Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31st, 2012 - Make Someone's Day!

Sometimes even the smallest of kind gestures towards someone in your life can go a long, long way. Take a second today to say hi or give a kind word to someone who you appreciate having in your life, just to let them know you're thinking of them. It just might make their day! Happy Tuesday!

This was a little something I wrote this morning to post on my Facebook page. It was borne out of a realization I had last night after talking to my friend Rich and carried on through during several contacts I had with people afterwards. As I mentioned here on Sunday, I've been feeling like I've been in a funk lately, and even though I know that these lows always eventually run out, when I'm experiencing them it's difficult to imagine how and when it's going to end.

Then, like always, it's something small and sudden that can do it, like one of the gestures I speak of in my Facebook status. A series of small interactions with special people in my life began on Sunday night and by Monday night I felt a lot better. I thought of the Pink song, "Glitter in the Air":

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
You're whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone

Living alone can be really tough sometimes. Though I enjoy solitude on occasion, sometimes I hate it, and like everybody else, I sometimes need that phone to ring or that message to come through on Facebook to prove that I'm really not alone. When these things do come, somehow I am always stronger for it, happier. I need it and I think we all do every once in awhile.

So look up and read the quote again. Think of someone in your life who you think might be missing you and give them a call, send them a message, and say hi. I promise it'll go a really long way. You might even just make their day!

Image Source: Heart of a Gypsy

Countdown to Madonna Song of the Day - Till Death Do Us Part

Here's another great, great Madonna song that many of you may not know. It's from her phenomenal 1989 album, "Like a Prayer," and it's a sad reflection on Madonna's real-life marriage to actor Sean Penn. In a lot of ways it kind of reminds me of my former life with Joe...ahh, a lifetime ago!

The video I chose to use here is a pretty cool spin on the song, using clips from their 1986 movie, "Shanghai Surprise," which Madonna looks great in. There's dialogue at the beginning, so if you just want to hear the song, push it up to about 50 seconds in and you'll catch it from the beginning.

Till Death Do Us Part - Like a Prayer

Till Death Do Us Part

Our luck is running out of time
You're not in love with me anymore
I wish that it would change, but it won't, if you don't
Our luck is running out of time
You're not in love with me anymore
I wish that it would change, but it won't
'Cause you don't love me no more

You need so much but not from me
Turn your back in my hour of need
Something's wrong but you pretend you don't see
I think I interrupt your life
When you laugh it cuts me just like a knife
I'm not your friend, I'm just your little wife


They never laugh, not like before
She takes the keys, he breaks the door
She cannot stay here anymore
He's not in love with her anymore

The bruises they will fade away
You hit so hard with the things you say
I will not stay to watch your hate as it grows
You're not in love with someone else
You don't even love yourself
Still I wish you'd ask me not to go


He takes a drink, she goes inside
He starts to scream, the vases fly
He wishes that she wouldn't cry
He's not in move with her anymore

He makes demands, she draws the line
He starts the fight, she starts the lie
But what is truth when something dies
He's not in love with her anymore

You're not in love with someone else
You don't even love yourself
Still I wish you'd ask me not to go


She's had enough, she says the end
But she'll come back, she knows it then
A chance to start it all again
Till death do us part

Image Source; madonnafanmadecovers

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30th, 2012 - He Passed!; R.I.P. Bradley Thomsen

I love Monday nights. Just knowing that the first day of a long work week is behind me gives me a sense of peace, especially when it was a good day. Well, today was a good day for me personally and I find myself in a much better mood than I was just a day ago. Big smiles!

He Passed!

Just yesterday I told you about a student who I’ve been tutoring for the past three months to prepare for his state examination in Global History. I mentioned how horribly difficult the test was in my Education Smeducation rant, and I still think it’s not fair, but in the incredibly wacky world of education, making up for hard tests with lots of grading leeway and lower passing scores, I’m happy to report that he passed the test! After way too many tries at passing the darned thing, he now has all of the requirements he needs to earn his diploma. Congratulations big time buddy!

R.I.P. Bradley Thomsen

I am sad to report tonight that the husband of one of my oldest friends, Marcia, passed away unexpectedly last night. I heard the news early this morning from Marcia’s daughter and I am as shocked as anyone within that circle to learn of Brad’s death.

Marcia and I go back a long ways, from my days working as a stock boy at Stern’s department store. I was in my late teens/early twenties when I worked there and I met Marcia during a difficult time when many of my formerly friendly coworkers found out I was gay and suddenly ostracized me from the group. Marcia was new at the store and had been hearing much of the chatter going on about me and one day she reached out to me with an ear and an offer of friendship.

