Saturday Night Serenade–Thinking Out Loud

Ready or not, it’s the holiday season.  Seems like as soon as the Trick or Treaters trotted home with their sugar-inducing haul, retailers shifted into holiday mode.  Like aging rocker Billy Mack says, “Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling grows.”

But first, here in the States, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving this Thursday.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love the way the aroma of turkey roasting in the oven permeates the whole house.  I love to watch the Macy’s parade on television, especially the Broadway performances on the street right in front of the store.  I love the roll-out of classic holiday movies, like Love Actually.

More than that, though, I appreciate having a reminder to be thankful for all the ways I’m blessed.  And I am.  I’m a lucky girl.  I’m healthy, I have a great home, this year I walked away from a job I hated to live the dream of being a full-time writer.

On the domestic front, having survived a season in hell, I’m living my happily-ever-after with a man who loves me more than life itself.  When I first heard Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, I thought of us, and how thankful I am that we found each other.  Here’s a little snippet of the lyrics.

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So, honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our lives aren’t perfect.  We worry about finances.  We have two out of three collective adult children who currently aren’t speaking to us (gotta love millennials).  But we have each other, and we’re a great team.  And so I’m thankful.

Just thinking out loud.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be sure and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s your old Uncle Billy.

 

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Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Can you believe it’s nearly November?  It’s almost legitimately time for holiday commercials.  Nevermind that I saw my first Christmas commercial on October 10.  And yes, I was keeping track.  Thank you, Hallmark Channel.

Mr. R and I had a blast at last week’s Halloween party.  It was great to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while, and to meet some new people, too.  In spite of the fact that it was a Will Farrell-themed event, I went as a Gothic vampire.  But Mr. R ended up with a unique and theme-appropriate, although perhaps not public-appropriate costume, as Ron Burgundy in the pool party scene.

Yeah, he was sans-a-shirt all night, beneath a little bathrobe .  He wore dark shorts over blue BVDs, and managed to drop trou at one point in the evening, all the while shouting, “Cannonball!”  In his all-in devotion to the moment, he even shaved off his goatee and colored his hair and mustache, only to be outdone in commitment by a guy who came as James Lipton (and yes, he was in Bewitched with Will Farrell, I had to look it up), who shaved the top of his head to emulate the self-important drama guru’s receding hairline.

Tonight, however, is a quiet night at home.  We’ve had a bit of a cool front, so there might be a fire in the fireplace, who knows?  I mean, the evening temperature’s hovering in the high 60s.  Fuzzy socks have made their annual appearance.

For tonight’s two-fer serenade, I’ve picked two of my favorite Halloween songs.  The first is the late, great Warren Zevon with Werewolves of London.  Kid Rock sampled this in his song, All Summer Long, but he called it Sweet Home Alabama.  Nuh-unh, Kid, you can’t fool us.

Okay, the second one isn’t so much a Halloween song as it is a spooky video.  But it’s one of my guilty pleasures, so please bear with me.  Don’t miss Antonio Fargas as the driver of the broken-down bus.

I hope you have a great Halloween.  Save a few of your favorite treats for yourself.  Be sure and hug the ones you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Rough Week

It was a rough week, friends.  In the span of eight days, we lost three very talented people.

When I heard that David Bowie was gone, I couldn’t believe it.  He just seemed like someone who’d always be here, a curious, artistic soul who happily adapted as time moved forward.  Fortunately for us, he left a brand new album.  It seems prophetic, I suppose, because although he knew he was dying, we didn’t.

I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman and I’ll tell you now, I never saw a second of any Harry Potter movie.  He was terrific in Sense and Sensibility, and an utter asshole in Love Actually.  But I loved him in Galaxy Quest, a parody of Star Trek, where he made fun of himself as a serious actor.  If you haven’t seen it, you really should.

I think The Eagles were the first serious band I ever loved.  Pretty sure my Bay City Rollers phase in elementary school doesn’t count.  Glenn Frey was always my favorite Eagle.  Back in 6th grade, when we were too cool for school, we didn’t want to play at recess.  That was for little kids.  Instead, G.A. Smith and Bobby Burns would bring their guitars out and we’d all sit in the shade and listen to them play Eagles tunes.  I always wanted to go see them in concert.  Guess this is the closest I’m going to get.

And one more, because I couldn’t resist.

Happy Saturday night!

 

Date Night–A Walk in the Woods

No, we didn’t go hiking for Date Night.  Instead, Saturday night Mr. R. surprised me with tickets to see the Robert Redford/Nick Nolte film at the fancy-pants movie theatre.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I can’t see going to a movie at a regular theatre ever again.  I’ve been spoiled by being able to choose our luxurious leather recliners online when we order the tickets.  I’ve been spoiled by friendly and efficient wait staff greeting us and taking our orders, only to return moments later with glasses of wine and an elegant cheese platter.  It’s the high life, I tell you.

On the downside, there was a woman in front of us who slipped off her sandals and put up her feet.  Shed of their coverings and propped up right there in front of God and everybody were, without question, the ugliest feet you’ve ever seen.  Mr. R. took a photo as proof but since this a classy blog, you won’t see the picture here.

