Tuesday, February 14, 2017

As Time Goes By

Began a soft, sunny Valentine's Day with breakfast and holiday specials. Bugs Bunny's Cupid Capers has an Elmer Fudd-like Cupid spreading love among the Toons, via segments from various classic shorts. Bugs is convinced he's meddling, until Cupid takes matters into his own hands. Also on the DVD is "Holiday Highlights," a spoof of various holidays throughout the year (along with graduation).

Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You moves to the Hundred Acre Woods. When Pooh and the others discover Christopher Robin writing a valentine for a girl, they fear he may decide he prefers her to them. Owl tells them to search for a "smitten" who will make the boy as he was. Christopher Robin knows, though, that true friends never leave your heart.

"Un-Valentine's Day" is an episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Rabbit's attempts to cancel Valentine's Day in order to stem the tide of card given the year before. After someone gives Pooh a pot of honey, the day becomes a mess of cakes flying, Pooh dressing as a mail box, and everyone putting on a "romantic" play for Christopher Robin. But who did send Pooh the original pot of honey? "The Three Little Piglets" is added as a bonus short. The gang is telling "The Three Little Pigs"...but Pooh keeps inserting honey and Rabbit's not happy to be playing the villain.

Called Mom while Pooh was on. I was hoping she'd have my birth certificate. Darn it, she didn't. I can't find it here. I'll have to go to the State of Florida's website and order it. Otherwise, she's fine...and all for me going to see a doctor, or even several, and find out what's going on with me and get some  kind of help or medication.

I wish I could explain this better. I will go to the doctor's, but not because I want medication. I want a second opinion. I spent half my childhood being ferried to this doctor or that one, and none of them could tell us what was wrong with me. I want to put all that behind me.

It was past 1 when I got off with Mom and finished looking up a few things online. I tried calling Camden County again. I either end up on hold for a half-hour, or I get a full voice mail box. I'll try again. I'm probably going to cancel the appointment or let it lapse and start the application process over when I'm more ready.

Got to the Westmont Bagel Shop around 1:30. They were surprisingly quiet for just after the lunch hour on a nice day. It was me, CNN, and the lady mopping the main dining area. I ate a turkey-avocado wrap, cole slaw, and pickles in a smaller booth along the side of the front counter.

Made a quick stop at Dollar Tree next. They were also surprisingly quiet. I had no trouble picking up cards for Dad-Bill and Jessa's birthdays, counter cleaner, and a new notebook for story notes.

The Haddon Township Library was not quiet. They were the busiest I'd seen them in a while. There was some kind of kids' program going on the children's reading room. I shelved new books and audio books and CDs while the kids worked.

I ended up taking out a lot of stuff. Found The Vermont Country Store Cookbook, which I've seen mentioned in their catalog a hundred times, but haven't been able to afford. Got two books on the art and characters of Rogue One (since it's looking very iffy that I'll be able to see it in theaters as of now) and another on taking charge of your life. Found two books in the kids' section to read, a Snow White riff called Snow In Summer, and a swashbuckling steampunk adventure called Ascension. For movies, I grabbed last year's live-action Jungle Book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azbekstan, and the late 90's Mask of Zorro. I've seen the last two before, but not in a very long time.

I didn't finally make it home until almost 5:30. Worked on the story a bit. The Golden Eagle is excited that they made such a huge haul from the Organas. They'll feed many hungry mouths in Naboo. The Crimson Hawk is more interested in the lovely Leia Organa and in the "secret weapon" he's working on.

Broke around 7 for dinner. Made a stovetop version of the Molasses Baked Beans from The Vermont Country Store Cookbook, with no bacon (I don't have any at home - it's too messy to cook). Ran Peanuts specials while I ate. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown introduces Linus' crush on his teacher Ms. Othmar. He wants to buy her something special for Valentine's Day, but it doesn't go anywhere near the way he planned. Meanwhile, Sally's trying to make something equally special for her "Sweet Baboo," Charlie Brown is waiting in vain for valentines, and Snoopy's putting on messy romantic puppet shows.

A Charlie Brown Valentine is a series of skits on the kids and their many crushes. Charlie Brown pursues the Little Red Haired Girl, hoping to ask her to the Valentine's Day dance, not knowing that Peppermint Patty and Marcie are pursuing him. Sally and Lucy would be happy just for their crushes to notice them. Snoopy's trying to write poetry for the kids, but it's not easy to tailor it to their specifics.

Finished off the night with one of the most romantic movies in cinema history, the Oscar-winning drama Casablanca. Everyone comes to Rick's (Humphery Bogart) Cafe American in Casablanca, Morocco, during the early days of World War II. Rick claims he "sticks his neck out for nobody"...until virtuous Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) walks back into his life. Rick would be happy renewing their affair, but it turns out that she's married to a war hero (Paul Henried). Rick tries to settle for dealing with the various characters at his cafe, including the shady Captain Renault (Claude Rains) and his long-time friend Sam (Dooley Wilson). When Rick comes into possesion of two letters of transit that could get him out of Morocco, Ilsa claims she'll do anything to get them. Rick would love for him and Ilsa to walk off into the sunset...but he's discovered that sometimes, you have to do what's right for everyone,  not just your heart.

