Saturday, December 31, 2011

The first year ends here at The Randy Report


Well, as 2011 draws to an end in a few short hours, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who comes and reads my rants; listens to my eclectic choice of music; finds any bit of enlightenment or news; laughs, cries or finds some  inspiration in the stories that cross The Randy Report.  

And of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my public obsessions with Joe Manganiello and Ben Cohen :)

It's been an amazing first year.

My first month I had 3,000 hits here at The Randy Report.  Just under a year later, the stats counter shows 53,509 hits for December!  

For the year, you guys hit me up 282,537 times.  Seriously - all of you - you rock.

The top viewed posts of the year - appropriately - are a mix of politics, music and just plain funny.  

My post on Ben Cohen retiring to fight bullying was the #1 post.  

Olivia Newton-John celebrating NYC Gay Pride as marriage equality in NY state passed into law was also at the top of the chart - a perfect combination of all things Randy Report.

Also, the funny photo of the lazy neighbors Christmas decorations was also near the top.  Ah, comedy!

In addition to The Randy Report, I was lucky to be picked up for many articles by LGBTQnation and other news aggregators, which was very flattering ("you like me! you really like me!").

AND I wrote three magazine cover stories for QVegas Magazine, the largest LGBT magazine in Nevada.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy writing here each day.  And the fact that you all show up means more than I can truly express.

Part of my starting The Randy Report was a reaction to friends who would sometimes be surprised at not having a clear understanding of some current event.  And I realized that I wanted to help explain why some people stand where they do on issues, and what's in play underneath the surface - especially regarding issues of equality.

I also like to entertain or make folks laugh, so a lot of The Randy Report is aimed at giving readers a break from the day, to "go elsewhere" for a minute.

Thank you very much for being a part of The Randy Report.  It's much fun when you're here.

See you all in the New Year!

Forward.  No fear.

Auld Lang Syne - Straight No Chaser

Rick Santorum would invalidate all same-sex marriages



In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Rick Santorum explained that not only would he support a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, he supports invalidating all currently legal same-sex unions:

SANTORUM: I think marriage has to be one thing for everybody. We can’t have 50 different marriage laws in this country, you have to have one marriage law…

TODD: What would you do with same-sex couples who got married? Would you make them get divorced?

SANTORUM: Well, their marriage would be invalid. I think if the constitution says “marriage is this,” then people whose marriage is not consistent with the constitution… I’d love to think there’s another way of doing it..."

THIS is what we would get from a President Santorum.  Thankfully, THIS will never happen.

Jennifer Saunders on Ab Fab movie: "Definitely going to do it"

Rumors of an Absolutely Fabulous feature film have been around for years, ever since the original BBC series starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley first ended and the Roseanne Barr-produced US version was killed.

While many fans thought the concept had been replaced by the three current specials — the first of which appears on BBC America January 8th — the idea still persisted. Saunders, who co-created the show with funny lady Dawn French, even hinted at the possibility on a recent episode of The Graham Norton Show.

Now, it seems, the rumors are true.

"Yes, I’m definitely going to do it," she said in a recent New York Magazine interview. "I’m aiming to shoot this in a beautiful part of the Riviera. I fancy the south of France in the spring." Saunders also noted in the interview that these three specials came about because of Lumley, who anounced AbFab would be back while she was performing in La Bête on Broadway.

"It was mainly because she announced it that we did it," Saunders explained in the interview. "She said, 'Darling, I told them in New York that you're going to do a few more'. I said, 'Oh, well, got to tell the BBC'."

No word yet on the story, shoot date or who's distributing the movie version of Patsy and Edina's big screen adventure.

Bradley Cooper dating Zoe Saldana?


Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, who co-star in upcoming film "The Words," have been rumored to be dating since they were first spotted at a Manhattan nightclub together.

"They are totally dating," a source said, saying that Saldana and Cooper were talking about making a ski trip to the Rockies together.

Saldana, 33, only recently split with her fiance, entrepreneur Keith Britton, this past November after dating for 11 years.

Cooper, 36, meanwhile, has been linked to several women since his split with Renee Zellweger this past March, including Jennifer Lopez and French actress Melanie Laurent.

"If you're a single man and you happen to be in this business, you're deemed a player," he told People magazine in his Sexiest Man Alive interview earlier this year. "But I don't see myself as a ladies' man."

With over 500K signatures collected Gov. Walker recall looks inevitable

A recall of controversial Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker now appear inevitable. In just 28 days, activists collected 507,533 signatures. Organizers have until January 17 to collect 540,208 signatures, which is equal to 25% of the state’s 2010 general election turnout.

To be safe, recall advocates have set a new goal of 720,277 signatures by the deadline.
(source)

Haters try last ditch effort to stop civil unions in Hawaii


U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright denied this afternoon a request by two churches for a restraining order to block a law that goes into effect Sunday permitting same-sex couples to enter civil unions.

