Saturday, July 26, 2014

Crosby's Island

It was cloudy and humid but surprisingly not hot when I awoke this morning. The American Top 40 took us ahead in the 80s to the summer of 1987. I was 8 years old, reading Star Wars novels or spending time at the beach with my family, when these songs were on the radio. Hits that July included "Shakedown" by Bob Seeger from Beverly Hills Cop II, "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, "I Want Your Sex" by George Michael, "Girls Girls Girls" by Motley Crue, "Point of No Return" by Expose, "Something So Strong" by Crowded House, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2, and the remake of "Funkytown" by Psuedo Echo. That week's #1 hit was one of the biggest ballads in a year filled with slow, intense songs, "Alone" by Heart.

Work wasn't too bad. It was a little busier than it has been, but certainly not as bad as it usually is on a weekend. Though it did start showering on my way to work, the weather didn't seem to scare off the crowds. I suspect most people are probably on vacation. There were no major problems, and my relief was on time.

I ran a couple of Schoolhouse Rock shorts as I changed and settled down after work. The sun was shining, but I was too tired to do any running around. The America Rock shorts debuted in the mid-70s as the Bicentennial was looming. In addition to the familiar ones like "I'm Just a Bill" and "Fireworks," the 25th Anniversary set includes "Three Ring Government," which explains just how the government itself works. I also threw in "Tyrannosaurus Debt" from Money Rock, a rather pointed take on the government's fiscal spending.

I spent the next few hours napping. I feel guilty. I'm not used to working early. I should be. My sister Rose and my best friend Lauren both have jobs that require them to work normal hours. I wish I did. I wouldn't mind working early if I worked early every week, not just when the college students and high schoolers were taking the late hours. And I work at 8 AM next weekend! I feel like a teenager working their first job, not a real adult working their only job. All I want is consistency.

I ordered a set of some of Bing Crosby's lesser-known films that was on a really good sale on Amazon a few days ago. It arrived today. I started with one of several he did in 1934, We're Not Dressing. Crosby is Steve, a good-natured but mouthy sailor on a yacht owned by a snobby heiress (Carole Lombard). When the yacht sinks thanks to the heiress' drunk uncle (Leon Errol), she, Crosby, the two pampered princes who are courting her for her money, and her singer friend (Ethel Merman) end up on a tropical island. None of these people know how to take care of themselves...except for Crosby, who teaches them that maybe living "like the other half" isn't so bad. Meanwhile, the island isn't uninhabited. Two nutty explorers (George Burns and Gracie Allen) are searching for rare animals.

Oh boy, is this a weird one. A cross between a screwball comedy, a musical, and Gilligan's Island, this makes no sense whatsoever but has some fun moments, thanks to Merman chasing Errol and Burns and Allen's gags. Lombard has less to do besides look appropriately haughty. The big Bing song here is "Love Thy Neighbor" (which is worked rather well into the plot when Bing is scolding the others for not helping out and working with him).

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