Tag Archives: John Legend

While you’re home and bored, a couple of zoo pandas finally did it! A great night of music from Global Citizen concert; here are my 2 favorite songs. And the craziest, best “tennis at home” video yet

You know, it can’t be easy being a panda at a zoo.

Oh, I know there are worse things to be in the world. But you know, think about your life as a zoo panda: You look adorable so everyone stares at you all the time, you’re constantly having your picture taken with those humans again telling you what to do or trying to get you to move this way or that.

And when it’s time for mating, you know, you have a little trouble getting in the mood. Nobody (well, maybe porn stars) want to make love when there’s a bunch of folks around and watching. I mean, maybe if one of those humans had brought some Marvin Gaye music and a little white wine, OK. But tourists never do that.

So you could really hardly blame Ying Ying and Le Le, two adorable black and white creatures at the Hong Kong Zoo, for having trouble getting it on over the past 10 years.

Zookeepers have tried in vain to get the two to procreate, but nothing seemed to get them in the mood.

But under the category of “unexpectedly great things to happen during coronavirus,” let us add: The pandas finally had sex!

Yep, according to the zoo, Le Le and Ying Ying were actually able to get with each other about 10 days ago, and some new baby panda cubs should be on the way. Seems that the zoo closing due to the pandemic, and the lack of people around, allowed Le Le and Ying Ying to get the romantic mood just right.

“The successful natural mating process today is extremely exciting for all of us, as the chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination,” Michael Boos, executive director of the zoo, said in a statement online.

Also, check this out. Talk about pressure!

“Female giant pandas are reportedly only fertile during a single, 24- to 72-hour period each year. It is also believed that the male and female have to be attracted to each other before they can mate.”

Three days a year to be fertile! Man, what pressure on both the male AND the female!

Female panda: “Honey, let’s go, it’s time!”
Male: “Not now sweetheart, I’m watching this great show on Animal Planet.”
Female: “Excuse me, if you don’t get over here now, we’re not having sex again until next year.”
Male: “Be right there!”

Congrats, Ying Ying and Le Le. We’re all proud of you.

**Next up today, Saturday night was the Global Citizen concert for Covid-19 relief, and while my wife and I didn’t watch the whole thing, what we did see was pretty sensational. (Never thought I’d enjoy hearing Jennifer Lopez cover Barbra Streisand, but I did.)

There were two performances that really stood out to me, and reminded me the power and awesome reach of music.

First, Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” is probably an all-time Top 10 song for me, and I’ve cringed many times hearing it covered badly.

But this… is just sensational. John Legend and Sam Smith doing a simple, powerful version from their own homes. So, so good.

And then these four guys from England who’ve been around a while, the Rolling something or other 🙂
I’m not saying they’re as good as they ever was, but they’re still pretty great. Here, in four separate homes of course, is their classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

I particularly loved the air drums by Charlie, and how in the world can Keith Richards still be alive?

Really great stuff.

**Finally today, some of my fellow tennis fanatics have been posting these “tennis at home” videos from around the world, and I have to say this one is far and away my favorite. Check out these two women in Liguria, Italy playing an incredible version of “rooftop tennis.”

I miss this sport so much, I actually watched it a few times and started critiquing their form.

Come back, tennis, come back!

The 12-year-old journalist who is kick-ass, and got treated terribly by an Arizona cop. Nike’s stunning new ad was the best thing at the Oscars. And I really want to be friends with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, they’re hilarious

You know, that Whitney Houston was more than just a brilliant singer. She was a damn soothsayer.
Because children ARE our future, and when I see a 12-year-old enterprising reporter named Hildy Kate Lysiak, I feel so much better about that future.

You may have heard of Hildy, who we wrote about a few years ago when, as a 9-year-old, she started the Orange Street News, in her Pennsylvania neighborhood. Hildy, whose dad is a journalist, started to get a little famous in 2016 by being the first to report on a horrible murder in her hometown, and continues to “break news” about terrible crimes committed in Selinsgrove, Pa.

Hilde is amazing, so much so that a TV series inspired by her is in the works. What brings her to our attention this week was this story in the Washington Post (and in the Orange Street News, of course) that Hilde was threatened to be put in jail by a sheriff in Arizona.

Hilde was in that state researching a story when she was, well, accosted by Marshall Joseph Patterson of Pategonia, Ariz. He threatened to jail her for not obeying his orders, and after identifying herself properly, Hilde was told “I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff,” and other not so nice things.

He also lied to her by saying that it would be illegal for her to put his name and face on the Internet (what planet does he think he’s living on?)

Hilde, God bless her, wrote up the story of her encounter with Patterson, and of course the story went national.

This young girl, at 12, is already a fantastic, dogged reporter. You go, Hilde.

Threatening to throw a 12-year-old in juvie jail? Good job, marshall. Maybe that will work in Mayberry, not in America.

**Next up today, I didn’t mention this on my Oscars recap blog on Monday because I didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle, but that Nike ad voiced by Serena Williams that ran was incredible. Sensational, heartwarming, inspirational, all the things you would want in an ad.
Now, an e-migo of mine on Twitter took the ad with many grains of salt, because he argued that Nike does so many bad things off-camera (sweatshops in other countries, has endorsees like accused sexual assaulters Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger) that it shouldn’t be given credit for beautiful filmmaking like this.

