Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Very Busy Day Off

Today is my only day off this week, and I work 8 1/2 hours tomorrow. Today was pretty much the only time I had to get a lot done. I started after breakfast with going through the last of the CDs and floppy discs with data on them. I was able to retrieve all of my Sailor Moon, Remember WENN, and non-Dream World Monkees fanfics, all but two of my Perfect Strangers fics, and all but three of the earliest (2004-2007) story parts of the Dream World series.

Having gone through the stories, I can safely say that it's unlikely I'll do anything for Perfect Strangers or Remember WENN in the near future. I still like those shows, but I'm kind of off the writing bandwagon there. I may eventually finish my long-running WENN fanfic series "On the Edge of the Precipice" just to bring it to some kind of a conclusion.

My next two solo writing projects will probably be to complete Rini In Toyland and The Monkee Knight. Both are fairy tale-style fanfics, for Sailor Moon and The Monkees respectively. They're about two-thirds done, and I do have an idea of how I'm going to finish them. I'll finish the party story, too. It was intended as a short story and won't take long. I might be able to pull off the early talkie novel, but I'll need more research. I haven't decided if I'm going reset the young adult novel about the three girls who discover a Nazi plot in their hometown in the 80s or keep it 40s. (If I do reset it, the plot will probably become a fictional country's attempt to take over the US.)

Beyond rekindling some story ideas, clearing out the CDs and floppy discs had other uses. I'm either going to donate the zip discs, floppy discs, and the exterior drives that use them to Goodwill or give them to someone who wants them. (Lauren has put in a request.) From now on, I'm only going to use hard drives for written data, and perhaps for pictures. Floppy discs don't hold enough data; zip discs die too quickly. I removed the zip drive and now have a second free slot for hard drives. I put all remaining CDs in the plastic container with the blue top and moved the other boxes with the floppy discs and both drives to the back room. The hard drives were moved to a small leather box I got as part of a desk set in college. I think the box was intended for business cards, but it's just the right size to hold removable drives.

After I finished that, I worked on updating my record inventory. I probably have more vinyl albums than any other type of media in my apartment, including books, DVDs, CDs, and hard drives. Why? Simple. They're cheap. Almost all of my records but a few collectors' items cost me between three dollars and nada. I've bought records for literal pennies at yard sales and library book sales. Compare that to as much as twenty dollars for DVDs and CDs, ten dollars for videos, and between six and twenty dollars for some books. Adding my newest soundtrack album finds bumped the list up to 201...and I still have to add tons more rock, vocalists, jazz, R&B, disco, and spoken word and comedy LPs!

I watched Bowery Boys movies while eating lunch, taking down the general spring decorations, and putting up what little I have for summer and the 4th of July. Bowery Buckaroos takes the Boys out west and away from New York for the first time. Sach dreams that he, Slip, and the others find themselves in familiar cowboys-and-Indians territory as they search for treasure and try to help their friend Louie the soda shop owner, who had been framed for murder. This is my favorite of the first eight movies that featured original Dead End Kid Bobby Jordan (who dropped out after this one due to problems with physical difficulties and his limited role). The writers had a lot of fun spoofing typical Western cliches. I especially love the scene where Gabe passes Slip off as a gunslinger by tossing an already-shot-through card in the air and letting Slip shoot at it.

Angels Alley isn't nearly as fun. Slip sticks up for his obnoxious cousin when he catches him helping a car theft ring. He then goes undercover when members of the ring accidentally run over a local kid who admires him. This is my least-favorite of the late 40s comedy-dramas. There's way too much melodrama here, and too many out-of-character moments for Slip and the others.

Jinx Money is much better, in fact my favorite of the late 40s movies. Slip and Sach find $50,000 worth of money in a rolled-up newspaper on the ground. While Gabe (now a reporter) talks the Boys into donating it to local charities, a group of gangsters would do anything to get that dough, including taking out the Boys. An "umbrella with a hand" seems determined to take out the gangsters...but only Sach believes in his existence. This is one of the best combinations of suspense and laughs in the entire Bowery Boys series - love the gag where the guys actually "launder" the dirty money.

Spent the next hour or so cleaning the bathroom. Boy, was it grungy. I was going to do it last week, but things got so busy I put it off. I could not put it off any longer. The bath tub was disgusting, and the sink was worse. Finally got around to changing the shower curtain, too.

Went for a walk to WaWa after finishing the bathroom. I needed milk. I'd been avoiding going outside today because of the continuing heat wave. It was still steamy at 5:30, but I needed to get outdoors and get some real exercise in. I bought skim milk, a pretzel, and a Coke Zero fountain soda with vanilla and raspberry syrup for a treat.

Ran into Diane, one of my co-workers, and her youngest daughter on my way home. Diane and her family live down the street from me, on the other end of Manor Avenue. A short chat with her confirmed that I'm not the only one getting strange and very full hours lately. She, too, is working long hours for the rest of the week...and she has a family! It actually made me feel a little better to know that even people who have lives are getting stuck with crazy hours and it's not just me.

I made a tasty dinner of chicken breasts with tomatoes marinated in light Italian dressing, an arugula and radish salad, and gray zucchini sauteed in lamb broth for dinner, getting a much-needed cool shower after that.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hot Memorial Day

First of all, Happy Memorial Day to all of our people in the Armed Forces, past and present. Alas, my Memorial Day wasn't nearly as exciting as last year, when Lauren visited for that week. She is visiting here again, but not until the end of next month. I spent the morning going through more data CDs instead. I was able to salvage a bunch of fanfics for Perfect Strangers, two for Sailor Moon, and most of my Remember WENN stories, including the last couple of stories in the "Edge of the Precipice" series and three of my "spoofs."

Work was a total madhouse today. It took me a while to figure out why. Why were people shopping on a holiday, and one that was during a major heat wave to boot? Because we're getting close to the beginning of the month and a lot of folks are just getting their usual money. I didn't get my break until quarter of 4...and I was done at 5!

I bought yogurt and went right home after work. When I got in, I put the yogurt away, changed into regular clothes, put my work uniform and the rest of my laundry in a bag, and rode over to the laundromat. I'd meant to do it this morning, but I slept too late. I'm actually glad I put it off. It was a little bit cooler by 6PM, which meant the laundromat was tolerable...and dead as a doornail. There was one other young lady, the old woman in charge, and two local newscasts (channel 6 and channel 10) talking about various Memorial Day activities. I was in and out in less than an hour, even with extra towels in the mix.

I made beef quesadillas for dinner while watching the Donald Duck In the Army cartoons. From 1942 to 1944, Disney made a series of cartoons depicting Donald's misadventures as a private in the World War II Armed Services. The most famous of these, Der Fuhrer's Face, went beyond the Army misadventures. Donald finds himself in a surreal nightmare when he dreams he's a citizen in Nazi Germany. Freaky and frightening yet bitterly comic, Der Fuhrer is in a class by itself. It earned Disney the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 1943. The theme song was a huge hit in its own right, thanks to the gag-filled version by popular comic orchestra Spike Jones and his City Slickers. I actually do remember seeing this from time to time on the Disney Channel in the 80s, usually during a night show like Mouserpiece Theater where the context could be explained.

I ran the first half of the Bowery Boys movie Bowery Battalion while I was cleaning up from dinner. The Bowery Boys join the Army when they see a mock air drill and think New York's being raided. Needless to say, they're not very good soldiers. They're such bad soldiers, they find themselves in jail two times in less than twenty minutes. They get a chance to prove themselves when Louie, the owner of their favorite sweet shop, turns out to be the creator of a ray gun that the Army wants. The Boys are assigned to protect Louie...but can they rescue him from the spy ring that's after his design?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

We're Having a Heat Wave

After my busy day yesterday, I slept until 10 this morning. Brunch With the Beatles wasn't thrilling (the theme was "The Songs of 1964" - I like their later music better), so I opted for records. I tried calling Mom after having pancakes with mini chocolate chips and a half a grapefruit for breakfast. She was on her way out somewhere; I'd have to get her later.

I went for a walk in the park after breakfast. I was hoping to find that blackberry tree Lauren discovered when she visited last year. I did find the tree, but alas, most of the berries weren't ripe yet. I did get enough for a nice little snack, but not to make a cobbler, like we did last Memorial Day. I'll wait a few days.

After that, I went on my laptop. I wanted to go online, but the internet was down. Instead, I went through some of my old disks, both floppy and CD. I have inventories, databases, stories, fragments of stories, chapters of unfinished novels, essays, letters, articles, movie reviews, and projects going as far back as the late 90s. I wanted to see what was worth keeping, what I could get rid of, and what I might be able to continue.

A quick glance at most of the high school and college projects found nothing worth keeping. My writing style has changed a great deal since then, and I considered a few to be embarrassingly bad. (To the point where I wondered why my college newspaper published them.)

On the other hand, I ended up saving all of the random stories and fragments. I might be able to do something with a few of them. I could do some more research and finish the early talkie novel, for instance. Or reset the young adult novel about three pre-teen girls getting involved with local intrigue from the 40s to the 80s, when I actually was a pre-teen. Or finish that short story about the young woman who meets a young man at a party who is just as bored by the party as she is. (My basic opinion on why I'm not into partying.) I don't think I'll be able to finish the fantasy novel, but I might be able to use some ideas from that first chapter.

I'm going to go through the inventories as soon as I finish writing this. I'll continue this throughout the week. Not only will it help to clear out a lot of no-longer-necessary software, but I'll have some writing ideas...and a way to de-stress, given I once again have at least 35 hours this week. I'm just not used to standing for that long.

Work was pretty much the same as yesterday. It was long-lines busy when I came in. By the time I left, it was steady but not unmanageable. The sunny, hot weather and holiday weekend put people in a good mood. I was in and out quickly, and there were no major problems.

