Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas With Sheep, Dwarves, and Mermaids

Started out the morning with breakfast, more crocheting, and two Christmas TV show episodes. In the second season Moonlighting show "'Twas the Episode Before Christmas," Maddie and David search for the mother who left a baby in their secretary Agnes' laundry basket. Perfect Strangers also did a memorable Christmas episode during their second season. In "A Christmas Story," Larry is bitterly disappointed when a snowstorm  prevents him from getting home to Madison for the holidays. Balki does his best to cheer up his friend and remind him of what Christmas is all about.

It was a gorgeous day for a ride to the Haddon Township Library. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and it was chilly and breezy but not too cold for the time of year, probably in the mid-to-upper 40s. The leaves are gone from the trees in Newton River Park now; the river glitters green and gold. There were quite a few people out for a stroll or finishing up a morning jog or taking their dog for a walk.

The Library was very busy, too. I caught the tail end of the Storybook Hour. I helped kids find DVDs, then worked on organizing the kids' DVD shelves. There wasn't much to do with the adult DVDs, so I shelved children's books instead. Took out a collection of Christmas and winter-themed episodes of Shaun the Sheep, the Barbie As special Mermaidia, and the recent fantasy movie Mirror Mirror.

Needed to make a few stops on the way home. The first was Tuesday Morning to buy one last present for my nephew Skylar, a Lego robot set. The second was Super Fresh. They're closing next month. I was hoping to catch some good sales, but surprisingly, they weren't slashed as much as I figured they would be. I did get some things for baking - peanut butter (I really like that Peter Pan Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, and the Acme doesn't carry it), maraschino cherries, yellow cake mix, my favorite Hodgison's Yeast packs (which the Acme also doesn't carry), the Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix (I haven't seen it at the Acme yet), cooking spray, and muffin cups (which were cheaper than the Acme's). Stopped at Dollar Tree for an anniversary card for my mom and stepdad (which is Sunday) and a container for the cookies for the Acme's luncheon.

Had lunch at Capitol Pizza. They still have the cheapest pizza prices around. A slice of cheese, a slice of broccoli, and a can of Fresca cost $4.49. It was a nice, quiet meal, too. I ate well after the lunch rush was gone, and it was the first time I'd eaten there that the TV wasn't blaring CNN.

Went straight home after lunch. Another package was waiting for me on the porch, the second from Linda and James Young. This one contained a card and a present that was labeled "open now." It's another Christmas Almanac, this one by Irene Chalmers. It's very different from the slicker, more recent one I found at the yard sale a few months ago. I'll have to give it a better look next week.

Spent the rest of the afternoon at home, running the DVDs I took out of the library. Mermaidia is the second installment of the Barbie Fairytopia series, which Lionsgate released every year in the spring from 2005 to 2008. The main character of the first three specials is a fairy named Elina, who eventually gains larger and more elaborate wings. Here, she has to save her merman friend Prince Nalu when he is kidnapped by the lackeys of the evil sorceress Lavinia, whom Elina banished in the first special. She's helped by a jealous mermaid named Nori. However, becoming a mermaid will require a great sacrifice of Elina, one she may not be ready to handle.

Not bad. Not quite as fun as some of the recent installments, but better than some of the princess-themed fall stories Lionsgate was churning out at this point. I may have to look up the rest of the series.

Went right into another fantasy-themed story, Mirror Mirror, as I started this year's first Christmas baking with Peanut Butter Cookies. One of two movies this year based around the original Snow White fairy tale, this is the earlier and more family-oriented version. Here, the vain and greedy queen (Julia Roberts, playing very against-type) has locked up her shy daughter Snow White (Lily Collins). When the girl tries to warn the prince (Armie Hammer) about her stepmother's treachery, the Queen orders her page (Nathan Lane) to get rid of her. He doesn't have the heart and lets her escape into the woods, where she's befriended by seven tough dwarves who steal from travelers to make a living. They teach Snow White to do the same. Meanwhile, the Queen desperately wants to marry the prince so she can keep on living the high life, even if it requires a little black magic.

I wasn't impressed. While I liked the idea of Snow White playing Robin Hood with the dwarves to save her people and what "The Beast" turned out to be, the whole thing just seemed to be played way too goofy. It lacked even the genuine menace of Snow White and the Three Stooges. Roberts is too over-the-top as the Queen; Collins has a couple of nice moments as Snow White, but not enough to make up for a somewhat bland character. Fun for grade-school age kids and pre-teens who aren't up for the darker Snow White and the Huntsman and major fans of Roberts; cute but not necessary for anyone else.

Switched to Sean the Sheep as I reverted to crocheting and had chicken soup for dinner. There were a few winter and holiday-themed episodes in the second season. "We Wish Ewe a Merry Christmas" was a very sweet story where the sheep and Bitzer, touched by the presents of food that their owner gave them, try to make the lonely man happy with a tree and presents. "Fireside Favorite" has the cat trying to get a sick Bitzer off his usual pillow in front of the fire. Sean makes sure his dog friend gets a good rest.

And I got a call during Mermaidia from a company called American Income Life Insurance, which apparently sells life insurance to labor unions. I'd received an e-mail from them, but I assumed it was a hoax. I'd never sent them anything. I'd be a terrible salesperson. The woman who called said her boss was interested in me and wanted me to come in tomorrow at 1! First of all, that's kind of short notice. Second, they were talking about jobs for training and management. I've never trained or managed anyone in my life, and I'd make a horrible salesperson. I can't sell myself, much less life insurance. Not to mention, their sales office is in Atco, more than 40 minutes away.

After a half-hour, I felt like an idiot for turning down such an opportunity. I called them back and left a message that I'd take two trains and be in Atco by 1.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Emma, did you apply for a job with these people? or did they see you on a job website like Please be careful if you haven't already contacted them or don't have your resume out in public (online, for instance) for potential employers. If they ask you for money, get out of there politely, but fast. But if it's legit, keep CALM. You talk to people as part of your job. Emphasize that you work with people all day. If you aren't suited for sales, perhaps you could just do contact work (call and make appointments).