Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Summertime Ride

I got a call from Mrs. Stahl around 10 when I was finishing  up my offline journal. She said she wanted to see me at 2, rather than 3. That was fine, too. I asked for today off, and counseling was my only really big plan besides library volunteering.

Since I now had extra time, I spent the morning finally cleaning the kitchen. It was almost as grungy as the bathroom. There was dirt specks in the cabinets - I think the carpenter ants get in there. I'll need to buy more ant traps on Friday, when I do my grocery shopping.

Watched Fairie Tale Theatre's version of "Beauty and the Beast" while cleaning. This lovely episode is unusual in several ways. The sequences with Beauty and her family are the only ones in the show shot on regular film, giving it a different, less soft look than the video-shot portions at the Beast's castle. The story sticks closer to the original French tale than Disney's. Here, Beauty (Susan Sarandon) lives with her two obnoxious and vain sisters (one is Angelica Huston) and her father in a small cottage in the woods. Her father, a merchant, picks one rose from an enchanted garden for his youngest daughter. The rose turns out to be a beast (Klaus Kinski), who will let him go...if Beauty comes to stay with him.

I headed out to run today's errands as soon as I finished the kitchen. First stop was the Oaklyn Library. They, too, were fairly busy for them. There were a couple of people on the computers. A woman and her kids were playing and watching cartoons in the kids' area. I just organized DVDs and moved on.

It was nearly 1 PM by that point. I had to get moving to Haddonfield. Stopped at WaWa first for a large bottle of water (it was humid and very hot, in the lower 90's), then rode to Haddonfield. I just took the road past the Haddon Township Library to Crystal Lake Road, and then Park Avenue into the back roads of Haddonfield. It was lunch hour, and pretty busy. I saw a large group of kids at the bridge between Westmont and Haddonfield - they must have just come from the pool on the other end of Park Avenue. They were wearing bathing suits and laughing and having a grand time.

I got into Haddonfield by 1:30. I needed something fast and decent for lunch. The Indian restaurant Cross Cultures has a lunch buffet that's only $9.98 on weekdays. I thought I'd give it a shot. The main dining area was small but tasteful, with beige walls covered in beautiful Indian tapestries. The "lunch buffet" consisted of silver containers of Indian foods with basmati rice and a salad. I don't remember the names, but I know I tried a chicken curry, and something green with what seemed like chicken or tofu in it. I also had the salad and rice. The bright red chicken was much too hot, but the curry wasn't horrible, and the green stuff was surprisingly tasty. I don't normally like tofu, but that came out pretty well. Ate the four slices of well-buttered naan bread, too.

Counseling was next. I actually ran into Mrs. Stahl as I was crossing King's Highway to her office! She was getting coffee. I looked over a book on folk lore in her lobby while I waited for her. Once she got in, we mostly discussed my busy month. I told her about Lauren's visit, work, my enjoyable 4th of July, and my plans for the summer. While I do want to make my annual day trip to Atlantic City and will probably take a mall trip here and there, I mainly want to concentrate on writing and getting ready to visit Lauren in New England in mid-October. I need new, smaller luggage that rolls and can be carried around bus terminals and train stations, and I'll need to get the tickets soon. I want to take another online writing course, too, since the one I took in the winter and early spring was a big help.

It was still hot as heck when I got out, though windier. I went straight to Primo's Water Ice in Westmont. Needless to say, on a day when the digital sign at the Westmont Fire Company said it was 90 degrees, the place was packed with kids and parents getting a cool treat. I got lucky - the mom said she had a big group of kids and let me go on ahead. I bought a medium tutti frutti water ice. I wasn't that impressed. It tasted more like bubble gum than fruit. I originally ate it in "The Ice Box," the big back room where they keep video games and board games for the kids who come for movie night and birthday parties. It got too cold (and too noisy) back there. I finally finished it outside.

Made two more quick stops in Westmont. They didn't have what I wanted at Walgreens. Had more luck at MacMillian's Bakery across Haddon Avenue. It's going to be too hot to bake this week. I bought a loaf of Viennese Bread to make sandwiches for work instead. I also bought a big crab-shaped cookie with red and blue sugar crystals for a treat at home. Cut through Collingswood going home to avoid the worst of the traffic on Cuthbert.

When I got in, I got right to working on my WENN fanfiction. In addition to the fairy tales I have listed on the New Fanfiction page at my website, I finally came up with a story for Hilary, via the story Lauren and I are working on right now. Hilary and Betty are not happy campers the day after the disasters of "You've Met Your Match." Hilary is angry with Jeff for flirting with Betty and marrying Pavla in the first place. Betty wishes Scott had been more upfront about his relationship with Maple and is still annoyed about the whole embezzlement/Victor mess. Hilary complains that she feels like she's dealing with a couple of wild beasts.

This turns into the tale of a pair of sisters - one older and more dramatic, the other younger and more sensitive - who are ordered to the castle of a horrible beast when their father (Mackie) stole a rose for the younger one. It turns out there's two beasts in this castle. One is younger and taller, but angry and bitter. The elder is smaller and stockier, with darker fur, but stupid and simple...but is that really their true natures, any more than the fur on their bodies is their true forms? Two handsome princes come to them in their dreams to encourage them to listen to their hearts...but a wicked Eastern European fairy wants them for herself...

Went into making dinner after I ended writing for the day. I opted for a simple meal of turkey meatballs in a tasty gravy made of Worcestershire sauce, the last of the chicken stock, lemon juice, and the ground turkey drippings, whole wheat noodles, and a cucumber-tomato salad. Oooh, the meatballs came out sooo well, soft and savory. I may have to try that again sometime.

Ran Summer Holiday during dinner. This sweet 1948 musical is the tale of Richard Miller (Mickey Rooney), a teenager in a small-town in Conneticut during the early 1900's with a lot of big ideas about the evils of capitalism. All his high-falutin' talk is annoying his father Nat (Walter Huston) and scaring his girlfriend Muriel (Gloria De Haven) to death. Meanwhile, his uncle Sid (Frank Morgan) tries to court his long-time girlfriend Lily (Agnes Moorehead), but she wishes he'd quit drinking. When Richard breaks up with Muriel and ends up in a bar with a floozy (Marilyn Maxwell), he learns that he may not quite be ready for adulthood just yet.

A lovely coming-of-age story (based after the non-musical stage comedy Ah Wilderness!), this isn't a masterpiece but does have some nice moments. I'm especially fond of the opening number, with its dialogue that flows naturally from song to speech and back, and Maxwell's number in the bar that experiments with color filters. Rooney overacts (and was too old for the role); Huston's much better as his supportive father.

If you love other musical coming-of-age tales set around this time period like Meet Me In St. Louis, t this is an interesting tale of summer that's worth checking out at the Warner Archives.

No comments: