Friday, September 16, 2016

It's a Grand Night for Cleaning

I began another glorious, breezy late summer morning with writing. Hank's trying his hardest to flirt with Leia. She's more focused on saving the Cottages than on how he feels about her. He claims to not care about the Cottages, insisting that he's on the run from local gangster Jasper Hutt. He intends for him and Charlie to clear out as soon as they can make enough money. She wishes he'd help. He lives there, too. He says he has no interest in anyone's cause.

Work was even quieter today than it was yesterday. It's the middle of a month and a gorgeous day, and we're between holidays. I was immediately told to vacuum the damn freezer leaks again. This was weird. It wasn't humid at all? Why were they leaking? I finally decided that the head of the frozen food department was right. The sandbags needed to be changed again. That took the better part of an hour, but it was worth it. The freezers did look better when I finished.

Of course, the moment I finished, I got called out to help the head manager with carts. I wouldn't have minded that...except I was 10 minutes from break. Of course my break ended up being a half-hour late. Later, I had to take out the outdoor trash. I wouldn't have minded that either, if someone hadn't tossed their whole order into one.

I was very grateful when I finally got off work. Got my schedule first. It's...exactly the same as last week. Same hours, same days off. On one hand, that means I'll be able to get more writing done and enjoy the many fairs, block parties, yard sales, and flea markets planned for tomorrow and next Saturday. On the other hand, I really could use more hours.

It's probably just as well that I didn't need much in the way of groceries. I was mostly restocking my pantry. Bought diced tomatoes, black beans, crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges, canned apricots, honey, and molasses. The Acme/Safeway generic brand cereal was on a really good sale - went with bran flakes. My order went through, but I couldn't take out money. I guess my paycheck was still processing. (I direct deposit.)

When I got home, I put everything away, then ate leftovers for dinner while finishing out Animal Crackers. Moved to the 1945 version of State Fair while dusting the living room. The Frake family has high hopes for this year's Iowa State Fair. Mrs. Frake (Faye Bannier) is entering her pickles and her (extremely brandy-spiked) mincemeat. Margy (Jeanne Crain) just wants to get out of town and get away from her bore of a boyfriend. Wayne (Dick Haymes) wants to get back at a fellow who humiliated him at the ring toss the year before. Mr. Frake (Charles Winninger) has been raising Blue Boy, an enormous hog, and bets with a gloomy neighbor that he'll win first prize. Everyone gets what they want in the end...including the kids. Wayne falls for a stunning singer (Vivian Blaine), but she's got her own problems. Margy has more luck with a dashing reporter (Dana Andrews).

State Fair was Rogers and Hammerstein's first musical for the big screen, and would be their only original. I've always liked this one. This is another movie Mom used to rent for us a lot before we finally got our own copy later in the 90's. Margy's ballad "It Might as Well Be Spring" won Rogers and Hammerstein's only Oscar for best song, but I prefer the ensemble number "It's a Grand Night For Singing." Sexy Andrews and sassy Crain are having a lot more fun than the stiff Haymes and Blaine. Bannier and Winninger are adorable as the parents.

If you're a fan of the cast, 40's musicals, or Rogers and Hammerstein, this is one of their most charming musicals and is recommended. (There was also a 1962 film and a 1997 stage version. They're just ok.)

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