Sunday, August 12, 2018

Swimming to Oaklyn

I stayed up so late with Lauren last night, it was 10:30 before I awoke, and nearly noon before I rolled out of bed. (I finished The Chocolate Cat Caper first. I probably won't have the time for much reading before my early work day tomorrow.) Treated myself to some tasty chocolate chip pancakes topped with the last of the butter pecan ice cream for breakfast.

Watched Help! while I ate. The second Beatles film gets them involved with an Indian cult that wants a ring Ringo was sent by a fan. Whomever wears the ring will be the next person they sacrifice to their god...and it's currently stuck on poor Ringo's finger. They're not the only ones who are after it, either. A pair of daffy mad scientists (Victor Spinetti and Roy Kinnear) are convinced that the indestructible piece of jewelry will somehow help them take over the world and also chase after it. Ahme (Eleanor Bron), the high priestess of the cult, gets a crush on Paul and aids the boys as they flee from London to the Alps to the English countryside to the Bahamas in order to evade both groups and have a really cool vacation.

Though Hard Day's Night has it's charms, I actually prefer this one. It's like Monty Python parodying James Bond, cut with the occasional Monkees-esque music video. A cast of kooky British comedians make the most of the weird (and stereotyped) material. You can't argue with some of the Beatles' best songs of this period, including the title number, "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," and "Ticket To Ride."

My only complaint is...yeah, the Beatles were right that they do sometimes feel like extras in their own movie. The comedians are really the ones who actually drive the plot. On the other hand, they do have some decent contributions, especially from Ringo and John (who has a couple of good zingers and a nice action sequence in their London flat when they're attacked by pretty much everyone).

This may be weird as heck, but it's a must-see if you're a fan of the Beatles, James Bond spoofs, or British comedy of the 60's and 70's.

Got bored around 2 and went out for a quick ride to Dollar General. I'm almost done with my current journal. Bought a new notebook, and finally remembered sponges, too. They weren't busy at all, especially for a Sunday. I was in and out.

Worked on writing for the next few hours. The group agrees to break up as soon as they get to the mainland. Yoda knows people in the FBI who specialize in finding smuggled artifacts and would love to get the goods on Yasmin Hutt. Laurence says he and Charel could probably get jobs as security guards. Artie volunteers himself as a waiter, and, to Clarence's consternation, him as a translator or secretary. Leia and Luke will go in as performers or patrons.

Broke at a little after 5 to go for a swim at Dad and Jodie's. It was quiet there when I rode past them around 2:30, but by 5:30, they were buzzing. Chloe, Bree, Dad's neighbor Sandy, and Chloe's friend Rebecca were all in the pool when I arrived. I swam back and forth while the girls pretended to be mermaids, escaping from Bree the shark.

Dark clouds were gathering by 6 PM. It was time to round the kids up and get them out of the pool. I lingered a little longer, chatting with Dad and Jodie. Their trip to Ocean City yesterday was apparently just to visit friends for a few hours, and they did enjoy it. I'll be going around there later in the week. First of all, Jodie and Dad want to order my tickets for vacation next month. Second, Jodie needs to talk to Rose - she hasn't made that appointment with the doctor yet, but she says she will. She filled a container with macaroni salad for me before I headed home.

Changed as soon as I got in. Tried green beans with bacon to go with the macaroni salad for dinner. The original recipe from Jiffy Cooking called for canned green beans. The only canned vegetables I ever use are tomato products (sauce, diced, paste). I replaced them with fresh green beans from Charlie's garden, chicken stock, and water. Not bad. Might add some lemon juice for a little zing if I ever do this again.

Did a double dose of camping comedies tonight, starting with Ernest Goes to Camp. Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) is the handyman at Camp Kikakee, but what he really wants to be is a counselor. He gets his chance when a group of juvenile delinquents who are at the camp as part of a program hurt their original counselor and needs a new one. They pick on Ernest, too, at least until the camp's nurse (Victoria Racimo) scolds them for treating him badly. As it turns out, no one may be at the camp for much longer. The owner of a local mining company (John Vernon) wants the camp's owner Chief St. Cloud (Iron Eyes Cody) to sell, and tricks him into doing it when Ernest translates his language. Ernest feels responsible....and neither he, nor the kids are going to let the only place where they feel at home go without a fight.

This was a surprise hit in 1987, and while a lot of it is pretty generic, kids even today might like some of the gags and how the delinquents and Ernest finally get to the mining company owner in the end. Ok time-waster for anyone who isn't a kid or a fan of Ernest.

Finished the night with more-or-less the girl-oriented version of this story, Troop Beverly Hills. Phyllis Neffler (Shelly Long) may be a great shopper and have good taste in colorful wide-brimmed hats, but her life is a mess. Her husband Freddy (Craig T. Nelson) is on the verge of divorcing her, tired of her shopping habits and her never following through on her commitments. Hoping to make a change and bond with her daughter Hannah (Jenny Lewis), Phyllis takes over Hannah's Wilderness Girls troop. These poor little rich girls are hardly the types who bake cookies and make rustic crafts. Good thing Phyllis isn't, either. She's determined to prove to Freddy and to militant, arrogant Velda Plundor (Betty Thomas) that there's more than one way to be a Wilderness Girl...whether you teach a girl to survive in the woods, or the wilds of Beverly Hills.

An old favorite from my late childhood, this still mostly works pretty well today for the most part. Long in particular is having a blast as the slightly ditzy housewife and Stephanie Beacham as Vicki, her sensible romance novelist best friend and the mother of one of the girls.

If you have fond memories of this one from your own childhood, or have a girl the age of the troop who might enjoy the comedy, it's definitely worth a look.

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