Thursday, August 13, 2015

Children Will Listen

I couldn't believe how nice it was when I got up this morning. It was sunny and warm, but not hot or humid at all. There was a fresh breeze in the air. The sky was a shade of blue that was so brilliant, it hurt the eyes to look at it. This is how the weather should have been all summer.

Watched a couple of Max & Ruby episodes as I ate breakfast. I'm not the only one who likes to have fun with twice-told fairy tales. Ruby is "Little Red Ruby Hood" who tries to avoid the Big Max Wolf and get her cookies to Grandma's house. "Max and the Beanstalk" has Max discovering how cool beans can be when his sister tells him the story of the boy who climbed a beanstalk into the sky. Ruby and Louise want to tell a fairy tale, but Max wants his frog to be in it, too. Ruby doesn't think he can, until she remembers the story of "The Froggy Prince."

Since it's still berry season, I tossed in "Grandma's Berry Patch." Grandma wants Max and Ruby to pick berries for a special recipe. Ruby's excited about all the things Grandma might do with their harvest. Max would be more excited...if he didn't keep trying to swipe the berries from his sister.

I haven't volunteered at Studio LuLoo in a while. I put on my new sandals and strolled down Manor to West Clinton. I picked the right day for it. They had a group of kids, probably between the ages of 4 and 12, enjoying summer day camp. I was the audience for their adorable musical "Charlie and the Tube Band," about a poor boy who makes friends when he teaches the local kids how to have fun with a paper towel roll when the electricity goes out. They were so cute. The oldest girl played the guitar and accompanied the younger kids when they sang and danced. Some of the older kids helped the littlest kids read their lines.

After they finished, we had a question-and-answer session. I told the kids how their play had reminded me of my own childhood. Like Charlie, I was bullied as a kid. We talked about how that made me - and them - feel. They told me about their grandparents, their vacations, and the people who inspired them to be creative. Chatting with the kids was the most fun I've had in months that didn't involve writing.

We even got a mini-concert from Roxy. She could only stay a brief while, but she did perform a knockout version of "Defying Gravity" from Wicked, as well as a song of her own, "Guilty." She and Sarah O'Brian are going to California to play on the set of the new Supergirl show in a day or two. The kids and I were all really impressed.

I headed out around 12:30 when the teacher declared lunch time. Had my own lunch at Common Grounds Coffee House. They were busy too, mostly with bored teenagers looking for a fancy drink in air conditioning. I had my favorite spicy sweet iced tea and a slice of bacon and sweet corn quiche that was savory and sweet and quite yummy.

The Oaklyn Library wasn't nearly as busy. Other than one guy reading the paper and the librarian, it was dead as a doornail. It was too nice of a day to hang around in libraries. I was in and out in about a half-hour.

The House of Fun wasn't any busier. They didn't have the second season Sailor Moon DVD I've been looking for, just Season 1, Volume 1 again. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, the popular wrestler who passed away recently, was one of Lauren's favorites. She asked me to look for an action figure of him. Alas, I didn't see anything there, either. I'll check the loose figures bin the next time I'm in there.

Made a short stop at WaWa on the way home for a treat. I thought I'd try Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie. Yum, not bad. The crumb topping was a little messy, but the creamy strawberry shake was smooth and sweet.

Spent the rest of the afternoon working on my fanfiction. Betty goes to Hilary, a sea witch and former actress, to find out how to become human. Hilary warns her that the price will be her beautiful voice and long, dark hair. She'll be in constant pain when she's on land - splitting a tail into legs hurts terribly. Betty's still willing to make the sacrifice. Hilary uses her hair and a scale as part of the potion. She then takes the mermaid's voice, sealing it in a green glass bottle.

What Hilary doesn't tell Betty or Jeff is she takes Betty's voice for herself after sending the younger mermaid to the surface. She wants a beautiful singing voice to compete with her many acting rivals under the sea. She does feel guilty that Betty was hurt, is business, and it did get her a voice.

Betty is found on land by Scott and Maple, who put a quilt over her and carry her to Scott's home. Betty wants to tell them who she is and ask about Maple, but she no longer can. Her legs hurt too much for her to walk. Scott carries her back...which makes her as happy as a clam.

I got off around 5 PM. Made a Peach-Blackberry Cobbler while watching "Celery Night Fever." One of the more recent Veggitales episodes centers around forgiveness. Laura Carrot wants to save Celery Park from being destroyed by the developer Bob Onion. She's upset when Junior Asparagus forgets the camera to film an old-timer talking about the park and ends their friendship. Turns out Laura's not the only one holding grudges. Her grandpa Larry was a member of the wildly popular 70's band The Groovy Brothers, until they went their separate ways. Now Laura has to help Larry get the band together and learn that grudges can't be held forever, and we're only truly at peace with ourselves when we forgive the past.

Veggitales almost always does right by its musical episodes, and this one is no exception. Cute tunes done in the style of 70's pop, disco, and hard rock tell a sweet tale that almost seems to be a spoof of most musical biopics. If you or your kids are Veggitales and/or classic rock fans, you might have a blast groovin' to the beat of this one.

Appropriately, I made a tuna salad while finishing the night with the Faerie Tale Theatre version of "The Little Mermaid." This was the last adaptation of this tale to stick to the original story before Disney changed the rules of Mermaid tales. Pearl (Pam Dawber) is the title character who gives up her voice to the sea witch (Karen Black) in order to become human. Treat Williams is the prince she loves. Helen Mirren is Amelia, the sensible princess whom the prince is really in love with.

While this was never my favorite Faerie Tale Theatre episode (the aquatic effects look rather cheap today), I do like how the princess who competes with the mermaid for the prince's affections and the sea witch are played more ambiguously than usual, as per the original story. Amelia does like Pearl and really doesn't wish her any harm. The Sea Witch does warn Pearl how badly it'll hurt and how she's crazy to want to make the trade.

Oh, and I heard from Mom tonight. She's fine - better than fine, actually. She's back to work at the Ferry. Seems they were so overwhelmingly busy, they hired her back on the spot...and for good. She's only part-time, but that's enough for her. Dad's back at work as well, his knee having healed enough to handle the sea. He did get it bumped around a lot during a trip to an overflowing Wildwood water park with his grandchildren, but not enough to keep him off the boat. Poor Anny hasn't been as lucky - her brood all has pink eye, and she's had to deal with them alone. Her boyfriend J.J, also a fisherman, is at work as well.

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