Sunday, January 10, 2016

In All Kinds of Weather

I slept in a bit again. Got up at 10:30, but I read Red Harvest and wrote in my journal in bed until past 11:30. When I did get out of bed, I used a slightly wrinkled apple that had been around for a while and made Apple Cinnamon Pancakes.

As soon as I finished breakfast, I went right into changing the American Girl dolls into normal winter clothes. Samantha's wearing her gray Buster Brown Dress with the black stockings and boots from Rebecca's School Outfit. Whitney swapped with her - she's got on Rebecca's School Outfit with the white stockings and black Mary Janes from Sam's current meet outfit. Felicity wears her emerald green Riding Habit and tri-corn hat. Molly's in her After School Outfit and Springfield Collection sneakers. Jessa's mixing and matching the gray leggings and blue-violet studded Coconut shirt from the Coconut Fun Outfit with a plaid tweed-like Springfield Collection skirt and deep blue-violet clogs. Josefina is in a blue floral empire-waisted outfit I bought on eBay, complete with a lovely, flower-trimmed black velvet hat.

Ran some records while making Banana-Honey Muffins next. I did the first half of The Pirate Movie first. Yeah, this soundtrack is so 80's, but I grew up on this. I actually do like some of the music, especially the rousing "Victory" for the pirates, the hilarious re-write of "Modern Major General," and "Pumpin' and Blowin'."

I was originally going to go for a walk today, but the weather was just plain weird. It would be sunny, then all of a sudden, clouds would appear and it would pour, then the sun would return...and then there would be rain and sun at the same time! And then the sun would return. Very strange. I opted to clean the bathroom, which desperately needed it, instead. The toilet in particular was really grungy. Ugh. I shouldn't have let it go for so long.

Caught up with a couple of soundtracks and cast albums while cleaning. The 1968 version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips features Peter O'Toole as the title character, a shy schoolteacher who wonders if his students will ever like him, and Petula Clark as his wife, the free-spirited stage performer Katherine. They meet in Italy in the 1920's, where they fall in love and eventually marry. They're blissfully happy, but some of the parents at Chips' stuffy school aren't happy with this rambunctious woman among their boys.

The music is by Leslie Bricuisse, in a similar mode to Scrooge...and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I hadn't heard good things about this one until recently. A lot of people didn't like how the setting was moved up to the 20's and 30's, or how the songs were added. Other than I wish Peter O'Toole's lack of singing ability didn't preclude a duet, I thought they were lovely. I especially liked O'Toole's sweet "What a Lot of Flowers" and the two charming dance numbers for Clark, "London Is London" and "Schooldays" with the kids. If you're a fan of Bricusse's music or the stars, this is really quite endearing.

Switched to a darker musical as I finished up the bathroom. Zorba is a musical version of the book and movie Zorba the Greek. I bought it, still in its plastic, from a thrift shop at least three or four years ago. For some reason or other, I just never got around to it. I suspect a lot of it has to do with the story being about a young man who comes to open a thought-to-be-abandoned mine in Crete and gets help from the wanderer of the title. This is not the most fun musical, despite some enjoyable dance numbers like "No Boom Boom" - both leading ladies die, and things don't work out nearly as well as either leading man plans. The story was too heavy for the late 60's. It didn't even make a year. It did slightly better in a 1983 revival featuring the movie's original star, Anthony Quinn. Not one of Kander and Ebb's best shows, but there's some interesting music if you're a fan of their work.

Moved into writing next. Mr. Eldridge has a way he can help Scott defeat Barnaby...but his magic suddenly won't work. Lisa doesn't believe in it. He talks to the girl, reminding her that there's magic inside all of us, no matter what age we are.

Finished the night with salmon steak, a vegetable mix, and David Bowie's supremely weird Diamond Dogs. Alas, I didn't feel well enough to really enjoy it. Despite feeling well all day, I'd somehow picked up a very, very sore throat and a huge headache after dinner. It hasn't gone away since then, and I'm cold as heck, too. I hope to heck I'm not getting sick. At least I'm off tomorrow.

Oh, and let me announce the next American Girl...Miss Melody Ellison! This Detroit cutie is making waves with that new Motown sound in 1964, even as her family deals with the issues of the Civil Rights Era and trying to move to the suburbs. This will be the third African-American AG doll, and I'm looking forward to her. Once again, I probably won't buy her, but Jessa and Whitney may swipe her wardrobe. Her first book is already in stores (even though the doll won't be out until July), and the second one is due in a few months.

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