Saturday Night Serenade–This is Me

June is Pride Month. I could endeavor to explain the meaning, but I’d rather defer to a source that can do it so much more succinctly than I ever could.

June is Pride Month, a month to celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and asexual people, plus all other sexual orientations and genders.  The month is celebrated in June in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, which kicked off the first major demonstrations for gay rights in America. On June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, but bar patrons — gay men and drag queens — fought back, a spontaneous incident which is now marked as the beginning of the gay rights movement in the United States. Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist, organized a march and other events to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the riots and is known as the “Mother of Pride.” Today, Pride Month features marches around the country, educational and awareness events, and parties to celebrate gay pride!

NationalToday.com

While I am not gay, I have a number of friends who are. My step-daughter is. And I support them 100%. I can’t imagine living in a world where I could not be my authentic self, where I had to pretend to be just like everyone else out of fear of rejection or worse.

There’s been a story in the news in the last couple of days about a lesbian couple who were attacked on a bus in London. It seems a gang of troglodites were goading them to kiss, and when they refused, the women were beaten. What the hell? How is it that people aren’t left alone to live their lives?

Our good friends Susan and Lori have been married for years, and they adopted a little boy a couple of years ago. There has never been a child more doted on in the history of time. Together, they are a beautiful family.

But times are getting scary. There’s what seems to be a global movement to restrict the rights of people who don’t look or act or believe the way those in power do. Make no mistake about it–LBGTQ rights are human rights. To marginalize groups of people is to dehumanize them. And when you dehumanize people, you can treat them any way you like. Ask the Nazis.

Tonight’s serenade is a triumphant celebration of being exactly who you were created to be. I hope it find you and yours well. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Keeping It Simple

Are you ready to ‘Spring forward’?  It’s my least favorite day of the year.  I won’t be right for about a week.  What is it about one little hour that impacts so much?

Time changes and time zones are complex.  I teach English online.  During standard time, China is 13 hours ahead of my time zone, but when it’s daylight savings time, they’re only 12 hours ahead.  I forgot about the time change and now I have a class booked at 9pm next Saturday night.  And military time?  Forget about it.  Even scheduling this post required me to count on my fingers, LOL.

It’s nice to boil all of life down to the simple things.  That’s what Thomas Rhett does in tonight’s serenade, Die a Happy Man.  Ever stop to consider what’s really important to you, those things that matter more than anything else?  I’ll bet they’re not things.

So remember to turn your clocks forward before you go to bed tonight.  Your phone and other electronics will do it automatically, thank goodness.  And say goodbye to that lost hour of sleep.  Sigh.

Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

P.S. If you’re interested in finding out more about the easiest side-hustle you ever did (you can even do it in your pajamas), hit me up.  😉

Saturday Night Serenade–Beautiful Moments

I think the most beautiful moments in life are the ones you don’t plan.  They’re the ones that just happen, and you know in your heart it’s a one-time thing and you just have to appreciate it.

Mr. R’s birthday is this week.  Years ago, I surprised him with a trip to Univeral Studios in Orlando.  This time of year, they celebrate Mardi Gras and they have a whole schedule of performers throughout the season.  To which I paid no attention as I made my plans.  I just picked the weekend closest to his actual birthday.

So on the day we went, the Bonnie Raitt show was included in our admission ticket.  Which we thought, okay, no big deal.  Maybe we’ll hit it, maybe we won’t.  After all, roller coasters await.

However, when it came time for the show, we ended up near the concert venue and we thought, why not?  I think a lot of people thought the same thing because for a while it was crowded.  Little by little, though, people drifted away.   It was cool if not actually cold.  And we were all just standing there on the pavement.  But as space opened up, we moved closer and closer to the stage for what turned into an intimate concert experience.

Then she began to play I Can’t Make You Love Me.  Which is a beautiful, sad song, really.  But her voice, on that night, with me standing in front of Mr. R, his arms wrapped around me to keep me warm, was magical.  I’ll never forget it as long as I live.

