Saturday Night Serenade–Tell Me About It, Stud!

I’m finding it hard to believe that the movie Grease came out FORTY YEARS AGO today.  How is that even possible?

I was in junior high (remember when that was a thing?) and I went to see the movie with my cousin, who was a year older than I.  Before that, my understanding of  movie musicals was based on my parents’ collection of LPs (remember when that was a thing?)–South Pacific, The Sound of Music, The King and I.

All of those are great shows, but I was blown away by the idea that an entire musical could be based on rock and roll.  And I loved it.  I marched right out and spent my allowance on the album, and to this day, I can sing every song by heart.

Now, there’s Rock of Ages, based on 80s music (and simply rocks) and American Idiot, a punk opera from Green Day’s album of the same name (which is outstanding), among others.

Here in the context of the ‘enlightened’ 21st century, I don’t want to delve into the socio-political issues of whether a Good Girl should have to change to keep her Bad Boy boyfriend.  Or vice-versa.  Because that’s crap.

What I know is that Grease is a fun, nostalgic trip to the 50s full of songs that are just enjoyable, both to listen to and sing along with.  A couple of years ago, Fox aired a live production of the show.  At the end of this article, I’ve posted Greased Lightning from that performance.  Just because I can, LOL.  (By the way, NBC is planning a live production of Hair in 2019.  Just saying…)

If you’re curious, here’s a Time article that talks about where the stars of Grease are today.

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

Happy Saturday night!

 

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Saturday Night Serenade–Left Asking Why

It was a rough week.  We lost two creative souls to the private demons we had no idea they battled.

Kate Spade created, among other things, handbags I’ve always admired and been too poor to own.  She always seemed hip and funky and carefree.  Who knew that she suffered from bipolar disorder and depression?

I’ve been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for a long time.  In fact, one of my characters mentions him in my first novel, Luke & Bella.  In the book, they create a travel program very loosely based on Bourdain’s Travel Channel show, No Reservations.  He always seemed to be an asshole, frankly, greeting the world on his own terms.  But he always conveyed a deep respect for the people and cultures he visited.  To hear that he’s gone, and by his own hand, is simply shocking.

We’re left with the inevitable question, why?  Why did two people who seemed to have everything just quit?  The fact that they each left a young daughter behind is heartbreaking.  That’s not something you get over.

Which brings us to this point: We have to start a conversation about mental illness.  Not talking about it is toxic.  It’s not some dirty, shameful secret.  Struggling does not make you defective, it makes you human.  Talk to someone.  Tell them what’s going on.  Seek professional help.

If you had heart disease or diabetes, you’d see a doctor.  Illness is illness, physical or mental.  There are those who will criticize.  Fuck’em.  Take care of yourself.

If you or someone you love needs help, please call this number.  I’ve been through some shit in my life.  But the thing I’ve noticed is that the sun still comes up every morning.  It’s a sure sign that you are loved, you have value, and you have hope.

I needed a little Sweet Baby James tonight.  I hope you enjoy.  Be sure to hug those you love this weekend.

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!

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Mother’s Day!

So many moms are on my mind this weekend.

Obviously my mom, who raised me, taught me right from wrong, and continues to love me to this day.

And I’m the mom of two tall, red-haired men, one who recently fulfilled his commitment to the U.S. Air Force, and the other, happily married and working for a software company.

I think of my friend Jan, the single mom of three, including a teenager with profound autism.  I call her the most bad-ass mom I know, and she is.  I don’t know how she does it.

Then there’s Lynn, whose son died on her sofa from a drug overdose a year ago to the day.  I can’t imagine her pain as she continues to mourn.  I don’t think you ever recover from that.

I believe our friend Eric qualifies.  His wife died after a courageous battle with breast cancer when their daughter was three.  Eric stepped into shoes too big for anyone to fill.  He deserves Mother’s Day AND Father’s Day.

Our good friends Susan and Lori just adopted a beautiful baby boy.  We had lunch with them recently, and they recounted the story of how Freddie became theirs.  They’d adjusted their expectations, looking forward to adopting an older child, when fate intervened, bringing them this gorgeous blondie with huge blue eyes.  It will be a happy Mother’s Day at their house.

And my niece Lauren just had a beautiful baby girl, Riley.  Which is crazy, I remember Lauren was born.  Now she’s planning a wedding for herself and her fiance in the next year.

