Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Promise of Spring

Started my day by opening my windows. I couldn't believe how ridiculously warm it was. Even at 8:30 in the morning, it had to already be in the 60's. While that's too warm for early March, at least it meant it would be a nice day for running the many errands I had to do on my only day off this week.

Started off the day with breakfast, then dusting my bedroom. It takes forever to get my bedroom clean. That's where I keep the vast majority of my collectibles, including all of my dolls, the Star Wars action figures, and about half of my stuffed animals. (I have so many stuffed toys, I do keep some in the living area, along with seasonal items.) That doesn't even count all the fiction books, comic books, and self-help books I have in my bedroom. That stuff takes time to dust under.

Finished off Jason of Star Command as I cleaned. I didn't realize the set was missing the second disc. I only saw the last five or so episodes of the second season. Even with the abbreviated season, I still consider it to be a major improvement. The extra fifteen minutes gave them more time to develop stories, and while Jason was still a bore, the rest of Star Command was a lot stronger.

Still, the improved second season isn't enough to redeem that lethally dull first season. I don't recommend this one unless you have very fond memories of the Filmation live-action shows or you are a huge fan of Space Academy or the late 70's-early 80's Star Wars clones.

As soon as I finished the dusting, I went right into taking down the winter decorations and putting up what I have for spring. Though the calendar says spring isn't for another two weeks, I think this week's crazy-warm weather is a good indication that Mother Nature is ready for the change. I tossed in my St. Patrick's Day decorations along with the cardboard butterfly and flower hangings, small baskets of fake flowers, and stuffed rabbits, ducks, and shamrock-covered Beanie Baby bears.

Ran the first Easter special of the year as I worked. I thought Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies was a nice way to ease into the spring season, since it really doesn't deal that much with Easter. The Easter Bunny has gotten sick and can't deliver eggs. Granny wants Bugs to do it, but he's busy making cartoons, so they search for a replacement among the Tunes. This is really just a flimsy set-up on which to hang bits and pieces of some of Termite Terrace's best work, including parts of "Hillbilly Hare," "Robin Hood Daffy," "Sahara Hare," "The Rabbit of Seville," and the Oscar winners "Birds Anonymous," "Knightly Knight Bugs," and "For Scentimental Reasons."

I was going to head off the moment the Toons ended, but my first of two eBay orders had arrived in the mail. Almost every kid-friendly movie in the late 70's and early 80's had at least one storybook released, complete with lots of great photos you couldn't find anywhere else. Mom bought us the Return of the Jedi storybook, along with several action figures. We loved it so much, by the end of the 80's, it was literally falling apart. (The cover came off - I used it as a poster for a couple of years.) I bought it partially because of fond memories, but mostly for the wonderful photos. I've seen a couple online, but there's some (including one of Lando and Han discussing the Falcon and two of Luke on Endor) I haven't seen elsewhere. (The two for the remaining movies should hopefully be coming tomorrow or later this week.)

I had quite a bit to do today, starting with a very quick stop at the Haddon Township Library to return DVDs. I didn't stay to volunteer. There wasn't time! I had to move along to counseling, and I wanted to eat, too.

I had lunch at the Westmont Family Diner, across from the PATCO train station in a small shopping center. It was the tail end of lunch hour when I arrived. The lunch hour was just ending as I settled in with my book. I ordered a "Popeye Chicken" sandwich - spinach, onions, and a ton of melted Swiss cheese tops grilled chicken, on a brioche roll. Yum. Very messy (I think they used a little too much cheese) but tasty. I also had some nice, slender fries, a thick half of a pickle, and a tiny cup of cole slaw.

After a short peek at the Happy Hippo Toy Store, I made my way to counseling. I really didn't have that much to discuss with Mrs. Stahl. I spent the vast majority of the winter inside, avoiding the strange wet weather. The Star Wars storybooks are some of the few splurges I've made, along with a couple of things from the malls and one small Amazon.com order. I'm trying to avoid overspending, like I did last winter. I'm going to hold off on another online writing course until after Lauren visits this summer.

We talked a lot about my family. I have a hard time discussing a lot of my problems with them. Rose in particular isn't always the most understanding. We're so different. She's a practical lawyer with a son, a man, two dogs, a cat, a car, and a home. I want none of those things. Sure, I like kids and animals, but I'm fine with occasionally seeing my nephews and niece and watching the squirrels and birds play on my porch. She's been trying to push me for years about finding a better job. I want to, but it's not as easy for me as it is for her. I'm not the talker she is, and I lack her confidence.

To give Rose credit, she did give me one good idea. Next month, when I get my vacation money, I think I'm going to open a second savings account for fun things, like trips and new electronics. I've barely had the money to put in my first savings account, but now that I was able to get my tax return money in there, I can start thinking about other types of saving.

It was the perfect day for a water ice. I stopped at Primo's on the way home. I just barely got in ahead of the kids just out of school. I had a Gelato - a dessert made of soft-serve ice cream layered with water ice. I kept things simple and had vanilla ice cream layered with orange cream water ice. Not bad. To be honest, the orange water ice tasted more like Tang than any real orange I'd ever known, but it paired pretty well with the creamy frozen custard. I enjoyed my treat while watching the long line of kids come out with their own milkshakes and ice cream cones.

As soon as I got home, I went into writing. Vader brings Leia before Lord Tarkin, the second-in-command of the Kingdom of the Empire. Tarkin threatens to burn Aldran Town if Leia doesn't tell them where the Rebels in the Woods are hiding. The Empire's "secret weapons" are dark dragons, who'll burn whatever they say to at a moment's notice. Even when Leia tells them the first thing she can think of off the top of her head, they still send the dragons to the town, to Leia's horror.

She's even less happy when Vader declares his intention to marry her off to his master, the evil black magician King Palapatine. Leia would rather do anything than either become a black sorceress or marry that old crone. Vader intends to imprison her in the highest, most security-tight tower in his castle until she changes her mind.

Had the last of the leftover "Home Made Tuna Helper" casserole for dinner, then made Feather Nutmeg Muffins. Ran one of the three hour-long Sailor Moon movies while I ate. In the spring, a young Japanese girl's thoughts lightly turn to love...or more specifically, to the love of her boyfriend. Usagi and the other Guardians are visiting a local garden when a young man suddenly appears, claiming to be an old friend of Mamoru's. He's really an alien who befriended Mamoru as a child. His love has been tainted by an evil flower, who wants to use him to suck the energy from the Earth. Sailor Moon and the Guardians have their hands full dealing with a pack of evil energy-stealing flowers...and rescuing Tuxedo Mask when the alien makes off with him.

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