Monday, January 19, 2015

Kids and Misfits For a Better World

I was up really late with Lauren last night, so I started my rare Martin Luther King Jr. Day off by sleeping until 10:30. (Actually, I originally got up at 9:30, then went back to sleep for an hour.) I then read short stories from the Collier's Harvest of Holidays book Linda Young sent me several years ago. The poems and essays intended for United Nations Day mostly covered peace, something Dr. King preached and tried to make happen, so I figured they were equally appropriate for this holiday.

When I finally got up, I had a quick breakfast while listening to the second Unsung Irving Berlin CD. I love these collections of little-known songs Verese Sarabande put out several years ago. I wish another company would re-release more of them or do something similar. Some (like the jaunty "I'm On My Way Home" or the lovely "Roses of Yesterday") were forgotten hits from the 10's and 20's. Most, though, are genuine finds - cut from Berlin shows and movies (like "But I Ain't Got a Man" from the Fox film There's No Business Like Show Business) or written for shows and movies that never materialized (like "You're a Sucker For a Dame" and the touching "Whisper It").

I gave Mom a second try while I was cleaning up from breakfast. This time, I did get her. We talked for a half-hour or so. Everything was smooth sailing. They got Anny to the hospital before Sunday's weather got really bad, and Rose was able to come down with Khai and help watch Skylar. Anny's fiancee J.J stayed with her and Mom the whole time. He even had time to see his beautiful new daughter before he had to go on a work trip. (Like my stepfather, J.J is a commercial fisherman.)

After I got off with Mom, I finished cleaning, then went for a walk. Unfortunately, by that point, the sky that was sunny and bright had been mostly hidden by dark, dull clouds. At least it was windy, but not terribly cold. It was in the lower 40s, actually pretty normal for January in Southern New Jersey. I hiked up to WaWa to buy a small roast beef hoagie and a Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade.

When I walked back, I was surprised to see a crowd around Studio LuLoo's and Phillies Phatties on West Clinton Avenue. I wanted to find out what was going on, so I stopped at one of the wooden outdoor tables and had an impromptu picnic. Several of the younger kids held cardboard signs that said "Peace" or "Kind" or "Equality." From what I could gather, they were holding a peace march down to one of the local churches in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Well, the younger kids and their parents were marching, anyway. Most of the older kids whined about the wind and jumped in a car with their older siblings to get a ride to the church.

I followed them down the block, then headed back to my apartment. As soon as I got in, I rounded up my laundry and went right back out. I didn't really have much laundry to do, but I wanted to get it done on my less-busy day off. That may not have been a good idea. Everyone in Camden County wanted to do the same thing. The laundromat was crazy busy when I came in. I barely got a washer. It did clear out enough by 4 that I had a less difficult time finding an open dryer.

When I got home, I put my small laundry load away, then started work on my organizing project. I really want to start clearing things out before I have to clear out for renovations. I went through the record crates in the music area and the DVD shelves and book cases in the entertainment area first. Most of what I pulled were records and CDs; I just went through the DVDs not long ago. (And I just realized I forgot to do the rock records in the bottom of the dry sink. I'll do them tomorrow.)

Listened to the original cast album for Wicked while I worked. This 2004 fantasy tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West (Idina Menzel) in her younger years, when she was an idealistic student named Elphaba at an Oz college. Enemies at first, she and Glinda (Kristin Chenowith) eventually became friends...but have a falling-out when Elphaba discovers that the Wizard (Joel Gray) doesn't really have powers or the best of intentions towards some of Oz's citizens. This is still on Broadway at this writing, one of the biggest musical hits in years, especially with empowered girls.

After Wicked ended, I finished my night with a nice dinner and a movie. I made turkey tenderloin and baked fingerling rosemary potatoes. Mixed the leftover honey-glazed carrots with the last of the Brussels sprouts while the turkey and potatoes were in the oven. Yum, yum. I probably should have let the potatoes cook a little longer, but the turkey was moist and delicious. I hope they have more sales on those tenderloins. They're really yummy.

Finally finished out my four-movie Police Academy set with Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol. It's pretty much the same story as the last one, only this time, Commander Lassard (George Gaynes) has started a citizen's patrol to help the cops keep the streets safe. Captain Harris (G.A Bailey) doesn't like the idea of non-cops taking on police duties and does everything he can to sabotage the course. Once again, the cops play pranks on Harris to keep him from finding out what they're doing...until there's a jail break, and everyone gets to prove their stuff.

Last verse, same as the first. This is more-or-less the same thing as Back In Training, only without the "save the Academy" subplot and with Harris instead of Mauser. Pretty much, if you liked the previous movies, you'll probably get a kick out of this one. I like slapstick and really get a kick out of these movies, but they're not for people who don't go in for 80's "slobs vs snobs/authority" comedies. Also, while the humor had been gentled down to a PG-13 by this point, some mild toilet humor and sexual gags still make this series for older kids and young teens on up.

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