Tuesday, January 15, 2019

No British Fest in 2019 -- But Will Return in 2020!

I've written several times in the past about my visits to Omaha, NE, to attend the British Fest Convention (here, here, here, and here). It's become an annual getaway for Husband Mark and me, a chance to get away from work and family for a few days. Additionally, I've had a lot of fun updating and facilitating my "Midsomer Murders" panel during the past three year. It's always well attended and I've become friendly with a few of the repeat attendees -- enough that I have plans to co-host a "Midsomer Murders" viewing party with one of my panel regulars when we reunite for the next British Fest.

Unfortunately, those plans have been put on hold this afternoon following news that there will not be a British Fest in 2019! The British Fest organizers announced that they have decided to take off 2019 so that their staff can have some extra quality times with their family and friends.

I've been assured that British Fest will return in 2020 -- which should give me plenty of time to update my "Midsomer Murders" panel, AND create an exciting new "Death in Paradise" panel too! Or something else that will have grabbed my attention over the next year and a half.

I'm disappointed that I won't be going to British Fest this summer, but I hope that the sabatical is good for Moose and the rest of the gang.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

"Celebrity Big Brother 2 USA" Houseguests Announced!

CBS announced the cast for the second season of "Celebrity Big Brother 2 USA." I didn't get to watch the program last year because it was on their CBS All Access streaming channel and I refuse at this time to invest in yet another streaming service. But it actually looks "Celebrity Big Brother 2 USA" might actually air on the regular CBS channel later this month.

Which is nice because I actually recognize most of the celebrities on this season's program. From top to bottom, we have:
Anthony Scaramucci: Former White House Director of Communications.
Dina Lohan: Lindsay Lohan's mother.
Joanthan Bennett: Actor who's best known for his role in "Mean Girls."
Ryan Lochte: Olympic swimmer and former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant.
Lolo Jones: Track and bobsled athlete.
Nathalie Eva Marie: Former WWE wrestler.
Ricky Williams: Former NFL football player.
Joey Lawrence: Actor known for shows like "Gimme a Break!," "Brotherly Love," and "Melissa & Joey."
Kandi Burrus: Singer, songwriter, former member of Xscape, and longtime "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star.
Tamar Braxton: Singer and reality TV star.
Tom Green: Comedian and former star of "The Tom Green Show."
Kato Kaelin: Former friend of OJ Simpson and actor.
The various celebrities will compete to win a grand prize of $250,000. Thirteen episodes will be broadcast over four weeks, stretching from January 21st through February 13th. "Celebrity Big Brother 2 USA" will be hosted by Julie Chen Moonves.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

YouTuber Logan Paul Triggers Minor Reaction After Revealing Plan to "Go Gay" in March 2019

I don't think that I've ever written about Logan Paul. He's this YouTuber who got in trouble last year for filming a dead suicide victim in Japan. Not just that. He has a reputation for saying and doing stupid things, but it was the Suicide Forest video that really basked him in scorn.

Logan Paul began showing up on my Twitter feed following reports that he's said that he's gonna go gay during the month of March. And most of the people that I've seen reacting have been quite upset about it. People expressed that it is ignorant of Paul to make this joke when LGBTQ kids are being bullied and committing suicide and when it's perfectly legal in most of the USA to get fired for being LGBTQ.

I was curious about Logan Paul's "going gay" statement, so began searching for the video where he talking about going gay. Turned out that it was just some offhand joke on a vlog called Impaulsive. Paul and some other guy were sharing their New Years Resolutions. For example, they said that they went vegan and sober for the month of January with plans to revert back to meat and booze come February. Then they started talking about the month of March:
Logan Paul: So it’s male-only March. We’re gonna attempt to go gay for just one month. 
Co-Host, Mike Majlak: For one month. And then swing… go back.
And then they start talking about Coachella.

So that was the joke. Honestly, this was really one of those manufactured outrage things that comes from something and even the angry reactions are largely nothing.