Joshua Wisch, spokesman for the attorney general's office, said as a result of the ruling, the civil unions law will "go into effect as planned on Jan. 1, 2012."

The Emmanuel Temple and the Lighthouse Outreach Center Assembly of God asked for the order.

They argued that although they will be exempt from performing same-sex civil unions, they would face civil penalties and fines if they refused to rent their property for same-sex civil unions.

In a 17-page opinion, Seabright ruled that the churches have not shown they are entitled to the restraining order.

Once more for 2011 - "It's Time"



As one of the best videos and testaments for marriage equality, I had to post this once more.

Thank you Australia for making it so easy to understand.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Celebrate New Year's Eve with Vanessa Williams in Vegas


Whoo-hoo!  Looking forward to New Year's Eve with Vanessa Williams at The Riviera in Las Vegas.

For those of you in Las Vegas who haven't firmed up your plans, join Vanessa for her 9:30pm concert at the Riviera and help support The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada.  Not only do you get a terrific discount, but a portion of ticket sales through this offer will go to The Center.

Click here for the details.  You must print out the flyer at this link to get the discount AND help The Center.

Top 10 Greatest GOP Moments of 2011



I love these "End of the Year" round-ups.

This one especially.

Ben Breedlove leaves behind a message of hope

Teenager Ben Breedlove died on Christmas Day from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but left a message behind. He recorded this silent message a few days before his death.

Before his death on Christmas Day 2011, he had - in his own words - "cheated death three times."

The video has become a viral sensation due to his message of hope and inspiration.


Part 1


Part 2

Katy Perry and Russell Brand to divorce


Russell Brand has filed for divorce from Katy Perry.

In the docs, filed in L.A., Brand cites "irreconcilable differences." The two were married Oct. 23, 2010 in India. They have no kids.

Russell has released a statement, claiming, "Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage. I'll always adore her and I know we'll remain friends."

Sources had told TMZ the couple was having problems, evidenced by the fact that they spent Christmas apart and neither was wearing a wedding ring.

Although it's not 100%, based on what we now know it appears Brand may have blindsided Perry by filing the divorce petition.

Russell appeared on "Ellen" just this month, slamming divorce rumors -- claiming, "I'm really happily married ... I’m married to Katy. Perpetually, until death do us part was the pledge. I’m still alive."
(source)

Mitt Romney won't release his tax returns - why?



In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Mitt Romney was pressed on his stated refusal to release his tax returns. Romney said if he becomes president he’ll “consider that.”

*************************************

Mitchell: But, if you were president, it's not that hard to make a commitment that if you're elected President of the United States, that you would release the tax returns, every president does.

Romney: You know, if I become president, then I'll consider that. It's a little premature for me to be talking about that at this stage.

Mitchell: Is there some secret? People know you're wealthy.

Romney: Yeah, I understand.

Mitchell: There's nothing to hide?

Romney: No, I agree. (Pause) There's nothing to hide.

(via talkingpointsmemo.com)

UPDATE: In a related story, Mitt Romney’s son, Matt Romney, suggested on Thursday that President Obama should release his birth certificate and grades before his father releases his tax returns.

“He’s certainly not afraid of anything, he’s not hiding anything,” he said of his father in a video recorded by a Patch reporter in New Hampshire. “But I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things, that maybe he’d do that.”

Again with this? Back to the Birther conspiracy thing? Sad.

Gingrich considers Sarah Palin for Vice-President, Energy Secretary


As if it matters...

"I am a great admirer of hers and she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska, she’s somebody who I think brings a great deal to the possibility of helping in government and that would be one of the possibilities. There are also some very important Cabinet positions that she could fill very, very well. I can’t imagine anybody who would do a better job of driving us to an energy solution than Gov. Palin, for example. Tell her that she would certainly be on the list of one of the people we would consider." - Newt Gingrich, as he follows the former half-term governor of Alaska into the shallow end of history.
(via JMG)

Cancun to allow marriage equality beginning Jan. 1, 2012


Cancun and other resort areas in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo will have a new attraction for gay and lesbian couples from the United States, Canada and Europe, allowing them to legalize their unions thanks to a quirk in the local civil code, activist Patricia Novelo told Efe.

Novelo said that in January the first same-sex group wedding will be held in the resort area as part of local support for the human rights of the gay community.

She said that already several couples have expressed their wish to formalize their unions at the ceremony.

Novelo said that this “is something very positive. Besides the social part there are many economic benefits because the gay community generates between 45 and 60 percent more income on top of conventional tourism.”

She said gay and lesbian marriages are possible in Quintana Roo, “thanks to a legal gap in the Civil Code,” which only makes mention of “people interested in getting married,” without specifying their gender.

