Thursday, September 30, 2010

Deflated Balance

Yes, I awoke to discover that my tire had a slow leak and had deflated overnight. Of course, by the time I got outside, it was too late to fix it. I pumped it and hoped it would hold out long enough to get me to Collingswood.

The tire wasn't the only problem today. We did get that crazy rain overnight, and while it wasn't raining when I got up, it was hot and unbearably humid. The clouds remained heavy and threatening. I could only hope that they'd wait on any rain until late at night, after my errands in Collingswood and work.

Yoga was a bit of a pain. We concentrated on working the stomach and the core muscles, which meant a lot of crunches and bridge-work. I've gotten somewhat better with the bridge pose, but no matter how hard I try, I can't lift myself for full wheel.

Much to my frustration, the tire was flat again when I went outside. That wasn't a problem while in Collingswood. I just wheeled it to the Collingswood Library for this week's session there. I mostly shelved and organized the DVDs.

I ended up walking home. I was in luck where the weather was concerned. It stayed cloudy all through my walk, and remained so when I got in. There was much yelling and cursing, but yes, I did change the tire. I was especially proud of the job I did because it was the back tire. I've avoided changing the back tire myself because of the chain.

Well of course, the chain fell off on my way to work. It fell off twice, and made me late. I was very upset. I hate being late. Good thing the managers took it better than I did. Turns out I wasn't going in for anyone anyway. While work was much busier than Tuesday and went faster, it still wasn't crazy-busy. I was in and out with no more problems.

A stock manager who saw me come in was nice enough to put the chain on the bike for me, and I rode home with no more bike problems. However, there was a few weather problems. It was windy as heck. It started raining a little while I was on my way to work and had gotten worse by the time I left, though still not the monsoon-levels everyone around here had feared. I'm lucky the monsoon held off until I'd been home for over an hour.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Before the Rains Came

It was actually sunny when I awoke this morning. Though I was up late last night, I'm really kind of glad I got up when I did. I got quite a bit done today, starting with editing the Bowery Boys stories Lauren and I have been working on over the past few weeks.

I ran into trouble when I came downstairs. My back bike tire was flat. It seemed rather odd. It was perfectly fine last night. I thought I'd change it, but the nuts were screwed on the wheels so tightly, I couldn't get them loose! I was working on getting them off when I noticed the cap from inner tube was missing. I have no idea how that happened. It was on when I came home last night. Oh well, I've been meaning to pump the tires anyway. I took the cap off one of the other inner tubes I have, pumped both of them, put the tools inside, and went on my way.

I stopped at Dollar Tree first for sponges. They've only had the really light, foamy ones for the past few weeks. I like the thicker ones better. I desperately needed them. I had to dig around a bit, but I did find a bag of two. I would have preferred a bag with more of them, but I'll take what I can get for now.

Headed to the Haddon Township Library next. They weren't that busy, as I could tell from the smaller-than-usual stack of DVDs. I put those away and did some of the children's books. I took out a book on crocheting stuffed animals, a book of dessert recipes, a fantasy novel, and four DVDs - The Toast of New Orleans, Sahara, The Piglet Movie, and the most recent Backyardigans set, Operation Elephant Drop.

My tire felt a little less full as I was riding home. I'm not sure what happened there. I might have just been in such a hurry to leave that I didn't fill it right. I pumped it again when I got home, and it seemed fine later.

I had a meatball sandwich for lunch on the roll I'd bought from Doria's Deli on my way home. After lunch, I went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was getting cloudier and a bit more humid, but nothing intolerable. There were lots of people out and about. Kids were heading home from school. Their parents and grandparents swept porches, cleaned yards, and prepared for the upcoming storms.

(Incidentally, it rained a little bit while I was riding home from work, but hasn't done anything but look gloomy since. It must be waiting for early morning.)

Incidentally, something else I saw a lot of on this walk was fall decorations. A lot of people didn't decorate last year. Maybe they're feeling more festive now. Some people even have their Halloween decorations up already.

I spent the rest of the evening when I got in at home. I swept the porch. I cleaned the bathroom, which needed it badly, especially the tub. It's been a while since I've refilled my cookie tin, so I made Stir-and-Drop Oatmeal Cookies, one of the easiest and lowest-fat recipes in The Betty Crocker Cooky Book. Since the oven had already been on and I had the cookie sheets out, I make Oven-Fried Eggplant to go with my tilapia and zucchini for dinner.

Watched The Backyardigans while I cleaned and had lunch and The Toast of New Orleans during dinner. Superheroics of all kinds was the theme of this Backyardigans set. Tyrone and Pablo play Backyardigans In Black in an attempt to deliver an elephant to an Indian sanctuary (and teach Uniqua that elephants do NOT make good pets) in "Operation Elephant Drop." "The Magic Skateboard" was a solo story for Tyrone, with Uniqua doing the teaching this time, as she reminds the moose boy that practice, not magic, makes for totally radical skateboarding.

The two superhero-oriented stories were the best on the set. Tyrone once again does the teaching as he shows typhoon-blowing Pirate Pablo, animal-imitating Jungle Girl Tasha, and tough Princess Strong Blossom Uniqua how to get along as they rush down a cavern to stop a boulder from blocking a lava geyser and break the world in half!

My favorite was "The Flipper." In this take on both The Incredible Hulk and Pablo's tendency to go into tizzies, Pablo and the girls are "Meteor Trackers." They discover a meteor heading straight for Earth! Pablo has an amazing invention that might be able to head it off...but he runs into a shelf during one of his panic attacks and knocks a jar of space gunk on him. It turns him into an Incredible Hulk-like green monster whenever he hears the word "meteor." Only holding his teddy bear can bring him back. Tasha and Uniqua do their best to try to stop the meteor...and stop Pablo from showing the world what he's like when he's mad, too!

The Toast of New Orleans was the second Kathryn Grayson-Mario Lanza starring vehicle after That Midnight Kiss. It's basically the "discover Lanza and turn him into a gentleman" story again...this time with the twist of being set in New Orleans and the Louisiana bayous during the Edwardian era. The change of settings and more elaborate sets and costume helps tremendously. I enjoyed Toast far more than the bland Midnight Kiss. So did a zesty cast that includes David Niven as Grayson's fiancee, Rita Moreno as Lanza's girl in the bayou, J. Carrol Naish as his uncle who would rather be back in the bayou fishing, and James Mitchell as Lanza's best friend. The music's better, too. In addition to the operatic sequences, we have some songs written directly for the film, including the oft-reprised "Be My Love."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rain, Rain, Please Stay!

It was gloomy, cloudy, and humid as heck when I finally got out of bed around quarter after 9 this morning. Even so, the weather made me really happy. We desperately need a week's worth of rain.

I spent the morning volunteering at the Oaklyn Library. I mostly organized the DVDs. I don't know how they get so out-of-order. It's not that hard to put everything away where it belongs. Little kids who don't know their ABCs yet have an excuse, but teenagers and adults know better.

I did take out a book today. To Be Continued is one of my favorite books about movies. It has pictures, cast lists, and plot descriptions for every serial made between 1929 and 1956. As a fan of swashbucklers and old-fashioned action, a lot of these are right up my alley. I forget which library in Cape May County had this (Courthouse? the Villas?), but I used to take it out a lot when I lived down there.

I stepped out of the Library and into a nice, soft shower. I did need milk, so I walked over to WaWa. The rain began to let up as I headed home. Even so, between the milk and the weather, I kept today's walk brief.

Spent the rest of the afternoon having lunch, watching Bowery Boys movies, and working on editing stories. Lauren and I are hoping to relaunch my (barely used) personal website, The Riverside Rest, as a site for our joint fanfiction. I'll remove the recipes and links and keep the essays, my original fiction, and fanfiction on interests that Lauren doesn't share (like the short Scooby Doo story and my Remember WENN fics). We've done two Bowery Boys fanfics in the past couple of weeks and are currently at work on a third, based around Beauty and the Beast.

That was a lot more exciting than work. I was almost late to work, but it scarcely mattered. Work was totally dead the entire night. It got slightly steady during the usual 4-6 rush hour, then went back to being dead again. It took me all of 20 minutes to do the few returns. I was never so bored in my entire life. I thought my shift was never going to end.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Inside Jobs

I awoke to the sounds of rain on the roof and a ringing telephone. Yes, the ringing telephone was the Acme. Could I come in at 1? There was a call-out. For once, sure! No problem. That would give me enough time to get the laundry in. I was going to either bake or clean today as well, but I can do that tomorrow. Extra hours are extra hours.

The rain was welcome, too. It rained all last night, and it was raining again this morning. Thankfully, the rain had let up by the time I was heading for the laundromat. It must have kept a lot of people at home, though. The laundromat wasn't anywhere near as busy as it usually is on a Monday morning.

Good thing I didn't really have much laundry to do. I had just enough time to ride home, get everything put away, have leftover Pepper Steak for lunch, change into my uniform, and head for work. It rained while I was in the laundromat, but by the time I got out to the White Horse Pike, it was just humid, cloudy, and windy.

The weather cleared the Acme out, too. Though it did get busier during the usual 4-6 rush hour, we were generally dead for most of the day. I spent part of the last half-hour doing returns. There were no major problems, and I got in and out easily.

When I got home, I had leftover tomato, zucchini, and meatballs for dinner and watched The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters, the last Leo Gorcey-era Bowery Boys movie I hadn't run yet. It might be the strangest one they ever did. Slip and Sach go to a spooky old house to ask the owners if the local kids could use the lot for playing baseball. It turns out, however, that the owners would rather be using them to experiment on instead of negotiate with!

This was one of the strangest movies of the very odd mid-50s Bowery Boys entries. A lot of it is generic monster-haunted house fodder...but then, there's the man-eating tree. And it's nice to see them picking on Slip and Sach for once, instead of just Sach.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Football and Family

I spent the morning just hanging out at my place. It was dark, dreary, and cool. Which, considering the recent bout of hot weather we've had, was actually pretty nice. It's probably just as well. I didn't sleep well last night and was dead tired when I got up too early around 7:30. (I didn't get to sleep until almost 2:30 last night!)

