Friday, December 27, 2013

The Happy New Year's Blues

Started out an early morning with some more Sailor Moon. We move to the end of the first season as the Soldiers, now on the warpath against evil Queen Beryl, find themselves on the Moon. Amid the ruins of a devastated monarchy, they find the spirit of Queen Serenity, the last ruler of the former Moon Kingdom and Sailor Moon's late mother. Serenity explains that thousands of years ago, the five girls were warriors and princesses in their own planets, and Serena's boyfriend Darien was a prince of Earth who was suspected to be a spy. While Serena carried on a forbidden love affair, the Moon Kingdom was attacked and destroyed by Beryl's minions. Queen Serenity used the last of her strength to send the Soldiers, cats, and Darien to a more peaceful future on Earth.

I wish I could have stayed with the Soldiers. Today was my early work day. It was quiet when I got in at 9, but by the time 3 PM rolled around, the crowds were much heavier. It's almost the beginning of the month, too, which meant we had some fun people to deal with, including the type who won't bag. There was also a college student leaving at the same time as me; they sent the incoming college student in for him and had to call another from the floor so I could get out on time.

I went to Rue 21 after I finally squeezed out of the Acme. I saw a small backpack in a nifty red southwestern print that would be perfect to replace my old blue backpack that I use for grocery runs and short trips. The place was a disaster area, possibly due to the 50% off all merchandise sale that was going on, and the line was very long. I didn't see the backpack on the wall of purses, and I couldn't find anyone to ask. (And I will add that, other than the silly ripped jeans, I actually liked some of Rue 21's clothes. Fashion seems to be improving these days. They had some skirts I liked in a cute floral print, but I couldn't find plus sizes. Some of the southwestern-themed jewelry and blouses weren't bad, either.)

Returned to work after about a half-hour to do my grocery shopping. I didn't have nearly as much as last week. Had to restock my sugar, butter, honey, cocoa, milk, and eggs after last week's baking. Bought a nice little sliced ham for my New Year's dinner. I was out of toilet paper and almost out of toothpaste. Rose's huge bag of fruit from her party did save me from having to buy a lot of produce; I just picked up bananas and grapefruit. Also grabbed my second calender, this one for the wall in the hallway between the entertainment area and the bathroom. I liked the simple, bold "Inspire" calender from this year so much, I got another one for next year.

This week's schedule was more annoying. On one hand, once again, I have no really late hours - the latest I work is until 8 on Thursday. On the other hand, once again, the Thursday shift is 7 hours, and I don't have another day off until next Friday! I don't know why it would have killed them to at least give me Monday off. I don't mind working New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (they're not my favorite holidays), but that means I don't have a day off for 10 days! I hate it when I have to work that long. I end up insanely stressed. Not to mention, working in the mornings means I won't have the time to get a lot of things done. Once again, everyone went on vacation and they're short-handed. They really, really need to be stricter about when people can go on vacation, so ten people don't end up doing all the work.

I was so frustrated and disappointed when I got home, I put on Help! as I baked a Red Velvet Cake to make myself feel better. The Beatles' second movie moves them into color and something resembling a plot. The fab quartet inadvertently become involved with an Indian cult when the cult's most recent victim sends Ringo a ring that indicates that the wearer is to be killed. Poor Ringo can't get the ring off his finger, no matter how hard he and the others try. When the cult attacks, they first go to an Indian restaurant, then to mad scientists who end up wanting the ring for themselves, then to Scotland Yard. Between weird jokes, we get some of the Beatles' best songs, including "Ticket To Ride," "Eight Days a Week," the title song, and "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."

Of the two Beatles movies I've seen, I mildly prefer this one to the less surreal Hard Day's Night. This feels more like a feature-length Monty Python skit or the kind of movie the Monkees should have made instead of the rather bitter Head. The cast of British character comedians are having a great time with the material, including Victor Spinetti and Roy Kinnear as the goofy but determined "mad" scientists. In fact, the only people who aren't terribly happy are the Beatles themselves. None of them were thrilled with the weird plot, ridiculous Indian stereotypes, or the fact that they were right and they do sometimes seem like extras in their own film.

Despite the Beatles' own misgivings, I still highly recommend this one, especially for Beatles fanatics or fans of the early James Bond films (there's a lot of spy spoofs here), British comedy, or the swinging 60s.

Switched to The Backyardigans as I made leftovers and sauteed broccoli and mushrooms for dinner. The Beatles aren't the only ones who got involved with some really strange international intrigue. In the second season double-length spy spoof "International Super Spy," Pablo is a James-Bond-esque secret agent who likes his apple juice shaken, not stirred, and has a car with an array of gadgets for every occasion. He's sent on an assignment by Miss T (Tasha) to retrieve three special containers. The Lady In Pink (Uniqua) and her hench-moose Tyrone follow his every move, hoping to snare the containers for their own diabolical purposes.

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