In Mexico, same-sex marriages have been expressly authorized in Mexico City, where through Dec. 15 1,246 such unions had been legally finalized, many involving citizens of other countries.

Hotels, airlines, and tour companies are already working to launch same-sex marriage packages to Cancun, Cozumel, and other beach towns in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.

2011: The year in 100 seconds


(source)

South Korean contestant sings Adele "Rolling In The Deep"



Not only can she sing, but check the reactions of the other contestants.
(source)

Ever thought about being Times Square on New Year's Eve?


Great info for those interested in being in Times Square on New Year's Eve:

  • Where is the ball drop?
  • What streets are closed?
  • Best way to get there?
  • Schedule of events?


Tons of useful info - click here to find all you need to know.

Katherine Hepburn gives a lesson on how to read a racist...



Katharine Hepburn in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"

"It's not that I don't want to you know you, although I don't..." classic!

Oscar winning performance: Best Actress in a Leading Role, 1967

Yip Harburg - "Over The Rainbow"



If anyone ever truly understood the song, this man does.

He wrote it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Anthony Vincent Bova - Bova Actors Workshop



The Bova Actors Workshop is the exclusive New York Training Center of the Eric Morris System, located at the Ionica Theatre in Times Square New York.

Led by Anthony Vincent Bova, NYC actors work on the process & technique of acting. Often the technique of getting out of their own way. Of not 'acting' but 'being.'

Prior to founding the Bova Actors Workshop, Anthony was on staff at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, HB Studios, and the New York Film Academy.

A short list of shows & productions actors from the Bova Actors Workshop have appeared in principal or supporting roles includes: Hawaii Five-O, Bluebloods, The Good Shepard, Empire Boardwalk, The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, Law & Order SVU, Twelve, CSI:Miami, Army Wives, Bloodline, Criminal Minds, Happy Endings.

January 4th & 5th, Bova Actors Workshop will offer their free Intro-Demo to actors interested in exploring the Eric Morris System.

Questions addressed at the Intro-Demo include "What is the Eric Morris System?" "How would this System aid in my educational development?" "How’s this different than other techniques and ways of working?" and "is this for ME?"

January 4th - Ionica Theater - 10:30am - 12 noon
300 W. 43rd St. Suite 504
NYC, NY 10036

January 5th - Drama Book Shop - 5:45pm - 7pm
250 W. 40th Street
NYC, NY

I've known Anthony for over 25 years, and he is not only a terrific actor and teacher, but he's a consummate professional who always has his focus on "the work." I'm so proud of Anthony's achievements and his dedication to his students growth.

If you live in the NYC area and are interested in expanding your horizons as an actor, I encourage you to check out the free sessions listed above.

For more info about the Bova Actors Workshop, click here.

New music: T. Oliver Reid - "Do I Love You"


T. Oliver Reid, who has appeared on Broadway in Mary Poppins, The Wedding Singer, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Follies and Kiss Me, Kate, among others, will release his anxiously awaited debut solo recording next month.

Entitled "Do I Love You," the CD - currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com - will be available beginning Jan. 17, 2012, on the Yellow Sound Lab label via iTunes and Amazon.com.

From Amazon.com: 'The 13 tracks on this album are a part of the fabric of his love affair with music throughout his life. It contains some of the Songbooks most romantic songs, re-arranged and recorded by some of Broadway's finest musicians.'

The full track list:
1. Love!

2. Let's Fall In Love

3. You Don't Bring Me Flowers
4. It's Easy To Remember
5. Do I Love You?

6. Glad To Be Unhappy/ Autumn In New York
7. This Can't Be Love / How Do You Keep The Music Playing

8. I Can't Make You Love Me
9. I Wish I Were In Love Again
10. The Nearness Of You / Like A Lover

11. Any Little Fish
12. I Got Love

13. Over The Rainbow

After winning the 2010 Metrostar Challenge, T. Oliver Reid brought his winning show to the Metropolitan for a couple of runs earlier this year, and then went on to perform at the Gardenia Room in Los Angeles.

Of his performance at the Metropolitan Room, Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote: "Vulnerability is a quality that most male singers measure out in teaspoons. But for T. Oliver Reid, it isn't a discreetly added emotional flavoring to a love song; it is its essence."

"To witness Mr. Reid infuse popular standards with the immediacy and intensity of diary entries... was to observe an unfaltering emotional high-wire act. While tiptoeing on his high wire, Mr. Reid repeatedly shot arrows into the hearts of songs, where they lodged, quivering."

I've known and been a fan of T. Oliver's talent for over a decade. He is the real deal.

Where artistry, talent and technique collide - that's where T. Oliver Reid lives.

For more information visit www.toliverreid.com.

