Monday, November 21, 2016

The Great Windy Outdoors

Began the day with breakfast and The Great Outdoors. I picked this up (along with She-Ra) from a couple of yard sales last month, but just hadn't gotten around to it until today. Chet (John Candy) is looking forward to some family bonding time in the same lakeside cabin he spent his summers in as a kid. The cabin's looking a lot smaller when his obnoxious brother-in-law Roman (Dan Ackroyd), a rich commodities trader, shows up with his snarky wife (Annette Benning) and his two strange twin daughters. Chet's determined to have fun anyway, but Roman is competitive and annoying and doesn't make it easy. When Roman finally comes clean about what he's really doing, he and Chet learn that, no matter which side of the class divide they're on, they're still a family.

I was surprised at this one. It was really fun. It reminds me of a cross between Candy's previous vacation-themed vehicle Summer Rental and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Here, it's the rich guy who is annoying and is imposing on the lower-middle class guy, rather than the other way around. It also has some things in common with Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, including an overly sentimental ending.

If you're a fan of Ackroyd, Benning (this was her first movie), Candy, or John Hughes (who wrote but didn't direct this), this is actually a lot of fun and is recommended.

Made the bed during the second half of Great Outdoors. I'd normally wait a few weeks, but first of all, it did just finally get cold here, likely for good. Second, I found a rather large hole in the bottom of the fitted sheet. That's going to have to be replaced. I just put the flannel sheets on a bit early.

Work was pretty much the same as yesterday. Spent the entire afternoon outside, rounding up carts. I didn't mind. While it was still windy, the sun had come out, the clouds had mostly vanished, and it was a tiny bit warmer than it was yesterday. One of the managers did say I could come in later and do returns, but the carts kept disappearing, even though we weren't that busy.

(We're lucky we just got gale-force wind. One of the customers outside mentioned her daughter in Minnesota got a ton of snow, and Lauren spent a lot of last night complaining about the foot she got.)

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road. I'll be working too late the rest of the week to do it. Surprisingly, except around the Wal Mart entrance and down Nicholson, they weren't that busy, either. Had no problems dodging traffic.

When I got in, I got organized, then went on the computer to work on a little writing. Jessika the Candied Ginger Soldier finds Rey some clothes for battle. Rey mentions that Han had called Kylo Ren his son. Jessika explains that it's not known who Ren is, though rumor maintains that he's the runaway son of Han and Leia.

Made Italian chicken sausage with sweet potatoes and fried mushrooms and onions for dinner while watching Muppet Family Christmas. All of the Muppets who existed in the mid-80's come together to celebrate the holidays at Fozzie's mother's farm. Doc and Sprockett of Fraggle Rock are there too, renting the house for a nice, quiet Christmas. Between joke-telling snowmen, the Swedish Chef pursuing the turkey, and Ernie and Bert leading the Sesame Street Christmas pageant, this holiday party is anything but quiet! Meanwhile, Kermit and Robin visit the Fraggles while they wait and wait for Miss Piggy, who is stranded in the huge blizzard that surrounds the farm.

I love this special, but thanks to the three groups of Muppets being owned by three different companies, it's not easy to find intact today. Try YouTube and other online sharing sites.

Climbed into the bath next. Ahhh. Boy, did I need that after spending a lot of my weekend gathering carts. I looked over a Wilton Christmas cake book and It's a Wonderful Christmas, on how the mid-20th-century shaped our holidays. Listened to the New Age/Jazz collection On A Winter's Night as I relaxed.

Finished my night on the couch while watching Mame. Lucile Ball is the title character, a madcap dilettante who considers every day to be a holiday and encourages everyone around her to live their life to the fullest, including her adoring nephew Patrick and her shy nanny and housemaid Agnes (Jane Connell). Her best friend Vera Charles (Beatrice Arthur) tries to help her out when she loses her money in the Great Depression. She eventually marries a southern gentleman (Robert Preston) and keeps the grown Patrick from marrying a spoiled, shallow socialite.

I had this on because the score produced the standard holiday tune "We Need a Little Christmas." Mame, having just been fired (again), decides to give out presents early to cheer up the household. (Agnes dressed as a Christmas tree is adorable.) I love this musical. A lot of people think Lucile Ball is miscast, but I think she's just fine. She and Beatrice Arthur are hilarious in the sniping friends number "Bosom Buddies." If you're a fan of the cast, songwriter Jerry Herman, or the big musicals of the 60's and 70s, you may find yourself loving Auntie Mame, too.

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