Monday, July 04, 2016

Star Spangled Woman

Started a cloudy, cool Fourth of July with poems and book excerpts. Collier's Book of Holidays featured a chapter on the Ingalls' Fourth of July celebration in a small backwoods town from Little Town on the Prairie, Paul Revere's Ride in its entirety, a couple of poems, and "The Star Spangled Banner." I next did the last chapter of Kirsten Saves the Day, which details Kirsten's family's trip to the nearest town for their Fourth of July festivities.

Finished up with three short stories from the Disney America anthology book from the 60's. One was Ben and Me, the cute tale of a mouse who helped create many of Ben Franklin's most famous inventions. The other two detailed Paul Revere's famous ride and adapted the Disney Davy Crockett TV mini-series.

After I finished my journal, I moved onto breakfast and a few quick shorts before early work. "Donald's Failed Fourth" is one of the Mickey Mouse Works shorts from the early 2000s. Donald wants to set up a Fourth of July picnic in front of the fireworks for Daisy, but the blanket and chairs keep giving him trouble.

Bugs is a "Bunker Hill Bunny" when he has to defend his American fort against Sam the Hessian Soldier. Porky Pig learns about the importance of the Pledge of Allegiance in the unusually stirring "Old Glory."

In "Pinky Doodle," the Pink Panther wants to send out pamphlets detailing American independence to all of Philadelphia. He makes the mistake of choosing a Red Coat horse who may not let him get very far!

Headed to work around 8:30. Despite the gloomy day, work was busy for almost the entire morning. I did get a few returns in, but I was mainly either retrieving carts or stuck in a register. I would rather have been doing carts. They kept vanishing all morning.

I was so happy when it slowed down long enough for me to head out! I went straight home. I spent the next few hours making whipped topping for the Summer Berry Cupcakes (with the Acme generic Cool Whip, powdered sugar, and the last of the coconut milk) while watching 1776. This rousing musical tells how John Adams (William Daniels), Ben Franklin (Howard Da Silva), and Thomas Jefferson (Ken Howard) created the Declaration of Independence to convince Congress to vote for the US breaking away from England. It's a lot more suspenseful and interesting than the American Revolution ever comes off in textbooks. (For those of you who are fans of another musical about a Founding Father, Hamilton, this one might make a nice companion show.)

As much as I love 1776, it's one of the last of the big 60's-70's Broadway adaptations and is over 2 and a half hours long. I didn't make it to Dad's house until after 4:30. Dad and Jodie are away, but they let Rose and their neighbor Sandy use the house and pool for a party. Along with Sandy, Rose, and her family, I saw Craig's parents, Jodie's son Jesse, his girlfriend Dana, and their spaniel mix Helio, and several neighbors and their children.

I arrived just as they were bringing the food out. Rose and Sandy laid out quite a spread. I saw cheeseburgers, hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, veggie-pasta salad, deviled eggs, more traditional macaroni salad, potato salad, a vegetable salad with a spicy ranch dressing, a bowl of strawberries and blueberries, a vegetable plate, small loves of crusty bread, and Parmesan flatbread crackers. Dessert included a cake from the Acme, my Summer Berry Cupcakes, Rose's divine Key Lime Pie, and sliced watermelon. I had a burger, watermelon, the veggie-pasta and spicy salad, a couple of strawberries, two slices of cake, one slice of Key Lime Pie, and some crackers. (I later took home macaroni salad, two pieces of chicken, spicy salad, bread, and the last two deviled eggs.) I ate while chatting with the adults and listening to a family across the street play a noisy and intense game of softball in the street.

After I finished dinner, I hit the pool with the kids and Craig's parents for an hour. The pool was surprisingly warm for a day that couldn't have been hotter than the upper 70's - lower 80's. The dark clouds continued to build, even as I watched the three boys and one girl (someone's cousin visiting from Puerto Rico) cannonball into the water.

Thankfully, we got everything and everyone inside or under wraps well before the rain finally started. I chatted a bit with Jesse, Dana, Rose, and one of the neighbors. Rose and her neighbor talked about their travels to Cancun and Costa Rica in their younger years. I told Jesse and Dana my problems with the Acme job. I don't like it, but I'm not good at networking, and I don't know how I could apply my Communications degree to real work. They suggested temp agencies and talking to family.

By 8, I was just hanging out with Khai and his friends from the neighborhood in the den, watching the Nickelodeon cartoon The Loud House (about a boy who is constantly trying to avoid his ten sisters). The rain was still coming down at a pretty good clip. Craig ended up driving me, my leftovers plate, and my bike home.

Ran a few remaining cartoons while I got organized. Popeye's nephews want to spend their holiday setting off fireworks. Their uncle teaches them how to play it safe on the Fourth in "Patriotic Popeye."

"The Yankee Doodle Mouse" was the first Tom & Jerry cartoon to win an Oscar. The cat and mouse celebrate their Fourth by waging their own kind of war in a fireworks factory.

As  you may have guessed from the rain, the fireworks were canceled in most places today. Collingswood will be holding theirs tomorrow. I should be able to go. At any rate, I hope all of you had a wonderful (and dry) Fourth of July! (And that our neighbors to the north enjoyed their Canada Day on the 1st.)

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