Monday, April 04, 2016

Downtown In Oaklyn

I slept so late, it was almost 11 before I had breakfast! Watched the final Peanuts baseball special as I ate. It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown is more-or-less a replay of Charlie Brown's All-Stars. Once again, Chuck can only keep his team from quitting by promising new uniforms. The same sponsor says they'll do it, but this time, the catch is they have to win their first game. Freida's little brother Leland may be more of a help than they realize.

Did my errands that were in walking distance today, since the weather was iffy. It was already cloudy and not cold but cool when I headed out around 12:30. The Oaklyn Library had a couple of people there, mainly working on the computers. I did organize the DVDs, but I mainly focused on the kids' books. The board books were a disaster area, all out of order. It took me a while to get them right.

Since it's a few blocks from the Library and I wasn't hungry just yet, I headed over to the House of Fun, hoping they'd be open on a Monday. While the Comicrypt store next-door was closed, their neighbor was not only open, but hopping. I had to dodge at least five or six action figure fanatics and pop culture lovers as I checked out their wares.

For once, it didn't take me too long to find something interesting. Two somethings, actually. I added to my vintage Star Wars kids' book collection with two cute titles. The Mystery of the Rebellious Robot is an original story set between New Hope and Empire. Han and Chewie have to figure out why Artoo went haywire during a routine trip on the Falcon, and how it relates to a big project to bring water to a parched Tatoonie. The sketchy illustrations are uber-70's, but they look pretty decent - Han and Chewie come off especially well.

The Ewoks Join the Fight is just what it says on the tin, a retelling of how the Ewoks helped the Rebels during the second half of Return of the Jedi. I had this book as a kid in the late 80's. I got it for Halloween. Most year-round residents in Cape May are elderly people and rich people, neither of whom are frequently aware it's even a holiday, never mind one where you give out candy. My sisters and I used to get everything from change to regular-sized chocolate bars in our trick-or-treat bags. One memorable year, a woman gave out old kids' books. She had quite a few Star Wars books among them, but I was getting a lot of flack for my obsession at the time and only picked this one.

It wasn't hard to remember why I specifically chose this one. First of all, I loved the lush illustrations. The sketchy, comic-y style of Rebellious Robot has here been replaced by fairly realistic interpretations of the characters. This especially suits Leia - the illustrations look almost exactly like Carrie Fisher. It doesn't work quite as well with her men (Han looks really off), but anything that has fur comes out nicely. Chewie's not bad, and the Ewoks are utterly adorable. I love Wicket hiding his eyes behind his paws, not once, but twice. (First when Luke lifts Threepio's throne into the air, and later when the Imperials are raiding the bunker.) It is a little odd that Leia is drawn wearing her long hair and Ewok-made dress during the bunker raid when she'd switched back to her green poncho by that point in the actual film. (And I would love to know if there were any other paperback Jedi picture books with this art style, especially from the first half of the movie in Jabba's palace. Or better yet, books from the other two movies.)

I had lunch at Capitol Pizza, which is only a block away from the House of Fun. It was nearly 2:30 by then. They were pretty dead except the two guys putting together pizza boxes. I had my usual slice of cheese and slice of mushroom with a can of Diet Pepsi while a talk show did a fashion show inspired by "Americana" and the beginning of baseball season on TV. (The mushroom pizza was a bit different today - they added cheese on top of the mushrooms, along with under it. Very yummy.)

Made a very quick stop at WaWa for skim milk before heading back to West Clinton Avenue. All the kids were out of school by this point. It was more like a street fair than a line of school kids, with many of the older children lingering to get a slice of pizza at Phillies Phatties, pop in to visit friends at Studio LuLoo, or grabbing an iced tea at Common Grounds. Phillies Yummies opened for the season last week. I couldn't resist joining the kiddies and getting myself a small cup of ice cream, my first of the year. The Birthday Cake was very, very sweet, with orange and turquoise "icing" pieces in with the blue swirl.

When I got in, I called Mom. I hadn't heard from her in a while, including on Easter Day. Turns out there was a good reason for that. She worked at the Ferry all of Easter Day. She's apparently been working long hours on the weekends so she can free up weekdays to take care of Dad. (And because, this being the off season, there really isn't much need of her during the weekdays.)

Spent the next few hours writing. Han and Leia finish their argument with Han storming off to leave. He doesn't get far when he finds Luke stumbling in the cold. Luke had gone to buy food and clothing for the poor families of a near-by village, but he got lost in a blizzard while coming back and was attacked by a snow monster. Han brings him back in the Falcon, where Luke heals and he and Han continue to annoy Leia. She just doesn't want to admit her feelings for Han or anyone - she has a rebellion to run, darn it!

Meanwhile, Vader has figured out just who got the Sith Dragons to turn on him. He's determined to get Luke's strong Force powers and will do anything necessary to find him.

Ran Lover Come Back while turning the last of the turkey ham and sweet potatoes into Ham and Vegetable Soup and making Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies for dessert. Doris Day is an advertising executive who is thoroughly disgusted when one of the heads of a rival firm (Rock Hudson) throws a crazy party, complete with half-naked women, to grab a major client. She goes on the warpath, getting him thrown in front of the Advertising Council. They dismiss the charges, but the girl he more-or-less paid to lie to them wants to know when she's going to get on TV. He makes a series of phony commercials to placate her, but his buddy (Tony Randall) accidentally lets them slip on the airwaves. Day sees their success and decides she wants a piece of the pie. Her rival creates a phony good-guy scientist character to throw her off the scent, but has second thoughts about his lying when he actually falls for her.

Unfortunately, time has not been kind to this candy-colored piece of fluff. While Hudson, Day, and Randall do what they can to keep the proceedings charming and fun, Hudson's character comes off as an even bigger jerk than he did in Pillow Talk. Really, you wonder why Day believes his blatant fibs and doesn't throw him off long before they're in her bedroom together, or why anyone believes him. The ending probably would have been risque in the early 60's; nowadays, it's more obnoxious than anything.

If you're a fan of Day, Hudson, or Randall or more into romantic comedies than I am, you might get more out of this romp than I did.

And after it being cloudy for most of the day (and raining once for about ten seconds on my way between the House of Fun and Capitol Pizza), it finally poured earlier tonight. I don't think it's doing anything out there now.

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