I awoke to an absolutely stunning morning. It was breezy, sunny, and cool when rolled out of bed. Celebrated the great weather with perfect Strawberry Pancakes for breakfast. Opted for two Peter Pan kids' albums while I ate and later as I did the dishes. Alice In Wonderland is an enjoyable condensed version of the first book, with nice songs and a read-along book with illustrations that more closely resemble a Marvel comic of the 70's than anything Tenniel. The story and illustrations for Cinderella are more traditionally Perrault, with songs for the stepsisters and one for the prince and Cinderella after she takes off, rather like in Slipper and the Rose.
Spent the next few hours trying to figure out how to write that letter and send it to Rose. I'm not spending money on Microsoft Word when Office works just as well and a lot cheaper, but I don't know if she uses it. Not to mention, the e-mail address I have listed for her is for Hotmail, which was folded into Microsoft years ago. I called her and asked her to text her current e-mail, but I haven't heard from her since then.
Finally broke at 2:30 for a quick lunch. Had yogurt, then went for a walk down the street. Thank heavens, West Clinton Avenue was quiet but intact. The only thing even mildly damaged was a sandwich board announcing Phillies Yummies being open, and it's more likely that someone accidentally jolted the blackboard while putting it up this afternoon. There were pro-Civil Rights messages written on the sidewalk in enormous colored chalk letters, but they were neither offensive, nor causing anyone any trouble.
It was too lovely of a day to be angry for long. (Frustrated and sad that all of this happened, but not angry.) The weather was as perfect as it's going to get in late May. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the air was warm but neither hot nor humid. Stiff breezes kept it from feeling as nasty as it's supposed to get by the middle of next week.
The day was so nice and cool, I did my first baking in ages when I got home. Whipped up my favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I got out of Prevention Magazine ages ago. It's good and good for you - it uses egg whites, oil, and whole wheat flour along with the oats. They came out beautifully, just brown and chewy enough.
Listened to a few soundtracks while the cookies baked. The movie version of Xanadu may be as weird and goofy as the other two disco musicals I reviewed last week, but it does have genuinely good music and decent performances by Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. "Magic" and "Suddenly" were the hits, but I like the chorus numbers "Dancin'" and "All Over the World" and Newton-John's lovely ballad "Suspended In Time."
By far the best-known song from The Muppet Movie is the Oscar-nominated "The Rainbow Connection," which perfectly distills the essence of both Kermit the Frog and his creator Jim Henson's upbeat philosophies. Other good ones here include the Electric Mayhem's "Can You Picture That?", Fozzie and Kermit "Moving Right Along" as they drive cross-country, Gonzo's ballad to the sky "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday," and the jazzy instrumental version of "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along" that underscores Kermit and Piggy's reunion in the bus after they find her on the road.
Worked on writing for a while as the cookies cooled. A plump yellow-green frog with circular marks around his eyes like glasses offers to retrieve Betty's golden ball for her, but only if she'll take him to the party and let him eat, drink, and sleep with her. She desperately agrees to it to get her ball back. He insists on riding to the ballroom not in her pocket, where he may smother, but on her shoulder. She can't help but think that his croak seems a bit familiar to her...
Didn't break for dinner until 7. Listened to The Great Muppet Caper while eating leftover Italian Casserole and broccoli. This movie wasn't nearly as bit of a hit as the first one, but it does have some good songs. The first big chorus number for Piggy, "The First Time It Happens," was Oscar-nominated. I also like "Steppin' Out With a Star" as Kermit prepares for his date with Piggy and the Electric Mayhem's "Gimmie the Night Life" as they drive Kermit and Piggy to the supper club.
Switched to YouTube after a shower. There's a few versions of an hour-long Beauty and the Beast ballet there that I wanted to check out. I went with the one from a Finnish ballet company that had gorgeous early 20th century-inspired costumes and some great dancing, especially by the dancers playing the Beast's animal servants.
Finished after tonight's Match Game syndicated premiere with the original Fantasy Island TV show on Crackle. They currently have the episodes of the first two seasons available, including the first season finale "Call Me Lucky/Torch Singer." Richard Dawson plays a gambler who wishes to be lucky at everything he touches. He's thrilled with his success, until his beloved son arrives at the island and claims he wants to be a gambler, too. A pretty lass (Kathryn Holcomb) wants to be a torch singer in the glamorous 1920's like her grandmother was. She does become a successful nightclub singer, and even falls in love with her pianist (Edd Byrnes), but discovers the darker side of the Roaring 20's when she and the pianist become the focus of a turf war between rival gangsters.