Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Alien Encounters In the Big Apple

I was very glad to see the sunshine after the constant showers yesterday when I finally rolled out of bed. Trouble is, I was organizing pages on Pinterest last night and was up way too late...and consequently, slept a lot later than I'd planned. Not to mention, Charlie still hasn't turned on the heat. I have no idea what he's waiting for. It's gotten much colder since the weekend. I really didn't want to leave the four blankets and a sheet I had piled on my bed.

Went back to Rick Steves' Europe while eating nice, warm corn meal mush and Cranberry Flummery for breakfast. I did Rick's episode on Alsace in northern France in honor of Veteran's Day later this week. One of the major sites he visits is Verdun, where one of the most bloody and costly battles of World War I took place. He also checks out Epernay, the birthplace of champagne, an imposing Gothic cathedral, and several charming towns that show off Alsace's blend of German and French culture.

Didn't have enough time for the laundry, but I did squeeze writing in. Where Ray badgered Finn into revealing more about the curse, Kaydel tries being girlish for Snap. He tells her what he can - they're under a terrible spell. The Master needs to find someone who'll sleep and eat with him, then kiss him. A sorcerer has been attacking him, trying to keep him from any woman who would be interested.

A month after that, Jessika and Poe are riding their horses around the grounds. Jessika has her own methods of getting information from Poe...

Got off at 2 to have a late lunch while running an episode of Good Eats. Cranberries are one of New Jersey's major crops and have been a favorite fruit of mine for as long as I can remember. Thanks to their status as a nutritional "superfruit," the general public has recently begun to catch on to the goodness of these tart red beauties, too. "Cran Opening" demonstrates how to make several favorite cranberry recipes, including molded jelly, Cranberry Granita, and Cosmopolitans.

Had time for a quick animated short while getting ready for work. Got an early jump on the wartime shorts I usually run for Veteran's Day with "The Yankee Doodle Mouse." Tom & Jerry's only war-related short was also their first to win an Oscar. Their usual antics have an explosive conclusion when they take them to a fireworks factory!

Work was a lot easier than yesterday. While I did get the inside trash done, gathered baskets, and spent the last hour shelving loose items, I was mainly outside with the carts. Just as well. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, sunny, breezy, and in the upper 50's. A little cool for this time of year, but not outrageously so. It wasn't really busy in there, and it probably won't be until the holiday weekend.

(And maybe it's just as well that I didn't attempt the laundromat. Manor Avenue was blocked by road work again, this time further down. I could have gone around it on West Clinton, but that would have taken much longer.)

After I took out the trash and recycling, I went straight online. Finished the night with Men In Black. The Men In Black is a secret organization that polices alien activity on Earth. Most aliens are able to blend in with humans and live normal lives, but occasionally, a human will see something they shouldn't, or the aliens get hostile. That's where Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and his fellow officers step in. They take care of the alien, then make sure humans don't realize what's happening. Agent K takes sassy New York cop James, now rechristened "J" (Will Smith), on as his newest partner. Their assignment - find a bug-like alien who has taken the skin of a hillbilly farmer (Vincent D'Onofrio) and is terrorizing the aliens of New York, before he can get to his ship and take off with a cat's collar that literally contains a miniature galaxy.

I've loved this one since it came out in 1997. My family watched it all the time in the late 90's-early 00's. Smith and Jones have a lot of chemistry and have fun with the creative premise. The Oscar-winning makeup work and early CGI on the aliens - especially D'Onofrio - is still impressive, too. Special kudos to Danny Elfman's appropriately weird score and Smith's bouncy title rap.

Might be a little on the freaky side for young ones, but if you have older kids on up who love sci-fi or slimy aliens or the leading men, they may get just as big of a kick out of this as we did.

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