Sunday, September 21, 2014

There's a Brawl Goin' On

I was up late with Lauren last night and so worn-out from a long week of running around, I slept until 11 this morning! After I wrote in my journal, I had just enough time to make Buttermilk Spice Pancakes for breakfast, grab the Apple Spice Cupcakes I made yesterday, and stroll to Dad's for the Eagles-Redskins game.

Jodie and my cousins Mark and Vanessa were the only ones there when I arrived. Jodie'd taken Dad to the hospital early in the morning with acute chest and stomach pains. They thought it was appendicitis, but it turned out to be colitis. Jodie would go back to Our Lady of the Lordes Hospital later. She did invite my sister Rose and her son Khai over. Rose brought her famous Key Lime Bars (key lime pie filling topped with coconut with white chocolate chips on a graham cracker crust) and shredded chicken and lettuce to make Oriental Lettuce Wraps. Khai just wanted to play with his buddies across the street, but his mother made him eat his peanut butter and jelly sandwich first.

The game was absolutely insane. Former Eagles player DeShawn Jackson wasn't terribly happy to be fired from the team back in March. He was picked up by the Redskins shortly after...and proceeded to remind people of this every time he did a run or scored. Two guys got into a shoving match early on in the first quarter and were called for unnecessary roughness. There were penalties here, there, and everywhere, on both teams. One Eagle and at least three or four Redskins were knocked out of the game with injuries.

The tension and penalties finally boiled over half-way through the fourth quarter. A Redskins center the size of a sumo wrestler blindsided Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, knocking him to the ground and injuring him. Foles' fellow Eagle Jason Peters wasn't having any of that and attacked the Redskins player! Both teams leaped to their fellow players' defense...and the entire playing field erupted into a huge brawl. The two guys who started the brawl were eventually ejected from the game. Foles recovered enough to finish the game. The Eagles finally held off the Redskins long enough to win 37-34.

Khai didn't care who won. He was too busy playing with his friends from the neighborhood. One little boy's dad is the football coach for Collingswood High School. He played a touch game with his son and Khai during half-time. While the Eagles and Redskins were starting riots during the fourth quarter, Khai joined a little boy and his toddler sister on the heavy plastic jungle gym in their front yard while waiting for another friend to come home from a birthday party. He was still playing when I hitched a ride home with Mark and Vanessa.

Jodie brought Dad home by the beginning of the fourth quarter. Dad was sore and moving slow, and he'll have to be on a liquid diet for a few days, but he otherwise seemed ok. He felt good enough to complain about the Eagles' performance all through the quarter.

After going to to read about the game, I went right into a much-needed bath. That felt sooo good. I've been going non-stop all week. It won't be as bad tomorrow. I only have errands planned in the morning before going on another thrift-shop hunting trip with Jessa and Joe. I spent the rest of the evening eating a quick dinner of leftover chicken-vegetable soup and listening to CD collections of early 80s music.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Yard Sales and Flea Markets

Began a gorgeous, sunny morning with this week's American Top 40 re-run. I was 5 years old and just beginning my first weeks in kindergarten in mid-September 1984, when this episode was first run. Hits that week included "The Glamorous Life" by Sheila E., "Lights Out" by Peter Wolf, "Drive" by Cars, "If Ever You're In My Arms Again" by Peabo Bryson, "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince, "The Warrior" by Scandal, "Sunglasses at Night" by Corey Hart, "If This Is It" by Huey Lewis and the News, "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper, and the title song from that summer's blockbuster movie, Ghostbusters, by Ray Parker Jr.

Tina Turner cemented her huge comeback in the mid-80s when her searing ballad "What's Love Got To Do With It?" hit the #1 spot for the second of three weeks.

