Friday, August 05, 2016

Read Along Nostalgia

Started another sunny morning with cleaning after breakfast. I got the bathroom done. It didn't take very long. The sink was actually the worst of it. The tub wasn't nearly as bad as usual, maybe because I haven't taken as many baths lately.

Ran Meatballs while I cleaned. Camp North Star is a pretty typical summer camp in late 70s Canada. The counselors in training are looking forward to two months of flirting, sports, playing pranks on the head of the camp, and trying to beat their snotty rich rivals Camp Mohawk. Head counselor Tripper (Bill Murray) tries chasing the head female counselor (Kate Lynch) with little success at first. He has more luck befriending a lonely camper named Rudy (Chris Makepeace) and taking him on long running sessions in the morning. The running comes in handy when they play Camp Mohawk in their Olympiad competition and have a chance to win...if Rudy can beat Mohawk's runner...

Typical summer comedy is lifted by Makepeace and Murray, whose relationship is very believable and sweet, and by Murray's wisecracks and unconventional PA announcements. I'm not the only one who thought so - they stole the show so much, a lot of the C.I.T's antics got cut out in favor of more of them.

This is pretty lightweight, and the looks - short-shorts and knee-high socks on both genders, Afros on men, breathy ballads and disco on the soundtrack - is very much of its time. (Not to mention, Tripper's assault on the female counselor early on comes off more abuse today and less him being goofy.) I know a lot of people who have actually been to camp especially love it. If you've ever been to summer camp, or if you're a fan of Murray or of the snobs-vs-slobs comedies of the late 70's-80's, this is still really funny and even surprisingly touching.

It was well past 1:30 when I finally headed out. Stopped quickly at Phillies Phatties for lunch. They were surprisingly busy for nearly 2 PM, with at least two groups of kids enjoying pizza, sandwiches, and garlic knots. I took my slice of cheese, slice of mushroom, and can of Mountain Dew Baja Blast outside, enjoying the sunny day and the nice breeze.

Went straight to the Haddon Township Library next. They were fairly busy and had a lot to do! I had tons of DVDs to shelve and organize, and plenty of new releases to put away. I did take out some movies this week, after I renewed my library card. With my vacation coming up in a week and a half, I have travel on my mind, which is why I grabbed The Way Way Back and Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. I vaguely remember hearing about Happily N'Ever After when it came out, one of the several imitation Shrek fairy tale spoofs of the early-mid 2000's, but I've never seen it anywhere.

As soon as I headed out, I rode straight across Haddon Township and Audubon, dodging traffic on Cuthbert Boulevard and the White Horse Pike, heading to the Acme to do my grocery shopping and pick up my schedule. My schedule is really good this week, probably the best I've had since early last month. Mostly early and mid afternoon hours. One early day on Thursday. Slightly more hours, no long shifts, two days off, Tuesday and next Friday. I work late enough next Saturday that I'll be able to pull off making a quick trip to the Collingswood Farm Market.

There were a lot of really good sales this week, including another one of those "buy six items, get 3 dollars off" sales. I picked up peanut butter, two containers of Crisco's Blend cooking oil, devil's food cake mix, Poland Spring sparkling water, and the Acme generic Honey Bunches of Oats. Restocked cheddar cheese, crushed pineapple, tomato sauce, mandarin oranges, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, sponges, and milk. Blackberries were $1.99 - couldn't resist. The clearance shelves are still loaded with goodies. I snagged raspberry extract, jars of lemon and orange peel, and Hodgeson's Oat Bran Cereal.

When I got home, I put everything away, then got in a little bit of writing. Jabba, still a merman, turns up with Luke as a hostage. He wants Han to attack Leia. Han ends up attacking Jabba instead. Jabba knocks him aside, but that gives Leia enough distraction to get the chain around his neck and strangle him.

Put on two vacation-themed episodes of Laverne & Shirley while making Pasta and Beans With Summer Vegetables for dinner. The first half of "An Affair to Forget" from the third season has the girls trying to earn money for a cruise on the Great Lakes by working in a children's shoe store. They do manage to make it on board during the second story, but first, Lenny and Squiggy stow away, and then Shirley thinks one of the ship's officers is in love with her.

And I made some interesting discoveries on YouTube. I loved the "read-along" cassettes and records I listened to during my childhood. Listening to these now, I realize that they were kind of my earliest introduction to radio shows, telling stories with sound-effects and voices. Even when the voices were different than the ones in the films, it was fascinating to hear these condensed versions of favorite movies and cartoons. We mostly had girl-oriented ones like the Disney Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but I found several for Star Wars (including the original late 70's-early 80's releases, an adaptation of one of the Ewok TV movies, and two interesting stories created just for the read-alongs) and all three 80's Indiana Jones movies that we would have loved as kids.

Star Wars 
Star Wars - 1979
Empire Strikes Back - 1980
Return of the Jedi - 1983
Planet of the Hoojibs - 1983 Original (and the only Leia/Chewbacca story I've ever seen)
Droid World - 1983 Original (An odd Luke/Threepio/Artoo tale)
The Ewoks Join the Fight - 1983 (You can see the book I found a couple of months ago at House of Fun here)
Ewoks The Battle for Endor - 1985  (An adaptation of the second of two Ewoks TV movies)
Ezra's Wookie Rescue - 2014 (Adaptation of the second episode of Star Wars: Rebels)
The Force Awakens - 2015

Indiana Jones
Raiders of the Lost Ark - 1981
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - 1984
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - 1989 (Narrated by John "Sallah" Rhys-Davies)

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