Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Return of the Heatwave

Began a late morning with an episode of Good Eats. With blueberries in season, I thought "Kinda Blue" was appropriate. I'm not very good at pies, but I might try the Blueberry Buckle, and possibly the syrup as well.

It was past 11:30 before I finally got move on today's errands. First stop was the laundromat. It was very busy, probably with people on their lunch breaks who also wanted to get errands done. Not a good thing. I had a lot of laundry this week, including the towel I used to mop up the freezer water. It was a while before I got out.

I hurried home, put everything away, then hurried back out. I wanted to catch the Oaklyn Library before it closed. Maybe it's just as well that I arrived at 1:20 and they close at 2. There wasn't much to do. I looked over the DVDs and ignored the fussing about politics on CNN.

Rode back to West Clinton to grab my usual slices of cheese and mushroom pizza at Phillies Phatties, along with a can of Dew SA. While it wasn't nearly as humid as Channel 6 Action News claimed at the laundromat, it was very hot, 95 degrees according to the digital sign at Oaklyn's City Hall. It was too hot to eat outside. I enjoyed my lunch indoors, listening to classic hard rock and a group of older elementary school-age boys chatter. (And waving to one, the grandson of my late uncle's girlfriend. He was always a good kid.)

To my surprise, Studio LuLoo was open next-door. I hadn't seen them open for a while. Sarah, the owner and operator, had a friend visiting from Colorado and was enjoying lunch with her and their children. I watched the kids play and clapped for one little boy who gave spirited (and noisy) renditions of "All Star" and a few other songs.

I didn't stay at home for long after I got in. I changed into my bathing suit, then rode over to Dad's house to go for a swim. I picked the right time. The pool was empty. It was past 3 by that point. The kids must have all gone home for snacks and naps or rest. Dad and Jodie were more interested in their own rest, with Jodie having just gotten out of work. The pool wasn't as warm as it usually is at this time of year, barely in the 80's, probably a result of the cooler weather we had over the weekend. Still, it felt great to float around, swim back and forth, and throw a rubber ball filled with water and translucent Mylar strips someone had left in the pool and swim after it.

Switched to writing for a little while when I got home. The group splits up when they get to the docks. Luke and the nerds are going back to the Cottages to warn the residents about the Imperial Gang's impending arrival. Leia's waiting for an ambulance to take Uncle Ben to the hospital. Hank and Charlie are leaving for a fishing trip, but Hank does tell Luke that he "hopes he catches the big one" on the way out.

Decided I wanted a more substantial and less fattening meal for dinner. Had chicken breasts cooked in a simple mushroom sauce I got out of a low-fat cookbook Mom gave me years ago, along with zucchini sauteed in chicken stock and a blueberry muffin. Yum. Other than I didn't cook the chicken long enough, it came out very well, earthy and savory.

Ran Charlie Chan In London while I ate. Actually, Charlie's at an English estate on behalf of Pamela Gray (Drue Leyton), whose brother Paul (Douglas Walton) was accused of murdering an officer. The occupants of the estate are currently preparing for a fox hunting party, including a nobleman (Alan Mowbray), a spoiled noblewoman (Mona Barrie), a stiff butler (Murray Kinnell), a nervous maid (Elsa Buchanon) who is convinced Charlie is there to kill them all after she catches him coming in through a window, and Pamela's fiancee (Ray Milland), who doesn't believe her brother is innocent, which has put him on the outs with his lover. When Charlie learns that the killer is still on the premises, he sets a trap to make sure he doesn't escape.

One of the earliest currently available Chan movies (most of the silent and early talkie Chan movies are lost at press time), and in fact the first not based after one of the original novels. This is the one that really kicked off the series as we know it, with Charlie tracking down clues in some exotic location. And once again, we get a fairly nice use of that location, including an English fox hunt as part of the plot. Great cast, too, including one of Milland's earlier roles. Worth looking up if you love Chan or the Chan movies.

Ended the night online with East Side of Heaven. All Denny Martin (Bing Crosby) wants to do is get a job and marry his long-time fiancee Mary Wilson (Joan Blondell). He doesn't expect his newest career, that of singing taxi driver, to lead to the discovery of a ten-month-old infant (Baby Sandy). He and his bohemian, Zodiac-obsessed roommate Nicky (Mischa Auer) try their best to take care of the child and fend off Mary. Meanwhile, it turns out that the baby belongs to a wealthy family, and the grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith) will do anything to get him back.

Despite a wonderful cast, I wasn't as fond of this independent production (released by Universal) as Bing's earlier Paramount musicals. There's way too much tomfoolery with Aurer and the baby and not enough of Bing. (Surprising, since he had his own money in this.) The four new songs aren't that great, either, with only "Sing a Song of Sunbeams" mildly registering.

Cute enough if you're a fan of the cast and you run into it online or on TCM, but nothing you need to go out of your way for.

Oh, and I finally remembered to post The Adventures of the Crimson Hawk on my (terribly neglected) writing blog.

The Adventures of the Crimson Hawk at Writer's Desk By the Riverside

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