Monday, February 12, 2018

When the Sun Came Out

Inspired by an article Matt wrote at Dinosaur Dracula yesterday, I began a wet morning with the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The pilot episode "Turtle Tracks" introduced the totally tubular pizza-eating green quartet and their mutant rat master Splinter to April O'Neal, a TV reporter in New York who has been pursuing a major crime spree. The crimes were reportedly done by ninjas...but the Turtles swear they weren't involved. The real perpetrators are a very late 80's punk thug gang lead by Splinter's old enemy Shredder.

"Shredded and Splintered" ended the five-part first season. Shredder now has a retromutagen ray gun that could restore Splinter to his human form...or the Turtles to their original ones. Meanwhile, Shredder's boss, the sarcastic alien brain Krang, now has a new robot body to help him move around. Things get really hairy when Krang's body becomes Godzilla-sized, and the Turtles have to figure out how to bring him at least a little closer to Earth.

Headed out around 10:30. I had a few things I needed at the Cherry Hill Mall, but I had trouble getting there. My bike's been acting odd for a while now. The pedals, which had been making a strange grinding sound, froze up all together on my way to the bus stop. Thankfully, I was a block from the White Horse Pike when it stopped. I locked the bike behind the former Camden Restaurant Supply Store and went across the Pike to wait for the bus.

But the bus never came. I waited 20 minutes. It didn't come. I finally gave up and hiked a couple of blocks down to Family Dollar for a can of WD-40. I do have some at my place, but the can is almost empty anyway. Yep, that helped. I gave the chain, gears, and stand a couple of good sprays with oil, and they were mostly fine.

It had started to shower lightly when I headed across the street. I thought the bus might be taking another route and opted to pick it up at Cuthbert Road instead. The little building on the corner of Cuthbert and the Pike that houses Cabana Water Ice in the summer is currently selling Eagles Super Bowl merchandise. The owner was nice enough to let me hide from the rain there and wash my oil-covered hands in his sink.

Went across the street to pick up the bus...which was late again, or at least, I thought it was. It didn't pick me up until past noon. It was supposed to be there at 11:47 on the older schedule I had.Surprisingly, the lunch traffic wasn't bad, even around Market Place. Mom called me shortly after I got on. I'd called her to say hi and thanks for the Valentine's Day card earlier in the day. She did get to see the Super Bowl and was still thrilled about the Eagles' win. I'd long let her by by the time bus finally pulled in at the Cherry Hill Mall around quarter of 1.

First stop was JC Penney. I needed bras rather badly. Two of my three underwire bras had snapped in the past month. The problem with modern bras is I don't need the extra padding most of them have. I come equipped with enough of my own, thank you. Not to mention, bras are expensive. I finally picked up a buy 1, get one 50 % off deal that came to 30 all together.

Since the food court is right next to JC Penney on the first floor, I headed there for lunch. ChickenNow is basically the same as Chick Fil'A. They don't have waffle fries, but their extra-crispy and salty fries are just as good. The sandwich wasn't bad either, even if the chicken refused to stay in the bun.

Was in and out of a few stores after my meal. Jay Street Video Games didn't have any Wii games that interested me, but I did pick up a guide book for Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures for a mere $1.99. Didn't have nearly as much luck at The Disney Store. There wasn't much Star Wars merchandise left. (I guess they cleared it all out to make room for Solo: A Star Wars Story in the spring.) They did have a very cute Elena of Avalor Animator's Collection toddler doll with the others.

I'd noticed when I was eating that the light coming through the windows and skylight seemed much brighter. Indeed, when I headed out the door near Nordstrom's around 2, the clouds had vanished, the sun was out, and it had suddenly become a beautiful, blustery winter day. It was a nice day for a stroll over the pedestrian bridge to the Hillview Shopping Center and Target.

Target was pretty busy when I headed in. I looked at toys, cake mixes, and work pants, but I mainly needed a new bike seat. The spring on the right side of my current one had broken clean off, making it difficult to sit on and very uncomfortable. I bought the least-expensive large seat I could find.

Stopped at Kohl's next after a quick peek at Lane Bryant. I was hoping to find American Girl clothes there. I didn't really see anything. I did find (after much deliberation) decent work pants for me on an ok sale. I'm not sure how long the pair I bought from Boscov's in December will last, and I've had the other pair from JC Penney for over a year now.

I wanted to pick up the 4:25 home. I literally rushed across the pedestrian bridge and through the mall. I was dismayed to notice as I made my way to the bus stop near the Lens Crafters entrance that several stores I liked were gone, including Teavana and the mall Lane Bryant. (I guess they figured having two of the latter more-or-less across from each other wasn't necessary.) Thankfully,  the bus was right on time, and there was no trouble on the way home, not even from rush hour traffic.

(I managed to snatch a new bus schedule on my way out. Boy, do I feel silly. Turns out the schedule was completely revised last month due to the ongoing repairs on the Nicholson Road train bridge. The bus wasn't late the first time. I was way too early. It was late the second time, but not nearly as much as I thought it was.)

The bike was still a little creaky on my way back to Manor Avenue, and it was getting late. I limited my stops on the way home to a quick jump into WaWa for a drink. My throat was parched. Bought their Double Mocha Cappuccino in the plastic bottle. Dodged more road work on Manor as I managed to get the bike home.

As soon as I got in, I put everything away, then went straight into writing. Rey uses her staff to wrench Luke's blue magic sword from over the Giant Snoke's bed. Unfortunately, it makes noise when it falls, alerting Kylo Ren and his black knights. Rey uses the sword and her own prowess to get past them, heading outside to Maz Kantana and her gypsy cart.

It was so late when I got off the computer, I just had yogurt and celery with peanut butter for dinner. Watched an episode of Good Eats while I ate. Cupcakes were just starting their odd vogue a decade ago when Alton Brown made "Honey, I Shrunk the Cake." Brown shows how chiffon cake and a simple buttercream frosting can make a less fussy cupcake than the ones that showed up in gourmet bakeries of the time.

Finished the night after a shower with Murder She Baked: A Deadly Recipe. Although Plum Pudding Murder was technically first on the disc, I decided to skip the Christmas movie for now. Hannah Swenson (Alison Sweeney), her sister Andrea (Lisa Durupt) and their mother Dolores (Barbara Niven) are helping Andrea's husband Bill (Toby Levins) campaign for sheriff. Hannah is also involved in the creation of a town cookbook, including a much-loved fudge cupcake recipe with a "secret" ingredient no one can figure out. Both come to an abrupt halt when Hannah and Andrea discover the sheriff dead near the rec center where they're testing the cookbook recipes, after having tried one of the cupcakes. It gets even worse when it turns out that Bill is the top suspect. Now Hannah and her two boyfriends, sweet dentist Norman (Gabriel Hogan) and tough-guy cop Mike (Cameron Matheison), have to figure out just who wanted the sheriff dead, and whether it had any connection to the car theft ring he was investigating when he died.

It's been a very long time since I've read Fudge Cupcake Murder (the book this was based after), so I couldn't tell you how much this resembles the book. I do know that soap opera star Sweeney made a warm, likable Hannah..though I do wish they'd gotten actors to play Norman and Mike who didn't resemble each other so much. I found them to be a bit interchangeable. If you like the book series or the Hallmark cozy mysteries, you'll probably enjoy this one, too.

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