Thursday, April 12, 2018

April In Oaklyn

Began a beautiful, sunny day with breakfast. After I finished eating, I made the bed to give me room to organize my clothes later. Ran a couple of Yogi Bear Show shorts while I ate. "Happy Birthdaze" has Yakky Doodle wanting to buy a bone for his bulldog buddy Chopper's birthday. He thinks he's bought a huge bone...but it's really a dinosaur bone, and the Irish security guard wants it back. In "Slap Happy Birthday," Yogi organizes a surprise birthday party for Ranger Smith, but he thinks Yogi's up to no good and threatens to send him to the St. Louis Zoo. Snagglepuss says "Remember Your Lions" when he replaces a recalcitrant Shakespearean actor on a variety show, and the Major still chases him.

I started out to get the laundry done around 10:30...then went right back inside after checking the mail. Among the bills and a schedule for another telephone appointment with Camden County on the 19th was a flat package from Mom. It was my birthday present for her - a beautiful purse with navy floral print and polka-dot vinyl lining and a Visa gift card for $35. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the purse, but that $35 will really come in handy for my mall trip on Friday.

Finally got to the laundromat around 20 minutes later. It was really busy too, which wasn't a good thing. I had a huge load of laundry, including sheets and towels. Half-listened to The View and Action News while looking at a copy of O Magazine from 2016 laying around and working on story notes.

The reason I wanted to get all those done was I pulled out the spring clothes today. I normally do it in early April, but it's been so cold lately. It was already in the 60's by quarter after 1, and it's going to be in the 80's by my birthday. It's finally time. Put away all the heavy sweaters and blouses, turtlenecks, the black knit pants and brown corduroys, two shawls (one woven, one crocheted that Mom made), a checked flannel shirt, and my navy blue corduroy vest and black skirt. Dad and Amanda keep giving me sleep socks; I cleared out most of the bigger ones Dad gave me. Swapped out my leather-like purse for my lighter woven one.

I was originally going to buy a new spring dress for Dana and Jesse's wedding on the 28th...but I forgot I picked up a really nice navy, white, and aqua-print skirt from Lane Bryant last year. I don't need a new dress. I just need a nice blouse to go with that skirt, and maybe a pair of good shoes. Otherwise, I'm actually pretty good on summer clothes. I could use a pair of rain boots for work, and a few t-shirts need to be replaced (including my Flyers shirt, which never really fit right).

Had lunch around 1:40. Watched Good Eats while I ate. Alton makes a mystery staple in "Popover Sometime." Popovers were a family favorite for breakfast in the 80's and 90's. I still love them, but as we discovered when I was a kid, they don't taste great cold, or after a few days in the fridge. Alton also showed how the same recipe can be used to make Yorkshire Pudding (same thing made with meat drippings) and Dutch Babies (the oven-baked pancake version).

Went for a walk after lunch, just to get out for a little while. Strolled down to the boat landing at the end of Goff Avenue. By this point, it was on-and-off sunny and in the upper 60's. Though it was still windy, the wind wasn't anywhere near as cold as it has been the past few weeks. School was just letting out; I passed many kids walking home, going slowly to enjoy the lovely day. The neighborhood is full of color now, with golden daffodils and sweet-smelling pastel hyacinths in every garden, tufts of emerald green grass in crunchy beige lawns, and sunny dandelions popping up everywhere.

Worked on writing for a while after I got in. Leia and Luke enter Han's mind...and find themselves in stifling darkness. They use their swords to light their way, revealing a circle of hideous demons abusing a huddled mass in a tiny cage. Han...or Prince chained to the cage bars. The monsters torment him, cutting off his hair and slashing his face. They tauntingly remind him that he's a worthless scoundrel who abandoned his mother and country and committed countless crimes. They bring the cage to a figure in a black cloak, who claims the cursed prince is now his mute slave.

Leia steps up to the cloaked figure and calls herself Henry's champion. She tries to free him from the cage, but the frightened man shrinks from her touch. He's Henry before and during his captivity at the Death Star Fortress, and he doesn't recognize her. Luke holds off the demons, but he doesn't know for how much longer, since his powers don't seem to be working well here...

Broke for dinner around 6:30. Had scrambled eggs with cheese, asparagus, and mushrooms while doing another Good Eats episode. Alton makes more common snacks in "Flat Is Good: Going Crackers." While I might be able to pull off the butter crackers and the Arabic crisps, graham flour tends to be pricey when I do see it.

Played some Wii Sports for about a half-hour after dinner. While I've improved on most events, including Target Practice and hitting balls on tennis and hitting the green on golf, others remain a work in progress. I'm still having trouble timing my swing, whether it's on tennis, baseball, or bowling. And as good as I've gotten with hitting the bag at boxing, I'm still having a hard time with dodging and hitting the trainer's targets.

Switched to Lego Star Wars after a while. Did something a little different tonight and worked on the remaining bonus rounds. The original version of "Gunship Calvary" is actually pretty simple, in fact a lot easier than the original. The original Pod Race is the opposite - it's so hard it's nearly impossible. You can't so much as touch a rock without coming apart, and if you don't reach the end of the segment by the end of the time on the screen, you have to start that segment over. Had trouble with "New Hope" too. It's basically "Secret Plans" from Darth Vader's point of view. The part where you run over the buttons to release C-3PO gave me so much trouble, I finally gave up and ended for the night. (At least I got a lot of studs from all the rounds.)

Finished off the night with Your Highness. Lazy Prince Thaddeus (Danny McBride) is tired of always being second fiddle to his more dashing and handsome brother Prince Fabious (James Franco). Fabious is preparing to marry the lovely Belladonna (Zoey Deschanal), whom he rescued from a tower, when they're attacked by the wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux). The evil wizard steals Belladonna back, intending to use her in a bizarre sexual plot that will allow him to take over the kingdom. Even when the brothers go after her, they're dogged by the betrayal of Fabious' slave Julie (Toby Jones) and that their knights are serving Leezar. The brothers now only have each other, Thaddeus' servant Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker), and the mysterious woman archer Isabel (Natalie Portman), who has her own score to settle with Leezar. Can they find the mystical Blade of Unicorn and get to the princess in time?

Portman's tough-minded archer and Deschanal's princess are the only interesting things about this. While a few gags land, most are either gross or juvenile. Franco is passable as a prince, but McBride and Hardiker seem to have walked out of one of the Judd Apatow comedies of the early 2000's and would probably be happier there. Ok if you're into gross-out humor, the cast, or sword-and-sorcery fantasy; a little much for anyone else.

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