Today was my second of three early work shifts in a row. Pretty much same deal as yesterday - quiet when I arrived, steady to busy when I finished. I spent the first half of my shift cleaning the wooden panels around the main offices and by the sign-in area after rounding up carts. I did do carts right after break, but there were eventually two baggers out there. I bagged for the remaining half-hour.
My schedule next week is ok, not spectacular, but mildly better than what I have been getting. Extra New Year's money should help. I'm once again off on New Year's, but I work the day after. I also have Tuesday and Wednesday off again, Tuesday for counseling. I may make an attempt at the Mummers' Parade this year if I can kick myself out of bed early enough.
Hit Muscle Man Grill in the mall behind the Acme for a quick lunch. Everyone must have opted for pizza at Tu Se Bella's next-door. Despite it being 1 PM, it was dead. I watched the not-bad Parent Trap remake while eating a grilled chicken "European" spinach and red pepper wrap with excellent vinegar-and-oil-based pasta salad.
I had a lot of grocery shopping to do, both for New Year's Eve tomorrow and for general restocking. I don't eat a lot of pork because it tends to give me indigestion, but I figured a little pork for New Year's luck wouldn't hurt. The country-style boneless ribs was the cheapest cut they had. I also bought eggnog and sparkling coconut drink for Whipped Syllabub. Grabbed an onion roll for dinner tonight. Restocked grapefruit, cranberries, bananas, sugar, canola oil, chocolate chips, skim milk, diced tomatoes, black beans, and brown sugar. Found another ground chicken package with a manager's coupon and a pack of Christmas metallic baking cups on the clearance tables.
There were boxes waiting for me on Charlie's porch when I got in. The rest of my online Target order had arrived! I finally replaced my popcorn maker after the old one died three years ago. This one is much smaller than the fancy machine I found at a thrift shop, but I really don't need a ton of popcorn at one time anyway. Got a cute pink and white Our Generation overalls outfit for Whitney. The Music Man is one of the last major movie musicals I didn't have. I tried taping it once in college, but it's so darn long that the tape cut off, and I missed the entire second half.
Thought a random Dr. Seuss short would improve my mood when I got in. I ran Dr. Seuss On the Loose while putting everything away and getting organized. Another anthology, this one is three short Seuss tales, two taken from the original book. "The Sneeches" are yellow creatures who live on the beaches. Sneeches with green stars on their bellies mock those who don't have them, until a con-man monkey teaches them a lesson in equality. "The Zax" are too stubborn to move aside for one another, even as the world around them goes on. Sam I Am keeps trying to shove his favorite dish, "Green Eggs and Ham," at one poor fellow. They go on a merry chase until he finally gives in.
Worked on something very different for the next few hours. I've been trying to figure out how to honor Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and deal with my feelings about their sudden passings. I considered a story about Leia dying in my Resistance Kids universe, and even wrote story notes, but I finally vetoed the idea. I'd really rather keep that series lighthearted. This is just too raw, too...real.
I ultimately came up with my first fable, about a bear who thinks she has nothing to offer...until she discovers she can tell stories, and pass them on to others. She also looks to the sky and the stars...and to one handsome falcon whom she can never have, but never forgets.
This is just intended to be therapy more than anything else. I should have it out within the next few days.
Finally broke for dinner around 6. Had a sausage sandwich and steamed green beans for dinner. Ran The Music Man as I ate. Professor Harold Hill (Robert Preston) arrives in River City, Iowa, in 1912, claiming he wants to start a boys' band. He's really a con-man and a fake who intends to bilk the stubborn townspeople out of their money...at least until he falls for the sensible librarian, Marion (Shirley Jones) and comes to realize how much his fictional band has done for the people of the town.
This is an old favorite of mine, mostly imported directly from Broadway. My only major complaint is the length. This is another 60's musical that runs over two hours and feels it. At least there's some great performances along the way. Along with Jones and Preston (reprising his Tony-award-winning performance as Hill), we have Hermione Gingold as the mayor's conservative wife and Buddy Hackett as Hill's best buddy. A lot of fun, with some really great music. (The lovely "'Til There Was You' was the only song from a musical covered by the Beatles.)
Finished out the night with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. The Turtles are still in the sewers, and feeling more than a little upset that Vernon got all the credit for them putting Shredder in jail. They'll have a chance to redeem themselves when Shredder busts out and joins a giant pink alien brain named Krang to open a portal to another dimension, bringing over Krang's huge spaceship, the Technidrome. Shredder gets help from nutty scientist Baxter Stockman to turn two idiot mooks, Be Bop and Rocksteady, into mutants. Meanwhile, Casey Jones, a wanna-be detective and sports lover, has a close encounter with the Turtles and their friend April O'Neal when the Turtles hear about a can of mutagen at police headquarters. While April and Casey try to steal the slime back, the Turtles have to learn how to work as a team despite its differences.
If you're a fan of the original cartoons, you might get a kick out of this. There's a lot of references to the 80's version of the show, from Vernon being more of a coward this time to Be Bop and Rocksteady as the muscle-bound mutant comic relief. It's kind of too goofy at times, and a bit hard to follow, which may be why this was a flop last summer. If you're a fan of the original Turtles or the last movie, it's worth at least a look.