Monday, March 30, 2015

Windy Spring

It looked like it had rained last night when I got up - the porch was wet. However, by the time I was sitting down with my cereal and finishing Little Nemo, it was just cloudy. The clouds were breaking up, even as I moved on to my half-grapefruit.

I ran the two Lady Lovely Locks episodes I dubbed a while back as I cleaned up from breakfast. This very 80's girl's tale tells of the title beauty, whose magical hair keeps her kingdom forever sunny. Nasty Duchess Raven Waves tricks her into staying away too long in the pilot episode "To Save My Kingdom." We're introduced to the Pixietails, the critters who live in her hair and help her out. We also meet Prince Strongheart, who is under a curse that makes him appear as a dog named Prince. Prince shows his love for the Lady in "Cruel Pretender." The Lady learns that not everyone who appears to be a friend is when a handsome Baron shows interest in her...but turns out to be part of another Duchess Raven Waves trick.

The sun was trying to come out as I rode across Newton River Park to Westmont. The Park's finally starting to show signs of spring. Buds are just appearing on trees. Green grass sprouts on the fields. Every last bit of ice and snow is gone from the river. Surprisingly, despite it being 12:30 and not a cold day, there weren't too many people out and about other than some Canadian geese poking around near the Cuthbert Road entrance.

The Haddon Township Library was busier, but mainly with people who wanted to use the computers. I lost count of all the people I explained to that I know nothing about the computers. That's the librarians' territory. The DVD shelves were really jammed today. There were a lot of kids and adult titles I just could not fit in. G and S titles in the kids' section and M, R, and S in the adult section were especially overloaded. Maybe people felt more like music this week - I also shelved a big pile of CD's and a couple of audio books. There didn't seem to be much else to do. I headed out after less than an hour.

(Oh, and I didn't take anything out this week. I'm not sure when I'll get to the library next week to return it, and I do have plenty to watch at home.)

Ended up at the Westmont Bagel Shop for lunch. They were surprisingly quiet for 1:30. The only other people there were a mother and her daughter. I ordered a tasty and unusual sandwich consisting of grilled deli turkey, cranberry cole slaw, and melted Swiss cheese on a sourdough bagel. Messy but delicious. I enjoyed my meal while watching The Chew and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

My next stop was Dollar Tree. I needed sponges, but I was mainly there for Easter cards. While most of my family isn't really big on Easter, there's a lot of people this year I want to cheer up or just acknowledge more often. Dollar Tree wasn't too busy, a bit of a surprise given what they're usually like. I wasn't in line for long.

Headed home after that. I got all of the cards going out of town ready to send out. I know Easter isn't until Sunday, but I figured if I put it off, I'd forget to do it at all. I grabbed my laundry and went out to the laundromat around quarter of 4, stopping at the mail box on the corner of West Clinton and Manor to drop off the cards. Once again, the laundromat wasn't too bad. Pretty much the same as last week. I did a small load, read The Cameo Necklace, and ignored Dr. Phil and his "patients."

Ran Hello Dolly for the rest of the evening when I got in and had a fried egg sandwich and spinach and tomato salad for dinner. This 1969 adaptation of the Broadway hit takes us to early 1900's New York. Dolly Levi (Barbara Streisand) is a matchmaker (among other things) whose current assignment takes her to Yonkers. Cranky bachelor feed store owner Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau) wants to get married to a charming milliner named Irene Malloy and his niece to find a more suitable suitor than a penniless, very tall artist (Tommy Tune). Vandergelder's store clerks, Cornelius (Michael Crawford) and Barnaby, just want an evening on the town. Dolly finally gets everyone to Manhattan, where she pairs them all off, chases Vandergelder herself, and raises the roof with the famous title number.

Wall-E isn't the only guy who loves this movie. This is a long-standing favorite of my entire family, and was a surprise hit with my otherwise musical-resistant brother and nephews. Though it did make money on first release, its gigantic budget put it in the red until families like mine discovered it on cable and home video. What I love about this movie is the wealth of detail. That money was well-spent, going into creating a believable Manhattan and Yonkers of the late 19th-early 20th century. It was so realistic, it prompted a lot of discussions on the era in my family when I was a kid. I'm especially fond of the gorgeous, colorful costumes.

Casting is more of a problem. Streisand is miscast in a role intended for an older woman, though she seems to be having fun anyway - "So Long, Dearie" is especially hilarious. Matthau and Crawford are generally better as the miserly businessman who softens just a little bit as Dolly works her magic and the goofy clerk who is looking for adventure in the big city and his first romance. (Though Crawford's natural English accent has a tendency to pop out at times, noticeably during the Harmonia Gardens segment.)

If you're a fan of Streisand or the big musicals of the 60's and 70's, this one has been happily redeemed of late and is now seen as one of the better ones of that era.

While Dolly was on, I went through a lot of stuff in my back room. The back room is an unheated room towards the side of the house over the front apartment, and is my equivalent of an attic. I keep unused or unneeded things like seasonal decorations and clothes, the dolls' clothes, and toiletries and linens that don't fit in the bathroom or my bedroom in there. I first went through the journals, organizing them by year. I've been writing in journals for nearly 30 years now, and writing in them everyday for almost a decade. They take up two plastic milk crates and are starting to spill over to a third. I'm only missing one volume, for 2007 - I'll look around some more.

I also went through everything I intend to donate. Books and other media go to the local libraries. Toys, stuffed animals, and craft items go to Studio LuLoo. Anything else, including random wires from electronics, goes to the church thrift shop in Audubon. (I still don't know what to do with that bag of empty CD and DVD cases. Maybe I'll see if one of the libraries can use them.)

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