Thursday, November 21, 2013

On a Fall Afternoon

I slept in this morning, something I haven't done in a while. I've been too busy for sleeping in! When I did get up, I read The Adventures of Robin Hood for a bit, then went online briefly to look up something. I was still on the computer when Rose called. She wanted to ask me if I was ok with the Cape May side of the family not doing a Secret Santa. She and Craig are still paying off their new house, and my other sister Anny just lost the job she got at Lund's Fisheries a few months ago. Mom's upset that Keefe won't be home from the Navy for the holidays, too.

I'll be honest. I'm disappointed. I understand that they're having financial problems, but I was looking forward to the Secret Santa. Unlike all of them, I don't have too many other people to shop for. And I'm getting a little tired of Mom refusing to come up here. I understand driving in traffic makes her nervous. I understand her eyesight is bad. Why doesn't she come up here in the late morning, when there's no traffic? Or just tell Dad to take a day off, sober up, and drive her up here? Or look up the schedules online and take a couple of buses, like I do? It would take her mind off Keefe not being here.

I put on The Backyardigans to cheer me up while I finally ate breakfast. "The Tale of the Mighty Knights" is one of their three hour-long special episodes. Here, the kids spoof rock operas and high fantasy as Knights Uniqua and Tyrone, Grabbin' Goblin Austin, and Tasha the Flighty Fairy chase an egg that Uniqua and Tyrone are supposed to be egg-sitting for King Pablo all the way up to the fearsome Dragon Mountain! They do their best to try to catch that very "runny" egg before he cracks himself!

It was still sunny as I headed to the Haddon Township Library for this week's volunteering session. They were fairly busy with people taking out movies and books before the festivities next week. I had a lot of organizing to do, especially with the kids' shelves. The D to G and S shelves were overflowing again. Thankfully, I did manage to get everything on. This time, the adult shelves were less full, and there wasn't as much to clear out. I didn't take anything out myself. I did see some interesting new cartoons, but I probably won't have time to watch or return them this weekend and next week.

By the time I headed out to the Westmont Plaza to run errands, the sun had vanished behind clouds. It did stay fairly warm, though, probably in the upper 50s. That may have kept the crowds at bay. Thriftway wasn't busy when I went in there to look at their peanut butter prices. I didn't like them, so I left with nothing. The Westmont Bagel Shop was about a half-hour from closing when I stopped in for a Vegetable and Cheese Quesadilla. A few people came to buy snacks, but I was the only one eating lunch. Dollar Tree was a little busier; I picked up Thanksgiving cards and vinegar there. Made a quick stop at WaWa on the way home for skim milk.

When I got home, I went right in the bathtub. I needed a good, long soak after all the trouble I've had over the past few days. I looked over Christmas catalogs, read The Adventures of Robin Hood, listened to my On A Winter's Night Christmas CD, and tried to ignore the knots that were still in my stomach, and had been there since last night.

I really needed something fun when I got out. I put on The Coconuts while having a simple dinner of fried eggs over easy, Cranberry Flummery, and an apple. This was the first Marx Brothers movie, debuting in 1929 as Hollywood was swept with a wave of stagey musicals and the people who appeared in them. Unlike most newcomers from the stage, the Marx Brothers worked on-camera right away. The plot looks something like their later films. Groucho is the head of a failing Florida hotel who wants to sell cheap land. Margaret Dumont is his only paying customer. Her daughter Polly (Pearl Eaton) is in love with a penniless architect (Oscar Shaw), but her mother prefers smarmy Yates (Cyril Ring). Yates, however, is a jewel thief, and he and another hotel guest (Kay Francis) steal Dumont's necklace and set Shaw up as the villain. The Marxes are a lot less interested in this than selling land and coming out the better of the deal.

No doubt about it, this is an early talkie musical, with singing lovers and sudden ballets popping out of nowhere. The Marxes have some great bits despite the staginess, including Groucho and Chico's "Why a duck?" routine. For fans of theirs or movies of the early talkie era only.

I got another call just as I was going online. It was Jodie this time, calling to invite me to an early Thanksgiving dinner at our cousins Vanessa and Mark's house in Westmont. It's Sunday evening; I hope I'll be able to go. She also told me something Rose had forgotten to mention - Rose is within spitting distance of getting her license. She may get it by Thanksgiving, and almost certainly by Christmas. That's wonderful! Even though it'll be a few years before she can practice law solo, at least she's a lot closer now.

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