It was nice to get to hear the whole Brunch With the Beatles show. "Songs Released in the Fall" was the theme today. Heard "Penny Lane" and "I Saw Her Standing There," among others.

I called Mom twice; got her the second time. She was running errands before the Eagles game and didn't really have the time for much talking. Anny had talked her into taking the boys so she could have some down time. Sky and Collyn, however, wanted a home-cooked Mom found herself having to fill the fridge.

Headed to work about an hour after I got off with Mom. Work was on-and-off steady, with no really major problems. Actually, I figured it would be busier than it was, given today is a football day. My relief was on-time, and I was in and out with no major problems.

The weather even cooperated. It sprinkled a bit on my way to work, but the rest of the day has just been gloomy.

The moment I got home, I changed into one of my Eagles T-shirts, grabbed my purse, and headed right back out again. This is the first time this season that I got to see even part of the Sunday football game. There were quite a few people at Uncle Ken's house when I arrived. My cousins Karen and Jim were celebrating the Minnesota Vikings' big win over the Detroit Lions, their first win of the season. Dad was eagerly awaiting the big showdown between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets later in the day.

I walked into an Eagles slaughter-fest. The Jacksonville Jaguars couldn't get near them, and finally just seemed to lose interest by the second half. The Eagles ultimately routed the Jaguars 28-3, with Michael Vick proving Andy Reid made the right choice in quarterbacks with his 4 touchdowns.

Uncle Ken made me cheesesteaks with his delicious fried onions, and I played hide-and-go-seek with the kids until it got too dark to hide.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Glory Days

Though it was still fairly hot when I awoke this morning, it wasn't anything like yesterday. There was a wonderful breeze as I ran the Casey Kasem American Top 40 re-run on WOGL and ate breakfast. The haze was gone, and it was sunny and clear again.

It was a gorgeous day for bike riding. There were tons of yard sales again. I stopped at one in Collingswood on Linwood Avenue and picked up a Lena Horne CD. I rode around Knight Park looking for more in the neighborhood, with no luck. I did get to see a local marathon, though. I think it was either just starting, or just beginning. I saw people walking and jogging around the park, and a crowd of people with tons of water at the baseball fields.

Went to the farm market next. Oddly enough, it didn't seem as busy as usual. Maybe it was just because I was there earlier than I have been over the past few weeks, around 9:30-quarter of 10. Plums were gone, but I was able to easily get apples, pears, cucumbers, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, peach butter, and the first acorn squash of the year.

I saw a sign for a yard sale on East Knight Avenue, just off Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. I took a few wrong turns, but I finally found East Knight...and discovered the second street-wide yard sale in two weeks. As with East Clinton last week, every couple of houses had items for sale. Once again, I really hit the jackpot. I found a cute hand-made shamrock-print dress with green rick-rack trim for Molly at one house. (Perhaps making up for missing the AG clothes at the yard sale last week.) Another house yielded two American Girls books I didn't have, Happy Birthday, Felicity and Changes for Kirsten. I got three Care Bears for two dollars at a house near Haddon Avenue - a sparkly Friend Bear, a small Good Luck Bear with Velcro on his paws, and Loyal Heart Dog the Care Bear Cousin.

Speaking of Care Bears, my best find was at a house on the other end of the block. They had a whole basket of 13-inch stuffed Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins from the 80s. Alas, I only had the room and the money for one. I chose Gram Bear. The grandmother figure in the 80s movies and Care Bears Family is a sweet gray bear with a gorgeous tummy symbol of a rose bouquet with a golden ribbon. Gram is one of the few original 80s Care Bears who hasn't been seen in any of the subsequent revivals, including the 2007 one, which is why I opted for her.

Here's what my Gram looks like. She originally came with a pink shawl in the 80s. I could probably crochet her one.

I was low on money and on space by the time I left East Knight Avenue. I made one more quick yard sale stop on Ridgeway Avenue in Oaklyn, then went home. I put everything away. I had yogurt, peanut butter, and tomatoes for lunch. I watched Bowery Boys movies.

I hadn't planned on going anywhere else this afternoon...but it was a beautiful day and I got bored sitting inside. I decided to head to Westmont to check out a street fair I saw mentioned on a banner near the Haddon Township High School.

After a few wrong turns, I finally arrived at the street fair on Crystal Lake Road and West Park Road. It was really fun. Part of West Park had been blocked off and filled with booths for various community activities, games, food vendors, and a few craft tables. There were tons of bouncy houses and a couple of small rides for the kiddies, including a real working merry-go-round. There was a short classic car show. I loved the magenta-and-white 1955 Chevrolet.

I headed for the Haddon Commons Shopping Center on Cuthbert Road next. I first checked out Dollar General. That place was disappointing. Other than some decent Halloween decorations, they were really cleared out. I hope that doesn't mean they're closing. I really like that place. They have great decorations, the area's widest assortment of cheap spices, and they're the only place I can find a dollar shower curtain that matches my bathroom.

My next stop was the Westmont Acme next-door. I forgot eggs, canned pumpkin, canned tomatoes, and oatmeal on my trip yesterday. I like the Westmont Acme. It's smaller than the Audubon Acme, but clean. It doesn't look as modernized. It reminds me a lot of the Cape May Acme when I was little. The registers are really cool. You can turn the bottom half so you can bag groceries without having to reach for them.

Since I now had eggs, I decided it was finally time to go home. I rode back to Oaklyn via Newton River Park, enjoying the gorgeous day. This time, when I got in and put everything away, I opted to crochet and watch Arsenic and Old Lace instead.

Arsenic is about as close as I get to classic horror. It's apparently based after a hit stage farce, and very much looks it. A drama critic who has written several books against marriage has just married the girl next door. He goes home to celebrate with his maiden aunts and crazy uncle Teddy, who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt. But as the night wears on, he discovers that Uncle Teddy may be the sanest person in the house as more than one skeleton comes out of the closet, including a brother whose face has been remade to look like Boris Karloff's. And those sweet elderly aunts of his aren't as sweet as they look...

This is one of the very few movies I've ever seen to be out-and-out set around Halloween, and as such, is quite a bit of fun if you're a fan of farce. Cary Grant has a fine time with all the door-slamming and phone-slamming, and Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre make for as ghoulish a pair of comic sociopaths as one could wish.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hot Fun In the Autumn-Time

It's probably just as well that I spent a lot of the morning reading, writing, and listening to The Breakfast Club in bed. I couldn't see much anyway. The Delaware Valley awoke to a heavy bank of dense fog and humidity that was almost as bad as what we had last summer.

It was still humid when I headed out to the Acme for this week's paycheck, but not really hot. Alas, that didn't last long. The sun started to come out as I left the Acme with my money. By the time I emerged from FYE with a used copy of The Three Amigos on DVD (for $3.70), it was sunny, hazy, muggy, and hot.

I rode over to Staples to check out their DVD/CD storage. I really need somewhere else to put those Bowery Boys/East Side Kids movies Lauren sent me. The spindle was fine for sending them here, but constantly moving the DVDs up and down will likely damage them, if it hasn't already. I need something that won't take up much room, but can hold them all.

I noticed a Halloween store in the empty building next to Monster Pets, so I went there next to browse and get some ideas for my Halloween costume this year. I don't want to wait until the last minute again. It was pretty much the same deal as the store that used to be in the now-demolished building in Westmont in a lighter, smaller area. (No need to curtain off the unused part of the store here.) There were adult costumes, kids costumes, costumes relating to decades, to medieval folklore, to princesses, to ancient history and popular characters. There was an aisle devoted to makeup, and the whole right side was filled with weird masks.

I didn't buy anything, but I did get some costume ideas. I'm thinking of either doing a simpler version of my flapper costume from 2006 (in a shirt and skirt I can wear to work), a southern belle in a huge hat and one of those ruffled gypsy skirts (I could probably make a hat and dig around thrift shops for petticoats), or Velma from Scooby Doo. (I have my own glasses and orange sweater and could probably get brown strap shoes and a skirt, and I see stuffed Scoobys all the time.)

Made a brief stop at Fashion Bug to look at ruffled skirts for my costume ideas before returning to the Acme for grocery shopping. I needed a bit more this time. I really needed meat. Grabbed chicken legs on sale, along with cubed beef and beef ribs for my slow cooker. Took advantage of the 50 cent Dannon sale and restocked my yogurt. I also restocked my granola bars and applesauce.

Headed home next. It was about 1:30 by then. I wanted to hit the bank and get out a little. Since I didn't have any other plans for the day and my paycheck last week was not wonderful, I decided to save my money and just go for a stroll in Oaklyn.

The bank was dead when I arrived there, and I was in and out quickly. My next stop was the newly reopened House of Fun. I thought they were shutting down, but it seems they merely took over the stores next-door that formerly belonged to a now-departed T-shirt printing company. They now had two rooms for all the junk any geek could ever want. The first room was filled with nothing but every kind of action figure. The second room held everything else - Hello Kitty merchandise, stacks of pulp science fiction magazines from the 60s and 70s, dolls, stuffed animals, video games from Atari to Nintendo 64, and for some reason, a lot of books on World War II.

I debated buying the Atari 2600 console. There was a huge stack of games for only $2 each. However, it didn't have a price on it, and I don't have a lot of money right now. It also didn't have any controllers, and I didn't see any loose ones. I didn't buy anything today, but I may have to go back there the next time I actually do have money.

Next stop was Capitol Pizza for lunch. It was really late by then, almost 2:30, and I wasn't that hungry anyway. I just had a slice of vegetable pizza and a Coke Zero. Not surprisingly, it was quiet in there except for CNN and a few guys picking up pies.

I just strolled around the neighborhood after that. I thought of going to Westmont or heading down to Kayla's Custard Corner for a water ice, but it was just too hot. I hiked across the school yard (having seen kids on their way home from school), then went home. Even with the soda, I was dripping sweat when I got in.

Due to the heat and my shrinking purse, I didn't go anywhere else. I swept the porch (which badly needed it), then watched Bowery Boys movies and read that Prevention cookbook Mom sent me a few years ago, Eat Up, Slim Down. The first chapter has a lot of tips and ideas on how to lose weight, along with lists for your body mass and general weight.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Balancing Summer and Fall

The first day of fall began more like the first day of summer, though it wasn't so bad when I headed to Yogawood this morning. There was a nice breeze that drifted through the half-circle window on top of the front door. We mostly worked on lotus poses and hip-openers. I can do that. It's shoulder stands I can't do, but I'm still trying.