I finally got to talk to Mom when I got home. She'd been on her way out to the Cape May County Park and Zoo to meet my sister Rose, her boyfriend Craig, and their one-year-old son Khai there. They wanted to take Khai on his first trip to a zoo, and the County Park Zoo is both much cheaper (free, actually) and easier for a toddler to handle than the Philadelphia Zoo.

We had a short but pleasant chat. She suggested that I take it easy this week, since I still have more hours than usual and a lot of events coming up in the next month. I've decided to take her advice. Whether the Haddon Township Library re-opens this week or not, I'm going to skip it. I'll skip yoga and the Collingswood Library, too. I'll try getting some yoga in at home and getting some walks in. I will volunteer at the Oaklyn Library, since it's the closest to home, and the bathroom and kitchen are too gross to not clean.

I had salmon and a spinach-arugula salad with strawberries for dinner, then put on The Dress Circle. Heard more Irving Berlin in Hollywood this week, including "A Couple of Swells" and "Better Luck Next Time" from Easter Parade, the title song of Alexander's Ragtime Band, "Play A Simple Melody," "A Fella Chases a Girl Until He Catches Her," Marilyn Monroe's version of "Heat Wave," and "A Sailor's Not a Sailor Until He Gets Tattooed" from There's No Business Like Show Business, and "Always," one of Berlin's most beautiful ballads. "Always" was intended for the Marx Brothers' first major Broadway show and movie The Coconuts but was cut.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Morning at the May Fair

I worked late enough today that I was able to get to the May Fair with no rushing. The May Fair is Collingswood's huge Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza on Haddon Avenue. I parked the bike in the usual spot behind the Seniors' Center and headed up a block, where music was just starting to play.

There are three major sections of the May Fair. The largest features the craft booths. For once, I found a few things I could afford. I bought a lovely mahogany-stained wooden sign with "Jersey Girl" painted on it in curly-cue lettering surrounded by flowers for my porch. There were at least three or four booths selling 18-inch-sized doll clothes, a lot more than last year. I bought my modern doll Jessa a pair of jean shorts.

The Farm Market is absorbed into the May Fair for the weekend. It's usually found on the block of Lees Road just off of Haddon Avenue. It was elbow-to-elbow when I finally made my way down there. I bought strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi, 6-grain bread (it's too hot to bake this weekend), carrots, and the first New Jersey zucchini of the season. I also saw the first local snap peas.

There were other sections to explore, too. I admired the fabulous, rainbow-colored, chrome-covered vehicles at the Classic Car Show. In addition to the usual array of movie cars (hi, Herbie!) and gorgeous fifties models, there were several motorcycles at a Harley Davidson booth, a couple of 30s roadsters, and a huge retired Army jeep.

The children's section was on the other end of Haddon Avenue. This is where the "midway" is. I ducked around long lines for the miniature tilt-a-whirl, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, up-and-down helicopters, and (water-less) boats. There were three very busy bounce houses. One had a Sesame Street theme, one was supposed to be SpongeBob SquarePants' pineapple house, and one was a generic spooky castle. There was a small "fire truck" tram running in Bank of America's parking lot, and the church across the street from them held a yard sale.

Speaking of yard sales, I did hit two of them on my way back from the May Fair. Had no luck with the one on Collings Avenue, a block from the May Fair. Did better with one on Park Avenue, across from Knight Park. I found a cute little Amigo Bear (the Spanish-language Care Bear) and bought two cups of pink lemonade from an adorable five-year-old entrepreneur.

Rode right home after I left Park Avenue. It was a beautiful late-spring day, sunny, cloudless, breezy...and hot and getting hotter. I spent the rest of the early afternoon at my place, watching cartoons and having a taco for lunch.

Work was just as busy as yesterday, if not busier. I assumed everyone would be at the Shore by now. Complaints about traffic on the Black Horse Pike confirmed that at least some people were headed in that direction. Traffic aside, there were tons of people all day. Most of them were in a good mood, and there were no major problems.

I wasn't in a good mood. I was hot and tired. I didn't sleep well last night. Not to mention, I inadvertently picked up hours next Saturday when someone asked me if I wanted to work that night and I said yes without realizing what I said. I also found out why I've suddenly been called in so often. We just got a new front-end manager doing our schedules. She's still trying to figure out who asked off when, including many last-minute requests for graduations and vacations.

And she's not going to be happy to hear that I need to change my day-off request. When I got home, there was a message on the land-line phone from Mom. She said my brother Keefe's high school graduation is June 16th at 4:30. I could have sworn she said the 17th! I already asked for that day off. Now I'll have to try to get them to change it again.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sometimes, You Just Need Chocolate

It was absolutely gorgeous this morning. Windy, sunny, and still hot but a bit less steamy than yesterday. I went for an absolutely lovely walk around the neighborhood. The trees are now sporting their full, green coats. Rose bushes still look colorful and smell sweet. Gardens sport flowers growing in profusion, from azaleas to the last of the irises. There were quite a few people out this morning, trimming hedges and mowing lawns.

When I came back in, I had lunch and went to work. Work was a nut house. It was very busy all day long, and this time, we DID have help. It's a holiday weekend. Many people were probably shopping to stock their summer houses for the first time this year. Others were preparing for barbecues or family get-togethers. It did mean everyone was in a really nice mood, though, and there were no major problems. It slowed enough by 6 for me to leave quickly.

Good thing, too. I needed to get to America's Best pick up my contacts. They also needed to refund ten dollars onto my credit card; something about ordering the wrong contacts the first time. I've been trying to get there all week, but I kept having to stay late or would be too tired. After that, I went to Tu Se Bella's and bought a slice of mushroom pizza, a slice of pineapple-Canadian bacon pizza, and a bottle of water for dinner.

Next on the list was a return to the Acme for a quick grocery shopping trip. I don't usually do a lot of actual grocery store shopping in the summer, since I don't cook or bake as often. As with yesterday, it was mostly restocking - ground chicken, chocolate morsels (while they're still on the clearance rack), peanut butter, eggs. Also bought Mocha Chocolate Mousse mix, a chocolate graham cracker pie crust, and Chocolate Cool Whip (the last-named on sale) to make a mousse pie for dessert.

I made the pie right when I got home. Just finished a piece - boy, did it come out nice, rich and chocolate-y. I love those Nestle Chocolate Morsels Toppers. They may not be right for toppings, but they make the perfect mini-chips for pies.

Oh, and my schedule for next week isn't bad. I do work Memorial Day, but only four hours. The only questionable day is Wednesday, when I work 8 1/2 hours. Great...but I'm dead tired as it is now. Maybe a lot of people took that day off?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Heat Is Really On

Ugh. The heat climbed into the upper 80s-lower 90s for the first real heat wave of 2011. It was sunny, hot, steamy, and humid. I didn't get out to the Oaklyn Library until around quarter of noon, by which time the sun was beating down relentlessly through the haze. I tried not to stay out very long.

I did have some work to do at the library. This week, the DVDs weren't too bad, but the kids' section had been redone again. The series' bookshelf had been removed all together. Most of the series had been moved in with the regular young adult books (except for the Sweet Valley High books, which were loaded into boxes for the library's book sales). The young adult books had also been rearranged. The picture and easy reader books were a mess - some sections had young adult books shoved in with the picture books!

I went home in time to have lunch and watch the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD I'd rented from the Haddon Township Library a few weeks ago. After lunch, I packed up dinner, changed into my work uniform, and headed out.

Unlike yesterday, there were no major problems. 90-degree heat waves aren't the type of weather that inspires mass delinquency. The lines did get long, but we had more help this time. I was able to get in and out without a fuss.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I spent most of a slightly cooler morning continuing the spring cleaning. I slept late again, which really only left me time to scrub the bathroom and hall floors. That was enough. They both needed it badly. I usually do them in April, but I thought I'd put them off until closer to Lauren's visit (a month from yesterday, by the way). The "hall" is a rectangle of tan linoleum that separates the living room from the bedroom, with the bathroom in between. The door on the other side leads to Miss Ellie's apartment and activates her security system (which is why there's a sign that says "Do Not Open" taped to it).

After I finished with the floors, I went for a quick walk. It was humid and warm, but not quite as warm as yesterday. In fact, it was absolutely gorgeous. It wasn't supposed to be gorgeous this week. It was supposed to be stormy again. Pfft. Please. I saw a few fat clouds, but nothing that would cause any damage. It wasn't even that windy.

The beautiful weather turned out to be a problem when I got to work. We were severely short on help...and it was busy on and off all night. There were three or four call-outs. I stayed until 8. (They asked me to stay until 9, but I didn't want to push going home in the dark.) My legs hurt so bad. Why don't they call me in this often in July, when I need the hours?

And of course, the internet went down for an hour between 9 and 10. I have the feeling it gets overloaded in April and May and September and early October...when the most people are in the area. Many people in Camden County and Philadelphia go on vacation in the winter or the summer, but are around at other times. Spring and fall is when the college and high school students are at their peak internet usage, too.

I'm just feeling overwhelmed too, I guess. I keep trying to tell myself that I have to like the Acme job, because as everyone reminds me, there's no way to get another job that anyone will pay me for. I think that's a load of sour grapes. I just haven't created the right job for myself.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Outdoor Balance

The day did not begin well. Twenty minutes after I got up, I received a call from the Acme. Yes, they were calling me in. It was just 4 to 8, which meant I'd still get in most of what I wanted to do today. I wasn't crazy about the idea, but I said yes. I don't have a choice. I need to save up for my vacation and to have some money in reserve when I don't make any during the summer. (I never get decent hours between the Fourth of July and September. Everyone is either on vacation or busy with end or beginning of the school year events, and no one is around...or shopping. Which means I'm usually flat-out broke by October and November.)