Rick Perry on Lawrence v. Texas: "I'm not taking the bar exam"


During his presidential campaign, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has had difficulty recalling how many justices sit on the Supreme Court and remembering their names, so perhaps it’s not surprising that today, he forgot a landmark case involving his administration, Lawrence v. Texas.

A voter at a meet and greet asked him to defend his criticism of limited government in the case.

“I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case. I don’t, I’m not even going to try to go through every Supreme Court case, that would be — I’m not a lawyer,” Perry said at the Blue Strawberry Coffee Shop here. “We can sit here and you know play I gotcha questions on what about this Supreme Court case or whatever, but let me tell you, you know and I know that the problem in this country is spending in Washington, D.C., it’s not some Supreme Court case.”

In 2003, the Supreme Court deemed Texas’ anti-sodomy law to be unconstitutional in a 6-3 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, and the case nullified anti-sodomy laws in 13 other states at the same time.

Perry, a strong opponent of gay marriage and the ability of homosexuals to serve openly in the military, served as governor when this case was decided.

Asked by Ken Herman, a columnist with the Austin American Statesman, for clarification on whether he knew what the case concerned, Perry responded, “I’m not taking the bar exam… I don’t know what a lot of legal cases involve.”

Marriage equality heading into 2012


On Jan. 1, Hawaii and Delaware join the growing number of states offering some form of relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

Marriage equality: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

Civil unions: New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island - soon to be joined by Hawaii and Delaware

Domestic partnerships: California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Washington state and Wisconsin

The Republican-controlled state legislature in New Hampshire has a pending bill to repeal marriage equality in that state, but the governor has promised to veto it, if passed.

Michele Bachmann babbles on and on making up 'momentum'



Everyone knows that Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has no chance of winning Tuesday's Iowa Caucuses. Everyone except Michele Bachmann, that is!

Here are some highlights from Bachmann's Wednesday evening appearance on Fox News, during which—while comparing herself to Margaret Thatcher—she wouldn't even entertain a scenario in which she doesn't win Iowa.

Kelly Clarkson endorses Ron Paul - steps in firestorm


First American Idol Kelly Clarkson stepped in a firestorm today when she tweeted her support for Ron Paul.

That tweet generated tons of comments on both WhoSay and Twitter, many insulting her while accusing Paul of racism and homophobia.

Kelly later posted, "I am really sorry if I have offended anyone. Obviously that was not my intent. I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women's rights, men's rights, white/black/purple/orange rights. I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he's my favorite."

In the past few weeks, excerpts from Ron Paul's 1990s newsletters have revealed racist and homophobic statements sent in his name.  He denied having ever writing the articles.

Read more at USAtoday.com

Holiday sales look strong in year end finish


From Reuters: Retail sales look poised for a solid finish to the holiday season as warm weather and deep discounts encouraged shoppers to hit stores or go online to snap up last-minute gifts, according to data released on Wednesday.

Sales in the week ending December 24 soared 14.8 percent from a year ago to about $44 billion, helped by Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday, according to ShopperTrak, which monitors traffic at shopping malls. Good weather also helped as snowstorms had blanketed some areas at the same time last year.

Sales on December 26, a public holiday this year, soared 25.5 percent to $7.1 billion, ShopperTrak said.

Rick Santorum latest target after "surging" into 3rd in Iowa



Rick Perry's campaign wasted no time going after Rick Santorum following the release of a new CNN/Time/ORC International poll that showed the former Pennsylvania senator surging into third place in Iowa.

In a new radio ad released by Perry's team Thursday, Santorum is portrayed as a free-spending Washington insider who voted for earmarks and wasteful spending during his time in Congress.

The spot features a clip of Santorum saying he was "very proud of the earmarks" he wrote into spending legislation.

2011 Year End Review: Marriage Equality

Andrew Christian says Happy New Year!

President Obama's paths to 270 electoral votes



I personally hate the electoral college. I really wish this was all by popular vote. Period.

And don't get me started on caucus' - NOT a great way to get most people involved the political process. If you have to work during your area's caucus, no participation for you.

Poll: Latest CNN Iowa GOP Caucus

Click to view larger

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meryl Streep - 2011 Kennedy Center Honors



Excellent tribute to the very one and only Meryl.

Barbara Cook - Kennedy Center Honors



Just... no words. Great artists honoring a great artist.

Stay for the end...

Carol Channing's husband passes away at 91

Broadway legend Carol Channing lost her husband, Harry Kullijian, Monday, just before his 92nd birthday.

Kullijian suffered an aneurism at the couple’s home in California. He died after being admitted to Eisenhower Medical Center.

The couple attended San Francisco’s Aptos Middle School together. They married in 2003, seventy years later.  Their's was a true love story that transcended time.

