Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Getting Ready for Fall

The first thing I heard this morning was a phone call. It was Mom. I hadn't heard from her in ages. It turns out Wednesday and Thursday are her days off from the Ferry. She's been very busy all summer, working 8 and 9 hour days, dealing with the many people who came down to the Shore to enjoy the beautiful weather. It doesn't sound like she's really happy with her job anymore. Like me, she doesn't like to deal with so many people at one time, and she doesn't like that part of her job requires standing. Not to mention, Anny tends to show up with her sons whenever she's trying to get things done at home.

Anny's having her own problems. Her older boy Skylar may have difficulties adjusting to 5th grade, while the younger, Collyn, was temperamental throughout much of the summer, making his parents worry about his first year at kindergarten.

Mom's happy that I'll be staying in my apartment, but she's worried about my future. I do have money saved, more than I ever have, but I don't know much about investments. I don't want a house or a car, like Rose and Craig. I don't even have a serious job. Mom and Bill never had jobs that allowed them to save up money for their futures, and their worried about not having money for their old age. I'll have to ask about savings funds at work.

When I finished writing in my journal, I threw on There's No Time For Love, Charlie Brown while eating breakfast. Despite the title (and being found on the Charlie Brown Valentine DVD), No Time For Love has less to do with love than with school. The Peanuts are going on an important school trip to a local art museum. Chuck, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Snoopy, and Marcie end up mistaking a supermarket for the museum and base their article on that.

I did a quick outing next. The Oaklyn Library was mostly busy with people on the computers. Surprising, given the weather wasn't that bad. It was hot and sunny, but neither as hot nor as humid as it had been over the weekend. WaWa was busier, but it was the lunch hour when I got there. I bought skim milk, a roast beef and provolone hoagie, and a Pumpkin Cream Smoothie.

I ate my hoagie when I got home, then started a project I'd had in mind for a while. With the Historical American Girl dolls getting new things, I thought it was time I figured out what clothes I have in my collection, what I still need, what I can get away with buying, and what I can clear out. I pulled the rack and boxes that held their clothes out and went through everything, putting outfits together and seeing which separates could go with what.

Ran Rankin-Bass' animated The Hobbit while I worked. This was a strange one when I was a kid, and it's no less so today, but it generally does make more sense than Rankin-Bass' crack at Lord of the Rings. It's a condensed version of the book with some decent and occasionally attractive anime-esque animation (except for the odd design of the elves). I always liked Bilbo Baggins too, especially the way he stands up to the dwarfs towards the end regarding war. If you liked Rankin-Bass' other fantasy 2-D animated movies like The Last Unicorn, you may want to give this one a shot as well.

The Hobbit DVD came with three classic Bugs Bunny cartoons that revolve around knights and fantasy. "Knight-y Nightmare" sends Bugs back to the time of Sir Arthur, but he's unimpressed by his encounter with a goofy knight and an even odder Merlin. The Oscar-winning "Knighty Knight Bugs" pits Bugs against Black Knight Sam in order to win back Camelot's Singing Sword. "Rabbit Hood" switches British legends as a hungry Bugs dodges the Sheriff of Nottingham in order to get the kings' carrots.

Moved to College Humor as I swept the porch and did things around the apartment. Bing only had a small role as a singing professor in this school-oriented musical, but he does the lion's share of the singing, including the hit "Learn to Croon." "Down the Old Ox Road" is done more Rouben Mamoulien-style, as the song passes from eager student Jack Oakie to a cute co-ed (Mary Carlisle) to Ralph, the team's big star (Richard Arlen). He gets angry when his girl falls for Crosby and gets so drunk and disorderly, he's expelled even after winning a good game and Crosby stands up for him. Crosby quits, too, but both return in time to see Oakie in the big game.

This was just a little strange, and a bit of a let-down after Sing You Sinners. The only number of any interest was "Down the Old Ox Road." Most of the cast looked way too old for college students, Oakie was grating and obnoxious, and the plot with Arlen's drinking was less humorous and more melodramatic. George Burns and Gracie Allen turned up in a brief bit as caterers, but were otherwise underused. Not recommended unless you're a really big fan of Bing or of 30s musicals.

I ran 70s CDs while cleaning the bathroom. I shouldn't have put it off as long as I did. It was awful, especially the bathtub. At least it didn't take me that long to get done. I'll start the big fall cleaning next month.

Moved to more Bowery Boys as I made tilapia and sauteed Italian squash for dinner. I skipped ahead to the late 50s for my favorite of the movies featuring Stanley Clements as Duke Coveletske, Looking For Danger. Duke, Sach, and the other Bowery Boys are in North Africa during World War II. Sach and Duke are sent on a dangerous mission to an Arabian country overtaken by the Nazis. The sultan is supposed to be friendly to the Americans, but when he turns out to be a traitor, the Boys have to find the head of the country's underground and stop drooling over handmaidens in skimpy harem costumes long enough to save their heads and the heads of every man in the US Army!

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