Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Cold Day In the South

Cheered up a cloudy, gloomy morning with an episode of Rick Steves Europe. The episodes on Vienna are among my favorites. This is an elegant city of waltzes, Hapsburg jewels, fairy-tale palaces, and some of the most amazing apple strudel and chocolate tortes I've ever seen.

Worked on writing for the rest of the morning and early afternoon. Lando takes Leia, Luke, Han, and Chewie downstairs to the dining hall for a formal dinner. They're met there by Boba Fett, Chancellor Palpatine, and Palpatine's stormtroopers. Han tries to fire his arrows on Palpatine, but he brushes them off, then confiscates his mechanical bow. He also reveals that yes, he's the one who instigated the ambush on Han and tortured and cursed him to keep him away from the throne. He still intends to sell Han off to Sultan Jabba...after the Great Confluence. He also wants Leia and Luke to become his new apprentices.

Leia and Luke both refuse. Leia tries attacking Palpatine, but he throws her back. She finally challenges him to a duel, to the horror of her lover and her brother...

Broke for lunch at noon. Ran a couple of episodes of Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater while I Shrimp Pasta Salad. Since the release of Avengers: Infinity War this weekend more-or-less kicks off the summer movie season, I chose three shorts based around famous movies (and a book). Kitty is "K.T: The Kitty Terrestrial," who gets lost on Earth during a picnic with her family. Tuxedo Sam, My Melody, and Chip help her to phone home and avoid Scientists Catnip and Grinder. "The Wizard of Paws" has Hello Dorothy and her new friends the Tin Penguin, Cowardly Rabbit, and Chip the Scare-Seal heading down the Yellow Brick Road to defeat the evil Witchie Catnip. "Kitty and the Kong" has Captain Sam and his crew discovering a huge Grinder on a tropical island. Catnip brings him back to New York as a tourist attraction. Hello Kitty knows he doesn't belong in New York and helps him break loose.

Work was far easier today than yesterday. We were busy only once, around 3. I did get stuck in the registers for about 15 minutes around then. Otherwise, I spent the first half of my shift organizing the gift card kiosk and starting the candy and the second half gathering carts and baskets and doing outside trash. There were no major problems and a little more help than yesterday.

It was still cold, windy, and cloudy when I got off work. This was no day to linger. This time, I went straight home. Did an episode of The Backyardigans to cheer me up while I ate leftovers for dinner. When Tasha announces that she wants to play "High Tea," Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone complain that it'll be boring. Not the way Tasha does it! She takes them to the treetops of Borneo, the court of grumpy Chinese emperor Austin, and the geysers of the Gobi Desert, all in the search for the ingredients for the perfect cup of tea.

Played Wii Sports after dinner. Focused on baseball after doing the Fitness Test. I'm doing better at hitting home runs. I can get as many as four on some rounds, which is better than none. I can do good at the Batting Control...when I can aim the ball right. My best baseball mini-game is Batting Practice. I can hit the short, fast balls when I really get in the rhythm. I got my second silver medal on this game with a different character. Also did a pretty decent round of bowling.

Lego Star Wars went less well. I still couldn't get to that final piece on "Retake Theed Palace." In good news, though, adding in the 8X extra gave me more than enough studs to buy the final extra, the 10X brick, with plenty leftover. (And I just looked up that last piece - you have to walk around the wall to get it, not jump up to it. I'll try again next time.)

Finished the night online with This Property Is Condemned. Willie Starr (Mary Badham) explains to a guy friend why she lives alone and is wearing her older sister's clothes. During the Great Depression, her mother Hazel Starr (Kate Reid) used to run the boarding house where many of the men who worked on the railroad lived. Her beautiful sister Alva (Natalie Wood) flirted with all them, hoping to eventually find a way to get out of the small Mississippi town. Though her mother intends her for wealthy older railroad worker Johnson (John Harding), she falls for handsome Owen Legate (Robert Redford) of New Orleans. Legate is there on official railroad business. Thanks to the Depression, the railroad has fallen on hard times, and he's there to lay off most of the workers. Alva doesn't care what he does, as long as he gets her out of town. Her mother is shocked that she would throw away a rich man. Her sister just wants to hear about more of her non-existent adventures. Alva has to decide if she wants wealth, or to follow her dreams...and what she does will prove to have tragic consequences for her and for her family.

Overheated Tennessee Williams melodrama livened by Sydney Pollack's direction and great performances from all three ladies (including Badham as the inquisitive, smart kid sister). To be honest, this kind of slow-moving soap opera isn't really my thing, but if' you're more into sexy southern melodrama or the cast than I am, you may find much to enjoy in this potboiler.

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