Kullijian, a former councilman from Modesto, had been recently widowed as was Channing. At the suggestion of a mutual friend, he called her for a date. Three months later, they became husband and wife.

“I was so in love with Harry I couldn’t stop hugging him,” Channing wrote in her memoir Just Lucky, I Guess, published in 2002.

Channing, 90, is known for her Broadway role in 'Hello, Dolly!"  Her films include Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), for which she earned an Academy Award nomination.

Kullijian was also a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He and Channing formed the Channing-Kullijian Foundation, which supports arts education in schools.

As readers of The Randy Report know, I am fortunate to have worked with Carol for over two and a half years during the last revival of "Hello, Dolly!" on Broadway.  I love and adore Carol, and my deepest condolences go out to her and her family at this time.

The Candi and Randy Show - "Best (and not so best) stories of 2011"

Listen to internet radio with CandiXRandy on Blog Talk Radio

Tonight my co-host Candi and I discussed the best - and not so great - news stories of 2011. Listen in to see if we brought up your "biggest story" of the year.

Tim Tebow voted Most Desirable Neighbor



U.S. adults would most like to be neighbors with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow in 2012, according to the fifth annual Zillow® Celebrity Neighbor Survey.

The cast of the reality TV show "Jersey Shore" was named least desirable neighbors of 2011.

The Kennedy Center Honors 2011



The 2011 Kennedy Center Honors were bestowed on five giants from the world of the arts -- not just for a single role or a certain performance, but for a lifetime of greatness.

The recipients, Yo Yo Ma, Meryl Streep, Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond and Sonny Rollins, were honored at the White House in early December and the ceremony aired last night.

Happy birthday Joe Manganiello!

Kellan Lutz sends you holiday wishes


Kellan Lutz on WhoSay

Not sure what to think here, but hey - it's Kellan Lutz.

Ron Paul: Everything is Unconstitutional



If it wasn't in the original original Constitution, Ron Paul wants it gone.

Departments of Energy, Education, Labor, Agriculture... You name it, Ron Paul wants it gone.

Las Vegas only 14th in America's Drunkest Cities


Wow - can't believe my resident city of Las Vegas only came in 14th!

Top honors for America's Drunkest City goes to.... Boston!

From The Daily Beast: To compile the second annual list of the “drunkest” cities in the U.S., The Daily Beast first analyzed data from Experian Simmons, a leading market-research firm, which provided data on the average number of alcoholic drinks per month the residents of more than 200 cities across the country reported to have consumed in a survey from earlier this year.

As well, consideration went to the percent of the population that are either binge drinkers or heavy drinkers for each metro area, according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control. The average number of drinks was given twice the weight of the heavy- and binge-drinking population for the final rank.

NC Family Policy Council: Gay snipers will shoot newlyweds


Above is the latest image from North Carolina's Family Policy Council.

The North Carolina Family Policy Council, the leading anti-equality group in the Tar Heel State, is running this in its quarterly publication in order to scare citizens into voting for the state's proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Clearly the implication is that unless the coming constitutional ban on gay marriage is successful, gay snipers will lurk in wheat fields to slay unsuspecting newlyweds.

Same-sex couples pay more in taxes


The lack of federal recognition of same-sex couples results in higher taxes for those couples, CNNMoney reports.

CNNMoney based their information on a series of same-sex versus opposite-sex tax scenarios it presented to H&R Block. A seemingly equal household with one working parent earning $100,000 per year and one stay-at-home parent earning nothing produced radically different results when toggled between opposite-sex and same-sex situations.

In this particular scenario, says the article, the same-sex household would owe $4,543 more tax than the opposite-sex household. This is because the “head of household” designation pushes more income into a higher tax bracket and the individual filings provide lower standard deductions than “married and filing jointly.” The gay head of household is also subjected to a tax on the stay-at-home spouse’s health insurance premiums that the heterosexual breadwinner isn’t responsible for.

Also, there are many marital exemptions given to other families for inheritance taxes and gift taxes for which same sex couples do not qualify. In addition, same-sex households receive lower tax exclusions for capital gains on the sales of a home (unless the home is jointly owned and each spouse qualifies for the exclusion).

Cheetah the chimp from 1930s Tarzan movies passes away


Cheetah the chimp from the 1930s Tarzan movies passed away this past December 24th.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor announced that Cheetah died Dec. 24 of kidney failure.

Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb on Wednesday told The Tampa Tribune newspaper that Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh. She says he seemed to be tuned into human feelings.

Cheetah came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller's estate sometime around 1960.

Most captive chimps only live to be about 35-45 years old. Cheetah was 80.

"I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT MY WEDDING TO CAPTAIN VON TRAPP HAS BEEN CANCELED."



