Thursday, November 13, 2014

Winter's Comin'

It was cloudy, damp, and much cooler when I heard feet stomp onto my porch. Richard and his sons were going to clean the gutters and rake and sweep up all the leaves while Mother Nature was still cooperating. Fine by me. They needed to be done rather badly. The cleared some of the debris off the side of the porch being repaired, too.

I ignored them and had breakfast while watching two Thanksgiving specials. Garfield's Thanksgiving may not be much fun when Liz the Veterinarian puts him on a diet, and then Jon invites her to Thanksgiving dinner! The Peanuts learn about "The Mayflower Voyagers" when they play pilgrim children on the journey to the new world in the mini-series This Is America, Charlie Brown.

Dubbed The Pajama Game while sweeping out the two pantry shelves and under the sink where I keep pots and pans. Sid (John Raitt) is a new manager at the Sleep Tite Pajama Factory. He's not the nicest guy. When he shoves an obnoxious worker, the worker complains to grievance committee head Babe Williams (Doris Day). Sid's immediately interested. Babe isn't...not at first. Their budding romance is threatened by Babe's pushing for a seven and a half cent raise with the other workers at the factory. Meanwhile, secretary Gladys (Carol Haney) deals with her very jealous boyfriend Hines (Eddie Foy Jr.), who thinks she's after every guy in the factory.

It's too bad a lot of this comes off as thin and a bit dated today, because the songs are still fabulous. Stanley Donen directed this with George Abbot, which becomes obvious in big set pieces like "Once-A-Year-Day" that feel like numbers from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The ladies in particular shine. Day has a blast with Raitt on "There Once Was a Man" and gets a lovely reprise of "Hey There," while Haney shows off some early Bob Fosse choreography in "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway." Mainly recommended for fans of the big Broadway musicals of the 50s and 60s or Day.

Returned to animation while making a quick spinach and egg "pancake" for lunch. The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold is one of the last and most unusual holiday specials made by Rankin-Bass. Art Carney narrates the tale of a young sailor who comes ashore to dig up a Christmas tree. He accidentally releases a banshee who wants the gold hidden by a little leprechaun, or she'll be turned into tears on Christmas Day. It'll take the revival of a troubled marriage to help the young man when he falls under the banshee's spell.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of the most famous holiday specials ever made. The title character is determined to take the food and fun out of the Whos' holiday. The Whos turn out to be more resilient than anticipated, and they finally teach the grouchy Grinch a lesson about the real Christmas spirit.

Work was crazy through about 7:30-ish. Today is the last day for the turkey coupon. They were somehow out of the darn turkeys (again) and offered substitutes. A lot of people ended up standing around while customers and employees chased after the substitute turkeys...and even longer while we called a manager to get the turkeys off, since they hadn't been labeled properly. Thankfully, it was dead as a doornail by the time work ended. I was able to leave slightly early without a relief.

I quickly discovered why we died so fast when I got outside. It was raining and snowing at the same time, and coming down pretty good, too. It was too late to ask for a ride, so I just rode home and got wet.

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