They are all just prelude to the important one, Giving Tuesday. Next week on the first, take a step back from the consumer cliff’s edge, and reconnect with your priorities. Support the non-profit organizations and charities that matter most to you. Yes, there’s been a ton of (deserved) bad press lately about some of the biggies: Salvation Army and Goodwill having strayed from their missions of doing what is best and doing, instead, what is best for them at the expense of others…but don’t let that dissuade or discourage you. Find a smaller organization with their fingers more firmly on the pulse of the communities they wish to serve, and lend your dollars. If you don’t have dollars, give hours, of volunteer service. Or give both.
THANKFUL FOR FAMILY—Whether it is the one we were born into, the one we have gathered to us, or a beautiful blend of all of it, we hope you have time to spend laughing, connecting, and enjoying the company of others.
THANKFUL FOR ABUNDANCE—When we have seen firsthand the broader world where hunger and malnourishment are rampant, we hope you enjoy a day of plenty, and appreciation for it.
THANKFUL FOR EXTENDING OUR REACH—During the holiday season, the giving instinct flourishes, and we have a greater inclination to reach out and help others, through donating time or money to causes about which we care.
THANKFUL FOR A WIDER WORLD—And our greater awareness of our global community. We hope you are neither defeated nor depressed by the inequities faced by people around the world, some in places you may have visited, some in places you may never want to go, but we hope all of them inspire and energize you to find a way to get involved.
THANKFUL FOR AN ENVIRONMENT THAT REPLENISHES—In spite of society’s repeated blows and damage done, the earth has a remarkable, if increasingly challenged, ability to heal itself. We hope to learn greater ways to task the planet with less and less need for repair.
THANKFUL FOR YOU, and wishing you the best this holiday.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING from all of us with love!
Forget the turkey, we’re looking right at you Iron Horse Royale. This Thanksgiving, tszuj up your holidays with this delicious cocktail from our friends over at The Iron Horse in Westchester, NY. Abundant with seasonal flavors like apple and, um, wine, this cocktail simple, delicious and an unexpected cocktail for your Thanksgiving guests or for yourself. (We all know that holidays go down way better with a nice cup of merriment.)
Cold martini glass add two drop bitters, swirl it about. Add cinnamon stick and serve.
Carly Rae Jepsen is really really really getting us in the holiday mood.
The Canadian “Call Me Maybe” singer released a cover of “Last Christmas” on Friday, and her take on the 1985 classic by Wham! has had fans jingling their bells since.
After releasing her rendition, Jepsen, who turns 30 today, shared a message with fans to announce the new release.
“Winter white. Soft focus. Candy canes. Waves,” she wrote the photo. “Here it is – our #LastChristmas WHAM cover. Hope you enjoy it.”
Jepsen puts her own spin on things with jazzy sax riffs and her signature pop vocals, all the while staying true to the 80’s pull.
Listen to the full song below…
President Barack Obama awarded 17 Americans with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor—on Tuesday, including the first African American woman elected to congress and Hollywood legend of stage and screen, Barbra Streisand.
“She has collected just about every honor and award that there is – I couldn’t believe she hadn’t gotten this one,” Obama said in his opening remarks.
This year’s recipients included many of Hollywood’s finest, such as filmmaker Steven Spielberg, singer James Taylor, composer Stephen Sondheim, and musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
“Even by the standards of Medal of Freedom recipients, this is a class act. We are just reminded when we see these individuals here on the stage what an incredible tapestry this country is,” said Obama, the New York Times reports. “They represent what’s best in us.”
Watch a clip of the ceremony after the jump…
by Matthew Wexler
Randy Arnold’s roots are in the wine industry, literally. His ancestors had vineyards in northern California dating back to the late 1800s and his own experience began by planting grape vines on the estate. It was a natural progression that Randy’s journey would bring him to Barefoot Wine & Bubbly (www.barefootwine.com), where he celebrates 25 years. He currently hold the position of Barefoot Ambassador (employees are affectionately called “Barefooters”), and he reflects upon the massive changes in the wine and spirits industry, as well as Barefoot’s longstanding commitment to LGBT organizations.
Barefoot’s history began with acclaimed winemaker Davis Bynum, who created Barefoot Bynum Burgundy in 1965. The name paid homage to the tradition of stomping grapes to extract the juice. Bynum stopped producing the wine about a decade later and it wasn’t until 1986 that founders Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey resurrected the brand as Barefoot Cellars. The signature footprint label has been the brand’s calling card ever since, and a symbol of approachable wines that celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Canada has already said that they would accept over 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of Feb. 2016, and now the country said that would give priority to families, women, and LGBT people. Controversially, though, the country has said that they will not accept single young men. The exception, young gay men.
“The government is aware that gays could be persecuted, and therefore plans to include them in the selection process aimed at rescuing some of the region’s most vulnerable refugees,” the Ottawa Citizen wrote.
In a world riddled with anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks, Daayiee Abdullah, an openly gay man and Washington D.C.–based Muslim religious leader, has bridged the two communities and created an online school for Islamic Philosophy open for all those in the LGBTQ community.
Abdullah, the first openly gay imam in the United States, started his fight for free religious access to all LGBTQ people, including those with HIV/AIDS, working to bring further inclusivity in the Muslim community since 2002.
In a recent article Abdullah said: “The idea that same-sex-oriented people cant be as faithful or pious as heterosexuals is not something that is found in the Quran.”
For years, Abdullah has been contesting the homophobic ideas and remarks flooding Muslim religion and eventually decided it was time to create the MECCA Institute.
The online school should be offering classes as early as Fall of 2016 and provide more modern take on Islamic philosophy among many other courses.
To learn more about the amazing school Abdullah has created click here.
Last week, the highly anticipated trailer for Zoolander 2 was released, and while it may have swept the Internet, some viewers weren’t so taken by it. The trailer included a scene in which Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s male model characters meet “All,” an androgenous model from the future played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Owen Wilson’s character goes on to ask All if they have a “hotdog or a bun,” a comment that has spurred serious backlash from transgender-rights activists. In response, an online campaign on Care2petitions has called for a boycott of the film, and has reached 11,716 at the time of writing.
The petition reads: “If the producers and screenwriters of Zoolander wanted to provide social commentary on the presence of trans/androgyne individuals in the fashion industry, they could have approached models like Andreja Pejic to be in the film. By hiring a cis actor to play a non-binary individual in a clearly negative way, the film endorses harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large.”
Are exaggerated stereotypes being thrown in every direction, or is the film explicitly mocking androgyne/trans/non-binary models? Watch the trailer below:
If you’re not already super-psyched for The Wiz, which is set to air Dec. 3, you may get chills from the just-released stills from the rehearsals of Grease Live! Fox cast Dancing with the Stars–judge Julianne Hough in the starring role as Sandy, while Selena Gomez is is looking just like Rizzo, and Aaron Tveit as Danny.
You’ll be able to see the rest of the cast (including Carly Rae Jepsen) when the live show airs on January 31.
One more still of Hough and Tveit looking like spot-on greaser perfection after the jump…