For fans of The Sound of Music...
by Melinda Taub



Dear friends, family, and Austrian nobility,

Captain Von Trapp and I are very sorry to inform you that we no longer plan to wed. We offer our deepest apologies to those of you who have already made plans to travel to Salzburg this summer.

Those of you on the Captain’s side of the guest list are probably aware of the reason for the change of plans. I’m sure by now you have received that charming “Save the date!” card in the shape of a mountain goat from the Captain and his new fiancée, Maria.

I must confess to being rather blindsided by the end of our relationship. It seems Captain Von Trapp and I misunderstood each other. I assumed he was looking for a wife of taste and sophistication, who was a dead ringer for Tippi Hedren; instead he wanted to marry a curtain-wearing religious fanatic who shouts every word she says.

But I don’t want you to be angry at him. We are all adults here. “But Baroness,” so many of my friends have said, “you must be devastated. You yourself are fabulously wealthy, so you cannot have wanted the Captain for his money—you must have truly loved him.” It’s true. But so, I am sure, does his new fiancée, his children’s nanny. Her wardrobe is made of curtains. She’s definitely not a gold digger or anything.

I’m sorry. That was crude of me. She seems like a lovely person, and she and the children have a great deal in common.

A great, great, great deal.

Since I will no longer be a part of their lives, I do hope you will all keep an eye on the Captain’s children. I am not terribly maternal but I was very fond of them in my own way and I must admit I am worried what will become of them now that I have gone. I had planned to send them to boarding school, since their education at the moment seems to consist mostly of marching around Salzburg singing scales. I think it would have been particularly helpful for the eldest daughter, who seems intent on losing her virginity to the mailman.

Please, friends, don’t worry about me. While I was a bit startled to be thrown aside for someone who flunked out of nun school, I assure you that I will be fine, and my main pursuits in life shall continue to be martinis, bon mots, and looking fabulous. You’ll also be glad to know I have retained custody of the Captain’s hard-drinking gay friend, Max. Anyone who gets tired of sing-a-longs should feel free to look us up.

Again, my deepest apologies for this disruption to your plans. I am currently sorting through the wedding gifts we’ve already received and I will send them back as soon as possible. The Captain would help, but he is busy learning to play a song about cuckoo clocks on his guitar.

Sincerely,
Baroness Elsa Schraeder

Sen. Ben Nelson (D) to retire


Two-term Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) has announced his retirement, spurring renewed fears that the Democrats will lose their Senate majority in 2012.

Nelson has consistently been one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, and during the very brief period in 2009 in which the caucus held 60 seats, his was usually the toughest vote to secure. Still, no one should think that he is interchangeable with the mainstream Republican who will likely replace him; Nelson, after all, did eventually vote for the Affordable Care Act, the stimulus bill and numerous other Democratic priorities. The Democrats’ hopes of holding the seat come down, at this point, to the vague possibility that former Nebraska senator and governor Bob Kerrey will attempt a comeback.

In 2012 Democrats will have 23 seats up for reelection. The GOP has only ten.
(via JMG)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Michele Bachmann campaign embraces Democrat supporter


Tyler Jones, a Charleston-area Democratic strategist and co-founder of SC Forward Progress, pulled one over on a major GOP campaign today.

When Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign sent out a list of 89 supporters and volunteers across the state, Jones made the list.

Jones said he received an email from the campaign asking for his support, and he replied yes. His name was released to media today proclaiming him as a supporter, though Jones' name is found on dozens of videos and websites that poke fun at Bachmann and other Republicans.

"I'm having some fun with it today, but if she can't catch a little prank like this, it shows that she's not who we need as president," said Jones, whose organization has been poking fun at GOP candidates and their supporters for more than a year.

Later in the day, the Bachmann campaign admitted the mistake and removed Jones name from the list.

"Earlier today, Team Bachmann announced our South Carolina grassroots team and listed the name of Tyler Jones who had indicated he was supportive of Michele Bachmann and wanted to assist the campaign. Team Bachmann has since learned the information he submitted is false."

Though Jones is an ardent Democrat, he said his support of Bachmann for the Republican nomination is genuine.

"I will help her get the nomination, because I think she's the only candidate that will give Barack Obama a 50-state victory," he said. "It just shows that while she says she's organized in South Carolina, they are in chaos."

Dumb stuff you may have missed in 2011



I'm calling "dumb stuff" - just saying....

Big Bear Ski Day 2011

Great day skiing in Big Bear.

Weather was great, blue skies, great snow, great bar...

:)

Michael on the slopes

Michael gets ready for action on the slopes

Me in the middle of the slopes - Michael made me take the pic

Mid-day ski break :)

I had to include this pic....

Newt Gingrich regarding first wife: "Not young or pretty enough to be First Lady"


Newt Gingrich, in trying to defuse one of his biggest political liabilities, has tried to say that he did NOT serve papers on his first wife while she was in the hospital receiving cancer treatment.

