Sunday, April 14, 2019

Marvel-ous Birthday

Got a quick start this morning with Coconut Pancakes for my 40th birthday breakfast. Ate fast while watching The World of Strawberry Shortcake. The original 1981 special is set on the title character's birthday. Her friends hold a big surprise party for her, complete with a watering can gift. The "gift" is actually part of a plot by villainous baker The Peculiar Purple Pie Man to get as many berries off the kids as he can...but the kids have some unusual friends who'll help them teach the Pie Man a lesson.

Unwrapped my present from Linda Young right before I ate. She gave me a set of brand-new Rick Steves Europe episodes, including trips to the Middle East and Italy. I haven't seen the series anywhere in years and had no idea they were even still making them. Thanks, Linda! I'll be nice to have some new adventures with Rick!

Rushed out to catch the 12:09 bus as soon as the cartoon ended. I was at the stop in front of Oaklyn's City Hall for less than a minute when it arrived. It was full, but not so much that I couldn't get a seat. There was no traffic on the White Horse Pike, and I jumped off in Somerdale in less than 15 minutes.

It had been cloudy, warm, and humid all morning. The clouds were just starting to shower lightly when I got off. Since I arrived almost an hour early for the 1:30 showing of Captain Marvel, I took a look around. Poked through the Wii games and stuffed Pokemon at Game Stop. I did see The Angry Birds Trilogy for the Wii, but decided I'd save buying games for when Lauren visits and I have more people to play with. Also explored a massive Dollar Tree that was about three times the size of the one in Westmont.

The rain was long gone by the time I returned to the theater. Figured I'd just hit the theater early. Treated myself to a bottle of water and a box of Junior Mints...and unless I'm that thirsty, I'll never do that again. Just those two items cost as much as the tickets, and the Junior Mints barely lasted past the commercials and the first 10 minutes of the movie.

I also had a hard time finding a seat. You'd never know Captain Marvel has been out for a month and a half. It was almost entirely full, mainly with families or groups of bored teens and college students avoiding the weather. I started out in the very front seats, moved to the ones behind them but a person with a broken leg needed it, then went all the way to the very top, but that one turned out to be taken. I finally returned to the front seats, plopped down in the one on the end, and stayed there for the rest of the showing.

(None of the commercials were as intriguing as the ones in front of Aquaman back in January. I might catch Spider Man: Far From Home in the theater if I'm bored this summer, but I have no desire to see the three-hour marathon known as Avengers: Endgame. First of all, I wasn't that crazy about Infinity War. Second, three hours is a long time to sit in a theater. Third, I don't go to the movies to go to a funeral. I'll check out the DVD in the fall.)

I'm not going to go heavily into Captain Marvel here because of spoilers but...I really enjoyed it. It probably helps that I'm not a comic book fan, could care less about how all this played out in the comics, and never even heard of this character until about a decade ago. Brie Larson was totally awesome as the strong-willed and dedicated title character; Samuel L. Jackson was a lot of fun as a much younger Nick Fury (with both eyes). I also liked warm Lashana Lynch as Carol's supportive best friend Maria, Ben Mendelsohn as an alien looking for a home, and Annette Benning as a scientist who turns out to be far from what Captain Marvel expects. And yes, Goose the cat was adorable and pretty darn cool, even when she's not exactly what she looks like, either.

I suspect that some of the critical and fan carping is more a case of hype backlash and too many comparisons to other Marvel movies than anything. If you're a fan of the character who is open to changes in her origins, or are looking for a good action movie with a strong female in the lead, I highly recommend this one.

It was almost 4 when I finally got out. Went straight next-door to Applebee's for a late dinner-early lunch. They were steady, not really crazy, but there were quite a few people there. I listened to their conversation and worked on story notes while waiting for my Cheddar Chicken Bacon Sandwich and fries. The chicken sandwich was huge, to the point where I barely managed to keep it on the bun, but it was so nice and juicy! Never had such an eye-watering red onion slice, either. And the fries were nice and salty and crisp.

Since I had an hour before I had to pick up the bus, I went to the massive Wal Mart on the hill next. I didn't see any toys I liked, for me or for my nephew Khai (whose birthday is Friday), but I did find last year's version of A Star Is Born to review on my blog. I'm tired of waiting for it to show up at one of the libraries. (So yeah, look for that one on Tuesday.) Bought peanut butter, honey, and trash bags, all of which I forgot at the Acme yesterday, and cake mix, which is cheaper there.

The bus was slightly late, but nothing terrible. Once again, there were no problems getting home, despite it being the tail end of rush hour. There was no traffic, and the bus wasn't full. I jumped off at the dentist's office across from 7-11, cross to the City Hall, picked up my bike there, and rode home.

(I got incredibly lucky with the weather - and so did a young women I chatted with briefly who was taking a break from her job at Taco Bell. She said she was supposed to get off at 7, and that was when the rain was to start. The rain didn't arrive until past 8, and when it did show up, it wasn't heavy, although the wind was pretty bad.)

Ran more Yogi Bear while enjoying my Lemon-Coconut Cake (which came out splendidly). The final episode of the series was "Yogi's Birthday Party." Kellogg's wants to hold a surprise birthday party on TV for everyone's favorite smarter-than-the-average bear. Ranger Smith tells him it's a variety special, and he spends the week trying to take singing and dancing lessons. Yogi's as shocked as anyone when it turns out to be a gathering of all the Hanna Barbara funny animals who'd been created up to that time, including Huckleberry Hound, Quick-Draw McGraw, and his own buddies Cindy and Boo Boo.

Switched to Kirby's Epic Yarn after the cartoon ended. Went back and re-did one round in Grass Land to get the music disc, then finished Space Land with the final two rounds. One has you using the giant tank in a zero-gravity moon base; the other is a Galaga-style space shooter. Both are a lot of fun, probably some of the most fun of any rounds in the game. I did have to re-do the first one when I missed one of the furniture items, but otherwise, both rounds went just fine.

Finished the night with two episodes of Sailor Moon from the third season. It's also Usagi's birthday, but it's not going as well as she hoped in "Usagi In Tears: A Glass Slipper for My Birthday." First, it seemed like the girls forgot her big day (though they're really holding a surprise party). Second. Mamoru seems like he forgot, too...and when he does remember and gives Usagi the glass slippers she wanted, they turn out to be a monster trying to steal her pure heart! Kaolinite shows up and not only takes Usagi's transformation broach, but kidnaps Tuxedo Mask as well.

Usagi takes off to find him in "The Stolen Pure Heart: Usagi In Crisis." Haruka and Micheru take her to the TV tower where he's being held. The girls follow, with Venus dressed as Sailor Moon to fool Kaolinite so they can get her compact back. Even after she does get the broach and frees Tuxedo Mask, they still have to deal with Kaolinite...and Sailor Uranus and Neptune as well.

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