I did yoga class earlier in the week than usual. I hate rushing, and I decided I'd rather get it done when I work at 4 than when I work at 1:30. The teacher was new. Cari was a replacement for the pregnant Vicki. She was nice enough, but she was also very fast, and her nasal voice wasn't very soothing. We concentrated on standing poses and knee openers. There was a lot I had trouble with. I wish I was more flexible.

For once, I did better at the Collingswood Library. There were three very tall stacks of DVDs that needed to be filed and shelved when I arrived. When I finally got those organized and put away, I turned around to find another stack! It was nice to actually be needed there for once. Plus, a lot of families were taking advantage of the decent weather to get the kiddies out of the house and to the library. I helped quite a few families find children's DVDs.

It was sunny, hazy, hot, and humid when I got out of the library. I decided, since it was hot anyway, why not eat outside? I bought a turkey hoagie, a bottle of water, and a pretzel from WaWa and rode out to Newton River Park. I settled down at a metal table about half-way to the playground and enjoyed my lunch and the view of the river.

There was a package waiting for me when I arrived home. My friend Lauren sent me the book Writing Fiction for Dummies from Barnes and Noble.com in the hope of helping me with my writing. I have a few problems with my writing for a career as of this second:

A. I can't seem to finish a story to save my life. I have at least two or three major Monkees fanfic I haven't gotten around to finishing because I lost interest. Same goes for fanfiction for Perfect Strangers and Remember WENN. I started a fantasy novel...and stopped after a chapter because I couldn't figure out how to continue and it all seemed too complicated. I started a novel on the Early Talkie movie era...and stopped after two chapters because I lost interest and couldn't figure out how to continue. I made an outline for a children's story...and lost interest. I get all these great ideas, but then I get interested in something else, and the last great idea gets put on the back burner...

B. I have no idea what to write, or what I can write. I mostly read children's action books and girls' classics, mysteries, action-thrillers, historic (non-romantic) fiction, and the occasional fantasy story. I can't seem to WRITE any of those except for maybe the kids' literature. I tried fantasy and mysteries with Lauren on the Bowery Boys and Monkees Dream World series stories, but we always seemed to trip over huge casts and plots that got too complicated for their own good.

C. I'm nervous as heck about the whole thing. The point isn't to be famous. I don't want to be famous. I don't like the spotlight. I just want to write, and maybe earn a little money from it. I just want to know one or two other people like it, too. I'm not terribly good with rejection, either.

I spent about an hour reading and resting. After I got up, I decided to keep myself awake by doing some actual moving. I'd put off spring cleaning for much too long. I finally gave the porch furniture (two plastic lawn chairs and a blue milk crate I use for a table) a good scrub. Since it was such a warm day, I scrubbed the indoor trash and recycling cans, too. I also gave my bike a quick scrub.

It usually takes me about a half-hour to do the outdoor cleaning. I don't really have much in the way of outdoor furniture to clean. Since I had some time left, I decided to go for a walk. I stopped at Doria's Deli for a Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi soda and had a chat with Mrs. Doria before I realized how late it was getting.

When I got in, I crocheted for a few minutes before packing up dinner, changing into my uniform, and heading to work. For once, they actually did need me. There were call-outs, and one of the teenage boys found a better job at Lowes and gave his two-week's notice a few days ago. We were busy and short of help all night, and I was tired and short-tempered. Several annoying customers didn't help. One older woman fussed at me to bag her bags light, after I was half-way through and her son said I could bag them heavy. Her son was the one bagging, not her. I didn't see HER making use of herself.

Coming home did not make me feel better. My internet's gone down twice for ten minutes in the past two hours, disrupting my time online. I did get the dishes done, but it's annoying. I think I might have some idea of why my Internet always goes down from mid-April to late May and from late August through mid-late October: that's when all of the college and high school students are at their peak usage. Mom gave me the idea when she told me about the constant internet disruptions they have in Erma during the summer because of the overflowing tourist traffic. I found myself wondering if my problem might be simple traffic overload.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miss Redmer and the Spring Baking Day

I slept in this morning after staying up somewhat late last night. No matter. The weather was a bit weird again. It was cloudy when I finally got up around 9:30. It was cool, not as cool as yesterday but more than usual for this time of year, but it was also humid as heck.

First on deck after breakfast was laundry. I made a little mistake there. I always put the dryer sheets in the bag with the laundry; easier to carry that way on the bike. I sorta forgot to take it out when I loaded the laundry in the washing machine. Yep, my dryer sheets and box got washed. It was a mess of cardboard bits and sheets. I'm glad I managed to clear it out before the old lady who owned the place really noticed. On the upside, my laundry now smells fresher and feels softer than usual.

When I got home, I put the laundry away, then had Peanut Butter and Plum Butter on home-made Oatmeal Bread and a salad for lunch. After I finished, I headed out for today's walk and an errand-run to CVS. I really needed contact lens solution.

It was much warmer by this point, about 2:30. The sun was in and out, and would continue to be so for the rest of the day. The humidity felt worse, too. I was sweating buckets by the time I made it to CVS. I though of getting some other things I needed there, like a new brush (I don't like the too-thick bristles on the one I got from Dollar Tree) or rubber bands, but I decided to save my money.

Spent the rest of the afternoon at home. I swept the porch again. I'm hoping getting rid of the big green fuzzies will let side of the porch that faces my bedroom dry better. It's supposed to get warmer later this week, so I took advantage of the comparatively cooler day to bake Orange Muffins and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. I watched Psych, The Bowery Boys, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wish I Could Sweep Those Clouds Away

It was cloudy and surprisingly cold when I got up this morning around 9:30. I thought it was supposed to be getting into the 80s this week. It remained chilly as I made Whole Wheat Pancakes for breakfast and put on Brunch With the Beatles. "Questions and Answers" was the theme today - ie, Beatles and solo songs that ask questions. They include "If I Fell," "The Ballad of John and Yoko," "When I'm Sixty-Four," "Help!," "Piggies," and "What Is Life?"

I tried calling Mom, but I didn't talk with her for very long. My nephew Skylar was visiting. She was on just long enough to say that they were having in-and-out sun before Skylar requested a walk.

I spent the next hour and a half editing the first part of one of several Bowery Boys stories we've done in the past few months. This one is about Duke Coveletske encountering his exact double...and having to rescue him, with the others' help, when he's kidnapped. Look for it and more in the coming months!

Work was a total madhouse when I finally made it there today. We weren't even short on help this time. Between the weather and the many events going on this week and next week, we were just plain mobbed. It thankfully slowed down by 4:30. Some of my customers were a bit annoying, including several who gave me heck about their bags not being perfect.

I came home in time to make an omelet for dinner and catch all of The Dress Circle this time. Some of the songs Irving Berlin wrote for the movies were heard tonight and will be heard next week as well. Among them were "Mammy" from The Jazz Singer, "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy" (which fits Al Jolson to a T), from Mammy, "Cheek to Cheek," "The Picolino," and the title song from Top Hat, "Snow," "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing," and "Count Your Blessings" from White Christmas, "This Year's Kisses" and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," from On the Avenue, and a number that had been cut from the 1931 comedy Reaching for the Moon, "Do You Believe Your Eyes, Or Do You Believe Your Baby?" that was really catchy.
The Riverside Rest Revue of 2011, Part 4

We're baaaaack! Yes folks, it's time for one more round of music, madness, and history, with the sounds of the wild and wacky Early Sound Film era, 1929-1934!

This time, the show begins with a sweet Gershwin ballad from the 1931 Fox film Delicious. Scottish immigrant Janet Gaynor dreams of "Somebody from Somewhere" who will introduce her to a new life in the New World.

Somebody from Somewhere

Our next one takes us on a "Happy Landing," from the 1931 MGM aviation-based show Flying High.

Happy Landing

In our last Riverside Rest Revue, we saw a Technicolor number featuring an enormous bridal veil. Well, how about a Technicolor number featuring a huge fan? The Dodge Sisters and the MGM chorus are the feather-bedecked beauties in "A Girl and a Fan and a Fellow." Originally intended for the scrapped March of Time, this one eventually appeared in the Three Stooges short Nertsery Rhymes.

A Girl and a Fan and a Fellow

Our next Technicolor number is even more spectacular. Dorothy Lee leads the chorus in "Dancing the Devil Away," from RKO's The Cuckoos.

Dancing the Devil Away

Lawrence Gray asks Marilyn Miller the musical question "Who?", from Warners' Sunny.


We go back to college...but this ain't dear old Tait, folks. The Marx Brothers take over higher education and bring down stuffy professors in "Whatever It Is, I'm Against It" from Paramount's Horse Feathers.

Whatever It Is, I'm Against It

What do you think of when you hear George Gershwin's jazz symphony "Rhapsody In Blue?" I hope it's half as amazing as what came out of the mind of director John Murray Anderson for the sequence based around it in Universal's 1930 revue King of Jazz. (Check out the stunning use of Technicolor here!)

Rhapsody In Blue

Winnie Lightner leads this delightfully goofy ensemble number from Warners' Show of Shows, "Singin' In the Bathtub." That's wrestler and long-time screen heavy Bull Montana serenading Lightner at the end.

(And fans of Looney Tunes shorts know this song well. Warners used it in any cartoon they did featuring a bath tub - including the very first Looney Tune - for over 40 years.)

Singin' In the Bathtub

Eddie Cantor tells ingenue Evelyn Brent about "A Girlfriend of a Boyfriend of Mine," from Samuel Goldwyn's 1930 smash Whoopee!.

A Girlfriend of a Boyfriend of Mine

A two-for one pair of Technicolor tunes from Warners' 1930 operetta Viennese Nights. Comedienne Louise Fazenda explains what will happen "When You Find a Man to Love" to Vivanne Segal and the chors. Segal then joins Alexander Gray for lovely hit ballad "I Bring You a Love Song."

