Friday, July 07, 2017

Rainy Daze

Got up far earlier than normal lately. Maybe it was just as well. I had a lot to do today, starting with breakfast. After I ate and did the dishes, I was going to clean the kitchen. The water had been running low even when I was cleaning up from my meal. By the time I wanted to scrub the sink, there was nothing to scrub it with. Neither the bathroom nor the kitchen sinks were running. I'd heard banging downstairs. Charlie must have turned off the water to mess with the plumbing again. Thanks for telling me, fellas.

I took advantage of the unexpected downtime to make a new collage instead. I hadn't done one of my seasonal collages since January. I usually make them once every couple of months to clear out old catalogs. I've been doing so little shopping lately, especially online, that I haven't really been getting many catalogs besides a couple for plus-sized clothes. Oh well, I worked with what I had.

For those of you who have wanted to see my collages, here's the one I made this morning. Thanks to my cell phone, I was finally able to take a photo and post it on Facebook:

Summer 2017 Collage

It's just as well that I had planned on spending my morning cleaning. I wouldn't have been able to run errands anyhow, thanks to the weather. It showered off and on all morning, sometimes heavily. It was perfect weather to watch the mystery spoof My Favorite Brunette. Baby photographer Ronnie Jackson (Bob Hope) longs to be a private eye like his neighbor Sam McCloud (Alan Ladd). He gets his big chance when he's watching McCloud's office and encounters the Baroness Carlotta (Dorothy Lamour) who is begging for his help in finding her uncle. He learns that she may not be anything resembling what she claims...and neither are the man who claims to be her uncle (John Hoyt) or his lackeys Kismet (Peter Lorre) and Willie (Lon Chaney). When a scientist (Reginald Denny) is murdered in Ronnie's car, he's framed, and he and Carlotta flee from San Francisco to Washington DC to get the low down on who really did the deed.

Bob Hope was no stranger to wacky spoof, and this is one of his stranger ones. The shadowy world of film noir gets the raspberry here, complete with a convoluted, hard-to-follow plot. Some decent performances, notably Chaney reprising his slow-thinking Lennie from Of Mice and Men. It's in the public domain, so it's not hard to find if you're into Hope and his brand of comedy.

Finally gave up on waiting for the water to come back on and opted for vacuuming instead. Ran The Three Stooges Go Around the World In a Daze while I worked. Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe are the valets for the grandson of Phineas Fogg, the original gentleman traveler who went around the world in 80 days. A member of his club bets Phineas the Third that he can't do the same...and do it without spending a dime. Phineas is more than happy to accept the challenge. The Stooges, who know quite a bit about traveling with little or no money, help him get from country to country. Meanwhile, a thief has committed a crime in Phineas' name, which sends a determined cop after the entire group. Enjoyable time-waster for fans of the later Stooges.

The rain stopped around 11:30. I'd planned on going out and running a few errands at that point anyway, regardless of the weather. First stop was the Oaklyn Library. I wonder if they're busier in their afternoon sessions. I saw one other person reading books and the librarian. Looked over the DVDs and organized picture books and board books before moving on.

It was still cloudy, windy, and very humid when I headed to the Acme to do this week's grocery shopping. Didn't have a really huge order. Had a coupon for Crest toothpaste. Found one of the Pro-Health tubes on the clearance shelves. Deodorant was on a good sale, too. It's too hot to bake cookies; opted for the tasty Irwin's Spice Wafers. Restocked chicken legs, butter, diced tomatoes, yogurt, skim milk, parchment paper, peanut butter, and powdered sugar.

My schedule for next week isn't quite as busy as this week, but it's not bad, either. Once again, I work straight through until Friday. Not only do I have Friday off, but Saturday is the first day of my second vacation! Thursday is my only early day, which will give me plenty of time for writing. I also need to pack my suitcase and carry-on bag and anything I need to get out of Charlie's way before he comes back up here to finish my roof.

