Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sunshine Days

Honestly, I can't believe Lauren just went home a week ago. It feels more like a month.

Anyway, it started raining hard just as I got offline and went to bed last night. One good, hard storm did the trick. When I awoke this morning, the humidity was gone. It was still hot, but without the stifling humidity, the air was far more bearable. The wind was nice enough that I was able to turn off the air conditioners.

I had breakfast while watching an episode of Max & Ruby. "Ruby's Loose Tooth" has gone missing! Ruby wants to find it, so she can put it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. Max just wants a muffin. "Ruby Scores" against her guy friend Roger when she practices her soccer moves. Will Max's robots be more of a help or a hindrance? "Max's Sandcastle" will be a masterpiece...if Max can stop trying to get in the water long enough to bring his sister the items she needs to build it!

Spent the rest of the morning and some time this evening working on my 30's story. Vader and his men chase them down the hills towards the back roads of Los Angeles. As Leia holds them off, Ben tells them that the Jedi who watched over the Swords of the Guardians for centuries still exist...or their powers did, until Vader killed them all off shortly after the end of the Great War. Ben finally turns around several tight corners that leave Vader and his boys in a gorge.

Leia's in for a shock when they arrive at the air field. Harry's much-loved cargo plane, the Silver Falcon, is a piece of dilapidated, heavily patched junk. He claims it runs, and that's all Leia cares about. She wants him to take them to Coruscant. He says no way, that's Empire territory. If he's going to fly into danger, he wants $10,000. She tells him he'll get $5,000 and another $6,000 for rescuing the Swords. He finally agrees - he needs the money to pay off his very nasty boss.

Had middle-of-the-day work. It wasn't bad in the late morning and early afternoon. The nice day kept people out of the store and outside. I rounded up carts for a while, but I mostly did returns. I did go in for a cashier for a half-hour. It was just supposed to be for his 15-minute break, but that cashier always takes way too long on breaks.

The trouble started after my 1 PM break. We were already missing one cashier, and another had gone home sick. A second one went home sick shortly after I got off break, and we were getting busier. I got stuck in the register for over an hour. I barely had enough time after that to gather baskets and do some bagging.

One good thing did come out of being up front. Dad came through my line. He said he'd be around for August and would be happy to drive me whenever I wanted to go to Cherry Hill on the 15th. I'll buy the tickets next week, but this pretty much confirms that yes, I'll be up in New England from August 15th through August 21st.

Went straight home after work. When I got in, I made leftovers for dinner, then baked Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (a modified version of the Cupcakes recipe from The Holly Hobbie Cookbook).

Watched Nauticaa and the Valley of the Wind while I worked. In a post-apocalyptic future, Nausicaa is the princess of one of the few peaceful kingdoms left in the world. Humanity was almost wiped out by amazing giant creatures that could destroy in an instant. A toxic jungle grows and grows, but it hasn't reached the Valley of the Wind...yet. When a huge plane from across the sea crash-lands, it digs up a 1,000-year-old secret...and brings invaders from the East. One kingdom wants to make war and use the giant creature to take over the world. The other wants to use the huge, billion-eyed bugs from the toxic jungles to kill the war-making kingdom and burn the jungle to bring humanity back into prominence. The jungle, however, holds more secrets than anyone knows, including how to purify the jungle. Nausicaa goes with the war mongers, determined to prove that compassion and sacrifice, not death and war, are the answer to their problems.

My favorite thing about this was the title character. Nausicaa was amazing - strong, intelligent, and caring. She's devoted to her island and to trying to preserve its harmony with nature and its way of life. She can fight with the best of them when she has to - and you don't want to get her mad - but in the end, it's her good heart that really saves the day.

Unfortunately, not only is the supporting cast not at her level, but the anti-war and pro-nature messages were spread on fifty feet thick. I don't know if it's the translation, or if it was like this originally, but it's not subtle at all, and it gets annoying when they constantly bash you over the head with it. Also, the "dark, destroyed future" wasn't as overdone when this came out in the 90's. Though it's more colorful and less depressing than something like The Hunger Games, it still seems a little cliche now.

There was enough I enjoyed to put this in the "like" column. If you're a fan of anime, fantasy, or tales of dark futures or strong heroines, you may want to look this one up (if you can ignore the heavy-handed messages).

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