Next stop was the thrift shop to drop off a big bag of donations, then the Collingswood Library for this week's session there. There was plenty do there, for once. I shelved a big stack of DVDs and organized the shelves, then went upstairs and shelved non-fiction.

Went straight home after I finished at the library. I had a Peanut Butter and Apple Butter Sandwich on Garden Vegetable Bread and tomatoes for lunch. Spent the rest of the afternoon mucking around online, including paying this month's college bill.

By the time I headed for work, it was hot again, though not as hot as originally predicted for today, in the mid-80s and a little humid and hazy. I had a pretty decent ride to work and back. It had cooled off considerably when I got off at 8.

Work wasn't bad for me...but there was a big fight about mid-way through my shift. I was just about to go on break and didn't really see what happened myself. All I know is I heard two women shouting so loudly, they could be heard in the back of the store. I retreated to the break room as quickly as I could.

I found out later from two managers that the children of one of the women had been riding the automatic cart that old people use around the store without asking or their mother really paying attention to them. They ran into the other woman's cart, and she had a fit...and it just got worse from there. I really wish people would learn to keep a better eye on their children when they're in a grocery store. This isn't the first time I've seen kids allowed to pull stunts like that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Monkees Role-Play Story

Actually, I posted this a few days ago, but never got around to mentioning it here. Here's this month's story, the follow-up to the ancestors story we did in May.

Women of the Past
"Let Us Gaily Take Our Leisure..."

Got a somewhat earlier start than I have recently today. It took me a while to get moving, though. I didn't get out the door to the Haddon Township Library until around 11. Had a nice ride through Newton River Park on the way, enjoying the breeze on an otherwise hotter day than it has been.

I got into the library around 11:30. It was rather quiet, especially compared to how it's been the last few times I went there. I mostly returned the few DVDs that were there; also shelved Easy Reader Books. I took out two books, a mystery by Rhys Bowden and a fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey, and three DVDs - Sixteen Candles, Arsenic and Old Lace, and a collection of Angelina Ballerina cartoons.

Went across the street to Super Fresh next. I just ran out of whole wheat flour yesterday. Also picked up cake mix and cupcake papers. They were dead, and I was in and out.

Rode straight home after leaving Super Fresh, for once not having any trouble on Cuthbert Road. I had a turkey, tomato and spinach sandwich on Garden Vegetable Bread for lunch, then spent an hour or so working on things online.

I decided to go for a walk around quarter after 5. It was very hot at this point, much more so than it had been earlier, and clouds were obviously rolling in. I still had a really nice walk. There was a great breeze, and while it was hot and sunny, it wasn't humid. I strolled behind the school to the playground, then through the neighborhood to the left of the school, over the newly-laid blacktop on the train tracks, and to WaWa, where I treated myself to a Cherry-Vanilla Coke Zero from the fountain. After that, I headed down the White Horse Pike, turned on West Clinton, and went home via the path over the train tracks. There weren't too many people out with me other than packs of kids bored with homework, probably because of the heat.

After I got home, I started Tomatoes and Zucchini with Turkey Meatballs over whole-wheat pasta for dinner and watched The Pirates of Penzance. This is the movie version of the 1981 hit Broadway revival of the Gilbert and Sullivan favorite. Unlike The Pirate Movie, it retains it's theatrical origins and most of its original music, while adding a great cast. Kevin Kline won a Tony as the Pirate King. Angela Landsbury is Ruth, the nursemaid. Singers Rex Smith and Linda Rondstat are the young lovers.

It's a very different approach to this material than the spoofier, more 80s Pirate Movie, but equally fun, especially if you're a fan of Kline or Landsbury.

And ooh, I'd better get off. There's a very noisy thunderstorm going on even as I write this. It rained briefly, but I don't think it's even doing that now. It's just loud out there.

Never mind, here comes the rain...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moon Over Oaklyn

I didn't sleep in as much as I would have liked. The day just called me. It was another gorgeous one, mid-70s, windy, and sunny. After today, it's supposed to get into the upper 80s. I'm not worried. As long as it stays dry and breezy (and isn't so horrible I have to turn on the air conditioner), we should be ok.

I watched a Bowery Boys spooky movie during breakfast, Ghost Chasers. Whitey and Sach run afoul of a phony medium whose chain of fake psychic booths is bilking ladies in the Boys' neighborhood. Slip and the others go after the psychic and her gang...with the help of a very real ghost that only "true believer" Sach can see.

After the Boys ended, I headed to the Oaklyn Library for this week's volunteering session there. Mostly did what I did last week, organized the DVDs and videos. I also got started on the childrens' books.

I was only there for an hour. It was too nice to hang out all day! I went for a long walk around the neighborhood after I left there. It was really a wonderful day for it. Fall has the most perfect weather here. It was sunny and windy and blue and gold. People were out walking their dogs or playing with their children. It was just fabulous. Stopped at Doria's Deli and got turkey lunchmeat, too.

After I got home, I had lunch and puttered around the apartment a bit. I worked on crocheting a purse for Jessa. I went online. I watched more Bowery Boys, Hold That Baby!, which I didn't finish last month. I baked brownies.

The brownies took longer than I thought. I was almost late for work! I did finally get in just under the wire. As it turned out, work was on-and-off busy and downright silent by the time I finished. I had no trouble with customers or getting in or out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bullying and Chores

First of all, I would like to make my stance on comments on this blog quite clear. If you make a nasty, derogatory, flame-ish, or just plain unkind remark in the comments, you will be deleted. If you continue to post inappropriate and negative comments and links, you will be marked as spam and effectively banned from this blog.

I have been tolerating bullying all my life. I spent my childhood listening to other children tell me how stupid and horrible I was. I spent it listening to teachers remind me how terrible I was because I developed early, and how everything would be better if I ignored it and let it go away. I've spent my life hearing people make me feel like I'm less than they are, that I have something wrong with me because I'm not exactly the same as everyone else.

I'm tired of ignoring bullies. You don't make someone feel better or improve their behavior by constantly giving them negative feedback or calling them names. People who do this need to get a life. There are better ways to spend your evening than bringing someone else down. If you don't like what I'm saying, read a blog that says what you want to hear.

And now that we've made myself quite clear on this subject, we'll discuss the matter at hand.

Which, to be honest, isn't that enthralling. I awoke to another gorgeous day in the neighborhood, mid-70s, windy, and sunny. I had a quick breakfast before heading over to the laundromat to do this week's wash. It was a lot less busy over there than it has been in the last few weeks. Either I showed up earlier this time, or a lot of people have caught up with their chores.

I did have the time when I got home for a decent lunch of spinach salad and a slice of Garden Vegetable Bread and peanut butter after I put away the laundry. Listened to ABBA and to 80s music while I got ready for work.

Work was on-and-off busy tonight, but busier than it has been on a weekday. I'm assuming people are finally settling down into the regular routine. I was in and out with no problems, and my relief was a little early.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Arr, The Eagles an' The Phillies Plunder the Competition

Sorry. The Message Board at AGPlaythings really gets into "Talk Like a Pirate Day." ;)

Arr, mateys, last night gave me a whopper of a nautical headache. Shortly after I posted last night's entry, my Internet went down...for almost two hours. I was about ready to throw my modem out the window. I switched the wireless modem for my other, smaller one to see if that would improve reception. Not only did it not improve the reception, but when the Internet did come back up, I couldn't get on! Verizon wouldn't let me. They wanted me to reset my whole darn account...and then they wouldn't accept my old administration name and password! I had to call Tech Support to get them to let me on.

THAT had it's own problems. I couldn't understand Tech Support, thanks to her accent. She couldn't understand me, thanks to my spotty cell phone. She had to spell everything out. I finally just cut off the call after the Internet was up and running. It was rude of me, I know, but I was tired and it was late.

I awoke in the morning with a whopper of a headache and a nose that was stuffed up from allergies. Plus, I went to bed late last night and didn't sleep all that well. I had the last of the buckwheat pancakes and a plum for breakfast and talked to Mom

I'm not the only one who's tired. Mom's been working non-stop at Michael's for the past few weeks, and things will only be getting busier there. The holidays are coming, after all. Yesterday was no help. She wanted to take a nap, but ended up attending her neighborhood's annual block party instead. She was too tired to enjoy it.

I listened to Brunch With the Beatles while finishing breakfast. I enjoyed today's theme, "Songs from 1968." We heard cuts from The White Album and some singles from that time period. My favorite, though, was a really good rare Fats Domino recording of "Lady Madonna."

I was almost late to work. I worked at 12:15 today. I hate working on the quarter-hours. It always gets me mixed up. Work was fairly busy today, so at least it passed quickly. I was a mess, tired, cranky, and frustrated. A woman said I yelled at her son when I only asked him to give me the change he'd taken out of the cup on the change machine. It didn't sound like yelling to me, but I wasn't really paying attention.

It was a gorgeous day outside, sunny and a little bit warmer than yesterday, but not too bad. The moment I got home, I changed and went back outside for a walk and a stop at Uncle Ken's house to see how the game went.

As I mentioned in the title, the game went very well. In fact, all of them did. The Eagles beat the wayward Detroit Lions 35-32. Dad's beloved Dolphins beat up on Brett Farve and the Minnesota Vikings 14-10.

Baseball fans have a reason to give a good hearty pirate cheer, too. The Phillies continue their run for the playoffs with their seventh straight win, this one over the Washington Nationals.

I had ham and pepperoni noodle soup (Uncle Ken's own recipe) at his house and chatted with Dad, Jodie, and Jodie's son TJ, then went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a great day for it...and the rest of Oaklyn agreed with me. I saw lots of people out and about, from teenagers slurping Icees to elderly couples strolling together. There were many people taking advantage of the nice evening weather to work on their lawns and water their gardens as well.

