Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Top Secret Ponies

I left for counseling early today, around 10:30. My appointment wasn't until 1, but I didn't want to have to rush. In fact, I took the long way, cutting down Hood Avenue to Crystal Lake Avenue, then through the back roads in Haddonfield. There was some traffic on Cuthbert, but some of that was because they were still working on the road down by Kayla's. Otherwise, I had a fairly easy ride. It wasn't even that cold, in the mid-30's.

Walked up and down Haddon Avenue after locking my bike at a bike rack. I was hoping to find that great little bookstore I liked, but they seemed to be gone. The Happy Hippo Toy Store had nothing interesting. I ultimately ended up at the Bistro early for lunch. I got in just in time to order from their breakfast menu. I had an omelet with my choice of fillings - spinach, mushrooms, bacon, and provolone. I wish they'd cooked the bacon more. It wasn't crispy enough. Otherwise, it fairly tasty. I had a rich hot chocolate with it. The place was very busy with families enjoying a treat, office workers and college students on lunch break, and old people just enjoying time with friends.

I went straight to Mrs. Stahl's from lunch, cutting across the parking lot behind Haddonfield's City Hall. I was still fifteen minutes early. When she was ready, we mainly discussed the recent weather, all the trouble I had on Valentine's Day, the new managers at work, my frustrations with the criticism from the front end managers about being too slow, my volunteering at Studio LuLoo, Dad's back and surgery, Jodie losing her job, the online creative writing course I'm taking, and my new interest in Ever After High.

I also gave her some quick ideas of what I'm hoping to do this spring. I don't really have anything planned for this month. I don't have much money. I'm going to focus on writing and trying to revive my creative juices instead. I have jury duty April 9th, which I'm not looking forward to. I really don't want to go to the City Hall in the center of Camden or spend the entire day there. I don't even know how to get there. I'll have to look it up online.

I still have no idea when the construction workers are going to be coming up here, either. I'm hoping and praying that they won't take nearly as long up here as they have in the front apartment. They've been working down there since at least the week before Thanksgiving. On the other hand, I doubt Miss Ellie was able to do anything to that apartment in years, maybe decades. It was probably a mess. She did have some work done up here before I moved in.

I'll probably do exactly what I did last year for my birthday on April 14th - spend it in Deptford, shopping at AC Moore, Target, and the Deptford Mall. If the weather's bad, I'll switch it to the Cherry Hill Mall. (The Deptford area, like Moorestown, requires a lot of outdoor walking.) I decided it would be more sensible to have my next counseling appointment around 3 that day as well. Fewer days I'll need to ask off for.

The clouds, which had lingered all day, were getting heavier as I left Mrs. Stahl's. I decided this was not a day for a lot of exploring. I made two short stops. Went to the Walgreens on the corner of Cuthbert Road and Haddon Avenue for a sparkling pomegrante berry juice and a new black Sharpie. (The old one I used to write titles on DVD's finally faded after almost a decade of use.)

I went across Haddon to McMillan's Bakery, one of the area's most popular bakeries. Both they and Walgreens were insanely busy. I bought a pumpkin cruller doughnut for a treat. Got some rye bread, too.

It started snowing as I made my way down Haddon Avenue and was crossing the street at the Haddon Commons Shopping Center. By the time I made it to Oaklyn, the snow was mixing with sleet and stinging my face. I went straight home and didn't go anywhere else.

Spent the next hour and a half dusting. I only do really heavy dusting in the spring and the fall, but it still needed to be done. As usual, the electronics stand in the corner and anything near a window tended to attract the most dust. It always takes me a while to dust, even when I'm not doing a long session, because of all the collections around here I need to dust under. I finally got around to doing the windows, too.

I started My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic this morning and finished it when I got in. I suspect this is one of the rare kids' shows you need to see from the beginning to get a grasp of all the story lines. "Luna Eclipsed" features the Princess Luna, a former villain who now wants to show she can be good. Like Raven Queen, everyone runs away from her screaming, ignoring her pleas. However, it's Nightmare Moon, the ponies' version of Halloween, and...well, you're supposed to do that at Halloween. Twilight, Pinkie Pie, and some of the local kids remind Luna that being scared can be fun as well as frightening.

Who knew sweet-natured Fluttershy is the "Stare Master?" She can stare down any animal. She doesn't have as much luck with the energetic colts "The Cutie Crusaders," Sweetie Belle, Apple Blossom, and Scootaloo. This curious trio is dying to find what their special talents are, so they can get the mark on their rears, like the grown-up ponies. Fluttershy takes the girls to her house for a slumber party, but she has a hard time controlling them. When they chase a chicken into the woods, Fluttershy goes after them. She gets a chance to show she's no pushover when she saves the girls from being turned into stone by a chicken-like monster.

Fluttershy's staring ability also figures into "Bats!" Applejack wants to use Fluttershy's stare and Twilight's magic to get rid of some vampire fruit bats that are destroying her orchards. She's too impatient to pay attention to Fluttershy's suggestion of making the bats a sanctuary. Applejack learns a lesson in patience - and Fluttershy learns one in saying "no" - when Twilight's spell gets rid of the bat, but creates a new one...and this one won't be as easy to get rid of!

Switched to the 1984 action spoof Top Secret! while making leftovers for dinner. Val Kilmer is Nick Rivers, a popular Elvis-style singer on a tour of East Germany. He gets in way over his head when he falls for the beautiful Hilary Flammand and ends up helping to rescue her father and lead the men of the Resistance against East Germany's evil rulers. Professor Flammand is building a magnet that will attract submarines to shore (too well). Nick's got his own problems. There's a double agent in the Resistance, and Nick has to compete with Hilary's former lover Nigel for her affections.

One of the three big Zucker Brothers movies of the 80's has fun with World War II action movie cliches and Elvis musicals. I love all of Kilmer's wacky, out-of-nowhere numbers, especially the one in the German malt shop. If you love other zany Zucker Brothers satires like Airplane! or The Naked Gun, you'll have just as much fun here.

Oh, and the snow and sleet changed to rain not even a half-hour after I got home. It rained on and off for the rest of the evening. I think it's off at the moment. We're supposed to get snow tomorrow, only about 2 to 4 inches as of this writing, then it'll get cold again briefly on Friday before returning to the 40's next week. We'll see what happens.

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