Friday, March 24, 2017

A Very Busy Spring

Started off a cloudy day with another Rankin-Bass Easter special. Here Comes Peter Cottontail was also the first of three spring specials they did, and may be the best-remembered today. Peter (Casey Kasem) is in line to become the new Easter Bunny, but he loses the job to nasty Irontail (Vincent Price) when he oversleeps and never delivers any eggs. With the help of peddler Seymour S. Sassafras (Danny Kaye), he goes back in time to try to hand out eggs. Irontail follows him, determined to remain chief Easter bunny.

Made my bed after eating breakfast, while the special was on. The blankets have a habit of sliding off during the night in the winter, probably because I usually sleep under three or four of them. I suspect that trying to organize them during the night may be part of of the "noise" people are complaining about.

Did a quick cartoon while getting organized for errands. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is enjoying a "Springtime Serenade" in a rare Universal color short. A grouchy groundhog is determined to spoil their fun with a snowy weather report. The other animals, including Oswald, don't listen...until the snow arrives and they wonder if he might be right.

Headed to the Acme around 11 to do this week's grocery shopping. Didn't really need a huge order. I've been eating out of the refrigerator all week. Mainly did some restocking - canned chicken, brown sugar, cereal (Kellogg's was on sale - went with basic Cheerios), crushed pineapple, olive oil, pads (needed those badly - I had one left), chocolate cake mix, bananas, eggs, skim milk. Found a $1.99 bag of small oranges to go with breakfast. Bought Italian chicken sausage with a manager's coupon for dinner tonight.

To my annoyance, when I got home, I discovered I had crunched one of the eggs. Most of the food in the bag seemed to be fine, but the container itself and the bottom of the bag were a soppy mess. I cut the bad part of the egg container off, then moved most of the eggs to the previous container that had two eggs left.

Did another Good Eats episode while I cleaned and got ready for more errands. Alton shows how "Milk Made" food can be downright tasty with a yummy-looking recipe for Tres Leche Cake that I may try. I'm less interested in Dulche Du Leche. I'm not a fan of caramel, and I've never been good with candy. May attempt making my own cottage cheese from skim milk sometime, though.

First stop after I went back out was a new restaurant down the street and around the corner on West Clinton Avenue. The Square Meal replaced the departed Viola's International Deli a few weeks ago. Sort of the same idea, but this time, the emphasis is on wholesome, hearty, local food that's good and good for you. I had a Roast Chicken Sandwich with cheddar and greens. The roast chicken was real sliced chicken, just over-seasoned deli chicken or bagged strips. It was on a thick, crusty Ciabatta roll and washed down with free lemon water in mason jars. Yum. Huge, filling, and tasty.

Rode across Newton River Park on my way to Westmont. By this point, the clouds were vanishing, and the sun was coming out. Despite the improving day, Newton River Park was relatively quiet. I only saw two people strolling by and a lot of Canadian geese looking for a late lunch. People were missing out. Spring is just starting to emerge. Bright green tufts of grass are poking their way through the yellow patches. Dandelions and buttercups have begun to sprout along the riverbanks.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't quite as busy as last week, as revealed in a full but not overwhelming return cart. I settled for organizing DVDs and shelving audio books and the few new returns that had come back in. Thought I'd leave the DVDs for the kids after school.

I've heard a lot about the BBC modern TV version of Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous detective and Martin Freeman as Watson, but I'd never seen it. Haddon Township had Series Three and a TV movie that put the two back in the series' original late 19th Century setting. Also took out Star Trek Beyond, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and a recent retelling of Anne of Green Gables with Martin Sheen as Matthew.

Also grabbed two books this week. I've enjoyed the East of the Sun, West of the Moon story I'm reading so much, I found a book retelling The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the same author, Princess of the Midnight Ball. Mom recommended the BBC series Miss Fisher's Mysteries to me when I called her earlier this week, and I know Linda Young likes that show too, but neither library has it. I thought I'd try the books instead, starting with Blood and Circuses.

To my surprise, Cabana's Water Ice was open on the corner of Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike. It does seem to be a bit early - Phillies Yummies probably won't open for another couple of weeks - but I was thirsty and grateful. I wasn't the only one. Two gaggles of girls and a mother with her kids on the way home from school joined me as I ordered a small orange cream water ice. Too sweet, but at least it did taste something like orange.

Made a short stop at Studio LuLoo next. Though Sarah was out of town doing another project, Roxy and another volunteer were helping kids with more crafts. I cut out stars from silvery cardboard while the little girls turned paper coffee cups into different but equally nifty starts. I helped them paint the inside of the cups gold to hang up for a "shine"-themed party.

Worked on writing for a few hours when I got home. Leia and the droids try hiding from Vader as they flee. As they're attempting to avoid him, two of his men reveal that guests have been robbed and the Wookie native slaves who were working in the cargo hold and boiler room were freed. The Crimson Hawk appears in a puff of smoke...then reappears outside to tell the citizens of Naboo that he'll continue to fight for truth, justice, and the Jedi way.

Leia's wonder just what's going on here. The Crimson Hawk is familiar...but it's not the same Crimson Hawk she saw at the ball. He's shorter and far more slender than the one who kissed her. She and the servants head down the hall to solve at least some of those mysteries.

Broke for Italian sausage with sauteed mushrooms and scallions and steamed green beans for dinner around 7. Ran Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince while I ate. Events are heating up at Hogwarts following the fight in the finale of the previous film. Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) has hired former Potions teacher Horace Slugworth (Jim Broadbent) back when Snape (Alan Rickman) finally gets the Defense of the Dark Arts job he's wanted for years. As it turns out, Dumbledore has his reasons for wanting Slugworth at Hogwarts. His memory has a crucial piece of information that he wants Harry (Daniel Ratcliffe) to retrieve. Harry's not so sure this is a great idea. He's having his own problems with his long-time nemesis Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), whom he believes has joined the Death Eaters, the evil jailers first seen in Prisoner of Azbekstan. Meanwhile, Hermione (Emma Watson) is having a hard time getting Ron (Rupert Grint) to see how she feels about him, especially after he's given a love potion by a fellow student and starts drooling all over her.

Slower-moving and less action-packed than the previous film...until the sad and touching finale that features the death of a beloved character at another character's hand. (What, you think Star Wars is the only franchise to do stuff like that?) Once again, you really need to know at least the last two or three books and/or films to understand what goes on here. If you've at least seen Order of the Phoenix or read the books, proceed right to this one.

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