The internet was down when I came home from work, and it was still down when my walk was done. I worked on crocheting. (I'm hoping a new purse for Jessa will be a bit less complicated than a hat.) The Internet came back up in time to hear the second half of The Dress Circle. Their theme was "Everyone Sings Gershwin." We heard some really lovely material, including a fine Ella Fitzgerald "Our Love Is Hear To Stay"...and Ethel Merman's "I Got Rhythm" on that scary Ethel Merman disco album.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How the East Was Fun

It was a gorgeous day when I turned on today's Casey Kasem American Top 40 re-run. The sun was shining, and while it was dry, it wasn't anything resembling as hot as it has been. In fact, I was downright cold waking up this morning! I was so cold, I pulled on the hooded sweatshirt Mom bought me in Cape May last month. Today is the first time it's been cool enough to wear it.

I wanted to get an early start on the usual Saturday Farm Market/Yard Sale Run. I had a lot of luck today. There were yard sales EVERYWHERE. My first stop was Landis Avenue, near the Oaklyn School. It was a small yard sale, but I did find an almost new copy of the Peanuts book of wisdom, Home Is On Top Of a Dog House. (Guess which Peanuts character that one focuses on? ;) )

Went down the street for my next stop. The Oaklyn Library was having a big Flea Market and fall flowers sale on the street leading up to the library building. I made a great find there digging through a container of random toys. I saw something red and yellow and shiny...and pulled out a Maiden Curly Crown doll. I couldn't believe it! She's part of the Lady Lovely Locks line of girls' toys from the late 80s, and she was one of my favorites. I had her for years. She was missing her shoes and the "Pixietails" clips. There were odd white spots on her legs. She still had her yellow dress, but the two clip-holders were tarnished and had lost their glittery fabric. Her flame-colored curls were a tangled mess. I bought her right away.

Here's a picture of her in her 80s prime.

I checked out a few yard sales across the street from the Library. Those yielded nothing of interest, so I moved on. I saw several yellow signs for yard sales on East Clinton Avenue. That ended up being my next stop.

I had wondered why there were no actual addresses listed for the East Clinton yard sale...and I realized why when I saw that there wasn't one or two yard sales on the street, but dozens! I made some great finds, too. I dug through a pile of 80s and 90s stuffed animals at one house and came up with a Pound Purry. The Pound Purries were the cat versions of the wildly popular Pound Puppies from the mid-80s. I found one at the thrift shop a few years ago, but this one was a bit different. He was a big orange tomcat with tan stripes. I bought him and named him Kit-Cat, and he rode with me for the rest of the morning.

Kit-Cat wasn't my only find on East Clinton. I also picked up five great albums for 50 cents in, all in fantastic shape. I bought the Carpenters' A Song For You, Neil Diamond's Hearthlight, Don McLean's American Pie, and two classic soundtracks from very different decades, The Graduate and Xanadu.

I took a quick look at two more yard sales on the end of the block, then finally made my way to the farm market. I had to eventually. I needed a ton today! Peaches were gone, but I was able to pick up zucchini, little apples, grapes, plums, green peppers, carrots, spinach, an ear of corn, an onion, and a tomato.

Took in a few more yard sales in Oaklyn riding home. I'm so mad about the one on Washington Avenue. I JUST missed a bag of American Girls clothes. A mother was walking off with it just as I arrived! There was nothing at the one on Walnut Street or the couple that were on Kendall. I rode over to Audubon Park to see if there were any yard sales there. Only one, and nothing of interest. After I left there, I went home for lunch.

Lunch was very quick - a spinach and tomato salad, peanuts, an apple and cinnamon muffin. When that was done and everything was put away, I went out again on the bike. I went back to the Oaklyn Library for this week's volunteer session there. Ended up buying two more items from the Flea Market. They had more of those Beanie-type holiday toys Eckards sold in the late 90s. I picked up the star and the Christmas tree to go with my candy cane.

My session as the Oaklyn Library was really quick. Everyone was busy shutting down the Flea Market, and they were supposed to close at 2. It was quarter after 1 by the time I finally got in. I had just enough time to organize the kids', teens', and adults' DVDs.

I thought of looking for more yard sales, but it was almost 2 by then. I opted to stop at WaWa for an Icee instead, then ride home again. When I got in, I decided it was cool enough to do something I haven't done since the spring - bake bread. I tried a Garden Vegetable Bread recipe from a supermarket baking cookbook I bought years ago. While it rose, I finished editing this month's Monkees role-play. (Look for that later tonight, BTW.)

When it had rose enough, I punched it, put it in my glass loaf pan, and let it rise again. This time, I went for a short walk. I wanted to greet Dad, who got in from his work trip earlier this week, and see if he could recommend another internet provider besides Verizon. Yes, he was glad to be home. No, he couldn't recommend another internet provider. He uses Verizon FIOS. I have no need for that. High-Speed internet is plenty fast enough for me.

I just hiked down Dad's street and back up to my place. When I came in, I put the loaf of bread in the oven. When that was in, I swept the porch. Boy, did it need it. Leaves are already starting to fall in piles. There won't be anything left by Halloween this year!

I put on How the West Was Won as I pulled the fragrant loaf of bread out of the oven. I enjoyed a degree. This literally huge western is a gigantic epic tale of the American West, from the first settlers on the Erie Canal to the outlaws and gunslingers most people think of when they think of the west. This movie was one of the first major studio releases to utilize Cinerama, a process that used three curved screens that went around the audience.

The filming process isn't the only thing that's epic about this movie. There's about as many stars as could be stuffed into a western from the early 60s. I counted Gregory Peck, Debbie Reynolds, Carroll Baker, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, John Wayne, Robert Preston, Walter Brennan, Lee Van Cleef, and as the narrator, Spencer Tracy. For all the gorgeous scenery, huge action set pieces (like the buffalo stampede and ride down the river rapids), and stars and more stars, the whole thing feels...flat. And not just because TV really can't replicate Cinerama yet. I feel like I'm watching a 50s social studies textbook sometimes. While the Indians are treated surprisingly well for this sort of thing, everyone is white. There's no blacks, Asians, or anyone else who might have really helped make the West. There aren't even any people who don't speak English.

It's not a bad movie, though. Not for fans of traditional bad guy and good guy westerns, but if you like star-studded extravaganzas and American West tales that take themselves a bit more seriously than usual (and don't mind the awkward split widescreen format), it's great to watch a fantastic cast do what they do in the wide open plains.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pigs and Pirates

I really slept in today. I didn't get up until 9:30, and then I spent some time reading More All-of-a-Kind Family and writing in my journal. It was still cloudy and a little bit humid, not the kind of day you wanted to jump out of bed anyhow.

I had muffins, plums, and peaches for breakfast and watched more A Pup Named Scooby Doo before heading out to run my Friday errands. I picked up my paycheck at the Acme, then rode to the FYE in the Audubon Crossings Mall. Disney just re-released the 1984 animated action/fantasy The Black Cauldron on DVD. I've wanted that one ever since it was announced last year. I remember seeing that at the Beach Theater in Cape May in 1984. Universal finally put out the Kevin Kline/Angela Landsbury movie version of the 1981 Pirates of Penzance as well, and I really wanted to replace my aging Blockbuster video copy. Alas, the Audubon FYE turned out to be out of both. I almost bought a $4 copy of The Three Amigos. I may go back for it later in the week, but not today.

I probably spent more time there than at the Acme. There was very little I needed for groceries this week. Most of what I needed was yogurt! I also restocked my olive oil and canola cooking spray, both of which were on sale.

I had a simple peanut butter and apple butter sandwich lunch at home. Finished A Pup Named Scooby Doo while I did the dishes. Though I still enjoy Pup Named to a degree, it's not something I'm going to buy. It's fun to watch one or two episodes, but watching them all at once reveals a show that relied too heavily on running gags - Daphne constantly calling her butler whenever there's trouble, Fred accusing bully Red Herring of every crime, "Velma said 'Jinkies!'" - and too little on decent scripts. The cute and colorful anime-esque animation hasn't dated all that well, either.

On the other hand, there were a couple of individual episodes I really liked. "Dog Gone Scooby" shows what happens when Scooby, feeling neglected, runs away...and the kids realize how much he means to them. (Plus, this is the only episode on the set where the villain turns out to be neither bad nor a business owner in a silly costume.) "The Wrath of Waitro" is a short spoof of super hero cliches, with Shaggy and Scoob as two of Hanna Barbara's least-likely crimefighters. "Mayhem of the Moving Mollusk" takes the kids to New York City, where they fight a snail who plays hockey (don't ask) and make a lot of references to another ABC cartoon about spook-catchers that was popular in the early 90s, The Real Ghostbusters.

The sun had started coming out as I was riding home from the Acme, and was rapidly improving. I decided that I still wanted those DVDs, enough to go into Philly and find them. I stopped at the bank quickly to drop off my paycheck (and enjoy the macaroons and a very small slice of the pineapple upside-down cake they had out for their Customer Appreciation Day) and rode over to Collingswood. I hopped a fairly full PATCO train into Downtown Philadelphia.

Since it was past 3 by this point and the traffic was getting ridiculous, I just stuck to Broad Street. Yes, the big FYE near City Hall had The Pirates of Penzance and The Black Cauldron. The latter was on sale, in fact. Pirates wasn't, and the spindle holding the DVD to the box was broken, but it was the last one in the store and I didn't feel like ordering it online. It wasn't quite as much of a steal as the last few times I went there, but thanks to the Cauldron sale and my Membership Card, it could have been worse.

I went across to Borders after that and browsed, but I mostly went there to get a drink. I was really thirsty. I grabbed a small sweet tea at the cafe. Didn't buy anything else. I considered some more of those candy shop mysteries, but I think I'll wait for Christmas to go book-shopping again.

After I left Borders, I made my way through the heavy traffic on Broad Street and back the way I came, via the PATCO station at 13th and Locust. I took a partially-full train back to Collingswood and rode home, enjoying the now-gorgeous day. The sun was fully out, the clouds were gone, and the wind had gentled down to a lovely breeze.

