Friday, July 28, 2017

Who'll Start the Rain?

Began another cloudy morning with breakfast and a couple of episodes of The Backyardigans. Did "The Key to the Nile" from the first season in honor of the book I'm currently reading, The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters. Princess CleoTasha expects her pages Austin, Tyrone, and Pablo to fetch and carry for her without a word of thanks. She learns a lesson in manners when the Nile dries up, and she and the boys have to gather three gifts for the Sphinx (Uniqua) to fill it again.

Moved onto "Pirate Treasure," the series pilot, while I prepared my grocery list and got organized. Uniqua, Austin, Pablo, and Tyrone are two sets of pirates, each with one half of a treasure map. At first, Pablo and Tyrone capture the other two and try to force them overboard. When they run aground, they realize they both have halves of the same map, and decide they're better off splitting the treasure.

It was a little warmer, much sunnier, and murderously humid as I headed to the Acme to pick up my schedule and do this week's grocery shopping. My schedule for next week is the simplest I've ever had. I work 2-6 all week, Tuesday and Friday off again. Fine by me. I'll get some writing and cleaning in and actually make it to the Collingswood Farm Market next Saturday. Had a neon-iced cupcake in the back employees room, evidently remnants of a birthday cake for one of the oldest employees at the store.

The Acme was actually pretty dead as I did my shopping. Everyone must have been scared off by the rain we were supposed to have had all day. Found 99 cent bags of Acme M&M bakery cookies on the bakery markdown shelves. Restocked peaches, blueberries, cherries, cake mix, chocolate chips, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, yogurt, AA batteries (the Acme's were cheaper than Family Dollar's, $3.99 for an 8-pack), Wheat Chex (which were on a rare sale), cooking spray, and skim milk. Had online coupons for two cans of Dole mandarin oranges, a box of Nature Valley "Granola Cups," granola rounds filled with nut butter (I went with almond), and a bag of Snyder's Pretzels.

Ran more Backyardigans as I put everything away. One of my favorite episodes of the series is "Sinbad Sails Alone" from the second season. Tyrone is the legendary sailor, who is determined to find the end of the rainbow all by himself. His best buddy Pablo wants to help, but isn't as experienced a sailor. His mishaps cause them to stop at the islands of Siren Uniqua and Medusa Tasha, who want them to play games with them to get the water and food they need. The catchy mambo music in this episode is especially infectious.

It remained sunny and hazy as I made my way back out, this time across Newton Lake Park. For a killer humid day that wasn't supposed to be as nice as it got, they were fairly busy. I dodged other bikers, dog walkers, a family sunning by a bench, and a gaggle of Canadian geese looking for a late lunch by the Cuthbert Road entrance. (I also noticed a tree that had been cut down by the stone pavilion. Cut, or fallen down and then cut - the exposed insides were moldy and rotten.)

The Haddon Township Library was also busy, likely with families and older people avoiding the heat and humidity. There wasn't a whole lot to do. They didn't want anyone to shelve DVDs, and only one audio book needed to be put away. I mainly went through the DVDs, making sure they were organized and pulling TV sets that needed to go on the spinning racks.

Took out quite a few items today. Figured I'd finish off my Star Trek run with Star Trek: Generations and would continue the Jurassic Park series with Jurassic Park III. Found another Charlie Chan movie, Charlie Chan In London. The next DC Superhero Girls book, Kantana at Superhero High, just came in. (It sounds like the next one will revolve around Harley Quinn.) Also took out The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre, the latest fantasy tale by Gail Carson Levine, Blackberry Pie Murder, the next Hannah Swenson mystery I hadn't read, and Big Magic, on getting past your fear to reach your creative impulses.

Dark clouds were starting to gather again as I headed home down Cuthbert Road and across the White Horse Pike, but they still refused to burst. Since I was still relatively dry, I decided to check out the second Oaklyn Final Friday Festival of the summer. It was too early for it to be really crazy yet. Studio LuLoo was still setting up its offerings, including hanging their colorful t-shirts between tent poles. Most of the food truck offerings were still too expensive for my budget. I settled on a 2 dollar soft pretzel. Picked up two green peppers and a tomato from the lone farm booth to make up for not being able to get to the Collingswood Farm Market tomorrow.

When I got home, I settled in for a little bit of writing. No one's thrilled when they land in the stinky dumpster...and things just get worse when the Empire Industries guards start shooting at them. They climb out after the guards head off and split up, Hank and Charlie chasing after several Imperial Gang members.

Finished the night with leftovers while watching The World Is Not Enough. When a billionaire (David Calder) is killed by a bomb-ridden suitcase delivered by Bond (Pierce Bronsonan), he goes after the killer in a wild high-speed boat chase, then goes into action to find out who did it. The trail leads him to King's daughter Elektra (Sophie Marceau), who is finishing an oil pipeline in Azerbaijan. He's supposed to protect King from Renard (Robert Carlyle), who had once kidnapped her. A failed assassination attempt left him with a bullet in his brain that makes him impervious to pain. Thanks to his old friend Zukovsky (Robbie Coultrane), Bond learns that Elektra's chief of staff is in league with Renard. When he tries to replace him, he encounters tough-minded but delicate-looking scientist Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) who blows his cover, but ends up aiding him when it turns out that Elektra isn't as innocent as she seems...

This is one of two Bond movies I got to see in theaters. (GoldenEye is the other.) My then-boyfriend Max and I caught it on its release in November 1999. I do remember that neither of us were especially impressed and made jokes about it throughout its running time. (In fact, when the "James Bond Will Return" title appeared in the credits, Max quipped "Is that a threat?")

It's holds up a little bit better than I thought it would. I have no idea why they felt the need to throw in Christmas Jones. I don't actually mind her being a scientist. I do mind her being one of the more useless Bond girls, pretty much just there to snog with James in the end. Elektra King and even M are far more interesting. I really wish we'd spent more time with them and the intriguing Renard and less with wacky set pieces like the opening boat chase. If nothing else, this is notable as the last movie for the long-time actor who played Q, Desmond Llewelyn. He died in a car accident shortly before its release.

Not my favorite of Bronsonan's run, but not the worst, either. Check it out if you're a fan of the 90's and 2000's Bonds, but do see GoldenEye to have some idea of this version of the characters before you come here.

(Oh, and by the way, it still hasn't rained at press time.)

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