Monday, September 14, 2015

True Friendship In the Late Summer

I started a late morning with breakfast and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The energetic colts the Cutie Mark Crusaders are in the spotlight in the first episode, "The Show Stoppers." They're hoping to find their true talents - and get the symbols on their rears known as Cutie Marks - by participating in a local show. Their intended rock concert turns into a fiasco because they don't use their real talents. It comes out well in the end, but the girls don't learn the intended lesson - when we use our real talents and work together, we can all be stars.

The two-part episode "The Return of Harmony" marks the first appearance of one the series' major villains. Discord is a mix of many different animals with one goal - create chaos in Ponyville. He was originally turned into stone by Princess Celestia and her sister Luna, but their spell has weakened over the years. When he breaks the stone, cotton candy clouds rain chocolate milk, ears of corn pop into popcorn (much to Pinkie Pie's delight), and Applejack's apples double in size. The Princess wants them to use the Element of Harmony necklaces and crown to defeat him, but they've vanished. The five go after him in a maze...but he gets to the heads of all but Twilight, turning them into the opposite of their regular personalities. Twilight is despondent until Spike and Princess Celestia remind her of her friendship with the others...and that if you really want to keep your friends, you have to be willing to fight for them.

Did a few chores while the show was on. I spent most of last night freezing in my bed, even with the windows closed, a good indication that fall is coming and my thin sheets are no longer appropriate for the weather. I stripped off the white and yellow summer sheets and dumped them in the laundry basket, then put on the pale blue and tan spring and fall sheets, the matching comforter, and the stuffed animals.

It was at least quarter after 12 when I finally got out to the laundromat. Unlike Labor Day last week, they were dead as a doornail when I arrived. I had no problems getting a washer or a drier. I worked on notes for stories while listening to the local news and soap operas. The laundry took a little longer than it has, thanks to the sheets, but I was out in about an hour or so.

As soon as I got home, I put everything away while finishing out Friendship Is Magic. After their defeat of Discord and Tirek, the five main ponies are given a new mission - to spread friendship wherever it's needed in Equestria. "The Cutie Map" leads them to a town where every pony has given up their Cutie Marks and their special talents. Their leader, Starlight, claims this makes them more equal. She can't understand why they can all stay friends, even when they disagree. Fluttershy is delighted by their friendliness, but Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie suspect there's something more sinister under those big, unnatural smiles....

It was past 2:30, and way past lunch time. I settled for a slice of cheese and a slice of mushroom pizza and a can of Diet Pepsi from Phillies Phatties. The day was absolutely, positively stunning, windy and sunny and barely in the mid-70's. I enjoyed the nice weather outside on the picnic tables, eating and watching kids and parents walk home from the school two blocks away.

Newton River Park looked absolutely amazing. Needless to say, there were quite a few people out walking, strolling, or fishing today. While there's still algae on the river, the heavy rain we had last week did its job - the trees and grass look a bit less wilted.

With most schools out by 3:30, the Haddon Township Library was bustling when I arrived. I had plenty to do! There were tons of audio books and DVD's to shelve. I couldn't begin to fit everything into either the adult or the kids' racks. I shelved books that were on hold as well, so people could find them to pick them up when they were ready. (And I opted not to take anything out this week. Didn't see anything I really couldn't live without, and the weather's going to be too nice for a lot of watching movies this week anyway. Not to mention, I still have cleaning to do and that long fanfic to work on.)

I made a really quick stop at Thriftway on the way home. I forgot muffin papers when I shopped on Friday. Got brown sugar on sale as well.

Went right on the computer when I got home. I had enough time to finish the scene with Scott talking Betty into joining him in raiding the royal carriage and start the next one. While Pruitt's happy with all the magic that his men have been bringing him, he's less thrilled with the thieves in the woods who are undermining his authority, and doesn't like the rumors of rebellion one bit. Sir Jonathan Arnold (aka Prince Victor), the Black Knight, assures him he's doing everything he can to capture the head of the thief and round up the rebels, but Pruitt is starting to wonder if he's trustworthy...

Had a delicious dinner of sauteed Chinese beans and mini-tomatoes, corn on the cob, and the last leftover chicken thigh from Labor Day while watching Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin. Pooh awakens one glorious late-summer morning to find a honey jar and a letter from Christopher Robin on his doorstep. His honey has obscured the note, which Owl interprets as being from "skull." He thinks the boy has been spirited away to the lands beyond the Hundred Acre Woods. Using a map that was drawn (badly) by Owl, Rabbit, Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet set off after him...and learn a little about themselves and their close friendship in the process.

A surprisingly touching and bittersweet Pooh tale, and by far one of the best of the made-for-home-media movies Disney put out in the 90's and early 2000's. There's quite a few scary or heartbreaking moments, including Pooh singing the lovely "Wherever You Are." Keep a hand for your little ones to hold during this one...and don't forget an occasional tissue for yourself.

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