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!

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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.  😉

Saturday Night Serenade–Wait. What?!

You know you’re getting old when Publix starts playing kick-ass music.

Yesterday, Mr. R and I were tooling around where ‘shopping is a pleasure’ when this song came on.   We found ourselves in the pet food aisle, both of us singing along to Wilson Phillips’ gorgeous harmonies.  I love this song.  But then I started listening to the words.

This is not a happy little song.  It’s about a couple breaking up, and one party won’t let go of the other.  Suddenly, we’re thinking about gaslighting, stalking, and restraining orders.

“Release Me”

I know that it’s time for a change
Mmm but when that change comes
Will you still feel the same?How many times have I tried to turn this love around?
I don’t want to give up
But baby it’s time I had two feet on the ground
Can you release me
Can you release me
Now that you’re gone I can’t help myself from wondering
Oh, if you’d have come down from your high
Would we’ve been all right?
Release me
Can you release me

[Chorus:]
Come on baby, come on baby
You knew it was time to just let go
‘Cause we want to be free
But somehow it’s just not that easy
Come on Darlin’, hear me Darlin’
‘Cause you’re a waste of time for me
I’m trying to make you see
That baby you’ve just got to release me
Release me
Release me
I’m not going back to you anymore
Finally my weakened heart is healing though very slow
So stop coming around my door
‘Cause you’re not gonna find
What you’re looking for

[Chorus]

What is this power you’ve got on me
What is this power, Oh
What is it,What is it

[Chorus]

Release me
Will you release me
Ah…Release me
Will you release me

But those tight Wilson Phillips harmonies sell it.  So I guess I don’t mind.

I hope you’re enjoying a fantastic weekend, the last one of August.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

P.S. As long as we’re at it, why not enjoy the ultimate stalkers’ anthem as well?  😉

Saturday Night Serenade–Breakfast Date

Last Sunday, Mr. R took me to breakfast at one of my most favorite places on the planet.

Howley’s is a West Palm Beach institution, an establishment that describes itself as “Hip diner slinging comfort chow amid ’50s decor with a pressed-tin ceiling, full bar & jukebox.”  It has had the same motto, “Cooked in sight, must be right,” since the place opened in 1950.  After years of neglect, it was taken over by Subculture, who lovingly restored it into the joint it is today, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7am to 2am, except Friday and Saturday when it’s open until 5am.  I may or may not have rolled in drunk in the wee hours of the morning and ordered a grilled cheese and fries to soak up a little alcohol before heading home.

Howley’s is so much more than just a diner.  The place has an open, funky, creative vibe.  Art on display on most available surfaces is for sale.  I have to confess, I had my eye on a pair of photos on canvas–black and whites of a Creature of the Black Lagoon action figure with a surfboard on the beach and on a pier looking out over the water.

There’s even a fantastic outdoor mural by local artist Amanda Valdes on the south wall.

The staff is young, tattooed and pierced, and gender fluid.  Oh, and by the way, the food is great!

Sunday, shortly after we were seated in a retro-style booth, our server, a thin, much tattooed, delightfully gay man came to take our order.  When I started with a mimosa, he drew a heart on his chest and declared that he and I are soul sisters.  As he left to get our drinks, I couldn’t resist.  “I LOVE this place,” I told Mr. R.

We enjoyed our breakfast to a soundtrack of music in keeping with the vibe of the place.  When Still Feel It by Portugal. The Man came on, our server friend (my soul sister), who was helping a nearby table, broke into a fabulous shimmy.  I LOVE THIS PLACE!

I love it so much, in fact, that when I set my award-winning book, FOR SPARROW, in West Palm Beach, I featured Howley’s.  Yes, the book title is a link, just in case you’re looking for a great read.  😉

I hope you like this song.  Fun Fact: It’s the song in the latest Coppertone ad.  It just feels like summer to me.  And funky diners.  And happiness.

Enjoy this balmy summer evening.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Perfect

Who doesn’t love a royal wedding?  Today’s ceremony was absolutely perfect!  I’m the dork who was up before the sun to watch the whole thing live.  Wasn’t it just beautiful?

So now I’m in the mood for pure romance.  Do you wonder what song Harry and Meghan will use for their first dance?  I have an idea.  You know how I love Ed Sheeran, and this version of Perfect he did with Andrea Bocelli just gives me goosebumps.

I found a love for me
Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me

‘Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow
Your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you’re holding mine

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When you said you looked a mess
I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it,
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Well, I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home
I found a love to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own

We are still kids but we’re so in love
Fighting against all odds
I know we’ll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I’ll be your man
I see my future in your eyes

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When I saw you in that dress
Looking so beautiful
I don’t deserve this
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don’t deserve this
You look perfect tonight

I hope you’re having a magical weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!