Friday, October 09, 2015

Dodging the Rain

So much to do today! I started off with breakfast and another episode of Wonder Woman. Diana and Steve go from Arizona to Palm Beach for international intrigue in "The Queen and the Thief." The two go undercover to make sure a renown thief doesn't make off with the jewels of the newly-crowned queen of a tiny European country. If the jewels disappear, her people, who are already suspicious of her being a gold-digger, may insist on her being abdicated.

After breakfast, I washed the windows, then started packing for my trip. Anything I won't need this weekend, like my camera, the train tickets, or long pants (it's supposed to be warm here tomorrow and Sunday) went in the bags. I'm trying desperately to not bring too much. The last couple of times I went to visit Lauren, I overpacked and ended up dragging a ton of stuff I didn't need around three train stations. (Well, two train stations and a platform.)

That's why I wanted a smaller suitcase. I have two suitcases, but they're both large. One does roll, but not very well. It's made of tweed, old and very heavy. It's really more for longer trips, probably two weeks or more. I found it at a yard sale just days after moving here. The other is a teal nylon L.L Bean case. You can wear it as a backpack as well as carrying it. Great idea if you only need it for a weekend, like I did in college...but it can be a little awkward carrying a week's worth of stuff on your back. Not to mention, my carry-on bag is a shoulder bag. That's too much weight on your top half.

Next up on the list was putting up the Halloween decorations. I've been meaning to do it for a week, but I wanted to dust first. Unlike my sister Anny or Matt at Dinosaur Dracula, I'm not the biggest fan of horror and tend to prefer folksy or cute decorations to gory or flat-out frightening ones.The scariest decoration I have is a wolf Beanie Baby with red eyes.

Ran Halloween specials as I did my chores. Linus keeps insisting that It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. On Halloween, the Great Pumpkin will rise out of a sincere pumpkin patch and give all the good little children treats...or so Linus claims. Sally, who would do anything for her "Sweet Baboo," joins him. Lucy is more skeptical. Charlie Brown has his own problems with trick-or-treating. Snoopy ignores the festivities in favor of fighting the Red Baron.

Piglet has an even rougher trick-or-treat in Boo to You Too. Halloween frankly scares him to death. In deference to his little porcine buddy, Pooh simply insists that they won't have Halloween this year. Tigger, Gopher, and Eeyore cry foul and set out to prove that Halloween is nothing to be afraid of.

Went back to Max & Ruby next. Ruby's having her own problems with her brother Max's costume in "Max's Halloween." She wants Max to be a nice, handsome prince, but he'd rather be a scary vampire! She wants "Ruby's Leaf Collection" to be the best in the class. This doesn't prove easy when Max keeps adding to the pile of leaves and burying her leaf book!

Headed out for my first errand run of the day around 11:30. Considering it was still sunny, breezy, and humid at that point, the Oaklyn Library was surprisingly busy. Even so, there wasn't a ton to do. I organized some adult DVD's and gave the children's area a going-over.

Clouds had begun to build up as I headed out of the library. We were supposed to get rain later in the day, and I realized I left a book I needed to take back to the Oaklyn Library at home. I made a brief stop at my apartment for a bathroom break and to grab the book, my rain jacket, and a bag.

It was past 12:30 when I made my way back out to West Clinton. My first stop this time was Studio LuLoo. I'd peeked there on my way to the library, but they were closed at that point. They mainly just needed a lot of tidying up and organizing for their kids' open mic night. I cleaned up the playroom and put away the many guitars scattered around the main room and music area.

Next on the docket was lunch. Since they were cheap and next-door, I went right to Phillies Phatties for slices of cheese and mushroom pizza and a can of Diet Pepsi. I took advantage of the sun reemerging to eat outside at one of the picnic tables and watch the people (including a mom doing an exercise walk with her little girl) stroll by.

Ran a couple of errands next. I stopped at Rite Aid, mainly for pads, which I badly needed. Also grabbed wet wipes and a small travel bottle of ibuprofen tablets to pack for the trip. Bought sponges, birthday cards for my friends Lauren and Amanda, a thank-you card for Lauren's parents for having me over, a new shower curtain (also badly needed), and two books at Dollar Tree.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't nearly as busy as the one at Oaklyn had been. I did organize the children's DVD's (those S titles still can't fit), but there weren't too many adult titles or audio books to shelve. I was out in less than an hour.

Made a quick stop at the WaWa on the way home for money and a coffee drink, then headed for my apartment. I'm glad I did. Even as I was riding home, the clouds that had been around off and on all day were starting to gather, and it was growing even more humid. Thankfully, I was long at home and writing by the time it started to pour. It's rained off and on for the rest of the evening.

I got a little more done on my story. As Jeff joins Mackie onstage, Betty and Maple arrive back from the library. Maple joins the others to do a dance routine while Betty tries to question Holstrom. She doesn't find out if he has the fire artifacts, but she does learn that he believes the Rebel Society is crazy for going against the Shadow Realm, who are far stronger and better-equipped than they are. She's about to inquire further when the others call for her help onstage. The crowd is getting rowdy. She suggests performing a play from one of her books to settle them down. Holstrom takes advantage of the distraction to hurry out.

I baked Apple-Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins, then threw together the last of the turkey tenderloin, a can of chicken chunks, and most of the vegetables I had in the refrigerator to make Poultry Vegetable Soup for dinner. Watched The Muppet Movie while I worked. This hilarious road-trip tale tells the "origins" of the crew from the original Muppet Show. Encouraged by a big-shot agent (Dom DeLouise), Kermit takes off cross-country to Hollywood to become a star. Along the way, he picks up most of his original pals, including Fozzie and his Studebaker, plumbers Gonzo and Camilla, and a very romantic Miss Piggy. Meanwhile, a frog leg fast food chain magnate (Charles Durning) would do anything to get Kermit to be his spokes-frog, including chase him cross-country.

Though a few of the gags are dated and probably won't mean much to a lot of kids today, this is still a great introduction to the original Muppet Show gang. The songs are memorable ("The Rainbow Connection" was the hit and was nominated for an Oscar), the script is hilarious, and the guest stars are priceless (Steve Martin is especially funny as a very rude waiter).

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