I spent the majority of the day riding around, checking out yard sales. I haven't had a good yard sale run in months. My first stops were a couple in Haddon Township, near Cuthbert Road. I did see a Caroline American Girl doll in her box at one, but the lady wanted $175 for her! Please. She was obviously a used doll, even if she did have her box and meet outfit. Her hair was a mess. She's not even retired! The doll without her accessories is only $115 new at American Girl's website. I did get three records from her, for the far more reasonable price of a dollar each:

Louis Armstrong -  Disney Songs the Satchmo Way

Bing Crosby - Merry Christmas (cassette replacement)

The soundtrack from the 1962 version of State Fair that starred Alice Faye, Pat Boone, and Ann-Margaret

I next headed down to Kraft Avenue, near the elementary school. This was a big one - a couple who owned a thrift shop were selling off part of their store's inventory. I emerged with two books, The Five Little Peppers Midway and a Golden Book for my 4-year-old nephew Khai, Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas Shopping.

Took a look at one more yard sale on the edge of Collingswood and Haddon Township before heading to the Collingswood Farm Market. Broccoli debuted this week, just in time for people to shop for tailgating, barbecues, and sports parties. I ended up with little Gala apples, broccoli, red, yellow, and green peppers, a tomato, a cantaloupe, a red onion, and an eggplant.

Rode around Collingswood and Westmont for about an hour on my way to Haddonfield. I ran into a few more yard sales on my way. I didn't pick up anything from the one on Cuthbert Road. Did a little better in Westmont, a few doors down from Rita's Water Ice. I found the animated version of my sweet Santa Bear's First Christmas cassette on video for fifty cents.

There were three major events going on in Haddonfield today. The first one I encountered as I headed up Haddon Avenue was the Lions Club's huge Flea Market. As they did last year, people set up tables in the massive parking lot of an office building and sell much nicer junk than what I saw at the Berlin Flea Market. Most of it was still beyond my budget, though. I dodged the crowds and moved on.

I did somewhat better at the Haddonfield Library's Book Sale. Three tents and a series of tables were stuffed full of books, DVDs, records, cassettes, audio books, videos, baked goods...and people! I had a hard time moving around in the tents, they were so busy. I didn't find any interesting DVDs or CDs this time, but I did come up with a mint condition copy of Leonard Maltin's The Great Movie Comedians in hardback, A Newberry Christmas, and two dog-eared paperback copies of Emily of New Moon and Emily Climbs. I love Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series and thought I'd give some of her other characters a chance.

King's Highway was even crazier. There was a big antique car show going on there, spanning Haddonfield's entire commercial district. The crowds were enormous. I was originally going to eat at The Bistro, but they were so busy, I decided I didn't want to wait and ended up at the British Chip Shop instead. They were busy, too, but it was past 1:30 at that point, and the crowds were starting to thin a little. I had my favorite Chip Shop Sandwich (apples, Irish cheddar cheese, chicken, and greens on thick bread), the Great Mountain of Greens, and a tasty Lilt Pineapple & Grapefruit Soda.

I took the back roads in Haddonfield and Haddon Township home to avoid the traffic on Haddon Avenue. Went by a few yard sales on Cuthbert, including the one I bought the videos from last week, but I found nothing interesting. I did buy a creamy, tangy Creamsickle water ice at Kayla's Ice Cream and Garden Center. Though they're still selling frozen treats, the garden part of the store has returned. Mums and hay bales have taken over the covered dining area. I ate in one of the swinging tables, watching the traffic on Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike.

I didn't get home until quarter of 4! Needless to say, I went nowhere else. I ran a Bowery Boys movie as I put everything away and got settled down. They're Fighting Fools when a young boxer from the Bowery is killed in the ring, and they persuade his brother to return to the game. The crooked agent who original set up both brothers wants in on the action...but Slip and the others are determined that their boy will take the match honestly.

Switched to Despicable Me 2 while making Apple Spice Cupcakes With Whipped Spice Topping for the football party at Dad's house tomorrow, then while having leftover chicken-vegetable soup for dinner. Gru (Steve Carrell) is quite happy as the father of three rambunctious young girls. He's called out of retirement by a government agents that catches super villains. They pair him with energetic Lucy (Kristin Wiig), an energetic new recruit, to keep an eye on former villains working at a mall who may have stolen a formula that can mutate anything into a monster. Gru is convinced that the hearty Hispanic owner of a Mexican restaurant (Benjamin Bratt) is really El Macho, a super villain who died several years before. Lucy and the Anti-Villain League aren't convinced. Gru tries to prove otherwise, and deal with his oldest girl getting a crush on the owner's son. Meanwhile, the Minions, Gru's little yellow workers, are mysteriously disappearing...