Families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  I think the defining factor is love.  Which we need more of in this world.  So it’s good to celebrate mothers.

Tonight’s serenade is Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion.  It’s meant to be a romantic love song, really.  But I’ve heard it in the context of Mother’s Day, and I think it fits.  I’ve included the lyrics below, and full disclosure, I changed a couple of babys to Mamas.   So sue me.  Not really, I’m poor.  All you’ll get is a mountain of debt and a floppy-eared German shepherd.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love, especially all the mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day!

“Because You Loved Me”

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful Mama,
You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through through it allYou were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved meOoh, Mama

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand, I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love, I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life
You’ve been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
(My voice.)
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Walk of Life

May 5, 2018
It’s such a busy day today!

It’s Cinco de Mayo.  Just like everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s day, don’t you just have to have a margarita (or three) on May 5th?

Only this year, you have to choose between a margarita and a mint julep, because it’s Derby Day.  It’s the 144th Run for the Roses at the Kentucky Derby.

I must confess a little fondness for the races.  Mr. R and I have been to Gulfstream Park a couple of times, and it’s lots of fun.  I have a scientific method for picking winners–I pick the names that jump out at me.  It’s 2:26pm as I’m writing this, and I’m all in with #10, My Boy Jack.  He’s currently 18:1, but I don’t pay attention to odds.  I’m the proud mom of a 7-year-old German shepherd named…Jack.  It’s kismet.

But tonight, I will be curled up on the couch with popcorn and a glass of wine to watch the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on HBO.  This year’s honorees are Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  I can’t wait to see the show, and I’m bringing a little preview for tonight’s serenade.  Dire Straights has a lot of cool songs, but I’m choosing Walk of Life.

Here’s wishing you felicitaciones, may your horse come in first, and I hope they play your favorite song.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Fighter

The world’s a crazy place anymore.  I mean, where do you start?

Today, I’m thinking about the conviction of Bill Cosby on charges of sexual assault.  Who would have thought?  I loved him from the time I was a kid.  It’s unsettling to realize that someone can appear to be one thing, yet be so completely other.

I’ve alluded to my #MeToo story.  I was married to a man who seemed to be charming and funny.  And he was.  To everyone else.  Looking back with older, more educated eyes, I realize that he is a narcissist in the most classic sense.

In our home, I lived a private hell, where he abused me mentally, emotionally, and sexually.  His treatment was insidious, starting gradually.  He’d amp it up, then draw way back, convincing me that any given incident was an anomaly.  Until the next time.

Around us, everyone thought he was the greatest person ever.  And there was no one I could talk to–he had me convinced that I was simply a prude, that I was defective.  (Hello, gaslighting!)  He also threatened to take away my kids, and I believed he could do it.

When I finally decided I’d had enough, I had no job, no car, and no money.  But with a little support from my parents I was able to get on my feet and support myself and the kids (turns out, he didn’t really want them, go figure).

That was years ago, and I’ve since met and married my happily ever after.  With my kids grown and gone, I don’t have any interaction with my nightmare.

The last time I saw him was three years ago at the wedding of our younger son.  I don’t have the energy to hate him, and I would never put my son in a bad position by causing a scene.

But what I realized is that now that I’m on the outside, I get the charming, smiling nightmare.  I was all smiles and hugs, but on the inside I was all, “I’m not buying it, dude, I know who you ARE.”

I drew the line, however, when he sat next to me at the picnic reception.  I got up to get something to drink and returned to sit on the other side of Mr. R.  I can be nice and civil, but don’t act like nothing happened, because we both know.

Anyway, Fighter by Christina Aguilera is a fitting sentiment.  I suppose it’s the bad things that make us stronger.  I want to believe that, otherwise all the hell has no purpose.

I hope you’re having a nice. relaxing weekend.  Can you believe Memorial Day is just around the corner?  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

 

 

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Cantios Obscurum

The 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was last Saturday night in Cleveland.  Next month, they’ll show it on HBO, and I can’t wait.  Among this year’s  inductees is one of my favorite bands, Bon Jovi.  I’ve loved them since their big hair days of the 80s.

This obscure little song was tucked at the end of 1988’s New Jersey, and I’ve always thought it was cheeky fun.

Speaking of cheeky fun, I’ll follow up with a little shout-out to yesterday, 4/20.  It’s one of Toby Keith’s ‘bus songs’ and it’s a lot of fun, too.

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

Happy Saturday night!