Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rainy Day With the Family

It was raining hard when I got up this morning. While the rain was gone by the time I was eating Banana-Coconut Pancakes for breakfast, it remained wet and gloomy. I brightened my morning with music.

I've had Peggy Lee's Christmas Carousel on CD since the mid-90's. It was Christmas Eve around 1995-1996, and I was bored. I volunteered to help Mom run a few last-minute errands, just for something to do. We went to the liquor store first. I remember because I bought myself a 8-ounce glass bottle of Coke. Small cans of soda are far more common today, but that was the first time I'd ever seen anything like them. We ended up at the Acme. While Mom bought a few things for dinner, I browsed over a shelf of Christmas CDs. The Peggy Lee title was the only one I even remotely had any interest in. I've had it ever since. I'm especially fond of the opening "I Like a Sleigh Ride" and the title track.

I'd gotten half-way through Harry Connick Jr.'s When My Heart Finds Christmas when I happened to look at the clock and see it was 9:43. Yikes! Why did I think I had to be at work at 11? I had work at 10! I rushed as fast as I could and just made it.

Good thing I did. We were busy, and at the very least steady, through most of the day. While I did gather baskets a few times and bagged for the first hour, I was mostly outside. It could have been worse. The showers were off and on, but they were never heavy, and there was once again plenty of help. I got out at 2 with no problems and, ignoring another sudden shower, went straight to Dad's.

Rose, Khai, our older cousin Mark, and a couple of neighbors were with Dad and Jodie when I arrived. Joe and Jessa came later. There was plenty to eat! Along with cookies leftover from last week, Jodie made a huge lasagna and Caesar salad. Joe and Jessa had just come from seeing Rogue One. I talked to her about the movie and our job problems while everyone else ate and watched the game.

(And as far as I can tell, Rogue One is getting even better reviews than Force Awakens did, despite being a much darker story. I was wary of it at first, but now, I might have to check it out, especially since I did end up enjoying Force Awakens.)

Today's Eagles-Ravens game was a nail-biter! It was 27-14 by halftime, which is when I arrived. The Eagles made a touchdown with literally seconds to spare...but instead of doing the sensible thing and tying the game, they tried for a two point conversion. It didn't work, and they ended up losing by one darn point, 27-26. Mark's beloved Green Bay Packers also played a big game. Unlike the Eagles, they did just barely beat their long-time rivals the Chicago Bears 30-27.

Finally finished Luke and the Beanstalk when I got home. Vader comes barreling in, almost killing Ashoka. Luke and Leia stand up for her, at least as well as they can at their size. Ben covers for them, but vanishes when Vader steps on him. Upset, Luke calls to him, telling him his name and who he is. Vader realizes that he's his son, and Palpatine has played him for a fool.

Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, and Threepio the harp escape down the beanstalk while Vader deals with Palpatine by throwing him so hard, he lands in a mountain range and is turned into a jagged cliff. His lightning opens up the clouds, returning water to Naboo. When the group makes it to the ground, they ignore the storm and cut down the beanstalk. It does bring down Vader...but he has returned to Anakin Skywalker's original form. He dies in his children's arms.

The gold and the golden eggs that the hen lays is enough to restore Luke and Leia's farm and assure the duo that they'll never go hungry again. Han and Chewie give up stealing to remain and help them. Threepio plays beautiful music for his new masters, happy to have someone treat him well again. Ashoka takes charge of the Kingdom of the Sun Clouds and rules well.

I'm a little disappointed with how this one turned out. It took me a lot longer to do than I'd originally planned! I ended up re-writing a lot, especially once they got to the giant's castle.

I've done a lot more work for the next two stories I have planned. I've decided that each of the three fairy tales I'm going to work on will revolve around a member of the Original Trilogy trio. I just did Luke's story. Leia's will be a fusion of two Grimm's Fairy Tales, "Hansel & Gretel" and "The Old Woman In the Wood." I have a gender-reversed "Cinderella" planned for Han.

Luke and the Beanstalk at Fanfiction.Net
Luke and the Beanstalk at Archive of Our Own
Luke and the Beanstalk at My Writing Blog

Finished the night with chicken-vegetable soup and video games. Setting Lego Star Wars aside for the moment, I thought I'd give Super Mario All Stars another try. I didn't do very well. I got to World 2 on the original Super Mario Bros and Super Mario 2...and I only got to the second world on Mario Bros because I used the warp zone in 1-2. (In fact, I was the first person in my family to figure out where the Warp Zones were back in the late-80's.)

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