Not great, not bad. This was a huge hit when it came out last summer, and I can mostly understand why. We get to see more of Gru's sweet relationship with the girls, learn a little more about what the Minions do, and meet Gru's neighbors as well. Some of the plot was really obvious, including who the villain turned out to be, but this was generally fun. If you loved the first movie, grab a rocket bike and hop right in. If you're new to the world of Gru and the Minions, you'll definitely want to see the first movie before coming here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Out and About

It was a cloudy, cool morning when I headed out to run errands. After a brief stop at WaWa to use the ATM machine, I headed to Westmont Plaza. Since I didn't find anything at the King of Prussia Plaza Game Stop yesterday, I decided to check out the big one in Westmont. I actually found something there right away. Sim City Creator looks like a Wii version of one of my all-time favorite Super Nintendo games, Sim City. I used to spend hours creating my very own city (always with railroads rather than cars - more expensive, but less traffic and pollution). It was $10.69 with tax. I also saw Hello Kitty Seasons and Kirby's Epic Yarn, which I may go back for next week. Mom loved Sim City, too. I'd come home from work and see her creating her own vast metropolis. The kid at the counter mentioned his mom was a fan of Sim City 3000 and would often play with him.

I next rode across the street to the Haddon Township Library for this week's volunteering session. There was a lot to shelve, especially CDs and audio books. Once again, I couldn't get most of the "S" titles on the kids' DVD racks. The "S" titles are overflowing on the adult DVD shelves, too. I ended up with Despicable Me 2, the first Star Trek reboot, and Saving Mrs. Banks again (I never did get to it last week).

It was sunnier and somewhat warmer (though still windy) as I rode across Westmont and Audubon to the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center, dodging the second half of the lunchtime traffic. I had lunch at Tu Se Bella's. I haven't eaten there in ages. Their gourmet pizzas are delicious but rather expensive. I treated myself to a slice of mushroom, a slice of white broccoli-garlic-shrimp (yes, shrimp, two rather large ones that wouldn't stay on), and a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. It wasn't as busy as it could have been during the end of the lunch hour. People mostly came in to get pies.

Went to the Acme next to do my own grocery shopping and get my schedule. I didn't really need a whole lot today. Replaced sugar, cheese, and the canned chicken and tomatoes I used on my soup. Betty Crocker cake mix was a dollar. I bought their spice mix and whipped topping to make Apple Spice Cupcakes and Spiced Whipped Icing to bring to Dad's on Sunday. Picked up that buy one, get one spiced chicken cutlets deal. Got more trail mix to make granola bars next week and canned pumpkin for pumpkin bread.

I ran into my stepsister Jessa while doing my shopping. She was picking up food for herself and for Dad and Jodie. I told her I was off this week, and she asked me if I wanted to go on another Goodwill/thrift shop expedition with her and Joe on Monday evening. Sure! I actually had nothing planned for Monday besides the usual chores. I enjoyed my two trips with them in June (the second with Lauren when she visited).

I'm a little annoyed with my schedule next week. While my first day back on Wednesday isn't bad, Thursday and Friday are 7 hours, and early ones, at that. Having something of a paycheck will be nice, but if it's not busy, standing there is going to be boring as heck. I do have next Saturday off, though. I'm glad. There's tons of local events going on tomorrow and next Saturday - yard sales, church bazaars, library book sales, flea markets, farm markets, block parties, fairs, hayrides, picnics. Unlike over the summer, when I had to work a lot of early Saturdays, I'll actually get to enjoy it all.

When I got home, I put everything away and went right back out. Took a short walk down Goff Avenue, stopping first at the boat landing at the end of the street. By then, it was a glorious day. The clouds had given way to soft, clear blue skies. I could see straight to the Ben Franklin Bridge. Went down Ridgeway and over to the school. A group of two girls and a boy chased each other under the trees in the school's front yard. The local little league football team practiced on the field in the back...until three of their teammates came rushing over carrying bags with tubs of fried chicken, chanting "KFC! KFC!" at the top of their lungs. A pair of grandparents and their little granddaughter ignored them and enjoyed the playground.