But new documents contradict that version of the story....

A confidant of the former House speaker told CNN that Gingrich said he dumped Jackie Battley — his one-time high school geometry teacher — in 1980 because she wasn’t “young enough or pretty enough” to be First Lady.

On his campaign website, he denies the much-retold story that he served his first wife divorce papers in the hospital where she had just had cancer surgery.

“It was (Jackie Battley) that requested the divorce, not Newt, and it was months before the hospital visit in question,” the campaign website says.

But newly revealed 30-year-old court papers posted on CNN’s website appear to contradict that.

In the papers, Battley asks the judge to reject her husband’s request for a divorce.

“Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time,” her petition said.

“Defendant does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken.”

Up early for skiing in Big Bear



Up in Big Bear for a day of skiing.

 Friends Gordon & Alex bought a terrific house here, so we drove up (through the dreadful traffic) for a quick day of skiing.

 Fingers crossed my legs are up for skiing. If not, there's always the lodge. :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Zooming at 5mph on highway to Big Bear


Creeping at 5 miles an hour. Bumper to bumper.

And a certain Italian isn't having it...

Update: Got past dumb bottle neck and moving now. The Italian is happier now. Therefore, I am happier. Whew!

- Posted from my iPhone

Fifty-nine percent of Virginians support legal recognition for same-sex couples


A new Public Policy Polling poll shows that 59 percent of Virginians support legal recognition for same-sex couples in the form of civil unions.

A majority, though, is still opposed to full marriage equality, with 54 percent saying same-sex marriage should be illegal.

New Ab Fab Special in full - via Vimeo

Obie Award-winning writer/actor David Drake's new NY project


David Drake, star and author of the Obie Award-winning "The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me," is developing a new show for NY.

The Tawny Heatherton Project will be David's first step in bringing "Tawny Heatherton" to the NY stage.

You can be a part of the project for even just $5 (or more) by joining his Kickstarter fundraising project.

From the Kickstarter page: A blonde wig worn backwards brought Tawny Heatherton to life.

Long before I’d performed my solo shows THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME and SON OF DRAKULA, I’d experienced the tremendous power of drag -- how, as a mask, drag could reveal unexpected truths and bring outrageous joy to audiences. I first found this out when I replaced Charles Busch in his long-running VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM in New York. Then felt it again when I created the role of Miss Deep South in the hit off-Broadway musical PAGEANT. But I’d never written a female character of my own. Until now...

Imagining a multitude of avenues for Tawny to explore -- videos, the web, television, films, live performance -- the first major outing of THE TAWNY HEATHERTON PROJECT will be the debut of my new stage show MY TAWNY VALENTINE, premiering in New York City at the Laurie Beechman Theater for three consecutive Fridays this winter: February 17th, 23rd and March 3rd at 8pm. (http://www.westbankcafe.com/beechman_theatre.html)

Performed as a cabaret "evening" with our headliner and an accompanist, MY TAWNY VALENTINE is being presented by the topnotch talents of SpinCycleNYC.

And so I'm asking you to help Tawny get her act together -- so that she can begin sharing her sunny, funny, blonde-swept sense of wonder with each and every one of you.

Marriage News Watch - December 26, 2011

First pic of "Magic Mike" starring Matthew McCounaughey, Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello

Click pic to view larger
Director Steven Soderbergh explores the world of male strippers with Magic Mike, and ahead of the film's June 2012 release, Warner Bros. has unleashed the first still from the dramedy.

Stars Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello and Matthew McConaughey are all accounted for in the photo, with the latter apparently dressed as a shirtless Uncle Sam. The rest of the actors, all of whom play strippers in the movie, are only showing off their arms for now.

Magic Mike is inspired by Tatum's experiences working as a stripper before his acting career took off. But instead of the lead, Tatum plays the mentor to Pettyfer's character, a performer in the troupe.

Said Manganiello in October about his character: "Big Dick Richie? That's the reason to do it. There's definitely a scene that will answer those questions. Everybody kinda does their own thing...Big sexy Kevin Nash has his Tarzan thing, I've got my fireman thing, Matt Bomer's got a doctor thing going on, Adam Rodriguez does a Latino lover bit."

Magic Mike arrives in U.S. theaters on June 29, 2012. It also stars Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Riley Keough and Cody Horn.



(source)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Joe Manganiello for the "It Gets Better" campaign



My man Joe!

War Horse - terrific movie


Michael and I saw the first screening of "War Horse" in Las Vegas today.

I'm wiped out.  Terrific Spielberg movie - love of animals, themes of loyalty and promises kept, overcoming incredible odds - I'm emotionally done.

If you can, make sure you see this.  Not only great story telling, but the score of the film is fantastic.

