Thursday, February 01, 2018

A Room In Oaklyn

Began a damp, gray morning with breakfast and the first Valentine's Day special of the year. Bugs Bunny's Cupid Capers gives us an Elmer Fudd-like Cupid who is spreading love among the Toons. Bugs insists he's meddling, despite ending up on the the sharp end of his arrows at least twice. Also did the short "Holiday Highlights," a spoof of holiday and event traditions.

Headed out around 11:30 to finally get the laundry done (after dropping the rent next-door). Maybe it's just as well. I didn't really have a big load, even though I'd put off doing it for days. I worked on story notes while half-listening to The View and Action News and trying to ignore two women complaining about everything on the TV from the news to Eagles' chances of winning the Super Bowl.

Went home and put everything away, then went right back out again. First stop was The Square Meal, a little sandwich shop around the corner from me. They specialize in lunches made from locally grown and sustainable foods. I never saw golden beets on a restaurant menu before, so I tried them and half of a grilled cheese sandwich. Oooh, yum! The beets were perfect, sweet and tangy, with spices added for more flavor. The grilled cheese was thick and hearty.

Took the long way across Newton Lake Park to Westmont after lunch. Though the sun was struggling to come out, it still wasn't a very nice day. That's probably a big reason I didn't see too many other people out this afternoon, just a pair of joggers and a flock of ducks and Canadian geese.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't too busy, at least not in the main room. Most people were helping with the kids who were making valentines in the meeting room. At any rate, there wasn't a whole lot to do. I shelved and organized DVDs and shelved audio books. Found new sets for Mickey and the Roadster Racers and My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. Since most of the 60's movies I've done in the past few months were made by the "New Hollywood" directors, I decided to give the old guard a shot with the mammoth Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra. Also grabbed Rent and the independent animated film The Red Turtle.

It was the height of rush hour by the time I headed home. I took the short way across Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike, dodging a fair amount of traffic on the former. (I did catch that the marquee at the Oaklyn City Hall had "Fly Eagles Fly" on it - nice!)

As soon as I got home, I went right into writing. Leia remains with Pellaeon and Thrawn all winter. During the day, she argues over various matters, such as art and politics, with the mouse and the mole. In the evening and when the other animals nap, she nurses Chewbacca back to health. The bird explains through his language that he found King Han being carried off to the frog pond, but got tangled in a bramble bush and ended up crashing through the ceiling.

When spring comes, Thrawn tells Leia he intends to marry her. Well, not really marry. More like a business partnership. He's well aware that the tiny young woman doesn't love him. He can provide for her, he says, and she can help him take over the valley. She'd be wise to consider his offer.

Unlike Thumbelina, who deliberates long enough to almost get married, Leia knows better than to mistake gratitude for true romantic feelings. While she appreciates Pellaeon taking her in, she doesn't love his boss. She takes off on the back of the now-healed Chewbacca instead.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. I pulled out the chicken sausage I bought last week earlier. Decided to try a recipe from a low-fat cookbook Mom gave me years ago, Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup. Other than it wasn't very soupy - I didn't have as much vegetable broth left as I thought - it came out very nicely, thick and delicious. (And it got rid of that head of cabbage that had been in the refrigerator forever.)

Ran Mickey and the Roadster Racers during dinner. Ready Set Go! is just a collection of all the race-themed episodes that made up the first half of the Minnie/Daisy "Happy Helpers" shorts from the previous set. "Agent Double-O-Goof" has Goofy mistaken for a secret agent who is trying to keep the Queen of England's red briefcase from being stolen. Mickey inadvertently stops Sir Pete from stealing a priceless ruby in the second London episode "Ye Olde Royal Heist." Their race through Hawaii disrupts Donald's vacation in "It's Wiki Wiki Time." "Guru Goofy" does his best to teach ever-excitable Donald to calm down before he competes with Pete in the Roadster Games. Goofy thinks he's turned popular racer Gordon Gear into a rabbit in "Abra-ka-Goof" and chases the bunny all over town. The gang is "Going Upppppp!" when they compete in a hot-air balloon race. For the first time in 80 years, Pete's the one who is cheated on when his cousin Commander Petelovski sabotages his balloon. Daisy thinks that Goofy's rubber duck will get her a win in "Goofy Luck Charm." What really nets her the race is her pure determination.

(As cute as these were...Disney, please put full episodes, both the race shorts and the Minnie/Daisy shorts, on the next disc, as the episodes were originally intended to be seen!)

Finished out the night after a shower with The Boy Friend. This adaptation of the 1954 British musical spoof of 20's tropes and conventions turns the story of a rich girl at a finishing school in France who pretend to be poor to win a boy into the tale of Polly (Twiggy), the stage manager who is thrown into the show at the last minute when the star breaks her ankle. While the rest of the cast tries to impress a movie director, Polly just wants to catch the eye of the show's male lead (Christopher Gable).

Director Ken Russell somehow made this simple story into a huge homage to the Busby Berkeley musicals of the 1930's, complete with elaborate numbers (most of which are supposed to be "dream sequences" in a character's head). As pointless as they are, the numbers are really kind of fun. Tommy Tune steals the movie as one of the boy friends. (He and Twiggy would later work together on Broadway in another 20's pastiche, My One and Only.)

If you're a fan of the real Berkeley musicals or the cast, this is currently available at the Warner Archives and is worth checking out at least once.

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