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.
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.
Okay, sure. He’s a reality television talent show winner. And a boy-band graduate. But Harry Styles has an undeniably cool vibe, and if anyone can move on from insane pop culture royalty (like Justin Timberlake, maybe) to a real adult music career, my money’s on him.
I’m digging Watermelon Sugar. It’s quirky and weird, but resistance is futile. You know you love it, too.
I’m also including this snippet from his recent appearance on Howard Stern where he pays homage to Peter Gabriel’s 80s classic MTV anthem, Sledgehammer. I think you’ll like it.
And just because I love you, don’t miss Harry’s performance with Stevie Nicks at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where he stepped in for the late, great Tom Petty on Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.
Not mentioning the ‘C’ word tonight. It’s everywhere, and there should be at least one place where you can just chill and forget about the world for a while. That being said, stay safe, be healthy, and at the very least, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.
I’m still hugging Mr. R because, well, that’s just how I roll. 😉
Have you read the news? In the Soho Tribune? Or anywhere else?
Four of the most iconic 80s bands are coming together for the Stadium Tour of a lifetime. Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts will be touring together beginning in late June.
The nearest they’re coming to us is down at the Hardrock Stadium (home of the Dolphins) in Miami. If you click the link above, you can see if they’re coming anywhere close to you.
For tonight’s serenade, I’m choosing one favorite from each band. While I’ve never seen the Crue or Def Leppard, I have seen Joan Jett several times and she still kicks ass.
But one of my most surprising experiences was seeing Poison a few years ago. If they’re left over from some of the cheesier 80s moments, nobody told them. They get out and absolutely rock it on stage, and I’d go see them again in a heartbeat.
If the tour is not going to be close enough for you to go see them, or you’re like me, broke AF, maybe these blasts from the past will give you a little taste of the show.
I hope you’re having a great weekend. Be sure to hug those you love.
Friday is Valentine’s Day, and it puts me in the mood for romantic music.
I absolutely love this Ed Sheeran song, Thinking Out Loud. And the video is sexy and romantic.
I think it’s important to mark special occasions like Valentine’s Day and anniversaries and birthdays. Our coffers are far from full so I don’t see any romantic candlelight dinner at a fancy restaurant in the cards for us this year. But I still want to remember that I love Mr. R more than life itself, and if I have to go through the fire, he’s the one I choose to have by my side.
What’s your favorite romantic song?
I hope you enjoy your weekend and that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Be sure to at least hug the ones you love.
How is it possible that Christmas is only a few days away? Weren’t we just sweltering away in the dog days of summer?
Tonight, I’m bringing a handful of my favorite songs of the season. There’s something old, something new, and somthing in between, too.
First, I can’t resist my absolute favorite by Mariah Carey. All I Want for Christmas is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and its first time at #1. And this year, Mariah has rolled out this brand-new video in honor of this momentous occasion.
I can’t resist Pentatonix, especially during the holidays, and their version of Mary, Did You Know? is a capella magic. It brings a tear to my eyes every time I hear it.
The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York gets a dusting-off by Ed Sheeran (you know I can’t resist Ed) and Anne-Marie with a notable lyric change. You know the one I mean. And the song is better for it.
Christmas Valentine by Ingrid Michaelson and Jason Mraz is one of those songs destined to be a holiday classic, and this video is adorable, too.
And finally, just to be perverse, I have to leave you with The Season’s Upon Us by Dropkick Murphys. May this family NOT be your family.
From our new digs, Mr. R and I wish you the merriest of Christmases surrounded by the ones you love. Be sure to give them a hug and tell them how much they mean to you.
We started this blog a few years ago, back in the salad days when we had corporate jobs and tons of disposable income, and we couldn’t spend it fast enough. We went out every weekend and people always wanted to hear about what we did and where we went.
The last couple of years have been different, though. Mr. R transitioned from full-time television work to full-time real estate, which could have been a boon to our lifestyle. But it wasn’t.
