 singles. The album sold 21 million copies in the United States and at least 27 million worldwide.

The next year, he unveiled his signature “moonwalk” dance move while performing “Billie Jean” during an NBC special.

In 1994, Jackson married Elvis Presley’s only child, Lisa Marie, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1996. Jackson married Debbie Rowe the same year and had two children, before splitting in 1999. The couple never lived together.

Jackson has three children named Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, known for his brief public appearance when his father held him over the railing of a hotel balcony, causing widespread criticism.

(Additional Reporting by Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles and Michelle Nichols in New York; Writing by Frances Kerry, Editing by Jackie Frank)


Farrah Fawcett, 1970s sex symbol, dies aged 62

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By Jill Serjeant – Reuters News Service

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Farrah Fawcett, the “Charlie’s Angels” television star whose big smile and feathered blond mane made her one of the reigning sex symbols of the 1970s, died on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.

Fawcett, first vaulted to stardom by an alluring poster of her in a red swimsuit, was diagnosed with anal cancer in late 2006. It spread to her liver in 2007, proving resistant to numerous medical treatments in Germany and California.

“After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away,” Fawcett’s long time companion, actor Ryan O’Neal, said in a statement.

“Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world.”

Fawcett’s death in a Los Angeles hospital came just six weeks after the TV broadcast in May of a video diary she made chronicling her battle with cancer and her final months.

Called “Farrah’s Story,” the documentary was effectively a self-penned obituary by the actress, who was bedridden and had lost her famous hair by the time it was shown.

O’Neal said she had wanted to tell her story on her own terms.

Fawcett’s close friend Alana Stewart, ex-wife of rocker Rod Stewart, told Entertainment Tonight after leaving the hospital on Thursday; “I just lost my best friend. Her death was very peaceful.”

Fawcett, born February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas, was an art student in college before she began modeling, appearing in shampoo ads.

She started guest-starring on TV in the late 1960s and appeared on the television hit “The Six Million Dollar Man” after marrying the show’s star, Lee Majors, in 1974. The couple divorced in the early 1980s.

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Star Trek

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Last night we went to see Star Trek. I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. The new cast seemed to gel quite nicely. There were times during the movie when the young Kirk did things that have been referenced in the latter Star Trek movies, like the Kobyashi Maru test. Referenced in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan. Kirk being the one who beat the test.

I think they did a good job with casting all of the bridge crew. I thought that the ship would be rudimentary and simple seeing that the movie was a prequel to the series, but I was wrong. It was all very flashy and new. There were also shades of the Wrath of Khan when Nero used the little brain animals to get the captain to talk. It seems that they took liberty with bits and pieces of the older Star Trek movies.

I did notice that the crew had that kind of relationship dynamic that the elder crew had. The quips between McCoy and Spock and Kirk. Well written to give us shadows of their elder statesmen. Chekov and Sulu were really great parts down to the diction and accents. It was great that all the bridge crew had meaty parts and played big roles in the evolution of the film. Who knew Chekov was so knowledgeable about computer targeting… And Scotty having learned how to beam from one location to another while a ship was in warp, this little truth comes from the temporal shifting Spock.

And the little “Time Twist” with the appearance of SPOCK during the film, and the promise of keeping the ‘Temporal Prime Directive’ this would have been seen in the Voyager series, with Captain Janeway and the Time Ship Relativity.

Spock is coming from the future to make sure that his younger counterpart did what he was supposed to do and to forge a friendship with the younger Kirk, who happens upon Spock on that icy planet. And then at the end of the film the younger Spock and his much older counterpart meet in the hanger bay where the younger Spock calls out to his father and SPOCK turns around and says “I am not our father…” And he gives some revelatory information to spock when he says “put logic aside and do what feels right…”

Overall I would give the film a big SEE IT. I may go to see it once more because it was that good.


'Golden Girls' star Bea Arthur dies at 86

LOS ANGELES – Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” and who won a Tony Award for the musical “Mame,” died Saturday. She was 86.

Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side, family spokesman Dan Watt said. She had cancer, Watt said, declining to give further details.

“She was a brilliant and witty woman,” said Watt, who was Arthur’s personal assistant for six years. “Bea will always have a special place in my heart.”

Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series “All in the Family” as Edith Bunker‘s loudly outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur’s own series.

In a 2008 interview with The Associated Press, Arthur said she was lucky to be discovered by TV after a long stage career, recalling with bemusement CBS executives asking about the new “girl.”

“I was already 50 years old. I had done so much off-Broadway, on Broadway, but they said, `Who is that girl? Let’s give her her own series,’” Arthur said.

“Maude” scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977.

The comedy flowed from Maude’s efforts to cast off the traditional restraints that women faced, but the series often had a serious base. Her husband Walter (Bill Macy) became an alcoholic, and she underwent an abortion, which drew a torrent of viewer protests. Maude became a standard bearer for the growing feminist movement in America.

The ratings of “Maude” in the early years approached those of its parent, “All in the Family,” but by 1977 the audience started to dwindle. A major format change was planned, but in early 1978 Arthur announced she was quitting the show.

“It’s been absolutely glorious; I’ve loved every minute of it,” she said. “But it’s been six years, and I think it’s time to leave.”

Golden Girls” (1985-1992) was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience.

The series concerned three retirees — Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan — and the mother of Arthur’s character, Estelle Getty, who lived together in a Miami apartment. In contrast to the violent “Miami Vice,” the comedy was nicknamed “Miami Nice.”

As Dorothy Zbornak, Arthur seemed as caustic and domineering as Maude. She was unconcerned about the similarity of the two roles. “Look — I’m 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line,” she told an interviewer. “What can I do about it? I can’t stay home waiting for something different. I think it’s a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting.”