I mean, who cares if Logan Paul jokes that he's going to "go gay" for a month? Heck, who would care if he actually did "go gay" for a month? I mean, he's certainly not going to touch me or most of the men in this world. And who am I to care if he actually experimented with some other guy, either privately or for his YouTube audience?

Ultimately, his relevance is only what we give him. So if he goes gay, more power to him. Otherwise, he can hang at Coachella or wherever and the rest of us can move on with more important issues.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Jon's Blog Daily Meme: Google It!

Call Me Crowjack! What's Your Rob Liefeld Name?

I noticed this image circulating on Twitter last night:

According to this "What's your Rob Liefeld Name?" chart, my extreme hero name is Crowjack! My husband's extreme hero name is Bladeshot and my handsome sons are Shadeclaw and Nightshot!

What's your Rob Liefeld name? Share it in the comments section!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Des Moines, IA: Police Investigate Reports of Chickens Being Raised in Car Outside Apartment Complex

I was hopping around on YouTube tonight and found this news clip from Tuesday evening. It seems that police and animal control were called out to investigate an unusual situation outside of a Des Moines apartment building: 10 chickens living in a car!

It seems that a family of Nepalese refugees have ten barnyard chickens -- presumably for eggs and possibly for meat. They aren't allowed to keep them in their apartment, so they have stored the chickens in the back seat of their vehicle.

Technically, it's not illegal. The chickens are well cared for. They have plenty of food and water and their area is regularly cleaned. Des Moines allows for urban chicken and have very specific rules when it comes to the size of coops and where they are placed in relation to houses. But there really aren't any rules to regulate car-based coops!

The city plans to follow up with the family, but otherwise has not removed the chickens or intervened.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Remembering the Time that Joan & Barri from "Campus Ladies" Went Gay for a Day!

There was this great sitcom called "Campus Ladies" that aired on Oxygen back in 2006 and 2007 starring Christen Sussin and Carrie Aizley. Sussin and Aizley starred as a pair of fortysomething ladies named Barri Martin and Joan Beamin who find themselves enrolling in college and trying to fit in with their much younger classmates. Most of the program is unscripted and improvised -- with humorous results!

For some reason, I began reminiscing about the program over the weekend and then lost myself in a series of reruns on YouTube.

One of the episodes that had me rolling on the floor last night was the first season's third episode: "Lesbian Lovers." After an off-hand by their roommate Paige that they're acting gay, Joan and Barri go on a journey of sexual exploration as newly out lesbians. 

They spend the next couple days coming out to their friends and family and looking for the perfect lesbian lovers. They even try pairing off with each other very briefly after deciding that they are perfect for each other! It's not until they meet some lady lovers at the Homo Hop that they realize that they've been completely mistaken and they're totally into guys after all!

Unfortunately, their friends Abdul and Drew decide to rescue their newly out friends by hiring an ex-gay de-programmer -- who actually finds himself programmed from ex-gay back to gay after an evening locked in the closet with our two leading ladies!

It's unfortunate that "Campus Ladies" doesn't appear to be on DVD or any of the major streaming services. It was such good comedy! If you haven't seen it before, check out some of the episodes on YouTube, where some kind soul uploaded several of the episodes. You truly won't regret it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Jon's Blog Daily Meme: Happy Bubble Bath Day!

January 8th is Bubble Bath Day. Time to indulge in some self-care!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Private Detective Sam Hill Makes a Return Visit to Archie Comics in ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #295!

For a variety of reasons, I haven't read any Archie Comics comic books in several weeks. But even I couldn't resist it when I noticed that ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #295 and an original short story about Sam Hill.

If you don't remember, Sam Hill is Archie Comics' private detective. He had a comic book series back in the early 1950s, which you can read on most public domain websites. Read here for some of his back story.

It's been a few years since I've read any new stories featuring Sam Hill. So once I discovered "The Case of the Long Con" -- featuring writing by Ian Flynn, pencils by Jeff Schultz, inks by Jim Amash, colors by Glenn Whitmore, and lettering by Jack Morelli -- I had to rush out and pick up this comic book digest!

