Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chilled November

Started out another sunny but cold day with some Backyardigans. "The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve" pit elves Tasha, Uniqua, and Pablo against abominable snowcritters Austin and Tyrone, who accidentally took Santa's magic sack. If they can't get it back, Santa won't be able to give out toys for Christmas! Uniqua and Pablo run "The Big Dipper Diner," the finest hash house in deep space. Their favorite customer is a sweet little alien named Hugs. Cops Tasha and Tyrone mistake Hugs for the Blarg, a nasty little alien who shrinks everything in sight! Hugs has a surprise for everyone when she teaches all of the kids about the word "no."

My first stop of the day was the Oaklyn Library. There were baskets, baskets, and more baskets everywhere, filled with everything from beauty products to toys to food. The librarian and one of the Friends of the Oaklyn Library were preparing the baskets for the auction at the American Legion building a few doors down on Saturday. I organized DVDs and listened to the Weather Channel report about the heavy snow in the Midwest (and people think it's cold here - at least it's also sunny and cloudless), heading out after about a half-hour.

My next stop was the Haddon Township Library. I had one last video and book donation to make for this year, along with books and DVDs to return. Surprisingly, there weren't that many DVDs to put away. The children's shelves were still overloaded, but not as much as they have been. (And they need to start pulling doubles again.) I continued working on the paperback romance novels as well. The M and N titles were fine, but P, Q, and R needed work. Good thing more than half the R titles were by Nora Roberts - made it easier to organize. I read her stuff on rare occasions myself, when the emphasis is more on action than romance.

(And I didn't take anything out this week. I probably won't have the time to return them next week. I did take Cranberry Thanksgiving out of the Oaklyn Library - I bring Grandma's Cranberry Bread to Mom's house for a hostess gift.)

Made two quick stops on the way home. Dollar Tree was busy, but I just needed Thanksgiving cards. WaWa was even busier with people on their way home from work and school. I ordered The Gobbler turkey sandwich again for a very late lunch.

When I got home, I had my lunch, then made a Mint Devil's Food Cake while watching the 1961 Babes In Toyland. Mary Contrary (Annette Funicello) is set to marry Tom Piper (Tommy Sands)...but not if the wicked Barnaby (Ray Bolger) has anything to do with it! When sending his men to eliminate Tom doesn't work, he steals Mary's sheep. Mary's siblings go after them, and Tom and Mary go after the kids. They all end up in Toyland, trying to help the goofy Toymaker (Ed Wynn) and his beleaguered assistant Grumio (Tommy Kirk) with the Christmas deadline. Barnaby is still on their trail, though...

Colorful and cute version of the ever-popular early 1900s operetta. Bolger in particular is having a blast playing against type - check out his "Castle In Spain" dance.

Stuck with music and fantasy as I moved to DuBarry Was a Lady. Red Skelton is Louie, a hat-check boy at a nightclub who wins a fortune. He hopes to convince beautiful singer May Daly (Lucile Ball) to love him. She really loves the club's MC and dancer (Gene Kelly), but has convinced herself that it's more practical to marry for money. When Louie accidentally takes a drugged drink, he dreams that he's the King of France, May is the scandalous title lady, and Kelly is the revolutionary she loves.  Nice if you're a fan of the cast, the World War II era, or big band music (Tommy Dorsey has a couple of extraneous numbers); ok time-waster if you ever run into it on TCM otherwise.

Oh, and I ordered myself the first dolls I'm buying in a series I've had my eye on for a while from Ever After High details the adventures of the offspring of famous fairy tale and fantasy story characters. Some want to follow in their parents' footsteps and keep the stories exactly the way they've always been; others, especially villains, want to change the stories and re-write their own happy endings. I never really paid much attention to its sister line, Monster High. Those dolls always seemed too bright and campy, even for me, and I'm not into horror. Fairy tale characters who wanted to re-write their stories were something else again, and the dolls and their designs were exquisite.

It took me ages to decide, but I finally decided to start with Cerise Hood and Briar Beauty. Cerise is the mysterious daughter of Little Red Riding Hood whose back story isn't exactly the same as the original. Briar is the party girl daughter of Sleeping Beauty who is having too much fun to sleep for a 100 years. I love Cerise's different mold and her beautiful red outfit, including the famous hood, not to mention her back story. I always did like beasts. I also like Briar's outfit, and while her party-hearty persona is a little shallow, the doll itself is one of the prettiest from the first wave. (And they were both more than half-off. I couldn't resist a bargain.)

I'm really only interested in the "basic" original versions of the dolls - no fancy Thronecoming gowns or beach outfits or pajamas, please! I'm hoping to pick up the hippie daughter of Cinderella, Ashlynn, and her swain Hunter the Huntsman in their original 2-pack for Christmas. I'll probably get Madeline Hatter, the nutty, lovable daughter of the Mad Hatter, along with them. After that, I'll grab either Cedar Wood (the daughter of Pinocchio who literally can't lie) or Blondie Locks (the gossipy daughter of Goldilocks) with tax return money in February.

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