Made salmon with wine sauce, corn on the cob, and honey-glazed carrots and peppers for dinner while watching Ivanhoe. Robert Taylor plays the title knight, who returns from the Crusades to discover that Richard the Lionhearted is being ransomed by the king of Austria. He's determined to raise the money and release his king. With the help of an elderly Jewish man and his daughter, who may be a sorceress (Elizabeth Taylor), his father and his ward (Joan Fontaine), his father's jester, and the man known today as Robin Hood, he fights knights and challenges Richard's dastardly brother John.

Set around the same time as Robin Hood, this is a very different story...but it's still pure old-fashioned swashbuckler. Robert Taylor is stiff and a bit miscast as the knight, but the ladies, especially Joan Fontaine, are much better. There's also some wonderful sequences of Robin Hood and his men rushing into battle at the castle where Fontaine and Taylor are being held, a reminder that this movie was made in the epic-crazy 50s.

The rest of tonight's been more frustrating. My internet went down for more than an hour! I hate having to call Verizon yet again. I'm assuming there are still storms in the area. And I'm trying to unravel that hat I was crocheting for Molly. I was trying to work in the round, but it got twisted and turned. I couldn't sew them together. When I tried to unravel the parts, they got tangled. Now there's a heap of tangled yarn laying on my couch. Plus, Mom said the yarn was too thick and had too many strands for a beginner. I'll just stick to making scarves, muffs, blankets, and pillows for the girls until I get better at crocheting.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Balance Goes Upside-Down

Began today with this week's yoga class. As you can guess from the title of today's entry, the theme was inversions, i.e, getting on your head, back, or shoulders. Anything that gets you upside-down! I'm getting better at bridge, but I STILL can't do headstands or handstands. It's annoying, especially since everyone else in the class can do them.

I made a brief stop at the thrift shop after class to say "hi" to Erica, then headed for the Collingswood Library. I came just in time for their Storybook Hour, so there were piles of DVDs to pull out and put away. I did a major reorganizing on their children's DVDs, too. FA said he'd tried to put them in order, but they just got messed up again. I put them in the best alphabetical order I could. I really wish people would teach their children to put things away correctly, instead of jamming them any old place!

I went to WaWa next for a bottle of water and a pretzel, then headed home. I had an omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and peppers for lunch. After I ate, I took down the few remaining summer decorations and put up the general fall items. Fall is my favorite season, so I have a lot to do. I put the cardboard leaves on the window, hung the plastic leaf, put out the doll display on the top of the adult paperback bookshelf in my bedroom, and hung the scarecrow bell I found at a yard sale last year.

Spent the last hour before work editing the Monkees role-play for this month. It should be done by the end of this weekend at the latest.

It was still pretty nice when I got up this morning. It was cloudy, but cool and fairly dry. By the time I was leaving Collingswood, the chill of the morning had been replaced by heat and humidity. The clouds were getting even heavier as I rode to work, but thankfully, they waited until well into my shift to burst.

The weather pretty much cleared out the Acme. It was on-and-off busy all evening, and never worse than mildly steady. Someone did slip and fall going outside, but other than that, there were no big problems. I was in and out on time.

The world was wonderfully wet when I left the Acme. It was sprinkling as I rode down the Black Horse Pike. It's raining heavier now, but I don't think it's as bad as the thunderstorm we had this evening.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting Back On the Merry Go Round

It was quarter of 10 before I finally opened my eyes...and discovered another glorious, sunny late summer morning. I read More All-Of-A-Kind Family in bed and wrote in my journal. Got dressed, had a very quick Cheerios-and-peach breakfast, and headed outside for a walk.

I just strolled around the neighborhood. Went all the way down Manor Ave, then back up Cedar and over to Kendall. It was a wonderful day for it. The sky was that brilliant blue again. Some of the trees have leaves that are just starting to turn colors. I could hear the students at the Oaklyn School screaming and chasing each other, enjoying their recess. Watching them run around the huge field in the back of the school and the concrete area with the hopscotch court and basketball nets reminded me of the similar set-up at Cape May Elementary when I was a child. Only our field, formerly the high school football field, was a lot bigger (and still retains the football goals to this day - it took me years to figure out what those were and why they were in our school yard), as was the concrete area.

Spent an hour or so working on editing the role play and doing things online after I got in from my walk. Around 2, I watched Max and Ruby and had a quick Peanut Butter and Apple Butter Sandwich with sliced tomatoes and a plum for lunch. When I finished lunch, I grabbed the DVDs and the books I had to return this week and headed for the Haddon Township Library. (Made a brief stop at the Dollar Tree for sponges on the way, but they didn't have the kind I like, the thicker ones.)

There were huge piles of DVDs sitting on the return shelf when I arrived! I hadn't seen that many DVDs in ages. It took me over an hour to return them all. Getting the kids DVDs alone organized took nearly twenty minutes. There were a lot more non-fiction DVDs than usual, too, which took another twenty minutes.

On the other hand, I found some good DVDs pretty quickly. I ended up with the 1950s Ivanhoe with Robert Taylor, How the West Was Won, Pretty In Pink, and the second, third, and four season set for A Pup Named Scooby Doo. Also took out the children's novel Heidi.

Headed for Collingswood next. I wanted to check out the Weight Watchers group at 5:30 at the Collingswood Fire Hall. Trouble was, first of all, I got over there much later than I'd planned. Second, it took me twenty minutes just to find the entrance. By the time I had found it, the first meeting of the night was already under way. I signed up, then went to Saladworks two blocks away for an Autumn Harvest wrap and a pickle for dinner.

The Weight Watchers meeting was disappointing. First of all, as nice as the leader was, she didn't discuss anything about nutrition that I don't already know (like watch your portions, you can eat anything as long as you don't overdo it, if you eat fiber and protein, you'll feel fuller).

Second, the group didn't really do much besides sit there and say "whee, a couple of people lost four pounds!" I need more out of a group than to sit there and cheer over losing pounds. I need to actually DO something to lose those pounds.

Third (and this was one of the reasons I quit the online version), the whole "Points" thing is way too complicated. I don't mind keeping a food journal, but all the adding and trying to figure out how many points for this and that is just annoying.

Fourth, you have to go to a meeting somewhere every week, or you have to pay extra the week after. I can't always make every meeting every week. I really can't ask for the time off; that's one of the big reasons I stopped doing counseling. The only morning meetings in the area are in Cherry Hill, where I can't get to easily.

I don't regret trying it, though. It was $15, which isn't bad. I probably won't go back, but now I have a clearer idea of how I want to lose weight and to meet people. I need to meet people who DO something besides sit and yammer about how they're going to do something. I want to be active, whether it's a dance class or a yoga class or a crochet or woodworking club.

To that end, I rode past the Pillar Dance Studio on West Clinton Avenue in Oaklyn on my way home from Collingswood and found it open, for once. A girl at the desk gave me their schedule (hand-printed - she said they were out of printed ones) and said that walk-ins are welcome and yes, they do have adult classes. (In fact, an adult ballet class was going on as we talked.) I told her I lived around the corner and was considering several local dance schools.

I treated myself to an ice cream cone at Leo's next-door after that. Well, I wanted a frozen yogurt cone, but they were out of frozen yogurt. The lady there didn't seem to understand that I wanted a small cone, either. She gave me two huge scoops of Vanilla Fudge! The moment I turned away from her, I tossed the top scoop in the nearest trash can. I can't eat that much ice cream.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Day Is Calling Me...But So's The Job

I slept in on what turned out to be a gorgeous, 80-degree September day. I finished Wild Ride and wrote my journal. When I finally rolled out of bed, I made oatmeal and watched last year's Pixar opus, Up.

Up is another Pixar original tale. An old man whose beloved wife has just died takes off for South America via hundreds of balloons attached to the house they lovingly fixed themselves. His adventure really starts, though, when he discovers the young boy on his porch who has inadvertently joined him for the ride, and that boy becomes attached to an exotic bird and a dog who can speak...

I absolutely loved this one, and like Ponyo, may end up buying it. It was mainly lauded for the heartbreaking opening sequence that depicts the 50-year relationship between Carl and Ellie Fredrickson, and justly so. That sequence is one of the sweetest, most realistic things I've ever seen in a movie, especially an animated one. Unlike the rather dark Wall-E, which I loved but found too intense to watch again, this is one that I could see me putting on often.

I also enjoyed Wild Ride. Mary Anne "Mab" Brannigan, a professional restorer, is working on an amusement park, Dreamland. It turns out, however, that there are some decidedly unamusing things going on there. It's a hold for five demons, guarded by five demon hunters whose spirits have been passed on through the generations...and Mab finds herself in the middle when one of the demons falls for her. An unusual blend of fantasy, action, and comedy, I had a lot of fun with this one. As someone who grew up around small-time amusement parks, the setting in particular was one I could relate to.

It was such a beautiful day that I went for a walk after Up ended. I'm so glad the weather's been nice for the past few weeks, especially after the horribly hot summer we had. There was a nice, cool breeze. The sky was so blue, it hurt my eyes just to look at it. I walked down to Newton River Park and back around through to the park's back entrance on East Beechwood. After that, I headed home, figuring I'd spend the rest of the afternoon having lunch and editing the role play.

I did do those things...but without as much time to do them as I thought I'd have. Turns out the Acme had called. They wanted me in by 1:30, but it was almost 1:30 when I got home. I did some computer work and had a very quick lunch, but I did get in a little early, at 3 instead of 3:30.

Work was the same as yesterday - busy and a pain. There were several chop-shop people clearing out our sales (and disregarding the fact that other people might actually want to buy some, too). There were old ladies who gave 500 orders on how to bag without being much of a help themselves. And there were a surprising amount of huge orders for a Tuesday, some numbering as much as $600. I'm assuming it's people coming back from vacations or stocking up for school. There's no major holidays coming up until next month, and the weather is supposed to stay fairly nice through the week.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weight-y Problem

This was not a fun day. First of all, I overslept again. That meant I didn't get out to do the laundry until after 11. The laundromat was busy when I arrived, but there were washers and driers open. I had a lot of stuff, but only one heavy item. I wanted to wash my bathing suit and towel that I use for the pool before I put them away for the year. (No, I didn't put the bathing suit in the drier.)