When You Find a Man to Love/I Bring You a Love Song

Staying in operetta territory and at Warners, we move to 1931's Kiss Me Again. Bernice Claire performs the title ballad to Walter Pidgeon while the Warners' chorus looks on dreamily.

Kiss Me Again

Here's a true oddity - the first sci-fi musical. Frank Albertson and Marjorie White contemplate love in the "future," 1980, in "Never Swat a Fly" from Fox's 1930 Just Imagine.

Never Swat a Fly

A lovely bit of history. Marion Davies has to elude the attentions of Lawrence Gray as The Floradora Girl, a member of the sextet "Tell Me Pretty Maiden" in the 1900 Broadway blockbuster Floradora, represented in MGM's 1930 Technicolor comedy.

Tell Me Pretty Maiden

Bob Woosley finally gets a solo as he tells the ladies of New Orleans that "A Lady Loves a Soldier," from RKO's Dixiana.

A Lady Loves A Soldier

I couldn't think of a better way to end our revues than with the dazzling finale from King of Jazz. Let's join Paul Whiteman and the cast to celebrate the "Melting Pot" that is American music.

Melting Pot

Will there be more revues? Who knows? For right now, as a certain pig I once knew used to say, "That's all, folks!"

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eve of Destruction?

For a day that was supposedly the end of the world, it sure started out gorgeous. The sky was the bluest blue imaginable and the birds were chirping merrily as I awoke this morning. Sunshine poured through my windows. It was the most sun I'd seen in over a week.

I didn't even wait for the American Top 40 to end before heading out. I wanted to get to the Collingswood Farm Market before work. Leaving early did give me the chance to make a quick stop at two yard sales. One had some good records, but they were asking too much money. The other just had baby items and clothes; nothing for me.

The farm market was nuts today! As with last week, there's tons of events going on. In addition to graduation parties, there's communion, barbecues, and lots of birthday parties! Despite the lines, I did manage to pick up sharp cheddar cheese from the dairy booth, honey from the honey seller, strawberries, asparagus, organic arugula, mint, and scallions, and grapefruit, oranges, bananas, and kiwi from the wholesaler.

As I did last week, I went straight home, put everything away, changed into my uniform, packed lunch and a snack, and went right back out to work. It was still really nice when I rode over to the Acme, though there were now a few heavy clouds in the horizon.

The Acme was just as busy as the farm market. Even with many registers open, there were long lines all day. They actually asked me to stay an hour - there were call outs - but by 5:30, I was dead tired. I wanted dinner and to finish today's errands.

I ended up having dinner at Sonic's. I'm a bit annoyed with them. I ordered a Grilled Chicken Sandwich. They gave me the breaded chicken sandwich, with bacon that was so overcooked it was tougher than beef jerky, this funny-looking orange cheese, on thick slices of toasted white bread. I ate it because I was hungry, but from now on, I stick to the chicken wrap when I eat there.

I rode home around 6PM. Nothing happened. It was windier, certainly, and the clouds were getting heavier. Not a single other thing was out of the ordinary. When I arrived at the apartment, I changed again, grabbed my purse, and ducked out to head to the bank...then ducked back in to get an umbrella. The clouds had burst.

It was a rather nice little shower. It looked pretty, glistening on the rose petals, and smelled fresh and clean, like clothes just out of the dryer. I strolled in the rain, holding my orange umbrella with the pointy top. I made my first Leo's Yum-Yum stop of the year and bought a Lime-Vanilla Yum Yum (a creamier water ice). It was ok, but there was too much vanilla and not enough lime. Maybe I'll try the rainbow or orange vanilla next time.

I ate my dessert under the roof overhang of Doria's Deli (which closes at 6PM, so I had their stoop to myself). I finished just as the rain slowed to a stop. I walked the rest of the way to the bank and back as the clouds tried to break up again.

Watched Halloween Is Grinch Night and did some crocheting when I came in. I think I'd only seen bits and pieces of this one. The Whos down in Whoville of terrified of what happens when the Grinch goes on the prowl during a "sour, sweet wind." When Eukeriah is accidentally blown away from his grandparents' home, he takes it on himself to stop the Grinch, before he spooks the whole town!

As with Pontoffel Pock, this one got a little too weird for its own good. For all the fuss about the Grinch's scare tactics, the series of psychedelic, Technicolor images he uses to scare Eukeriah are more bizarre than spooky. No wonder the kid isn't scared when that "sour sweet wind" dies down.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Balance In the Rain

It was actually quite sunny when I dashed out this morning, almost late for this week's yoga class. Micki concentrated on hamstring and knee stretches. Some of those stretches were actually a bit too much for my bad left knee, which isn't a big fan of this damp weather.

The clouds were returning again when I walked over to the Collingswood Library. I filed and shelved DVDs and straightened them, including the blasted children's section. When kids came out of this week's Storybook Hour, I helped them choose DVDs. One adorable little pig-tailed lass didn't know what she wanted; she chose The Last Unicorn after I pointed it out to her.

I left the library earlier than usual. I stopped at WaWa for a Roast Beef Ciabatta Melt Hoagie, milk, a pretzel, and water. When I walked out, it was beginning to shower rather hard. I didn't feel like waiting around, so I just rode home and got wet. It started slowing down by the time I got home, of course.

A surprise on my porch when I arrived lifted my mood. The Seuss Celebration DVD I ordered from Barnes and Noble had arrived! I put it on while I ate my hoagie for lunch and did some crocheting.

Of the seven Seuss specials on the DVD, there was only one I'd never seen before. Pontoffel Pock & His Magic Piano is the very strange story of a clumsy young man (a "schnook" by his own admittance) who wishes to get away from it all - from his decaying family home and the job in the pickle factory he was just fired from. A fairy gives him his wish - a magic piano that can transport him anywhere. Pock is chased out of the Austrian-like Goron when he shows off too much and upsets its citizens...and he nearly gets killed when he falls for an "eye dancer" (belly dancer) in an Arabian-like city! Very, very odd special, even by Seuss-ian standards.

A better lesser-known Seuss cartoon is The Hoober-Bloob Highway. This is a far simpler tale than Pock and his flying piano. In fact, it's rather hard to describe. A man and his anamorphic mandolin are in charge of sending babies down to Earth, and they spend the cartoon teaching their newest charge all the joys and sorrows of being human. Weird, yes...but sweet and endearing as well, a wonderful celebration of what makes us a person.

I headed for work shortly after I finished Dr. Seuss On the Loose. It was still raining a little when I left, but nothing like before. When I arrived at work, the rain was down to spitting. It showered again during the afternoon, but I don't think it has since.

Between the weather and many events going on this weekend (barbecues, graduation parties, birthday parties), the Acme was busy all day. This is also the beginning of that big giveaway promotion. The promotion, to put it bluntly, isn't working. The "bonus" items that people buy to earn more game pieces don't always show up on the bottom of the receipt like they should. I hope this is just a glitch that's fixed by tomorrow or next week.

I didn't need a whole lot after work. As with last week, I'm going to try to get to the farm market early tomorrow. I picked up chicken legs on sale, dark brown sugar, whole wheat flour, Acme's generic Life-type cereal, peanut butter, soft taco tortillas, deodorant, and two more of those containers of chocolate chips. Nestle marketed them as toppers for cakes and ice cream...but they work even better as mini chips to be added to breads, pancakes, and cookies.

My schedule next week is a bit better, too. Same two days off (Monday and Tuesday), and roughly the same amount of hours, but they're later. This includes Saturday - I won't have to rush next week.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Rain Can't Make Up It's Mind

It was absolutely gorgeous when I got up this morning. While it was still humid, it was also sunny and relatively cool. I had breakfast and went for a nice walk around the neighborhood, admiring the beautiful roses and irises blooming in profusion in every yard. I worked on activities in a book on job hunting for unconventional and artistic people and had a Peanut Butter and Plum Butter Sandwich and a kiwi for lunch.

Work was a bit of a pain. It was on-and-off busy, but I really would rather have been putting away candy. I get so sick of the customers sometimes. I'm not a big fan of crowds. At the very least, I did get some things shelved, and unlike yesterday, there was plenty of help.

The clouds were just reappearing as I rode to work. I know it rained very hard at least twice while I was in the Acme. There were even some rumblings of thunder. However, by the time I finished at 6:30, the rain was long gone and the clouds were trying to break up again. They didn't try hard enough. It rained again about an hour ago, though it's sounds quiet now.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Riverside Rest Revue of 2011, Part III

Yep folks, it's time for the third round of music, mayhem, and Two-Strip Technicolor from the era when movies began to talk, 1929 to 1934! And we'll begin with Bebe Daniels and Bing Crosby at one heck of a party. Let's see what happens "When the Folks High Up Do the Mean Low-Down," an Irving Berlin number from United Artists' 1931 comedy Reaching for the Moon.

When the Folks High Up Do the Mean Low Down

We head to shore for our next number...and what do we see but June Clyde and a line of bathing beauties enticing us to "Come Into the Water," from RKO's Tanned Legs.

Come Into the Water

We move out to the docks for our next number. Seems like the fleet's in...and "It Girl" Clara Bow is going to have her pick. Look for future Paramount leading man Fredric March among the boys in uniform as Clara proclaims "I'm True to the Navy Now" from Paramount On Parade.

I'm True to the Navy Now

Marie Dressler can't be anything BUT the queen...and this number helped her become the undisputed royalty of the MGM lot in the early 30s. From Hollywood Revue of 1929.

I'm the Queen

Our first Technicolor number is a real gem. Jeanette Loff and Stanley Smith perform this sweet, dainty wedding ensemble, "My Bridal Veil," from Universal's King of Jazz.

