Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I'm Old Fashioned

I didn't really have much planned for today. I wanted to rest after two busy work weeks in a row. I work 8 hours tomorrow, too. I slept in again and didn't get going until past 11. Watched the end of Geronimo Stilton as I ate two zucchini muffins and cantaloupe slices for a late breakfast. Geronimo himself is the one in trouble when a swami hypnotizes him and uses him to steal parts for his huge hypnotic clock in "Hypno Tick Tock." He wants to put the whole city under his control, but Geronimo's family catches wise when they see him seemingly sleepwalking and follow him. Tia has problems of her own in "A Clean Sweep." When she disappears during a crime wave, Geronimo's rivals blame her. The others know better and try to figure out why someone would be robbing fancy clothes from department stores.

It was 12:30 when I made my way out for a short bike ride. I hit the Oaklyn Library first. Maybe because of a day that was hazier and more humid than it has been, the Library was fairly busy. I mostly just organized DVDs and children's books. The adult DVDs were really bad. The TV sets are supposed to have their own section, but people keep mixing them in with the movie DVDs...and crowding the movie DVDs out. I moved everything where it was supposed to go. After that, I made a brief stop at WaWa for a pina colada Icee.

When I got home, I had leftovers for lunch while watching The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The title character was a wealthy industrialist whose factory provided the sole means of support for a small country town. He's killed by a knife wound in his mansion shortly after a dinner party. His young stepson is the main suspect, but everyone has a motive, from the country doctor who attended to him to various family members and servants who wanted his money. Hericule Poiroit (David Suchet) is supposed to be in retirement, but he's bored with growing vegetable marrows. He joins his friend Inspector Sharp to find out just what happened to Ackroyd, and what everyone is hiding.

While interesting, this isn't exactly a straight adaptation of the book. Some characters have been condensed. Others were eliminated. The factory setting provides a more explosive finale. Christie's twist ending is explained by Poiroit reading the killer's journal in wrap-around segments in the beginning and the end. It's still pretty well-done - I especially liked Poiroit visiting his old apartment in London and admitting to himself that maybe country life doesn't really suit him after all.

Headed out to the Westmont Farm Market around 4:30. I first explored the Samaritan Thrift Shop on the block next to the booths. When I found nothing there, I headed to the market proper. More and more squash are debuting, including the first ornamental gourds and squashes of the season. I didn't really need a whole lot. I bought a yellow heirloom tomato, blackberries, peaches, Chinese beans, and another small cantaloupe.

I stopped quickly at Walgreens for a sparkling water, then dodged the traffic on Cuthbert and headed home via Newton River Park. I used up the last of the old vegetables in the refrigerator to make Summer Vegetables and Brown Rice with tilapia while watching You Were Never Lovelier. The second and last musical to star Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire is set in romantic Buernos Aires. Adolph Menjou is the head of a family of four daughters. He won't let the younger girls get married until their older sister (Hayworth) does, but their old-fashioned sister has her ideal man...and hasn't found him yet. Fed up, her father writes her a series of love letters and says they're from an unknown suitor. When she sees an out-of-work dancer (Astaire) delivering orchids, she thinks he's the lover. He wants to dance, not get involved in romantic schemes, but when her father gives him a job, he reluctantly agrees to help out. He never expected to fall in love with this dashing ice queen with the nimble feet!

The plot is romantic piffle and a bit of a bore, but Hayworth and Astaire's dance numbers are first-rate. Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern provided an excellent score, including the standards "I'm Old-Fashioned," "Dearly Beloved," and the title song. If you love awesome dancing, the two leads, or 40s musicals, this one is absolutely worth a look.

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