Friday, July 22, 2016

Hot Fun In the Summertime

Started off a sunny morning with breakfast and Kingsmen: The Secret Service. The Kingsmen are a private spy organization with code names based around Arthurian legends. Harry, aka "Galahad" recruits a young street punk named Eggsy (Taron Egerton), to take part in a rigorous spy youth training program. While Eggsy trains with the cream of the upper-crust crop (and deals with their taunts over his lower-class status), Harry tries to convince his superior Arthur (Michael Caine) that the Kingsmen have to keep up with the times. Meanwhile, billionaire software creator Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) has come up with a new microchip that can instantly cause anyone who accesses their smart phones to become a killer. He's implanted microchips into hundreds of world leaders as well...including ones at Kingsman. When their leaders are killed, Eggsy, his fellow trainee Roxy, and their teacher have to infiltrate Valentine's secret lair and stop the genocide from taking place.

2015 was a great year for fun spy movies. This is the fourth spy-themed film I've seen in the past month that I really enjoyed. Kingsman is sort of a blend of Spy and Spectre - a dark comedy that spoofs the more over-the-top aspects of the James Bond movies and other spy-based media. As such, it's occasionally too dark and a bit too violent for everyone. It's not overly bloody, but there's a lot of comic shooting, fist-fights, a full-on brawl, etc. And I had no idea this was originally a comic book, The Secret Service. I love all the obscure comic books that producers have been adapting lately. I didn't know there were so many I'd never heard of. (See also Big Hero 6 and Guardians of the Galaxy.)

For teens on up, if you love the campier tone of the Roger Moore Bond films or some of the stranger action movies of the 80's and 90's, this darkly humorous bit of camp is recommended.

Headed out around quarter of noon for a major errand run at the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center. Stopped at Applebee's for lunch first. Considering it was the lunch hour, they were surprisingly quiet. I only saw a few families and groups of office workers, along with the patrons at the bar. I enjoyed the lunch combo. Had the house salad with bacon, honey crusted chicken fingers, and fries. The honey crusted chicken fingers were a little more crusted than I thought they'd be, but they weren't bad. The fries were divine, hot and salty, with the skins on the ends. (And they tasted good laying in pools of the honey glaze from the chicken, too.) Treated myself to a strawberry lemonade and a brownie bite with vanilla ice cream.

Went to the main mall area next. I needed a few clothes items I couldn't put off anymore. My errand-running sneakers are literally falling apart. That's what I get for buying cheap Champion sneakers from Payless. Found a pair of Easy Spirit running shoes on sale for $29.95 that were exactly what I was looking for. Avenue was also having huge summer sales. The thighs of the work pants I bought at Macy's a little over a month ago have already blown out. I don't like the satin finish or the straight-up-and-down design of the ones I bought today, but at least they're heavier and may last a bit longer.

Didn't have a ton of grocery shopping I needed to do. It was more expensive stuff than lots of it. Restocked tuna, cooking spray, peanut butter, jam (Smuckers was on a good sale - grabbed their Natural Orange Marmalade), honey, milk, eggs, chicken, and cereal (used another Grainberry coupon - got their version of Honey Nut Cheerios this time). They had a rare good sale on Fig Newtons - went with Triple Berry. Raided the clearance spices and flavorings again to stock up on ginger, cloves, and parsley flakes.

My schedule next week is more-or-less the same as this week, only with Wednesday off instead of Saturday and two 9 to 3 days. While this does mean I'll have to miss the Collingswood Farm Market next week, I'll also be able to attend both family functions. My sister Anny is having a double birthday party for her son Skylar (he's 12) and get-well-soon party for Dad-Bill after he goes into chemotherapy (while he can still eat anything) on Wednesday. It's pure luck that I happened to get that day off this week. (In fact, I called Anny while I was at the Acme and told her I was free to go.) Jodie's birthday party for Dad-Bruce is Saturday evening.

I brought everything home, put it all away, then went right back out. Despite the mid-90's heat and heavy humidity, I really needed to get to the Haddon Township Library. I had movies to return. Even Newton River Park seemed to wilt in the heat. The grass is looking brown and brittle, and algae is spreading across the lake like a noxious green cloud. I saw a few devoted fishermen and one walker, and that was it. Didn't even see any Canadian geese.

The Haddon Township Library was fairly busy when I arrived, probably with people looking for things to do while weathering the heat wave this weekend. I mostly stuck to organizing the kids' DVDs. I had no idea if they wanted someone to do the adult titles.

Took out a few movies this week. I didn't get to the 1995 Sabrina last week, so I thought I'd try again. Ant-Man is the only movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on DVD I haven't seen yet. I'm not generally fond of Elvis movies, but I do have a soft spot for Viva Los Vegas, mainly because Ann-Margaret is a perfect partner for him.

Made one last stop at Dollar Tree on the way home. I picked up birthday cards for Skylar and Dad-Bruce and a get-well-soon card for Dad-Bill. Grabbed water to help with the heat on the ride home as well.

When I got in, I worked on writing for a few hours. Leia has ridden Chewie into a maze of close-together deep-see reefs. Too close. Leia is nearly trapped in them...until Chewie gets scared and crashes a hole through the brush.

Finished out the night with leftovers for dinner and a quick episode of Tiny Toon Adventures. "Toon TV" from the fourth season was their second spoof of MTV and music videos. My favorite shorts this time around were Elmyra's hilarious version of "The Name Game" and Plucky's "Yackety Yak."

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