Ever hear a song you haven’t even thought about in years, and you think, OMG, this song is AWESOME?
That’s tonight’s serenade. I’ve made no secret that boy bands are my guilty pleasure. I heard this Backstreet Boys classic the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Because it’s amazing, that’s why. Okay, granted, the video is cheesy as hell, but if you just close your eyes…
Speaking of cheesy videos (and because you groaned when you realized I was posting boy bands this week–you know you did, LOL), I decided to include a second 90s gem from BSB rivals NSYNC.
Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Regardless of whether your area is reopened yet, I hope you’re staying in and safe. Be sure to hug those you love.
Covid-19. Global pandemic. How are you faring during these unprecedented times?
If I’m sitting back and observing, and I am, because as a writer, it’s what I do, it seems to me that crisis brings out both the best and the worst in people.
At our best, we’re pitching in and helping people, both materially and emotionally. We’re donating to worthy causes, sharing what we have with those who don’t have, and appreciating those who are going above and beyond. We’re staying home to stem the spread of disease, and we’re creating new ways to remain connected.
Case in point, tonight’s first song, a very worthy cover of the Talking Heads’ Burning Down the House, this time performed by The Cringe. According to their Wikipedia page, “The Cringe is an independent rock band based in New York City.”
In this song, the banjo player is John Cusimano, lawyer in his day job, also known as Mr. Rachel Ray. I don’t normally watch Rachel’s cooking show because A, I don’t cook, and B, I find her annoyingly cheerful. But they played this song at the end of a recent at-home show, and my hand froze on the remote. See what you think.
I was planning on talking about us at our crisis worst, but I think I’ll save that for another post. I’m liking the positive vibes we have going tonight. Instead, I’ll end with this gem from one of my all-time favorites, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, who, along with his sons, knocked out this fantastic cover of I Think We’re Alone Now.
So be safe and know the stats in your area. If they’re not meeting the basic requirements for safe reopening (like here in Palm Beach County, where they’re decidedly not meeting that threshold), stay home if it’s possible. Let everyone else be the ‘canaries in the coal mine’. (Tired of that expression yet?) Be sure to hug those you love, especially all the mothers out there, even if it’s just virtually.
I’ve had this song running through my head all day. That’s because last night, we started watching Season 2 of the Netflix show, Afterlife. The second season of this bittersweet Ricky Gervais comedy opens with the Carpenters’ Top of the World. I had forgotten how great this song is, and the Carpenters in general are.
You can’t help but look at Karen’s face, though, and feel sad for her tragic life. I have a good friend who has struggled with eating disorders for decades, and I know it’s a terrible thing. But her legacy is a treasure trove of really wonderful music.
If you’re looking for your next quarantine-binge-worthy show, I highly recommend Afterlife on Netflix. Gervais plays a recent widower struggling for a reason to be alive anymore. He’s surrounded by a cast of quirky characters who each, in his or her own way, help him make it through another day. It’s smart and funny and heartbreaking, all at the same time.
I hope you are well this evening. Be safe and hug those you love, even if it’s only virtually.
That Thing You Do! is a 1996 film written and directed by actor Tom Hanks. It’s the story of a fictional 60s pop band that became a one-hit wonder. Oh, but that one hit!
The movie is available to rent on YouTube, and it’s probably a few other places as well. While you’re stuck at home, it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours. I think of it as comfort food viewing.
The title song is a catchy tune I defy you not to keep singing all day long once you hear it. It’s happy and fun, and it was written by Fountains of Wayne founder Adam Schlesinger, who we lost to Covid-19 at the age of 52 on April 1. Lest we forget we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic.
Stay safe. Stay home. Hug your loved ones virtually. Our family has taken to having weekly get-togethers via Zoom. Maybe you can do the same. Because you never know.
Wow. 2020 has turned into something I don’t think any of us saw coming. Sure, we expected that an election year would be bumpy, right? They always are, and this cycle has been beyond contentious.
But a global pandemic? I never imagined in my wildest dreams that the Vegas strip would be shut down, that entire states, nay countries, would be locked down, that average families would be quarantined for weeks on end. That beloved public figures would be diagnosed with the scariest disease since ebola.
