Saturday, March 04, 2017

Under the Sea

Began today with an episode of The Backyardigans. Tyrone, Uniqua, and Pablo are looking for something exciting to do. They're less than thrilled when Tasha suggests a tea party. Tasha's "High Tea" turns out to be a lot more interesting than they expected when they have to search the jungles of Borneo for tea leaves, amuse the Emperor of China (Austin) in order to borrow his tea set, and hit the Gobi Desert for boiling water!

Had an early work session today. Despite the bitter cold and raging wind, we were busy for most of the day. I spent the first half of my shift doing carts, and the second half bagging and gathering baskets. Helped a few older people outside, too. It's the beginning of the month, and there's a lot of good sales this weekend.

Went straight home after work, dodging the gale-force winds. Hit the shower when I got in. Normally, I take my showers in the evening after dinner, but I've been running out of hot water after doing the dishes. Thought I might actually have some hot water if I took it earlier. (I did.)

Did a little writing. Leia is recruited by her Uncle Bail, Mon Mothma, and Ashoka Tano into the Rebel Society, a group working to fight Baron Vader and Prime Minister Palpatine and restore the King and Queen. Mon Mothma reveals that while the plans for Vader's newest weapon were stolen, they were passed to other members in town when those members were killed. Leia has to go with her aunt and uncle and pick up the plans from where they were hidden.

Broke around quarter of 7 for dinner. Decided I'd try something a little different with all those bagged vegetables I bought yesterday. Lauren sent me a grocery store cookbook with a lot of different vegetable recipes last year. I found one that was perfect for my larder and my appetite - Garden Frittata. I halved the recipe (I wasn't going to need four wedges), replaced the basil with spinach, the garlic butter the veggies were cooked in with minced garlic and butter, and the jalapeno Monterrey Jack cheese with sharp cheddar. Other than I cooked it a little too long, it came out absolutely perfect, crunchy and savory and sharp.

Ran Finding Dory while I cooked. Dory, the forgetful blue tang (Ellen Degeneres), has suddenly remembered that she has parents who are missing her. She's determined to return to them, despite the misgivings of her clown fish friend Marlin (Albert Brooks). She eventually ends up in a marine life center, where she meets Hank, a grouchy octopus who doesn't ever want to return to the ocean, Bailey, a beluga whale who is convinced his sonar instinct is on the fritz, and Destiny, a nearsighted whale shark. As each of her new friends helps her get closer to her parents, she teaches them that being "special" doesn't mean one has nothing to offer the world...and sometimes, you just have to get out and take a chance.

I'm not a big fan of the original Finding Nemo, which I thought was an overwrought tearjerker. I liked this one slightly better, partially because I can related to the themes being discussed, and partly because I always did like Dory. If your kids love aquatic animals or the original Finding Nemo, they'll likely want to see this one as well.

I'm finishing out the night with another popular Disney tale set beneath the ocean, The Little Mermaid. In the retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson story, the title character (Jodi Benson) is persuaded by an evil octopus-like sea witch (Pat Carroll) to give up her voice in exchange for legs to attract a handsome human prince. With the help of her friends Sebastian the crab and Flounder the fish, she tries to figure out how to win her love without speaking...and how to defeat the witch, who really wants to rule the ocean.

While Ariel doesn't always come off as the brightest starfish in the sea and a few aspects of this haven't dated well (and the most famous number in the film, "Under the Sea," just pops in out of nowhere), there's still a lot of things here that work. The animation remains incredible, especially in the underwater sequences, and Howard Ashman and Alan Menkin's score is still considered a classic.

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