Never Ever Hang Anything Over the Edge of the Bed

imageYou know about this rule, right? Since childhood I’ve had this irrational fear of something creepy with bony claws reaching out from under the bed to grab me, pull me under, drag me to another dimension. It’s not just me, right? Probably not. This is why I never hang over the side of the bed.

Until this morning. I woke up feeling overheated and noticed that it was light, so throwing caution to the wind I stretched out my right arm and dangled my hand over the side, settling down for a few more minutes of slumber.

That’s when SOMETHING TOUCHED MY HAND. I’m fairly certain I levitated over the bed as I screamed out words that require a rather large deposit into the swear jar.

For his part, the cat, who’d brushed my hand hoping for a little breakfast, stared at me, all indignation. “What?!”

Now, what have we learned?

Saturday Night Serenade–Once Upon A Date Night

Right here at the beginning of this post I want to issue a massive spoiler alert.  I’m going to reveal a delicious surprise that you might not want to see.

wpid-img_20140404_194536.jpgAbout a year ago, Mr. R. and I attended a performance of the touring company of Broadway’s American Idiot.  For the uninformed, American Idiot is the Broadway musical adapted from Green Day’s brilliant album of the same name.  If you’ve never listened to the album in its entirety from beginning to end the way it was meant to be heard, drop what you’re doing and listen to it right now.  No seriously.

We made the journey to Ft. Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts for the show.  As we sat in our balcony seats waiting for the show to start, we overheard a hysterical conversation.  A couple of septuagenarians who were season ticket holders were a few rows behind us and they chatted in a friendly way with a young man seated next to them.

“What is this show? Some of our friends told us they walked out of the performance last night,” the woman said.

American Idiot is sort of this generation’s Hair,” the young man explained.  “The songs are from the band Green Day.”

“Green Tree?” the older man said.

“Green Day.  The band is called Green Day,” the younger man said.

“Are any of their songs in the show?” the woman asked.  By this time, Mr. R. and I were snickering.

“All of the songs in this show are by Green Day,” he patiently explained.

“Oh, I think we’re going to like this,” the woman said confidently.

To their credit, the couple was there until the end.  We loved the show and highly recommend seeing it when you have the chance.  Be forewarned, it’s not for the easily offended, but if you’re a Green Day fan it’s an absolute must-see.  And for the spoiler…

At the very end of the show we were treated to something completely unexpected.  The entire cast came out, each with an acoustic guitar, and they played Good Riddance.  With twenty guitars and vocal harmony, it was an experience that still gives me goose bumps.  This video is from the final show on Broadway and features Billie Joe Armstrong.  It’s a bootleg video and the quality isn’t all that, but you’ll get the idea.

So, goosebumps, from me to you.  Happy Saturday Night!

Date Night–Royal Palm Beach

tree's exteriorWe tried a new place for dinner for Date Night.  One day recently, Mr. R. received a postcard from Tree’s Wings & Ribs in Royal Palm Beach.  In honor of his March birthday, he was cordially invited to bring the postcard in for a free wings and ribs dinner, plus a complimentary adult beverage for everyone in his party.

The place is located in a strip mall along Royal Palm Beach Blvd.  We entered around 6:30 and were told to pick any table we liked.  It was fairly full and we walked around to the bar in back where we found an available high top.

tree's interiorNormally, I  enjoy sitting in the bar of a restaurant.  Usually that means less ‘little kid racket’ and more music.

We showed the postcard to our server and wasted no time ordering a white zinfandel for me and a Diet Coke for Mr. R.  The wine was not good, probably should have gone with the pinot grigio, but I drank it anyway.  We were not given coasters and I had to put a napkin under my glass because it kept sticking to the table, which only mildly grossed me out.