Here’s to Mr. R and his birthday.  I love you more!

I hope you’re staying warm this winter weekend, and that you’re surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–For All the Lovers Out There

This week, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Yes, I know, it’s a huge commercialized event, one big promotion for cards, flowers, candy, and diamonds.

But suppose we boil it down to its simplest form.  I think it’s a day to appreciate the ones you love, be it a spouse, significant other, parent, child, or friend.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

For tonight’s serenade, I’ve picked a few of my favorite love songs.  I always love Ed Sheeran, and Thinking Out Loud is one of his most romantic.

But I just melt for John Legend’s All of Me.  This video has over 1.4 billion views.  Guess I’m not the only one.

Finally, who wouldn’t want to be Truly, Madly, Deeply in love?  Yes, it’s One Direction, but I have a guilty-pleasure thing for boy bands.

What would be on your Valentine’s Day playlist?

While you think about it, be sure to hug those you love, especially your Valentine.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy New Year!

Here we are at the end of another year.  Which is crazy, really.  Where did the time go?

If I’m honest, 2018 has not been particularly kind to us.  It’s been rough, actually.  A handful of real estate deals have gone south, plunging us into economic uncertainty.  We’ve spent a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do.   We’ve each taken second jobs just to pay the most essential bills.  We may end up selling the house to prevent its foreclosure.

Then what?  Who knows.  But here’s the thing.  We could look at it as a failure, as some huge misfortune befalling us.  Or we could look at it as a big do-over.  A chance to clean the slate and start again.

Surely we’re not the first people to find ourselves in this position, and we won’t be the last.  But we’re luckier than many, I imagine.  We have each other.  We’re a team, and if I have to go through such a scary time, I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone but Mr. R.

So this weekend, join us in raising a glass to the possibilities of the brand new year.  May 2019 bring you all the best of everything, surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Christmas Favorites

Everybody has a favorite Christmas song.  Maybe you even have more than one.  I think my favorite is All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey.  And the one with Jimmy Fallon and TheRoots playing classroom instruments is my absolute favorite version.  Be sure to watch for the pop-up kids–they crack me up!

The song features prominently in my favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually.  Here at Chez R, we always make sure we watch it some time during the Christmas season.  It’s one of our traditions.

Another tradition is heading to downtown West Palm Beach to see the Sandi Tree, a HUGE Christmas tree built entirely out of sand, down on the waterfront.  Every half-hour or so they do a whole program with music and lights.  It’s lots of fun.

What are your own traditions?  How about the ones in your area?

I hope you’re having a wonderful evening surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

And just because I love you, I’m leaving you with Billy Mack (actor Bill Nighy in Love Actually) with his holiday hit, Christmas Is All Around.  If you haven’t seen the movie, seriously!  Do.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–A Slice of Awesomeness

This has been a shit week, I’m not going to lie to you.

You know the kind of thing I mean.  Everything, and I mean everything, has been ten times harder than it needed to be.  Money’s unbelievably tight, Mr. R’s real estate clients have been ridiculously difficult, he has a dental problem and of course, we have no insurance.

The cherry on top is that Facebook, where I’ve spent the last three years building my Pandora Spocks author brand, has decided that because they are ‘concerned for my security’, they’re locking my account until further notice.  How’s a ginger supposed to sell books?  (By the way, you can follow my official Pandora Spocks website: PandoraSpocksAuthor.com.)

It’s getting to the point where when something else goes wrong, we just kind of laugh, because what else are you going to do?

Then along came this little slice of awesomeness, like comfort food for the soul.  Paula Abdul was on The Late Late Show with James Corden and she ROCKED Straight Up, her hit from 1988.  That’s 30 years, y’all.  80s music makes me so happy!

It was exactly what I needed to help me believe that there would be light at the end of this tunnel.  You know what I mean?

I hope you’re enjoying this September weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

P.S. I’m including a bonus.  Do you still gotta fight for your right to pity party?  Asking for a friend.  😉