Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Girl, the Guy, and the Duckie

Started off another sunny but chilly morning with the second Looney Tunes Easter special. Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-citement switches things up a little by giving us three shorts made just for TV, rather than bits and pieces of theatrical cartoons. The first is my favorite, as Daffy and Sylvester chase a golden egg. In the second, Daffy tries to keep Speedy Gonzoles from taking chocolate bunnies from the factory he's guarding to the kids of his village. Daffy's solo in the third, as he tries various means of getting north besides flying.

I did some stuff on the computer for a while, then baked Blue Raspberry Snow Cone cookies and dusted the apartment while watching Pretty In Pink. Andie (Molly Ringwald) is a self-proclaimed misfit who wears clunky mis-matched outfits and hangs around with other "outsiders" to distance herself from the fact that she lives in an old house with a single father (Harry Dean Stanton) who is out of work. She works in a record store run by an eccentric woman with nifty taste in clothes (Annie Potts), and her best friend is the equally poor and extremely geeky Duckie (Jon Cryer). She's delighted when sweet rich guy Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) shows interest in her. Their romance doesn't go over well with Duckie or with Blaine's buddy Steff (John Spader) who once made a pass at Andie. Andie has to decide how she can keep seeing Blaine, keep her friendship with Duckie, and be true to herself.

Most people think that Andie picked the wrong guy at the end, and I agree...sort of. Actually, I thought Andie was too smart for both Blaine (who was a spineless wimp) and Duckie (whose behavior bordered on stalking at several points). I think she would have been better off ditching Blaine and telling Duckie that she wanted to be friends and nothing else. Even if the dress she made at the end wasn't couture material, it did prove that she had no problems being her...which is more than could be said for either guy.

While this wasn't bad, I still prefer John Hughes' other take on more-or-less the same story, Some Kind of Wonderful. This one is for fans of romantic comedy, teen comedy, Hughes' other films, 80s comedies, or the cast.

Ran two vintage Strawberry Shortcake specials while eating a quick leftovers lunch and getting ready for work. The World of Strawberry Shortcake was the first special made for the famous fruit-loving character. It's Strawberry's birthday, but the Peculiar Purple Pieman wants to spoil her party by stealing all the berries in Strawberry Land. The Pieman's back to wrecking havoc in Strawberry Shortcake In Big Apple City. He and Strawberry are competing in a bake-off that's being televised from Big Apple City. The Pieman does everything he can to keep Strawberry from winning, but she has some new friends who help her get around his sabotage.

We were steady at work for most of the evening. It did pick up during rush hour, to the point where we had very long lines. When rush hour ended, we went right back to being steady. I was in and out with no problems.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Frozen Spring

I wish I could have slept longer this morning. It just felt so nice under my blankets! I did have to get up - I had work at 11. I cheered myself up with Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies. This late 70s Looney Tunes special is one of two Tunes prime-time shows done for Easter. The Easter Bunny is sick, and Bugs has to work, so Granny tries to find a replacement among the regular Tunes roster. This is basically an excuse to show clips from popular shorts like "Birds Anonymous" and "Knighty-Knight Bugs," with little other connection to Easter besides the Easter Bunny appearing in the beginning and the end.

Bugs Bunny did do at least one theatrical Easter short. "Easter Yeggs" has him taking over the Easter Bunny's job when the latter complains he's too tired to go on. No wonder he's having problems. Bugs is first attacked by the nasty toddler son of criminals who wants an Easter egg NOW, and then by Elmer Fudd, who wants' Easter Bunny stew for dinner. Bugs finally finds a way to turn the tables on both...and then teach the Easter Bunny a lesson as well.

Today was my 8 1/2 hour day. It was really busy almost the entire day. We're not normally this busy in the middle of the week; I guess a lot of people are getting ready for Easter early. We were also short on help for much of the day, especially in the morning, when a lot of our work force is at school. And I'm not entirely happy about picking up hours on Friday. It's just 10 to 2, but that means I'll now have to rush everything I had planned for that day.

The weather didn't help. It supposedly snowed briefly in some places last night. If it did, it was long gone by 11 AM. It was windy and much chillier than it has been, though not as bad as I figured it would be. The sun was still warm, despite the wind. It's supposed to be cold again tonight and tomorrow, then start getting warmer by Friday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cold Spring Rain

It was just cloudy when I got up this morning. In fact, I ended up riding to work. Work was on-and-off busy all day, depending on what Mother Nature was doing, though it wasn't as bad as last week. I did run into some trouble getting out. The woman who was supposed to come in for me showed up sick. A manager came in for me so I could get home.

