Sunday, March 17, 2013

With a Little Luck

Top o' the evenin' to ye! I hope you all had a great St. Patrick's Day. Mine was pretty quiet, especially compared to last year. I pre-empted the Beatles radio show in favor of Irish and spring-themed music. I finally did that Music of Spring record I picked up from the church thrift shop. It's a variation on the many Columbia Special Products Christmas record series, this one with spring-themed songs. Some, like "It Might as Well Be Spring" and "April In Paris," actually had spring in the title or referred to springtime in the lyrics. Others, such as "The Sweetest Sounds" and "Camelot," were tougher sells.

After I finished out the spring record, I switched to the soundtrack LP for the 1968 movie version of Finian's Rainbow. The soundtrack has "Necessity," a song from the original Broadway show that was cut from the film. It also has Petula Clark and Tommy Steele duetting on a fun "Something Sort of Grandish," and the last movie musical performance of Fred Astaire.

I called Mom while the first record was on. Mom was fine. She was just about to go in the shower. Her week had been relatively uneventful, but she had good news about my sister Rose. Rose and her boyfriend Craig have been looking for a new house for almost a year now. They currently live in an apartment in Audubon that's too small for two adults, a toddler, a pair of frisky dogs, and a cat. Not only did they find a house yesterday, but the one they settled on is on Kendall Boulevard here in Oaklyn, just a few houses down from the school and three streets down from me! I'm absolutely thrilled for them.

After I got off with Mom, I put on some cartoons as I cleaned up after my Irish Oatmeal Pancakes and blood oranges breakfast. Porky Pig has a close encounter of the surreal kind with a pack of vengeful leprechauns in the Looney Tunes classic "Wearin' of the Grin." Woody Woodpecker is no luckier when he finds a wee folk woodpecker who gives him three wishes. Woody wishes for gold, but when it turns out the gold comes from a bank, he finds himself evading the cops instead in "His Better Elf."

Switched to The Quiet Man as I finally dusted the apartment. I've been wanting to do it for ages, but I just plain haven't had the time. This takes former boxer Sean (John Wayne) to the Ould Sod, where he romances fiery local colleen Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara) against the wishes of her brother (Victor McLaglen). He does finally marry her, but when the elder Danaher's attempt to court the local widow (Mildred Natwick) are rebuffed, Danaher refuses to give Mary Kate the money that's rightfully hers. Wayne doesn't care one way or the other, but Mary Kate insists she won't be a real wife until she has her dowry. Sean, fearing history repeating itself, won't hit Danaher...but when Mary Kate's finally had enough, he decides he doesn't have a choice. Their quarrel over the money eventually leads to a fist fight so big, half of Ireland ends up taking bets.

This was a very personal film for native Irishman John Ford, and it shows. The luscious color cinematography alone won an Oscar. Everyone's having a good time here, from bemused Wayne to spirited O'Hara, and especially Barry Fitzgerald as the local matchmaker. It may not be a realistic portrayal of Ireland, but it's a heck of a lot of fun, and by far one of John Wayne's best comedies.

Jodie called as The Quiet Man was winding down. She asked me if I wanted to come over for dinner. I couldn't, but I did get some more information on Rose and Craig's new house. It was official; they signed the papers yesterday. They'll be moving in at the end of April.

Since I wanted to get a Lucky Mint Coolatta for my St. Patrick's Day treat, I decided to take the long route and swing by Rose and Craig's new house. It's a small, white, one-story house with a yard and a big garage in the back. They'd signed the papers so recently, the Century 21 sign was still on the lawn (though it no longer said "for sale"). A short set of brick steps lead to an enclosed front porch. From what I could see, the front of the house needed to be painted, but otherwise, it looked fine. The yard was fenced in; I couldn't really see anything there.

It wasn't a bad day for a walk. The sun was struggling to stay out amid clouds, but though it was chilly and a little windy, it wasn't freezing cold. I got lucky. Duncan Donuts' seating area was full when I came in, but there was no line. Right after I ordered my Coolatta, a large group of people arrived to order lattes.

Put on the second season Moonlighting episode "Somewhere Under the Rainbow" when I got home. A young Irish woman asks Maddie and David to protect her. The catch is, she thinks she's a leprechaun, and she wants them to help her find and protect her pot of gold. Maddie thinks she's crazy. David thinks maybe she is, maybe she isn't. This, of course, instigates several arguments between the two about magic and belief in the things we can and can't see.

Several employees mentioned when I got in that it was very busy earlier in the day. By the time I started my shift, it was steady but not overwhelming. When I finished, it was quiet as can be. I was in and out with no problems.

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