Friday, January 16, 2015

The Captain and the Lost Soldier

Started a sunny, windy day at work. A cashier who had to go to school to talk to her child's teacher switched with me to get the slightly later shift. I had no problems with that. Starting earlier also meant I was able to get out earlier. It's probably just as well that I did. While we did get a little busy during the lunch rush, it was otherwise fairly quiet all day. There were no major problems, and the college boy who was my relief arrived right on time.

I went straight in the back to get my schedule the moment I finished. Other than slightly fewer hours (and slightly later hours on Wednesday), my schedule is more-or-less the same as this week. I have Monday, Tuesday, and next Saturday off again. I wasn't expecting to get Monday off. That's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and we'll probably be a little busy. I'll do the laundry, then see what the weather's like.

Didn't have quite as much grocery shopping to do this week as I have the last couple of weeks. The big one was restocking fresh produce. I needed apples, spinach, mushrooms, and grapefruit. They had bags of fingerling potatoes on sale for $1.99 - thought I'd try them. I was almost out of unbleached flour. I was going to get it last week, but I pretty much ran out of room. Glad I waited - the Acme's generic unbleached flour was on sale for $2.00. Olive oil and peanut butter were also on good sales. I didn't need them desperately, but I bought them to stock the pantry. Bought more coconut milk after I used up mine on the cake yesterday. I couldn't resist Maxwell House International Coffee's Peppermint Mocha flavor for $1.49 on a really big clearance. I love chocolate and mint.

Since it was a nice day and I'd gotten off earlier than planned, I ran a few errands in the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center I'd been putting off. I badly needed to order contacts. I'm on my last pair. I dodged traffic coming from the Black Horse Pike and made my way to a very busy America's Best. Stopped at Marlburn Curtains on the way out and picked up a new shower curtain. I literally can't remember when I bought the last one.

When I got home, I was surprised to see quite a few changes on the porch. The railings had been raised from a few inches above my torso to slightly under my shoulders. There were now wooden slats going down the front of them, too. The barrier that's blocking the sagging side has also been reinforced. While this will make the railings a lot stronger, it'll also make it harder to sweep the porch and get everything off.

I spent the rest of the evening making Gingerbread Drop Cookies from the Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix and watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) also weathered the events of The Avengers fairly well. He's now living in Washington DC, working for S.H.I.E.L.D, and is still trying to catch up with the events of the last 60 years. He's even been volunteering for a veteran's hospital and making friends with a former soldier named Sam (Anthony Mackie). Things start to fall apart quickly when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is murdered by "The Winter Soldier," a nearly-indestructible assassin. Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), a senator and an old friend of Fury's, takes over S.H.I.E.L.D, and immediately puts an all-points bulletin out on Rogers. Now, only Sam and Natasha "Black Widow" Romonov (Scarlett Johanssen) can help Rogers find out what's really going on...and just how deep corruption runs in the heart of government security.

This was a smash hit early last spring with both the critics and the public...and for once, they were both right. Of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies I've seen, the only one I liked more is The Avengers. (I will get to Guardians of the Galaxy as soon as I can either find it for a decent price or at the libraries.)  Action-packed, thoughtful, and surprisingly critical of current government policies and the "war on terrorism," this is a strong lead-in to this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Lots of violence and the general adult feel puts this out of the reach of kids, but young teens on up, especially if they're comic book fans or love the other Marvel movies, will find much to enjoy here.

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