My Bridal Veil

June Clyde and Hugh Trevor are adorable in this classic Kalmar/Ruby ballad from RKO's The Cuckoos.

All Alone Monday

Hooray for Captain Spaulding...and hooray for the Marx Brothers in one of their signature numbers, from Paramount's Animal Crackers.

Hooray For Captain Spaulding

Dorothy McNulty (later Penny Singleton of Blondie fame) leads this nutty dance ensemble from MGM's 1930 version of Good News. Let's all learn to do "The Varsity Drag!"

The Varsity Drag

Ethel Waters makes her film debut singing one of my favorite ballads from this era, the wonderful "Am I Blue?" from Warners' On With the Show!. The Four Emperors of Harmony join her for the second half.

Am I Blue?

And now, ladies and gentlemen, a real Ziegfeld-style showgirl parade, showcasing the latest fashions of 1929...if Lawrence Gray can get the chorus line in the right order! Um, are we ready? Good. Here's a Two-Strip Technicolor fashion show from MGM's It's a Great Life.

Technicolor Fashion Parade

Whoops! Sorry about that, folks. While we sort out the difficulties with he chorus, here's Bert Wheeler and Bob Woosley, showing far more interest in their friendship than their ladies Dorothy Lee and Helen Kaiser, in a reprise of "Sweetheart, We Need Each Other," from RKO's Rio Rita.

Sweetheart, We Need Each Other Reprise

Could someone fish those four out of the studio tank? We'll let them dry off while Marilyn Miller does a nifty tap dance in this scene from Warners' Sunny.

Tap Dance

From an American stage diva we move to one of England's most famous. Gertrude Lawrence performs Cole Porter's "They All Fall In Love," from the rare Paramount tuner The Battle of Paris.

They All Fall In Love

Our cultural number of the evening is George Gershwin's New York Rhapsody (aka "Second Rhapsody"), making the perfect background for Scottish immigrant Janet Gaynor's haunting escape across Manhattan in the 1931 Fox film Delicious.

New York Rhapsody

We conclude our show with another wedding, Broadway operetta-style. John Boles and Bebe Daniels sing "You're Always In My Arms" as the chorus prepares for their marriage in the finale of RKO's Rio Rita.

You're Always In My Arms/Rio Rita Finale

Look for more in the coming weeks!
Groceries In the Tropics

The weather remains rainy, humid, and cool. Perfect day for sleeping in. When I did get up, I had breakfast, then spent the rest of the morning reading and finishing Naughty Marietta. (I'll watch Sweethearts later in the week.)

Work wasn't too busy today, but we were short on help. There were two call-outs. I found this interesting, given this isn't the kind of weather that usually inspires delinquency. At any rate, I stayed an extra hour and put piles of candy away between customers.

About an hour before I left, several employees were called into the front office by Pete, our new manager. Far from being in trouble, he wanted to tell us about a promotion Acme going to do between this Friday and early July. It appears to work like the McDonald's Monopoly promotion. Customers and employees each get a game card (employees get one with different prizes). When they buy anything at all, they get one piece. If they buy certain products, they can get more pieces.

At the very least, this looks like a vast improvement on the annoying pot and pan giveaway from two years ago. It still involves giving out game pieces, but they're far larger and easier to handle than the tiny stickers we gave out for the pots. You don't have to collect as many, either. Most of the items only require five or six pieces to win a prize. The prizes are a lot bigger and more useful than a cheap pot, too, ranging from food items to large cash-prizes.

But the best part by my way of thinking is, for the next few weeks, the Acme is lifting its uniform code somewhat and allowing employees to wear capris and Hawaiian shirts to look the part of summer barbecuers. That may be the best prize of all. It's supposed to get much hotter after this week, and it'll be a heck of a lot easier on me to ride to work in capris and a light Hawaiian shirt!

I ran a few errands in the mall behind the Acme after work. I stopped at America's Best and ordered contacts. I took a peek at Lucille Roberts to see what they're like. I headed for Fashion Bug to buy myself a pair of khaki capris for this weekend.

The weather continues to be weird, by the way. It rained a little bit this morning, then was just cloudy when I went to work. It poured around 2:30...for all of five minutes. When I headed back to the mall, it was just cloudy again, and it stayed cloudy when I rode home and swept the long green seed pods off the porch. It started to rain lightly around 7:30...and once again ended five minutes later, around the time I took out the trash.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Naughty, Naughty Internet

I slept in again. There didn't seem to be much else to do. Unlike yesterday, the gray skies said "rain." It did rain this morning...but the showers had taken a temporary reprieve by the time I finished breakfast. I took it as a sign that it was a good time to head to the Oaklyn Library for this week's volunteer session there.

The children's area was busy and messy when I arrived. A man in a t-shirt was sawing part of an old set of shelves. Apparently, the library was having it's back room/lounge/office redone. There were too many tools and pieces of wood and junk laying around for me to get into the children's area. I concentrated on the DVDs instead. Someone had realized that there are too many adult DVDs to separate by letter. I just organized the titles and pulled TV sets to put on the top shelf. Pulled TV show sets and teen-oriented movies from the kids' section and gave them their own showcases.

Went for a walk after I left the library. I bought a small Pomegranate-Passionfruit Icee and a pretzel at WaWa, then strolled around the neighborhood. Sometime during that stroll, it started to shower rather heavily. And then...it stopped. And started again. It was stopping by the time I got home, but I'd had enough of playing games with Mother Nature. I stayed at the apartment for the rest of the day.

It was not a wonderful afternoon. On one hand, Naughty Marietta and Sweethearts finally arrived in the mail. I ran Marietta this evening, and it looks and sounds quite good. Certainly better than my old video. This tale of a French princess in the 1700s who flees to New Orleans to escape an arranged marriage and falls for a rugged solider is my second-favorite MacDonald/Eddy movie after Maytime.

On the other hand, the Internet went down for an hour and a half between about 3:30 and 5...when I planned to look up how to start an at-home business and the prices of major internet providers in my area, of course. I eventually called Verizon. They claimed there was yet another outtage and it would take 24 hours to fix...and the Internet went back up about 20 minutes later and hasn't gone down since.

While I was waiting for the Internet to go back up, I swept the porch again. The piles of small, thin "fuzzies" had been replaced by long, thick pale green ones. They were especially bad under the tree in front of my bedroom windows.

Oh, and I went ahead and ordered the Seuss Celebration DVD with the last of my Barnes and Noble gift card. The audio is starting to sound fuzzy on the end of the Cat and the Hat tape I picked up a few months ago. The Seuss Celebration DVDs features the Dr. Seuss TV specials of the 70s owned by Universal - ie Cat in the Hat, Pontoffel Pock, The Lorax, On the Loose, The Grinch Grinches the Cat In Hat, Grinch Night, and a lesser-known favorite of mine, The Hoober-Bloob Highway.

(If you're wondering where How the Grinch Stole Christmas is, that, Daisy-Head Maisie, and The Butter Battle Book are owned by Warners.)

Oh, I also did some baking today. I made Oatmeal Bread and Coconut Macaroons. Both came out rather well, though I wish the macaroons made more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Change In Weather, Change In Plans

It was supposed to be stormy all day. It never did anything of the sort. It was cloudy for most of the day, and the sun actually came out this afternoon. While it remained humid, the wind felt nice and the temperatures never went above the mid-upper 60s. There wasn't even the tiniest rumble of thunder.

I took this as a sign that today would be the perfect day for outdoor errands. My first stop was the laundromat to get this week's load done. Unlike last week, it never got busy. There were two people when I arrived and a college student and a mother and her adorable, laughing toddler son when I left. I had no problems getting a washer or a dryer at all.

I was originally going to hang out at the apartment and in Oaklyn today and run errands tomorrow. Since the weather was as nice as it's going to get this week, I decided to reverse my plans and do my running around today. My first stop (after passing through a busy Newton River Park - yes, I stayed on the bike this time) was the Haddon Township Library. Yes, I know they're still closed. The book drops are open, though. I slid all of the books I'd taken out but the two books on writing that I'm reading at the moment into the slots. (I'll return the DVDs when I can get in the library again. I don't trust them in the book drops.)

The Crystal Lake Diner is on the hillside under the library. I headed over there for lunch. It's your basic diner, with large booths, small chandeliers, a counter with displays of sugary pastries and huge cakes, and mirrors at the end of the rooms. I had a garden omelet with mushrooms, onions, and peppers and whole wheat toast.

(The exterior also looked pretty typical...except for some really pretty rose bushes in full bloom. My favorites were the lavender roses and the enormous yellowish-white ones with bright pink tips.)

I rode down Cuthbert and through Westmont, heading for Haddonfield. I didn't linger there like I have on my previous trips. There was only one reason I wanted to hit Haddonfield today. The Happy Hippo Toy Shop is one of the few toy and gift shops in Camden County that still sells the newest WebKinz. I found the one I'd wanted badly since it's announcement a few months ago, the Grizzly Bear.

(And this is it for WebKinz for me unless they release another really nice non-Signature bear.)

Decided to try something slightly different going home. Instead of taking the back roads in Haddonfield and Westmont, I just rode down Haddon Avenue. I passed some lovely little stores - cafes, antique shops, hair salons, and the like - that reminded me a lot of Washington Street in Cape May.

Though it wasn't hot, the ride against the wind and the windbreaker I was wearing (just in case it did rain) left me sweating. I decided to cool off with a water ice from Primo in Westmont. I had their Vanilla Chip. Not bad - sweet Vanilla water ice with white chocolate chips. And I wasn't the only one who enjoyed a treat today. A mother brought in her son and daughter for after-school ice cream cones, while another woman bought a water ice.