Although for a while,with rumors of transactions just on the horizon, we were certain that success was just around the corner, but one lost deal after another drained our savings and eventually put us in foreclosure.
We were fortunate enough to be able to sell our house before a date was set for the final auction, and we walked away with a little money to start over. Unsure of what we were going to do, we secured an Airbnb for a couple of weeks in the historic area of Lake Worth Beach.
The Secret Garden House has been exactly what we needed to catch our breath and figure out what’s next for us. It’s a lovely 1925 house situated in a lush tropical garden in the middle of Historic Lake Worth. We’re within walking distance of the ‘downtown’ restaurants, bars, and the historic Lake Worth Playhouse.
The neighborhood of Historic Lake Worth is a little slice of Key West without the really long drive. There are tons of cute vintage houses on every block, and the vibe is laid-back and easy-going, very ‘live and let live’. It’s dog-friendly, too. Last Saturday, we walked up to Lake Avenue with our rescue German shepherd Jack and had cocktails outside an Irish joint called Brogues. The server even brought out a bowl of water for Jack.
Mr. R and I decided that Lake Worth was just the kind of neighborhood we’d like to try, so we searched and found a (tiny) one bedroom apartment, the monthly rent exactly half of what our mortgage would have been, had we moved forward with the restructuring. The apartment is one of only four in the complex, and it’s east of the Airbnb.
It’s exactly ONE BLOCK from the Intracoastal Waterway, and it’s even four blocks closer to the downtown action. We couldn’t be happier. They say everything happens for a reason, right? It looks like this is our chance for a do-over, an opportunity to experience a completely different lifestyle. Just another new adventure.
I hope this weekend finds you happy and healthy. I’m choosing my favorite version of one of my favorite songs tonight, Walking in Memphis as performed by Lonestar. I may have heard this floating out of one of the bars as we walked last weekend.
Be sure to hug those you love. Happy Saturday night!
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.
A couple of weeks ago, Mr. R was hit by a car in the Publix parking lot. He’s fine, he wasn’t hurt, really, but the most remarkable thing about it is that combined with all the other setbacks we’ve had recently, getting hit by a car wasn’t all that remarkable.
Over the past couple of years, the real estate business has kicked us in the teeth repeatedly. From the couple who was ready to sell their house then ‘2-more-weeks’ed us for TEN MONTHS, to they guy who has had signed contracts on 5 different houses and BACKED OUT OF EVERY ONE, and every wishy-washy client in between, we’ve grown increasingly behind in our financial obligations.
Then there’s the delightful person who tried to use our debit card in Miami. Lucky for us, they could’t guess the correct zip code. And both our cats died within two days.
To try to help make ends meet, in addition to writing, I’ve been teaching online for nearly a year. Mr. R has been using our only car, a lease, to drive Uber.
In a desperate attempt to save our home from foreclosure, we hired an attorney to help us file bankruptcy. Again, the day we signed the paperwork, that was the absolute least stressful part of that day. The leased car is due to be returned in August. The lawyer said not to worry about the final two payments, she’s rolling it into the bankruptcy. So we’ve blown way past the mileage limit driving it for Uber. It was a relief to think of no car payments.
Then the battery died. Long story short, we borrowed a battery charger from a friend and Mr. R stayed out all night driving Uber to earn enough money to replace a $120 battery on a car we’re giving back.
What we’ve realized, though, is that if we follow through with the bankruptcy, we’ll be chaining ourselves to an outrageously high mortgage payment for the next five years. Sure we can come up with the payment this month. But what about next month? And the month after that?
It just doesn’t make sense. What we’re realizing is that we have to get out from under the house. And Mr. R is planning to go back to television news while doing real estate part-time. Somewhere, there’s a new adventure waiting. And it doesn’t involve the level of stress we’ve lived with for the last two years.
So our house is on the market. Priced to sell quickly. We even have an Open House today.
Where are we going? I have no idea. But tonight’s song touches my soul. This ain’t no stumbling block. It’s just a stepping stone.
I hope you’re enjoying this fine summer weekend. Try to stay cool. 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.