Thursday, April 09, 2015

Spring Cleaning and Other Day Off Tales

Started another gray morning with An American Tail: Fivel Goes West as I had breakfast. Fed up with the noise and the dirt of the city, Fivel and his family head west, where men are men, and mice can have the homestead of their dreams. Fivel, however, overhears Cat R. Waul (John Cleese), the cultured kitty who convinced the mice to go west to begin with, planning to capture all of the mice with a huge mousetrap. His friend Tiger (Dom DeLouise) is having problems, too. Tiger's girlfriend Miss Kitty (Amy Irving) also went west, looking for a tougher breed of cat. Fivel finally recruits aging lawman Wylie Burp (James Stewart) to make Tiger into a fighting dog in time to stop Waul and his gang from harming the mouse community.

I really enjoy one more than the first film. For one thing, Fivel being lost early on isn't dragged out nearly as long, nor is it most of the plot. The subplot with Fivel's sister Tanya wanting to be a singer is sweet, and Tiger learning to be a dog is a scream. If nothing else, this wins points for being Jimmy Stewart's last big-screen performance as legendary law dog Wylie Burp. Once again, there's some great music (including an odd sequence with Fivel traveling across the desert set to the theme from Rawhide) and even better animation.

Those of you who are fans of the first movie may be disappointed that it's lighter than either the original or the subsequent direct-to-home-media sequels and that many major characters from the first film were dropped. Not to mention, Don Bluth had no involvement with this one. I'm going to disagree with the naysayers. If you only see one American Tail movie, make it this one. It's a rollicking western with a great cast and a delightful sense of humor that the first movie's heavy melodrama lacks.

I switched to continuing this month's spring cleaning. I put off vacuuming because of the drying wet spot in the living room. I couldn't put it off anymore. I had to get that done. I also made the bed, aired my rag rug and the strawberry-print rug at the front door, and washed the windows and the big mirror on the door to my bedroom.

Headed out to run a few errands around 11:30. My first stop was going to be Studio LuLoo for volunteering. I thought the were opened on Thursday. I didn't see anyone inside either time I was over there. I ended up having my lunch at Common Grounds Coffee House instead. I had the place all to myself as I ate a Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffin, a cup of hot chocolate, and a slice of steak and fried onion quiche for lunch. Yum, yum. The muffin was only ok, but the quiche was delicious, salty and savory like a real steak sandwich. The rich hot chocolate tasted like it was made from chocolate syrup, rather than a mix.

Made a few short stops next. I took out the Lord of the Rings trilogy at a quiet Oaklyn Library. Went down to the White Horse Pike to pick up a few things at Family Dollar. Needed pads; got more drain cleaner, too. (The bathroom drain is still running slow.) Found caramel-vanilla-flavored marshmallows, too. I haven't seen flavored marshmallows since they discontinued those tasty coconut-covered flavors a few years ago.

Spent the rest of a cold, dreary day at home. I played some video games right after getting in. I gave the Namco Remix a try. "Rally X" was a maze game crossed with a race game. You have to find the yellow flags without running into computer-controlled player. This isn't as easy as it looks! It's hard to control your movements with the nunchuk and still be able to shoot smoke with the regular controller. I had a lot more fun with "Galaga X," a fairly standard and very colorful space-themed point-and-shoot game. I would have continued it further if all the shooting didn't make my finger and already-sore arm tired.

After my arm got too tired to play games, I went online to finish my writing course. The final exam is due tomorrow. I work 7 hours tomorrow. I doubt I'll be up to much of anything by the end of tomorrow besides errands and resting. I just took the exam today. It was no sweat whatsoever. I got a 100 and passed with flying colors.

Went into the bath next. Ahhh. Once again, it felt great to kick back and relax. I'm so glad I didn't have jury duty today! This was no day to be sitting in a gloomy city hall. The weather was gloomy enough. I was in for over an hour and savored every minute.

After my bath, I made tuna and peas casserole for dinner while watching the first half of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I'll go into more details on this one after I get through the whole series.

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