After a quick stop at Walgreens on the next block over from Primo, I went straight home (partially via Newton River Park again). I didn't go back out, but I did get my porch swept. The fuzzies have been bad this year, and I thought it would help the porch dry quicker if they were eliminated.

I wanted to watch the That's Entertainment Part II video while making Chocolate Chip-Strawberry Muffins, but I just couldn't get it to work. I kept fast-forwarding it and rewinding it, and all I ever saw was snow. I ran Hey, Mr. Producer! and The Cat In the Hat in its' place, and they work just fine. The tape must either be old or have been poorly stored.

Oh, and meet Bernice the Grizzly Bear! This lovable mountain woman is either going to move into the new Fruit Room or become the roommate of Helios the Golden Pegasus (who still lives alone in the World Cup Soccer room).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Riverside Rest Revue of 2011, Part II

Hi, folks! Welcome back to the Riverside Rest's showcase for the craziest, gaudiest, sweetest, funniest, or most outrageous numbers from one of the wildest times in film history - 1929 to 1934, when films learned to not only talk, but sing and dance as well.

One of my very favorite performers kicks off the proceedings this time around. Bessie Love, an Oscar nominee for The Broadway Melody, here gets to show off her comic side with "I Never Knew I Could Do a Thing Like That," from MGM's The Hollywood Revue of 1929.

I Never Knew I Could Do a Thing Like That

Warners dramatic star Richard Barthlmess introduces us to our next number. Seven sibling pairs (and one fictional one) two-step through a world of sisterhood in "Meet My Sister" from Show of Shows.

(And I must concede with some YouTube viewers - don't Sally Blane and Loretta Young look enough alike to be twins?)

Meet My Sister

Our first Two-Strip Technicolor number of the evening brings in a real-life vaudeville sister act. Vivian and Rosetta Duncan were top-rung headliners when they appeared in MGM's backstager It's a Great Life. Check out the fabulous Art Deco sets in "I'm Sailing On a Sunbeam."

I'm Sailing On a Sunbeam

And now, we go back a bit in history to the Great War of 1918...via 1929 Hollywood. Hopeful doughboy Lawrence Gray pursues feisty mam'selle Marion Davies in the hit duet from MGM's Marianne, "Just You, Just Me."

Just You, Just Me

Oh dear. Lawrence and Marion aren't the only ones who are feuding. I hope Marjorie White and Frank Richardson can get through our next number, A Diet of Love from Fox's Happy Days, without major bloodshed...

A Diet of Love

Thanks to "Whispering" Jack Smith for breaking up those two. Yikes! Let's cut to something safer, like comedian Eddie Cantor performing one of his biggest hits in Samuel Goldwyn's Two-Strip Technicolor hit Whoopee!.

Makin' Whoopee

We "boop-op-a-doop" our way over to teacher (and Betty Boop inspiration) Helen Kane and her classroom full of booping kiddies in this number from Paramount On Parade.

Teacher Says Boop-Op-a-Doop

Our next number gets more than a little campy as singer Sharon Lynn and dancer Ann Penninton shows us how to shake our "Snake Hips," from Fox's Happy Days.

Snake Hips

Who knew ballet could be so hot? MGM may not have released the full March of Time, but they did put out this amazing number in a short. We give you the Albertina Rasch Dancers in "The Hades Ballet."

The Hades Ballet

And now, the sing-along portion of our show. Janet Gaynor leads a New York block party in the title song of Fox's Sunny Side Up.

Keep Your Sunny Side Up

How'd you like to attend a Hollywood premiere? The finale of Show Girl In Hollywood takes place at the film-within-the-film's premiere. Look for cameos from then-Warner/First National stars Loretta Young, Al Jolson, and Ruby Keeler. Alice White leads the chorus through "Hang Onto a Rainbow."

Hang Onto a Rainbow

We travel across the continent to Broadway for this cute Technicolor production number from MGM's Lord Byron of Broadway. Stage star Ethelind Terry tells us the story of "The Woman In the Shoe."

The Woman In the Shoe

After all that, how about we return to another duo? Allen Kerns and Ann Pennington decide that "You're Responsible," from RKO's original beachside tale Tanned Legs

You're Responsible

Operetta favorite Vivienne Segal and future MGM leading man Walter Pidgeon (along with a none-too-happy Alexander Gray) lead us through a Sigmund Romberg hit from the Warners film Viennese Nights, "You Will Remember Vienna."

You Will Remember Vienna

French stage star Irene Bordoni brings a bit of "ooh lah lah" to our show with "Just an Hour of Love," from Warner's Show of Shows

Just an Hour of Love

Dorothy Lee and Bert Wheeler, along with Wheeler's partner Robert Woosley and the rest of the cast of RKO's The Cuckoos, brings our show to its conclusion. Look for our next revue sometime this week!

I Love You So Much/Cuckoos Finale
When the Sun Came Out

I slept in and awoke around 10 to cloudy skies and heavy humidity. It looked pretty much as it had yesterday. I made Chocolate Chip Whole Wheat Pancakes for breakfast and listened to Brunch With the Beatles. They called the theme "Songs That Could Have Been Singles But Weren't." I call it "random songs from various eras." Under any circumstances, among the songs played today were "Michelle," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends," "Dr. Robert," "Boys," "Tell Me Why," and "The Two of Us." I tried calling Mom around 11:30; ended up leaving a message.

Headed for work around 12:30. Thanks to the still iffy weather and the plethora of events this weekend, the Acme was even busier than yesterday. There were very long lines at every register all afternoon. Many high schools had their proms this weekend. The five colleges in the area (Drexel, Temple, Rowan, Rutgers, and Camden County College) had their graduations this week. Others had planned family get-togethers and barbecues before the weather forecasts came in. It didn't help that we were short on cashiers. One of the managers ended up calling someone from the back to take one register around 2:30, and someone from the bakery came in for me so I could go home.

It was still a little cloudy when I rode home...but by the time I arrived at the apartment, the clouds were quickly vanishing. I tried calling Mom again when I got in. I did catch her this time. She'd apparently been in the shower when I called this morning. I told her about my long week, about the hours planned and unplanned, the extra $100, Haddon Township's emergency closing, and ordering the much-desired Naughty Marietta and Sweethearts. Keefe apparently had his prom this weekend; I could hear Mom give direction to him in the background as he rounded up his rented tux and shoes to return tomorrow.

I went for a short walk after Mom signed off. It was still warm and still humid, but there was a nice breeze. The clouds and thunder had been replaced by sunshine and birds singing in the distance. The flowers are gorgeous this year. The rose bushes in many gardens look like they're about to bloom, and I've never seen the irises look lovelier.

Went home for leftover chicken burgers and spinach salad after my walk. I just listened to records. I tried to get on for The Dress Circle, but the Internet went down twice in less than an hour. I'm so fed up with Verizon. I don't want to call them. They keep resetting my account, which is just annoying. I need to find another company that won't give me so much trouble. Sprint maybe, or Earthlink? I've heard Comcast's customer service is even worse.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fast Farm Market Food

I got up around 7-7:30 today in order to get to the Farm Market before I had to work at 10:30. I think I just about broke my record for farm market runs. I left for the farm market at 9, arrived ten minutes later, and was home by 9:40. That was with buying spinach, grapefruit, kiwi, fresh mint, organic scallions, and the first strawberries and radishes of the season, and saying "hello" to Rose, Khai, Craig, and their dog Toby, who were also shopping at the Farm Market. (Rose finally told me what she got me for my birthday - the new Disney movie Tangled. Hopefully, she'll have a chance to get it over here sometime in the near future. Not to mention, I haven't seen her in the two weeks since we went down to Mom's.)

The weather helped. It was cloudy, cool, and humid. It wasn't raining this morning, but it did spit a little. The farm market was busy, but not quite as elbow-to-elbow as last week. The weather also kept yard sales at bay. I only saw one sign for a yard sale in Oaklyn, and that was probably for the one on the end of Manor Avenue that usually only has trinkets.

I was off to work a half-hour later. Work was quiet when I came in and steady when I left...but when the rain finally arrived around 1PM, so did the crowds. We did have plenty of help to deal with them this time, though. Other than I had no relief and was almost late shutting down due to a long line, there were no major problems.

Went straight home after work. I changed into regular clothes, grabbed my purse, and headed right back out again. I skipped going to the bank earlier, but I really did need to deposit my paycheck. It started showering again while I was out walking. The rain was gone by the time I finished with the ATM machine, but I wasn't going to chance the weather further.

Worked on last month's budget, then had dinner. Ran episodes of Good Eats while enjoying a wonderful spring meal - Lamb Chops in Blackberry-Mint Sauce (it was supposed to be apricot, but I used the last of the blackberry spread instead), Spinach Salad with mushrooms, scallions, and radishes, with Strawberries over Chiffon Cake for dessert.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Riverside Rest Revue of 2011, Part 1

Hello everyone, and welcome to our first YouTube revue, featuring clips from some of the most hilarious, spectacular, campy, adorable, or just plain strange musicals of the early talkie era, 1929 to 1934!

We'll kick things off with Charles King, a favorite of the stage and MGM's newest singing sensation, with this hot tune from a real Oscar winner, the title song of The Broadway Melody.

The Broadway Melody

Next, we switch to the prettiest Two-Strip Technicolor you ever saw for the original Nick Lucas version of a classic late 20s number, Tip Toe Through the Tulips. The mammoth 1929 hit Gold Diggers of Broadway is almost entirely lost...except for this delightful song-and-dance confection and most of the finale. Let's thank goodness for small favors and major film discoveries!