When I got in, I went straight in the bath. Ahhhh. That felt wonderful. My legs are still sore from all the hiking around at the King of Prussia Mall yesterday. No wonder Linda Young once told me "that isn't a mall, it's an exercise program!" I went over cake decorating books (to get ideas as to what to do with those cupcakes) and listened to Count Basie.

After I finally dragged myself out, I made Italian Marinated Chicken Breasts and ratatouille for dinner while watching two first-season, World War II-set episodes of Wonder Woman. "Formula 407" can make rubber as hard as steel and may help the Allies win the war...if they can get it from its Argentinian creator before the Nazis do! Wonder Woman goes west in "The Bushwackers" when a ranch owner (Roy Rogers) who provides cattle for the Allies calls the government to help stop rustlers from stealing his best stock. Meanwhile, he's raising a group of war orphans, which is making his own son very jealous.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

King of Malls

I headed out early this morning to make a trip to what's currently the largest mall in the U.S, King of Prussia. Took the PATCO train into Philly around 9:30 AM. The buses to King of Prussia leave at 13th and Market, across the street from Macy's. I just made it. The SEPTA buses are a bit different than NJ Transit, with hard, narrow metal chairs covered in blue-green fabric. The back seats are on risers over the front seats. They're not very comfortable. I get the feeling they weren't designed for a ride that was 45 minutes with a minimum of traffic. At least there were some gorgeous views of the Schuylkill River once we hit the highway.

The King of Prussia Mall is every bit as enormous as everyone always says it is. It's so big, it's actually two buildings, the Plaza and the Court. Since the bus dropped off and picked up at the Plaza, I stuck to that one today. The interior was gorgeous. Like Moorestown, it's retained it's dramatic vaulted ceilings, soothing fountains, cherry woodwork, and bright planters. The store mix had more in common with Cherry Hill - fancy upscale boutiques and department stores with major names like Louis Vutton, Cartier, Neiman Marcus, and Burberry mixed in with regular mall fixtures like Game Stop, Lane Bryant, JCPenney, and Bath & Body Works. (And for some reason, a small Rite Aid.)

To be honest, I didn't have much luck. Neither the L.L Bean nor Eddie Bauer stores sold clothing in my size (despite the fact that their websites do carry plus sizes). Sears was going through a major overhaul after having given up their second floor to Dick's Sports. I couldn't find anything my size in their Land's End section. Charlotte Russe and New York & Company had nothing. I browsed briefly through Build-A-Bear, but I just bought a large stuffed animal yesterday.

Lane Bryant was one of the only stores where I could find decently priced clothes that fit. I bought a nice pair of khaki capris for about $32. I also did decently at JCPenney's. I picked up two 3-packs of Mixit fold-over crew socks in cotton for $8 each. (They're so much like the old St. John's Bay socks I loved, I suspect they may be those socks under a hipper brand name.) Also bought a simple long-sleeved orange t-shirt for about $10. Grabbed a Pumpkin Cupcake Hand Soap from Bath & Body Works (the two bottles that Amanda gave me for Christmas have finally run out).

I had lunch in the upstairs food court. The Stardust Cafe sold basic diner food like cheesesteaks, chicken fingers...and gyros. I had to have a gyro. It was messy but tasty; came with some thin, hot fries, too. Got a Strawberry Surf Rider light smoothie - strawberries, peaches, lemon, and lime - downstairs at Jamba Juice. Tart, but very refreshing, with lots of big strawberry pieces.

I was going to go home at 3...but then I realized I didn't have the right change for the bus. I had to rush over to Rite Aid and get it. And then the 3:26 125 bus was stampeded by a huge group of Asian college students, when it was already full on arrival. The 124 arrived about ten minutes later, and that's what I ended up taking home. It was also full until we got to the 69th Street Transportation Center. Most people must have been taking trains or buses to the suburbs. The bus was far less crowded as it braved heavy traffic going into Philly. After I got in, I headed to the Gallery Mall, took a brief look at Books-A-Million, and went downstairs to pick up a full PATCO train to Collingswood.