I disagree, because I can love Nike’s ads and see how they can inspire millions without condoning their awful business practices.
Curious to hear what you all think. But this ad… just magical.

**Finally today, this is more of a personal plea than a blog post item, but can I just ask John Legend and Chrissy Teigen if they’ll be my friends? I can’t tell you how much I enjoy them on social media, on TV and in music, and everywhere.

You know how there are just celebrities you see who you know would be so much fun to be friends with? Well, that’s John and Chrissy to me. He’s an amazing singer/songwriter, she’s an ex-SI Swimsuit model who is all over TV these days, on “Lip Sync Battle” and other stuff.
Two things they did this week cracked me up. First, the above video of John’s first day as a coach on “The Voice,” with Chrissy packing his lunch and his books? Freaking adorable.

There was then this hilarious photo they took to celebrate John’s birthday, with one of those “baby’s achievement” boards I see all the time as a parent with young kids. Seeing all of John’s favorites, including his lullaby and bedtime story, and how old he is in months, made me laugh out loud.

I love these two. I wish I could live next door to them.

Among the worst Oscar shows ever, but the speeches were great. And a brilliant commercial starring Jesus and his marketing guys

julianne-moore-best-actress

Wow. Well, that Academy Awards show Sunday night … existed.

Man. I really thought Neil Patrick Harris would be great, fresh, new and different, the quality of movies this year was great, and, well, shouldn’t the Oscars be entertaining every year?

But sheesh, that was not a good show. At all. Thank God for a bunch of fabulous acceptance speeches. Graham Moore, urging kids to “stay weird” and admitting he tried to kill himself at 16. Laura Poitras, winner for the Snowden movie “Citizenfour,” preaching about the incredible importance of truth and transparency in government.

Common and John Legend (sorry, Lonnie Lynn and John Stevens, and how weird was that hearing their real names called?) with a blow-the-doors-off muscial performance, and then a powerful speech about racial inequality.
Julianne Moore on Alzheimers, Eddie Redmayne being so humble and grateful… the speeches were about the only thing memorable about this show. And that so many of them were about issues of the day (I almost forgot Patricia Arquette’s great shout-out for women’s equality) made them even better.

Otherwise … meh. Not a great show. Some more thoughts on what’s usually one of my favorite TV shows of the year:

— When Neil Patrick Harris was announced as host, you just knew the opening would be a lavish musical number, and it was. I thought it was great, and I’m thrilled that one of my biggest Hollywood crushes, Anna Kendrick (it’s OK, the wife loves her too) got to be a part of it. Really creative use of old movies. The rest of NPH’s grade? I’d give him a C. Some of his jokes scored (loved the Jason Bateman joke about child stars, and his appearing onstage practically naked at one point was very funny), other jokes fell really flat (the seat-filler interviews, and the running gag about his Oscar predictions being locked up got old really fast).

–“Boyhood” got screwed. I knew it would going in, and I’m still pissed. I haven’t seen “Birdman” yet, I’m sure it’s very good and all, but come on, “Boyhood” was a revolutionary, ground-breaking type of movie. You have to reward that, don’t you?

–Fashion thoughts, from the wife (mostly): Reese Witherspoon’s dress and hair were great, Jessica Chastain made a very poor choice with her un-form fitting dress, and Nicole Kidman looked too washed-out. Also, on the men’s side, visible swooning was heard from her when Idris Elba and Chris Pratt appeared on stage.

— The LEGO movie musical number, with Tegan and Sara and Questlove and handing out LEGO Oscar statues? Loved it. Very clever and funny.

–Actual conversation between the wife and I during the Steve Carell “Foxcatcher” clip:
Me: “I can’t believe the guy who played Produce Pete on “The Daily Show” is nominated for an Oscar.”
Wife: “I can’t believe Channing Tatum is in a scene with a person nominated for an Oscar.”
Me: “Well-played.”

–The John Travolta/Idina Menzel thing was laugh-out-loud funny. One of the few truly comedic highlights.

— So happy that “Citizenfour” won. Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald did outstanding work on the Edward Snowden revelations, truly important work that exposed the lies and deceit of our government (I wrote about Greenwald’s book on Snowden and his involvement after reading it last  year.)

— JK Simmons was the first big winner and his speech was overshadowed by the later great ones, but it was still sweet. Instead of thanking his agent and a million other people, the career background character actor thanked his wife, and his kids, and told everyone to call their parents. Simple and sweet, perfect.

— Finally, the Dead People Montage: Always a highlights. Was really surprised Robin Williams didn’t get “the hammer” and be the last person remembered, but Mike Nichols was a directing legend and he definitely deserved it.
And great to hear Jennifer Hudson’s pipes again, but whatever happened to her acting career?

**Finally today, I saw this last week and thought it was exceptionally clever. A Canadian company called 1One Productions filmed this spot starring Jesus Christ at his regular marketing meeting, where his “team” created a stunt that would guarantee his immortality.

I loved this. I’m sure some will consider it blasphemy, but I think it’s great.