Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Beauty and the Little Red Monster

Began a cloudy, warm-ish day with Emily Climbs (the second Emily of New Moon story), Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares, half of a grapefruit, and the first unofficial holiday special of the year. Sailor Moon: Hearts In Ice is the hour-long "movie" made around the third season of the original show. Sailor Moon's cat Luna falls in love with a handsome, seemingly ill scientist who has found an odd meteor. The meteor turns out to be belong to Princess Snow Kaguya, who wants to freeze the Earth and turn it into her personal ornament!

I finally headed out to the laundromat around 11:30. I had a huge load to do. I meant to do it yesterday, but I just never got around to it. There were a few people around when I got in, but it wasn't close to busy. It had emptied out by the time my things were in the drier. Good. That large load included towels that really needed to be done.

When I got home, I put my clothes away, then went right back out again. I stopped at Jalepeno's Grill across from WaWa for lunch. It was 1:30 by then. They were dead as a doornail, except for one old woman who always seemed to be there and the young son of an employee. This time, I went with the tasty Mexican Avocado BLT Chicken Wrap, which was just what the name implies, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and bacon bits with chicken and spicy mayo. The small container of black bean soup was yummy, but the Spanish rice was probably cheap stuff from a mix.

Went straight to the Haddon Township Library after lunch. I pretty much did what I did last week - organized the kids' DVDs, shelved the small stack of adult titles, then worked on getting the romance novels in some semblance of order. I only got from E to G this time before it got late and I decided it was time to move on.

This time, I also took out some DVDs. Since I have plenty of live-action programming at home that I still need to dub, I went with children's or animated titles. That Sesame Street Unpaved book I found a few weeks ago has rekindled my interest in that series. I took out Fairy Tale Fun, which featured the late 90s special CinderElmo as a bonus. The most recent Veggietales story, Beauty and the Beet, was a musical tale that looked like it had potential. Also grabbed the recent animated films The LEGO Movie and Rio 2.

I rode across a very busy Newton Lake Park on my way home. Took a shortcut over some barely-seen stone steps...which I won't do again, since they terminated behind someone's house. It was past 4 PM by then, and rush hour was in full swing. The park was busy with joggers, dog walkers, parents pushing children in strollers, and teenagers chatting at picnic tables. I guess everyone wants to get out before the rain we're supposed to have tomorrow.

When I got in, I did a few small chores around the apartment. The big one was sweeping the part of the porch that's still accessible. The half of the porch overlooking the path is roped off and has no railings; that's where it's sagging. The half overlooking the garden desperately needed to be cleared of leaves. I put it off, but the recent winds made a real mess. I was tired of the leaves ending up on my kitchen floor. I also took out the trash, including the rusted remains of Miss Ellie's push cart.

(Incidentally, Andrew and Richard have finally cleared off the front porch. All of the junk that was on there is gone, including the toilet and the large old trunks that Miss Ellie used for yard supplies. All that remains is the lawn mower, a rake, a push broom, a small red picnic bench, a tarp, and two buckets of paint.)

I baked brownies while watching Beauty and the Beet. Beauty in this case is Mirabelle, a gentle sweet potato from a family musical group that calls itself the Veggietones. Larry the Cucumber is the dad; the French peas are her brothers. When the group is stranded at a run-down ski resort, Mirabelle suggests they work for their rooms while they figure out how to get to Vegetable Square Garden for a big concert. They're at first put off by the grumpy beet owner, until Mirabelle gives him singing lessons, and discovers his real reason for being a grouch.

I have a mixed track record with Veggietales in general (I've found some of their specials to be hilarious and others too preachy), but they seem to do well by their musicals. This modern Beauty and the Beast story was really quite lovely. I liked how they stayed true to the original story (Beauty has two selfish sisters and three brothers along with her dad) and still did the updated setting well.

Moved to another fairy tale as I cleaned up from the brownies. CinderElmo lives in the kingdom of Sesame. The princess (Keri Russell) must marry by midnight, or lose the kingdom! Being 3 years old, Elmo cares less about marrying anybody and more about just getting to dance at the princess' birthday ball with his buddy Zoe. He's so dirty that his stepmother (Kathy Najimy) won't let him, Zoe, or their dog Prince go. Their fairy godperson (Oliver Platt) arrives, but he insists that the kids "Do Something" in order to earn the trip to the ball. After cleaning them up and turning the dog into a  human (French Stewart), they finally arrive at the ball. Elmo does get his wish, but he has to run out just as the clock strikes midnight! Will the princess ever find him and keep her kingdom?

I know Elmo bothers a lot of people who don't like how newer characters like him, Zoe, Rosita, and Abby have taken over the show. He's not my favorite character, but he doesn't get on my nerves the way he does other people my age. I thought this special was rather sweet. Platt was especially funny as the new-on-the-job fairy (and who knew he was such a good singer?). This is available both on its own and as a bonus on the DVD Fairy Tale Fun if your kids love Elmo or fairy tales.

Finished the night quietly with scrambled eggs and fall vegetables and this year's first showing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Chuck is looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with his grandmother when Peppermint Patty calls, inviting herself, Marcie, and Franklin to a big dinner at his house. Chuck, Linus, and Snoopy compromise by making a smaller dinner of toast, popcorn, ice cream, pretzels, and jelly beans. Peppermint Patty is incensed...until Marcie and Linus remind their friends of the real reason behind the holiday.

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