The interplay among the four women and their relations with men fueled the comedy, and the show amassed a big audience and 10 Emmys, including two as best comedy series and individual awards for each of the stars.

In 1992, Arthur announced she was leaving “Golden Girls.” The three other stars returned in “The Golden Palace,” but it lasted only one season.

Arthur was born Bernice Frankel in New York City in 1922. When she was 11, her family moved to Cambridge, Md., where her father opened a clothing store. At 12 she had grown to full height, and she dreamed of being a petite blond movie star like June Allyson. There was one advantage of being tall and deep-voiced: She was chosen for the male roles in school plays.

Bernice — she hated the name and adopted her mother’s nickname of Bea — overcame shyness about her size by winning over her classmates with wisecracks. She was elected the wittiest girl in her class. After two years at a junior college in Virginia, she earned a degree as a medical lab technician, but she “loathed” doing lab work at a hospital.

Acting held more appeal, and she enrolled in a drama course at the New School of Social Research in New York City. To support herself, she sang in a night spot that required her to push drinks on customers.

During this time she had a brief marriage that provided her stage name of Beatrice Arthur. In 1950, she married again, to Broadway actor and future Tony-winning director Gene Saks.

After a few years in off-Broadway and stock company plays and television dramas, Arthur’s career gathered momentum with her role as Lucy Brown in the 1955 production of “The Threepenny Opera.”

In 2008, when Arthur was inducted in the TV Academy Hall of Fame, Arthur pointed to the role as the highlight of her long career.

“A lot of that had to do with the fact that I felt, `Ah, yes, I belong here,’” Arthur said.

More plays and musicals followed, and she also sang in nightclubs and played small roles in TV comedy shows.

Then, in 1964, Harold Prince cast her as Yente the Matchmaker in the original company of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Arthur’s biggest Broadway triumph came in 1966 as Vera Charles, Angela Lansbury‘s acerbic friend in the musical “Mame,” directed by Saks. Richard Watts of the New York Post called her performance “a portrait in acid of a savagely witty, cynical and serpent-tongued woman.”

She won the Tony as best supporting actress and repeated the role in the unsuccessful film version that also was directed by Saks, starring Lucille Ball as Mame. Arthur would play a variation of Vera Charles in “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.”

In 1983, Arthur attempted another series, “Amanda’s,” an Americanized version of John Cleese‘s hilarious “Fawlty Towers.” She was cast as owner of a small seaside hotel with a staff of eccentrics. It lasted a mere nine episodes.

Between series, Arthur remained active in films and theater. Among the movies: “That Kind of Woman” (1959), “Lovers and Other Strangers” (1970), Mel Brooks‘ “The History of the World: Part I” (1981), “For Better or Worse” (1995).

The plays included Woody Allen‘s “The Floating Light Bulb” and “The Bermuda Avenue Triangle,” written by and costarring Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna. During 2001 and 2002 she toured the country in a one-woman show of songs and stories, “… And Then There’s Bea.”

Arthur and Saks divorced in 1978 after 28 years. They had two sons, Matthew and Daniel. In his long career, Saks won Tonys for “I Love My Wife,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues.” One of his Tony nominations was for “Mame.”

In 1999, Arthur told an interviewer of the three influences in her career: “Sid Caesar taught me the outrageous; (method acting guru) Lee Strasberg taught me what I call reality; and (‘Threepenny Opera’ star) Lotte Lenya, whom I adored, taught me economy.”

In recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Malcolm in the Middle.” She was chairwoman of the Art Attack Foundation, a non-profit performing arts scholarship organization.

Arthur is survived by her sons and two granddaughters. No funeral services are planned.

___

Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed to this report.


Ted Haggard Had A Boyfriend

ted-haggard1

“Oh God I want it, Oh God I need it, Oh God give it to me…”

Courtesy of : JOE MY GOD

Immediately after the Mike Jones scandal broke in 2006, officials at Ted Haggard’s New Life Church learned that Haggard had also had a longtime relationship with a young man at the church. The church paid for the young man’s silence with college tuition, but with suspicious timing, he has now come forward as the HBO documentary about Haggard is about to debut.

Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told the Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Boyd said an “overwhelming pool of evidence” pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” that “went on for a long period of time … it wasn’t a one-time act.” Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.

Reached Friday night, Haggard declined to comment and said all interviews would have to be arranged through a publicist for HBO, which is airing a documentary about him this month. Boyd said the church reached a legal settlement to pay the man for counseling and college tuition, with one condition being that none of the parties involved discuss the matter publicly. Boyd said a Colorado Springs TV station reached him Thursday to say the young man was planning to provide a detailed report of his relationship with Haggard to the station. Boyd said the church preferred to keep the matter private, but it was the man’s decision to go public.

New Life Church says they will not pursue legal action against Haggard’s boyfriend for violating their agreement. Earlier this month, Haggard said that his sexuality doesn’t fit into “stereotypical boxes” and that he never claimed that he was heterosexual. He also expressed support for marriage equality, although an HBO spokesperson immediately retracted that statement. The documentary, The Trials Of Ted Haggard, debuts Thursday at 8pm. Mighty convenient, publicity-wise, eh???

Comment:

If he did it once, he did it twice, and if he did it twice, he did it a third time. I knew this story wasn’t finished. Sex, Money and Power. Three dynamic forces that perpetuate a lot of energy over time. I am sure there are boys lined up to tell their stories. The Saintly Pastor and all his little secrets…

Imagine when He had the gaul to sit with Barbara Walters and speak about God, Spirituality and the sin that was homosexuality… All that pent up internalized Homophobia and the vitriol he spewed at LGBTQ people over the years.

I always say, “The Dog that barks the loudest, has the MOST to hide…”


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