Friday, January 30, 2015

Weird Wild West

Started off the morning with the rest of The Wizard of Oz and one more cartoon. There's been lots of animated versions, spoofs, and take-offs on Oz over the years. Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater did one of them in the 1980s. Hello Dorothy finds herself over the rainbow and on a quest to find "The Wizard of Paws," who'll send her back to Catfish. She's joined by the Cowardly Rabbit (My Melody), the Tin Penguin (Tuxedo Sam), and the Scarecrow Seal (Chip), all of whom want to make some changes of their own. Meanwhile, the Wicked Witchie (Catnip) is after Hello Dorothy's magic collar and will do anything to get it!

It was flurrying lightly as I rode to work...but even as I dodged traffic and construction on the Black Horse Pike, the sun was trying to come out. The sun would be in and out all day. The howling wind  made everything twice as cold as it otherwise would have felt.

Surprisingly for the weekend before the Super Bowl and the beginning of the month, it was only on-and-off busy at work. The lines did get long, but not unbearable, and we had a lot more help. I think a lot of people did their shopping last week, before the weather forecasts got crazy. As of now, we may be getting a few inches this week, but the real concern is bitter cold and more wind. Thankfully, we were slow when I shut down. I had no relief and no need for one.

Went right in the back to get my schedule after I finished. Actually, I have a very nice schedule, possibly the best I've had since the week of New Year's. Nothing earlier than 10 or later than 7. Monday and Saturday are off again. I'll probably do the same laundry/library chores on Monday. If my tax return shows up by Saturday and the weather behaves, I may make another mall run.

Did my grocery shopping next. I was mainly restocking fruit and meat. Found two-packs of lobster cakes with a manager's coupon on them; bought one for dinner. The sales for chicken weren't great, but I needed them, so I picked up more ground chicken and a pack of chicken drumsticks. Restocked grapefruit, bananas, apples, and powdered sugar. Had a hard time deciding on the Quaker sale cereal I wanted. Picked Honey Graham O's, which I haven't seen since I was a kid. (They turned out to not be part of the sale, but I wanted them anyway.) Bought two mouse traps. I've been seeing mice again. (I need to tell my neighbors about that when I give them the rent.)

When I got home, I put everything away, then changed back into my regular clothes. The Acme is having its annual employee Super Bowl party tomorrow. I'm off, but I wanted to bring the cookies I promised a few weeks ago anyway. There was a sign up on the punch-in clock that promised a 20 dollar gift card to the person who brought in the tastiest dish made with bacon. I remembered that yummy bacon cookie mix I had back in the fall. It's long-gone (and I think it was a Target exclusive), but I thought I could pull it off from scratch. So, the Betty Crocker Stir-and-Drop Sugar Cookies became Brown Sugar Bacon Cookies. I replaced the white sugar with brown sugar, added a little honey for flavoring, and tossed in a bag of real bacon bits I bought on my grocery rounds. They actually came out pretty well, just the right salty-sweet, though a few of the second batch got a little burned.

Ran The Lone Ranger while I baked, and later as I ate the lobster cakes and a spinach salad for dinner. The title character is John Reid (Arnie Hammer), a lawyer who has come out west to help his brother, a Texas ranger, track a nasty outlaw. He's also in love with his brother's wife, but she ended up with his heroic brother...and they have a son. Their town, and the land of the near-by Commanches, is being eyed for railroad expansion by a money-grubbing land boss. It turns out that's not all he has in mind when the Reids and their Ranger party are ambushed. Dan Reid is killed, and John is left for dead. He's found by a wandering misfit native (Johnny Depp) who wants his own revenge on the railroad baron for destroying his village...or does he? His talk of spirits that can never die seems more than a little crazy to John, but he takes his advice, makes a mask out of the shirt of his brother, and becomes the Lone Ranger, fighter for justice and silver mines in a very weird frontier.

Ok, now I understand why this was a monumental flop in the summer of 2013. Johnny Depp made one of the worst-looking Native Americans I have seen in a modern movie (and offended many real ones). The plot was way, way, waayyy too long. A story that should have been a tight 90 minutes or so was dragged out to two and a half hours. Despite being in all the ads, Helena Bonham Carter was in maybe 10 minutes of the finished film. On top of all that, there was pretty heavy violence for a PG-13 movie, including two railroad crashes, a fair amount of blood, and lots of gunplay.

