Saturday Night Serenade–Bits of Gold

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.

Happy Mother’s Day! And happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Comfort Food

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.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Disjointed

We’re living in weird times. If this post is disjointed, it’s because I am, too. I don’t know about you, but everything just seems upside down. Which doesn’t make sense–my work schedule is unchanged. I work from home every day. Everything should be the same. Only it’s not.

Here at Chez R, we’ve started keeping weird hours, staying up until one or two in the morning, sleeping until one o’clock in the afternoon. I still teach online classes beginning at 5am, so I get up around 4, do my thing, and go back to bed.

While Mr. R walks the land shark on a regular basis, there are days when I don’t venture even as far as the front porch. Other days, we go for a ride just to get out, or to make a Publix run.

As far as the grocery store, we’ve decided that it makes sense for only one of us to go in, minimize the risk of exposure and all that, so I find myself sitting in the car people-watching and listening to the radio while Mr. R gathers what we need. Tonight’s serenade is Victorious by Panic at the Disco and it’s my new favorite ear worm. I heard it in the car the other day.

Mostly, we sit and worry about how we’re going to stay financially afloat. I know, stimulus money is supposed to be on the way. I guess we’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath.

Between book royalties and my tutoring pay, I still bring in a little money but since his work completely dried up a month ago, Mr. R has not earned anything. So our bills are calling, including the rent. For the last few weeks, he has been trying to apply for unemployment pay, and while he’s been assured he’s entitled to such relief, he, like tens of thousands of people, have been unable to complete the application, let alone get approved.

Turns out, that’s no accident. Florida’s former governor and current Republican senator Rick Scott saw to that before he headed to Washington. He figured out that you can keep your state’s unemployment numbers nice and low if you confound people trying to apply. You can read all about that here.

Which is why I’m not counting on any stimulus check. They’re all a bunch of crooks who don’t care anything about real people. But maybe I’m just jaded.

In other news, in our free time, we have lots of entertainment options as we hunker down at home. I’m excited about watching the National Theatre’s performance of Jane Eyre, which is free to stream. Here it is, if you’re interested.

Last week, I watched Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and just loved it. Several of his works are streaming free on YouTube, including Jesus Christ Superstar, all with the original Broadway cast. The only thing is that they’re available for a limited time, so you have to watch before they go away. Will Cats be next? We’ll see…

Last night, I watched the 2019 Academy Award Winning Best Picture, Parasite. It’s in Korean with English subtitles, and it’s available to stream on Hulu, It’s an odd film, but I enjoyed it. Here’s the trailer.

It’s Easter weekend. We will watch our church’s Easter service live on YouTube tonight. There are services all weekend, and you’re invited if you have a mind to attend. On Sunday, I’ve scheduled a Zoom meeting with the family, all of us spread out in Florida and Pennsylvania and Missouri. That will be our Easter get-together. Life in a global pandemic.

I hope you’re staying safe and healthy. Be sure to at least virtually hug those you love. Have a blessed Easter.

Happy Saturday night!