It’s crazy. Every couple of hours, there’s a new regulation, a new restriction, a new closure. From professional sports to entertainment events to ‘non-essential’ businesses… The govenor of Florida closed the beaches yesterday. The BEACHES. The best place I can think of for fresh air and sunshine. It’s hard to wrap my head around it.
Not helping things at all, and I’m going to say it here, like it or not, is the contradictory, and often inaccurate, information coming to us from the White House. First it was a hoax, and the next thing you know, he saw it coming long before anyone else.
I have a certain perspective on the epidemic–I teach Chinese kids online every morning. I’ve watched as families have been quarantines formonths. Months, y’all. Which is necessary to prevent mass casualties. It’s not a hoax, it never was. It’s very, very serious.
And the other day, when the President was given an opportunity to say a few reassuring words to the nation, instead he chose to attack the journalist who asked the question. That’s the world we live in right now. (And before you go off on me about ‘fake news’, I watched the exchange live, with my own eyes and ears.)
On the other hand… There are many people who are going above and beyond to help make this time a little more pleasant. Some entertainers are taking their roles to heart by reaching out from their ‘shelter in place’ places to try to lift up the rest of us.
Tonight’s song is Norah Jones’s brand new cover of Guns N Roses’s Patience. It’s just a subtle little gift from her home to ours. And it’s amazing!
Also from home, Jimmy Fallon has been putting out an abbreviated version of his late night talk show, with the assistance of his wife doing camera work and his daughters as comic relief. I look forward to his new show every day. Here’s the first episode.
And on St. Patrick’s Day, Dropkick Murphys streamed an entire concert live because they could. It’s the best no-audience show you ever saw, and I’m dropping the entire thing right here. It was so much fun, and just an example of people doing what they can, when they can, to make things better for everybody else. And it’s appreciated.
I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I know things are very weird right now. But if we take the proper steps, we can keep ourselves and everybody else safe. Stay on the lookout for great things other people are doing to help. And maybe do what you can, too.
But stay safe. Hug those you love, even if it’s over video.
Friday, January 10, marked the first of 13 full moons for 2020. A normal year has 12 full moons, but this year there will be two in October. And it’s Leap Year. Coincidence? Hmmm…
The January full moon is called the Wolf moon in honor of the hungry wolves that once howled on the outskirts of villages back in the day, according to CNN, and they got it from the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Which, depending on your personal flavor of politics, you either believe or you don’t. Don’t get me started on politics, y’all.
I figured Can’t Fight the Moonlight by LeAnn Rimes was the perfect choice for tonight’s serenade. Plus, I couldn’t get another song out of my head, so I’ll add it to the bottom.
Living as close to the coast as we do, we pay attention to the full moons, particularly when they coincide with king tides. Things can get a little wet around here. In the interest of being informative, here are the dates and names of the 2020 full moons.
January 10 — Wolf moon
February 9 — Snow moon
March 9 — Worm moon
April 7 — Pink moon
May 7 — Flower moon
June 5 — Strawberry moon
July 5 — Buck moon
August 3 — Sturgeon moon
September 2 — Corn moon
October 1 — Harvest moon
October 31 — Blue moon
November 30 — Beaver moon
December 29 — Cold moon
I don’t know. Thirteen seems like a weird number of full moons. I feel like I should stock up on sage and garlic. Maybe slip into the front of a church and snag a little bottle of holy water.
I hope you’re staying nice and warm this January weekend. Be sure to hug the ones you love.
Happy Labor Day! There’s nothing like a three-day weekend. Unless you’re under threat of a catastrophic natural disaster.
For a while there, things were looking exceedingly dicey here in south Florida what with Hurricane Dorian lurking out there in the Atlantic. Friday morning, Al Roker showed a projected path that had the storm hitting West Palm Beach as a Cat 4 sometime on Monday.
Which, if you know our current situation, was just Donkey Kong chucking another barrel at us. We’re supposed to be closing on our house on Friday. If the storm hit late Monday into Tuesday and we continued to have tropical storm weather through Wednesday, there’s not a chance in the world we’d be able to close on time.