As you can guess, I don't really recommend this one unless you're incredibly bored and looking for a long, lazy weekend rental, or you're a huge fan of Depp. Stick to the radio and TV shows for the real "Lone Ranger."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Riverside Musical Revue

I had early work today. Work was on-and-off busy, not as bad as it probably will be over the weekend, but not horrible, either. We had plenty of help this time, even as most of the managers and baggers were cleaning the front by the registers. My relief was late; a manager came in for me.

When I got home, I did some vacuuming while listening to CD's and records. I had a Barry Manilow kick today. I did Copacabana while I was getting organized. This was a London musical based around one of Manilow's most famous creations. Sweet Lola comes to New York and ends up at the famous nightclub of the title, where she falls for Tony, the club's top male dancer. She's whisked off to Havana by a famous gangster. Tony goes after her with their cowardly boss. Also did some of my 2-disc Manilow's greatest hits LP.

Switched to The Wizard of Oz during dinner. This is the very famous 1939 version. Dorothy (Judy Garland) longs to escape sepia-toned Kansas and the nasty old lady (Margaret Hamilton) who wants to take her beloved dog Toto away. A tornado whisks her over the rainbow, where she encounters a talking, dancing scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a sentimental tin woodsman (Jack Haley), and a funny, very cowardly lion (Bert Lahr) who all want to change their lives. Dorothy just wants to get out of there, so she and her friends go to the Emerald City to meet the title character. The Wicked Witch of the West (Hamilton) dogs them every step of the way. The Wizard seems fearsome, and his orders to eliminate the Wicked Witch seems impossible. Turns out that it's not as impossible as it seems...and the Wizard isn't what he seems, either.

While not my favorite musical, this is still one of the most famous movies of all time, especially for families. Lahr's hilarious lion has always been my favorite part, along with some of the famous music. I probably don't need to recommend this to anyone. If you love musicals, the cast, fantasies, or Oz in general, this is one of the most famous ones of all time.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Cleaning

I got the phone call while I was eating grits and a half of a grapefruit for breakfast. The Acme wanted me to come in early. Sure, why not? I was only cleaning today. I agreed to 1 PM. I didn't think it would be much busier than yesterday, but the extra hour wouldn't hurt.

I spent the morning cleaning the kitchen. Darn it, it looks like there's another mouse loose. I need to tell Richard or Miss Willa as soon as possible. Otherwise, the kitchen wasn't too bad. The top of the refrigerator was dusty, and the top of the stove was grimy, but the sink has been worse.

I listened to Billy Joel CDs for most of the morning. I grew up listening to Billy Joel. My stepfather is from Long Island, just like Joel, and grew up with some of the same experiences. My mom actually saw him perform in clubs and in concert in the 70s. His An Innocent Man, 52nd Street, and The Bridge albums in particular were in heavy rotation in my family for years. "Uptown Girl" is still one of my favorite songs, and I think of my commercial fisherman stepfather whenever I hear "The Downeaster Alexa."

I had leftovers for lunch, then hurried to work. It was a beautiful, sunny day, cold but without the wind that had been such a problem for the last few days. They did have a reason for calling me in - lots of call-outs. We really weren't overwhelmingly busy, but it felt like it because we didn't have nearly enough help. There were long lines all evening, and not enough people to deal with them. We're getting close to the Super Bowl and the beginning of the month, too. Things should be picking up starting this weekend. Thankfully, my relief, one of the college girls, was on time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Do You Believe Your Eyes, Or Do You Believe the Forecast?

My bed felt so nice and warm this morning. I was afraid to get out of it. I didn't really want to. I knew there would be snow on the ground, and everyone would be freaking out. I read Anne of Green Gables in bed and did my journal, then finally went to look out the window.

There it was. Pure, clean, and white. One inch of snow. Not four inches. Not eight inches. Not a foot, two feet, or three hands and a leg. Barely one inch. And it was melting, even as I gazed outside. Clearly, someone goofed somewhere.

I shrugged, got dressed, and ate grits and a half of a grapefruit for breakfast. I ran the My Little Pony episodes all morning. I was disappointed to note that the Escape From Catrina here wasn't the original version, but the cut-down two-parter from My Little Pony and Friends. It was still nice to see it again, though, even in truncated form. As with the first special, Rescue From Midnight Castle, this is rather dark for 80's girl-oriented animation. Catrina is a nasty witch who uses the fuzzy Bushwoolies as slaves to make her witchweed potion, the source of her powers. When the Bushwoolies revolt, she tries to capture some of the ponies..and then goes after one of the babies wearing the Rainbow of Light and uses her to get to the others.