(And...while I did enjoy my trip to King of Prussia, it was too tiring to make a regular event. That mall is too much for me! Moorestown or Cherry Hill will be my regular malls for the time being.)

When I finally got in, I had leftover Chicken-Tomato Soup while dubbing two of the Christmas specials I bought yesterday. (The third, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, didn't work.) Thankfully, I was able to get the one I wanted, The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas. Most bears hibernate from December to April and don't really care much about holidays, including Christmas. Ted E. Bear, a curious, bright little fellow, has heard all about Christmas, about jolly men in red suits, music on every street corner, and kindness in every heart. Despite the laughter of his fellow bears, he goes on a journey to discover this place called Christmas. A visit to New York reveals that Christmas isn't a place, but a feeling...and one best shared with others.

Jingle Bells was a bit simpler. Poor Tommy just wants to impress Miss Fanny Bright, but all he has is an old sleigh. George, an old-fashioned, mustachio-twirling villain, has a fancy sled that he wants to use to win the big sleigh race. He uses a shortcut to get to the finish line...but when he ends up on thin ice, Tom and his horse and mouse friends remind him why slow and steady really does win the sleigh race.

The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas mostly remains charming despite the somewhat limited animation, especially Ted's brief visit to the toy store. Jingle Bells is too simple. The dialogue is stiff as ice and about as much fun to listen to. The acting is terrible, and the story is piffle, even for a Christmas special. I don't know if Jingle Bells can be found anywhere, but The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas is currently available through Amazon Prime.  (There was an equally sweet picture-book version of Bear Who Slept Through Christmas as well - I found it at a yard sale several years ago.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finding Hoppo

Began a beautiful, sunny morning with a bagel with raspberry preserves and two slices of fresh farm market cantaloupe for breakfast. Ran a couple of episodes of Max & Ruby while eating. "Max's Froggy Friend" may delight Max with his jumping, but Ruby insists that frogs have no place at tea parties! Max keeps trying to sneak the frog home anyway. "Ruby's Hiccups" may prevent her from rehearsing for the big Bunny Scout concert unless she and Louise can find a cure, and fast! Meanwhile, Max just wants to find his monster mask. Ruby wants to get Max in "The Big Picture" for Grandma, but Max keeps getting dirty. "Max Gets Wet" when Ruby insists on him watering her plants, but he keeps trying to fill his kiddie pool. And "Ruby's Stage Show" gets more complicated than the participants planned when Ruby wants Max to play a prince, but he'd rather be a dragon!

It was just gorgeous outside today. The sky was a brilliant blue. The breeze was nice and cool. It couldn't have been more than the mid-70s. It was the perfect day for a long bike ride. I started at the House of Fun up on the White Horse Pike, which hadn't been open when I was there yesterday. Not only were they open this morning, but they had a whole display of 80s girls' stuffed animals and dolls in the middle of the main room, most still in their original packaging. Among them was one I had as a child - Hoppopotamus, the blue rabbit-eared diva who was my favorite character in the 1985 Disney cartoon The WuzzlesI had my original Hoppo for over a decade. The one I found was in mint condition, still fuzzy and with perfect eyes and ears. The picture book she came with was mint, too. Her box was a mess, but at least it was there. She cost me $34 with tax, but I was thrilled to find her again. She's one of the few childhood stuffed animals I ever really regret letting go of.

Hoppo's box was a little awkward to carry in my bike basket. I took her home, then headed back out again. Stopped at Simply Soups in Audubon for lunch. Despite the nice day and it being about 1 when I arrived, I was the only diner. I guess everyone was ordering out. I had my usual small cup of soup (turkey pumpkin wild rice), breadsticks, and can of soda (Diet A&W) while watching the traffic and a train chug by.