For the next almost 30 years, she and I have been through a lot together, both good times and bad, and even though she now lives in Florida we still manage to stay in each other’s lives somehow. Her two children, Layne and Jordan, who I met when they were small, are like my niece and nephew and I’m grateful to have them in my life, as well.

A little more than eight years ago, Marcia told me she had met Brad. He was from Long Island and he was going to be coming down to Florida to live with her. Of course, I was hesitant and doubtful about what seemed like too sudden a decision, but I have never been one to ply my own opinions onto others, and so I was just happy for my friend.

Marcia and Brad were married in November of 2003 and I was on hand to witness the event. Over the years I came to know Brad pretty well and what I can say most about him was that he was quite a character! Always jovial and always outspoken, Bradley was always a presence whenever he was around. Through and through, he and I got along pretty well, and I can say with all honesty that he was a likable guy.

I remember during one of my many visits to see them in Florida, Marcia insisted that he and I spend some time together so that we could get to know one another. It was the first and only time in my life I ever took an airboat ride in the Everglades, something we had both always wanted to do. It was quite an experience!

What I am grateful for the most about Brad was that he was around to take care of my friend Marcia. For the longest time, she had been completely on her own and doing her best to survive. In him, she found a soul mate, someone with whom she could spend her days with and be happy and worry with, and I can say with certainty that that’s exactly what he was for her. Thank you Brad! Rest in Peace!

Brad and Marcia

Image Sources:



Tsk, tsk, classless Elton disses Madge again!

Tsk, tsk! You know, I used to love Elton John a lot. Check that… I used to love his music a lot, especially his early stuff like “Bennie and the Jets,” “Your Song,” and of course “Rocket Man,” but these days not so much…especially when he’s making a public ass out of himself by dissing Madonna.

Yup, the most recent Elton John-Madonna tiff that first began at the Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago has resurfaced once again, and again it started with Sir Elton insulting one of the greatest female performers of all time, and without any provocation whatsoever. During an interview this morning with Good Morning America’s Chris Connelly, John gave Ms. Madge some advice for her much-hyped Super Bowl appearance this Sunday:

“Make sure you lip sync good.”

Okay, okay, well that wasn’t a terrible comment. He did add that he thought that playing live at such a venue was a major challenge for anybody and that he’s “never, ever seen a decent one,” referring to past halftime extravaganzas. But this wasn’t the first time he’s uttered the words “Madonna” and “lip-synching” in the same sentence. In 2004, Miss M was nominated for Best Live Act at the Q Awards, and John threw the daggers:

“Madonna, best f***ing live act? F*** off! Since when has lip-synching been live?”

“Anyone who lip-syncs in public onstage when you pay 75 pounds to see them should be shot.”

It’s obvious from these 8 year-old comments that Elton has had issues with Madonna for a long time, and who knows, or even cares, why. He started this latest embarrassment by telling Carson Daly in an interview before the Globes that she didn’t have a “f***ing chance” to win the award for Best Original Song…and then, lo and behold, she won.

The look on John’s face as Madge went up to accept the award was very telling. He was clearly seething, and afterwards his husband David Furnish took to Facebook to say that her win showed that the awards had “nothing to do with merit,” and that her acceptance speech was “embarrassing in its narcissism.” Sounds a lot like jealousy, no? Whatever it is, it was most definitely classless!

Madonna’s response to the comments was gracious:

“I hope he speaks to me for the next couple of years. He's been known to get mad at me so I don't know. He's brilliant and I adore him so he'll win another award. I don't feel bad."

Twitterers, Facebookers and Madonna fans in general have taken to the Internet today to express their displeasure at John’s latest case of foot-in-mouth disease. So far there has been no response from Madge herself on the latest insult, but maybe she will on an appearance this evening on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Through it all, Elton has made it clearly evident that he’s totally devoid of class and his personal attacks do nothing but earn Madonna more free press. Thanks Elton!

Image Source:

Off Topic

Countdown to Madonna Song of the Day - Thief of Hearts

There are only five more days until the new Madonna era begins and I'm excited! On Friday, February 3rd, Madonna's newest single, her first in a very long time, will be released on iTunes. The song is called "Gimme All Your Luvin" and its got a cheerleader quality to it. The song's been leaked in an earlier form, but that was without the much talked about featured raps from Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. Since the leak (and the subsequent arrest of the leaker!), Madge has had the final version locked in a vault.

Even earlier than the Friday iTunes release of the song, the video for it will premiere on American Idol Thursday night. Woo hoo! Here's a very cool promo shot for the song ("L.U.V. Madonna!"):

Anyway, since it is a special week and I do love Madonna more than anyone else in music, I thought I'd celebrate with some great Madonna songs that you might not know. She's done plenty of great stuff that never made it to radio stations and this is one of my favorites. It's from her fantastic 1992 "Erotica" album and it's got some great lyrics, including a few sarcastically amusing one-liners. I love that era!