It's not entirely clear why, but the story starts with Sam Hill coming to Riverdale to meet visit his old friend Pop Tate. Interestingly, he hints that Pop Tate was a bit of a rogue back in the day. He didn't clarify, but it's possible that he was thinking about the time that Pop sold his soul to the Devil.

Shortly after he arrives, we learn that all of Pop's customers have become victims of a mysterious pickpocket. Fortunately, Sam Hill proves to be the one person in the diner with the ability to sit back, not panic, and use his observational skills to solve the crime in one page.

All in all, it was a fun story. I just wish that we could see more of Sam Hill -- either in his own comic book or on television. Then again, I just learned that he will be returning next week in WORLD OF ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #85. So maybe that's a sign that Sam Hill will soon become a regular feature in Archie Comics' digests! Which would be really fun!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Remembering Beverly LaSalle, the Bunkers' Trans Friend from "All in the Family"

I usually enjoy "All in the Family" when I watch it, but I actually haven't watched that many episodes of the 70s sitcom. I usually catch an episode here and there in the evenings on some cable channel when I can't find anything else that interests me. I was recently watching a season seven episode of the program and discovered a recurring character named Beverly LaSalle who appeared three times on the program -- but each of those three episodes were wonderfully touching! Through the magic of YouTube, I sat down and watched all of Beverly's episodes.

Let's start with Beverly LaSalle herself. She was portrayed by Lori Shannon. Shannon was born Don Seymour McLean in 1938. Shannon became known as a professional female impersonator. She appeared in three episodes of "All in the Family," but also in a 1980 TV movie called "For the Love of It." Lori Shannon died from a heart attack at the age of 46 on 02/13/84. Basically a few months younger than I am right now.

Beverly first appeared in "Archie the Hero." Archie Bunker was driving a cab when one of his fares became non-responsive. He performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the woman and then delivered her safely to the hospital. Of course, Archie immediately told everyone about his heroism and managed to leak news of his good deed to the media. Then he found out that the woman is a female impersonator named Beverly LaSalle. 

From the point forward, Archie tried evading others about the story until he, Beverly, and the reporter all came together face-to-face and her true nature was revealed. Ever the lady, Beverly deflected Archie's role in the situation claiming that it was actually a non-existent truck driver who actually performed CPR on her -- thanks to Archie's leadership, of course! This impressed Archie, who told Beverly "for a dame, you're one hell of a guy." Which was actually high praise coming from Mr. Bunker!

Beverly was extremely grateful towards Archie. In fact, her gratitude was repeatedly expressed every time she met up with Archie and his family. She maintained a close friendship with Edith for the next couple of years, returning for a visit one year after Archie save her life. Archie guilted her allowing her to be paired as a blind date for one of his frenemies. Beverly felt conflicted about the deception, but her date Pinky revealed himself as a bigger jerk than Archie!

Finally in "Edith's Crisis of Faith," Beverly returned one final time to visit the Bunkers. She was going to perform at Carnegie Hall and wanted to show off her gown and invite the Bunkers to watch her performance. While there, Edith and Beverly both shared their love for each other. Edith gave Beverly a special scrapbook and invited her dear friend over for Christmas.

Sadly, things went south from here. After leaving the Bunker's home, Beverly (dressed as a man) and Mike were attacked by a bunch of thugs while walking to a nearby subway station. Beverly received the worst of the attack and ended up dying at the hospital. Edith spent the rest of this two-part episode coming to terms with her friend's violent and senseless death -- as well as God's role in it.

I really loved her friendship with the Bunkers. The warmth and affection shared by her and Edith was palpable. And it was clear that Archie liked her too -- even if he was uncomfortable with her female presence.

Beverly LaSalle was notable in that her character was the first positive portrayal of a trans character on network TV. It's just unfortunate that she was killed off. I would have loved to have seen more of her on "All in the Family" or one of the program's various spin-off shows.