I'm just feeling a little down. Nothing seems to be working out. I'm back up to 205 pounds. That makes me so mad! Just two years ago, I was down to 174. What happened? I don't get it. Am I just unable to lose weight? Have I been eating too much? I walk. I ride my bike. I do yoga. What's wrong with me?

When I got home, I had to rush to put all my clothes away before they wrinkled. Then I had to gulp down yogurt and an apple for lunch, then rush to get ready for work. I just barely made it to the Acme on-time.

Work was on-and-off busy...but when it was off, it was really off. I was so bored. There was nothing to do. All the candy on the shelves is brand-new and has no place to go yet. There were no returns to put away and very few magazines to organize.

There were a lot of annoying customers, too. We got a set of those ridiculous people who buy piles of whatever's on sale to sell to chop shops in Camden. Of course I'm going to be mad at them! I know darn well what they're doing, and it's illegal! Not to mention, it takes inventory from people who need those things legitimately, and ringing up their stacks and stacks of coupons takes forever. If you have a store of your own, buy your inventory from a warehouse or find yourself another business.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Raining In the Football Season

I felt so nice under my comforter this morning, I didn't feel like getting out of bed. I just lay there and listened to the...rain? Yes, that was rain on my roof. It was finally raining, for the first time in weeks. We've desperately needed the rain. It's been so dry.

When I had to admit to myself that I wasn't going back to sleep, I sat up and read Wild Ride for a while, then wrote in my journal. It felt so nice to just lean back and relax and write and enjoy a morning, for once.

After I finally got out of bed and got dressed, I put on the Brunch With the Beatles radio show. "Songs from the Original 13 British Albums" was the theme today. Pretty much what it says on the label - we get the hit songs from each of the Beatles albums that were released in England during their heyday. (Some of the American albums had very different line-ups and weren't included.)

I made 9-Grain French Toast for breakfast, than called Mom for our weekly chat. She'd just gotten off the Internet and was feeling a bit stiff. She was looking up knitting patterns. She's very nervous about the knitting class she's going to teach for Michael's soon. She's afraid she won't know enough about knitting to teach them. She was looking up information on stitches she's not as good with.

She also gave me advice on the hat I'm working on for Molly. Sigh. It looks like I'm going to have to restart the crown. I'm working in the round, and I got it all twisted. It's going to be a pain in the rear, but I can't think of another option. I'm still trying to learn. I should find some kind of a class or club.

I went online myself after I got off with Mom. Lauren and I just finished the Monkees role play last week. I'm about half-way through editing it. Look for it sometime next week!

When I'd had enough of sitting down, I decided to make muffins. I thought the Apple-Cinnamon Muffins from one of my British baking books sounded appropriately fall-ish. I ran the Hairspray movie soundtrack while I put them together and after they went in the oven. The muffins came out just ten minutes before I left for work!

It's surely a sign of fall when the Acme is busy again on weekends. In addition to everyone finally settling into the old school-work routine, today is the first full day of NFL football. I was disappointed I couldn't see the Eagles game, but it didn't turn out to matter. They lost to Green Bay 27-20 and apparently didn't play very well anyhow.

The game must have been interesting enough. There were no major problems going in or leaving. It was just cloudy when I rode to work and sprinkling when I went home.

Went straight online when I got home. Had a very quick yogurt-and-muffins dinner and listened to the second half of The Dress Circle. "An All-Star 'Boys From Syracuse'" was the theme tonight. For those of you who aren't big fans of musicals, this was a 1938 Broadway show based after play by Shakespeare of the same title. It's been revived on-and-off Broadway several times since then. The hosts had the highest praise for the 1997 Encores! cast, but my favorite was an actual recording from 1938. Singers Frances Langford and Rudy Valee breezed through one of the best songs from the score, "This Can't Be Love."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Beautiful Morning

It's remained gorgeous today, sunny, breezy, and in the 70s. When I woke up this morning, the clouds were gone, leaving nothing but blue skies. I slept slightly later than usual on a Saturday morning, but I still had plenty of time for Casey Kasem and American Top 40 re-runs on WOGL before heading out for this week's Farm Market run.

The Farm Market was busy as ever when I arrived around 10. The orchard booth was especially jammed today. I guess everyone wants those fall peaches and apples for their kids' lunchboxes. I didn't need a whole lot today, mostly fruit. I just picked up plums, peaches, apples, tomatoes, and honey.

Rode around for a little while after I left, looking for yard sales. I found one right away on the White Horse Pike. I had lemonade there, but there wasn't anything else of interest. After I got back from the Farm Market, I rode to the neighborhood behind the Oaklyn School and checked out two more. One was the same place I visited last week; the other was closer to the school on Ridgeway. Nothing I wanted at either place. I also stopped briefly at CVS to see if they had any Draino. I didn't like the price, so I moved on.

I got home around quarter after 11. I worked on editing this month's Monkees Role Play for an hour. After I finished that, I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich and a peach for lunch. Finished watching Ponyo and ran a couple of Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater cartoons after that, then swept the porch.

Work was steady this afternoon, far busier than it has been but not overwhelming. I imagine a lot of people are either having college football parties today or are getting ready for Sunday debut of NFL football tomorrow, including the first Eagles game of the year. (And I have to miss it - I work 3-7, and it's at 4:15. Bummer.)

I totally forgot about the Acme's Kick-Off Party today. There was a ton of food in the back room. I had a delicious brownie, a slice of chocolate cake with peanut butter icing, a shrimp, vegetables, and some kind of whipped cream trifle with angel food cake and strawberries. I also saw Spanish rice, a cheese and pepperoni tray, and a football shaped cake donated by the bakery.

I was so full when I got home, I decided to hold off on dinner and go for a walk instead after I changed out of my work uniform. It was a nice night for a walk. The breeze felt really good. I strolled down Goff Avenue and back down to the school, then over to West Clinton and down Woodland Terrace. The clouds had returned by then. Unlike yesterday, they weren't big, fat clouds. They were feathery and soft, like Mother Nature had just thrown on a blue, lavender, and gold silk cape. It was really nice.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Interesting Times

I got up at 9AM. It was pretty much the same weather as yesterday - sunny, cool, windy, and on-and-off cloudy. I'll take that. I had a late cereal breakfast and watched Bowery Boys movies before heading to the Acme to pick up this week's paycheck.

Didn't really need a whole lot at the Acme. My shopping didn't take long, and might have taken even less time if I remembered my list. I restocked my yogurt (Dannon is on sale this week). I bought some more beef chunks for stew, and more flounder packs. I grabbed mousse mixes for mousse pies. Stocked up on pens while they're on back-to-school sales. Picked up the Land-O-Lakes Brown Eggs on sale for $2.50.

After I headed home, I put everything away and ate a Peanut Butter and Apple Butter sandwich for lunch. It was getting cloudier and windier, but otherwise, the weather remained decent. It was too decent to hang around inside all day, and I had to run to the bank anyway, so I went for a walk.

The bank was my first stop. As I was giving the teller my check to deposit, she told me the diner down the street in Oaklyn had burned down. I couldn't believe it. I hoped she didn't mean the Newton Diner. I love that place. I just ate there a month ago - that's where I won Twilight the Horse from a crane game. They're food is greasy but good and decently price, and they have great service.

As I strolled down the White Horse Pike, I crossed my fingers and hoped they hadn't meant the Newton Diner. After all, there are at least 14,795 diners in New Jersey. She could have meant somewhere else.

The big red firetrucks next to the Ritz Theater gave me my unfortunate answer. Yes, it was the Newton Diner that burned down. It looked pretty bad, too, at least what I could bring myself to look at of it. I saw some of the roof and walls, but the inside was as black as tar. I just couldn't stand any more carnage and turned down the block next to WaWa. I walked into Audubon via the train footbridge instead of the White Horse Pike.

Had a much nicer time there. Bob at Abbie Road is having a sale on used CDs. Used 1-disc sets are $4.99; 2-disc sets are $6.99. I bought the album for the long-running 1977 original cast of A Chorus Line from the used sale. Picked up a Chocolate Italian Soda from The TreeHouse Cafe after leaving Abbie Road. Stopped at Willie the Woodsman and Wife's, too, and bought the new WebKinz Gobbler Turkey. Browsed in Act Two Collectibles, but I didn't buy anything.

The weather had become gloomier as I headed back to Oaklyn. The clouds that were just fleecy bits when I was at the Acme were now full and thick, with no blue showing through. It was windy, cool, and gloomy...the perfect afternoon to spend dusting and listening to cassettes of 20s music.

As I dusted the bedroom, I tripped over the edge of my just-made bed and landed hard on my knee on the carpeted floor. Ouch! I don't think I did any permanent damage - I can move it just fine - but my lower left knee is now rug-burned and sore. It's going to have a very nice lump by tomorrow.

In addition to the dusting, I finally did something I've been putting off for a month. I bought an address book at the Wildwood Boardwalk so I could clear all the random phone numbers and addresses off various surfaces in my apartment, including the phone table next to my bed, the junk dresser in the living room, and the refrigerator. I've had my old address book since college, and it was filled with the numbers and addresses of people I haven't heard from in years. Not to mention, almost everyone I know who lives further than down the street from me has moved within the last decade.

After I finally finished the dusting, I made Chicken Therese and spinach and tomato salad for dinner and watched the Japanese animated movie Ponyo. Ponyo is a variation on The Little Mermaid. A fish who is the daughter of a powerful sea god is saved by a little boy who feeds her and takes care of her. She becomes so fond of him (and of the ham he feeds her), she longs to become human herself. When she finally makes her wish come true, it upsets the balance of nature so badly that a storm nearly washes the town where the boy and his mother live away. Ponyo's mother opts to let her daughter become fully human and restore the balance of nature...if she can pass her challenges...

This is a sweet, delightful, simple tale of two kids who learn about the importance of family, the ocean, and friendship. And I especially love the daring, strong-willed mother, who literally out-races a tsunami in her SUV, takes care of old ladies, and cares for her son while her husband is at sea. She reminds me so, so much of my mother when I was 5, right down to the short hairstyle.

