Saturday, November 22, 2014

Last Call for the Fall Harvest

Started off another sunny, cold, windy morning with a couple of Christmas cartoons. Bugs Bunny's Christmas Tales is an anthology of three Chuck Jones shorts done directly for TV. The first is a condensed Christmas Carol with Yosemite Sam as Scrooge and Bugs as Nephew Fred. The second is a snow-themed Coyote/Roadrunner chase. The third has Taz in a Santa suit end up in Bugs' home on Christmas Eve.

Did a couple of Disney snow and Christmas-themed shorts next. "Once Upon a Wintertime" is a sweet featurette from one of Disney's 40s anthology movies. Two lovers and two rabbits have a scary adventure while out skating. "Santa's Workshop" and "The Night Before Christmas" tell just what Santa does before he heads out on Christmas Eve, and what happens when he arrives at the last house of his rounds. "On Ice" shows the Disney gang's ice skating and fishing fun...and how Mickey helps Donald out when his messing around with Pluto gets him into trouble. Donald has even more frozen trouble in "Donald's Snow Fight." When he ruins the Nephews' snowman, they decide that this means war! The ultimate snowball toss is on, but it may leave Donald with that sinking feeling.

Headed out to the last Collingswood Farm Market of the year around 9:30. They were very busy with people ignoring the cold long enough to buy their produce for Thanksgiving. It took me a while to find everything I wanted. More than half the booths were selling knit accessories and mosaic guitars instead of produce. There were enough booths left for me to buy grapefruit, a bag of baby spinach, cranberries for bread to bring to Mom's next week, broccoli, a small organic cauliflower (all of the non-organic cauliflower was way too big for me), and my favorite small apples.

When I got home, I switched to two winter-themed first season Sailor Moon episodes as I put everything away and got ready for work. Serena's feeling those "Ski Bunny Blues" when she finds herself competing against Raye in a skiing pageant at a major resort. The course gets a lot rougher than either imagined when it all turns out to be a Negaverse plot. And in "Ice Princess," Lita catches the eye of a handsome figure skater, which doesn't amuse his partner - or the Negaverse - one bit.

I left early for work. Today is the Acme's Thanksgiving Luncheon. They always have an enormous spread, and this year was no exception. I saw turkey with gravy, a green bean casserole, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, ham (brought by my manager Sam, which lead to lots of "Sam I Ham" jokes), meatballs, hot dogs and beans in barbecue sauce, corn, pretzels, and deviled eggs. Desserts included a big container of Lifesavers Wint-O-Mints and Hershey's mini-chocolates, two chocolate cakes, two fruit cheesecakes (blueberry and cherry), one plain cheesecake, pumpkin bread, butter thumbprint cookies with jam in the middles, chocolate chip cookies from the bakery, and my Apricot Honey Bread. I had turkey (salty but not bad), green bean casserole (delicious), mini Hershey's Special Dark bars (I love dark chocolate), the corn (pretty basic defrosted frozen corn, but I wanted a vegetable that wasn't drowning in mushroom soup), and two deviled eggs. Tried the thumbprint cookies later (crunchy with a sticky jam middle - not bad).

Work actually wasn't bad when I got in. It was on-and-off steady through about 2:30-3 PM, after which things picked up considerably. Other than I had one of those people who somehow think they can buy 150 dollars worth of groceries with a 90 dollar budget and held up the line putting it all back, there were no major problems. It was slowing down a little when I hurried out.

I called Dad earlier in the day. He said last week that Jodie is finally moving in with him. With her son and his girlfriend taking the apartment attached to Dad's house, Jodie's selling her house and getting rid of most of her furnishings and dishes. I rode over to Dad's as soon as I got home and got changed. When I arrived, he and Jodie took me a few doors down to Jodie's old house.

I ended up with a tall, slender wood hutch that Jodie's dad made himself, a "dry sink" (a counter with shelves and drawers under it intended to be used in the kitchen), a beautiful bench, some Christmas-themed dishes, and a computer chair that was Dad's. The hutch and dry sink will replace the baker's rack in my living room. The baker's rack is a cheap piece I picked up from the Ames in North Cape May shortly before they went out of business, probably about 12 years ago. The bottom of the drawer I use for silverware has been popping out for ages, and it really doesn't have the room for all of my cookbooks.

The bench will hold my AG and Disney Toddler dolls, and possibly some of the smaller stuffed animals currently on my bed. I've been looking for a bench or a chair for them at yard sales for years. It'll free up a shelf for books or smaller dolls and allow me to find another place for the AG bed besides in front of mine.

The computer chair in my bedroom is shot. Rose and Craig bought it from Wal-Mart as a homecoming present a few days after I moved here in February 2006. While it still rolls pretty well, the lining on the chair part is ripped so badly, I can't sit on it anymore. I have thick towels over the seat so I can actually sit in it. It's also too big for my current roll-top desk. Doesn't really fit around it at all.

It was sprinkling when we went to Jodie's. By the time I headed home, the rain was gone, allowing me to get back dry. When I got in, I decided to try a project. I never liked the red stained wood IKEA shelf in the music area. The one in the entertainment area next to the TV is fine. It holds my movie and animation books and acts as a stand for the DVD recorder. The one in the music area did hold my music, stage, and radio history books...but it also didn't work with records. I need more record storage. I finally moved the IKEA shelf to the entertainment area, along with the music and radio books. It'll probably be moved again when the dry sink comes, but it's ok next to the baker's rack for now. The crates that were on top of it and next to it now replace it in the music area. I like that much better. More room, less fuss.

Ran the 1957 version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella while I organized, and later as I ate the last of the leftover chicken soup for dinner. This was the duo's only venture into TV musicals. Other than the fairy godmother (Edie Adams) is a bit younger than in most retellings, this is a pretty straightforward fairy tale. The title lass (Julie Andrews) wants to go to the ball and meet Prince Christopher (Jon Cypher), but her stepmother (Ilka Chase) and stepsisters (Kaye Ballard and Alice Ghostly) insist this is impossible. Maybe not so impossible, as her fairy godmother reminds her. Will all her dreams come true...or will it all end by the stroke of midnight?

The version you end up with depends on what cast you prefer, and whether or not pictorial quality is an issue. The ladies here are the winners - Andrews (coming off her long-running stint in My Fair Lady on Broadway) simply glows as Cinderella. However, this was originally a one-time-only live broadcast. It was considered lost before a kinetoscope of a technical rehearsal was found in the early 2000s, which means that the picture is less than stellar and often blurry. What's there is frequently enchanting, though, especially a vibrant "A Lovely Night."

Incidentally, if you enjoy this, there's two more TV versions (with Leslie Ann Warren in 1965 and Brandy in 1997) and a stage version that'll be on Broadway until January. No two are exactly alike. The 60s version added one more song for the Prince; the 90s one threw in a Rodgers and Hart number for the Stepmother and a song by Rodgers alone for Cinderella.

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