Normally, neither World War II movies nor romantic drama are my thing...but they work so well here, you'd never know the script was more-or-less cobbled together. Bogart and Bergman are simply luminous as the ill-fated lovers, but even minor roles are perfectly cast. If you're a fan of old movies, romantic movies, or Bogart, this should be on the top of your must-see list.

Oh, and I hope you all had a very romantic Valentine's Day!


Linda said...

Emma, I have been reading your recent posts with a great deal of irritation, but NOT directed at you. All this talk of "doctors" and "taking medication" is making my blood boil.

As far as I can tell from your past history, the only physical problem you had was a speech impediment, which you said you went to therapists for. Somehow this appears to have made your doctors/your parents/your siblings/possibly all think of you as somehow otherwise "damaged." This is a load of codswallop, period. THERE IS NOTHING "WRONG" WITH YOU. You do have two problems: you are SHY and you are an INTROVERT. Neither of these require medicine.

Both of these are hard to get over. I know because I've been there and I still AM there. I still don't like talking to strangers and indeed I didn't even start LIKING people except for my family and my close friends until I started going to sci-fi conventions. The big problem is that we live in a world where you are expected to be an extrovert, all happy and open and willing to chat away as needed. That is HARD for us, and because you have to meet people on a face-to-face basis every day, even worse. I still loathe making cold call phone calls. I will do anything to keep from doing them, including asking my end users if THEY have talked to someone and "Oh, do you have their contact information?" I rejoice when they send me an e-mail along with a phone number, because on "paper" I can collect my thoughts and use my vocabulary and make a sensible-sounding request. You should hear me on the phone; I stammer and stumble and forget perfectly good words that I knew ten minutes earlier.

Ideally you need a job like James', where he has a layer of insulation between himself and the public, and has solutions written down based on the error: someone calls and says something like "I have an E15 error," and he has a list of "cures": "First try this," and when that doesn't work, "Next I need you to go to the machine and do this," and if that doesn't work, "We will have to dispatch a technician. Let me get your information." Yes, at times you still have to "wing it," and you still have to deal with angry customers, but with that layer between you you can work out routines, even write words down.

You really need a bolthole, somewhere you can go and make contact with people without being judged. Sometimes from your posts it sounds like Studio Luloo helps. I wish you could find something that was an equivalent to a sci-fi convention for your interests. You need an American Girl get together, because I know from the discussion boards it's not just girls buying these dolls. Do you talk to any one of the librarians more closely than the others? I keep thinking if you had some sort of American Girl gathering at the library, maybe you could find interested adults. Or you need a small fannish convention that has some Star Wars panels. You would feel odd at first, but then you would find the people around you loved Star Wars just as much as you. You could talk to someone about Han and Leia, how Carrie Fisher's death made you feel, your favorite films, etc. I wish you were HERE, because I know you would enjoy the historical and literature panels at Anachrocon.

...to be continued because Blogger says this post is too long.

Linda said...

...part 2

It is night and day when you finally find a group of people you can talk to. Yeah, you have to go back to your job after it's over. But there's a next time to look forward to, and a place you feel positive and not negative, a place you BELONG. I wish you could find that. I have several other adult friends who work in grocery stores, and they just tough it out, too.

We introverts are the biggest actors in the world. Did they make you read the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in school? I always think of "Prufrock" when I have to deal with people--the line "To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." We introverts are all like Greek actors who prepare their faces for their roles by putting on a mask, while the extroverts just go out there and do so easily what we find so difficult. We have to put on that mask to deal and it is so much damn work. Nobody understands. "Just talk to him. It won't kill you." But it does, even if just a little bit, every day, every week, every year.

As a positive thought, you have never let this get you down. You could be hunkered down in your mom's basement somewhere, bewailing your fate and complaining that you just can't cope. Instead you are DETERMINED to live independently, and you try your damnedest to cope between a mercurial landlord, secondhand bikes, and frankly what sounds like a badly managed grocery store. You have been struggling against your shyness and your introversion ever since I knew you. You have problems. But then we all have problems.

BUT THERE IS NOTHING "WRONG" WITH YOU. And don't make anyone make you think there is.

Emma said...

Honestly, Linda? I agree with you. I can understand Dad and Jodie being nervous. They're both going through a lot, with Dad being sick. (And Jodie is sadly right that Dad isn't going to last forever, which I have thought of, too.) And once again, they all mean well. Mom did mention finding a group I can work with, but I like your convention idea better than a therapy group. I think that would be better "therapy" than any actual therapy group could offer. I know they have a writer's convention in Philly in June, and they have conventions at the hotels in Cherry Hill all the time. Trouble is...that money problem. I could walk around at the Cherry Hill convention (Matt from Dinosaur Dracula does that), but the writer's convention costs money. I do want to get some kind of outside assistance, even just food stamps and rental assistance. And...yeah, if there is something else, a doctor will let me know. I think it's probably some kind of anxiety disorder - they don't require medication, either, if that.