Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring Fling In Haddon Township

Started off a cloudy, hazy morning with this week's American Top 40 re-run. We jumped back three years to 1980, as British supergroups, New Wave, ballads, and R&B began to chase disco off the charts. Hits that early May included "Another Brick In the Wall" by Pink Floyd, "Sexy Eyes" by Dr. Hook, "I Can't Help It" by Olivia Newton-John and Andy Gibb, "Don't Fall In Love With a Dreamer" by Kim Carnes and Kenny Rogers, "With You I'm Born Again" by Billy Preston and Syreeta, "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel, "You're the Biggest Part Of Me" by Ambrosia, "Lost In Love" by Air Supply (their first hit), and "Cars" by Gary Numan. That week's number #1 song eventually became the top hit of the year - "Call Me" by Blondie.

My first stop this time was the Collingswood Farm Market. Even as I rode to the parking lot behind the Haddon Avenue shopping district, the sun was breaking through the clouds. The surprisingly nice weather coupled with Mother's Day tomorrow must have brought out the crowds. It was almost as busy as last week. I did make my way through the sea of people long enough to buy an onion, leeks, scallions, mushrooms from the mushroom sellers, and grapefruit from the tropical fruit sellers.

Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon riding around Haddon Township, checking out their Town-Wide Yard Sale. Or really "community wide yard sale." Haddon Township is several towns, including Westmont and the Bluebird neighborhood on the edge of Collingswood. The sun got hotter and hotter as I rode. Bluebird in particular was chock full of yard sales. Unfortunately, it was also filled with cars and people jostling to get the best prices. I had an easier time getting around in Westmont, between Haddon Avenue and Cooper River Park, on the edge of Collingswood near Newton River Park, and up by the Ritz Theater.

Alas, I didn't do nearly as well this year as I did last year. I just ended up with:

Three Calvin & Hobbes comic books - Scientific Progress Goes "Boink," The Revenge of the Baby-Sat, Weirdos From Another Planet

Two records:

Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain soundtrack

Disney Alice In Wonderland book and record

And two Christmas books, The Twelve Teas of Christmas and Christmas Songs Made In America

Oaklyn was busy, too. The Oaklyn (Elementary and Middle) School was having its annual "Spring Fling," the school's fair, this afternoon on West Clinton Avenue. There were quite a few booths, a bounce ride, two midway-style rides, and a ride on a fire truck. I wanted to have lunch there, but you needed tickets to get food....and tickets cost $10 for 15! They wouldn't sell just a few of them, either. I just stopped at a man selling his own home-made water ice and bought a small Pina Colada water ice and a bottle of water instead.

It was past 1PM when I finally made it home. I ran most of The Croods while I put everything away and ate grapefruit and leftovers for lunch. The Croods are a stone-age family who live in a cave, mainly because they're desperately afraid that everything else out there will eat them. Teenage daughter Eep (Emma Stone) thinks there's more to life than running and hiding. She really starts to question her family's lifestyle when she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who seems a great deal more evolved than her neanderthal relatives. He can make everything from fire to traps to puppets - and isn't afraid of any of it. When an earthquake destroys the Croods' cave, they finally set out in a lush tropical paradise to find a new one. Dad Grog (Nicholas Cage) isn't happy with all these new sensations, but he soon learns that it's not so bad to try new things, and that while change can be scary, it can also be a literal lifesaver.

Not bad, but not great, either. While the animation is gorgeous (and is probably what earned this movie an Oscar nomination) and the plot is a bit more original than Dreamworks' other movie from last year, Turbo, the simplistic "change is good" storyline gets a little annoying after a while. Some mild violence makes this for older kids and families; animation fans will love the stunning backgrounds and really nifty critters the Croods encounter.

Work wasn't too bad for most of the evening. There were some cranky people, but not to the degree of yesterday. The problem was the last customer. I was supposed to get off at 7:15. Of course, my last person was one of those women who have 800 coupons for everything. She seriously bought two boxes of single M&M's - 50 each - just to use 100 coupons I shouldn't have let her get away with using, because they were over the price. I just didn't want to argue with her. It took me 20 minutes just to ring up her darn coupons! It's a good thing I had shut down. I didn't finish with her until 8. The managers didn't even send anyone in; they claimed there was no one to send and we were short-handed. She even bought four or five gift cards before and after the larger order, just so she could get the 10 dollar off coupons that came with them!

(And...please, please, try to limit your coupon use! Most people don't like standing there while an annoyed cashier rings up 200 coupons. Buy things that are on sale or can be used to make real food, like flour and fruit and vegetables and meat. Real life doesn't work like a coupon show.)

I was fit to be tied when I finally got off work. I couldn't put off the grocery shopping. I was out of bananas and strawberries, and I needed to stock up on sugar and canned fruit and chicken. Purdue chicken is 40% off - bought ground chicken, chicken breasts, and drumsticks. Treated myself to a DVD, the John Wayne/James Stewart classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and a fruit chew bar as much-needed treats. Also grabbed tangerine-lime sparkling water to make a mango ice cream float at home.

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