"Now stop bitch, and sit your ass down!"

Thief of Hearts - Erotica

Image Source: Facebook

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29th, 2012 - In a Funk; Education Smeducation; Blog Updates

Good morning and Happy Sunday! It’s been nothing but writing for me all morning so far and after this entry I definitely need to take a break. It is a gorgeous day outside, not at all like January, with sunny skies and warm temperatures. It kind of feels like early spring rather than winter and I plan on getting out there at least for a bit…

In a Funk

I really have no idea what’s the matter with me lately, but I am definitely in a funk! Over the past several weeks I’ve kind of been walking around in a daze, not really feeling like doing anything, and I don’t know why. For at least the third or fourth time in the last few weeks, I stayed home on Saturday night, but this time it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Having not gone to the city for two weeks because of the Outlook Awards dinner last Saturday, I had been planning all week on going last night. I got a call from my pal Ivan that he and his friends were going to a new club opening in Hell’s Kitchen and he wanted me to join them. The club is called XL and Kristine W was performing there for the opening.

Though the offer was very tempting, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to deal with the huge crowds of people that I would expect to see at a grand opening like that, but I was planning on going into either Splash or the Ritz, nonetheless. I spent part of the day preparing for the night, gassing up, getting money and I even took a nap, but when it came time to go, I don’t know, I just didn’t. I had even showered and dressed, got in the car and left, but I found myself turning around and coming home not even a mile away from my house. At first I attributed it to a late start, but I’m just not sure…

Lately I’ve been spending too much time in isolation and I know it’s not good for me. I need to get out there and do a little more interacting with people, but I can’t seem to get myself going. I guess I just need to try harder and hopefully that funk will go away soon.

Education Smeducation

Oh, there are so many things I want to say about the state of education in this country and the State of New York, but I don’t have nearly enough time to get it all out there. There’s one thing I can say for sure, and that’s that education is a total mess! In the field of education, as in any other field of work, it seems that the people in charge are so far removed from the front lines that they are clueless when it comes to how the decisions they make affect the people at the root of their domain. In this case I’m talking about the kids.

This past week was Regents week in New York. For those of you who don’t know what that is, the Regents are a series of examinations that students must pass to graduate from high school in New York State. Students must pass five Regents examinations (English, Math, Global Studies, US History and either Biology or Earth Science) to earn their diplomas, which, since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, has made more kids take five years and not the expected four to graduate from high school and many more have dropped out. (Talk about leaving children behind!)

Usually the students who take them in January are taking them because they failed the exams in June and/or August, when they’re offered again. This year, I was tasked with tutoring a special education student to prepare him for the Global Studies exam. Even though I am not a social studies teacher, I feel comfortable enough with the subject matter to have helped him pass the test.

For the past three months, he and I have worked together long hours preparing for the exam and on Friday he took the Global Studies Regents. As I administered the test, I started to burn with anger at seemingly every question. Now I can say with pride that this student, who had failed the exam several times in the past, learned a lot from his time with me. He knows a lot more about global history than he ever did before, especially finding interest in World War II, the Cold War and the Cuban Revolution, oddly enough, but this test covered too broad a range for him to recall.

He answered several questions without hesitation, but unfortunately there weren’t enough that he knew for certain. In fact, there were many questions I couldn’t have even answered. Questions about such obscure and specific historical subjects like the rule of Suleimann the Magnificent, Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Tokugawa shogunate are simply out of the realm of what this particular kid is able to store in his learning disabled brain, and his dejection during the exam was plainly evident on his face. Both he and I knew that for most of the questions, it was simply a crapshoot as to guessing the correct answer.

I wish that the folks at the Board of Regents of the State of New York could have been there to witness this travesty. Maybe then they might rethink the current thoughts on rigorous standards for everybody and see that not all learners are the same.

A wedding chuppah designed by Stewart Wellington, lol


Beginning yesterday, I started to work on my other blogs, “john’s food and recipe blog” and “The Misadventures of Johnny Driver.” With the former I simply added my newest published recipe, “Tacosagne,” to the blog and changed a little of its appearance, and for Johnny Driver I started the long, arduous task of rewriting the entire series. I am hoping to add to the Johnny Driver series, which I think has potential if I say so myself, and I feel the need to revisit what’s been done already to make it better and more readable, especially since I think I got better with it as time went on. Check out the reworked introduction here.