Oh, and meet Mayflower, the Gobbler Turkey! The stuffed animal will eventually become a Thanksgiving decoration. The online May will be moved with her mate, Plymouth the Turkey. I'll relocate Alex the Citrus Dragon to the new Cabana Room.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Windy Balance

I felt so nice when I got up this morning, I didn't want to get out of bed. I cuddled in my blankets, not feeling hot at all. In fact, there was a wonderful breeze on my legs. When I did finally finish my journal and open my front door, I discovered a breezy, lower-70-degree morning. It was still dry, but yesterday's heat had dropped to something far more normal for this time of year.

Perhaps in honor of the changing seasons, today's yoga class concentrated on heart and chest work-outs that get your energy going. I was hard-pressed to keep up with the other 13 people in the class, including the teacher Karin and my friend Pattie. Pattie and I both had a hard time with the balancing twist that involved turning your torso to one side and lifting your torso and legs. I'm just too big.

Headed straight to the Collingswood Library next. It was very busy, and there were plenty of DVDs to put away. People were taking them out, too. College-age girls wanted romantic dramas. Kids wanted animated movies and Dora the Explorer. Older men were looking for action movies.

After I finished at the Library, I headed straight home. I had beef stew for lunch, then did something I've wanted to do for a while - bake a cake! I've been craving chocolate, so I made Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake in a bundt pan with Cinnamon-Chocolate Glaze. It came out soooo well, nice and moist. The glaze even came out right, for once.

Ran That Midnight Kiss as I ate my stew and did my baking. Opera singer Mario Lanza made his debut in this film...and I guess the writers decided that sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. Lanza plays a Philadelphia truck driver who is discovered by wanna-be opera singer Kathryn Grayson and real-life concert pianist Jose Iturbi. Indeed, Lanza was from Philadelphia and was discovered when he was driving trucks there. He's still something of a legend in this area. There's a statue of him in Fairmount Park.

(The movie, however, is for fans of opera, Lanza, and/or Grayson only. It's a bit contrived and flat, and only works because of the excellent cast. In addition to Lanza and Grayson, we also have Jules Munshin as the producer of the opera, Keenan Wynn as a fellow truck driver, and Marjorie Reynolds as Lanza's original girlfriend and the dispatcher at the truck garage.)

Went to work shortly after the movie ended. It was a bit busier than last night, otherwise not a problem, and the hours moved fast.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


It remained hot, sunny, and dry today, but there was a wonderful wind that kept it from feeling as hot as yesterday. It felt so nice as enjoyed my Corn-Cheese Muffins and plum for breakfast this morning.

I actually managed to sleep in this time and didn't make it to the Oaklyn Library until past 11:30. I mostly spent the time organizing the DVDs and videos again. I pulled teen movies from the kids' section and organized the teen and adult sections. They were really bad, especially the adult section. I also took a quick look at the kids' picture books.

Went for a walk after I left the library. Stopped at WaWa and bought a soft pretzel and a Light Cherry Lemonade fountain drink. WaWa's soft pretzels used to be terrible, doughy and tasteless, but their signs claim to have improved them. It wasn't false advertising. They're still a little too doughy, but they actually have some flavor now and they do taste better.

I strolled down the White Horse Pike to WaWa, then headed over the hill, past Dad's and Uncle Ken's house, and across the tracks back to my place. I had a really quick lunch of tomatoes, yogurt, and the last Persian Cucumber Salad of the year (cucumbers are now out of season at the Farm Market) and watched the last East Side Kids movie I'm going to run right now, Docks of New York. Even with all the rushing, I was still almost late to work!

I did finally make it in barely on time. Not that it turned out to matter. It was dead, and apparently had been dead all day. Other than it being off-and-on around the usual 4-6 rush hour, it stayed dead. There were some annoying beginning-of-the-month people, but other than that, no problems.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Library

Despite not sleeping well last night, I just could not sleep in. I don't know why. I was up by 8 and couldn't get back to sleep. I read Wild Ride and wrote in my offline journal instead.

I finished Journey to the Center of the Earth while having Cherrios and a peach for breakfast. Based after the Jules Verne novel, Journey involves Scottish professor James Mason and his best student Pat Boone (?!), who set out two prove their theories about what's really in the middle of this planet. They're eventually joined by the widow of the man who was about to make a similar trip (Arlene Dahl), and a young Icelander and his beloved pet duck Gertrude.

This is old-fashioned action at it's finest. It's corny. It's silly. The miniature-based special effects are dated by today's standards. And yet, it's still charming and genuinely exciting. Mason is in fine form as the stubborn, Henry Higgins-like professor. Dahl has a wonderful time sparring with him, and Boone isn't as out-of-place as you might think at first.

Rode to the Haddon Township Library next via Newton River Park. It was hotter today than yesterday, but there was a lovely breeze that made the heat far more bearable than last month's 90-degree temperatures were. It was almost as busy in the park, too. I dodged dog-walkers (one college student had the cutest golden retriever puppy I'd ever seen), joggers, and families with small children in strollers who weren't ready for school yet.

The library was fairly busy for the first day of school, mostly with older adults and parents looking to distract non-school-age children. I helped a little girl find Strawberry Shortcake DVDs, and returned piles and piles of them. I picked four DVDs for myself - more Max and Ruby, the MGM operetta That Midnight Kiss, and two animated films from last year, the Pixar hit Up and the Japanese modern fairy tale Ponyo.

It was past 1PM when I finally headed across the street to the Westmont Plaza. I haven't had lunch at the Bagel Shop in a long time, but it might not have been a great idea at 1PM on a day when the kids were back in school. There were knots of kids and teenagers from the three schools within walking/biking distance standing around the Plaza. Between kids on their lunch hour and office employees and nurses on theirs, the Shop was jam-packed. I was lucky to find a seat next to the Flyers photographs. I'm surprised my Turkey and Swiss Wrap with Avocado Spread came as fast as it did.

Made a quick stop at Super Fresh, then headed home. Spent the next few hours watching Max and Ruby and doing a major dusting session on the living room. I dusted under everything, including books, records, and stuffed animals, and that always takes a while.

Max and Ruby is a charming young kids' show about the adventures of a pair of dissimilar bunny siblings. Max is a feisty toddler boy; Ruby is his very feminine and rather bossy elder sister. Visits from and trips with their beloved Grandma was the theme of this DVD. They went on a treasure hunt in the area near their house, painted a rainbow, set up a birdhouse (and fed the birds), and made mudpies.

After the cartoons ended, I put on jazz records and continued cleaning. When I finished the living room, I decided it was too late to start the bedroom. I opted for a swim instead.

The pool was very chilly today, 75 degrees. (Though chilly pools don't really bother me that much. I've swum in 60 degree seawater before.) Rose, Craig, Jodie, baby Khai and Jodie's college-age son TJ joined me at the poolside as I finished my swim. Khai's getting to be such a plump baby! He's so round and cute. Rose, Craig, and Jodie were all fine. It was nice to see all of them again. Jodie's feeling a little lonely because Dad's on another cruise ship job, otherwise they all seemed pretty happy. They mostly gossiped and talked about babies and pets.

Went straight home and into the shower after the mini-party ended. Had leftovers for dinner as I watched another East Side Kids opus. The Kids enter the fast-paced world of newspaper journalism in what I think is my favorite Kids movie yet, Bowery Champs. The title suggests another boxing tale, but it's closer to 'Neath Brooklyn Bridge. The Kids set out to write a story proving the innocence of a woman who witnessed a murder.

Monday, September 06, 2010

No Laboring On Labor Day

It was nice to not have to work on Labor Day for the first time in over ten years. If I wasn't working on the Acme, I was working on getting ready for classes! Well, no really major work today. I was off the Acme, and all the libraries are closed.

I slept in and decided, since it was so nice, I'd spend the late morning and early afternoon in Newton River Park. I went for a long walk from CVS to just past the green and yellow playground, and then back around to Greenwood Avenue in Oaklyn. Not surprisingly, given the gorgeous, 80-degree weather, everyone was out in the park. People walked their dogs. They had picnics with their children next to the playground. They fished. They jogged. They strolled in ones and twos and threes. They rode bikes.

Turned the other direction when I got half-way through. I stayed on the path for a while, but then I saw a steep dirt path branching upwards to the houses overlooking the hill. I thought...why not? I'd never tried them before. I felt like an explorer as I hiked up the hill...and ran into the back of several yards. I had to squeeze around construction equipment working on the back roads in Haddon Township and Oaklyn to make it back to Greenwood.

The neighborhoods were busy, too. I saw people mowing their lawns and weeding their gardens. They chatted on their porches, and practiced guitars on their patios. They stopped their cars to talk to friends. Kids walked in groups, relishing their last day of freedom before school starts again.

I had considered Capitol Pizza for lunch, but like most of the small businesses on the White Horse Pike, they were closed for the holiday. I ended up getting a Roast Beef and Swiss Ciabatta Melt, Dark Chocolate Reeses Cups, and a 16 oz Chocolate-Cherry Coke Zero from the fountain for lunch. I headed home to enjoy my treats and another East Side Kids movie, Smart Alecs

Headed for the laundromat after that for my only real "laboring" of the day. It took me a little longer than usual to do the laundry this week. I had piles of linen and the baby blanket I used for the doll story last Tuesday in addition to the usual things. It was busy again, but I was able to get a washer and a dryer with no problems this time. I read Wild Ride in peace while the other customers watched golf.

After I came home, I put the laundry away. When that was done, I made tilapia, steamed green beans, and pan-fried red potatoes with rosemary for dinner, listened to Bruce Springsteen, and watched Journey to the Center of the Earth.

I hope all of my US readers had an equally enjoyable - and restful - Labor Day!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

September Morn' and Afterwards

I slept in and awoke to another gorgeous morning. I made Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Pancakes for breakfast. I talked to Mom for an hour. She's fine. She might be teaching a knitting class for beginners at Michael's starting next month, and she's thrilled. She's also thrilled that my brother is starting his senior year of high school the day after tomorrow...and once he's gone, she won't have to get up early to send a child off to school anymore, for the first time in 27 years.

