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!

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #2

Happy Father’s Day to you!  How’s your weekend going?  Mr. R and I just survived a visit from my folks.  They mean well, but it’s nice to have our house back to ourselves.

For this second week of Summer Songs, I’m pulling out REM with Stand.  I’ve always loved this song, and for some reason, it feels like summer.  Maybe it’s the travel vibe.  Given the proper amount of liquid encouragement, I could even join in on the line dance they do in the video.

I’m not sure we’ll be going out for Father’s Day–we did a great deal of running around with the parentals all week.  But Mr. R has a pop-up beach cabana coming his way.  Shhhhh…

This weekend, be sure to celebrate the dads in your life.  In addition to gifting your dad with the tacky ties, weed whackers, and golf tchotchkes, let him know how much he’s loved and appreciated.  A big hug ought to do it.

And dance along with me if you’re so inclined.  Happy Saturday night!

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #1

Isn’t June glorious?  Warm weather is back with a vengeance.  Our local drought is over, thanks to the nearly eight inches of rain we received in the past week.  Mr. R. and I spent an amazing Memorial Day at the beach a couple of weeks ago.  The water was cool, but calm.  We carried our noodles in and just floated.  I’m in the mood to hit our favorite outdoor hangouts like Square Grouper and Guanabanas, where I can sip something fruity/rummy/icy cold while gazing out over the water.

Tonight kicks off 13 weeks of some of my favorite summer songs.  Now through the end of August, I’ll be posting songs that feel like hot days and balmy nights, like lazy times spent doing what you like with those you like.  Recalling more innocent, optimistic times.

For me, The Go-Gos feel like summer.  I love this version, because it’s recent.  It’s encouraging to see the heroes of my youth still doing their thing.

I hope you enjoy this nostalgic summer romp.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Saturday Night and We In the Spot…

It’s done.  I’m officially retired from education.  My last day was Wednesday, but I volunteered the final two days to maintain the continuity for my students.  My feelings about the whole situation are more complex than I’d anticipated.

The job is difficult, with rough kids and an Administration who bullies and abuses teachers.  Leaving to write full-time is a dream come true.  But having identified as a teacher for so long, it’s a little weird.  I’m sure I’ll find my way.

Mixed emotions aside, I’m still in celebration mode.  Which brings us to tonight’s serenade, Uptown Funk.  I love this performance from Saturday Night Live.

Hope you’re enjoying this summer weekend.  I know, it’s not officially summer yet, but the pace is slower, the days are longer, we’re cooking more outside and less inside, and vacation beckons.  Hug those you love and have a happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy!

Welcome to the unofficial start of summer!  It’s a three-day weekend, and I’m only two work days away from retiring.  Starting June 1, I’m a full-time writer.  Hopefully that means that this neglected little blog will get a bit more attention.

We’re taking a big chance, Mr. R and I.  His fledgling real estate career is just beginning to bear fruit.  By retiring early, I’m walking away from a sure paycheck every two weeks.  But life is short, getting shorter every day.  So we’re seizing the day, taking the opportunity to try something new.

For now, that means he’s selling houses in Palm Beach County.  And I’m working from home, writing and promoting steamy romance.  On the other hand, we may consider selling everything and taking to the road.  Recently Mr. R showed me a video of the island of Mauritius.  “Here.  Let’s move here,” he said.

I can write from Mauritius, y’all.  And I imagine someone has to sell houses there.  Or work in television news.  Or whatever he decides he wants to do.  It’s thrilling to know that we don’t have to settle for the status quo.

Confession:  I’m hedging my bets.  I’m packing into the garage everything I’d need to start a first grade classroom again.  Worst case scenario, I end up going back to teaching at some point.

But it’s a beautiful day today, I’m in love with the love of my life, and dammit, you know what?  I’m happy.  Hence tonight’s serenade.

I wish for you all the happiness in the world.  Hug those you love and enjoy your weekend.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mamma Mia

I’m so excited!  Next Saturday, my best girl Mo and I are headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to see the farewell tour of Mamma Mia at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  Mr. R has graciously offered to drive us down, mainly because the thought of driving further south than West Palm Beach really makes me nervous.  And he has no interest in going to the show.  I can’t understand why, LOL!

I’m old enough to remember ABBA, although admittedly I was not that much of a fan back in the day.  But when they put the songs into the context of a romance, I was hooked.  I’ve seen the movie dozens of times and it just makes me happy.  The songs are catchy and fun, and I’m all about the ‘happily ever after’ ending.

For tonight’s serenade, I’ve chosen one of my favorite sequences from the movie.  It starts out silly, but toward the end, it’s a delightful street ballet that feels feminist and empowering.  I just love it, and I can’t wait to see it live on stage.

And it seems fitting to post a song from Mamma Mia right here at Mother’s Day.  Be sure to hug your loved ones tonight, especially your mom, who loves you more than she can say.  I know, because I’m a mom, too.  To all the moms, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day.

And happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2017

It’s back again–HBO’s annual special, their broadcast of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for 2017, held earlier this month.  This year’s inductees are talented and diverse.  The class of 2017 includes Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, ELO, Yes, Joan Baez, and Nile Rodgers.  Rolling Stone posted tiny snippets from the ceremony on Instagram the following day, and if those little tidbits are any indication, we’re in for a great show.

While I appreciate all of the inductees, Journey and ELO hold special places in my heart.  Journey always takes me back to my college days.  Don’t Stop Believin’ has become a part of our cultural landscape, as a song in its own right, but also as the last thing we heard as The Sopranos headed off into the sunset.  And have you ever seen the Broadway show, Rock of Ages?  Journey’s quintessential anthem is the show’s finale.

But that seemed like a way too easy pick for this occasion.  So I went to one of my all-time favorite ELO songs, Mr. Blue Sky.  Mr. R disagrees with me, he’s not a fan of the Electric Light Orchestra, but I say he’s wrong.  Which he sometimes is when it comes to music.  I mean, he likes Bread for corn’s sake!

I hope you join us, and probably a couple of other people, tonight as we relive the glory days with some of rock’s royalty.  It’s a great way to spend a few hours.

Happy Saturday night!