The other episodes of My Little Pony and Friends included weren't quite as scary as the special or as some of the shows in this series could be at times. The creative "The Revolt of Paradise Estates" has the Ponies' furniture turning on them when they use a magic paint. One of the babies (who comes to adore her baby buggy that can now sing to her) discovers the magician who gave them the paint and what he's after. "Flight to Cloud Castle" has three of the Pegasus ponies helping a young man who wants to rescue his sweetheart, who is under a sleeping spell, from a flying castle that keeps moving.

Ironically, my favorite episodes was a short, and one of only two episodes in this set with no villains. The Baby Ponies discover "A Little Bit of Magic" when Buttons the Unicorn says she'll send a ball rolling over the hill. They each imagine what they'll do with it. One hopes it'll teach her to fly; another wants to bring it to a magical world of games and toys. They eventually realize the ball never came...but they've had fun anyway imagining it. I've done this many times, and I usually enjoy it as much as the ponies do.

I cleaned the bathroom while the cartoons were on. It wasn't quite as bad as after the holidays, but I wanted to get it done while I had time. I don't like putting the bathroom and kitchen in particular off for long. They get disgusting.

Went online briefly to check and see how everyone else was fairing. The answer was...not happily. People were up in arms over a "snow emergency" that never came. Not only did the storm lose force, but most of it wound up hitting the New England coast. Even Lauren didn't get that much snow in Pittsfield (though she got more than we did). Businesses were losing money and kids were wasting a day home from school for no reason. Forecasters from Channel 6 Action News actually apologized for making such bad calls.

I hope everyone learned a good lesson today. This is why you shouldn't buy into hype, especially when you don't have all the facts. Use your own judgement, and don't do something just because the TV or computer said to.

There was even less snow on the ground when I went to work. In fact, other than some ice on the dead end part of Manor, the streets were totally clear. I rode to work normally and actually got in a little earlier than I have been lately.

I could have been indefinitely late. Everyone must have panicked yesterday and Sunday. We picked up slightly during the 4 to 6 rush hour, but were otherwise dead all night. A lot of people were fussing about the government and oh why did people let the Internet/TV tell them what to do? I wouldn't blame the devices - I'd blame the people running them. Otherwise, there were no problems. I spent most of the night standing around. My relief was on time, and I was in and out.

Oh, and I'm off to do my tax return! I got my W-2 today. It usually takes about 20 minutes to an hour to do my return. I have no dependents, own no property, and work one job. We'll see how much I come up with this year.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Whither the Snow?

It was, indeed, snowing when I got up this morning, but not hard. When I peeked out my bedroom window, I noticed that the streets were wet, but otherwise normal. There was no snow on the streets at all. I decided to take advantage of the lack of precipitation to do the chores I originally planned for today, and even a few I was going to do tomorrow.

Watched my second Valentine's Day special of the season while eating breakfast. Bugs Bunny's Cupid Capers is one of the Looney Tunes half-hour specials from the 70s and 80s made up of bits and pieces of shorts with new linking material. This one was only slightly more substantial than the Halloween show. Bugs watches the work of a rather Elmer Fudd-like Cupid, despite insisting that he's meddling. Bugs dodges a plump European rabbit with a crush on him, Daffy the private eye is pursued by an amorous dame, Pepe Le Pew enters the Foreign Legion and chases its mascot cat, and Bugs finds the Tasmanian Devil the perfect mate.

Started out my errands with the laundry. I was originally going to do it tomorrow. I don't work until 2. The snow is supposed to be at its worst tomorrow morning, though, and the last thing I wanted was to be out in it. It was snowing when I arrived at the laundromat. The weather cleared them out. Two guys were in and out; otherwise, it was me and the news, blaring snow reports of anything from 6 to 12 inches. (The National Weather Service has since downgraded us to 4 to 8 inches.) The mayor of Philadelphia was insisting people keep their cars off the streets, so they could be plowed.