And we can’t secure a place to move until we have the proceeds from the closing. But now that things seem to be settling down a bit, and my apologies to the Carolinas, we may just have a path to the next adventure for us.
We have a line on a short-term rental that will allow us to bring Jack, our 85-lb. rescue German shepherd, and that will work until the end of October, when seasonal rates kick in and we’ll have to find something else.
Fingers crossed, by that time, Mr. R will have secured a full-time position back in television news and we’ll be on our way. So if you know of any stations that need a kick-ass news photog or video editor, just saying…
Thanks for taking this journey with us–your positive thoughts mean the world to us.
I hope you enjoy my cheeky virtual middle finger to effing Cat 4 Dorian. If you’re in the storm’s path, be safe. And be sure to hug those you love.
If it’s summer, it’s time for my lazy-days guilty pleasure, America’s Got Talent. I know. We shouldn’t love this show. The title isn’t even grammatically correct.
And do we really need to watch dudes getting shot out of cannons, dudes using their nipples to pull tractor-trailers, creepy contortionists, and mediocre magicians. I would say yes, because among all the rabble you find diamonds in the rough, dreamers, many of whom have put their dreams on hold while they got ‘real’ jobs and watched time go by.
One such contestant was Chris Klafford who appeared last week. His unique take on Imagine held the audience and judges spellbound. See what you think.
I think part of the show’s popularity is that most of us root for the underdog who gets a second chance. Because if a large Swede with skinny jeans and the voice of an angel gets his shot at his dreams, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us, too.
I hope you’re enjoying these ‘dog days’ of summer. Be sure to hug those you love. And maybe dare to dream a little.
I love a good story. But I’m a writer, so I don’t think that comes as a big surprise.
I tend to write long stories. For me, the characters are everything. Their strengths, their vulnerabilities, their past experiences, their flaws and self-doubts blend together to make them relatable. I always want readers to feel like they know the characters, like they’re friends. And that takes time to build.
As a reader, the best books are the ones where I intentionally slow down about halfway through because I know I’m going to miss the characters when I finish the story. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was like that for me.
That being said, I’m always impressed with writers who can communicate all that emotion in fewer words. Like in a song, for example.
Tequila by Dan + Shay tells a great story. This video enhances that story. Be sure to stay until the end. 😉
And because I have a perverse sense of humor, I’m taking a left turn at Albuquerque. (You have to be a certain age to get that reference.) On my summer television guilty pleasure America’s Got Talent, a guy performed a karaoke version of a different Tequila. Enjoy.
This weekend, we’re well into summer, and in the States, we’re celebrating Independence Day this week. I wish you a wonderful 4th of July. Enjoy your time with family and friends. Don’t hold fireworks in your hand, y’all, because DUH!
Be sure to hug those you love. Happy Saturday night!
Tonight’s serenade is a classic, and it doesn’t get much more classic than the Beatles. This clip of Yesterday is from a live 1965 television performance. It’s funny because the audience is so frantic about seeing the Fab Four, they don’t really appreciate the beauty of the song. I think true classics are like that–it’s only later that we recognize their value.
I’m beyond stoked about the new movie coming out at the end of the week. Yesterday, from the director of Slumdog Millionaire and the writer of Love Actually, is a fantasy musical romantic comedy about a struggling young singer who wakes up one day to discover that he’s the only one in the world who remembers the genius of the Beatles. When he begins to play their songs, everyone assumes they’re his original work, and his career soars.
The premise intrigued me months ago, the first time I saw a few short clips. It looks like a charming story about likeable characters, all punctuated by the music of the Beatles. In one hilarious clip, Ed Sheeran, as himself, advises our hero Jack to change one particular lyric to “Hey, dude.”
I can’t wait to see this movie, and as we have been hoarding a Fandango gift card since Christmas, awaiting a worthy film, I predict a date night in our very near future.
I hope this first official weekend of summer finds you well. Be sure to hug the ones you love. Maybe I’ll see you at the movies!