Thursday, June 26, 2014

Trouble at the Library

I slept in today and didn't really get going until around quarter of noon. It poured last night, and I thought we were supposed to get more of the same today. It was on-and-off cloudy this morning and still a bit humid, but cooler with a nice wind...and no rain. Newton River Park was quiet for the lunch hour. There were a few mothers and their children at the park and the usual joggers. Otherwise, most people must have been eating.

The Haddon Township Library was busier. So busy, that the head librarian had already encouraged an earlier volunteer to shelve most of the DVDs. I started organizing the kids' DVD shelves to get a few more titles on, but the head librarian fussed, claiming it wasn't "productive." How else are you going to get anything else on those overstuffed shelves? I finally just put some CDs and audio books away, took out two guides to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and left.

I'm still a little upset about the library. Normally, libraries are some of my favorite places. I go there and volunteer there to get away from fussy bosses and obnoxious people, not deal with more. Libraries have been quiet escapes for me since they were some of my only escapes during my childhood. I don't like how strict the new head librarian is. I work best when I'm left to my own devices. Not to mention, I don't work there. I'm just volunteering.

I was still feeling down when I rode to Phillies Phatties around the corner from my apartment for lunch. They have the cheapest prices for single pizza slices in the area. My slice of cheese, slice of mushroom, and can of Pepsi Next (half the sugar of regular Pepsi) was $3.50 all together. Not only that, but they make pretty good pizza, too. The sports theme (and being next-door to Studio LuLoo and two doors down from Leo's Yum Yums) makes them popular with local kids, especially boys. I listened to a couple of boys chatter about the World Cup as I waited for my pizza. I ate outside, on the beautiful new wood benches that line West Clinton where the restaurant and Leo's are. Briefly stopped at Studio LuLoo's (an arts center for kids and families) for pamphlets on volunteering opportunities.

I rode to Dad's next to see if anyone was home to talk to. Jodie was the only one there. She says Dad may be home by late tonight. I told her about the trouble at the library, my idea for a vacation, and how restless I was feeling. I normally spend my summer trying to think of new ideas for getting out of the Acme. As badly as I want another job, I'm out of ideas and tired of trying to come up with new ones that never pan out. I just don't know what to do with myself anymore.

Went back to West Clinton for a much-needed Yum Yum. The kids who were doing some kind of art project at Studio LuLoo's must have finished. A group of them sat in front of Phillies' Phatties. A couple more ordered soft ice cream cones with sprinkles. I enjoyed my small lemon cup and watched their antics, along with a little girl in a ruffled denim sundress trying to eat a soft vanilla ice cream cone without making too much of a mess!

When I got home, I grabbed one of the books, packed up my laundry, and headed out to the laundromat. Though there was a large family with four noisy kids running all over the place when I arrived, by the time my large load finished, they were gone and the place was empty except for an older couple, Action News, and me.

I thought some baking, given the now cooler and sunnier day, would cheer me up after I put everything away. I made a Blueberry-Pink Lemonade Cake for dessert and a cheese omelet and a salad for dinner while watching more public domain cartoons. Most of the shorts in this round were pretty strange, from a fairy tale-themed public service short on car safety to a Fleischer Brothers one-off where half of a river gets drunk on spilled apple cider. Nothing came anywhere close to the oddness that was "Les Escargots."

Apparently a Cannes-winning French short from the 60s (from the opening credits), this sci-fi/horror-oriented tale has an old man who somehow farms a ball that's held in place by a lady standing on it. He can't get his lettuce to grow...until he discovers his tears do the trick. His lettuce grows to an enormous size...but they attract snails, who eat the lettuce and get huge, too. Suddenly, the snails are moving across the countryside, leveling an entire city in their wake!

Wow. Weird. Very, very weird. The animation was very limited, just sketchy drawings barely moving. It was annoying at times, especially the shot of the farmer pacing that was just the same one of him moving forward two or three times. The drawings were well-done, though, especially the snails' havoc. I wouldn't call this necessary, but it's worth a watch once on YouTube if you're a fan of French animation, darkly comic sci-fi, or Godzilla-style "giant animals flatten everything" stories.

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