Began a cloudy morning with more Rick Steves' Europe. We moved to Denmark for a further exploration of their largest city, Copenhagen.I love the lively sailor's quarter and especially Tivoli Gardens, Europe's most popular amusement park. It reminds me a bit of both Six Flags Great Escape and the photos Mom brought back of Hershey Park in the early 2000's.
Worked on writing for a few hours and did some things online. I was writing when I heard the phone next to my desk ringing. It was Charlie. I had a package downstairs. Thankfully, it was between showers when I dashed to the front of the house to get it. Charlie was even nice enough to keep it in his van, so it wouldn't get wet or eaten by his dogs.
I rushed right up to my place with it before the rain started again. It was my last birthday present, this one from Linda Young. She sent me the just-revised American Girl Ultimate Visual Guide. This is a coffee-table-sized reference book with photos of all the historical dolls and how they were designed, all of the Girls of the Year (even the low-selling Lindsay from 2000), and some of the more recent modern dolls and outfits. It doesn't cover everything, especially older items, but it does give you a good overview, with some wonderful photographs. (It also includes recent BeForever additions Maryellen and Melody.)
Included with the book were two small prints and a cute Peanuts card. The larger print was a lovely drawing of Princess Leia looking up at the stars and the dark-blue skies, likely one of the many tributes to Leia and to Carrie Fisher done after Fisher died. The other is bookmark-sized, depicting Poe, Finn, and Rey happily giving each other a group hug. One side is a black-and-white version with no background. The other has color against a floral background and a Rebellion/Resistance symbol. (I suspect both prints likely came from one of the many conventions Linda and James love to visit.)
Awww! Thank you guys so much! Both the book and the prints are much-appreciated.
Headed out about 40 minutes or so after opening the package. First stop was Phillies Phatties for lunch. Needless to say, they were dead. One other guy came in and chatted with the college students behind the counter. Otherwise, it was me and ESPN Sportscenter talking about the NFL Draft. I half-listened while eating my usual slices of cheese and mushroom and gulping a can of Diet Pepsi.
It was showering even harder as I made my way across Newton Lake Park. I had no choice. I had to get to counseling. I just got wet. Thanks to the cold and damp weather, the park wasn't terribly busy either time I went through it. I saw a few Canadian geese, three ducks, and two dog walkers.
Got into Haddonfield a little early. Didn't feel like doing more roaming around in the rain than necessary, so I just went to counseling 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Mrs. Stahl and I mainly discussed my busy month - my new cell phone, all the fun on Easter and my birthday, Khai's birthday party, my birthday gifts from Dad and Jodie, them inviting me over more often. I also told her that I'm in the market for a new apartment or small house. I'm not really comfortable here anymore, and I really don't think Willa is going to have much else done besides the roof and the porch (and heaven only knows when they're going to get to that). It's not going to happen anytime soon (for one thing, I don't have the money for moving at the moment), but I'm hoping to leave within the next two to three years.
I'm also tired of the Acme, even more so now. My current head managers are both pains in the rear. I want to do a job where I feel like I'm making a difference and my contribution actually means something. Mrs. Stahl is still convinced I have some kind of neurological problem or disorder. Yeah, it's called "introversion and extreme shyness." I still don't buy it. If I had that kind of problem, some doctor or the other would have told me decades ago. I'd at least like to find another part-time job that would be more appropriate to my talents and personality than retail, which I quite obviously don't belong in. And I need to somehow drum up enough courage to sell my writing.
Mrs. Stahl says "Google jobs that people with neurological problems can do." Oh, I will...google jobs for introverts and shy people.
It was still raining when I started home. The digital sign at the Westmont Fire House said 57 degrees by quarter after 3. The weather was too chilly for water ice. I opted to stop at McMillan's Bakery in Westmont, across from Walgreens', instead. They make some of the best donuts in Camden County. Their vanilla cream-filled was bursting with frosting and powdered sugar.
Headed straight home after that, dodging the beginnings of rush-hour traffic. At least the rain had largely stopped by the time I rolled into Oaklyn. It started again while I was eating dinner, and has been off and on, sometimes heavily, for the rest of the night.
Did some more writing for a while when I got home. Leia, Henry, and Charles commandeer a taxi and pay the driver to get them away from the man and his carriage. The fellow is Robert Fettson, a bounty hunter who is well-known for his ruthlessness and tenacity. He chases them through the streets of Ord Mantell, until Leia shoots out his wheel and Henry manages to get a fruit cart in front of him.
Wanting to make up for the trouble, Henry invites Leia to his home Corellia Manor for lunch the next day. She accepts. She wants to learn more about him and what he's up to.
Broke around 6 for leftovers for dinner. Watched more Rick Steves while I ate. Small-town Denmark is even lovelier than Copenhagen, all colorful houses and quaint villages. In addition to the island of Aero, with its tiny towns and church, I liked seeing Hans Christian Anderson's home town and watching a storyteller relate his most famous fairy tales.
Inspired by the previous episode, I finished the night with the Danny Kaye Hans Christian Anderson while baking an Apricot-Lemon Cake. Unlike most movie biopics, this one is pretty upfront about being "a fairy tale about a spinner of fairy tales." Hans (Kaye) is technically a cobbler, but what he really loves is telling stories about naked emperors and snow queens to the children of his village. His stories keep them away from school, which enrages the schoolmaster. Hans and his apprentice finally flee the village to see Copenhagen. There, Hans falls in love with a beautiful ballerina (Jeanne Marie) who inspires his most famous and romantic story, "The Little Mermaid." The ballerina, however, is already happily married to the troupe's choreographer and director. Hans is heartbroken...but he'll always have his stories.
This has been a favorite of mine since it used to turn up a lot on local independent TV stations in the afternoon in the 80's and early 90's. It introduced me to the delights of ballet, Kaye, and songwriter Frank Loesseur. If you're a fan of Kaye, ballet, or the real Anderson and his stories, you'll want to look around for this one.