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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

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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!

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–Joan Jett

Oh, my gosh, did you think we’d NEVER get to this weekend?  The work week was fraught with stupidity on so many levels, it’s such a relief to have two days to simply think my own thoughts, make my own mistakes instead of someone else’s…

Mr. R and I had a good time at the Improv last weekend.  We were running a little late that night, which might have been a little bit my fault.  Hey, looking this amazing doesn’t just happen, LOL!  But when we made a wrong turn, it worked out better than anticipated, because we ended up in a little parking lot only a block away from the club, so we were seated in plenty of time for the show.

Before the opening act, we placed our first order in compliance of the ‘two-drink minimum’ and sipped contentedly as the first two comedians ran through their sets.  The headliner was Andrew Schulz, and we laughed a lot.  I’m including a snippet from his act, although this clip is from a performance in NYC.

We had such a great time.  Long ago when we first started dating, Mr. R and I visited a comedy club in Boca several times.  Once, on the 45-minute drive back to northern Palm Beach County, Joan Jett came on the radio and, with the windows open and the music blasting, we joined in with a LOUD, slightly tipsy rendition of I Hate Myself for Loving You.

I love collecting memories like that.  They remind us of what we have together.  I hope this weekend finds you well, and that you’re able to make so great memories with those you love.  And remember, it’s a 4-day work week.  Yay!

Happy Saturday night!

P.S. I wanna be Joan Jett when I grow up.  Just so you know…

Saturday Night Serenade–Still Thinking About St. Patrick’s Day

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day.

And I had to work.  All.  Damn.  Day.

You know, there was a time when my Spring Break coincided with St. Paddy’s Day.  Once we even took a little mini-vacation for a couple of days.  Ended in up Ybor City, the historic Cuban district of Tampa.  Which doesn’t sound like the right place for a celebration of all things Irish, but we discovered that the James Joyce Irish Pub was within staggering distance of the San Vicente, the boutique hotel where we were staying, and we spent a good six hours downing green melon ball shots and listening to great music.

No such luck this year.  When I arrived home from work, Mr. R asked if I wanted to go out.  Umm…  Have we met?  The next question was where to go?  O’Shea’s Irish Pub on Clematis in West Palm Beach seemed the obvious choice.  After all, they’d been hosting a block party since 10am Friday morning.

However…In an effort to avoid what a friend of ours calls ‘St. Posers’, celebrants who only go out drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, we decided to cash in a gift card and head to Chili’s in Wellington.  I know–not really an appropriate choice for the wearing of the green.  But, as it turns out, margaritas are green.  So there.

And I know, it’s an effing chain.  But I had a Mexican combo and Mr. R had ribs, both delicious.  Our server, Sean, was terrific, we’ll totally ask for him again.  And did I mention margaritas?  Nothing at all wrong with that.

Tonight’s serenade is a beautiful instrumental from the talented, and Irish, Corrs.  I’m just mesmerized by this song.  I mentioned that one day, Mr. R promises to take me to Ireland.  I want to sit in a pub and sip normal-colored Guinness while I listen to something this magical.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Birthday Edition

So it’s my birthday weekend.  A couple of years ago, I was faced with a big round number and it freaked me out.  Now, two years later, I’m at peace with my age.  It’s just a number.  And I’ve found a great deal of liberation in being this age.  At a certain point, you realize that essentially, not a fuck is given.

Here’s a shout-out to all the Libras out there.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Libra traits

Strengths: Cooperative,diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, social

Weaknesses: Indecisive, avoids confrontations, will carry a grudge, self-pity

Libra likes: Harmony, gentleness, sharing with others, the outdoors

Libra dislikes: Violence, injustice, loudmouths, conformity

People born under the sign of Libra are peaceful and fair, and they hate being alone. Partnership is very important for Libra -born, and with their victorious mentality and cooperation, they cannot stand to be alone. The Libra is an Air sign, with expressed intellect and a keen mind. They can be inspired by good books, insurmountable discussions and interesting people.

The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, who is a lover of beautiful things, so the quality is always more important than the quantity for people born under the Libra sign. They are often surrounded by art, music and beautiful places. They are cooperative by nature, so they often work in teams.

Libra is fascinated by the balance and symmetry. Libra-born prefer justice and equality, and they cannot tolerate injustice. They avoid indulging in all types of conflicts and prefer to keep the peace, where this is possible. They like to do everything in pairs and not alone.

The biggest problem for Libra-born, is when they are forced to choose sides, because they are very indecisive and sometimes they forget that they have their own opinion.

Mr. and I are having two date nights in a row–we went out for a lovely dinner last night and we have tickets tonight for a fun film festival.  I’ll write about those later.  For now, here’s a birthday wish from Sir Paul.

Happy Saturday night!

And, oh, by the way, in honor of my birthday, I’m giving away Just One Night, my naughty little novella, for FREE all weekend.  So be sure to download your copy while it’s free.  And if you happen to leave a little review afterwards, I’ll be forever grateful.  🙂

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happy-birthday-pandora

Saturday Night Serenade–Don’t Mean Nothing

Waaaaayyyy back in nineteen something-something, lifetimes before Mr. R. and I met, I saw Richard Marx in concert on Daytona Beach during Spring Break.  He was preceded that day by The Squeeze, who, I’m embarrassed to say, I mistook for a really good local band.  Sheesh!

Anyway, Marx was in his heyday and the concert, simulcast on MTV, was terrific.  He even had Dave Koz on sax.  While he had a number of hit songs, Don’t Mean Nothing was always my favorite.  It’s kind of funky and bluesy, reminiscent of the Eagles, and that, it turns out, is not by accident.  On the original recording, Joe Walsh played slide guitar while Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmidt sang backing vocals.

Richard Marx still tours a lot, a fact I know because I follow him on Instagram.  Yep, I’m that kind of dork.  This live performance is as good or better than that one so many years ago on the decadent shores of Daytona Beach.  Of course, it’s sans the industrial sized mullet he used to sport.  His audience has changed, if this video is any indicator.  Or maybe we all just got old.  It could be that those folks are the same ones who were in that audience that March day.

But I suppose getting old beats the alternative.  Hope you enjoy this throwback to a kinder, gentler day.  Happy Saturday night!