I spent the rest of the afternoon checking out thrift shops and Goodwills. Barrington Antiques was actually a bit busy. I saw three retired American Girl dolls that aren't easy to find, the 2008 Girl of the Year modern doll Mia, Felicity's best friend Elizabeth, and Samantha's best friend Nellie. I might have considered Nellie or Elizabeth (I don't have any blond AGs) if they hadn't been between 100 and 125 each! I could buy a doll new for that. Josefina's bed, which they were all sitting on, was overpriced, too. I ended up buying nothing there and moved on.

I rode up to Lawnside originally, but decided I didn't need anything at Shop Rite or Hallmark. Headed down Clements Bridge Road to the Black Horse Pike. The Bellmawr Goodwill was a block from where I came out. I did better there than I did the last time I went there in early June. I picked up the CD of the original cast of Legally Blonde: The Musical, plus five Christmas-related items:

Christmas With Anne, a collection of short stories (and at least one chapter from Anne of Green Gables) by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

A Christmas Carol, a 50s TV movie musical version with Frederick March as Scrooge and Basil Rathbone as Jacob Marley

A box set of three FHE videos of Christmas specials from the 80s, including one I've been trying to find for years, The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas.

It was past 4:30 by the time I left Goodwill. I took the back roads home to avoid the traffic on the Black Horse Pike and Clements Bridge Road. Just a few streets down from the Goodwill, I found a nice little playground. It was surrounded by some blue and black material that seemed foamy and almost kind of bouncy. It was faded, but seemed sturdy enough; I couldn't resist trying the wavy slide.

Since I passed through Haddon Heights going home, I decided I'd wet my whistle with a treat from Cabana Water Ice. I couldn't decide between water ice or ice cream, so I got a small pumpkin-vanilla gelati and had both. The pumpkin was nice and creamy, with large pieces of gingerbread...but the water ice wasn't very good. The ice chunks were big and rocky, and it didn't really taste like vanilla. I ate it outside to enjoy the dad and observe the older women chatting on a bench and the kids getting their own treats on their way back from school.

When I got in, I headed upstairs, then made Merlin's Magic (Baked) Chicken and sauteed Chinese beans for dinner while watching the East Side Kids. Kid Dynamite is the second of three movies in the series that has Danny (Bobby Jordan) and Mugs (Leo Gorcey) at odds. Mugs thinks Danny set him up when he's kidnapped before he can take part in a big boxing match and Danny takes his place. The rest of the movie has Mugs doing whatever he can to come out ahead of Danny, ignoring the fact that his friend is innocent and only wants to be nice.

And the darn Warner Archive movies still haven't shown up. If they aren't in by tomorrow, I'm calling the post office in Camden to see what the hold up is.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Comeback Birds

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the Eagles, for the second week in a row, came back from losing in the first half to just barely win - with a field goal in the last seconds of the game - in the fourth quarter. Talk about your suspenseful games! They become the first team in NFL history to win the first two games of the season after coming back from being down 14 points or more in the first half.

Taking Things Slow

I hadn't really planned on doing much today, other than running errands. After I ate a late breakfast and finished out Way Out West, I ran a travel-themed Mickey Mouse cartoon while getting ready to run errands. "Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip" on a train going across California, but bringing his best pal Pluto gets him into a whole lot of trouble with Conductor Pete. The duo do their best to evade the cranky cat conductor and still get to their destination.

Headed out around 11 AM. It was still a lovely day at that point, bright and sunny. It was a tad bit warmer than yesterday, but the wind felt nice and cool. My first stop was the Oaklyn Library for this week's session there. The nice day was reflected in a quiet building. The only other people there were the librarian and one woman on the computers. I did a little work on the adult DVDs, but I mainly shelved and organized the kids' section. The DVDs were especially bad. I don't know how a Beverly Hillbillies disc got in there. I was gone in about a half-hour.

I was originally going to hit up the House of Fun next, but much to my surprise, they weren't open when I arrived. It was past 11:30, and their sign said they open at 11. The comics shop next-door wasn't open, either. I went a few blocks down to Family Dollar and bought hand soap for the kitchen sink; the one Amanda gave me for Christmas had finally run out. I swung by the House of Fun again after I left Family Dollar. The comics book shop was open by then, but the House of Fun remained closed. I went to WaWa and bought a roast beef and provolone hoagie, a quart of skim milk, and a chilled mocha cappuccino, took out money for the rest of the week from the ATM machine, and went home.