The rain was coming down so hard by 5PM, Rose ended up driving me and my bike home. It's continued to come down hard for the rest of the night. It's also supposed to get really cold, down just to freezing. (Rose mentioned snow as well, but it sounds from the National Weather Service like we might just avoid that.)

I spent the rest of the evening eating leftovers for dinner and watching The Wolverine. Logan "Wolverine" Howlett (Hugh Jackman) went into hiding after the events of X-Man: The Last Stand left him traumatized. A young Japanese woman rescues him from a bar brawl in Canada and tells him that an old friend from World War II wants to say good-bye. She finally gets him to come to Japan and give his dying friend his last respects. It seems his granddaughter Mariko has inherited his company...and everyone, from her former boyfriend to her own father to the Japanese mob, wants a piece of it and her. Logan has his own problems. A nasty mutant with a lethal poison tongue has stripped him of his healing power. Now he has to figure out how to save Mariko without the healing that's kept him alive for two centuries.

The darkest entry in the X-Man franchise to date has some plot problems, but is definitely an improvement over the so-so X-Man Origins: Wolverine. As with Man of Steel, don't come here expecting a superhero romp; this is more like a crime drama set in Japan. There's a lot of blood, really too much for a PG-13 movie. Interesting movie for teen and adult X-Man fans; younger fans will want to go to cartoons like Wolverine and the X-Men or X-Men: Evolution first.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Birthday Adventures

It was cloudy, windy, and a little chilly when I got up this morning. Despite the weather, I still wanted to enjoy my birthday off. (Especially since I didn't take my birthday off last year. It was on a Sunday, and I had counseling that Tuesday.) I started with a couple of birthday-themed cartoons. Yogi Bear's scheduled to appear on TV. He thinks it's a variety special, but it's really "Yogi's Birthday Party," with special appearances by all the Hanna Barbara funny animals made through the early 60s. "Mickey's Birthday Party" is Mickey Mouse's second birthday short (and first in color). While he and his friends have fun dancing to the organ Minnie gave him, Goofy's cake gets a little explosive. Pluto was the birthday dog in Mickey's third birthday short, "Pluto's Party." All Pluto wants is cake, but the excitable kid guests Mickey invited to his party would rather play games and use him as a horse.

I headed out after "Pluto's Party" ended. Made a brief stop at Dad's to say "hi," but his house was locked, and no one seemed to be home. I just moved on to Barrington. Though it was still pretty nice, it was also very windy. It was a bit of a rough ride. Didn't help that they're finally repairing the road under the highway pass near Barrington.

I arrived in Barrington a little early, around quarter after 10. My bus wasn't until 10:40, so I strolled to the Barrington Coffee House and bought an iced chai tea with skim milk. The Barrington Coffee House seemed to have gotten some remodeling since my last visit. It's still dark and musty, but it now has booths and a more colorful, less gourmet menu and looks more like a small, fancy diner than a coffee house.

I did pick up that 10:40 bus to Deptford. There was no traffic and no problems on the road or on a mostly empty bus. I got off at AC Moore first. I wanted to check out their Springfield Collection doll items - I didn't have the money to buy anything when I was last in Deptford in October. I was in luck. They were having a 30% off all Springfield Collection items this week. I ended up with a ballet/gymnastics skirt and leotard and ballet slippers for my dancers Molly and Whitney, espadrilles and a navy polka-dot bathing suit for Whitney, and a two-outfit set with a plaid skirt, khakis, a pink long-sleeved t-shirt with a rose on it, and a plain white t-shirt and brown shoes for Jessa and Whitney. I also found a pretty crystal beaded bracelet for $2 and a WebKinz Key Lime Dinosaur for $2.50. All of this came up to $44.

I was heading towards Target and had just walked across the bridge over the highway when I heard my cell phone go off. I "pulled in" under a bush to take it without having to concentrate on walking, too. It was Dad-Bruce. He was still on his business trip, but he wanted to call me to wish me a Happy Birthday anyway. I told him I was in Deptford and enjoying my shopping. He was apparently about to board a train and would be home by Easter Sunday.