Tip Toe Through the Tulips

That color was so nice, why don't we stay with the pinks and greens and head out to the golf course? From Paramount's Follow Thru, one of the few full Two-Strip Technicolor movies still in existence, boyish bandleader Buddy Rodgers and tough-but-sweet Nancy Carrol declare that they make "A Peach of a Pair". This is followed by some fun with flapper Zelma O'Neal and future Tin Woodsman Jack Haley, both from direct from Broadway.

We'd Make a Peach of a Pair

Nan and Buddy aren't the only ones making a cute couple around here. Let's return to monochrome and an equally adorable duo, Hollywood sweetie Lawrence Gray and operetta beauty Bernice Claire. They'll perform one of Rogers and Hart's loveliest ballads, "With a Song In My Heart," from Warner's Spring Is Here.

With a Song In My Heart

Buddy Rogers takes us to more Rodgers and Hart, this time from Paramount's lesser-known Heads Up. Rogers and the chorus introduces us to the haunting nautical number "A Ship Without A Sail."

A Ship Without A Sail

After that, let's pick up the pace...and who better to add energy to this show than Warner's peppiest and noisiest comedienne, Winnie Lightner, with the novelty "Pingo Pongo" from "Show of Shows?"

Pingo Pongo

How would you like to see how one of these big 1929 production numbers are filmed? First National's blond bombshell Alice White and the chorus of "Show Girl In Hollywood" run through "I've Got My Eye On You," while the viewer gets a behind-the-scenes look at how it's all done (and was in real-life, apparently). DW Griffth star Blanche Sweet keeps an eye on flighty White and the proceedings.

I've Got My Eye On You

Marilyn Miller is one of the 20s' great Broadway stars, and here she makes her film debut in the charming Sally, Warner's version of her stage hit. And what else could she appear in but a song that could be her theme - "All I Want to Do, Do, Do Is Dance"?

All I Want To Do, Do, Do Is Dance

Isn't she something? No wonder she captivated stage audiences for over ten years. In fact, why don't we bring Miller back out with the chorus for a really lively party number, "Wild Rose" from Sally? (And watch out for that Two-Strip Technicolor - Sally was originally all-color, but alas, only black and white prints survive except for this number).

Wild Rose

Since we're already at a party, how about we "Turn On the Heat?" Sharon Lynn performs this wild chorus number from Fox's Sunny Side Up, with a little off-stage help from Frank Richardson and Marjorie White. The hottest girls in the world are Eskimos...and you'd better believe it!

Turn On the Heat

We need to cool down after that, so why don't we let Fox sweetheart Janet Gaynor tell us something about dreaming in this gentle DeSylvia, Brown, and Henderson ballad "I'm A Fool, Aren't We All?"

I'm A Fool, Aren't We All?

Let's return to Technicolor for another really cute duo. Star comic Bert Wheeler and his favorite foil Dorothy Lee decide that "Sweetheart, We Need Each Other," from one of 1929's biggest smashes, RKO's Rio Rita.

Sweetheart, We Need Each Other

And now, our cultural moment of the evening. The Albertina Rasch Dancers perform a Technicolor ballet routine from the otherwise-lost MGM operetta The Rogue Song.

The Swan Ballet

We'll conclude tonight's program with...well, pretty much everyone on the MGM lot in 1929 performing one of the most popular songs from this era. Maybe you know it? If you, do, sing along with the finale of The Hollywood Revue of 1929.

Singin' In the Rain Finale

There's a plethora of wonderful segments from early talkies on YouTube, so look for more Riverside Rest Revues in the coming weeks!
Bad Luck Balance

Hi, everyone. For once, the internet wasn't the reason I didn't post last night. Blogger was down all through last night and well into this morning. In fact, it was still down before I left today. I was surprised to see it working tonight.

I did get to yoga yesterday. We mostly concentrated on working our legs. It wasn't too hard until we tried some balancing poses. I don't know why I can't balance or why I'm not flexible enough to hold myself up the way most other people can. I've been doing this for three years. You'd think I would have developed some flexibility by now!

Went straight to the Collingswood Library after that. I put away DVDs and organized the shelves. Looked up a few books on musicals upstairs in the non-fiction section that had chapters on early talkie musicals.

Went home after a stop at WaWa for water and a pretzel. I spent what time I had left having lunch and watching the end of Love Me Tonight. Work last night was no problem at all, on-and-off busy. After I got home, I spent the rest of the evening playing WebKinz, talking to Lauren, and watching clips of those old musicals on YouTube.

I stayed up late last night because I assumed I'd be able to sleep in today. I did...and twenty minutes after I got up, guess who called? "Can you come in today? We need someone to work 1-7."

I wanted to say "no." I wanted to enjoy my other day off. Of course I said yes. I need the extra hours - my original hours still weren't great this week. Besides, I was going to go in to get my paycheck and groceries today. I COULDN'T say no.

I did get a walk in before work. I went down Goff Avenue, then trooped around in the area behind Kendall Boulevard going towards the Black Horse Pike. An attractive gold and white cat followed me down Ridgeway. He was awfully affectionate for what I assumed to be a feral cat. He rubbed his head around my ankles and let me pet him. Most of the feral cats run away the moment they see me, but not this fellow. He even let me stroke his head and back. He was probably hoping I'd give him some cat treats or tuna, but alas, I had none on me.

Went to work not long after that. As frustrating as the last-minute request was, they did have their reasons. First of all, there was a call-out. Second, our new front-end manager is still getting used to our store, and our schedule was weird. We didn't have nearly enough people up front, even without the call-out. I was very happy to turn my line over to a manger at 7 (I had no relief, of course).

Since I had a small and late lunch, I thought I'd try the new Chinese buffet on the other side of the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center. Last year, more stores were added on to the far side where Staples is. This includes a kids' clothing store, Monster Pets, Lucile Roberts, the Halloween store in the fall, and Happy Buffet.

Happy Buffet is a larger, slightly more elaborate version of Hunan's Chinese Buffet, my family's long-time favorite Oriental restaraunt in Rio Grande. A lovely entrance with a sculptured waterfall lead to a simple, teal-and-maroon serving area. The buffet was huge, with tons of choices. There were twice as many items as Hunan's had. My first plate had tiny hot dogs wrapped in bacon, spring rolls, Chinese chicken on a stick, Persian Cucumber Salad, and a small portion of fried calamari. For my "main meal," I tried a little "grand fish," some mussels (I used to looove Hunan's mussels), a little coconut shrimp, and a spoonful of spring peas. Everything was quite good...but not enough to warrant the $14.99 that the one adult buffet and a glass of iced tea came to. I'll only eat there on special occasions or when I'm REALLY craving Chinese.

I headed back to the Acme after dinner. I needed groceries. Not as much as usual, but there were a few things I had to restock. I really needed butter...but butter's expensive, even the stick spreads. I ended up with Acme's spread quarters. I hope they work for baking. They were having a decent sale on chicken breasts, so I picked up a pack. Picked up cooking spray, butter, and yogurt as well.

Other than my good luck with the found money and ordering the MacDonald/Eddy films, this has been a very frustrating week. Next week should be somewhat better. On one hand, I'm going to have to wake up really early to hit the farm market next Saturday, too. On the other hand, I have Monday and Tuesday off. That should give me a chance to at least hit the Oaklyn Library, get some things done at home, and possibly ride over to Haddonfield.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When Good Luck Comes My Way

Started out another gorgeous day in the neighborhood by finally finishing this month's dusting. My bedroom usually doesn't get as pollen-coated as the living room. My neighbor's house blocks a lot of the wind on this side of the apartment. I wiped the cloth across my dresser around 11:30...and fifteen minutes later, I was in my uniform and on my way to work.

(Dusting my room had one nasty side effect. The pollen did awful things to my nose. I've been sniffling and sneezing ever since this morning.)

Work was on-and-off busy all day. There were no major problems, and I was in and out on time. In fact, I had a very nice stroke of luck. I found a hundred dollar bill next to my register last month. I gave it to a manger to return to its owner. Apparently, the owner was never found, and the manager gave me the hundred dollars. I could really use that money. I just paid my rent, and my recent paychecks have been good but not great.

As soon as I got home, I changed into regular clothes and went back out again for a walk to the bank. Even beyond my good fortune, it was just a gorgeous day for a walk. The sky was blue. The sun was shining. People were out strolling, if they weren't taking their children to the opening of Leo's Yum Yums, the ice cream parlor on West Clinton.

When I got in, I had leftover chicken burger, steamed asparagus, and sauteed spinach with mushrooms, garlic, and fresh mozzerella for dinner. I ran Psych, then Love Me Tonight.

I've read about Love Me Tonight in various books and web sites on musicals since I was 12, but I never saw it until I bought the DVD on Amazon about four years ago or so. Every single book and web site had nothing but high praise for it...and they were all right, for once. This is a delightful confection, with none of the stiffness of early talkie musicals, nor the pretenses of some later ones. Maurice Chevalier is a tailor who travels to a country chateau in France to get a nobleman to pay his debts and is mistaken for a baron. Jeanette MacDonald is a princess wasting away from boredom who falls for Chevalier...until she discovers his ruse.

As with his later Summer Holiday, Rouben Mamoulien does wonderful things with music and dialogue. The Rogers and Hart songs just flow naturally from the script. The songs are some of the duo's best, and probably their best work in Hollywood - "Lover," "Mimi," "Isn't It Romantic." The entire cast has a wonderful time with the sparkiling farce; special kudos to Myrna Loy as MacDonald's man-crazy cousin and C. Aubrey Smith as the stubborn head of the household.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

At Loose Ends

I was originally going to do the Haddon Township Library this morning and early afternoon. I slept in, then rode over to Westmont around 11:30. It was another beautiful day, 70 and sunny (though a bit windier than yesterday), and Newton River Park was packed with joggers, walkers, parents pushing children in strollers, and ducks and geese. I tried to dodge a mother and her college-age daughter walking down the path, but I wasn't looking where I was going and my bike struck a small hole. I found myself, the bike, and the bag with my books and DVDs to return landing straight in the grass! I got really lucky. The bike and things in the basket were fine, and I didn't get hurt beyond a few bruises. The two ladies I tried to get around helped me round up my things.