After I finished, I went straight home and put the laundry away, then headed back out. The snow had stopped while I was on my way back, but it started again as I headed out. I made my way down to Cuthbert and the Westmont Plaza. Had a nice, quiet lunch at Friendly's. I was planning on tacos for dinner, so I had a nice, warm Turkey Tips Avocado Salad for lunch. It was 1:30. They weren't too busy. There were just a few couples (and one family with a very fresh young boy who was quite rude to his parents because they wouldn't let him use the claw machine).

Stopped at Tuesday Morning next. They did have more Ever After High dolls - that last Cupid, more Legacy Day (fancy dress) Raven and Apple, some Getting Fairest (pajamas) Maddie and Briar. Nope, nope, I not only had those girls, I'm only interested in their basic versions. I finally found some really cute socks and a stuffed elephant for my new little niece Lilah instead.

The Haddon Township Library was quite busy when I arrived. Not only did most of the local schools let out early (before the roads get bad), but the Library itself was closing at 4. I arrived at quarter of 3, which gave me just enough time to get the DVDs shelved and organized and take out some DVDs for myself. I was delighted to find that Escape From Catrina, one of the two original My Little Pony specials from the 80s (the other being Rescue From Nightmare Castle, which I have), is finally on DVD in its original form. I also grabbed On an Island With You, the dark superhero movie The Spirit, the Johnny Depp Lone Ranger from a few years ago that was such a huge flop (after enjoying John Carter, I'm willing to give it a chance), and the 1939 Wizard of Oz.

I made a quick stop at Thriftway on the way home. Much to my surprise, they were actually fairly quiet. There were lines, but they weren't half-way across the store. I expected to barely be able to get in the door! I guess everyone did their panicking yesterday and this morning. I bought I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, grits, and Chuckles (I love those and haven't seen them in a single pack for years) and hurried out.

By 4 PM, the snow was gone. It was cloudy, windy, and cold, but not snowing. I went right home and did some more organizing. My sweaters and my one good pair of winter pants went in the sweater hanger. Rolls of wrapping paper, boxes, and odds and ends were loaded into the long bag. One sweater bag holds large doll clothes for my Cabbage Patch Kids girls. The other has winter accessories.

I now had two extra, empty small baskets after moving the doll clothes and accessories. I decided to organize my junk drawers. The top drawer holds bike tools and repair items, art supplies, tape of all kinds, my glasses repair kit, menus for local restaurants, and my extra pair of glasses and extra glasses case. The baskets didn't fit there, but I was able to get everything in fairly good shape without them.

The bottom drawer was a mess. That's where I keep things that would normally go in a shed or garage - string, tools, nails, nuts and bolts, batteries, three-pronged plugs, my flashlight, every kind of wire for an electronic device ever invented. There was white stuff cracked all along the bottom. I couldn't figure out what it was...until I remembered just how old those big D batteries I'd never used were. Ugh! I cleaned everything out, trashed the leaking batteries, and dumped the white stuff out of the drawer. The wires I didn't put in the donation bags went in one basket. The tools went in the other.

I kept dinner simple. Used some of that ground chicken I bought a while back to make soft chicken tacos. I added fresh spinach, shredded Colby cheese, and sliced grape tomatoes. It was quite delicious and all I needed after that big salad this afternoon.

Ran On an Island With You while I made dinner. Peter Lawford is a Naval officer who desperately wants a dance with a lovely movie star (Esther Williams) he once did a skit with during World War II. She kissed him at the end of that skit...and he fell for her. He's hoping she'll reciprocate, but she already has a fiancee, her co-star on her newest picture (Ricardo Montalban). He has an admirer, too, the dancer who is appearing in the same movie (Cyd Charisse). Lawford runs off with Williams to a tropical island while doing a stunt for the movie, hoping to win her over. She's annoyed and scared at first...until she realizes just how much she means to him. Meanwhile, the film's assistant director (Jimmy Durante) is just trying to keep all the romances straight.

The cast saves this tropical variation on Williams' romantic comedy semi-revues. The movie/island setting means there's a lot more water ballets than usual, including a dream sequence where Lawford imagines Williams among the island flora. Montalban and Charisse have two excellent dance sequences (including a rather passionate one towards the end), but otherwise don't have much to do. Durante is better as the assistant who's been in show business longer than anyone and has seen it all twice. Xaviar Cugat is around for background numbers and to push his chihuahua on a befuddled Durante. Nice if you like the cast or Williams' other musicals, or run into it on TCM on a lazy day.