I got another disappointment when I arrived at the apartment. The mailbox was empty except for one clothes catalog for me and a few pieces of junk mail for Miss Ellie. (She still gets a ton of mail, even after being dead for over two years.) The UPS website said I was supposed to get my Warner Archive order TODAY! I don't know why it took so long in the first place. From now on, I wait and buy my Archive discs from Amazon or Barnes and Noble's website.

Put on a Bowery Boys movie upstairs to calm down. Bowery Buckaroos is one of my favorites of the early Bobby Jordan entries. The Boys head west when Louie, the owner of their favorite soda shop, reveals that he's wanted for a murder he didn't commit. He also has a map to a gold mine...tattooed on his back. The Boys draw the map on Sach's back and head to Nevada to find the gold and solve the mystery. Meanwhile, their more mature friend Gabe is also out west, posing as a gambler to get the goods on the crooks who framed Louie. He falls for a pretty cowgirl who may be just a little too smart for him.

Went to the laundromat a little earlier this week, around quarter of 3. Once again, it was nice and quiet. There was only one other older woman there the whole time. It was just me, Queen Latifa's talk show, and my very large load of laundry. I had sheets and both work uniforms in there. I had no trouble getting a washer or a drier and was out in a little over an hour.

It was cloudy and cool when I walked home, a good reflection of my mood. The chicken legs I pulled out for dinner hadn't defrosted all the way, so I made Chicken Vegetable Soup while watching 'Til the Clouds Roll By. This semi-revue on the life of Jerome Kern makes up for a lack of historical accuracy (especially in the second half) with some fabulous numbers. My favorites include two lovely ballads from Dinah Shore, "They Didn't Believe Me" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris," the wonderful opening Show Boat sequence, Judy Garland's fabulous "Who?" number with the chorus, and Lucile Bremer and Van Johnson having a ball with "I Won't Dance." (Johnson should have done more musicals that weren't dominated by his leading lady - he was quite good here.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Time For Vacation

I got a phone call as I was eating breakfast this morning. It was Andrew. Was I going to be around at noon? He was bringing an appraiser to take a look at the house. No, alas, I wouldn't. I had to work at noon. I did have the time to make my bed and tidy up around the house before I left for work.

I also dubbed one of my video finds from Saturday. Sons of the Desert has Laurel and Hardy sneaking off to a fraternity convention after they tell Hardy's wife (Mae Marsh) that they're taking an ocean voyage for Ollie's health. Unfortunately, the boat they were supposed to have taken sinks, frightening their wives. When the two make it home, they find they have some really interesting explaining to do...and Laurel, at the very least, learns that honesty really is the best policy.

Widely regarded as the duo's best feature, this isn't really a masterpiece. It is a pretty funny movie with some great gags, especially towards the end when the boys realize that their wives know what's going on. Necessary for Laurel and Hardy fans; fun for fans of 30s comedy or classic comedians, too. 

Work was on-and-off busy all afternoon. The Eagles play later today, and many people were taking advantage of the lovely and cool weather (barely in the lower 70s) to have their last barbecues of the season. A lot of people called out too, especially this morning. It did slow down long enough for me to get out without a relief around 6.

I changed into regular clothes when I got in. Made scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms and a bagel for dinner while watching more Laurel & Hardy. They find themselves involved in The Laurel & Hardy Murder Case when they go to a spooky mansion to claim Stan's inheritance...and suddenly, everyone starts disappearing. And they go Way Out West to bring a young woman the deed to a gold mine. When they unwittingly give the deed to the girl's greedy guardians, they'll need a lot more than fancy footwork to get it to the right young woman!

Tomorrow is a regular day off; I plan on pretty much doing the same errands I did last Tuesday, maybe with a longer walk around the neighborhood. After that, I'm on vacation! I don't have a ton of plans beyond counseling next Tuesday. I'd like to try to get to the King of Prussia Mall sometime soon.

Oh, and the Eagles play the Colts tonight. As of this second, near the end of the second quarter, the Colts are ahead 10-6.