Made my way down to the service road that runs behind Target; it was quicker than going around past Friendly's. Target was, other than a few mothers and their children, quite dead for a Monday afternoon. I was mainly there for underwear. They have a better selection than the Wal Mart in Audubon - and they actually keep it in stock. I wasn't as impressed by their Easter seasonal selection as I was with their Halloween aisles. A lot of the seasonal section had already been given over to summer furniture and garden items. I did find a Pillsbury Key Lime cake mix I hadn't seen anywhere else (they also had Orange Creamsicle). I grabbed the recent 40th anniversary re-release of Disney's animated Robin Hood from the electronics area - that's on of the few Disney movies I like that I didn't have. Got almond extract as well; it's cheaper there than at the Acme, along with this year's Entertainment Weekly Summer Movie Preview.

There are three restaurants in Target's parking lot. I'd eaten at Applebee's and Pizza Hut before, but I'd never tried Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen, a huge brown block directly across from Target. I'd always wanted to, but I figured they'd be some overpriced sit-down eatery, like Applebee's. Much to my surprise, the lunch menu prices were actually quite reasonable. It was pretty much like Tortilla Press in Collingswood, but with better prices, a bar, and a slightly darker, grittier atmosphere. There were black and white photos of old Mexico and beautiful tile murals on the faux-exposed-brick walls. I ate at one of the smaller booths in the very back. I opted for the $7.99 enchiladas from the lunch menu. The food came piping hot - literally so, as the chicken was still sizzling and giving off steam when the waiter brought it to my table! I had three soft tortillas, chicken, grilled onions and peppers, lettuce, salsa, gucamole, cheese, and a big plate of rice. It was all delicious, once the steam subsided.

After lunch, I strolled over to the Deptford Mall. You can tell it's been a long time since I went there. For one thing, the shopping center across from them was a crumbling eye sore the last time I saw it. It had been completely remodeled (and the old movie theater was demolished) and now seemed to house the Christmas Tree Shop and Bed Bath & Beyond, among other big box stores.

The Deptford Mall was also in the midst of remodeling, especially on the second floor. The tiles on more than half the upper level were being replaced, which didn't make walking around easy. I did do what I needed to do. I had a coupon for 25% off most things in JC Penney I got in a flyer in the mail last week. I bought a new pair of work pants (the ones I bought a few weeks ago didn't fit), a new pair of jean shorts (the old ones also don't fit), and a blue t-shirt to replace the one that was now a bit faded. All of this came to $49 with the coupon and sales.

I strolled around a bit after that. I had a Happy Birthday Cupcake - a yellow cupcake with sprinkles, cream cheese icing, and buttercream filling - at a little cupcake bakery called Crumbs. I happily chatted with a college-age girl buying a red velvet cupcake while I enjoyed my treat. I browsed in Forever 21 and The Disney Store, but didn't walk away with anything from either.

I debated staying another hour or so, but eventually just took the 3:18 back to Barrington. I got in 20 minutes later. Even with the rush-hour traffic on the White Horse Pike and stopping at the Audubon WaWa for a Cherry Icee, I still made it home by quarter after 4.

I had a few more doll items waiting for me when I got in. My two eBay birthday presents to myself were a lovely hand-made polka-dot dress that was supposed to be for Molly, but the skirt is so wide, I decided it looked more 50s and turned it over to Whitney, and a hula outfit with a floral bathing suit for Jessa and the cutest pineapple-shaped ukulele.

I spent the rest of the evening putting everything away, making a quick dinner of flounder and strawberries, and watching the PBS special Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle. This three-part mini-series covers the three "ages" of comic book heroes, from the "Golden Age" patriotic and alien heroes who came out of Depression fantasies, to the "Silver Age" mortals who gained powers through science or simply by being born with them, to the "Bronze Age" and beyond, where anyone, from psychopaths to children, can be "super." While I already knew a lot of the history covered, the special did make me realize how the popularity of superheroes rise and fall with the level of danger in the world. They were at their lowest ebb in the late 40s-50s and after the comics collapse of the mid-late 90s...and hit peaks of popularity during times when the world was in turmoil, including their creation during the downtrodden Depression. It would explain their re-emergence now as well, as Nazis, gangsters, aliens, and drug runners are replaced by corrupt governments and terrorists.

