Sunday, April 16, 2017

Very Warm for Easter

Began a gorgeous, warm Easter morning with stories and poems from Colliers Harvest of Holidays. Nino's Easter is the tale of a little Greek boy's typical Easter customs, from attending church to the huge family feast afterwards. The Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes tells of a mother rabbit who so impresses the head Easter Bunny with how she takes care of her large family, he makes her an official Easter Bunny. She's not sure she can make it, but a pair of shiny shoes may help her get through.

Also did a short from the Disney Storybookland anthology. "Grandpa Bunny" is supposedly based after "Funny Little Bunnies." Great Grandpa Bunny Bunny has been the head of the Easter rabbits for as long as anyone can remember. When he dies, the older bunnies search for his last legacy...but their children know where it can be found.

Ran The Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town as I ate Confetti Pancakes for breakfast. Sunny the Bunny is discovered by the citizens of all-child Kidsville on Easter morning. As he grows up, he insist that the kids start to expand their products outside the village and tries to bring their eggs to dismal Town. Not only does grouchy Gadzooks the Bear keep chasing him away, but rigid Lady Longtooth, who rules Town, pretty much hates anything that isn't beans or her young nephew King Bruce. As Sunny, his hobo friend, and the kids create ways to get around Lady Longtooth's laws, the discover that they're creating traditions that will outlast her strict ways.

Tossed on a quick Looney Tunes short as I got ready for work. "Easter Yeggs" features a far less benign spring hare. The Easter Bunny is feeling overworked and recruits Bugs Bunny to take over his job. No wonder - Bugs is attacked by a criminal kid and Elmer Fudd looking for a rabbit for his stew pot. Fed up, he finally decides to get revenge on the lazy rabbit.

Work was surprisingly not that bad for a Sunday and a holiday. It was busy on and off, with occasional long lines, but they didn't last. I assumed the lines would be long all day. I cleaned the bathrooms and bagged in the morning and did the carts in the afternoon. Glad I did. Part of the reason we weren't that busy may have been it was absolutely gorgeous today, sunny, windy, and ridiculously warm for April, probably in the lower 80's. I treated myself to a free chocolate doughnut (via one of the Monopoly coupons) and an Acme Orange/Mango sparkling soda on the way out.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road. Given the weather, it was practically required. They weren't too bad, either. A little busy down Nicholson, but once I got to Atlantic, it was smooth sailing. Took an even longer route down Kendall, past Rose and Craig's house and the West Clinton Business District. Needless to say, there were quite a few people out and about today, chatting on porches, riding bikes, or watching their children play in their yards.

Did more Looney Tunes, this one a TV special, when I got in. Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-citment gives us three all-original shorts with a spring theme, and all featuring Daffy. He and Sylvester chase a golden egg in the first short. In the second, he has to keep Speedy Gonzoles out of a chocolate bunny factory. Speedy wants the bunnies for the kids of his village, but Daffy has no intention of paying. Daffy's solo in the third, as he tries to figure out how to get north without flying.

Worked on writing and editing for an hour or so. Leia's disappointed to say good-bye to Uncle Bail, who is returning to Alderaan to deal with the fall-out from the Death Star destroying their shipyards. He promises he'll be back in time for the Diamond Jubilee Gala Ball at the end of the summer.

Headed to Dad and Jodie's around quarter of 5. Rose, Khai, and Craig were already there when I arrived. Jesse, Dana, T.J, and his new girlfriend showed up shortly after. Dad and Jodie did give me socks (they're kind of thin, though - I may get one more pack next month) and Rogue One. (Which I'll watch tomorrow.)  Jodie also gave me 20 dollars. (The bulk of my birthday money is going towards tickets and money for my visit to Pittsfield to see Lauren in mid-July.) Rose and her boys gave me a 25 dollar gift card to CVS. (I gave Rose a 15 dollar gift card to Target.)

