Saturday, May 31, 2014

Glad For A Beautiful Day

"Rock N' Roll Fantasy" by Bad Company jolted me awake on a beautiful, sunny morning. This week's American Top 40 re-run took us to May 1979. Disco reigned supreme when I was a month old, joined by country, R&B, soul, and power ballads. Hits in late spring of that year included "Rock N' Roll Fantasy," "Just When I Needed You Most" by Randy Vanwarmer, "The Logical Song" by Supertramp, "Deeper Than the Night" by Olivia Newton-John, "Disco Nights" by GQ, "In the Navy" by the Village People, "She Believes In Me" by Kenny Rogers, "Heart of Glass" by Blondie, "Chuck E's In Love" by Rickie Lee Jones, "Love You Inside Out" by the Bee Gees, "We are Family" by Sister Sledge, "Goodnight Tonight" by Wings, and "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb.

That week's number one song - and the number one song for the next two weeks - was one of my favorites when I was really little. Dad loves disco. Rose and I used to dance around the house to Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" all the time.

It was an absolutely glorious day. Windy, but warmer than earlier in the week, with only a few clouds in the bright blue sky. There were a bunch of people painting the outlines of trees in the four seasons on the train bridge as I passed under it.

My first stop was a yard sale on Newton Avenue in Oaklyn, a few blocks from the library. He had four boxes of records amid the dusty cartons of mostly junk. Too bad the majority of them were either singles or so wet and moldy, they were stuck together. I did finally pry three out:

John Denver - Windsong

The Temptations - Greatest Hits Vol II

Pure Gold - Another collection of mid-late 70s hits, this one on two discs.

Next headed to the Collingswood Farm Market. They were busy, though not as packed as last week, since they were now back in their usual space in the parking lot under the PATCO tracks. I didn't really need a ton. Picked up strawberries, North Caroline blueberries (it'll be a few weeks before New Jersey's blueberries debut), mushrooms, and some amazingly long organic scallions.

Made two yard sale stops in Collingwood. I found The Marx Brothers Scrapbook at one sale on Crescent Terrace for 50 cents. Rode across Collings Avenue and the White Horse Pike to one a block from Sorrento's Pizza, but all they had was clothes and designer handbags, nothing interesting.

My mouth was so dry by then, I needed something to drink badly. Since I was in the area, I hit the CVS on the border of Collingswood and Oaklyn and bought one of those tall, thin sparkling waters in grapefruit. It was really tasty, like a pink Fresca. I also took advantage of a buy one, get one 50% off sale on Oral B toothbrushes to stock up on those. I didn't desperately need honey, but it was $2, which is really cheap for honey.

When I got home, I ran three Garfield cartoons on traveling while making an omelet with scallions, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese for lunch. Garfield would rather being doing anything but camping with Jon and Odie in Garfield In the Rough. Things get really hairy when the trio hear that that there may be a deadly black panther in the area and Garfield finds himself having to save his human and dog friend. The trio visit a tropical island in Garfield In Paradise. Jon's cheap vacation doesn't work out as he'd hoped....until they find themselves in the village of a group of 1950s-worshiping natives with a volcano about to go off! Garfield and Odie have a chance to be stars when they enter a pet talent contest in Garfield In Hollywood, but Jon's worried that winning may mean leaving him behind.

I next scrubbed the kitchen. This time, I focused on the refrigerator. Ugh! That mason jar beverage holder I bought a while back leaked something horrible. I think I didn't put the spigot on right...and by the time I did, there was iced tea everywhere. It was especially bad on the bottom of the fridge, until the vegetable crisper. It took me forever to clean up that tea mess. Good thing nothing else was anywhere near as bad, including the sink.

Cheered myself up with Pollyanna as I cleaned. One of Disney's best live-action films is this adaptation of the famous book about the title orphan (Hayley Mills) who goes to live with her stern Aunt Polly (Jane Wyman), a wealthy woman who practically owns a small town. Polly's proud of being able to pay for anything the town needs, but the crabby townspeople are tired of having to rely on her charity. Cheerful Pollyanna befriends everyone she meets, including a reclusive old hermit (Adolph Menjou, in his last role), a crabby woman who thinks she's dying (Agnes Moorehead), a mischievous orphan boy (Kevin Corocan), and the town's priest (Karl Malden) who can't figure out how to get in touch with his congregation. Pollyanna believes in playing "The Glad Game," or finding something to be happy about, no matter what. Her beliefs are tested after an accident sends her into depression...and she learns just how much of a mark she's left on the town.

This may sound too sticky-sweet or sentimental, but David Swift's direction and screenplay surprisingly steer clear of some of the worst of the treacle. A great cast of character actors help immensely. In addtion to those mentioned, we have Ed Platt of Get Smart as a henpecked husband and Richard Egan of A Summer Place as the kindly doctor who was once Polly's sweetheart. Mills won a special Oscar as the enthusiastic young lady who teaches everyone around her that you can find happiness in the worst of situations. A lovely film that's very much recommended for anyone, but especially for families. Give it a try; you'll be surprised how much Pollyanna can cheer you up, too.

Moved to The Rescuers as I continued cleaning the kitchen. We stayed with Disney, but went to one of my favorites of their animated films. Since I'm currently reading the original book, I thought I'd run the movie. Bernard (Bob Newhart) and Bianca (Eva Gabor) are mice delegates for "The Rescue Aid Society," a kind of mouse UN based in New York. They travel by albatross (Jim Jordan) to the bayous to save Penny, an orphan who was kidnapped by greedy pawnbroker Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page) to find the Devil's Eye, the world's largest diamond. One of Disney's most fun pure action films, with great characters and one of their most underrated villains in the truly nasty Madame Medusa.

It was a tad bit cloudier by 5, but still so nice, I had to get out of the house and do something. First on the list was sweeping a bit of debris off the porch, then raking up the leaves I couldn't get off the path last week when they were wet. Andrew's sister and mother were cleaning up the yard and clipping the forsythia hedge in the front yard as you enter when I headed out for a walk.

I ended up at Leo's Yum Yums, which finally seems to be open for the season. Leo's is a local ice cream parlor around the corner from me on West Clinton Avenue. Though they also have hot dogs, hard and soft ice cream, and water ice, their specialty is "Yum Yums," a creamy, slightly gritty water ice. Even at 5PM, there were mothers with several children and two teenagers ordering treats. I got my first Cotton Candy Yum Yum of the year and watched people go back and forth from the train bridge, which was still in the midst of being painted.

When I got home, I had shrimp and salad for dinner while starting Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which I'll finish tomorrow or Monday.

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