Here's a link to Fandango where you can find where it's playing in your area.

By popular demand - encore airing! Candi and Randy Holiday Show


Due to popular demand - Encore airing!

Blog Talk Radio named us a "Top Pick" for Christmas Day! (ok, how cool is that???)

Tonight on The Candi and Randy Show, we will be sharing over an hour of our favorite holiday music.

PLUS we welcome special guests Olivia Newton-John, Vanessa Williams and Jon Secada (how cool is that?) to share their holiday traditions and what they are looking forward to in 2012.  And of course we'll be enjoying some of their very best holiday music.

So hit the link below, sit back, enjoy the music and our fabulous guests.

The Candi & Randy Show - December 25th - 11pmEST/8pmPST


p.s. if you miss the show, you can listen to the recorded podcast of the show once ends by going to the same link above or hit the Play button on the player below. (There will be a short commercial before the show on the player - give it a second to get past that). Also available as a free download on iTunes in the Podcast section.

Enjoy!

Olivia Newton-John & Jon Secada - "Everytime It Snows"



My favorite romantic holiday song.

The Candi and Randy Holiday Show - BlogTalkRadio's Christmas Day Top Pick!

Click to view larger
So this is waaay cool.

The Candi & Randy Holiday Show was a big success last night - that you all for listening in! Great Christmas music to put you in the holiday mood, plus great guests Vanessa Williams, Olivia Newton-John and Jon Secada.

It was such a success BlogTalkRadio has the encore airing set for tonight as their Christmas Day Top Pick!  Check out the lower right hand corner of the homepage above.  Whoo-hoo!

If you missed the show last night, you can listen or download it at any time by clicking on this link.

And if you'd like to join us for the encore airing tonight - 11pmEST / 8pmPST - come listen by clicking here.

Listening live also means you can participate in the chat room which gets pretty lively during the show.

Hope you join us live or by enjoying the archived show.

Merry merry!

Airman Randy Phillips says "Merry Christmas"



Airman Randy Phillips, who famously chronicled his coming out on youtube while in the US armed forces while stationed in Europe, sends holiday wishes.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Little girl asks Santa to bring her dad home from Iraq



Little girl asks Santa to bring her dad home from Iraq - what she doesn't know is the Santa is her father...

Sweet story.

Christmas music edition of The Candi and Randy Show tonight!


Tonight on The Candi and Randy Show, we will be sharing over an hour of our favorite holiday music.

PLUS we welcome special guests Olivia Newton-John, Vanessa Williams and Jon Secada (how cool is that?) to share their holiday traditions and what they are looking forward to in 2012.  And of course we'll be enjoying some of their very best holiday music.

So hit the link below, sit back, enjoy the music and our fabulous guests.

The Candi & Randy Show - December 24th - 9pmEST/6pmPST



p.s. if you miss the show, you can listen to the recorded podcast of the show once ends by going to the same link :)

Hallelujah chorus from Anchorage



Very creative! Sent to me by my friend Gary Jaffe, finder of the most cool things.

Merry merry!

Top 10 moments in 2011 for LGBT rights



From Thomas Roberts on MSNBC. I love how Thomas' voice gets more and more excited as he lists the progress made this year on behalf of the LGBT community.

Yes - "it does get better."

Forward.

Olivia Newton-John - "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"



Olivia Newton-John singing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" live on Good Morning America Christmas Day 2007.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Angela Lansbury and Jerry Herman: is there anything better?



Angela Lansbury with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on "We Need A Little Christmas" - does it get any better???

Money for endorsement? Santorum and Iowa Conservative leader in controversy

An Iowa Christian conservative leader who bestowed his highly sought-after endorsement on presidential candidate Rick Santorum this week is now at the center of a controversy over whether he asked for cash in exchange for his public support.

Less than 48-hours after receiving the backing of Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the prominent evangelical group The Family Leader, Santorum disclosed that the prominent Iowan told him he needed money to make the most out of the endorsement.

“Clearly the endorsement was for sale — without a doubt,” one source said.  It’s a charge that The Family Leader flatly denied.

But even Santorum acknowledged in an interview with CNN that money was among the topics he and Vander Plaats discussed last weekend ahead of Tuesday’s endorsement press conference.

“What he talked about was he needed money to promote the endorsement and that that would be important to do that,” Santorum told CNN. “There was never a direct ask for me to go out and raise money for it.”

The former Pennsylvania senator’s statement differs from what he told ABC News on Monday night — just hours before Vander Plaats endorsed him. At a campaign event in Indianola, Iowa, Santorum said the issue of money never came up in his conversations with the Christian leader.

Read more at ABC News

Catholics vs Presbyterians on dogs in heaven

Apparently these two churches are across the street from each other.

Regular readers of The Randy Report know where I stand here - Dogs Rule!









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