Wednesday, September 14, 2016

All Summer Long

Started the day at work. Wish I hadn't. It was frustrating. I would start a job, and then I'd get called up front to go in for a cashier or take the one customer on the end of the line. We were dead all day. I didn't understand why the managers kept calling me until later. I finally asked the floral department manager (who was also constantly getting paged) what was going on. Evidently, the woman running the customer service desk had gone home sick, which threw the other managers into a panic when they had to take the desk. Ironically, for all the fussing, we were never more than mildly steady all morning. I was so happy when I finally rolled out around 1.

Went straight home. Had leftovers for lunch while watching two bizarre Danger Mouse shorts from its first season. The leaders of countries around the world seem to "Die Laughing" when they're attacked by a plague of red bugs. It turns out the bugs are tickle viruses sent by Baron Greenback to eliminate all world leaders and let him take over. Danger Mouse and Penfold have to scale a statue (of Lord Nelson) to foil his plan.

"The Dream Machine," a cloud that creates nightmares, first kidnaps Colonel K, then Danger Mouse and Penfold when they go after him. The two secret agents make their way through a surreal landscape of their worst fears that looks more like it belongs on Monty Python's Flying Circus than a kid's cartoon.

Worked on my fanfic for several hours, and for another hour later this evening. Leia and Han catch sight of a commotion at the entrance to Maz's. The Imperial Gang has raided the boardwalk and is shoving customers away. Maz tells them to get out. Ben tries quieter persuasion. Vader finally crosses the line when he starts flirting with Leia, getting on Han and Luke's goat, while his men pick on nerds Chip and Arturro. No one is thrilled, least of all Han, but before he can take a swing at Vader, Charlie's big hand yanks Vader back. The oversized Brit basically tells Vader and his men to get out, or else. But Vader had another reason for starting an altercation besides wanting to be a jerk...

Broke around 5:30 to run a few errands. Started at Dad and Jodie's. They're going on vacation to visit friends in Georgia and northern Florida starting tomorrow. They'll be gone until the 21st. That's why Dad wanted to close the pool now, despite it still being warm. (That and the leaves are really starting to come down.) I wanted to wish them "bon voyage" and get to chat with them one last time before they went. Got to say "hi" to Dana and one of the neighbors, too. They were about to order Chinese for dinner. I had other plans for dinner, so I moved along.

(I also needed to finally bring back the plastic containers I used for my leftovers at Dad's birthday party in late July. They've been on my kitchen table for almost two months. Every time I wanted to take them back, I'd be in a hurry and forget.)

Made a quick stop at CVS next. I had a few coupons for conditioner. I ended up using the one for the new Whole Blends, the coconut oil/cocoa butter blend. They had Jiff peanut butter on a decent sale. I grabbed the Natural Creamy.

It was a wonderful night for a ride. It had been hot all day, into the lower 90's. The dry air and cool breeze made the high temperature a lot more bearable than it had been in the summer. I really, really wish it would rain. Every time the weather reports say rain, it just passes us by. Even that Labor Day tropical storm missed us. I'm hoping we get something from the next round.

When I got home, I made Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip and sweet yellow Jersey corn on the cob for dinner. Watched American Grafitti as I ate. The last night of summer 1962 proves to be life-changing for four guys in a typical small southern California town. The high school president (Ron Howard) claims he wants to go to college, but it would mean leaving behind his steady girl (Cindy Williams). Her brother (Richard Dreyfuss) spends the night chasing a stunning blond in a Thunderbird (Suzanne Summers). The local greaser (Paul Le Mat) is challenged to a race by an obnoxious newcomer (Harrison Ford) and finds himself taking care of a feisty 13-year-old (MacKenzie Phillips). Their younger geek buddy (Charles Martin Smith) scores a statuesque blond (Candy Clark), but loses the car he gets her in. And all through the night, mysterious DJ Wolfman Jack (himself) takes requests and plays the music that shapes these kids' past, present...and future.

The grandfather of every 20th-century-set ensemble film, from Pirate Radio to Dazed and Confused. This was George Lucas' first big hit, and it launched the careers of much of its young cast (and helped launch Howard's adult career). Don't come in expecting a plot - it's really just a succession of scenes of the kids cruising, dancing, drinking, and making love to the tune of some of the most popular songs of the late 50's-early 60's. (The soundtrack album is recommended too - the music really is fabulous.)

If you're a fan of ensemble comedies, early rock, or any of the cast, this one is a favorite of mine and is very recommended.

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