Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dinosaur Dreamers and Mouse Musicians

Began another cloudy, cool morning at work. We were pretty busy. I spent most of the morning rounding up carts, though I did get to the trash at one point. Thankfully, they had enough help in the register that I wasn't necessary. I got in and out with no problems other than slightly sore arms.

By the time I finished at 1, the sun was trying to come out, and it had gotten a bit warmer. It had become a great afternoon for a Sonic picnic. I strolled over as soon as I let out of work. Not surprisingly, given it was the tail end of the lunch hour, they were still pretty busy. I ordered my usual grilled chicken sandwich, tater tots, and cherry limeade while working on story ideas and watched other diners. There were teens coming in from the shopping center to buy milkshakes and a mother and daughter who pretty much demanded taking half the condiments off their burgers.

Went right back to the Acme after lunch to do this week's grocery shopping. I needed quite a bit, especially to refill vegetables. Good thing there were some good sales. Bagged spinach was 99 cents. Also picked up pears, bananas, grapefruit, and a bag of cauliflower and broccoli. Needed a major pantry restock, too - canned pineapple, mandarin oranges, tomato sauce, apricots, chicken, corn meal, mini chocolate chips, white and brown sugar, and buy-one-get-one cake mix. Found a container of small cooked shrimp and crab cakes with manager's coupons.

Also got my schedule for this week. While I have fewer hours, they're a lot closer to what I usually have at this time of year...and I still have more than I did in January and February. Two days off, Thursday and Friday, which will be a big help. I want to get a lot done this week, including cleaning and finishing off the current story.

As soon as I got home, I put everything away, then went on the computer to do some writing (or re-writing, as the case may be). Actually, I did do some re-writing, eliminating the drugged gingerbread from the two-person ball. They're still at a dance, but Vader just shows up and knocks them both out with his dark powers. (I may save that "drugged" thing for a later story.) Han is taken to the dungeon and tortured by Vader until he's too weak to do much of anything, including come to Leia's rescue. Leia is locked in a tower with Cecil. She puts her hair out the window to let Cecil escape.

Han's tossed in the tower with her. She tries to use her powers and her hair to heal him, but Lando and Vader show up and end that idea real quick. Leia still defies her father's wishes, saying she'll marry no other man but Han. Angry over her letting Cecil go and trying to heal her lover, Vader cuts Leia's floor-length braids...and cuts off her healing powers.

I broke for dinner around 6. Finished out the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse set while making leftovers. "Mickey's Clubhouse Rocks" has everyone taking part in a big musical contest. Donald wants to join one of the bands, but he doesn't seem to fit in least, until Mickey and Minnie need his help with their song.

"Minnie and Daisy's Flower Shower" is a little stranger. Minnie and Daisy are frantic. It's the day of the flower show, and there isn't enough rain to water their gardens! Professor Ludvig Von Drake gives them glitter that'll fashion the clouds into the same shape as their gardens, then "seed" the clouds. (I skipped the last one, "Minnie's Mouske-Calender," which I believe was on a previous volume.)

I have no idea why "Mickey's Big Band Concert" was a bonus episode. It fits the music theme better than either "Flower Shower" or "Mouske-Calender." Mickey and the gang want to accompany elephants dancing at a big concert, but their instruments aren't working. They have to fix their instruments, then figure out how to play in harmony.

The disc ended with two quick Minnie Bow-Toons. Minnie and Daisy attempt some "Rooftop Repair" when their satellite dish gets scrambled on a windy day. The two get "Alarm Clocked Out" after spending a night trying to keep Daisy's new alarm clock from waking up Millie and Melody, who have school the next day.

Finished the night with the original Land Before Time while making my favorite Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies. This is the simple but touching tale of Little Foot, a "long neck" (an Apatosaurus), who is separated from his family and witness his mother's death while searching for the Great Valley. He ends up leading a motley crew of baby dinosaurs across a hostile, ever-changing landscape in search of some place safe to call home...and learns about the true nature of love, family, and friendship in the process.

Touching and surprisingly dark action-coming-of-age tale from Don Bluth. Despite the cute dinosaur babies, the first Land Before Time movie absolutely isn't for younger kids, thanks to the death of Little Foot's mother, the menacing "Sharp Tooth" (tyrannosaurus rex), and the constant peril. If you have little guys, start them with the later movies in this series instead. For older kids who love dinosaurs and can handle the trauma, this is a beautiful and moving animated film and is recommended.

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