Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tall Tales and Legends on a Rainy Day


A series of loud banging noises awoke me around 7:30. They'd already started working on the pipes in the road down the street. I tried to go back to sleep, but got up for good around quarter of 8 and finished off The Painted Queen.

Had breakfast while listening to the rain outside and watching the Sailor Moon Super S movie Black Dream Hole. The Sailor Guardians are making cookies for Valentine's Day when they see groups of children being lured by strange winged youths with pipes. They're fairies who work for Badianu, a witch who is creating a black hole powered by the dreams of children. When Sailor Chibi-Moon is kidnapped and Tuxedo Mask injured, the youngest fairy Peruru leads the other Guardians to Badianu's outer space lair to rescue her.

Headed out to get the laundry done around 10, as soon as the rain stopped. I picked the right time. I was empty when I arrived. The only other person there was Rachel Ray on the TV. By the time more folks started arriving, I was just throwing my laundry in the dryer. Between lighter clothes than I normally wear in the winter and a smaller load, it didn't take me that long anyway.

Since I got up so early, I had extra time to bake banana cookies after I put my clothes away. I found a recipe for Caramel-Frosted Banana Drops in my Pillsbury cookie cookbook. They were simple to make, and interestingly were another egg-less recipe. The bananas replaced the eggs. I didn't bother with the frosting. I don't like frosting cookies. It's too much of a mess. Besides, between the bananas and a cup of brown sugar, these cookies were sweet enough without it.

Watched an episode of Fairie Tale Theatre while I baked. Did the rather dark version of the German legend and Robert Browning poem "The Pied Piper of Hamelin." A father (Eric Idle) tells his son the tale of the Piper (also Idle), who leads the rats that are plaguing the town of Hamlin to the river. The mayor and his council not only take all the credit, but refuse to pay him. But there's a reason you always have to pay the piper...because he doesn't take kindly to folks who go back on a promise.

The rain let up again around quarter of 1, long enough for me to run some errands. Started down at Phillies Phatties for lunch. Watched ESPN go on about hockey (the US women's team just won gold - awesome) and skiing and college basketball scandals. Enjoyed a can of the new Mountain Dew Ice (basically, Mountain Dew Mist Twist, a clear lemon-lime soda) with my slice of cheese and slice of broccoli pizza.

It was just damp, windy, and chilly when I went on my way across Newton Lake Park. The park was mostly empty today, except for Canadian geese, a few ducks on the river, and one or two hearty souls out jogging. It was too cold for most folks to be out and about, especially after the past few days were so nice.

The Haddon Township Library was even less busy. I mainly organized and shelved DVDs and audio books. Along with finding The Art of The Last Jedi, I took out a few movies. After Reds last night and "The Pied Piper" this morning, I decided I'd try some lighter fare. They'd just gotten last year's My Little Pony: The Movie in. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was a flop last summer, but sounded interesting enough for me to try. Continued digging into the comedies of the 60's and 70's with the Oscar-winning Annie Hall.

It was showering lightly when I headed out, but even that was stopping. I had to dodge road work all the way back to Oaklyn, Along with the pipe replacement on Manor, they were also doing pipe work on Cuthbert by Genova Pizza, and a car had hit a pole across the street from the Crystal Lake Diner and the liquor store and was surrounded by fire trucks. Other than a brief peek at Tuesday Morning, I went straight home.

It's a good thing I did. It started raining almost 20 minutes after I'd settled down behind the computer to write...and this time, the shower came down far harder. It's rained off and on for the rest of the evening.

The weather made a nice backdrop for my story. Poe makes his way across a beautiful garden and into the Castle of Jakku. He finds four Jedi knights under a trance and take their rings, then picks up a finely crafted sword from the armory and a thick loaf of bread that keeps regrowing and feeding him from the kitchen.

A beautiful maiden is locked in the tower. Her name is Princess Rey, the feisty young ward of King Luke of Atch-To. A wicked sorcerer imprisoned her in the tower in the hopes of marrying her and placed her guardian under a spell that forces him to work as a slave. They find Luke in the garden, gathering well water. The two use the sword to release him from the spell.

Got off around 6:30 for dinner. Had leftovers while watching another Good Eats episode. "A Pie In Every Pocket" has Alton introducing folks to the world of bite-sized pocket pies and home-made Pop Tarts. Yum. Lauren and I tried the baked pocket pies once when she was visiting. I put strawberry jam in mine; she had cheese and pepperoni. Other than I cheated and used frozen pie dough instead of the biscuit dough Alton makes, they came out very well.

Played some Lego Star Wars after dinner. Went back to A New Hope to do "Rescue the Princess" and "Death Star Escape." Picked up all but one piece and the red brick on the former. Got everything but True Jedi on "Escape." (I kept falling off ledges.) The "Fast Build" and "Disarm Troopers" was a huge help on "Escape." I could build that mosaic without being constantly shot at.

Decided to try something different to finish out the night. Shelly Duvall's second series of fantasy tales takes us to the US for some Tall Tales and Legends. Unlike Fairie Tale Theatre, which was a Showtime exclusive, this one also turned up on The Disney Channel, which is likely how we first saw it. We taped "Annie Oakley," "Casey at the Bat," and "Johnny Appleseed" in the 1980's, and I have fond memories of "Pecos Bill" and "John Henry" as well.

Here's some of my favorite episodes of this series on YouTube:

Pecos Bill
Annie Oakley
Casey at the Bat
Johnny Appleseed
John Henry

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