Friday, January 13, 2017

Spooky Tales on Friday the 13th

Began the morning with breakfast, then more cleaning. I really shouldn't have put off cleaning as long as I did. The kitchen in particular was really bad, which was not a surprise, I use it quite a bit in December, between Christmas baking and regular cooking. Needed to vacuum, air my rag rug in the bedroom and the mat in the kitchen, and do the windows, too.

Watched more Bowery Boys as I worked. I did Ghost Chasers in honor of Friday the 13th. (What, you thought I was going to watch Jason Voorhees? Sorry, I can't handle that level of gore.) After Whitey takes an interest in the spirit world, the Boys find themselves sniffing out a phony medium who's been bilking women in their neighborhood. She leads them to the leader of the ring, a prominent medium who uses recordings and illusion to take people's money. They talk Louie into distracting her, so they can break in and expose her. When the other Boys are captured by her goons, Sach befriends a kindly ghost who helps them escape and find out how she's getting away with her charade.

Switched to The Backyardigans while eating a very quick lunch. "It's Great to Be a Ghost" says Uniqua and Pablo when they imagine themselves as spirits happily inhabiting a haunted house. Nervous Tyrone has a far harder time scaring people. Tasha shows up, claiming she can't be scared...but it's the least-likely kid who finally gets to her.

Headed out to run a few errands around quarter after 1. First stop was the Oaklyn Library. I arrived at the same time as a big group of kids. The Oaklyn (Middle/Elementary) School seems to have let out early today, likely for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend. A huge group of elementary schoolers arrived at the same time I did. The librarian put on The Secret Life of Pets for them. I settled for organizing DVDs before finally heading out 20 minutes later.

The Acme was a lot less busy. I had no problems picking up the few things I needed. Restocked grapefruit, bananas, soup (Campbell's was buy one-get one), toilet paper, eggs, yogurt, canned apricots, sugar, shampoo, and peanut butter. Found breaded fish fillets and fish cakes with manager's coupons on them in the seafood cases.

My schedule next week isn't bad. They've finally figured out that I have enough seniority for 20 hours a week. It isn't nearly enough, but it's better than 12. At any rate, all morning and early afternoon work again, Wednesday and Friday off. I do work Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but only 11 to 3.

I started a Laurel and Hardy horror-themed short before I left. Finished "The Live Ghost" when I got in. The boys are shanghaied on a ship that may be genuinely haunted. When they get leave, they opt to stay on board and watch over a drunk shipmate, then mistake that shipmate for a ghost when he gets covered in whitewash.

Moved right onto another while I got organized. Ollie has taken up with an attractive widow...but that widow has killed seven men named Oliver right before their wedding night, and intends to make Hardy "Oliver the Eighth," unless Stan can save his pal!

Continued the cleaning. Went right into doing the dusting. I mainly dusted around things. I only do really thorough dusting in the spring and fall. Besides, I wanted to have the time to put up the few remaining winter decorations, including the cardboard cut-outs of snowmen taking part in various winter sports and the three stuffed snowmen who stand on the table in the music area.

Since I'm in the midst of reading Winnie the Pooh stories, I did a few mildly spooky episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Piglet is "A Knight to Remember" when the others convince him to dress as a knight for their chess game. He imagines himself in a kingdom where he has to fight a fearsome dragon! But the dragon turns out to be not nearly as fierce or as scary as he thinks. (One of the stories in the new Pooh anthology does have Piglet thinking he has to fight a dragon.)

Piglet and his fears are also in the spotlight in "Rock-a-Bye Pooh Bear." Piglet has a nightmare about losing all his friends. He stays awake all night, so he won't lose them. The others have to prove to Piglet that dreams are just that - they don't always come true.

Worked on writing for a little while after I finally finished. Leia is angry that her parents, especially her father, are forcing her to choose a groom at her own birthday ball. Her father points out that if she'd picked a suitor from one of the men they'd provided, she wouldn't be going through this. She insists than when she marries, it'll be for a man who loves and challenges her, not for someone who only cares about her titles or dowry.

I'd started Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom before I began writing it. Finished it while having fish cakes and steamed broccoli for dinner. We jump back a year to 1935, as Indy flies from Shanghai to India with a loyal Chinese kid and a spoiled singer. The destitute citizens of an Indian village recruit Indy and the others to rescue their rock and their children from a strange palace. It turns out this rock is sacred to more than just the villagers. It's one of the legendary Shankara stones, which is also desired by an evil cult out to drive out the British and rule the world. Indy has to rescue the kids and the rocks, while making sure he and his friends escape with their hearts and minds intact.

Heavy-handed stereotypes, fair-sized plot holes, and Kate Capshaw's annoying performance as Willie makes this my least-favorite Indiana Jones movie. It has its moments, though, especially in some nicely done action set pieces like the mine train ride.

I tried to look up writing and secretarial jobs tonight, usual, no luck. I haven't used Microsoft Office in years. Everyone wants someone who uses Office, or is outgoing or a multi-tasker, or they need more experience than I have. This is why I have a hard time looking for a job. I read wanted ads. I get overwhelmed and frustrated when I see nothing for quiet people and very little in this area for writers. I finally give up, too frustrated and disappointed to bother.

And I told Lauren I'm probably not going to be able to visit her this year. We've already set up for her to visit me in May, but we'll have to limit it to one or two malls and a lot of walking around the area. Going on vacation is what got me into trouble in the first place.  She says she's disappointed, and her parents will be even more so. It can't be helped.

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