Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Sun Came Back to the Neighborhood

I awoke to a beautiful, sunny morning. It was much-appreciated, especially after the messy weather we've had for the past two days. I had a quick breakfast, then went right into cleaning the bathroom. I'm just going to scrub the bathroom and the kitchen and vacuum. I'll save the dusting and heavier cleaning for the end of the month, when I get ready to put up the Christmas decorations.

Ran more Mister Rogers' Neighborhood while I worked and ate. Mr. Rogers may have been noticeably older by the mid-90's, but his neighborhood journeys were as fascinating as ever. My favorite of the neighborhood adventures was the kid juggler. The Land of Make Believe wondered what was in a package that could change its shape and color and tried to figure out where Prince Tuesday and Little Panda had gotten lost at.

Headed to work shortly after finishing the bathroom. While still steady, work was a lot quieter than it has been. The decent weather coupled with the end of the four-day sales probably helped. I did the trash inside and outside, returned loose items, and rounded up carts and baskets with no trouble whatsoever. It had gotten cloudy, windy, and a little cooler by the time I finished, but that's still better than what it has been.

Finished up Little Red Riding Rose when I got home. Rose and Finn find a none-too-happy Leia tied up in the downstairs closet while Poe and BB the hound stall the wolf. After they get her to a sofa, she tells them how to deal with the wolf - by cutting off its head with Finn's ax. When they do this, the wolf reverts to his human form. Kylo Ren - aka Leia's son Ben - had been ordered by his evil master the Lord Snoke to gather energy and magic. Poe takes Ben into town to talk to Magistrate Holdo, while Leia, Rose, and Finn share a pleasant lunch.

That will likely be the last of my short Star Wars fairy tales for a while. I do have a version of Robin Hood that spotlights Han planned, but not only will that one need more research, but I just did a medieval fantasy story not long ago. I likely won't get to that one until January at the earliest.

My next Star Wars fanfic will be something different - a version of A Christmas Carol featuring many different characters from across the three movies, with Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader as Scrooge. I want to start this one a little earlier and actually get it done before Christmas this time!

For now, here's Little Red Riding Rose as an appetizer:

Archive of Our Own
Writer's Desk at the Riverside

Ended the night with leftovers and the last few episodes of Mister Rogers. By far my favorite of the neighborhood trips here was the amazing guy who could spin as many as five or six hula hoops around his body at a time. I'm more like Mr. Rogers. Even as a kid, I could barely get it around me once. That young man had some insane skills. I also liked the visit to another children's book author. Eric Carle wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar, among others. He demonstrated his unique, colorful way of painting patterns, and then using them for his illustrations.

Over at The Land of Make Believe, Lady Elaine refuses to believe that a gorilla can be tame. Daniel and Lady Aberlin have to prove otherwise when a giant gorilla visits the Neighborhood. Mayor Maggie just wishes she could find her assistant mayor. Another story introduced a fortune cookie who turned into a human, and for some reason, could only speak Spanish. He befriended Vice-Mayor Ader, Lady Aberlin, and Daniel. The final story had Lady Elaine judging the Neighborhood's art show. King Friday is worried that she'll be mean after having been insulted earlier in the week, but her unusual generosity reveals that she's learned her lesson.

The show's very first national episode from 1968 was included as an extra. Some folks at Amazon mentioned that their set had the first color episode from a year later. Haddon Township must have gotten a later set, because it was most definitely in black and white. It was really, really strange to see Mr. Rogers' house without color or those ugly floral curtains that had hung there for 30 years. The curtains were shutters, Mr. McFeely talked a mile a minute, and Mr. Rogers sat on a couch bed to communicate with the Trolley. The folks over at the Land of Make Believe complain about Lady Elaine having switched around where all their homes are, and they even ask Mr. Rogers for help figuring things out. After that, he talked to a bizarre lady who collected lampshades and used them as hats.

This was one trip down memory lane I desperately needed after the difficult couple of weeks I've had. I'm glad I wasn't able to rent it earlier in the month. I learned a lot from Mr. Rogers this week...including how wonderful it is to reconnect with old friends. The set is far from perfect. I hope if PBS intends to release more of these that they release full weeks' worth of episodes, even if they can't do full seasons due to the sheer length of time this show ran. It would be nice to have their original opening and closing credits intact as well.

If you grew up with this show like I or many others did, or were intrigued by the hit documentary about Mr. Rogers that came out this summer Won't You Be My Neighbor?, you'll want to reconnect with Mr. Rogers and be his neighbor, too.

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