Spent the rest of the morning baking Corn-Colby Cheese muffins, making Beef Stew for dinner, and watching Please Don't Eat the Daisies. I've always heard that this Doris Day/David Niven movie is rather cutesy, but I'm enjoying it. It's based after the tales of a real-life theater critic known for his scathing reviews, his smart, sensible wife, and their four rambunctious boys (and one oversized sheepdog). She gets them to move to a fixer-upper house in Connecticut. She's happy there and fills her time with various volunteer committees for the school. He's not happy there. He'd rather be among his hoi-poli New York friends. It doesn't help matters when an actress looking for publicity makes a play for him. It's a lot of fun, and far less sugary than its reputation suggests.

Work was almost exactly the same as yesterday. On and off busy, no really major problems other than the usual obnoxious beginning-of-the-month people. I was in and out on time and with no relief.

Got home in time for this week's Dress Circle and a shower. "The Shows of September" was the theme this week. Enjoyed hearing songs from Sweet Adeline, Fine and Dandy, West Side Story, and the sensational Angela Landsbury London version of Gypsy.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Why Couldn't We Ride?

I don't think there's ever been a nicer Saturday in early September. I awoke to clear blue skies, cool breezes, and 77-degree temperatures, with none of yesterday's humidity. As Casey Kasem counted down the top songs in the country in September 1970 in WOGL's Saturday morning American Top 40 re-run, I opened windows and doors and sliced up fruit to go with my Cheerios for breakfast.

(And I really enjoy hearing those American Top 40 re-runs. It's interesting to hear familiar songs in the context of the time they were released...and novelties that don't often appear on WOGL.)

It was a terrific day for a Farm Market run. Not surprisingly, the Farm Market was elbow-to-elbow today. Not only is it the beginning of the month, but people were buying produce for their Labor Day barbecues and get-togethers, not to mention apples and other firm fruit and veggies for kids to take with them on their first day back at school. Yams and grapes were gone, but I bought tons of things anyway - baby spinach, green beans, plums, little green apples, peaches, carrots, green peppers, tomatoes, red potatoes, and mushrooms.

It was really too nice to go home right away. I went for a bike ride around the area instead. I was mostly looking for yard sales. I only found one on Princeton Avenue in Audubon, but I did pick up some nice stuff. Grabbed a Build A Bear outfit that I may be able to use for my American Girl doll Molly and a Christmas jazz/easy listening CD. After I left, I rode around Audubon, looking for more yard sales. When I didn't find anything else, I just headed back to the apartment.

Spent the rest of the morning at my place. I made a Plum-Apple Cobbler for dessert tonight. I did this month's budget. (Spent about the same as last month, not counting the money to get to Cape May County and Clementon Park.) I finished Soapdish and ran another East Side Kids movie, Bowery Blitzerkeg. Oddly enough, despite the title, this isn't one of the war-oriented movies. Gangsters try to get Mugs to throw a big boxing tournament...but Mugs knows there's too much at stake, including his friendship with Danny and a local cop and his own pride.

Work was a pain. It's the beginning of the month, which means all the fun people come out of the woodwork. Some of the older ladies were especially annoying. I do wish they'd try helping, instead of giving us 600 directions on how to bag their order. Ladies, please, WE KNOW WHAT WE'RE DOING! If you don't like it, bag yourselves.

Thankfully, by the time I left, it had slowed down to the point where I spent part of the last half-hour rounding up items that had been left in the wrong place in the aisles. My relief came back on time from his break.

(And that Plum-Apple Cobbler came out divine. Best cobbler I ever made. Tasted even better with a few spoonfuls of Lite Cool Whip.)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Out of the Eye of the Hurricane

As it turned out, the closest Hurricane Earl got to us was 100 miles off the Jersey Shore. There's been some erosion down there, but nothing like the winds, rain, and flooding that smacked the Carolinas. It's been humid, mildly hot, and on-and-off cloudy all day. It didn't even rain.

Started off the gloomy morning with WOGL's "The Breakfast Club" morning show and writing in my journal. The Breakfast Club always runs Al Alberts' version of "On the Way to Cape May" at the end of their show every Friday between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. I thought it would be a nice way to bookend my summer, especially since I actually did make it to Cape May this year.

I made a really nice breakfast of fried egg and egg white with farm-market Colby cheese, green peppers, onion, and mushrooms. I added a slice of 9-Grain toast with farm-market apple butter and a glass of green mint tea. Watched another East Side Kids movie while I had my breakfast. The boys try to help a girl whose guardian has been murdered by gangsters in 'Neath Brooklyn Bridge.

Made my errand run next. Picked up my paycheck at the Acme. Headed to the Audubon Crossings Mall to look for the new Looney Tunes DVDs that just came out. I couldn't find them at FYE or at Wal Mart. I did find Wal Mart's line of 18-inch doll clothes, though. I bought Jessa a really cute pair of doll-sized boots and happily ogled the new toys for the upcoming Disney movie Tangled (apparently, an action-oriented variation on Rapunzel) and the new Barbie As special Fashion Fairy Tale.

(And now I'm glad I didn't find those Looney Tunes sets. According to several angry customers at, many of the cartoons were badly cropped to make them look widescreen. Um...if they're not widescreen, why crop them to make them look that way? That makes no sense at all. It's just as bad as making a widescreen movie fullscreen. Run the cartoons the way they originally filmed, or don't bother.)

I had lunch at Arby's. Just bought a Chicken Club and a Diet Mountain Dew. I wasn't hungry enough for Curly Fries. Went back to the Acme to do my weekly grocery shopping next. Restocked my chicken breasts and cubed steak. Bought Yoplait yogurt on sale. Restocked sugar, corn meal, Cool Whip, crushed pineapple, granola bars, and peanuts.

Headed straight home after that. I put everything away and went right back out. I headed to the bank, where I deposited my paycheck and transferred funds from my savings account so I could pay my rent this month. I just haven't made enough money at the Acme lately, even with that one busy week.

After I left there, I went for a walk. Stopped at WaWa and treated myself to a Watermelon Lime-Coke Icee. The clouds were trying to break up at this point. It wasn't that hot, but the humidity was thick enough to cut with a knife. Despite this, I saw a lot of people out today, probably enjoying their Labor Day Weekend off. There was quite a bit of shore-bound traffic on both the White and Black Horse Pikes, too.

I read for about an hour when I got home, then decided that since it wasn't raining or that cold, I'd go for a swim. I'm very glad I did. The water was about 80 degrees, same as yesterday, and felt great once you got used to it. Once again, I had the pool to myself. Almost everyone else in the family were getting ready to go to the Philadelphia Phillies-Milwaukee Brewers game at 7PM. (Phillies won, by the way, 1-0. That'll make Uncle Ken, a big Phillies fan, happy.)

I passed the rest of the evening pleasantly at home, watching Soapdish and eating leftover Chicken-Tomato Soup, Persian Cucumber Salad, and Smashed Sweet Potatoes for dinner. Soapdish is a fun spoof of soap-opera and on the screen. The producer and second lead of the long-running but low-rated (fictional) soap opera The Sun Also Rises conspire to find ways to fire the long-standing diva and get her off the show for good.

This is one of the few random 80s/early 90s comedies Mom introduced me to, rather than Dad. She's a big fan of Sally Field, who plays the diva who really won't die. Other familiar faces here include Whoopi Goldberg (as Field's writer and confidante), Kevin Kline (as Field's ex-lover who now does dinner theater in Florida), Elizabeth Shue (as Field's wanna-be actress niece), Cathy Moriarty (as the second lead), Terri Hatcher (as a soap opera bimbo), a pre-drugs Robert Downey Jr. (as the mousey producer), and Carrie Fisher (as the show's casting agent).

Actually, it's interesting to watch this now. Many long-running real-life soap operas have gone off the air in the last few years, including As the World Turns and The Guiding Light. I guess people have enough soap operas in real-life these days that they don't need the silly ones on TV, or see enough on reality shows to last 80 lifetimes.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Dust and Balance

Despite all the reports about Hurricane Earl coming our way, it was sunny, hot, and slightly humid but not bad when I headed out for this week's yoga class. There were 14 people in class today, a pretty good size considering that many teachers and college students have started school this week. We worked on back bends and standing poses. My ankle's a little sore, but it generally didn't get a huge workout.

Afterwards, I talked to a friend about looking for groups to join. I was going to look at local gyms, but the ones I've been to cost as much as $100 or more for three months' worth of membership. That's ridiculous. She suggested dance classes, and I'd still like to do Weight Watchers.

Made a brief stop at the thrift shop to say "hi" to Erica, then headed to the Collingswood Library. Spent over an hour organizing the DVDs. For a library that's as neat as a pin with books and have some really gorgeous shelves for their movies, their DVDs are often a mess. And I'm wondering if labeling them by genre is a good idea. I keep finding dramas that could be labeled suspense or action, comedies that should be in with the musicals, and "classics" that aren't that classic. And I suspect half the "children and family" movies are only on that shelf because there's no room for them with the other DVDs.

Headed back to the apartment at quarter after 12 and spent the rest of the afternoon there. I had lunch. I crocheted. I vacuumed. I washed the windows, TV monitor, and laptop monitor. I dusted the woodwork around the windows. I watched three East Side Kids movies. Pride of the Bowery got a bit melodramatic, and Let's Get Tough! had some hard-to-watch World War II Japanese prejudice. Flying Wild, another war-set spy story set around an airplane munitions factory, was the best of these so-so stories.

After I finished vacuuming, I decided I'd try the pool...and actually make it there this time. I'm so glad I did. The water was cooler than this time last month, about 80, but not that cold. It felt so nice on such a hot day! I had the pool to myself, too. Uncle Ken and Dolores were on the porch, talking about the Phillies game they're going to see tomorrow night. Dad and Jodie were inside, watching Law & Order on TNT and keeping an eye on the weather reports.

I made cornmeal-battered flounder, sauteed zucchini (last of the year from the farm market), and Persian Cucumber Salad (also last of the year) for dinner. Had applesauce with honey for dessert.

My Internet has been a pain all day. It went down at least three times earlier, and it was down for an hour after I took my shower tonight. I don't know if Verizon's being a pain or if Hurricane Earl is interfering. We'll see how it works after Labor Day and the storm are gone.

My nose has been acting up, too. I've been sneezing all day long. I don't know if it's the dust, or the heat. I wish it would go away.