I chased Khai and Chloe around for a bit, watching them play with Khai's new blocky Minecraft toy animals in the living room. Watched some pretty odd episodes of Teen Titans Go! as the kids tumbled and jumped around the scarred old coffee table. One episode was a parody of Gilligan's Island, with Beast Boy as Gilligan, Cyborg as the Skipper, and Robin as the Professor. A two-parter had Starfire and Raven rescuing the boys from prison with the help of a few less-trustworthy female characters.

We had dinner around quarter after 5. Instead of ham, we had an amazing succulent prime rib Jodie bought straight from a local butcher. There were also roasted rosemary red potatoes, sauteed asparagus, garden salad, corn (Khai was very happy - he loves corn), and sweet rolls with butter. We said our prayers, then dug in. Everything was so good! The prime rib just melted in my mouth. The company was equally nice. Even Khai was a perfect gentleman. (And he's a lot better at cutting his meat than I was at that age.)

Chloe and her mother returned as we were preparing to have dessert. Rose requested something key lime; I wanted chocolate. The compromise - two small, round key lime cheesecakes surrounding a slightly larger chocolate fudge cake with colorful flower icing decorations. The chocolate cake was delicious, with it's very thick candy-like frosting, but soooo rich!

Joe and Jessa showed up as we were finishing dessert. They'd had car trouble, but I'm glad they did make it. My birthday gift from them was a smartphone to replace my ancient flip-top cell phone. It's Joe's previous phone, a Samsung Galaxy 5, and not that old. They showed me how to set it up and inserted the SIM card. Joe even drove me to CVS when they realized they'd forgotten the charger and bought me a new one (with a 10-foot cord) as part of the gift. I also grabbed my annual bag of post-holiday York Peppermint Patties - they were already gone at the Acme.

Which means...I can now text properly (without having to use one number for three letters) and take photos on my phone! I texted Mom later this evening to thank her for the Easter card and for calling me on my birthday. I'll mess around with the phone more later this week.

Put on a few remaining specials as I got organized and added contacts to my new phone when I got home. The First Easter Rabbit is another Rankin-Bass Easter Bunny origin story, this time in regular 2-D animation. Stuffy was once a toy rabbit, the beloved favorite of little Glinda. When she gets scarlet fever, he's saved from the rubbish pile by a fairy who turns him into a real bunny. She proclaims him the Easter Bunny, the symbol of spring for all children. But there's a nasty old snow wizard nearby who doesn't want spring to go on...

It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown follows the Peanuts' Easter preparations. Peppermint Patty wants to teach Marcie to color eggs, but her best friend keeps on doing everything but boiling them. Charlie Brown takes Sally shoe shopping (and gets in some cracks about extra-early Christmas sales), while Snoopy searches for a waterproof home for Woodstock. Don't bother with the fuss, says Linus. The Easter Beagle does all that. Sally is more than a little skeptical after the Great Pumpkin incident on Halloween. Lucy would rather hide and find her own eggs.

Finished out the night with the classic 1948 musical Easter Parade. Fred Astaire plays a vaudeville dancer whose partner (Ann Miller) leaves him for a star turn in the Ziegfield Follies. Hurt, he hires a far more different and down-to-earth dancer and singer (Judy Garland) as her replacement. He tries to groom her as a ballroom dancer...but the act really takes off when he discovers she's a born comedienne. His college student best friend (Peter Lawford) has a crush on her; his former partner is after Lawford, but may still have feelings for him, too. Both couples manage to reconcile in time for the big Easter Parade in New York.

The thin story is really more of a tent pole to hang some wonderful Irving Berlin numbers, including Astaire's "Drum Crazy" and "Steppin' Out With My Baby" and Garland and Astaire's hilarious comic hobo duet "A Couple of Swells." My favorite song is Lawford's adorable ballad "A Fella With an Umbrella." If you love the cast, Irving Berlin, or light musicals, this is a fun watch for late Easter afternoon or evening.

And happy Easter to all those who celebrate it! This ended up being the nicest Easter I had in years. I hope all of you had just as much fun!

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