Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hot Time for Vacation

Kicked off the morning with breakfast and Dr. Seuss. Pontoffel Pock, Where are You? is one of the more unusual later specials. Fired from his job at a pickle factory and dealing with his family's decaying home, the frustrated Pontoffel just wants to get away from it all. A fairy grants his wish, giving him a magical piano that can take him anywhere. His first trip to the mountain country of Groogan ends with the locals upset after he shows off. His second takes him to an Arabian country, where he falls for Eefa Neefa, an "eyeball dancer." He escapes her boss the sultan in the piano and gets lost. The fairies want to find him and the piano, but all he wants is to rescue his girl.

Work was a pain in the rear. On one hand, I only did carts for a half-hour when I came in. It was just as well. It was killer hot and humid, in the mid 90's. Even a good, stiff wind didn't cool things off. I spent the rest of the morning shelving returns.

The afternoon was more of a problem. One of the cashiers called out. The panicking managers wanted me to stay an extra hour and work the register. While I appreciated adding to my paycheck, I otherwise regretted it. I had to deal with at least two customers who got their WIC Checks (the checks for low-income families with babies and toddlers) partly or completely wrong. You have to buy exactly what it says on the pamphlet. One family didn't seem to speak English. The other was new to the system. When I went back to get the former the correct baby food, I also realized that the baby food shelves were really decimated. No wonder they had problems. And after they left, it was as dead as it was all day and it's been since the 4th of July. They probably didn't need the extra help.

Thank goodness today was my last day of work for over a week! When I finally made it home, I pulled out my luggage. I'd wanted to start packing my bags for vacation and the living room this afternoon. I never got to the living room. Did get most things organized in my bag. I'm trying to bring the least amount of luggage possible, especially since the suitcase I got for Christmas is smaller than Dad's.

Dark clouds moved in as early as 2 PM. At 4, they were just looking scary. It was even a little cooler, if just as humid. I figured, as long as it wasn't pouring, I would be fine doing the laundry. Needless to say, given the weather, they weren't busy. I mainly wanted to wash my work uniforms and a few things for vacation. Worked on story notes and half-listened to the news blaring warnings about excessive heat and even more excessive storms.

It was still just cloudy when I got home. After I got the laundry put away and loaded into my bag, I thought I'd have dinner. Made peppered salmon with Cucumber-Tomato Salad while watching a first-season episode of Moonlighting. It's "Next Stop Murder" when Agnes DiPesto wins a trip on a private train to take part in a murder mystery for 24 hours. It's a game put on by a popular crime author and his friends, including a local chef, his former lover, and the forensic technician who provides ideas for his novels. Maddie and David join in as well after being accidentally stranded on the train. This turns out to be a good thing when the author is found dead for real and half the people on the trip have a motive.

Worked on writing for a couple of hours after dinner. Even as Han takes down Boba Fettson, Luke is doing the same to Vader. His father claimed he would corrupt his sister to bring Luke out of hiding. Big mistake! Luke lunges at him, nearly tearing him apart before he actually does take off his arm. That's when the boy realizes he's getting dangerously close to being a little too much like his father. To Palpatine's dismay, he leaves his saber and pack on a chair and says he's now a Jedi and the true king of Naboo, and he has no desire to kill anyone, even Vader.

Meanwhile, Langdon Croydon and his men are trying to avoid the Death Star's guns in order to get under it and take it down. Rogue Squadron's explosion opens up the perfect hole to do so. As they go in, Admiral Ackbar announces that the Coruscant Navy is closing in. But help is on the way...

It was finally raining by the time I went online, but nothing like the storm they worried about all day. I listened to the rain while watching The Great Outdoors. Chet (John Candy) is taking his family on vacation to a remote cabin in Wisconsin that his parents used to rent during his childhood. He's looking forward to some bonding time...until his obnoxious rich brother-in-law Roman (Dan Ackroyd), his wife Kate (Annette Benning), and their spooky twin daughters show up uninvited. Roman constantly upstages Chet and brags about all the money he makes and his big job as a commodities trader. Tensions finally boil over during a thunderstorm...but when the twins vanish, the two fathers finally learn to work as a family.

A nice script by John Hughes and the unusual lakeside location makes this one a slight improvement on Summer Rental.  It actually reminds me a bit of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Plains, Trains, and Automobiles, this time with the rich guy being the annoying one and the middle-class guy being the one who's put-upon. It also shares Planes' problem of an ending that's too sentimental for the previous wacky comedy.

If you're a fan of either leading man or Hughes' work as a scriptwriter, this is better than you might think and is certainly worth checking out.

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