Saturday, November 16, 2013

Take Me Home This Morning

I started out a cloudy, wet morning with this week's American Top 40 re-run. I would have been 7 years old in 1986, waiting for Thanksgiving weekend and our holiday visit to my aunt and uncle's house in suburban Washington DC. Songs I would have heard on the radio that mid-November included "Love Will Conquer All" by Lionel Richie, "I'll Be Over You" by Toto, "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper, "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money, "Hip to Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News, "The Next Time I Fall" by Amy Grant and Peter Cetara, "True Blue" by Madonna, and "The Rain" by Orange Juice Jones. That week's #1 song was one of the biggest ballads of the year, "Amanda" by Boston.

It was still cloudy and humid when I headed out this morning, but to my surprise, it wasn't really all that cold, probably in the 60s. I started with a trip to the Collingswood Farm Market. This is it's second-to-last day of the year. While the craft booths now far outstrip the food booths, there's still lots of fall vegetables and fruit to be had. I made my way through the crowds long enough to buy small Stayman apples, cranberries, leeks, a red pepper, and Brussels sprouts.

Spent the next hour riding around Westmont, looking for the one yard sale I was willing to ride to today. I went as far as Haddonfield and never did find it. Not only that, but as I was riding back through Westmont, the chain came off my bike! I pulled in at the patio of the closed-for-the-season Rita's on Haddon Avenue, but I couldn't get it back on. Good thing Rita's is only about a block from Ace Hardware and it's next-door neighbor, a car repair shop. The men at the car repair shop were nice enough to fix and oil the chain for me.

Made a few stops on the way home. I really needed contact lens solution. I didn't like the price at Walgreens, but I did get a Christmas present there. I picked up contact lens solution at the Rite Aid on Cuthbert Road, across from the Westmont Plaza.

When I got home, I ran another lesser-known Rankin Bass special as I had CranApple Muffins and Cranberry Flummery for lunch. The Stingiest Man In Town was originally a live-action musical version of A Christmas Carol that debuted in the 50s. Rankin Bass did a 2-D animated version in 1978, with Walter Matthau as Scrooge, Dennis Day as his nephew Fred, and Robert Morse as the younger Scrooge. Tom Bosley narrates as the insect B.A.H Humbug. I think this is one of the better late 70s Rankin-Bass specials, with Matthau and Day doing particularly well as the cheerful nephew and grouchy uncle. A decent score taken from the original live show helps too; my favorite songs are the opening number "An Old Fashioned Christmas" and Martha Cratchett's "Yes, There Is A Santa Claus."

After lunch, I went for a short walk to WaWa. It had clouded over again, but other than that and still being humid, it wasn't that bad. The trees are really beautiful now, all red and gold and amber. There were quite a few people out and about, doing yard work, or taking their children to what sounded like a football game at the Oaklyn School.

WaWa was fairly busy as people came and went from fall sports and local events. I needed skim milk rather badly, and it's cheaper at WaWa than at the Acme. I also tried a "S'Mores" latte. Not bad. While it was a tad watery, it did taste like chocolate and marshmallow.

When I got home, I pulled my broom out of the living area closet and gave the porch a much-needed sweeping. There was a long, high pile of leaves right down the center. I just haven't had the time to clear it off! It took me over a half-hour to get it all done, not helped by the right side overlooking the park and garden still being a bit wet.

I spent the rest of the evening inside, working on crocheting projects. Smuggler's Cove is another good Bowery Boys title from the late 40s. Here, Slip Mahoney thinks he's inherited a fancy mansion and brings Sach and the other boys along to check it out. Smugglers are using the old house for their hide-out and don't take kindly to the Boys' appearance...and then the banker who really inherited the mansion and his daughter turn up, with assistant private detective Gabe Dell right on his heels. While the Boys try to escape from the smugglers, Gabe sniffs out a case...and Mr. Mahoney just wants peace and quiet.

Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving is three winter and fall-oriented tales from the 100 Acre Wood. The first segment has Rabbit, Pooh, and Tigger dressing Piglet as a groundhog to figure out whether or not it's winter. The second revolves around Thanksgiving. Rabbit learns a lesson in being thankful for what you have when he interrupts the others' feast and demands changes. Rabbit is also the main character in the third story. He raises a little girl bird named Kessie, but learns a hard lesson in letting go when she gets old enough to fly south for the winter.

I hit the bath after Pooh ended. I needed one, after riding around all morning. It was short, but very sweet. I kicked back and listened to my full CD of The Nutcracker while looking over some of my Christmas books.

Switched to 80s animation while making a delicious fall dinner of baked chicken legs, sauteed fall vegetables, and mashed cauliflower (the last a recommendation from a customer). Happily Ever After is a true oddity, the last project from 70s and 80s TV animation studio Filmation. Technically a continuation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, this feels more like Snow White crossed with He-Man. The Prince is kidnapped by the Queen's equally evil brother, the Lord Maliss (Malcom McDowell). Snow White (Irene Cara) is determined to travel to the Land of Doom to rescue him. She's aided by Mother Nature (Phyllis Diller) and the seven "Dwarfellas," female dwarves with the power to control the elements. When they arrive in the Land of Doom, they encounter a helpful Orko-like "Shadow Man" who isn't what he seems, and a goofy comic-relief pair of birds who really don't do much besides blunder around.

I get a kick out of this, including the fact that Snow White is a bit more proactive in this version than she tends to be in most animated films. The animation is cheap, the music is awful, and the owl and the bat have no reason to be there except for as comic filler - they barely interact with the heroes except for briefly at the end. There is a really good cast, though, and some nice moments, including a great action sequence with a flash-flood in a cave. This isn't easy to find (I'm not even sure if it's on DVD), but worth a look if you're a fan of He-Man or other 80s high fantasy or Filmation projects.

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