Went into some more superheroes as I got ready to go online. It's a birthday to remember for Sailor Moon. First, Serena thinks everyone's forgotten her birthday. Turns out the other Soldiers are having a surprise party. Darien buys her glass shoes to make up for seeming to forget...but the shoes are turned into a monster that takes Serena's broach that allows her to turn into Sailor Moon! Now she has to rescue her boyfriend and keep her pure heart, without turning into Sailor Moon!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Let It Be Sunny

It was still beautiful and warm when I woke up this morning. This week's Brunch With the Beatles covered the Beatles in 1970 and 1971. This being the time of the Beatles' break-up, the only group releases were "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road" (along with the odd "You Know My Name, Look Up the Number"). Solo efforts included "It Don't Come Easy" from Ringo, "Uncle Albert" and "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul, "Instant Kharma," "Power to the People," and "Jealous Guy" by John, and "What Is Life?" and "My Sweet Lord" by George.

I called Mom after I finished my Banana and Pineapple Pancakes. Mom was a bit harried - she was trying to get work done in her yard. She wished me a happy birthday, and I told her I cashed her check, and about my plans for tomorrow. We discussed my brother's visit (he spent most of it either with his old friends, his dad, or playing with his nephews), her starting her new job at the Ferry in a few weeks, and about how we can both relate to customers driving us crazy (and I shouldn't let it bother me so much). She also gave me a great idea for Rose's birthday present, which I still hadn't gotten around to getting. Rose is so hard to shop for!

After I got off with Mom, I finished my pancakes and headed out to do the laundry. I don't usually do chores on Sundays, but I didn't want to do my laundry tomorrow or wait until Friday. It wasn't that busy, mostly with college students and working mothers who can't do the laundry any other day. I read The Three Musketeers and listened to Action News and the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Indiana Pacers (which Indiana apparently won, 102-97).

When I got home, I ran some birthday-themed programming while putting my clothes away and quickly eating leftover soup for lunch. Ruby's hoping for a surprise party from her friends in "Surprise Ruby," but it turns into a real surprise when Max makes her follow him with her beloved birthday tiara. "Ruby's Birthday Party" with all her friends is a lot of fun...but Max would rather eat cake than play games. Max wants to use the paper from "Ruby's Birthday Present," but Ruby would rather keep them for her scrapbook. Max finds an even better use for it.

Mickey Mouse had just as much fun at his first of three birthday parties in 1931. "The Birthday Party" is a basic "everyone sings and dances" black and white short that does feature Mickey's fun with a xylophone and his and Minnie's charming duet to "I Can't Give You Anything But Love."

It was a lovely day to ride to work, windy but still very warm, probably in the mid to upper 70s. Despite the nice day, we were very busy for most of the afternoon. It didn't really slow down until almost a half-hour before I finished. I was in and out with no problems.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Never Land Balance

Started another warm, sunny day with this week's American Top 40 re-run. I would have been just a week from turning 8 in mid-April 1987, when this episode was first run. While I enjoyed a small family party at my parents' house, the rest of the US danced to pop, country, R&B, soul, ballads, and hard rock. Hits that week included "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House, "Let's Wait Awhile" by Janet Jackson, "Looking For A New Love" by Jody Watley, the remake of "Lean On Me" by Club Nouveau, "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" by George Michael and Aretha Franklin, "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" by Genesis, "Come Go With Me" by Expose, "Walk Down Your Street" by the Bangles, "The Final Countdown" by Europe, "The Finer Things" by Steve Winwood, "Let's Go" by Wang Chung, and "Midnight Blue" by Lou Gramm.

That week's big hit was the second #1 hit for long-running super-group Starship. "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" wound up one of the biggest songs of that year (and the movie it came from, Mannequin, didn't do too badly at the box office, either).

Started the Jake and the Never Land Pirates disc as I organized donations and made my grocery list for later. "Never Land Rescue" is something a bit different on the show. For once, it's Never Land itself that needs to be saved. Magical items in Never Land, including the ones belonging to the kids, are fading away. The Forever Tree that provided the magic is dying. Jake goes on a quest to win the Destiny Sword and restore the Forever Tree, while the other kids try to stop Hook from digging up all of Pirate Island in search of their treasure.

Headed out as soon as the episode ended. I had two full bags of donations I wanted to get over to the Logan Presbyterian Church in Audubon. I wish the two older woman I saw as I passed through to the Church hadn't referred to me as "that lady from the Acme." I HATE that. I wish people would stop thinking I'm chained to that darn store. I wasn't in a good mood when I brought my things downstairs. I didn't really have the time to look for much. I did find copies of The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult and the Thanksgiving short Molly's Pilgrim to dub, along with a paperback copy of the Lois Lenski book Strawberry Girl. I was born in Southern Florida, but I know very little about its history before the Roaring 20s building boom.

