Saturday, September 03, 2016

Farm Market Fantasy

Began a cloudy and cool morning with breakfast and Sailor Moon. Chibi-Usa is in the spotlight in an unusual episode from the second season. The Guardians and the cats have joined Rei, who is on a tropical island to work on spiritual training. Chibi-Usa gets upset with the others and drifts out too far on her inner tube. She's rescued from sharks by a baby dinosaur and makes friends with it. The dinosaur's mother finally comes for her baby...just as the volcano on the island they've ended up on is about to go off...

Headed out to the Collingswood Farm Market around 10:30. Despite the chilly, windy morning, the place was packed. I couldn't move without hitting an elbow. Everyone wanted produce, meat, cheese, and honey for their Labor Day barbecues. The tables are still spilling over with the summer harvest. The fall harvest is slowly debuting, too. I saw acorn squash and pears for the first time today. I ended up with three little onions (one red, two white), Gala apples, a sugar baby (small dark green) watermelon, a tomato, a zucchini, and one of the acorn squash.

Next stop was WaWa for skim milk. Wow. The Collingswood WaWa had really changed since the last time I was in there. It's now all wood-grained paneling and rough boxy siding. It looks really great, almost warmer, even. I really need to check and see if Oaklyn got that same upgrade when they were remodeled a few weeks ago.

Headed home via Newton River Park, passing through the parking lot at the CVS on the border of Oaklyn and Collingswood. There was some kind of party or fair going on at the park, but by then, it was quarter of noon and looked like it was ending. I saw a colorful bounce house and the tops of white tents flapping in the wind. Got to say "hi" to Dad-Bruce briefly as I made my way up the hill to Newton Avenue. He was in his car, probably on his way home from running errands.

I was at home long enough to put everything away before heading right back out. I wanted to hit the Oaklyn Library today. They were pretty quiet, with just two old ladies gossiping about everything they were reading online the only people there besides the librarian. It was probably just as well. I had a lot to do. The kids' DVDs weren't bad, but the adult ones were a mess. The kids' books weren't much better. I need to totally re-organize the graphic novels. (Which basically amounts to "anything related to a comic book, sci-fi, or cartoon franchise that isn't Disney fairy tales.") In the meantime, I gave the picture books and board books a good combing-through.

Debated having lunch at the Oaklyn Manor Bar. I heard live music coming from their outside patio, but it did seem kind of noisy up there. I decided I'd rather have a nice quiet lunch. I enjoyed a slice of spinach, tomato, and feta quiche and a Deb's Spicy-Sweet Iced Tea at Common Grounds Coffee House instead. They were dead, with only one other guy there.

Though the clouds were disappearing by 1:30, it remained windy and very cool. I spent the rest of the afternoon inside, working on my story. Jyn says her dad once worked for Empire Industries. Leia says she'll be the one who checks it out.

Had leftovers for dinner, then baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Watched The Nutcracker Sweet while I worked. This CGI rendition of the beloved Christmas story from last year has Marie Stalhbaum and her brother Fritz constantly at odds. Marie doesn't tell him when she sees her beloved Nutcracker doll come to life and fight the Mouse King. Her parents and godparents laugh at her ideas, and she thinks he will, too. She eventually follows the Nutcracker to the Land of Toys to help restore his human form and stop the Mouse King from taking over. Fritz, tired of his sister not sharing, follows. The two learn just how important teamwork is when they have to band together to end the Mouse King's reign.

This was...odd. Very odd. The animation is simplistic and kind of ugly, but some of it is well-done. There's some really strange ideas - the tree-creatures that throw characters around in the climatic battle look like they belong in Lord of the Rings, and the toy designs of some characters after they end up in the fantasy world is downright disturbing.

On the other hand, I do like the emphasis on Marie and Fritz's relationship. In the ballet and E.A Hoffman's original story, Fritz is prominent during the first third of the tale, during the ball, where he breaks the Nutcracker. He disappears thereafter, not to be seen again. Here, Fritz is equally as important as Marie, and in fact, it's their love for each other that ends up saving the Nutcracker.

This is cute, but not that great. Not too bad if you run into it, but not really worth tracking down unless you have to see every version of The Nutcracker.

Finished out the night in a nice, warm bath. Ahhh. I needed that badly after the stressful and often frustrating couple of weeks I've had. I soaked in peppermint-scented bath water and looked over Christmas craft books for gift ideas while listening to one of my jazz CDs.

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