Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #7

Summer road trip, anyone?  Mr. R and I headed over to Tampa last weekend for an Indie author book convention.  The event featured Indie authors from all over the world, and was held at a party space called Chic Venue.

IMG_20170716_104859_428

It was pretty inside (okay, Mr. R called it gaudy) and as soon as we arrived, we set about putting our half of the table in order.

IMG_20170716_113444_318

I shared the table with a lovely author named Harmony Stalter.  She was super nice, and displayed two books, one of which she called a ‘second-chance romance’, and the other a murder mystery.  Which probably explains the jar with the (fake) heart and the other one filled with eyeballs.

20170716_121053

She later apologized for the gruesome display, but I replied that her jars probably accounted for most of the people who stopped by our table.  The event ran from noon to 6:00, and traffic was slow.  Even so, I had a wonderful time and met a lot of great writers.  I’m even making plans to return next year.

As Mr. R and I headed home, we stopped in Ybor City, my favorite part of Tampa.  It’s the historic Cuban district, and probably where we should have had the author event.  I’ll push for that for next year.

Anyway, we found street parking and strolled toward the loud live music coming from down the street.  It emanated from Gaspar’s Grotto, a place we know well.  It’s where you go when you want the absolute best Cuban sandwich you’ll find anywhere.  So with cocktails on the table and  sandwiches ordered, we relaxed to live music and reflected on our day.

FB_IMG_1500246025677

It was our summer road trip.  Which brings me to tonight’s serenade, Love Shack, the ultimate road trip song.  And it makes me wonder…  We told you about our trip.  Where have you traveled this summer?  I’d love to hear all about it.

In the meantime, hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

 

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #6

Isn’t July sublime?  I haven’t always felt that way.  Before I walked away from education, around this time of year I’d be getting that little tummy thing, that deep-seated dread signalling that the end of summer was near.

But since early June, I’ve transitioned into writing full-time.  Mr. R is working on building his real estate business and he currently has his first listing under contract.  We’ve also had to do a lot of wrangling with the school district over my retirement payments.  No surprise there, really.  They can’t ever do anything the easy way.

This morning, we were thrilled to find that the payment for the 619 unused sick hours I’ve been hoarding for years was FINALLY deposited into our bank account.  It’s a huge relief, providing a bit of a cushion until real estate kicks into high gear.  And I start selling a buncha-lotta books.

After checking the bank account this morning, Mr. R turned to me.  “We need a vacation.  Let’s go on a (little) cruise.”  Which is why I’ve spent some time this morning checking into a short Bahamas cruise, hopefully in September.

That brings me to tonight’s serenade, Cruisin’.  I love Huey Lewis.  I believe that 1983’s album Sports was one of the greatest albums of all time.  Not such a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow–she’s annoying.  But I LOVE this song, and it’s been flitting through my head since I started thinking about a cruise.

I hope you’re having a fabulous summer evening.  Hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #5

Happy Weekend, everyone!  Hope your 4th went well.  Mr. R ended up making two trips to the fireworks store, and suffice it to say, we had plenty of things that went BOOM.

Friday was Date Night, and being the middle of July, it was time for Shakespeare by the Sea, the annual outdoor performance at the Carlin Park Amphitheatre.  This year’s play was one I’d never heard of, Love’s Labour’s Lost, but as always, it was lots of fun.

20170707_202220

We enjoyed pizza al fresco and shaved ice, but, tragedy, we forgot the wine.  On the upside, there’s wine in the fridge for tonight.

After the show, we headed back home by way of A1A, driving along the beach.  There was a beautiful, nearly full moon, and we stopped along the way to take a look.  We were not disappointed.

20170707_221655

All in all, it was a fabulous evening.

I hope you’re enjoying this hot summer night.  It’s the fifth installment of the Summer Songs series, and I’m pulling out an old favorite.  Remember that summer when we all walked like an ‘Egypt-she-in’?  I say, let’s do it again!  Who’s with me?

You know you want to do that sideways head bob.  While you’re at it, hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #4: A 4th of July Two-fer

Happy July!  Here in the States, we’re celebrating the long Independence Day weekend.  It’s the ultimate summer holiday, with cookouts, picnics, trips to the beach, and fireworks.

There’s a lot that divides us Americans these days–politics, ideologies, and hateful, vile rhetoric, to name just a smattering.

But I’d rather focus on what unites us–good food, fun, pride as a nation, and good old rock ‘n roll.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous this weekend, rather than getting baited into some pointless social media debate, we put down our electronics, went outside, shared a hot dog and a cold beer with a neighbor, and enjoyed fireworks set to a soundtrack of great music?

Mr. R and I will be in lawn chairs on the driveway, watching all the neighborhood fireworks.  I hit the bargain bins, so we’ll be the dorks wearing the blinky jewelry.  Actually, I’ll be the dork wearing the blinky jewelry.  He’ll be sitting next to me, rolling his eyes.

But maybe that’s what it’s about.  Agreeing to disagree, embracing our differences, and appreciating that variety is, in fact, the spice of life.

I’m bringing you a two-fer for week #4 of Summer Songs.  I couldn’t pass up John (he’ll always be Cougar to me) Mellencamp, despite the fact that they’ve commercialized the crap out of this song lately.  And Phil Vassar’s American Child is a sentimental favorite.

Be careful out there.  No drinking and driving.  No holding a firework and blowing off your hand.  Haven’t you seen them do that on all the morning talk shows?

Enjoy your holiday, and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

4 Stars Out of 5

I hate working out, y’all.  Not a fan of sweat.  But I’ve been doing it.

Back in the fall, I registered to attend the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention which is happening July 16.  I’ll tell you more about that later.   Right now, my point is that I realized that by July, I wanted to look more like a svelte, sexy romance writer, and less like Jabba the Hutt.

To that end, in January I started being careful about carbs, eating lots of salad and veggies, and walking away from bread and pasta.  And I’ve lost over 20 lbs so far.

Most days, Coach Kozak from HasFit on YouTube kicks my ass, but today I wanted to do something different.  A little investigation led me to a bunch of virtual treadmill videos.  They make it seem like you’re running someplace magical rather than in your living room.  And yes, I could just run outside in the neighborhood.  But it’s summer, y’all, and it’s HOT.

So today I took a run along the beach in Queensland, Australia.  It was beautiful, and I nearly forgot I was running.  The half hour passed quickly.  I would give the video 4 out of 5 stars.

Why did I dock it a star?  We passed a bar TWICE and the fucker refused to stop.

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #3: Good to Be Alive

It’s been a busy week, friends.  We waved goodbye to my folks, who were visiting from the wilds of Pennsylvania for a few days.  Mr. R got his first listing–a little townhouse in a great neighborhood.  Fingers crossed, it sells quickly.

My former employer, the school district, reminded me why I left them prematurely.  They made my last paycheck about a quarter of what I was expecting.  When I called to inquire as to WTF, I was told that I’d receive the rest of my deferred salary on June 30.  “But we have to eat NOW,” I replied.

But it’s all good.  It’s the end of June, y’all.  And hot!  And that’s okay.  I love the free spirit of summer, the exuberance of it all.  It’s good to be alive.

Tonight’s serenade is Andy Grammer’s Good to Be Alive.  Which just feels cheeky and summery to me.  I hope you’re enjoying your summer evening.  Next week, we’ll be talking about the 4th of July, can you believe it?

Hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!