Monday, June 27, 2016

It's a Hot Summer, Charlie Brown

Started a sunny morning with breakfast and the Peanuts. The Peanuts gang is best known for their holiday specials, but there were just as many that had nothing to do with holidays, like the (relatively) recent He's a Bully, Charlie Brown. For once in his life, Charlie Brown gets mad when a bully at camp challenges little or inexperienced kids to games and keeping their marbles when they lose. Re-run, the youngest member of the group, is one of his victims. Charlie Brown learns about the finer points of playing marbles with Snoopy until he's ready to beat that bully at his own game.

I had a huge pile of laundry to get done, including the towels Lauren used when she was here. I didn't do it last week because I did it twice the week before. It was somewhat quiet when I went in around quarter after 11, with one family and maybe one other person. I had a lot of time to work on notes for both my current story, and a revised version of one of my other ideas.

While I still want to do a comic action story set in the 80's, I really don't know much about high school in that decade. I do remember summer resorts in the 80's very well, though. The story is now set during the summer of 1983 and has been moved from a fictional Philadelphia suburb to a fictional Jersey Shore town.

Leia and Luke Walker are just out of high school and are celebrating their last two months of freedom before she goes to college for political science and he joins the Air Force. Uncle Ben, a local beach bum, owns a series of dilapidated cottages on the beach at the edge of town. He'll let them rent a cottage and keep an eye on them, and they'll run chores and help him with the cottages' upkeep. Things go south very quickly when Leia discovers that a nasty corporation wants to buy the cottages, tear them down, force out the permanent residents, and build an elaborate hotel and mall in their place. The Imperial Gang, a motorcycle group, has been threatening the residents and Uncle Ben for months. She and Luke rally the residents, including shady fisherman Hank Solokowski, his British buddy Charlie Bachman, Luke's Air Force friend Walter "Wedge" Antilles, and foreign nerds Chip and Arturro, to help fight back.

The movies of the 80's and early 90's are still the inspiration, but this time, I'm turning to summer and vacation-themed comedies like Caddyshack, One Crazy Summer, Summer Rental, Summer SchoolThe Great Outdoors, and Captain Ron, as well as slobs-vs-snobs tales like the Police Academy movies. I'll also try to incorporate my own childhood memories of life in a Jersey Shore resort town in the mid-80's via a group of neighborhood grade-school-age kids who dress like savage bears and call themselves The Ewoks.

When I got home, I put everything away, then went on the computer to work on my story. I mostly did some revising. I had Harry able to punch Vader and distract him long enough for Charel to get Luke away and all of them to dash for the exit.

I also went back and added Luke to Leia's discovery of their trashed apartment and the subsequent car chase. I wanted to more firmly establish the bond between them and Luke's sunny, anything-for-adventure personality. Threw in a mention that they were able to pack clothes and pick up some supplies before they left for Alderaan House.

Finished out It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown and an episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show while I ate a fast lunch. Chuck and the boys aren't nearly as lucky during another summer camp trip. The girls keep trouncing them at every single event, and they brag rather obnoxiously about it. Fed up with their teasing, Charlie Brown finally sees something that may finally show the girls they're winners - Snoopy (in his Masked Marvel guise) playing Lucy at arm wrestling.

The Saturday morning cartoon episode was more random. The gags with Re-run on his mom's bike were familiar - they would be reused in I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown.

Headed to work around 1:30. Work wasn't too bad when I arrived. I spent the first two hours of my shift doing returns. It picked up considerably during rush hour. The lines got really long and really cranky. I spent the last hour and a half rounding up carts, the last hour totally on my own.I really had a hard time. I tried to push too many carts and too many different carts at the same time. They kept coming apart and rolling off and getting in the way of cars. I was so frustrated.

Dark clouds were gathering, even as I pushed carts into place. Since it was dinnertime when I finished, I headed to Arby's for a fast meal before the rain hit. Surprisingly for 6 PM, there was no one in the dining area when I arrived, and only a few showed up after me. I had a beef gyro and curly fries. It was ok, but I think I liked the slightly more flavorful turkey one better.

Finished the night in the bath. Ahh. I needed that after spending today and all weekend returning carts. I don't have another day off until Friday. I read the Star Wars FAQ and listened to one of my Reader's Digest Collection of Great Operettas CDs. Oh, and it finally did rain...a couple of hours ago, well after I got home.

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