Saturday, March 03, 2018

Toys In the Wind

I was glad to see warm sunshine when I got up this morning, even if the wind was still howling. I had breakfast while doing another round of Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater shorts, this time with an action theme. Tuxedo Sam is "Peter Penguin," who brings Kitty and Chip to Never-Say-Never Land to help him rescue Dinglebell (My Melody) from Captain Catnip. He's also the lead in "Tar-Sam of the Jungle," where he's the jungle hero and Kitty is his Jane, and plays one of the world's most famous Australians in "Crocodile Penguin." Prankster Chip the Seal gets a rare leading role as King Arthur in "Paws of the Round Table." He has to rescue Lady Bunnyvere from a not-so-fearsome dragon and Morgana Catnip, with the help of Sir Sam and the Kitty of the Lake.

Headed out around quarter after 9. After a stop at WaWa to use the ATM machine, I walked to the White Horse Pike to wait for the bus. And wait. And wait. I waited for over an hour. I thought it was supposed to come at 9:50. It didn't show up until almost 11. (I didn't figure out until later that I'd done it again. I looked at the wrong schedule. In this case, I forgot it was Saturday and had looked at the weekday schedule. On Saturday, the 9 AM bus comes at 9:37.) Thankfully, after all that, there was no trouble on the road. The bus pulled up a block from the Holiday in around quarter after 11.

After paying my 10 dollar entrance fee and getting a paper admissions bracelet, I spent about the next two hours and an hour and a half after lunch exploring. They were the same tables groaning with colorful piles of vintage and current collectible toys as last year. While the majority of the toys were action figures in one way or another, I also saw stuffed animals, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, My Little Ponies, Transformers, and vintage picture books, coloring books, books and records, and other paper publications.

I debated a Power of the Force 12-inch set of New Hope pilots Wedge Antilles and Biggs Darklighter, then decided I could probably get it cheaper online or at the House of Fun. Ultimately ended up with figures of Finn, a really nice Ahsoka Tano in her younger Clone Wars padawan form from the Black Line, and Prince Xizor from the book Shadows of the Empire. (Story behind the last one - Keefe had Xizor and Dash Rendar action figures in the late 90's, along with the younger Padme and Anakin in The Phantom Menace. For some reason, those were the only four he couldn't find when he turned his Star Wars toys over to me after he outgrew them.)

(Couldn't find any wrestling figures for Lauren, though I did try. I didn't see any of the guys she liked, and I don't know enough about wrestling to know who else she'd want.)

Had lunch at Red, Hot, and Blues, the Holiday Inn's tasty restaurant/bar, where I ate last year. I was a bit surprised they weren't busier, given it was 1 when I went in there and the toy tables weren't overwhelmed at that point, either. Opted for a simple burger and fries platter. That burger was one of the biggest I'd ever seen, filling the giant kaiser roll bun to the very ends. The lettuce, tomato, and slices of red onion were just as big. I had a hard time keeping it closed, even with only a slight squirt of mild barbecue sauce on it. It was yummy, though, really juicy and beefy.

Did another half-hour or so in the deal rooms, then went across the street to run a few errands. I needed a new flannel sheet. My old one has a hole in it. Of course, I forgot the pile of Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons sitting on the dry sink in my living room. Since they didn't seem to have any separate fitted flannel sheets, I just bought a new set. I'll use the old flat flannel sheet as a blanket. Even without the coupons, it came up to a little over 20, not bad for a set.

Went to Best Buy to see if the had the Sailor Moon S Part 2 set. They had it...for the same 30 bucks it currently is on Amazon. I'll wait for the price to come down. Did better at Hallmark, where I bought a General Leia Itty Bitty to use as a stress toy. I figure you can't do better than having a General by your side in times of crisis.

This time, there were no problems picking up the bus. I read the right schedule, and it was only a little late. The traffic was a little slow around Cuthbert Road by the Cooper River; otherwise, the ride was fine. Got off at the former Camden County Restaurant Supply Store and walked straight home.

As soon as I got everything organized, I headed right back out. I needed to get my grocery shopping done. Found crab cakes that were fairly cheap. Quaker and Nature's Valley products were on sale; picked up Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares and those wonderful Breakfast Sandwich cookies. Took advantage of their occasional "buck a bag" produce sale to grab grape tomatoes, bagged spinach, and those baked rice-pea snacks I like. Restocked peanut butter, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, skim milk, honey, grapefruit, apples, yogurt, tomato sauce, and soup. They were out of mandarin orange cups; got diced peaches instead. Found several flavors of the Acme's generic "natural" pint sorbets and gelatos on clearance. I'd had their Coffee Gelato before, but had never tried Prickly Pear Sorbet.

The main reason I was there was to get my schedule for next week. For some reason, I work 9:30 to 6 on Wednesday and 1 to 7 on Sunday. Otherwise, everything else is pretty much the same, including my days off.

When I got home, I put everything away quickly, then started my next story. Leia and Luke Skywalker are raised by their father Anakin, their mother Padme, and Anakin's dear friend Obi-Wan in a cottage in a quite little clearing in the Yavin Woods. Anakin and Obi-Wan once trained as Jedi knights and mages, before the queen's head counselor Palpatine had the order wiped out. Anakin teaches strong-willed Leia the ways of knighthood, while Obi-Wan trains gentler Luke as a mage. Padme keeps an eye on everyone, and tries to instill some ladylike qualities in her wild daughter.

Anakin tells Leia how he, Padme, and Obi-Wan had barely escaped Palpatine's wrath. Padme had spoken out against him, while the Jedi were beginning to suspect him of treachery as well. Palpatine has the just but aging Queen Jainia under his thumb; she is growing more and more frail, and he has taken on more of her duties.

I was so full from that huge burger, I didn't have or want dinner until 7:30, and then I just had leftovers. Finished out the Hello Kitty set with "Grinder Genie and the Magic Lamp." Kitty and Sam are trying to raise money for Sultana Catnip's high taxes when they stumble upon a magic lamp. Turns out that Grinder is the genie...and he can be very literal about granting wishes!

Ended the night with the original Disney Sleeping Beauty. This one more-or-less sticks to the original story. A princess is cursed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel by an evil fairy. Her parents give her to three good fairies to hide until her 16th birthday. She grows up knowing nothing about her heritage...but falls in love with a handsome prince anyway. The fairies break her heart when they tell her the truth. But Maleficient is determined to see that her curse comes true...and that the Sleeping Beauty's prince charming never makes it up to kiss his princess.

Had this on mainly for the medieval aesthetic. The brilliant angular animation was inspired by tapestries of the 13th century, and has always been some of Disney's most creative. The story...less so. It mostly thrives on its supporting cast, including one of their best princes (Phillip) and villains (Malificent). The Sleeping Beauty of the title actually doesn't have that much to do besides sing with Phillip and fall asleep (but to be honest, that's more than she had to do in the original story).

A family favorite for years, you'll want to see it for the animation and characters alone.

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