Started out a very hot, humid, windy day with a volunteering session at a quiet Oaklyn Library. The heat must have scared off all the regular customers. It was just the librarian, maybe one other person on the computer, and me. I organized some DVDs and children's picture books (and commented on how the new "separate all the genres" system the library director came up with for the children's section isn't really working) and left in less than a half-hour. I did find a reprint of the original novel version of Gidget in their free book bin (complete with vintage photos of the real-life Gidget who inspired the story).
My next stop was a quick one at the Dollar Tree in the Westmont Plaza. They have that wonderful strawberry preserves that's just made with sugar, strawberries, and pectin again. It's a different brand name, but the same idea. I've been needing a new scrub brush for my dishes for years, too. And since it was hot and I would be doing a lot of running around, I bought a large bottle of cold water. It was colder than Dollar Tree, anyway. Their main room was warm and stuffy. A none-too-happy cashier told me the air conditioning in the main room had died. They were awaiting the repair person.
Went straight to Haddonfield for counseling next. Stopped at the Bistro for lunch. I didn't have a lot of money, but I was able to afford a tasty "Caribbean" chicken salad wrap with lettuce and pineapple. I cooled off in the dark room, drank a lot of water, and watched the families with young children, elderly people, and office workers enjoy their lunches.
I got into Mrs. Stahl's office about ten minutes early. I mostly described my eventful month. I might as well announce it here. My sister Anny is pregnant. Not only is she going to have her third child sometime early next year, but she's set to marry her current boyfriend, J.J, soon as well. He's a nice guy. He's a commercial fisherman who works frequently, he's good to Anny, and her kids love him. I think they'll be good for each other. I don't think Mom and Dad-Bill are all that happy about it (Anny still doesn't have a job), but I'm thrilled, and Rose said she's happy for her, too.
I'm glad the 4th of July and Lauren's visit went really well, too. Like I said in earlier entries, I don't have a lot planned for the summer. I usually spend the summer working on job ideas, but that well has run dry for now. I think I'll spend it working on ideas to get out of town instead. I'd like to do at least one trip to Atlantic City, maybe two, if I can squeak it in. While Wildwood is too far, Ocean City might be a little more realistic. I miss their lovely downtown area and fun boardwalk. I'd also like to do more in Philadelphia and visit other area malls, like Moorestown, Marlton, and King of Prussia.
I also told Mrs. Stahl about my journal writing. She said use the offline journal to get out all of my fears and negative thoughts...then try to end it and this blog positively, to get more in the habit of doing it.
It was still really hot when I headed out. The digital sign at Westmont's Fire Station said 97 degrees! Needless to say, I stopped at Primo's Water Ice to cool off. It was understandably busy there. I dodged two young adults eating water ices as I went in. When I came out with a medium "Oreo dough" water ice (sweet vanilla water ice with chocolate dough and icing pieces - not pretty, but very, very tasty), a family with small kids sat outside. My water ice melted too quickly to stay there. I joined two boys playing a noisy war video game inside in "The Ice Box" (the big back room where games and movies are held).
(I will add that while 97 degrees wasn't fun to ride in, it beat doing errands in 13 degree weather in January, which involved dodging ice and wearing 8 layers.)
I debated going to Dad's for a swim, but by the time I got home, I was so darn hot, I really didn't feel like going anywhere else. I played Epic Mickey for a little while. This complicated game has Mickey thrown into "Wasteland," a world created by his old Sorcerer's Apprentice boss for lesser-known Disney characters. Mickey accidentally spilled paint on it, then fled. Now, he has to fix what he's ruined. You need both the nunchucks and the regular controller to play, and it takes a while to get it all right. I actually failed the second mission to repair the broken steam pipes. Hopefully, I'll do better with the current one fixing a blocked boat ride.
When my fingers got too sore from playing for hours, I switched to movies and leftovers for dinner. Footlight Parade is James Cagney's other well-known musical, and my favorite of the Busby Berkeley movies of the 30s. Cagney steps briefly out of gangster mode to play Chester Kent, an energetic producer of "prologues," short musical numbers that played onstage in larger movie theaters between films during the 1930s. He has a lot to deal with - someone's stealing his ideas, his ex-wife suddenly decides she wants his money, his partners are stealing money from him, his director (Frank McHugh) does nothing but whine, and his receptionist (Ruby Keeler) has decided she'd rather be in the chorus. Good thing he has a smart and loyal secretary (Joan Blondell) to help see him through.
"By a Waterfall" is the big number here, a massive spectacle that has half the girls on the Warners lot put through an enormous water ballet that would make Esther Williams jealous. "Honeymoon Hotel" is just goofy. Keeler doesn't work as the title character of "Shanghai Lil"; Cagney is much better as her sailor sweetheart.
And a positive note...I love musicals. Cagney, Kelly, Broadway Melody or Teen Beach Movie. I know people think they're silly and not "realistic." Realism is highly overrated anyway. I'd rather dance in the rain.