And at press time...still no snow that I can see. The National Weather Service still says 4 to 8 inches for here. It's supposed to be much worse up north - Lauren may get up to two feet in Pittsfield. We'll see how things look tomorrow morning.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Snow Makes the World Go 'Round

It was sunny and breezy when I got up this morning. I read Anne of Green Gables for a while, then wrote in my journal before getting started. I've had candied fruit from the Christmas clearance tables sitting my my refrigerator for a while, so I made Candied Pineapple Pancakes for breakfast.

The sun remained as I headed to work. Work was a total and completely nuthouse all day long. I didn't find out until later tonight, but it's supposed to snow here, and snow hard. As of right now, we could get anywhere from 4 to 12 inches. They're supposed to get a ton more up north - my best friend Lauren in Pittsfield, Massachusetts could be seeing up to two feet! It was fine today. Thankfully, my relief was one of the college boys who is always on time. I hurried out as soon as I could.

When I got in, I went online. My next-door neighbor Richard was (finally) taking down his outdoor Christmas decorations in anticipation of tonight's weather. I checked the National Weather Service, then looked at some of the doll message boards I belong to.

Spent the rest of the evening baking and listening to records. I used that Cinnamon Roll mix and two bananas that were getting squishy and made Cinnamon Banana Cake. Lowered the fat content with egg whites and slightly less vegetable oil. Yum. A little crumbly, but not bad. Sweet and very banana-y.

Started off with Carnival while making the cake. In this lovely stage version of the film musical Lili, we begin with a third-rate traveling fair in France. Sweet little Lili (Anna Maria Albergetti) arrives and falls for the handsome magician Marco (James Mitchell). Marco, however, is a cad who is already stringing along his current assistant (Kaye Ballard). Lili ultimately ends up working for Paul, a bitter puppeteer (Jerry Orbach) and his puppet ensemble. Lili thinks they're real and really loves singing with them...but she isn't fond of their nasty human. His anger almost drives her away, until she realizes who she truly loves.

It's too bad the CD for this one is long out of print. The music is genuinely beautiful, especially "Beautiful Candy" and "Love Makes the World Go 'Round." Look for the LP if you're a fan of Orbach, Albergetti, or unusual romantic musicals.

Finished up with leftovers and my Debbie Gibson Out of the Blue LP. My sisters and I loved her when we were little. Rose and Anny actually shared the black hat she used to wear. Mom's got a couple of pictures of Rose wearing it at her house. We definitely had this record when it came out in the late 80's. (We had Electric Youth too, but I think that was on cassette.)

(Incidentally, at press time, it's only wet out there. We had a little sprinkle of rain earlier, but no snow.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snow Day at the Market Place

It started raining even as I finished yesterday's entry. When I got up this morning, the snow was now mostly slush, but the rain was gone. It was just cloudy, dreary, and damp.

I perked up the gray morning with winter-themed cartoons. "Chip n' Dale" had their first go-around with Donald in the snow when he chops down their home for firewood. "Corn Chips" replaces the log with popcorn. The chipmunks want Donald's noisy treat, but he won't let it go without a fight! Bugs Bunny is a "Frigid Hare" when he accidentally ends up in the Arctic while on vacation and has to rescue a baby penguin from an Inuit hunter. "Putty Tat Trouble" pits a snowbound Tweety against not one, but two hungry cats. It's "Ski For Two" when Woody Woodpecker invades Wally Walrus' ski lodge for a meal.

I finally headed out around quarter of 1 (after having to go back for the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon). I hurried down to Cuthbert, dodging rivers of slushy, mushy snow. By noon, the snow was rapidly melting. There was none left on the main streets, and not a lot on the back streets. It was all just slush and puddles. The puddles were so bad by the bus stop sign on Cuthbert, I had to wait on the side of the road. The bus was about five minutes late or so, a little annoying but not too bad. There was no traffic once we got on the road, and the ride to Cherry Hill was uneventful.

Spent the rest of the day at the Market Place and Town Center shopping center. It's one of those new "Lifestyle Centers" that's supposed to be a cross between a condo community and a big box shopping center. When I got in, my first stop was a small toy store, Learning Toys. I was hoping to find the two Ever After High first wave dolls I still needed for me, or a simple but cute newborn toy for little Lilah. I saw no Ever After High (tons of Monster High, though), and most of their baby toys were overpriced. I moved on.

