Friday, December 28, 2018

The Happy New Year Blues

The rain was coming down in buckets when I woke up this morning. Cheered myself up with a couple of episodes of The Backyardigans while I had breakfast and got ready for work. Pablo is "Robin Hood the Clean," who was exiled from the town of Filthingham by it's mud-loving Mayor Austin. Tyrone, one of the very dirty residents, convinces him to come back and rescue their bath and cleaning items from the dungeon.

"The Two Musketeers" has Pablo and Tyrone as the rivals of the Empress' guards Uniqua and Austin. A third Musketeer with exquisite manners and excellent balloon-dueling skills wishes to join them, but they keep turning her down...until they end up in the dungeon, and she's the only one who can rescue them.

I called Dad for a ride shortly before breakfast. The rain was just coming down too hard to ride the bike. On my way out, I found an envelope for me in the mailbox. It was typed, and contained no return address. I opened it...and to my horror, discovered that it was another rent increase from Willa. She wants me to pay $765, plus heat! I have no idea what I did for her to want to do that. She's only supposed to be increasing my rent by 5 percent, not a hundred dollars! I can't afford that! I can barely afford what I'm paying now. Why can't she understand that?

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon depressed. It was probably a good thing that the Acme was dead the entire day. Most people are probably out of town on Christmas break, at the malls, waiting for the beginning of the month, or just avoiding the weather. I did get soaked doing carts during the first half of my shift. When a bagger who prefers being outside took over the carts around 2, I did returns, gathered baskets, bagged, and shelved candy.

My not crazy about my schedule next week, either. In good news, three days off, including Sunday, and I work in the morning on New Year's. While working early on New Year's means I won't be able to stay up too late on New Year's Eve, it also means I'll be able to still have my New Year's breakfast out - it'll just be a late brunch. They badly cut my hours, but working New Year's and the day after should make up for it.

Dad picked me up around 10 after 5, by which time the rain was just about done. As soon as I got home, I worked on writing for a while. The owner of the cottage and the garden turns to to be Zuma, the princess of the planet who gave up life in the court for her garden. She manages to get Leia to sit down and convinces her to let her brush her hair. Her brushing hypnotizes Leia and puts her under a trance. Zuma intends to keep her as a companion. When Han protests and argues with the witch over her shutting Chewie out, she turns him into a dog.

I tried to call Rose after I got off my laptop, but I kept getting an indication that she hadn't set up her voice mail yet. I'll try again tomorrow or talk to her at Dad and Jodie's on Sunday.

Finished out the Backyardigans set while making almond-crusted flounder, roasted Brussels sprouts, and baked acorn squash with roasted seeds for dinner. In an episode set to Spanish-flavored music inspired by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Uniqua becomes "The Masked Retriever" when Don Austin, the most important person in Viejos, California, refuses to return a book to her library. Tyrone wants to go "To the Center of the Earth" to find his lost penny. Uniqua and Pablo insist that their inventions are the only way to do it, but they end up causing more trouble than they solve.

Ended the night online with the 1957 Russian animated version of The Snow Queen. Other than the live-action Christmas opening with Art Linklatter and a bunch of kids, this version sticks far closer to the original story than Disney's Frozen. Sandra Dee and Tommy Kirk are Gerda and Kay in the American dub; Patty McCormack makes an especially feisty young robber girl.

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