Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We Weren't Born to Follow

Though I was hoping to sleep in, I got up earlier than Lauren did, around 8. I read The Secret Garden and wrote in my journal, then fiddled around online until I started to hear Charlie running tools and cursing his brains out downstairs. That finally got Lauren out of bed.

I had breakfast while Lauren got organized. Ran a vacation-themed episode of Tiny Toon Adventures while I cleaned up my dishes. "Around Europe In 30 Minutes" has Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Hampton on a very rushed tour around Europe. Things pick up in England, where the rabbits run into a plot to kidnap the royals and Hampton and Plucky almost end up on Buckingham Palace's dinner menu.

Lauren and I were out of the house by 10:30. It was a gorgeous day for it, sunny and windy, if warmer and a little more humid than yesterday. Our first stop was the House of Fun. They were the same happy, messy jumble of toys and pop culture debris as ever. We didn't make any finds there, though.

Next, we trekked across the White Horse Pike, over the train bridge, and into Audubon to visit Bob at Abbie Road. We were there for about a half-hour, looking over his 2-dollar used CD's and chatting about work and the Red Sox. Lauren mostly bought jazz, country, and Dixieland. I bought:

Billy Joel - An Innocent Man (cassette replacement)

Bon Jovi - Greatest Hits

Those Malt Shop Memories: Save the Last Dance For Me (Time-Life collection of 50's and 60's rock and pop.)

We were both hungry (Lauren doesn't eat breakfast - she says she doesn't get hungry in the morning) and it was getting much hotter. It was time for lunch. We headed down Nicholson Road and past churches and WalMart to eat at Sonic. Despite the heat, there was a nice breeze that felt good as we sat down at the patio. They were really busy, too. There were a lot of other families and workers from the shopping center enjoying an outdoor meal. We both had the Deluxe Chicken Club. Lauren had the onion rings and cranberry limeade. I had the tater tots and cherry limeade. We enjoyed our meal while Lauren texted her parents about it. (They wanted to order chili dogs. ;) )

Hit Game Stop next. Lauren didn't get anything, but I found Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. I wanted at least one of the Lego Indiana Jones games after I really enjoyed Lego Star Wars. I also grabbed Super Mario All-Stars, the port of the much-loved Super Nintendo collection of the first three Mario games, plus "The Lost Levels" (aka the original Super Mario 2 in Japan).

Made a brief stop at the Acme to use the bathroom and pick up drinks. Lauren bought Canada Dry Green Tea Soda. I grabbed parchment paper (I've forgotten it for weeks), skim milk, and a bottle of Acme's generic Apple Cider sparkling water for 39 cents on clearance. Got some money to last me until Friday, too. And no wonder I got the whole week off. They were dead as a tomb when we went in there.

It was hot and getting hotter, and a little more humid. Time to head home. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing video games. Started Super Mario 3 on All-Stars when we got in. That didn't last long. We got through the first world, barely. Lauren did most of it. We both kept dying. After that, we started Kirby's Epic Yarn over, running through the first world in that game.

Lego Indiana Jones was a bit more complicated. Like Star Wars and most Lego games, you have to solve puzzles and build objects to get through the game. Unlike Star Wars, a lot of the puzzles involve aiming and shooting something, usually Indy's whip. The shooting isn't always obvious, and it took us a while to figure things out. (Especially the last level, where you have to yank the guy off the fire-spitting vehicle and let the fire hit him. It took us forever to figure that out. Lauren had to look up the solution on her phone.)

I put on The Outlaws Is Coming while making Tuscan Tuna Bean Salad for our dinner and then while taking a shower. The buffalo are dying, and the Indians are on the warpath. A reporter (Adam West) and his photographers (the 60's Three Stooges) are sent out West to find out how to save the buffalo. While West deals with Annie Oakley, the Stooges try to stop the gang of legendary outlaws (including Belle Starr, played by legendary Philly kid's show host Sally Starr) who are hunting down the buffalo to start a war between the settlers and the Indians.

We did something called Legends House while getting organized after dinner. Evidently, this was a reality show that had beloved wrestlers of the 80's and 90's spending a week in a house together. Lauren is a huge fan of some of those legends, especially Roddy "Rowdy" Piper.

Moved onto the Star Wars series after Legends House ended. Did The Empire Strikes Back first. And boy, do they ever! While Han and Leia are pursued by Darth Vader and the Empire (and fall deeply in love), Luke travels to swampy Dagobah to learn about the Force from the frog-like Jedi Master Yoda. Vader, however, is really after Luke. He uses Han and Leia to trap the knight-in-training, then deliver a whopper of a revelation...

We're finishing out the Star Wars series with Return of the Jedi.  Luke and the others head back to the desert to rescue Han from the nasty slug gangster Jabba the Hutt. Even after they get out of that, there's still Vader and the Emperor to contend with, not to mention a new Death Star. It's currently on Vader bringing Luke to Palapatine and Luke trying to talk Vader into admitting he still has feelings in that armor somewhere.

Empire has been my favorite movie since the late 80's. Return isn't quite at the same level, but it's not bad (and is certainly better than the prequels). You really can't go wrong with the Original Trilogy. There's at least 500 versions of these floating around, thanks to creator George Lucas' constant tinkering. Pick your favorite and have fun.

Tomorrow, we're going to head into Philly to check out the stores downtown, including the big Macy's and FYE.

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