Stay tuned for more updates on those sites, which I will mention here when necessary, and feel free to check them out either below or in the sidebar.

john’s food and recipe blog

The Misadventures of Johnny Driver

Well, I think I’ve said enough here for one post. Be sure to check out Shakira in the latest Song of the Day and some news about Lady Gaga’s newest single here. In the meantime, have a great Sunday!

P.S.: Here's a photo I found on the Internet that is just soooo cute I had to share it:

Image Sources:




Is Gaga's "Heavy Metal Lover" the right choice to be the next single?

Pop culture website Popcrush is reporting this morning that Lady Gaga has decided on what will be the next single off of 2011's "Born This Way" album, and "Heavy Metal Lover" is the choice, and in my opinion not the best one.

Though there's been a lot of negativity towards this album from the get-go, no one can call it a flop by any means. Four of its five singles thus far have hit the top ten ("Born This Way," "Judas," "The Edge of Glory," and "You & I"), while the most recent one, "Marry the Night," has barely cracked the Top 100.

As I've said before, even though this one is way different from her "Fame/Fame Monster" records, it's a good album nonetheless, and I can think of at least three other songs that would probably do better than this gothy, synthy track.

Three songs on "Born This Way" immediately come to mind when I think of what would do well on the charts. Each of them would classify as pure pop songs, with catchy choruses and equally appealing music tracks. The three songs I'm talking about are "Hair," "Fashion of His Love," and "Bad Kid." If you don't know em and would like to check them out, just click on the title to be taken to the song on YouTube and see if you agree with me.

Reports say that Gaga will be performing "Heavy Metal Lover" at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards on February 12th. (Reports that Gaga will be both opening and closing that show are still just speculation at this time.) By then we'll see what kind of reception the song gets. As for me, well...what do I know?

Here's a homemade video featuring the song. Check it out and see what you think. As always, comments are appreciated.

Heavy Metal Lover - Born This Way

Image Source; Popcrush

Song of the Day - Objection (Tango) - Shakira

Today's song is an early Shakira throwback, with a fast-moving, Latin-flavored "tango" jam. The song was recorded for Shakira's 1st Spanish/English-language album, "Laundry Service" way back in 2001. It's the lead song on the album and it's one of the few songs recorded in both languages. What a way to get ya moving!

Objection (Tango) - Laundry Service

Image Source: 991.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Swedish Fab Four ABBA to release a new song in April

I just heard this little tidbit and thought I'd pass it on for any interested fans of the Swedish pop group ABBA. On April 23rd, the group will be re-releasing a special edition of their 1981 album, "The Visitors," complete with a brand new, never before released track. The song,"From a Twinkling Star to a Passing Angel," is a medley of demos recorded for that album, which was the group's last, in 1981.

The new song will be the first of any type of new material released by the group in 18 years. Together, the foursome of Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad tore up the music world during the 1970's with an irresistible pop sound that resonated with music fans worldwide. With over 200 million albums sold worldwide, ABBA is one of the world's most commercially successful groups of all time.

To the dismay of their many fans the group, whose members were two sets of married couples (Agnetha and Bjorn and Anna-Frid and Benny), disbanded in the early 1980's, leaving a legacy of music that can still be heard today on oldies stations everywhere and in the hit Broadway musical "Mamma Mia."

I have long been a big fan of the Swedish Fab Four for a long, long time, and every once in awhile I visit the ABBA folder on my iPod to partake in a little ABBA indulgence, bopping to songs like "Waterloo," "Dancing Queen," and "Does Your Mother Know," or singing along with passion to the tender "Knowing Me, Knowing You," the harmonious "Chiquitita," or one of my personal favorites, "S.O.S." Take a listen:

S.O.S. - ABBA Gold - Greatest Hits

I am definitely looking forward to the new song from ABBA. I know that these four will probably never perform together again, and so this will be a rare opportunity to hear something new. I can't wait! In the meantime, check out the lyrics to "S.O.S.":


Where are those happy days, they seem so hard to find
I tried to reach for you, but you have closed your mind
Whatever happened to our love?
I wish I understood
It used to be so nice, it used to be so good

So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me
S. O. S.
The love you gave me, nothing else can save me
S. O. S.
When you're gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you're gone
Though I try how can I carry on?

You seem so far away though you are standing near
You made me feel alive, but something died I fear
I really tried to make it out
I wish I understood
What happened to our love, it used to be so good

So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me
S. O. S.
The love you gave me, nothing else can save me
S. O. S.
When you're gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you're gone
Though I try how can I carry on?

So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me
S. O. S.
And the love you gave me, nothing else can save me
S. O. S.
When you're gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you're gone
Though I try how can I carry on?
When you're gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you're gone
Though I try how can I carry on?

