Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happy Endings

I was so happy to awake to a glorious, sunny spring day that I actually had off! Not only that, but I finished The Phantom of the Opera this morning, the last book on my Book List. I sprained my ankle in the fall of 2012 and was stuck at home for two months. One of the few good things that came out of that was I realized just how many books I owned that I either hadn't read at all, or hadn't read in years, or even decades in a few cases. Somewhere around February 2013, I took it upon myself to finally read them all. Of course, I bought quite a few, and received others as gifts along the line.

And I learned many things from this, chief among them being I need to stop putting off reading books when I get them. From now on, when I buy a book or take it out of the library, it goes on the "to be read" pile on my nightstand before it goes on a shelf. And I need to re-read the books I have more often.

Ran a quick Dr. Seuss special while eating breakfast. Dr. Seuss On the Loose is one of my favorite of the Seuss half-hour adaptations of the 70's and 80's. It's an anthology of three very short Seuss tales, the first two of which came from the Dr. Seuss On the Loose book. "The Sneeches" are yellow creatures, some with green stars on their stomachs, who live on the beaches. Sneeches with stars snub those who don't have them, until a monkey con-artist and his machines teach both groups a lesson in equality. "The Zax" are two stubborn critters who refuse to move to let one another pass, even as the world continues around them. Sam I Am is determined to introduce his favorite dish, "Green Eggs and Ham," to one poor guy, even as the fellow tries his hardest to get away.

Headed out around quarter after 11 to run today's errands. My first stop was the Collingswood Hardware Store. I wanted to see if they had any drain stoppers for the bathtub. Thankfully, the nice old man who runs the store knew what I wanted and was able to lead me right to it.

It was such a nice day, I decided to explore Collingswood a little, since I hadn't been there in a while. A lot has changed there. They finally opened that "sports museum" in what used to be a bank. The Candy Jar and the Blue Moon olive oil store swapped storefronts. There's a little knick-knack store called Clutter in what used to be the thrift shop. I checked out Frugli Consignments and the Candy Jar, but didn't see anything I wanted.

I had more luck at that great record shop I first explored in early January. They were just as good to me on my second try. This time, I came up with The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole (which will be replacing my very old cassette copy) and a Broadway cast album I've wanted for years, the 1959 musical version of Destry Rides Again, with Andy Griffith as the title character and Dolores Gray as the saloon girl who (eventually) loves him. The CD is out of print and fairly hard to find, so I was glad to run into this one.

Decided to try somewhere new for lunch. Serena's Cafe replaced the little groceria in the former Woolworth's that shut down last November after only a few weeks of business. The place was jumping when I arrived there around 1:30. I was lucky to get one of the only single tables. Most of the tables were huge Ikea-esque things with heavy wooden tops and spindly modern metal bottoms. The soft off-white walls were decorated with old mirrors and vintage and modern maps of Collingswood. They had breakfast all day, so I opted to try the Apple and Cheddar Omelet, with sweet potato fries and multi grain toast. The fries were a bit overcooked and tough and the toast was a tad charred, but the omelet was delicious, nice and slightly sweet and with just enough cheese.

Went straight to the Haddon Township Library for this week's volunteering session there. They weren't much busier than we've been at work. There wasn't really much to shelve or organize, only a few adults' DVDs and no kids' stuff or new books or CDs. I did find a few DVDs to take out. They just got in some of Doris Day's movies. I went with her second pairing with Rock Hudson, Lover Come Back. Also grabbed First You Dream, a concert featuring music from the shows of Kander & Ebb, and a new Sofia the First set.

I didn't need anything in Westmont today, but it was so nice, I treated myself to a Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie at a very busy WaWa on the way home. Ahh, I needed that. It tasted nice, very strawberry, with graham cracker bits.

Spent the rest of the evening when I got in finishing the first half of my Star Wars fairy tale. Vader, who, as a half-demon, has wings, has arrived and is in pursuit of Luke. He just hurt the Emperor Dragon's wing with his sword when an arrow shoots him out of the sky. It's Han, riding triumphantly to the rescue on Chewbacca. Luke heals the Dragon, and they take out the rest of Vader's army as Vader just manages to get back to Bast Castle.

Leia and Wedge arrive as the Rebels round up the rest of Vader's men. They, Cecil, and a wounded Arthur found and repaired Luke's father's sword and the Falcon, to Han and Luke's delight. The Emperor Dragon and his clan wish them luck and tell them that if they're ever in need, to just use the Force, and they'll hear them. Han and Wedge drive the others into the Woods in the Falcon. Luke goes to check on the remaining Rebels...but as he does, he swears he sees a little green man watching him...

And this is just Part 1! Part 2 is a combination of Empire and Jedi, and will follow the plots of both a bit less closely. I'll be starting that tomorrow. For now, look for "A Star Wars Fairy Tale: New Hope" at my writing blog, Fanfiction.Net, and possibly Archive Of Our Own in the next few days.

Had time to do First You Dream as I threw together a "cheeseburger casserole" (ground chicken, tomato sauce, chicken stock, onions, celery, frozen green beans, and the last of the Monterrey Jack cheese). This is a concert showcasing some of the best work of John Kander and Fred Ebb. Though they're best known as the composer and lyricist for the stage and film versions of Chicago and Cabaret, their work spans the mid-60's through the mid 2000's and includes everything from the mother-daughter stage show The Rink to the famous title song from New York, New York to two interesting flops from the late 90's and mid 2000's, Steel Pier and Curtains. (The former provided the concert's title number.)

This is a lot more intimate than my huge all-star Sondheim concert, and the singers are mostly stage favorites. If you're a fan of classic Broadway and film musicals or Kander & Ebb, this is actually a very nice way to spend an hour (and even comes with extra songs that didn't make it into the hour-long PBS special).

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