Friday, May 05, 2017

Of Caballeros and Amigos

I awoke to rain. It was pouring like mad when I got up, and would continue pouring for the entire morning. Since I was stuck inside, I did chores and spring cleaning. I made the bed. Vacuumed everything, around all the floorboards, under as many pieces of furniture as I could move or fit the attachment into. Washed the windows and the floor-length mirror in my bedroom. Continued to re-organize my medicine cabinet and the back room.

Ran the two "Donald Duck In Latin America" movies as I worked in honor of Cinco Del Mayo. Saludos Amigos is the earlier and tamer of the two. Four shorts depict the Disney Animators' trip south of the border. Donald visits Lake Titicaca, Goofy learns about Argentinian gauchos, and we're introduced to Pedro the mail plane and his family and Brazilian parrot Jose Carioca.

Things pick up in The Three Caballeros. After three shorts about a penguin who wants to live in warmer climes, a flying donkey from Uruguay, and the wacky Aracuan bird, Donald receives presents from - and is introduced to - noisy Mexican rooster Panchito. The two and Jose sing the famous title song, dance with real-life South American beauties, learn about Mexican folk dances and Las Posadas, and check out some of the most surreal animation ever to grace the silver screen.

I prefer the more creative Caballeros, but those of you with younger kids may want to try them on the less-weird Amigos first. Either way, these underrated treats are great fun for fans of Donald, the Disney anthology films of the 40's, unusual animation, or our neighbors in South America.

Did two quick Donald shorts that come with the set as I put cleaning products away. "Don Donald" is an earlier short that introduced Daisy (as Donna Duck). Donald is a gaucho out to woo his fickle girl. His burro proves to be too much to handle, but a snazzy new car might do the trick. "Contrary Condor" is from the later 40's. Donald's an egg collector in South America, trying to grab an egg from a condor. Not only does the condor think he's her baby, but the real baby condor gets jealous and tries to eliminate Donald.

Ran a Monkees episode while I got ready to run errands. "It's a Nice Place to Visit" in the season two opener as the groovy rockers find themselves stranded in Mexico. When Davy's kidnapped by bandits who don't appreciate him flirting with the head man's girlfriend, the other three pass themselves off as bandits and go after him.

The rain had finally subsided by around 1. It was safe for me to head out for lunch and to run errands. I really couldn't have stuck around for much longer, anyway. One of Charlie's men yelled up to me and told me that the water was being turned off for a few hours. They were working on a pipe a few blocks away.

Stopped quickly at WaWa for money, then hurried across the White Horse Pike to Jalapeno's Grill for lunch. Needless to say on a Mexican holiday, they were the busiest I ever saw them. The main dining room was decorated to the nines with streamers and "Cinco Del Mayo" signs. The waitresses even sported colorful, ruffly peasant blouses. For once, my food was on time, even if it took them a while to bring me the check. The chicken quesadillas were slightly charred on the outside, but otherwise very tasty, with lots of sweet peppers and melted cheese.

My next stop was Dollar Tree. I wanted to finish reorganizing the back room. I needed containers for the towels - all of them, the older striped ones Linda Young gave me and the ones I use in the bathroom - and for placemats and cookie mats. Picked up box-like fabric containers, one in red, one in green, and a smaller one in tweed-like tan. Also bought Mother's Day cards and a colorful new tray for the kitchen. The old one I'd had since I moved to Wildwood had finally started cracking after 15 years.

I was mainly at the Haddon Township Library to return DVDs and a few books. They had plenty of kids there just getting off of school and not much going on. I shelved audio books, CDs, and new releases. Didn't take anything out this week. I want to concentrate on writing and getting ready for Lauren's visit in a week and a half.

Made a quick stop at CVS to use the last of my birthday gift card on conditioner and dish washing liquid. Since the Westmont Acme is next-door, I figured I'd get as much of my shopping done as I could. I couldn't find the grapefruit, so I ended up with blood oranges. Restocked brown sugar, bananas, baby spinach, apples, skim milk, eggs, canned apricots, shredded Mexican-blend cheese, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, and Choboni "Flip" yogurts.

Headed home across Newton Lake Park. Surprisingly for a warm, humid, and gloomy afternoon, I noticed a few fisherfolk leaning over railings, trying to catch an elusive lake-dweller. Passed several other bikers, too. The park's gorgeous now, as green as emeralds. The leaves get bigger every time I see them.

Ran a Latin-themed episode of Get Smart as I put away the groceries and organized the towels and wraps for my ankles and wrists. The third season episode "Viva Smart" has Max and 99 undercover in a South American country run by a cruel dictator, where people are shot for petty reasons every other second. They have to pass themselves off as a flamenco dancing team or face the firing squad themselves.

(Incidentally, while the water wasn't on when I got home, it was working by the time I was making dinner.)

Squeezed in a little writing before dinner. An angry Leia joins Ahsoka, Jyn, and Cassian down at the harbor. Leia and Ahsoka both felt Vader use the Force to mentally attack the men on Luke's ship. Leia knows Vader has something planned. She's just not sure what.

Broke around 6:30 to make my favorite Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip, smothered in half the bag of that Mexican cheese I bought earlier. Put on a Backyardigans episode as I ate. Uniqua and Tasha run "Chichen-Itza Pizza," the best (and likely only) pizza parlor in the ancient Mexican jungles. Uniqua wants to get a pie to the King of Mexico (Tyrone) in his Golden Pyramid. Tasha's ready to quit, thanks to her fear of heights and the long distance.

Finished out the night after a shower with The Three Amigos. A trio of out-of-work silent movie actors (Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short) travel to Mexico at the request of a young woman and her brother. They think their Robin Hood-like movie characters are real and think they can help them defeat the bandit who is terrorizing their village. Although the Amigos aren't terribly happy about all this when they figure it out, they finally decide they don't have a choice, pursuing the bandit into the desert.

Long-time family favorite was one of those smaller comedies that used to run a lot on cable in the late 80's and early 90's. Great work by all three leads, with an appropriately sweeping score by Elmer Bernstein and three fun songs by Randy Newman. (Including "My Little Buttercup," the Amigos' number in the bar. We watched this movie so often in the late 80's, Rose and Anny had their whole routine memorized, up to and including them ending up on each other's backs.)

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