Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Across the Galaxy

Happy New Year, all! I was up until past 3:30 last night with Lauren. I opened my eyes at 8:30, got up for a minute, closed them again...and the next time I checked my clock, it was past 11! I had not planned on sleeping that much in. I read the New Year's poetry and stories in Collier's Book of Holidays and wrote the first entry of 2016 in my journal, then quickly got dressed, jumped on my bike, and hurried to Collingswood.

Made one quick stop at WaWa to use the ATM machine, then rushed off to The Pop Shop for my annual New Year's Day brunch. It was past noon by then, and they were packed! I was lucky to get a seat at the counter. I worked on story ideas and admired the glittery silver tinsel wreaths and magenta, lime green, and robin's-egg-blue ornaments and balls hanging from the ceiling. This year, I kept things simple and ordered a Belgian waffle and eggnog. (I meant to get eggnog cocoa, but I don't think they could really hear me over the noise in there.) The eggnog was the typical sweet stuff out of a carton. The waffle wasn't too bad, a little dry but mostly nice and chewy.

My original plan was going to see the Mummers' Parade in Philly. I didn't arrive at the PATCO Station until 1. The line for the ticket booths was all the way to the other door! There was no way I was going to stand in that long of a line, especially since the parade would have been just about over by then. Besides, the weather was colder and windy, with broken-up dark clouds that kept hiding the sun. It was too chilly to stand and watch parades.

I opted for running errands instead. I picked up a few things at the Westmont Acme, since I was already over there, mostly brown and white sugar, grapefruit, apples, bananas, vegetables, pumpkin, and cake mix. Checked out both the big Westmont Game Stop and the smaller one in Audubon. Neither had the title I was looking for. Hit the Audubon Acme to get my schedule. In good news, slightly more hours than this week, with Monday and Wednesday off (Wednesday for counseling). I'm mostly working until 7 this week. It does mean I'll be riding home in the dark a lot...but it also means I'll have plenty of time before work to take down the Christmas decorations and start cleaning.

When I got home, I went right into writing. Mr. Eldridge turns up magically and helps the kids get the other toy soldiers going. They're surprised he can do magic. Well, of course he can, he says. It's Christmas magic!

After I got off, I turned the veggies I bought earlier and that leftover chicken breast into Chicken Stir Fry for a nice, simple dinner. Watched Return of the Jedi while I ate and made a coconut pineapple-cake for dessert. We open with a now very-much-in-control Luke joining Lando, Leia, Chewie, and the droids to rescue Han from the nasty, slug-like gangster Jabba the Hutt. Even after they all get out of that intact, they learn that the Empire is building a bigger and better Death Star. Meanwhile, Vader still wants to get his hands on Luke and his Jedi powers...and Luke discovers something even more interesting about his relationship with Leia. While Luke deals with Vader and the cackling Emperor, Leia, Han, Chewie, and the droids encounter a group of small, furry aliens called Ewoks who turn out to be far more useful than they seem, and Lando, Wedge Antilles, and the rest of the Rebel squadrons try to destroy the Death Star once more.

Ok, so big complaint first. This movie is waaayy too long. There's too much going on in the second half, and a lot of it does seem rehashed from the other two movies. On the other hand, I always loved the action-packed opening with them rescuing Han from Jabba. That's just plain fun. The cat-and-mouse games between Luke and Vader in the finale are among the most intense of the entire series, making their final duel all the more incredible. And no, the Ewoks don't bother me a bit. I like them a lot, actually. I collect teddy bears, for heaven's sake! They're nothing I don't have in my bedroom.

This was my favorite movie of the three when I was very little. Nowadays, I like it, but not quite as much as Empire Strikes Back, which is darker, slightly more adult, and a bit more coherent. I do recommend you see at least Empire before you come here to have a better understanding of the story and characters.

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