I was in an even less happy mood when I saw all the yard sales around. Audubon must have had their town wide yard-sale today, instead of waiting for the day before Easter. Not only did I not have the time to check them out, but I realized as I rode down Nicholson that I forgot to pack a lunch before I left. I was lucky to run into a church next-door to Wal-Mart selling hoagies on the sidewalk.

Thankfully, work wasn't nearly as bad as it has been. The beautiful weather and many events going on must have put people in good moods. Everything went fine; my relief was a little late, but nothing outrageous.

I went right into grocery shopping after changing out of my work shirt. I was almost completely out of fresh fruit and vegetables. I couldn't find the grapefruit; replaced them with buy one, get one strawberries and a bowl of pineapple chunks. Picked up the usual apples and bananas, and bought small containers of asparagus and broccoli and a bag of spinach. Replaced the canned fruit cocktail, peaches, mandarin oranges, and chicken. Needed milk and butter; grabbed I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (I couldn't see if the Smart Balance was still on sale). I'm not in desperate need of cereal, but Oatmeal Squares almost never goes on sale with the other Quaker cereals, and it's one of my favorites. At a $1.99, I could afford to wait until I finished my Cheerios.

Once again, my schedule is a little crazy. In good news, I have three days off, including Monday to celebrate my birthday. On the other hand, I have three eight and seven hour days in a row, including an eight and a half hour day on Wednesday! I do have Friday and next Saturday off as well, but I may be too worn out to enjoy them.

When I got home, I put everything away, then vacuumed and made Betty Crocker "Cotton Candy Cookie Mix" Bars (sugar cookie mix with cotton-candy flavored sprinkles - they have a "Blue Snow Cone" version, too) while finishing out the rest of Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Instead of stealing something from the kids and them chasing after it, Hook now follows them when they go to some location that he thinks has treasure. Of course, one pirate's "treasure" is another's water slide or firefly in a lantern. Most of the time, Hook just ends up discovering he's been on a wild treasure chase. The one time he almost gets it, he has to fight female pirate Beatrice "Sneaky" LeBeak for it...and ultimately loses it.

Did yoga after the bars were in the oven. I'm going to continue to try to do this at least once a week, with or without Rose. If nothing else, it'll be a big help to my back. My back has been really sore for weeks now, probably from spending half the winter hunched over a computer.

I realized after I finished that I completely forgot to have dinner. I ate leftover Corn and Chicken Soup from last night while my Best of Linda Rondstat CD wound down.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Everything's Better With Princesses

Started out a somewhat cloudy morning with It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown as I had banana bread and fruit cocktail for breakfast. The Peanuts are getting ready for spring with gags about shopping and how early stores put up their Christmas decorations. Linus insists the preparations aren't necessary. The Easter Beagle will do all that. Sally isn't sure - Linus' pet theories tend to be more fanciful than realistic. Lucy's more interested in Schroeder giving her Easter candy and finding the eggs she hid. Peppermint Patty would be happy to have any eggs. She's trying to teach Marcie how to color them, but her best friend keeps doing everything but hard-boiling them!

I was surprised with how warm it was when I headed out today. It had to be in the upper 60s by 11, and the sun was coming out and making it even warmer. It's a good thing it did get nice, because I had a lot to do. I started with a quick peek at the Oaklyn Library. They're still organizing the kids' section, so between that and it being quiet, there isn't a lot to do there. I did the DVD sections and headed out.

The sun was out by the time I headed over to Collingswood. It was so warm, I shed my blue zipper hoodie half-way there. Mom and Dad and Keefe sent me birthday cards yesterday. The former gave me a check for 50 dollars. I cashed that at the PNC a block from the train terminal and kept it for money for the week.

I dodged the noon traffic on Cuthbert and made my way to the Haddon Township Library next. While the adult DVDs just needed to be shelved, there were a lot of kids' DVDs to put away and organize. They have GOT to clear out the 'S' titles! I'm a fan of Scooby Doo, but they really don't need at least 30 titles from that series alone.

