Thursday, October 05, 2017

In the Dark of the Night

Began a warmer, slightly more humid day with spiced corn meal mush for breakfast while watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. While Lucy and her friends prepare for the spookiest day of the year with pumpkin-carving and trick-or-treating, Linus sits in a "sincere" pumpkin patch, waiting for the title character. Sally joins him, against her better judgement. Charlie Brown has problems of his own with getting candy. Snoopy spends the night fighting the Red Baron.

Headed out to run errands around 11. Started off at the Oaklyn Library. They weren't really busy. I organized DVDs and took a look at the board books and picture books. Found my next (and probably last for the year) series. The library had all of the Mission: Impossible movies but Ghost Protocol; figured I'd once again start at the beginning. Also took out two cartoon sets for the original Magic School Bus PBS cartoon and the 90's animated Justice League. Found copies of Little Miss Sunshine and Treasure Planet on the 2 DVDs for a dollar rack.

Spent the next hour doing some quick shopping in Oaklyn. I was going to buy pads at Dollar General, but I decided to hold off and ended up buying more underwear instead. (They seem to have the only packs that remotely fit me, even if the prices have increased since the summer.) Grabbed shampoo and dish washing detergent (the latter on a good sale) at CVS, along with a sparkling pineapple-coconut soda.

Had yogurt and leftovers for lunch at home while watching an episode of Good Eats. Alton spoofs the then-popular film version of Sweedny Todd in "Oh My, Meat Pie." His "great-grandfather" shows the creators of the worst meat pies in London how to make perfect Shepard's and Mincemeat Pies.

Started cleaning after lunch. I wasn't going to put it off for too long this time. Scrubbed the bathroom, then the kitchen. The kitchen was a little worse this time, maybe because I've been doing more baking of late.

Ran The Magic School Bus: Human Body as I worked. I used to run into the books in the library all the time in the late-90's, and I remember enjoying this show on occasion, too, when it re-ran on PBS during my early college years. Ms. Frizzle (voice of Lily Tomin), the world's strangest teacher, takes her kids on one-of-a-kid school field trips that bring a whole new meaning to "interactive." Her bus can shrink or magically become whatever vehicle is needed for that particular episode.

"Flexes His Muscles" takes the kids, Ms. Frizzle, and her lizard Liz to a "Body Shop," where an old friend of hers repairs cars. Ralphie, one of the boys in the class, is more interested in creating his own robot to get him out of classroom chores. The kids learn about the parts of the body and the skeletal and musculature systems as they try to figure out how to make the robot move.

Arnold, the kid who is always moaning about how weird their trips are, finally gets his wish to remain behind in "For Lunch"...because Ms. Frizzle takes the class inside his digestive system to see how food is broken down by the body. Thanks to Arnold trying to eat his way to a school record, they get to see a lot more digestion than any of them planned.

"Inside Ralphie" also involved a Fantastic Voyage-style journey through the human body. Poor Ralphie gets a nasty sore throat on day the class is supposed to broadcast a two-hour TV show. The group and Ms. Frizzle ultimately decide that the war between blood cells and bacteria going on in Ralphie's throat is more interesting than anything they could film outside of it.

Went into writing after the DVD ended. Leia and Luke chase the Imperials down the narrow streets of Ocean View. Leia manages to get one off his motorcycle and chase another into one of Ocean View's more recent residential areas. The bike runs out of gas alongside a grassy strip between two streets that doubles as something of a park for local kids. She runs into little Davy Wicket, one of her babysitting charges, who offers to let her call her uncle and the police there and even share dinner with his family.

Made tilapia in lemon-white wine sauce with mashed potatoes and salad for dinner while watching Words and Music, another composer "biography" semi-revue from MGM. This time, the songwriters in question are Lorenz "Larry" Hart (Mickey Rooney) and Richard Rodgers (Tom Drake), who wrote some of the wittiest and most melodic songs of the 20's, 30's, and early 40's. After some initial problems, Rodgers eventually settles down with an old sweetheart (Janet Leigh). Restless and self-conscious about his lack of height and looks, Hart goes from girl to girl, including one who turns his proposal down (Betty Garrett), but can never find love. He ultimately drinks himself to death, just as his partner's on the verge of leaving him. But no matter how annoying his habits and his partying was, Rodgers can never deny that he was a good friend and one of the best lyricists around.

Hoo boy. They really had to whitewash this one...because in real life, Lorenz Hart was a closeted homosexual who couldn't find love with either gender, and Richard Rodgers was a control freak, and from what I've gathered, a flat-out jerk at times. Some things are relatively accurate, such as Hart disappearing for weeks at a time when he was working on lyrics, Rodgers' daughters considering him part of the family, and Hart's tragic death in the rain. Others, including a lot of Rooney's brashness bursting through his portrayal, were pure Hollywood fabrication.

Once again, the thing here are the outstanding songs. I actually discovered a Rodgers and Hart tune I'd never heard of before I bought this - the wistful "Where's that Rainbow?", here performed by Ann Southern and the chorus. Other good numbers include Rooney and Garland's "I Wish I Were In Love Again" and Garland's spirited "Johnny One Note," Lena Horne's sizzling "Where or When" and "The Lady Is a Tramp," June Allyson and the Blackburn Twins performing "Thou Swell," and Gene Kelly's tough-guy ballet to "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" with Vera-Ellen.

Richard called me and told me that my bike had been fixed. I thought I'd test it with a quick run to Phillies Yummies for ice cream. It'll likely be my last for the season. They're only open 6 to 9 now; I imagine they'll probably close all together by the middle of the month. Enjoyed cinnamon bun ice cream while watching crowds of people walk home to their cars from Tonewood Brewery and the Oaklyn Manor Bar. It was kind of spooky on West Clinton, with only the lone lights from the store fronts and not even a moon overhead. It had cooled off by 7:30, though it remained hazy and humid.

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