It took a long time for our server to return to take our dinner order which might have been annoying save for the floor show to which we were treated.  When we walked into the bar we’d noticed two guys sitting at the bar and a very drunk woman talking to them very loudly.  I assumed they were together until she turned her attention to two other guys seated at a table.  Not to be unkind, this woman was not attractive.  She looked what my daddy would describe as “rode hard and put up wet.”  My sense was that she was not nearly as old as she looked.  And did I mention the fact that she was exceedingly loud?  She was chatting up the gentlemen and eating food off their plates, all the while extolling the virtues of Grand Marnier.

wpid-20150320_190836.jpgOh, and we finally got to order.  Mr. R. had his free wings and ribs dinner and I had the fish and chips.  The portions were huge and he loved his dinner, actually ending up taking part of it home with us.  My fish was tasty but room temperature.  I ate about half of it and didn’t bother to take the rest home.

Eventually, Lady Marnier left with her two gentlemen and the entire room sighed with relief.  The quiet was deafening.  You could tell that the employees were glad to see her leave as well.  The staff were very nice.  They were helpful and friendly.  When we left, there was not a vacant table in the whole dining room.

All in all I have to say that I wouldn’t make the trip back to Tree’s.  But you can’t argue with a two very large dinners complete with wine and tip for $20.  My birthday’s in October.  Just saying…

St. Patrick’s Day South Florida Style

wpid-20150317_172659.jpgMr. R. and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a uniquely South Florida way.  While my preference might have been to head down to O’Shea’s down on Clematis Street where they had a block party from 10:00am to 4:00am, we chose to go north instead, to Jupiter, where we still had a gift card for one of my most favorite Date Night destinations, Guanabanas.  It’s a completely outdoor restaurant featuring lush tropical greenery, tiki huts, and huge sails rigged to shade guests from the sun, nestled between A1A and the river in Jupiter.

Truthfully, we tried to stop by Guanabanas on Sunday after the baseball game, but it was absolutely packed.  They have complimentary valet parking but there’s a huge lot about a block up A1A that serves customers for Guanabanas, Square Grouper, and Schooner’s.  On Sunday, that lot was full.  Not wishing to deal with the frustration of not being able to get a table, we put off our visit until Tuesday, figuring we could celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  We arrived just after Happy Hour began, which runs from 3:00 to 6:00, where they offer half price drinks and small plates in the bar area only.  Which was perfect because I wanted a table in the bar area near the stage.  Mr. R. made a beeline for what turned out to be the best table in that area.  There was no one onstage but they played a nice variety of Irish music, including a rendition of I Wanna Be Sedated by The Mahones.

wpid-20150317_155101.jpgWe made good use of the Happy Hour menu, ordering nachos, bang bang shrimp, and wings, along with a Diet Coke for Mr. R. and a couple of Cat 5s for me and we still have a few dollars left on the gift card.  The food was delicious, the atmosphere top-notch, and we took our time enjoying the afternoon.

wpid-20150317_180813.jpgWhen we finally finished, we headed over to the beach which was equally uncrowded after five in the afternoon.  The sun was behind us and the shadows were long.

wpid-20150317_173814-1.jpgThere was no need for sunblock or an umbrella.  We just sat and enjoyed the brisk breeze, watching the rough surf crashing onto the sand in front of us.

wpid-20150317_180716-1.jpgThe local news has featured all kinds of warnings recently about Portuguese man of war jellyfish being washed up on the beaches, but we had to search around to find this one.  It was kind of small but I still wouldn’t want to accidentally step on it.

It was windy enough that there were a handful of kiteboarders out zipping around in front of us.  It was fun to watch them race back and forth, sometimes getting air as they jumped over the waves.  At one point there were three out at the same time.

wpid-20150317_173004-1.jpgI took a bunch of pictures but alas, this clueless couple chose a spot directly in front of us to stand and watch the kiteboarders as well.  The beach was practically empty and yet they had to stop right there.  They ended up in most of my shots.  So here you go, Clueless Duo, now you end up in my blog.

It was nearly 7:00 when we made our way back to the truck to head home.  It was a different kind of St. Patrick’s celebration and we had an absolutely beautiful day.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I love St. Patrick’s Day.  I love the wearin’ of the green.  I love to spend part of St. Patrick’s Day in an Irish pub listening to Irish music.  Last year, Mr. R. and I were in one of our favorite places, Ybor City, the old historic Cuban district of Tampa.

