Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rag Dolls and Jersey Boys

I slept in a bit today. When I finally got up, I began the last Amelia Peabody book I haven't read, Guardians of the Horizon. This one answers a burning question I've always had about the series - what happened to the Lost City they visited in The Last Camel Died at Noon? Did it survive? Did Nefert ever want to see her old home? I only got to the first two chapters - they aren't even in Africa yet. Hopefully, we'll be getting answers soon.

Had my usual Sunday pancakes while listening to Billy Joel and Elton John records. My Strawberry Buttermilk Cake came out so well, I decided to try to recreate the flavors with Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes. I did replace the vanilla flavoring on the cake with almond flavoring. I've seen almond flavoring used with strawberries before - they seem to go together pretty well. And oh boy, did they ever! I added a little sugar along with the egg and buttermilk, and they were tasty, rich and tart and just sweet enough.

I dance a little along with the music as I cleaned up from brunch. Unfortunately, I wasn't looking where I was going. I smacked my right hand against the wooden dining table chair as I headed to the kitchen. Ouch! Nothing seemed to be broken, but the fourth finger is sore and swollen. I didn't have enough time to do anything with it before work. I'd just have to be careful.

Thankfully, work wasn't anywhere near as bad as it was yesterday. It was busy, but that's typical for a nice Sunday. It actually could have been a lot worse. Everyone was in a very good mood. Other than my break was late again, there were no major problems. My relief, one of the college boys, was on time.

It was another gorgeous, sunny, breezy day when I got out of work. Once again, I took the long way home down Nicholson. The Sunday traffic was pretty bad, but I wanted to at least enjoy a little of the weather. I'm getting tired of the repair to the Oaklyn ramp on the Black Horse Pike, too. (Thank heavens they've finally covered those metal plates. You could hear cars driving over the plates as far away as my apartment.)

When I got in, I got the dolls changed into slightly lighter outfits for May. Josefina honors the upcoming Cinco Del Mayo in her recently retired Dress and Vest and the lovely gold Heirloom Accessories shawl. Samantha's ready for her birthday in her original pink striped Birthday Dress and Pinafore, the white shoes from (Rebecca's) Lace Dress, and the lace headband from her current accessories set. Whitney looks very 50's in a hand-made polka dot dress from eBay, the pink ankle-wrap shoes from the Sweet Spring Dress, and the lavender scrunchie bow from Samantha's Frilly Frock. Molly's in a hand-made version of her extremely hard-to-find Victory Garden Dress. Jessa wears the lavender sweater from Kit's original "meet" outfit with the flower-print tie-dye t-shirt from the 2012 Hiking Outfit, the mauve sandals from the Sparkle Sequin Outfit, and the hand-made denim capris Lauren sent for Christmas. I just left Felicity in her salmon pink Birthday Gown. I really don't have much to change her into.

Ran Jersey Boys as I changed the girls, and later as ate leftovers and roasted zucchini and squash fries for dinner. Four Italian-American guys from North Jersey seem to be typical layabout kids of the mid-50's - they end up in jail, they get into trouble, they chase girls. Except one, Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) has an amazing singing voice, and he's generally a decent guy. When one guy leaves the band, a friend introduces them to Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), who has already had a hit and can not only sing, but write songs at the drop of a hat. They get stuck for a year as backup singers to other popular artists at the time, until Bob comes up with the smash hit "Sherry." Suddenly, The Four Seasons are on their way to the top...but when Tommy (Vincent Piazza) gets into trouble and Frankie helps him out, the other guys aren't as thrilled.

I agree with most critics that Clint Eastwood probably wasn't the best choice to direct a musical about the Four Seasons. This movie should be funny and colorful, and while there are some hilarious bits (I love the guys talking to the camera, especially early on), it degenerates into a mire of sludge once the band gets popular. Despite some of the actors having been in the original Broadway cast, almost everyone comes off as stiff. The performances are lifeless. In fact, the only really fun number is the entire cast doing "Oh What a Night (December 1963)" over the credits. Not horrible if you're a classic rock fan like me or love the show, but it could have been a lot better. (Oh, and as with the show, this is NOT for kids. There's a ton of rather heavy swearing throughout the film.)

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