Image Source: last-fm

Song of the Day - Give Me Tonight - Shannon

This one's a classic from 1984 by Shannon, a telephone operator turned singer who had a couple of major hits during the 80's. Great song! Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

Give Me Tonight - The Best Is Yet to Come

Image Source: 45picturesleeves

Friday, January 27, 2012

Song of the Day - I See You Baby - Groove Armada

This is the house that funk built...Groove Armada style!

TGIF peeps! It is Friday and time for some fun after a looonnng week, and this one is nothing but fun! So whether you're getting ready for work, hanging out at home, cleaning, fixing some food or whatever, just press play and "shake that thang," just like Grandma Funk says...

I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim Radio Edit) - The Best of: Groove Armada

Image Source: fromdjs4djs

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26th, 2012 - A Tale of Two Generations; Well Hello Again Nancy Lou!

It’s Thursday night and we’re finally towards the end of what has turned out to be a long week for me, especially at work. Though I promised myself I would stay away from the pc long enough to find other things to occupy my time, like sleep for instance, I find myself once again at the pc, typing away…

A Tale of Two Generations

Yesterday, another friend of mine posted a short little essay on Facebook. It concerned something I’ve had in my head for awhile now. Being a teacher and a constant in the lives of young folks, I plainly see a lot of things that worry me about the next generation. With the advent of technology has come a change in the way kids grow up, and to me it paints a troubling scenario of the way the world may eventually become when they’re the ones running it. Read on…

Anyone who was born in the 50's - 60's - 70's... We are the last generation who played in the street. We are the first who played video games & the last to record songs off the radio on a cassette tape. We walked over a mile with no worries about being taken...learned how to program the VCR before anyone else…played from Atari to Nintendo...We are the generation of Tom and Jerry/Looney Toons & Captain Kangaroo…We traveled in cars without seat belts or air-bags & lived without cell phones. We did not have flat screens, surround sound, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, computers & the Internet...But nevertheless we had a GREAT time!

Having been born in the 60’s, I can definitely relate to this. I did have a great childhood, even without all of those technological thingys that are everywhere today. I was just reminiscing recently with my brother about how we used to play sports with all the kids on our block. Every day it was a different game or activity: wiffleball, hockey, building forts, swimming… you name it. I grew up on a block of about ten to fifteen boys all around the same age and we all spent our afternoons together, face to face, enjoying the simple things kids were meant to enjoy. You don’t see that anymore.

I was telling a friend just a couple of weeks ago about an impromptu football game we had all played on a snowy December night when I was around 15. There had to have been thirty of us, even kids from neighboring blocks came out on this bright, moonlit night to play a simple game and it was special. As I told the story, my friend made an observation:

“You know, I never see that anymore. I mean, I never have to stop or go around kids playing together on the street like I used to while I’m driving around. Nowadays they’re all inside chatting online, playing video games, or toiling with their phones.”

She was right! It’s been a long, long time since I came across kids playing a game of pick-up basketball on the street or even riding their bikes. Too often, I fear, these youngins are isolated to the world, connected only through a little device they hold in their hand, and missing out on many of the social aspects of growing up that are so important.

One of the most difficult things about being an educator is getting kids to focus on learning. It’s extremely arduous these days considering the distractions they now have at their disposal. Technology is a great thing, but it’s also a terrible thing!

Smart phones are everywhere these days, and distract us all, not only kids, from what we used to call living. At school, these things can be seen virtually every moment of the day, hidden in palms and under desks, or right out there in the open in school hallways. Does anybody really need to be that connected all the time? Oh, I could write a book on this topic, and perhaps someday I will, but for now I just wish that one child would read the above caption and realize that maybe, just maybe, they should put their cell phones away for just a little while and live.

Well Hello Again Nancy Lou!

Earlier this evening I had a reunion of sorts with an old friend, Nancy Lou. He and I have been getting together for coffee at his place on and off again now for a couple of years, but for the past couple of months we’d fallen out of touch. Though being out of touch with him has been bothering me, I’ve been too busy to do anything about it, but I knew that he kept up with me through this space.

Nance has been a faithful reader of this blog for some time now and I very much appreciate his readership and occasional input, and earlier this afternoon I got a surprise text from him. All it said was “coffee?” Of course I smiled at the sight of the text and even though I had some things to take care of after work, I knew I had to make room for a cup of java with an old friend, and guess what? We haven’t skipped a beat! Nice to see you again Nance!

Well tha-tha-tha-that's all folks! As always, thanks for checking out my space and I look forward to sharing with you again really soon!

