Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Really Wild West

Began the day with a couple of Disney cartoons while I had a late breakfast. "Autumn" is what it says on the tin, an early black-and-white Silly Symphony short. Animals gather food, avoid predators, and dance together as they prepare for the winter.

The other two I did were Donald/Chip & Dale romps. "Donald Applecore" has Donald attempting to gather his apple crop...but Chip and Dale want it, too. "Out of Scale" may be the only time these three ever came to an agreement on something. Chip and Dale's tree is taking up space in Donald's outdoor model railroad. The duo finally find a way for it to fit in, without destroying Don's hard work or their home.

Headed out for my first run around 11:30. I had to get the laundry done. I shouldn't have put it off yesterday...but then again, maybe it's a good thing. It was dead when I came in, and didn't get much busier. I didn't have a huge load anyway. I was out in less than an hour.

I put everything away, then went right back out. Stopped at Capitol Pizza really quick for lunch around 1:30. I ordered a slice of cheese, a slice of mushroom, and a can of Diet Pepsi. Enjoyed my meal while watching The Chew. I wish I'd been able to stay for the whole thing. Alton Brown was one of their guests. I still have a couple of Good Eats show sets and cookbooks from when Lauren was crazy about him around 2009. (Evidently, he's going to have Broadway's first cooking show in November, which is awesome.)

Made a quick stop at Dollar Tree for tissues. I forgot to pick them up at the Acme yesterday. Thank goodness the line was short, which is rare at Dollar Tree. I was in and out in five minutes.

Got into Haddonfield just in time for counseling. We discussed my quiet month, how well the Eagles have been doing...and my shopping habits. I've realized the past month that I don't actually shop that much. I generally stay out of malls unless I need something from them, and even then, I often end up in discount retailers like Target. (It doesn't help that getting to the malls requires a hike to a bus stop, and then anything from a 20 minute to an hour ride on a bus.) Every stick of furniture in my apartment either came with the house, was given to me by a relative, was bought with money given to me by a relative for a holiday or my birthday, or came from a yard sale. I'd rather buy most things used. My overspending on vacation last month is fairly rare. (And even then, we did do some shopping at Christmas Tree Shops and Target.)

Work has really been stressing me out. I hate it when three or four managers will give me orders at once...and usually not let me finish what I was doing before! We're supposed to be getting remodeled in a few weeks, too. While we'll apparently be getting new freezers out of the deal, we'll also be getting that completely unnecessary Starbucks. There's been a lot of grumbling about the timing, too. We're going into our busy season. It'll be a mess in there during the year's major food holidays.

On the other hand, we're now officially in my favorite time of the year. I love fall. The weather is perfect. Everything tastes of apple, pumpkin, or spices. There's so many events going on - book sales, fairs, festivals, block parties, flea markets, farm markets, bazaars, hay rides. The Collingswood Book Festival is this Saturday; the Voorhees Library book sale will likely be the weekend before Columbus Day. I'm very much looking forward to both.

Halloween has grown on me over the last few decade or so. It used to be one of my least-favorite holidays as a kid. Trick-or-treating never really caught on with me. I'm not into horror movies or partying, which is what most single adults do for this holiday. I do enjoy dressing up and taking part in Oaklyn's town parade. I love giving out candy at Dad's when I'm not working.

This is also one of the few holidays that's relatively singles-friendly. You don't need a crowd to throw together a costume, hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, or march in a parade. It's really easier for me to do all these things on my own.

By the time I got out, the clouds and rain from early this morning had long been replaced by blue skies. Though it remained a bit humid, decent 78-degree temperatures (according to that digital sign at the Westmont Fire House) kept it from feeling overwhelming. I celebrated the fall weather with a medium chocolate-peanut butter water ice at Primo's. Timed it well, too. A few minutes after I sat down on the black metal bench outside with my treat, the place was swarming with teens just out of school.

Went home via Newton Lake Park. It was a gorgeous day for a ride in the park...and I wasn't the only one who thought so! I dodged tons of joggers, bikers, couples out for a stroll, and families pushing strollers. Teens sat at picnic tables and chatted; elementary schoolers relaxed in the grass while doing homework. It got so busy, I just ended up taking a shortcut, hauling my bike over one of the stone staircases.

Worked on writing for the rest of the evening. Luke's not impressed with Hank's beloved, dilapidated fishing boat the Millennium Falcon. Hank insists she's the fastest fishing boat there is. He's installed a special engine in her for smuggling trips. They'll get to the island in no time. Too bad poor Chip isn't handling the journey well. He's rather sea-sick.

Tried a new recipe for dinner. Tomatoes and White Beans with Parmesan is just that - tomatoes and white beans cooked together, with Parmesan cheese added at the last minute. I threw in bok choy, eggplant, and green peppers for more vitamins (and to replace the fresh basil I don't have). Yum. A nice, simple, fairly fast blending of flavors. I'll have to make this more often. I could probably used canned diced tomatoes in the winter.

Ran Blazing Saddles as I ate. Local attorney general Hedley Lamaar (Harvey Korman) wants to direct the railroad right through the little town of Rock Ridge. He hopes to drive out the citizens by sending them Bart, a black man (Cleavon Little) as their sheriff. Needless to say, the citizens aren't happy about it at first...except the alcoholic former gunslinger The Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) and German chanteuse Lilli Von Shutup (Madeline Khan). When Lamaar gets tired of waiting and hires more gunmen to clear out Rock Ridge, Bart convinces everyone to fight back, in a battle that eventually takes over the entire Warners back lot!

One of Brooks' most popular spoofs takes on western cliches and racism - and both are more relevant today than ever. (Richard Pryor worked on the script for this, which explains a lot about the jokes.) I had this on in honor of Gene Wilder's passing a few weeks ago. I always liked his odd, soft-spoken Waco Kid.

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