Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Spring Cleaning and Other Stormy Day Tales

It was still sunny, warm, and humid when I got up this morning. I started my day with more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In "Mickey's Mouskedoer Adventure," Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have to go into the Mouskedoer, the computer that uploads Toodles with the the Mousketools of the day, to repair it when the Liquid Light that runs it stops working. Professor Von Drake turns them into pixels and sends them into the digitized world of the Mouskedoer, turning into a cute spoof of the Tron movies. "Mickey's Mousketball" is a game played with an extra-bouncy ball in a bubble. If you can hold onto the ball for three seconds, you win...but that ball doesn't want to stay in one place for very long! When it gets out of the bubble, the Clubhouse gang chase after it.

I spent most of the morning vacuuming. Normally, this takes me about 20 minutes. With Lauren visiting next week, I decided to be a bit more thorough. I vacuumed under every single piece of furniture in the household that I could get the attachments in. Under the bed in particular was really, really bad. I haven't vacuumed under there in ages. My vacuum canister was more than half-full when I finished, and I just emptied the thing!

When I finally finished, I headed out to the Oaklyn Library for a walk and a volunteering session. It was nearly quarter after 1 by then. The sun that was out for most of the morning had given way to spotty but dark clouds. The weather and the lateness of the hour must have scared off customers. There were only a few people on the computer and the very young (and probably new - I'd never seen her before) librarian. She kept putting DVDs in the wrong place. No wonder they were so badly organized! It took me nearly 40 minutes just to get the adult titles in the right order. I once again didn't have the time to organize the kids' section before they shut down for the day.

My original plan was to hit Family Dollar after I left the library for duct tape. It was just starting to shower lightly when I headed out, and the clouds were getting heavier. I decided it wasn't worth getting drenched and went back to West Clinton for lunch. Ended up eating at Viola's International Deli. I had a tasty Chicken Caesar Wrap (grilled chicken, Caesar salad dressing, and Romane lettuce on a whole-wheat wrap) while listening to The Talk.

Thankfully, it waited until I was long home and on my laptop, working on another short story, to start storming. It was around 4 PM when the storm finally came in. And wow. This was our second huge storm in less than a week. Same deal - crazy wind and rain, lots of noise and pyrotechnics. It didn't last long. It was gone by the time I was off the computer and hasn't rained since, to my knowledge.

I finished the story around 5. This is another one based after my childhood. In 1985, my family moved to a 1920's-era cottage on the largely residential northern side of Cape May. It had a wide crawl space under the high porch where Rose and our friends and I would dig in the soft sand for the buried treasure we heard about in the pirate stories that abound in the Jersey Shore area. The only thing we ever found of interest was a heavy cinder block with initials carved into it. Rose and I spent so much time speculating about what those initials meant! Alas, we never found out. The porch was rebuilt a year later and the crawl space closed off, which put an end to our treasure hunting. I never forgot the fun of the chase and the brainstorming, though...

Treasure Hunt

The other story I posted this evening has more recent inspiration. I wrote this story about the joys of dolls and doll collecting about six or seven years ago, after I made a surprising find in a lot of the Sailor Moon dolls I collect on eBay. It's also a spoof of and homage to the girl-oriented action/fantasy cartoons of the 80's and 90's, including Sailor Moon and She-Ra.


Tomorrow, I think I'm either going to start the 30's Star Wars alternative universe (Leia is an Indiana Jones-style archaeologist, Luke is her reporter brother, Han's the pilot they hire to help them find a lost treasure) or the medieval fantasy (Leia is the daughter of a murdered knight who is searching for her lost brother and finds a mysterious, silent man). I realized after the last story that what I'm interested in right now is Han and Leia's relationship, and both of those stories will focus a lot on them. I'm also not up to either another three-part story or another long Original Trilogy retelling after the fairy tale series got really intense. I'll save the 80's and 70's AUs for when I have more time later in the summer.

Finished out Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while washing the windows, and later while making sauteed fingerling potatoes and steamed asparagus with leftover Meatloaf Muffins for dinner. "Mickey's Happy Mouskeday" is his birthday...which is spent helping the others and doing everything but the fun stuff they had planned. Mickey doesn't mind. For him, helping his friends is part of the fun. Tired of being crowded, "Donald's Brand New Clubhouse" is meant for him alone...but when it's finished, Donald decides it's not as much fun without the others. "Mickey's Mystery" is the gang's second Indiana Jones spoof. Kansas City Mickey is back, this time helping the Clubhouse crew find out what the strange temple with the mouse ears is.

Speaking of Indiana Jones, I returned to Harrison Ford for The Fugitive as I cleaned up from dinner. The title character is Dr. Richard Kimble (Ford), a surgeon who was accused and convicted of killing his wife. Thing is, he didn't do it. He was attacked by a one-armed man who was the real killer, but he vanished, and no one believes him. When the bus that was taking him to be executed is in an accident, he goes on the run. A local deputy sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) is assigned to find him, and becomes completely obsessed with it. As he follows Kimble to Chicago, he realizes that the man may be telling the truth - and there's more to this than just a robbery gone wrong.

Wow. My stepdad loved this movie in the early and mid 90's. I only remember bits and pieces of it (and I never saw the 60's show it was based on), but now I finally understand why it was a favorite of his. This features career-best performances from both Ford and Jones (I believe Jones was Oscar-nominated) and is a wonderfully intense and drawn-out mystery. Highly recommended for fans of the two leading men or exceptionally well-crafted thrillers.

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