Image Sources:



Song of the Day - Superstar - Jamelia

Today's song is probably obscure to most of you. I first heard it on the soundtrack to the old TV show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," (great album!) and I've always loved it. It's a very catchy pop tune that's easy on the ears! Give it a try!

Image Source: rocasound

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25th, 2012 - Writing Wednesday

It's Wednesday night again and it's time for Writing Wednesday. It looks as if I've only got Examiner articles to share with you this evening, as I'm still awaiting a Yahoo Voices piece to get published and Gather is now kaput, although maybe not for long..stay tuned... It's been two weeks since I've shared stuff I've written elsewhere here, so here goes...


Here's what I've published on Examiner, in case you've missed it:

Concerts, Psychic Fairs, and Monster Trucks this weekend on Long Island

There's some cool stuff happening on Long Island this weekend, and sometimes I wish I could do them all, except maybe the Monster Trucks, lol.

6th Annual Outlook Awards Dinner exemplifies what's missing on Long Island

When I sat down Sunday morning to write about the Outlook Awards dinner on Saturday night, I had no idea where I was going to go with it, but I ended up coming back to an old argument.

Macy's Bay Shore finally coming into the 21st Century and the sales have begun

This was a happy one to write. As a longtime Macy's shopper, I am always torn which Macy's to visit when I plan a shopping trip. I've got two in my vicinity: the one in the Smithaven Mall in Lake Grove, which is big, modern and beautiful, or the one in the Westfield Mall in Bay Shore, which is closer to my house, but stuck in the 1960's in decor and ambiance. Well, they are going to be knocking down the Bay Shore store in order to build a new one and this writer/shopper couldn't be happier!

Well, that's all she, ur...he, wrote folks! As ever, I want to thank you for checking me out and stay tuned for the next Song of the Day coming in just a few hours....

Image Sources:


Department Store Museum

Reader's Digest Store

Song of the Day - Domino - Jessie J

Jessie J is an up and coming Brit singer that's got a nice hit on her hands with this one. I recently downloaded her latest CD, "Who You Are," and it is a nice collection of pop songs of all tempos and I highly recommend it. So kick back, press play and enjoy!

Domino - Domino - Single

Image Source: Culture Pop

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Song of the Day - Turn Me On - David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj

I first featured this one back on October 5th and now it's finally hit the big time! Yes, this one from David Guetta's great, great "Nothing but the Beat" album is fast and fun and it marks the first time Ms. Nikki takes a shot at singing. The song is #1 with a bullet on iTunes as I type this...great club song!

There is no official video for the tune, and last time I posted it it was just a picture of the cover of the album. This one's a homemade one with images of videos past spliced together....not too bad, methinks.

Turn Me On (feat. Nicki Minaj) - Nothing But the Beat

Image Source: popcrush

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 - Odds n Ends

It's Monday night and the first big hump of the week is behind us...and I am pooped from a long day! Today all of the snow that fell on Saturday melted away in warm temperatures and rain, a continuation of this very strange winter we're having. There's not too much going on this Monday, either in the news or in my world, but I did want to follow up on a couple of things...

Big Day at John's World

Earlier today as I checked the stats on this blog, I discovered that the past 24 hours was by far the biggest day for page views that this blog has ever seen. As of about 6PM this evening, John's World had gotten 1,254 hits in the previous 24 hours, and that's pretty exciting! I'm figuring I must be doing something right...I'm just not exactly sure what that is, but I thank you, as always, for your support.

A Comment from a Stranger?

This afternoon I received a notification that I had actually gotten a comment on one of my posts from yesterday. It was my last post from January 22nd in which I mentioned that my friend Dita had told me about my "crooked glasses" in my profile picture, and the anonymous commenter informed me that it was not Dita who first noticed the off-center spectacles. Now I wonder who that could've been? Inquiring minds want to know, lol.

R.I.P. Etta James

Finally, here's a belated tribute to the late, great Etta James, who passed away on Friday at the age of 73 years. I'm a little young to have really known much of her music, but as I noted in a previous Song of the Day post, she is sampled in the current Flo Rida smash "Good Feeling," and her vocals are really what make the song. Anyway, here's one of her better known songs, a soulful classic that's been used and sampled all over the place. Enjoy and Rest in Peace Etta!

At Last - At Last! (Remastered)

Song of the Day - Party In My Head - September

I'm very excited about today's "Song of the Day." It's been awhile since I posted a September song and I had no idea until now that there was even a video for this one. It's perfect for a Monday morning, too, cause that's where the party will be as I drive in to work...in my head! Oh, and girl is looking good, too!

Have a great one!