Rode straight home to put everything away and get organized for a run to Westmont. Did a Three Stooges short while I was there. Shemp joins Moe and Larry for "Hold That Lion!" The trio want to subpoena the crooked broker Ichabod Slipp, who has stolen their inheritance. They follow him onto a train, trying to catch him and dodge a hungry lion they accidentally released. (Look for a quick cameo by Curly as a snoring passenger - with a full head of hair!)

By the time I started out again, the sun had emerged...which only made it hot and sticky. I dodged the humid weather and more road repair on Cuthbert as I made my way to the Westmont Plaza. In honor of my new niece and the just-passed holiday, I treated myself to lunch at Friendly's. Had a huge Cheddar Pub Burger, smothered with cheese, sauteed onions, bacon, and horseradish sauce on a pretzel bun. Oooh, it was messy, but really nice and juicy. Dessert was strawberry ice cream with marshmallow sauce and a cherry. It was quiet in there for them, probably due to it being past 2 by then. I saw a college couple ordering their meal and a mom and her grade-school-age daughter enjoying ice cream.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't much busier than the Oaklyn Library had been. I did have a pile of kids' DVDs to shelve and organize. Shelved a bunch of CDs, too. I left the adult DVDs for the teen volunteers. I wanted to get some writing in and didn't want to linger too long. No movies or books this week. I want to concentrate on other things.

Took the long way home through Newton Lake Park to avoid the repair mess on Cuthbert. As the sun came out, so did the people. I saw lots of fisher-folk, including a whole family, a fellow biker, a group of teens enjoying snacks at a picnic table, and lots of locals just out for a walk or a jog. Likely thanks to the rain, the park looks absolutely gorgeous for July, green as emeralds with leaves often the size of adult hands. There's none of the algae that usually coats the water at this time of the year, here or in Oaklyn. The lake sparkles like a ribbon of pure green silk.

Settled down to writing when I got in around quarter after 4. Cedric is having the time of his life posing as Hux. At last, people give him the respect he deserves! As he's basking in the praise, the ceremony to crown Palpatine King of Naboo begins, with all the pomp and circumstances of true royalty. Just as the Bishop is about to place the crown on Palpatine's head, the lights in the chandelier go out. Three figures swing on the chandelier, grabbing the royal family jewels as they do. When the lights go back on, we see Han, Leia, and Luke - aka, the Crimson Hawk, the Golden Eagle, and the White Swan. Luke and Leia announce themselves as the true heirs to Naboo, which Palpatine fervently denies. They scatter before he can argue with them.

Broke at 6:30 for a very quick yogurt-and-cherries dinner. With the water having been restored when I got home, I was finally able to get the kitchen done. I didn't want to do too much here, since Charlie will be working in part of it, but the sink and stove top were really grungy.

Finished the night with Roman Holiday. Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for her debut in this 1953 romantic comedy. Tired of her never-ending royal activities, Princess Ann (Hepburn) flees her stiffing royal schedule for a day of fun in Rome. She's found by cynical newspaper reporter Joe (Gregory Peck) after passing out. He smells a story and offers to take her around Rome, convincing his photographer buddy (Eddie Albert) to get pictures. She's wary at first, but finally accepts. They spend a marvelous day seeing the sights together, but when a dance on a boat ends in a melee after government agents come for her, Ann realizes that she must resume her matter how she feels about Joe.

Audrey Hepburn is the perfect princess on the lam in this enjoyable comedy, looking adorable with the sights and sounds of the real Rome on display. Peck is as charming and gallant as he apparently was in real-life (story has it that he gave up his star billing to Hepburn because he knew she'd be wonderful as the princess). Albert does the confused, eager pal so well, he earned a Supporting Actor nod; the costumes and story, along with Hepburn herself, did win.

If you're a fan of the cast or slightly bittersweet romantic comedies, this is one trip to Rome that's well worth your time.

Incidentally, the rain returned as Roman Holiday was ending. It was really going there for a while, this time with wind, too. It's calm out there now; hopefully, if it returns, it'll be after my trip to the farm market tomorrow.

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