I should have known that after all of that, the library still wouldn't be open. I rode up to two large dumpsters in the parking spaces in the back. There were closed signs on both front and back doors, and the library was dark. There wasn't even anyone working on cleaning things up this time.

That was frustrating. I should have known it would take a lot longer than a week to fix a busted boiler pipe that flooded half the library. And after I rode all the way over to Westmont AND got hurt doing so! I wasn't happy at all. I made short stops at a very quiet Super Fresh for Hodgeson Mill single-pack yeast, then treated myself to a bagel at the Bagel Shop. The lady who works there confirmed that yes, the library remained dark. Several people had come to the Bagel Shop upset because they hadn't known about the busted pipe or the library's closing.

Since I couldn't volunteer at one library, I figured I'd do another. I rode over to the Oaklyn Library after leaving the Bagel Shop. I organized the DVDs, took a good look at the kids' books, and pulled more young adult books that needed to be shelved. I also took out one of my favorite young adult novels, Miranda and the Movies, about a little girl who literally falls into the production of a silent movie in the early 1910s and finds herself joining the cast.

Went straight online after I got home. The Camden County Library's home page said it all - yes, the library is not only closed this week, but for at least the next three weeks. The damage was far more extensive than originally believed, especially in the boiler room and around the circulation desk and children's area. On one hand, at least they're upfront about what's going on, unlike the brouhaha surrounding the Oaklyn Library's closing in November and December. And everything I have out is now renewed until June 1st. Doesn't make it any less disappointing. The Haddon Township Library is my favorite of the three libraries I volunteer at. I really like it there. The ladies are nice to me, and they have a decent selection of books and DVDs.

While I was online, I ordered Naughty Marietta and Sweethearts. The first Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy movie and the first they did in color were supposed to be released two weeks ago, but TCM held them back, supposedly to add extras. I'm going to try not to buy anything else online after these, though, unless I use that Barnes and Noble gift card. I'm only getting these because I've been waiting for years for them to come to DVD.

Still feeling depressed after ordering the movies, I decided to go for a walk. I stopped by Phillies Phatties and had a slice of cheese pizza and a can of Diet Pepsi for lunch. Strolled by the Oaklyn School as it let out, then down to Uncle Ken's. No one was home there. The only car in the driveway was Jessa's, and she's probably either at work or just finishing school.

After that, I headed for CVS to see if they had a nicer fan than the one with the plastic cover I bought last year. They didn't, but I did run into my friend Erica's mother Miss Helen and had a pleasant chat with her. She'd had an enjoyable Mother's Day with Erica, her sister (who lives in Collingswood), and several grandchildren, some of whom are in the Armed Services. She also confirmed that Uncle Ken, Dolores, Dad, and Jodie are still having problems with each other. Dad apparently wasn't home because he went right back out to another job.

Went straight home after that. I baked Peanut Crunch Cookies from one of my British baking cookbooks and watched Yolanda and the Thief. I really like this stylish 1946 fantasy musical. Fred Astaire is the thief of the title, and Lucile Bremer (the older sister in Meet Me In St Louis) is Yolanda, a naive South American heiress who prays for a guardian angel. What she thinks she gets is Astaire, a con artist who wants to bilk her out of her money. Love, however, has strange ways of winning out...including some real heavenly assistance.

Vincent Minellei went to town with the amazing color and fanciful touches here. My favorite number is Bremer and Astaire's delightful "Coffee Time." The most elaborate is Astaire's Technicolor, surreal nightmare with Bremer asking the perpetual batchelor "Will You Marry Me?"

Monday, May 09, 2011

A Place For Everything, and Everything In Its Place

After I came home from work yesterday tired, sleeping in was mandatory. I wasn't working until 5, and I had nothing that needed to be done right away. I slept until 9 and didn't get out to doing the laundry until 11:30.

Unlike past weeks, the laundromat was very busy when I came in. I did still get a washer and a dryer with no problems. I'm just glad someone had the sense to change the TV to the news and Who Wants to Be a Millionare?, instead of the awful reality show about housewives that usually runs around noon on Channel 3. What do people see in that junk?

I put the laundry away as soon as I got home. I had a leftover chicken burger, spinach salad, and an orange for lunch, then went for a walk to WaWa for milk and a pretzel. It was too nice to be inside all day. The weather the last few days has been as perfect as it gets in Southern New Jersey - sunny, breezy but not too windy, and just warm enough to be comfortable without sweating to death.

I saw quite a few people out and about. Lots of people were working on gardens or mowing lawns. Kids walking home from school lingered to chat with friends. Parents pushed younger children in strollers or followed them as they rode their bikes and scooters. There were dog-walkers and bikers and motorcyclists.

When I came back to the apartment, I worked on spring cleaning. Fitting my new records on the crate-shelves with the others required some re-organizing. I moved half of my books on entertainment to the white plastic shelves, freeing up the other crate for Broadway cast LPs and spoken word, comedy, and radio program recordings. The board games that were on the other plastic shelf were moved to the living room closet until I can find a better place for them. I spent the last hour or so dusting the living room. (I'll try getting the bedroom in tomorrow.)

I had just enough time to add natural peanut butter and honey to yogurt, grab a banana, change into my work uniform, and head for the Acme. Part of the reason I took the extra hours tonight was I figured, with the store between holidays again, we'd probably be dead...and I was mostly right. We were quite for a lot of the night and never more than mildly steady. I was in and out with no problems whatsoever.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

To All Mothers...

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, including those whose children are four-legged or feathered. ;)

I slept in this morning as much as possible. I didn't get to calling my mother until around 11, after a breakfast of sweet potato pancakes and farm market grapefruit. Mom was tired but seemed pretty happy. She'd spent the weekend working in her garden and was getting ready to do more. She was the only one home. Dad finally went out fishing. Keefe was out with his girlfriend Vicki. Anny was with her own sons; she figured they'd call later.

I asked Mom if she'd gotten the card I sent. She said no, but she hadn't opened Saturday's mail, either. She brought the card in and opened it while we were on the phone. She was really thrilled with it; considering how long it took me to find one I liked for her at work, I'm happy she's happy.

Mom said she assumed the Acme would be dead today. Boy, was she wrong. We were packed for almost the entire afternoon. We were also short on help; there were call-outs, which resulted in long lines. Thankfully, the holiday and weather that was even nicer than yesterday's put everyone in a good mood. I was in and out of the store with no problems other than being tired.

I spent the rest of the evening reading A Song In the Dark and listening to CDs. I got so caught up in it, I was late starting my flounder and sauteed broccoli dinner...which means I was late getting in the shower...which means I was late listening to The Dress Circle. I did get to hear the last 15 minutes on a show on Frank Loesser's Hollywood music. My favorite number by far was a marvelous duet between Shirley Ross and Bob Hope, "Two Sleepy People," from the 1938 movie Thanks For the Memory.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Perfect Day for a Farm Market

Yes, today was the opening day of this year's Collingswood Farm Market. It was also the day of Haddon Township's town-wide yard sale. As with the Audubon sale last month, I had some really wonderful luck, especially with records:

The Who - Odds and Sods, soundtrack for The Kids Are Alright

Madonna - Like A Virgin

Foreigner - Foreigner

Earth Wind and Fire - Greatest Hits Vol 1

Disney kids' Christmas record that includes Chip n' Dale singing "The Chipmunk Song (Please Christmas Don't Be Late)"

Cream - Disraeli Gears

Blondie - Eat to the Beat

Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swinging Lovers (The woman who sold this one - along with the Disney album and Madonna - to me said it was her father's favorite album.)

Soundtrack to the offbeat 1984 rock musical/action flick Streets of Fire

I also found a large gingerbread man-shaped Wilton cake pan and That's Entertainment Part II on video.

It was a gorgeous day for riding all over Collingswood, Haddon Township, Westmont, and Oaklyn. The morning was sunny as could be, with blue skies and 70-degree temperatures. It's the nicest it's been in weeks.

Not surprisingly, the Farm Market was packed to the gills when I finally made it there around 10:30. Not only was it a nice day and the first one of the year, but this is a very busy weekend. Tomorrow's Mother's Day. Many colleges either have already finished or will be done next week. It's the beginning of the month. May is a big month for birthdays. Not to mention, I'm sure the gorgeous weather prompted many spontaneous picnics and barbecues.

I finally picked up asparagus, mushrooms from the mushroom seller, leeks, and carrots. Strawberries won't be out until next week and it's too early for other fruit like peaches, so I picked up grapefruit (2 for a dollar!), oranges, and kiwi from the wholesaler. (I did end up getting strawberries and bananas at the Acme. They were out of bananas by 10:30.) Grabbed a small jar of plum butter and a bear-shaped bottle of blueberry honey.

There was a pleasant surprise waiting for me when I finally got home around 12:30. I used part of that Barnes and Noble gift card my brother Keefe gave me for my birthday to buy the second edition of one of my favorite books, A Song In the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film, by Richard Barrios. I ordered it almost a week ago, and it only now just got here. No matter; I'm thrilled to have it. There's new (and larger) photos, references to recently-found fragments of formerly lost films, and still some of the best information on a rarely-discussed topic.

I was feeling pretty good as I headed to work. For once, my shift didn't damper my mood. We were steady all night, and it went quickly. During my last hour, one of the college students complained that he volunteers for a local fire department and will be training on Monday; he couldn't take his shift. I was more than happy to take it over for him. I'll now be working 5-9 on Monday, which, with my lack of hours this week, I sorely needed.