But I was excited to see the movie, A Walk in the Woods.  I read the Bill Bryson book a lifetime ago, way back when I was married to my nightmare, and I loved it.  It’s the true story of Bryson, an American writer who lived in the UK with his family for years, and had recently moved back to New Hampshire.  Determined to reacquaint himself with his home country, he found a willing partner and set out to hike the 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.  The book is at turns humorous and heartfelt and the movie is the same way.  If you’d like a break from movies about robots, superheroes, and shit that blows up, you’ll like A Walk in the Woods.

I also recommend reading the book because like so often is the case, the movie can’t tell the whole story.  While you’re at it, I actually recommend any of Bryson’s books.  He’s sharp and witty with a dry sense of humor and a keen sense of observation.  And by the way, he knows that’s a grizzly bear on the cover of the book.  It’s a joke. Get it?

Another of my favorites is A Short History of Nearly Everything, the very title of which reflects his tongue-in-cheek pomposity.  It’s a terrifically informative and fun read.  So with this Date Night post, you get a two-fer–a movie review and a book review.  Plus a reminder to try out the fancy pants movie theatre in your community.  You’ll never look back.

Date Night Extraordinaire–Part 1

Last night was one of the best date nights we’ve had in a long time and Mr. R. deserves all the credit.  It was he who said, “Hey, let’s go see that new Judd Apatow movie, Trainwreck,” to which I said, “Okay.”  Movie-wise, it really was his turn to pick since the last movie we went to see was Fifty Shades of Grey, which he hated.

wpid-20150718_162722-1.jpgAnd so it was that he went online to see where it was playing.  Turns out, it was at the new luxury theatre in Jupiter, Cinepolis.  I’m not going to kid you.  Tickets to the luxury side (half of the multiplex is still regular) are not cheap.  Prime time shows will cost you $19.75 while matinees are two dollars cheaper.

But it just so happened that we had a $25 Fandango gift card.  We chose the 4:45 showing and that meant we paid the matinee price.  Ordering our tickets through Fandango, we only paid $13.50 for both of us (includes the online fee).  AND we chose our reserved seats when we ordered them, so we didn’t feel the need to rush to the theatre, worried that we wouldn’t find two seats together.

We found the theatre lobby to be very upscale with lots of small tables and a large full-service bar at the luxury end.  Bypassing the snack bar because , we moved to the right side of the lobby, the luxury side, while the regular theatres were to the left.  Mr. R. showed the ticket girl his phone, having had the tickets texted to him, and we were on our way to Theatre 4.

wpid-20150718_163538.jpgUnfortunately, they were still cleaning and we had to wait for a long while, but when we finally entered we quickly found our large, fully reclining leather seats among the few that are there.  The luxury theatres only seat about 70 guests and the majority of seats are in pairs.

wpid-20150718_164133.jpgMr. R. and I sank into our seats and fiddled with the controls until we figured out how everything worked.  By the time we had our feet up, we knew there was no turning back, no possibility of ever returning to a regular theatre experience.

wpid-20150718_163710-1.jpgOnce we were comfortably ensconced in seats C1 and C2, we checked out the menu to see what we might order.  I immediately went for their Private Label sauvignon blanc, sans the little green fly.  And being a creature of habit, I chose popcorn, which was really fresh and good, not some old, popped-a-hundred-miles-away-and-shipped-in-last-week crap.

wpid-20150718_165517-1.jpgMr. R., being adventurous, chose the cheese and fruit plate.  There were several different kinds of cheeses, grapes, apple slices, dates, spiced walnuts, and a variety of crackers.  All of these were cheerfully delivered to us by the server who was responsible for our row.  And this was before the movie started.  Throughout the movie if we wanted anything at all, we pushed the little button on the armrest and our wishes were granted.  It was awesome.

Now the movie…

If you’re familiar with Judd Apatow’s work, you know what to expect.  The humor tends to be a bit crass so it’s not for the easily offended.  Trainwreck is about a millennial magazine writer, played by Amy Schumer (who incidentally wrote the script), with serious commitment issues.  Her “sort-of” boyfriend is played by pro wrestler John Cena.  Have you even wondered how John Cena looks naked?  Imagine no more; he’s pretty much like the action figure of He-Man, sans the blond pageboy.

Schumer’s character Amy is assigned to write an article about sports medicine specialist Aaron, played by Bill Hader, who becomes her new love interest.  Both Schumer and Hader are likeable as are the cast of supporting players, not the least of whom is the surprisingly funny and heartfelt LeBron James of NBA fame.

One of my favorite scenes has James, flanked by Chris Evert, Matthew Broderick, and Marv Albert in cameo appearances,  performing an intervention on Aaron, who James believes has gotten in too deep and too fast with the hard-partying Amy.  The cherry on top is Albert’s play-by-play narration of the intervention.

Bottom line, we really liked Trainwreck.  It was a funny and sometimes poignant story, punctuated by moments of hilarious (if crass) humor.  If you liked The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and This Is 40, you’ll enjoy this movie.  And I’ve become spoiled; I’ll never go to a regular movie theatre ever again.

Now after the movie…  (to be continued)