I know what you’re thinking.  Spending this, the most Irish of holidays, in the Cuban district of Tampa?  To which I would say, yes.  There’s the nicest bar there called the James Joyce Irish Pub where Mr. R. and I snagged a table and were there for about six hours, no exaggeration.  The atmosphere was friendly, the food outstanding, and well, the tiny little green shots, of which I had several, did not suck.  They had live music the entire time we were there and while I cannot recall the name of the band, they were terrific.

I love Irish bands.  I’m a huge fan of Dropkick Murphys, and I know, technically, they’re from Boston and not Ireland, however, they play great Irish punk.  Another of my all-time favorite jig-punk bands is The Prodigals.  I first saw them when they came to Irish Fest in West Palm Beach and after that, I made sure we saw them every year.  I even scheduled our March wedding around Irish Fest, but alas, they no longer make their annual appearance.

I did, however, have the amazing opportunity to see them play at their home pub, Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar on the lower east side of Manhattan.  If they’re in town, they play late Friday nights, 11:00 or later.  Paddy’s is a tiny hole in the wall pub on 2nd Ave. and 29th, and it’s everything you’d expect to see in an Irish pub.  It’s narrow with a big bar down the left side and narrow seating on the right side.  Just past the bar is a tiny stage and beyond that is a back room with billiards.  And when The Prodigals play there, they don’t turn down the sound just because it’s a small room.

I’m including this video of The Prodigal’s Open Reel.  It’s long, nearly eleven minutes, and the drum solo at the beginning is exceedingly long, but if you hang in there, it will be worthwhile.

And so I give you this little Valentine to St. Patrick’s Day.  Yes, I’m mixing my February and March holidays.  So sue me.

And when I see some of you little buggers limping…I’ll know.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Professional Sport Date Day

We’re on Spring Break all this week (actually, I’m on Spring Break and Mr. R. is taking a week’s vacation) and being short on fundage, we are being creative as we find interesting things to do.  Occasionally, he received free passes to events from his work and fortunately for us, he had tickets to Spring Training baseball.  And so it was that on Sunday, Mr. R. and I took in a Spring Training baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the Detroit Tigers at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.  The Marlins are the home team, obviously.

The only point of reference I have for the Tigers is that Thomas Magnum played for them before he became a P.I.  (Was that before or after the Navy?  Who knows?)

I’m sorry.  What were we talking about?  Oh.  Baseball. Okay, so the tickets were free.  But we had to pay $6 to park.  Six dollars!  Did I mention that we’re so broke right now we can’t pay attention?  Anyway, we found a spot to abandon the F-150 and hiked about a mile from there to the stadium, where the game had already begun.

wpid-20150315_133159-1.jpgBefore we found our seats, we stopped for our only purchase, a huge soda that we shared.  It was worth it.  The day was absolutely beautiful, bright and sunny, the temperature around 80, low humidity, and a breeze that kept it from being hot, even in the sun.  Our seats were on the first base line, my favorite area, because we read from left to right, of course.  You do have to pay attention, though, because every now and then a ball comes flying your way.

I’m not a huge fan of any sport, really, but it’s always fun to attend a live sporting event.  There’s always more to watch other than the game.  I love the guy selling water.  “Got your ice cold watah, heah!”  I tried to tell him, “Dude, there’s an r in there.”

wpid-20150315_135112-1-1.jpgAt one point when the Marlins were at bat, Mr. R. said to me, “That’s him.  That’s Giancarlo Stanton.  He’s got a contract to earn $325 million over the next thirteen seasons.”  I did the math.  The first calculator I picked up didn’t have enough places, I had to use a different one.  That’s twenty-five million dollars a year.  For hitting a ball with a stick.  And that’s all he did, too.  He made it to first base where another guy replaced him, on the off chance he might have to run more bases.  I am definitely in the wrong line of work.

We had a great time.  I am just dorky enough to stand up and sing during the seventh inning stretch, although I declined all the participatory songs.  The Marlins were ahead 4-2 by the middle of the ninth inning so the game was over.  We gathered up our souvenir Marlins Spring Training cup and schlepped back to the truck.  That’s probably our only baseball outing this year unless more free tickets make their way into our hands, but I’m glad we went.  It was a perfect day to be outside and I didn’t have to go to work today.