Thursday, April 24, 2008

In A Pretzel Knot

I spent the beginning of a lovely day sleeping in. After a breakfast of Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes, I listened to 20s jazz on cassette before heading out for Collingswood...and heading right back in again, as the remaining books in my order arrived.

One of the best of the Berry Fairy Tales adaptations was their "berry" sweet version of The Little Mermaid. When Strawberry wishes she could always stay at Seaberry Beach, she dreams of a mermaid who wants to be human...but learns a difficult lesson in sacrifice and appreciating what one has. I really liked this one. To be honest, I've rarely seen a satisfying ending to this story. Hans Christian Anderson's original was depressing, and Disney's seemed like a cop-out. The ending here stays true to the original story, without the gory details...or the mush.

The other Strawberry Shortcake book was one of the last of the 80s Parker Brothers picture books, and the second one based after a special. Strawberry Shortcake and Baby Needs A Name debuted in print and animated form in 1984, a year before the original Strawberry line closed up shop for good. In fact, the characters introduced here - Peach Blush and her lamb Melonie Belle, the titular nameless toddler and her sweet dinosaur Fig Boot, and Plum Puddin' and her pet Elderberry Owl - are among the rarest toys in the entire original line. The unnamed toddler who visits from the South with Peach Blush and Plum Puddin' has only two wishes - a name and a pet of her own. The name issue is never resolved, but she grows attached to Fig Boot the baby dinosaur after he helps save them from Sour Grapes and the Purple Pieman.

(Incidentally...yes, in the original books and the first two animated specials, Plum Puddin' was the second token male character. No one knows why he was changed to she for Baby Needs a Name. I guess American Greetings prefers the character female; Plum Puddin' was still a girl when she was reintroduced in Big Country Fun earlier this year. And speaking of reviving characters, even if we never see Baby Needs A Name again, I'd love to see more of Fig Boot. He's completely adorable. Maybe the girls could go dinosaur-bone-hunting and find a live one?)

I went to Collingswood to bring a small bag of donations to the Friends In Deed Thrift Shop. It was busy, and I didn't see much I liked. (Ok, I did, but I couldn't have carried it home on the bike.) I peeked at the Collingswood Variety Store across the street. Yes, they finally have the new WebKinz...well, almost all of them. They don't carry Lil'Kinz, and I really want that new mouse! She's too cute! I decided to save my money for the "WebKinz Day Extravaganza" at Willie the Woodsman's on Saturday instead.

I browsed around Collingswood for a little while before having cookies and an Italian Soda at the Tree House Cafe and heading down the street for my counseling appointment. Scott and I talked about my relationships with my family and my fear of groups. I still want to try Yogawood, the yoga studio next-door to the Tree House Cafe. Scott says he does yoga and it really helps him relax and focus, and I could use a lot of help with both.

I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry and spending time with Dad (who just returned from a work trip), Jodie, and Jessa. Dad and Jessa were watching Cloverfield when I got in. While I will say the movie was well-made, with a hand-held camera and a cinema verite-style that helped make what's generally a standard monster movie fresher, monster movies just aren't my thing. I don't do horror. At all. I don't care how much of the monster you can or can't see. If I wanted to watch people run around in total horror, I'd go to the Acme on the day before a major blizzard.

I attempted to make my first pretzels this afternoon, but I didn't quite get it right. I didn't do the sponge part right, and then I didn't roll them thin enough and couldn't braid them right. And THEN I didn't grease the pan. Oh, they tasted ok, like crispy buns, but they don't look at all like pretzels. I'll call them Pretzel Buns and try again on another day when I'm paying attention.

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