No luck at Barnes and Noble initially, either. There aren't really any books I'm after at the moment. I saw the "Hat-Tastic" Cedar Wood (daughter of Pinocchio) and some "Legacy Day" (fancy dress) Briar and Apple Whites, but not the ones I was looking for. I debated the newest Ever After High book, Next Top Villain (on ballerina diva Duchess Swan and her relationship with her roommate Lizzie "Queen of" Hearts), but decided I'd wait for it to come to the local libraries.

It was past 2:30 by then, and way past lunch. I ultimately ended up at Panera Bread. The Panera at the Market Place is the only one in the area, so eating there when I'm at the mall is a special treat. I was surprised at how busy it was, even at 2:30. I could barely get a seat to eat my Turkey Cranberry Pannini, tomato soup, baguette, and Diet Pepsi. The tomato soup was a bit spicy for my taste, but the sandwich was delicious, with just enough cranberry and mayo. I really liked the croutons in the soup, too. And the baguette tasted great dipping it into the soup!

I dodged the traffic in the parking lot and made my way towards Wegman's after lunch. That was probably not a good idea. Wegman's was a mob scene. They're a large grocery store, like the Acme but with more organic and fancy "healthy" foods, along with a huge section for the kinds of kitchen items  you can find for cheaper a few blocks down in Bed Bath and Beyond. I was there for small cans of pears, peaches, and mandarin oranges, which the Acme no longer sells. They also still had some of the Pillsbury Fall Limited Edition cake and cookie mixes. I went with Cinnamon Roll. I love cinnamon.

Was in and out of a couple of stores after finally edging out of Wegman's. There was nothing I needed at the Christmas Tree Shop. Went in Best Buy, bought the ink I needed for my printer, and left. (The last thing I need right now are more CDs and DVDs!) My main interest for this trip was Bed Bath and Beyond. I used that 20% off coupon on two sweater bags for doll clothes and for my winter accessories like scarves, a long under-the-bed bag for wrapping paper and rolls, and a sweater hanger for my work uniforms and the towel I use for the pool in the summer. The lines at Bed Bath and Beyond were ridiculous. It took me ages to get out of there.

By the time I made it outside, the dark clouds and slight sprinkles were finally subsiding, leaving the tinge of a lovely sunset. I was dismayed to check my bus schedule and discover that the last bus had just left at 4:40 and the next bus wouldn't be around until 6! I debated hiking down to the JoAnn's at the Garden State Pavillion and checking that out. I finally decided I didn't want to deal with the puddles or the traffic and just returned to Barnes and Noble.

The second time was the charm. I was exploring around the kids' book section when I noticed tables listed as "clearance." Among the items on the tables were piles of the original Wave 1 and 2 "signature" (i.e, basic) Ever After High dolls. I grabbed Madeline Hatter and the very last Apple White on the table. (I saw two more of Maddie, two Cerise Hoods, one Briar, and a ton of Raven.)

It was dark when I headed out to pick up the bus. I had a hard time finding the bus stop. The steakhouse it was in front of shut down, making it very dark where the sign was. The huge puddles around the sign didn't help. I was happy when the bus finally arrived. Once again, there was no traffic and no difficulty getting home. I made a quick stop for an Orange Mango Sparkling Ice at WaWa before returning to the apartment.

I got the dolls out of the boxes as soon as I got in and put on pasta fagioli for dinner. Apple White is the (blond) daughter of Snow White who desperately wants to follow the "safe" path and get her happily ever after. She doesn't understand why Raven wouldn't want to play her part in her story, or why others wouldn't want to do what they're supposed to do. Maddie is the nutty daughter of the Mad Hatter and Raven's best friend. Though she's looking forward to being the next Mad Hatter and having kooky tea parties, she also believes that people should have a choice in their destinies.

While I don't think she's "the fairest of them all," Apple is very pretty. I especially love her hair. Unlike Briar and Blondie, her pale gold locks retained their curl, even after brushing, and didn't heavily shed. She's also got the coolest purse of anyone. Her apple-shaped purse is just adorable, and even opens!

Maddie's teapot purse also opens. She's much smaller than the other dolls, at least a head shorter than very tall Briar. She has the sweetest white and turquoise polka-dot tights and teacup shoes. Though her hair was a mess in the back coming out, it's retained its curl quite well without Briar and Blondie's shedding.