Saturday, December 13, 2014

This Is My Favorite Time of Year

It was sunny when I got up this morning and had cereal and half a grapefruit for breakfast. I watched a couple of short specials as I put Linda and James' package together. A Garfield Christmas Special takes the famous fat cat to Jon's parents' farm for the holidays. While Jon and his brother Doc Boy beg to open presents and read stories about Binky the Clown, Garfield bonds with ribald Grandma. Grandma's missing her husband, but Garfield's find in the barn may make her Christmas a little merrier.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...and all through a small town, people and mice are stirring, worrying that Santa won't come. Their letters came back unopened, thanks to one intellectual mouse who sent him a letter saying he was a "fraud." A local clock maker made a fabulous timepiece that he hoped would bring Santa back, but it broke before Christmas Eve...thanks to the mouse's curiosity. The little mouse and his father do what they can to make things right, just in time for the famous poem to come true.

My first stop was the Oaklyn Post Office. I wanted to get Lauren's and Linda and James' packages out. I was there around quarter after 10. I thought the line would be a lot longer than it was. I got lucky. By the time I left, the line was nearly out the door of the small, square building.

Since I was already half-way to Collingswood, I decided to go the rest of the way. Lauren's parents gave me 50 dollars in a card along with the gifts from Lauren, and I wanted to deposit it at the PNC Bank on Haddon Avenue. They were also fairly busy, and getting busier even as I handed my deposit slip to the young woman behind the counter. I hurried out quickly.

Going to the post office was my only real plan for today. Since I was already in Collingswood and didn't have to work until 1:30, I decided to hang out there for a while. I had a nice little stroll on Haddon Avenue. I first discovered a brand-new store in the old Woolworth's building. Local Market and Cafe is just that - a small market and restaurant selling organic foods, the freshest produce they can get, and coffee shop dishes like baked goods and sandwiches. Most of it was too expensive for me, but I did try a brick-sized brownie. Oooh, it was yummy, moist and just rich enough.

(And it looks like they're going to have some competition soon. A sign in the long-abandoned International Market building across the street indicates that a market is going to be opening there within months.)

I headed across the street and checked out a few more shops. I didn't see anything at Duck Duck Goose (a toy store) or The Collingswood Book Trader (used books) I couldn't live without. Did better at the Twin Oaks Thrift Shop, despite the narrow store being so busy, I could barely walk around. Evidently, the Roaring 20s soundtrack went over so well, Dorothy Provine did another Roaring 20s-inspired LP, along with a third album highlighting songs from the 1890s and early 1900s. I found the latter, Oh You Kid!, in the box in the back with the other records. I enjoyed the Roaring 20s soundtrack so much, I thought I'd give this one a shot. I also picked up a cute bear ornament. The honey-colored resin bear wears a green coat and pink beret and purse and seems like she's ready to go out shopping.

When I got home, I had a quick lunch while watching a Christmas-themed episode of Laverne & Shirley. In "Oh Hear the Angel Voices" from the second season, Carmine talks the girls, Lenny, Squiggy, Laverne's father, and Mrs. Babish into helping him put on a show at a hospital on Christmas Eve. Shirley's not happy when they discover it's a mental hospital. It seems she's heard a few too many family stories about relatives who got tossed into them. Laverne's too busy flirting with patients to worry much. 

Work was pretty much the same as it has been all week - busy during rush hour, otherwise on-and-off steady. There were no major problems other than some cranky customers who likely just came from the malls. It was already quieting down by 5:30. I was able to get out with no relief and no need for one.

Spent the rest of the evening watching Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol while eating a broccoli and cheese omelet for dinner. Columbia's most famous cartoon character takes on one of literature's most famous old codgers in this charming animated musical. The songs are by real-life Broadway composers Bob Merrill and Jules Styne. They did some wonderful work, including the rousing "We'll Have the Brightest Christmas" for the Cratchits and the bittersweet "Winter Was Warm" for Scrooge's former fiancee Belle. Fans of animated musicals, Magoo, or A Christmas Carol will find much to love here. It's on DVD and I believe was released on Blu-Ray about two years ago. 

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