Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Fairy Tales

I slept in today, until past 10:30. Considering I didn't sleep well over the weekend and had no really huge plans for this morning, I needed it. I didn't head out until after 1. When I finally did, I encountered a gorgeous day. The sun was out, the breeze was blowing, and it was probably in the lower-mid 60s, perfectly normal for mid-October in Southern New Jersey.

Newton River Park was understandably busy. I dodged lots of dog-walkers and people out for a stroll. The park looks beautiful at this time of year. The trees are finally starting to turn colors. The water is clear and sparkling, with none of the algae that marred its surface during the summer.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't busy when I arrived. It was almost 1 - most people were probably returning to work after lunch. Since I had the time this week, I did a thorough organizing of the kids' DVDs, shelved the adult DVDs, and cleared out anything that didn't belong on the adult DVD shelves. Made quite a few good finds for myself, too. Among the kids' sets, I picked up the Disney Fairies short Pixie Hollow Games, the newest Barbie As special Barbie Mariposa and the Fairy Princess, and Volume 2 of the second season of the DC superhero series Young Justice. My adult movie choices were the Alfred Hitchcock film Suspicion and the Oscar-nominated romantic comedy-drama The Silver Linings Playbook.

It was 2:30 by the time I finally made it out. It was too late to go out to eat, but I did need to stop for a few things at Thriftway. They had a basket of what looked like large squares of pizza for a dollar from the deli sitting right near the door. I thought that would be a great quick lunch and grabbed a square, along with shredded mozzarella cheese on sale. Also restocked canned tomato sauce (theirs is cheaper than the Acme's), sugar (on a really good sale), and sponges (not on sale, but it would save me a trip to Dollar Tree).

When I finally got in, I ran Pixie Hollow Games as I topped my pizza with cheese, broccoli, and mushrooms and waited for it to cook. Pixie Hollow Games isn't a movie, but a short special that was probably intended to be run during the Summer Olympics. The Garden Fairies have never gotten close to winning the Pixie Hollow Games. Vain southern belle Rosetta is chosen by perky Chloe to be her partner in the Games. Chloe is determined to show that garden fairies can be more than pretty faces. Rosetta, who hates dirt and being dirty, doesn't want to play along at first. When she's insulted by the reigning champ storm fairies, she finally becomes determined to really show what a garden fairy can do.

The first Disney Fairies animated story to revolve around a character besides Tinker Bell (who does appear briefly to fix up Rosetta and Chloe's vehicle in the final race), this is really rather cute. I like how Rosetta goes from being afraid to touch a frog to insisting on being the driver in the last race and finally getting down and dirty. Look around for it if you or your daughter is a Disney Fairies fan (and you didn't get it on the Secret of the Wings Blu-Ray).

Stayed with fairies and switched to Barbie Mariposa and the Fairy Princess as I finished lunch and did chores around the apartment, including sweeping a leaves-laden porch. This is a continuation of the last episode in the Fairytopia series, which involved the adventures of a butterfly fairy named Mariposa. Mariposa loves to read and explore, but was discouraged from both pursuits by the other butterfly fairies...until she saved their queen and opened their eyes to the wider world.

Now a librarian and royal historian, Mariposa has been summoned by the queen as the ambassador to near-by Shimmervale. An ancient disagreement between the crystal fairies and the butterfly fairies had made the two bitter enemies, but the queen would like to mend old wounds. Mari's not sure she can. Both kingdoms are under the impression that the residents are horrible monsters, thanks to years of gossip and stories circulating. The king is more interested in amassing an army to protect his borders than in peace, but his shy daughter Catiana is also a huge reader and becomes instant friends with Mari. After Catiana tells the story of how she hurt her wings, thanks to a vengeful old fairy, Mariposa becomes determined to prove to the king and his kingdom that the best way to make a friend is to be a friend...and you can't be a friend by hiding and living in ignorance.

As with Pink Shoes in the spring, this was a big improvement over last year's so-so Princess and the Popstar. I didn't see the original Mariposa, but I did enjoy her second adventure. The colors are amazing - Shimmervale is so incredible, no wonder Mariposa was impressed. And as someone who loves to read and has run headlong into ignorance and malicious gossip more times than she cares to admit, I really appreciated the message of the importance of learning all the facts before you pass judgement on someone and on being a good friend, no matter what the circumstances.

Hopped in the bath after Mariposa ended. Ahhhh. That felt nice. I kicked back, read Something More, and listened to Lena Horne. I haven't really been happy since I left college. I've never felt like my life was quite complete. I'm just not sure what would be right to complete it. I want a real job, but I'm too scared to talk to offices or businesses. I start things, but I don't finish them. I get nervous around people. I want to be a friend, but I don't know what to say or how to start. I have no idea what women my age who aren't married do for fun or how they meet people.

After I got out of the tub, I put on Young Justice while turning the leftover Italian Chicken with Tomatoes into Italian Chicken Soup with the addition of farm market vegetables and more water. This seems to be a variation on Teen Titans, with the addition of Superboy and Nightwing and more obscure younger characters like Blue Beetle, Arsenal (young Green Arrow), and Miss Martian (young female Martian Manhunter). I wish the library had the rest of this series. The set up is certainly intriguing, especially the treatment of poor Blue Beetle, who had a scarab attach itself to him that has been telling him to do some very nasty things...and may lead him to cause a great deal of death.

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