Monday, October 28, 2013

There's Silver In Them Thar Teeth

Started off a sunny, somewhat warmer day with spooky or strange episodes of two of my favorite sitcoms. Max and 99 have to stop mad pharmacist Jarvis Pym (played by Vincent Price) from tainting Washington DC's water supply with a hallucinogenic drug in "Is This Trip Necessary?" from the fifth season of Get Smart. The already complicated third season of Remember WENN becomes a bit scarier when the cast puts on a horror broadcast and Hilary Booth seems to be stalked by a poltergeist with a fondness for cranberry jelly in "The Ghost of WENN."

One of Mickey Mouse's lesser-known shorts is also one of his most recent. Runaway Brain from 1995 pits Disney's top mouse and his favorite girl against another mad scientist (this one voiced by Kelsey Grammer) and an enormous monster who looks rather familiar. Things get hairy when Mickey and the monster switch minds, and Mickey has to convince Minnie that he's who he says he is. Mickey also tangled with a mad scientist in the 1932 black-and-white classic "The Mad Doctor." This one wants to experiment on Pluto, unless Mickey can rescue his canine friend.

I called Mom while the shows were on. I told her about my bad day yesterday and how much the customers are driving me crazy. She told me about the continuing work on converting their garage into a den and how much Dad and the contractors are driving her crazy. I found out what my nephews are being for Halloween this year. Khai is being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle; evidently, he's a big fan of the new show. (And no, Mom didn't say which one.) Skylar is being a scientist. (No surprise there, given his fondness for all things scientific.) Collyn is a construction worker.

My dental appointment was at 11:30. I was there right on the dot, and the nurse took me in the moment I arrived. Making a crown proved to be a lot more complicated than just filling a cavity or drilling a hole. For one thing, there was only a little bit of needles on the gums, nothing like the last couple of times. There was less drilling and more biting down on soft stuff that felt like weird-tasting taffy. They also poked around in my gums a lot. That hurt more than any drilling or biting! They even put a wire in my gums at one point. Thankfully, the wire finally came out and the temporary crown went in. When I came out an hour later, I had a silvery temporary crown and an appointment for November 12th, the same day of my next counseling appointment.

Since I hadn't had any major Novocaine injections this time and could move my mouth just fine, I went to lunch right after I left the dentist's office. I figured I'd eat at the Westmont Bagel Shop, one of my favorite spots. I had a nice, simple, soft Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich on whole wheat bread with fries and water. I enjoyed my meal while watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and The Chew on ABC. The place was surprisingly quiet for lunch hour. The only other diners were a father and his daughter having a family discussion.

Went straight to the Haddon Township Library next for this week's volunteering session there. They were even quieter than the Bagel Shop. There must have been a lot of people taking out Halloween specials for their kids, too. I had absolutely no problems fitting all of the kids' DVDs into the three spinning racks. The adult titles were another matter. They're still overloaded, especially M through Z. I gave up trying to get all of the S titles on the rack.

I ended up taking out a few things for Halloween this week - the newest Scooby Doo movie Stage Fright, the Miss Spider and Her Sunny Patch Friends Halloween set Bug-A-Boo Day Play, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and six episodes of one of Disney's current hit animated series, the paranormal-based Gravity Falls. (I wanted to take Gravity Falls out last week, but a mother asked for it for her daughter, saying she was a big fan and would love it. I couldn't say no to that. From the sound of things, it'll be great for Halloween.)

I rode home through a busy park. It was a gorgeous afternoon, warmer than it was last week but not anything abnormal for late October in Southern New Jersey. The lake sparkled like fairy dust, reflecting the trees that are finally starting to turn dusky shades of gold, lime green, russet, and orange. I dodged lots of people out for a walk or a run, enjoying the weather.

Spent the rest of the afternoon at my apartment, cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen. I ran cartoons while I cleaned. Despite the Halloween-oriented cover, Bug-A-Boo Day Play doesn't really have a whole lot to do with anything scary. The title episode teaches Shimmer just how hard it is to put on a show when the kids abandon her Bug-A-Boo Revue for less difficult autumn pursuits. Spidercus and Spideretta babysit the kids in "Big Bad Buggysitter." Shimmer wants to have quiet fun like baking cookies, but her siblings would rather dance and make noise. She and Spidercus discover they have something in common - some bugs (and people) really do prefer less robust activities.

One of the few genuinely frightening episodes was "A Scary Scaly Tale." The kids discover an abandoned snake skin and use it to spook their neighbors. They think this is a great joke, until their parents discover a real snake in the grass! They learn that what seems funny today might not be so amusing after there's real danger.

Scooby Doo! Stage Fright takes us from Sunny Patch to Chicago, Illinois. Daphne and Fred are finalists in Talent Star, a big talent reality show. Daphne's delighted. Not only does she love the show, but she can finally tell Fred how she feels about him (after only waiting 40 years). Shaggy continually attempts to sneak Scooby in under the nose of the germ-phobic assistant director so they can show Talent Star's announcer their acts. Velma's more interested in the history of the theater where the show is filmed and the eclectic performers vying for the top prize, including a spoiled child diva, a kid violinist with real talent, a diminutive ventriloquist, and a stuffy magician. The show may not go on at all if the group can't stop the Phantom, a ghoul who seems to appear everywhere, setting fires and causing sabotage.

While I didn't like this as much as the Blue Falcon movie last spring, it was better than the last attempt at a musical Scooby story, Music of the Vampire. At the very least, there's a twist ending with whom turns out to be the Phantom, and how he can appear in many different places at once. Fine for fans of Scooby and kids who enjoy the franchise.

Put on Ghostbusters as I made leftover chicken tomato soup and Halloween Chocolate Chip Muffins for dinner. This beloved 1984 horror comedy features Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, and Harold Ramis as former Columbia University professors who go into business as professional spook chasers. Sigorney Weaver is their first client, a classical musician whose apartment may be a conductor to the spirit world; Rick Moranis is her nerdy neighbor. When Moranis and Weaver run headlong into a Sumerian god, it's the Ghostbusters to the rescue!

This classic 80s' hit is a longtime favorite of mine. My sisters and I used to run around our house on Maryland Avenue in Cape May with backpacks and Mom's vacuum cleaner hoses, pretending to be ghostbusters. It was a little more likely for us than for most kids, given how many ghost stories are floating around Cape May County. At any rate, if you're a fan of any of the cast, 80s movies, or comedies with just enough scares, this is highly recommended.

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