Party In My Head (Radio Edit) - Party In My Head (Remixes)

Image Source: abigcitydied

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 - Crooked Glasses; A Food Shopping Rant; Some Photos

Ugh, it's Sunday night already! Why do the weekends go by so fast? Ah well, only four more weeks til winter break...

I know, don't you feel sorry for me....:-P

Crooked Glasses

I wasn't planning on posting again today, but my good old buddy Dita made a point of telling me earlier that the new picture I had chosen to put on my blog as my profile photo wasn't a good choice.

"Look at your glasses," he was giggling into the phone as he was looking at it on his pc. "They're crooked! I can't believe you didn't notice that."

Well, of course I had to go back to take a look and damned if he wasn't right. My glasses are way off on one side, crooked as anything, but with my none too keen eye for detail, I didn't see it before. So I came here to change it. Not so sure about this new one either, but at least there aren't any glasses to be crooked (right Dit?).

I really need some new shots. This new one was from a photo shoot with my buddy Laura Kim a little over a year ago. She's got a great eye and we usually have a lot of fun when we do these, and so I think she and I need to get together real soon!

A Food Shopping Rant

I said awhile ago that I would not use this space to rant too often, but since I'm here and it's on my mind I think I will do a little ranting right now. I did some food shopping earlier tonight, something I hate to do these days, and one of the reasons is the agita I get from looking at the coupons before I get to the supermarket and then again when I see the sales they're having at the store.

I know that in this country, the "family" is a highly valued thing. "Family values" this, "family friendly" that, blah,, blah, blah. You'd would never know from all of the marketing and politicking out there that there are more single people than married ones (especially with kids!) in this country. Yet when it comes to buying stuff we need, we're all supposed to buy like a freaking family.

Have you ever noticed that lately coupons and in-store sales are primarily giving discounts and sale prices when you're buying en masse?

"Save on 2 packages of..."

"4 for $7"

"Save $1.50," (and then in small letters, "must buy 3)"

Well I'm here to say that I don't wanna buy three bottles of Tide detergent to save a buck fifty. Why can't I just buy one and get 50 cents off?

And I really wasn't planning on buying two packages of shredded cheese just so I can save a few cents more. I live alone, for Chrissake! I can't even eat that much cheese before the expiration date comes!

There are some sales, though, where you can get the sale price when buying less quantity, but the signs that are here lead you to believe that you have to buy "10 for $10" or "2 for $5," and it's done on purpose, of course. Ah, but tonight I was reminded of the secret, and it's the same as all the other nefarious secrets in this wonderful, money-driven society we live in:


Yes, folks, if you're ever in the supermarket and you want to buy only a few cans of cat food and not the "24 for $12" deal they've got going on in the store, read the bottom of the sign...you know, where the print is a little smaller. Cause that's something they're required to put there but they don't really want you to see. Unless the sign says, "must buy," you can get the sale price for buying less.

And so this is partially why I'm broke all the time. And this is one of the many reasons I hate food shopping!

A Couple of Photos from the Outlook Awards

There are a couple of fun pictures from last night's event that my buddy Ruby Diamond posted earlier:

Ah well, make it a good week!

Image Sources:

The Krazy Coupon Lady


The Outlook Awards Dinner

Here we are again, another Sunday, another day behind my pc spent writing until the wee hours of the afternoon, lol. I just finished a piece for Examiner on the Outlook Awards, which I attended last night with my pal Blanche and it didn’t quite come out like I expected it to when I began. I knew even before I went that I wanted to write something on it, only I thought it would have been more of a review than a social commentary, but whatever…

A couple of mentions about the sad state of Long Island’s nightlife got me going in that direction and that’s where I headed with the piece. I know that I am forty-something and that I am working through life in my own unique way, kind of backwards, I know, but I still enjoy going out and dancing and I am still a little bewildered about the nightlife scene here on Long Island. Most of the people at the dinner were my age and up, and there was hardly any representation of people from the bar scene, with the exception of Lizard Lounge’s Jay Antonio.

In my younger days, gay bars were the only places where gay people could meet other gay people, and other than the Internet, they’re still the only places for younger people to go to meet up. If we had had a better state of nightlife here on LI, then maybe there would have been a little more representation of that last night, which was the only thing about the dinner that was missing in my opinion.

The Event

The event itself was definitely enjoyable. The crowd of about 300 guests was in a partying mood and the dance floor was filled whenever the deejay was up and playing. I saw several familiar faces from the community, and met lots of new ones, too. Tom Malanga, the Editor in Chief of Outlook Magazine, ran the party smoothly. He seems like a really nice guy who gives his whole heart and soul to what he does. Ariel Sinclair was the Mistress of Ceremonies and she did a great job, providing comic relief and entertaining the crowd during throughout the night.

