Monday, February 27, 2017

The Girl of the Gray Jersey Skies

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and another Rick Steves European jaunt. Belgium may be small, but they have a lot going on in their major cities Bruges and Brussels. This is one of my favorite episodes. I love a country that celebrates chocolate, waffles, biking, French fries (called Flemish fries there), and continental peace. (Brussels is the home of the European Union.)

Work was on and off busy for most of the day. Though I did do some returns for a while and gathered baskets at a few points, I was mainly outside with the carts. No problems there. It was really nice when I arrived, sunny and windy, but neither as windy nor as chilly as yesterday. It got a bit cooler later on when the clouds rolled in. The clouds spat a few fat raindrops as I was finishing my shift, but they otherwise haven't really done much. Even so, I headed straight home just in case the weather did get bad.

Spent the next few hours writing and doing research for my story. The Crimson Hawk asks to meet Leia in the garden. He was smitten with her the moment he stole from her earlier in the day. They discuss why Vader wants the khyber crystals. He's planning something major, some kind of big military secret. The young duchess asks him who he is and why he's doing this. He could be hung if he's caught, or worse. He tells her that he's no one, and he's helping a friend get back what's rightfully his.

He and Leia kiss...just as she hears Vader and his men coming their way. The Crimson Hawk shimmies into a tree as Baron Vader arrives with his troops. Vader tells her he heard her talking to a man. Leia insists she was imitating a man's voice. Vader doesn't believe it for a second, but he still sends his boys off to find the Hawk. As soon as they leave, Leia finds a wooden pendant in the moss under the flowering cherry tree the Hawk escaped in.

Did a quick episode of Good Eats while eating leftovers for dinner. I've always loved broccoli, but they're not a favorite of everyone, as Alton Brown reminds us in Good Eats. They can be too bitter if cooked wrong. Alton shows ways of cooking them - steaming, baking, and shredding them into cole slaw - that'll retain their flavor and their many nutrients.

Ended the night with The Girl of the Golden West after a shower. Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy headlined this unusual 1938 musical western. MacDonald is "the Girl," the only woman in a small California town, who runs the local saloon. She's being pursued both by the sweet blacksmith (Buddy Ebson) and the slick town sheriff (Walter Pidgeon). On a trip to Monterey to visit her padre friend (H.B Warner), she encounters a handsome man (Nelson Eddy) who claims to be a soldier. He's really a bandit who robs coaches and gives the money to the padre anonymously for the natives. When he turns up in her town looking for gold, he sparks both the sheriff's jealousy and the Girl's love...until he's caught in her home. Now she has to figure out a way to save both their hides, before the Sheriff hangs him and tries to force her into a wedding.

Not one of the better MacDonald/Eddy vehicles. These two Philadelphia natives are hardly believable in a western setting. Pidgeon and Ebson do much better as the sheriff and the good-natured blacksmith who wishes "the Girl" would notice him. For fans of these two, opera (this is based after an opera by Puccini), or musical westerns only.

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