I rented some of those new kids' titles. The new princess-themed Disney cartoon Sophia the First makes its debut at the library in the set Ready to Be A Princess. I also picked up some new Jake and the Never Land Pirates and a space-themed Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That. Found last year's The Wolverine (which I hope is an improvement over the so-so X-Man Origins: Wolverine) and one of the few John Hughes movies I've never seen, Pretty In Pink. Speaking of Wolverine, I also discovered a PBS special on the history of superheroes, from their debut in the 30s to the present-day blockbusters, while shelving non-fiction titles. I thought that one might help me with my current story, which I'm kind of stalled on at the moment.

I went to lunch after leaving the library. It was past 2PM, so I just went with a simple grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on whole wheat bread and a cup of cole slaw at the Westmont Bagel Shop, their "lunch box deal." I bought cards for Rose and Khai's birthdays at Dollar Tree. (Khai's is the day before Easter!) Picked up a few things I needed that were on sale or cheaper at Thriftway, including sugar and yogurt. They were having good sales on Jello pudding, Cool Whip, and cookie crusts, so I decided to make a pudding pie instead of cake for dessert.

After I made my way around the heavy school and early rush hour traffic on Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike, I spent the rest of the afternoon at home. As nice at it was, I had a lot of chores to do, starting with scrubbing the kitchen. I had put off doing it and the bathroom as long as I could, but they were both too gross for words. I'm going to hold off the major spring cleaning until next month; this was just to get the grime off.

Ran Sophia the First as I cleaned and made the Lemon Pudding Pie. Sophia was once the daughter of a peasant seamstress, until the King married her mother. Now, she's not only dealing with a new dad and siblings, but she's learning what's expected of her as royalty, too. The King and her brother James are fairly good-natured and down-to-earth, but her sister Amber and several of her friends are rather spoiled and vain.

My favorite story was one I can certainly relate to. Sophia hears stories about "The Shy Princess" when Vivian is assigned to be her partner in a "Design Your Dream Castle" class at their royal school. The other girls say she has gnomes for parents and lives in a cave! Turns out Vivian's just a very quiet girl who lives in a Gothic-y castle and has an overly enthusiastic pet baby dragon named Crackle. Vivian's too shy to get involved with the presentation for their castle...until Sophia notices her amazing musical ability and convinces her to play for the kids.

(A personal note on "The Shy Princess": I wish I'd known someone like Sophia as a kid. The few girls I made friends with in grade school either moved away after as much as a few months, talked and made fun of me behind my back, or decided they liked my sisters or other people better. Few kids my own age ever stood up for me or encouraged me. I don't have a problem onstage. Put me on a stage, even just reciting, and I'm a bit of a ham. It's everything else - small groups, meeting strangers - where I have problems. Even now, I often get too nervous to talk to people.)

Vivian and Crackle also figured into "Blue Ribbon Bunny." Sophia's rabbit Clover is an ordinary wild rabbit, and not an especially handsome one. She wants to enter him in a pet show, but Amber doesn't think he's talented or good-looking enough. She convinces Sophia to take a fancy white rabbit named Ginger. Ginger turns out to be haughty and too serious. An angry Crackle finally reminds Sophia that her friendship with Clover is more important than any contest. "The Princess Test" also emphasizes the importance of kindness. Sophia wants to do well on a big test that will cover everything she and her schoolmates have learned about being princesses. The other girls refuse to help their librarian get books to her cottage, but Sophia has no problem, even though she's worried about being late for the test. She and the others learn that kindness its it's own reward when they discover who the librarian really is.

Switched to The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That as I made baked salmon with roasted asparagus and celery sticks for dinner. Space Is the Place covers all things celestial, from a trip to the moon to naming the planets. The Cat's human friend Astronaut Audrey introduces the kids to how we get night and day and explains why it can't be one or the other all the time in "No Night Today." The kids want to find out where the "Top of the Sky" is, but Audrey and several animals give them a surprising answer. In "Tough Enough," the Cat claims his friend Wally the Water Bear (who seems to be a kind of caterpillar-thing) is so tough, can live anywhere...even in space! He and the kids shrink down to Wally's level to test their theory.

I finished out my night in the bath. I really needed a nice, relaxing bath after this crazy week. I settled down, read The Three Musketeers, and listened to jazz music. I know I only have a part-time job that probably doesn't keep me as busy as normal people with full-time jobs or two jobs or more, but it's still a lot of standing and dealing with people, and even at part-time, that's stressful for me.