Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sunbeams and Daydreams

I finished out Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan while eating breakfast this morning. The title character (Ricardo Montalban) is a 20th century villain who is let out of prison vowing revenge on the man who put him there - James T. Kirk (William Shatner). He attacks the Starship Reliant and forces its crew to obey him. The Starship is carrying precious cargo - Project Genesis, a weapon that can create life in an instant...or destroy it. Meanwhile, the now-Admiral Kirk is training a new, young female Vulcan captain (Kirstie Alley) who leads by the book and is making him feel ancient. On a routine inspection of the Enterprise, he, Dr. McCoy (DeForrest Kelly), and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) get a distress call from the Reliant. Kirk takes over when he realizes what Khan has in mind for Project Genesis. It's Spock, though, who finally teaches him a hard lesson about life, death, and friendship.

Still considered to be the best of the 80's Star Trek films, this is a Trek movie even I relatively enjoyed. I was especially impressed by the special effects. Other than some very dated hairstyles, they still look good over 30 years later. The finale in particular, with Kirk saying good-bye to his dear friend, is heart-rendering (especially if you've never seen the sequels or haven't seen them in years, like me). Required viewing for Star Trek fans (especially if you're into the original series), but fun for non-Trek sci-fi lovers, too.

I just rode around for a few hours in the late morning. My original plan was to look around for yard sales. I only found one, a couple of streets down from the Westmont Plaza in Haddon Township, and they had nothing interesting left by the time I got there. I treated myself to a Mocha Coollatta from a very busy Duncan Donuts instead. I enjoyed it under umbrellas on the small tables next to Capitol Pizza. You only get a view of the Black Horse Pike, but that's better than eating inside on a gorgeous 80-degree day.

Since I was on the next block, I went down the street and browsed around at The House of Fun. They had a new (and legitimate) first season release of the original 90's animated Sailor Moon. It was 42 bucks, but I figured it was worth it. The only other place I'm likely to see it is

I put on Sailor Moon when I got home and had the last of the leftover turkey chili for lunch. It turns out this is the first half of the original, uncut first season. They included at least five episodes that were dropped from the early first season of the original English dub due to content or simply a lack of necessity to the plot. On one hand, I sort of miss Luna and Naru's accents. They did kind of make the characters stand out. On the other hand, the English translation seems to be a tad bit more accurate this time around ("bun head" instead of "meatball head," for instance).

One of the rediscovered episodes, however, wound up being my favorite on the first disc. Usagi first shows off her fondness for playing matchmaker when she meets a handsome older jazz performer who thinks a monster is after him. Usagi helps bring him together with the younger woman he loves. She finds herself saving them both when his sweetheart is attacked by a Negaverse monster who wants to use his music to send brainwashing messages to everyone in Tokyo.

I went for a walk after lunch. It was just too nice to be inside for too long! It was actually a little too hot for mid-April, probably in the mid-to-upper 70's. It's definitely spring here now. The trees are in full pink, white, and pale green blossom. There were tons of people all over the place. Adults mowed their overgrown lawns, worked in their gardens, rode bikes, or chatted with friends. Younger kids tossed balls around or played with toys in their yards. Their older siblings wandered around in packs, on bike or on foot, talking and checking their smartphones.

When I got back in, I spent the next few hours working on my WENN fanfiction and trying to get some ideas. I have an interesting idea for a WENN pirate/American Revolution spoof that involves Maple and Victor, but one thing at a time. I really want to finish the Edge of the Precipice series first.

I came up with an idea around 4:30. Instead of having a regular meal indoors, I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and have a picnic in the park. I boiled three eggs to make an egg salad sandwich on rye while I was writing my story. I put on more Sailor Moon as I made the egg salad and sliced celery. Usagi thinks she's gained weight and attempts a crash diet, but that just wears her out. Some friends convince her to join a gym instead after they see how much weight their teacher Miss Haruna has lost. Usagi tries to work out as hard as she can...but first a guy she has a crush on tells her she looks fine, then she discovers the gym is a Negaverse plot.

Veteran's Park was gorgeous at 5:30. It was the perfect time of day for a picnic. The breeze was light and a little cooler than earlier, but not cold. I put down my checked flannel blanket down on top of the hill overlooking the river. I spent a splendid, lazy hour eating my egg salad sandwich, celery, and the last of the Fudge Cupcake Graham Cracker Goldfish and reading my old Remember WENN fanfiction. I only went in because the wind was starting to feel a little chillier.

Finished out the Sailor Moon disc when I got in and as I cleaned up from dinner and ate dessert. The seventh episode on the disc has everyone clamoring over a big talent contest being put on by a popular star. Usagi is just as obsessed as everyone else, until she sees some strange things and begins to agree with Luna that something's wrong. The last show introduced Sailor Mercury, aka Ami Mizuno, the smartest girl in Usagi's middle school. Luna suspects Ami of being involved in a Negaverse plot at her computer school, until she and Usagi find the real monster attacking her.

And...sigh. Today was the last day of my vacation. I'm not looking forward to work tomorrow at all, even if I don't have much of it this week. Thank heavens my next vacation is Lauren's visit in mid-June.

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