Saturday, August 25, 2018

Beautiful Day Harvest

Began another stunning late summer morning with breakfast and cartoons. Betty Boop was in the spotlight today in shorts from my public domain set. She has "A Language All My Own" when she takes her vaudeville act to Japan. A snooty dog and her owner insists that Betty's puppy Pudgy is a "Little Nobody," until he saves the pampered pooch from a raging river. Betty thinks "A Little Soap and A Little Water" are all she needs to get Pudgy clean, but he'd rather get his bone from a coal bucket. Betty and her nephew Junior are upset when it rains the day they were planning to go to the carnival. Grampy uses his inventions to turn his apartment - and in scene that still looks awesome to this day, their entire apartment building - into a midway.

Rode to the Collingswood Farm Market around quarter of 11. They were still packed, even at that late hour, with people looking for produce for barbecues and pool parties. Blueberries are gone, replaced by the first hard squash and Italian plums of the season. I picked up the plums, white peaches, escarole, two ears of corn, and one of the mini-cantaloupes.

I hadn't had a good yard sale morning for a while. No luck anywhere. A rummage sale at a church in Collingswood was bust, with not much of anything lining it's tables. It took me forever to find a sale on Park Avenue. I read the small paper hanging on a street sign wrong and went completely in the wrong direction.

Since I was already in the area, I rode over to Westmont Plaza to check out AC Moore and Target. AC Moore was packed when I arrived. There was a ton of stuff going on, including local radio station B101 FM holding court from a tent in the parking lot and people sitting at a table inside. I considered doll outfits, then decided I'd wait for vacation for fun shopping. Went into Target, but they didn't have the mouse trap I was looking for. I did pick up a new dish scrub brush and toilet bowl brush at Dollar Tree. Briefly checked out a third yard sale at Cuthbert Road on my way down the street.

Stopped at WaWa on the way home. My long ride had made me very thirsty! I picked up their amazing Chocolate Banana Smoothie and a soft pretzel. (Ended up saving the pretzel until later.)

Charlie was working downstairs, having finished the porch for the day, when I arrived. He said that his cherry tomatoes were ripe and I could pick a few. I grabbed some that were red, or at least yellow, along with a green pepper.

Ran more Betty Boop cartoons while putting everything away and having yogurt, fruit, and the pretzel for lunch. Betty and her buddies Bimbo and Koko are competing in a big car race, but "Betty's Ker-Choo" winds up propelling her into the lead. "Betty Boop's Rise to Fame" is live action-animation hybrid clip show, featuring a live Max Fleischer and reporter asking Betty about her life story (via bits from earlier shorts). "Betty Boop and Little Jimmy" are in an attic, where Betty's working out. When one of her pieces of equipment goes haywire, she sends the little boy to find an electrician...but he misunderstands her words. "So Does an Automobile" has Betty as the head of an auto repair shop, where the autos are live and get just as run-down and tired as any human. "Betty In Blunderland" sends her into the world of her Alice In Wonderland-based puzzle. It's all fun and catchy dance routines, until the Jabberwocky arrives and grabs Betty!

Worked on writing for the rest of the afternoon. Yasmin isn't at home when Leia arrives, having been called away by an associate. Leia takes advantage of the extra time to find Harry. Charel is there as well, and he's the one who directs her to Yasmin's room. Harry is being kept there as a virtual prisoner, naked except for a collar and chain. Leia kisses him back to recognition...but their reunion is short-lived...

By 5:30, I was tired of sitting around. I went out for a walk in the neighborhood. The day couldn't have been more beautiful, breezy, sunny, and dry, probably in the lower-mid 80's. It's so green here for this time of year! There's barely any of the usual dry patches in the grass one normally sees by late August, and the trees are still vibrant shades of emerald and lime. Needless to say on such a lovely evening, there were quite a few people out and about. I saw a couple pushing a stroller on Newton while the mom sang "The Wheels On the Bus" and a father head off Manor with his teen children, probably on their way to WaWa. Boys rode bikes down the other side of Manor as I made my way home.

Decided I wanted a decent dinner after all the running around I did today. I made the Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip, which I had on a bed of escarole, with cherry and grape tomatoes. Made a tasty Peach Crisp from canned and fresh peaches for dessert.

Ran The Phantom while I ate. The Phantom (Billy Zane) is the latest in a long line of superheroes who live on an uncharted jungle island among natives, protecting them from evil. Evil comes in the form of mercenaries who are seeking three skulls that can grant amazing powers. Their boss Xander Drax (Treat Williams) is determined to find them at any cost. The Phantom just wants to find the man who killed his father, the previous Phantom (Patrick McGoohan). His job is complicated by the arrival of his ex-girlfriend Diana Palmer (Kristy Swanson), the daughter of a newspaper owner who is investigating Drax. She insists on investigating Drax's connection to a mysterious spider emblem, and is promptly captured by pirates on the way, including avatrix Sala (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The Phantom - aka Kit Walker - has to rescue her and figure out what Drax really wants with those skulls, before he uses them to destroy the world.

A mostly enjoyable Indiana Jones-esque romp that's marred by some poor casting. Swanson and Zeta-Jones are fine as the ladies in the Phantom's life, and Treat Williams is having a ball as the typical bad guy, but Zane is completely out of his element as the superhero in purple tights. Some nice action sequences, especially towards the end, and lush Australian cinematography somewhat makes up for this.

This was a flop at the box office in 1996, but it did far better on DVD and video and has since become a cult favorite with action nuts. If you're a fan of "The Ghost That Walks," the Indiana Jones series, or historical superhero tales, you'll want to give this one a shot as well.

Finished the night with one of my favorite animated films, The Swan Princess, which I reviewed at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

The Swan Princess

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