This was not only my first such event within the LI gay community, but it was also my first trip to the Thatched Cottage, a catering facility on the North Shore in Centerport. (Trekking all the way up there makes you realize how big this island is!) Anyway, the hall is a beautiful place and the food was good, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

The Awards

It seemed that the actual awards were simply an aside to the night, as they were given out in two separate segments, the first one flying by in the span of a quick fifteen minutes and the second marked by plenty of words. I didn’t keep track of all the winners…I know that comedienne Kit Stewart won for Entertainer of the Year, beating out my pal Ruby Diamond, and Cherry’s on the Bay won for Best Nightlife (nice choice!)…you can check Outlook’s FB page here in the coming days to see the rest.

Special honorees for the night included HRC Field Director Marty Rouse, longtime disc jockey/writer/entrepreneur Jimi LaLumia (who inspired the direction of my Examiner piece), and LI’s first openly gay member of the legislature, Jon Cooper.

The Star of the Evening

Though I’ve seen her a dozen times before, I had never truly appreciated the overall genius of Long Island’s own Auntie Barbara until last night. Auntie is one of the most colorful people I’ve ever come across, and she has found her own unique niche within the gay community and Long Island at large as Tupperware’s leading salesperson in North America.

With an imposing stature and a beehive to die for, Auntie Barbra stole the show with her often hysterical responses to the happenings around her. Carrying her signature Tupperware to-go cup, complete with straw, and her one-of-a-kind guffaws, she had everyone smiling that came anywhere near her on the dance floor, at the tables and of course on the stage. I hear she’s booked up with parties for up to a year in advance, but I would love to attend one of her parties.
Love her!!!

My Night

Personally my night was fun, too. I spent most of the party with my buddy Blanche and his contingent of friends, as well as my Circus peeps, Ozzie/Ruby, Manny and Jay. Crazy, those three, each in their own unique way! Ozzie is truly beautiful as Ruby and somehow through it all he can be very funny in his own way. Manny is the jokester of the group, nicknaming me “Nipples” and pinching them all night (ouch!). Jay is full of energy, all over the place and taking pictures like crazy right up until pulling out of the parking lot.

The three of them took off to Hombres Lounge in Jackson Heights afterwards with Ariel and I’m sure they got home a little before I woke up this morning, hehe. As for me and Blanche, we decided to go home instead, opting for our warm beds rather than venturing off into the cold night. Ah well, there’s always next weekend!

Images taken from Facebook

Song of the Day - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life - Indeep

There's not a problem that I can't fix

Cause I can do it in the mix

I heard this classic last night at the LI Outlook Awards and knew right away I had to post it here today. It was an awesome song back in the day and it still is. Happy Sunday!

Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life - Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life / D.J. Delight

Image Source: Mystic Clover Honeypot

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Will the Spice Girls Spice Up Your Life Again in 2012?

Colours of the world
Spice up your life
Every boy and every girl
Spice up your life
People of the world
Spice up your life

Could it be true? Will our lives once again be “spiced-up” in 2012? Reports are out this morning that the popular 90’s Brit girl group the Spice Girls are yearning for a comeback blast beginning at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Yes, Scary (Melanie Brown), Baby (Emma Lee Bunton), Ginger (Geri Haliwell), and Sporty (Melanie Chisholm) are all on board for an appearance at the opening for the summer games, but Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham), who moved to LA several years ago with soccer star husband David Beckham, is said to be the one holdout of the bunch.

The Spice Girls became a world-wide phenomenon in 1996 when their first #1 single, “Wannabe” broke out and for the next three or four years, “Spice-mania” gripped the globe. The girls had a brief comeback reunion tour in 2007-08, but since then they’ve been out of the spotlight…until now.

Some reports have said that the reunion appearance at the Olympic Games would include a medley of their hits, as well as some new stuff, but unless the girls can convince Posh, who’s quite happy living in LA and out of the spotlight, to sign on the dotted line, this reunion will remain just a pipe dream. Stay tuned…

In the meantime, check out the closing number from the girls’ hit movie, “Spice Up Your Life”:

Spice Girls: Greatest Hits - Spice Girls

Image Source: fanpop

Song of the Day - Informer - Snow

Since we're having our first significant snow of the winter this morning, and since I didn't have a specific song in mind when I woke up this morning, I went to YouTube and put in the word "snow" to see what came up and boom, a Song for the Day.

"Informer" was a one-hit wonder for quick-worded Canadian rapper Snow back in 1992. To this day I have no idea what the heck he's saying, but I've always loved this song. Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

Informer - Rhino Hi-Five: Rap, Vol. 1 - EP

Image Source: Wantmyplaylist