Saturday, February 17, 2018

Winter Surprise

Started off a sunny morning with a corn meal and grapefruit breakfast and The Backyardigans. Tyrone, Pablo, and Uniqua are explorers who have to "Follow the Feather" to the Flying Polka Dotted Pony. They take a hot air balloon to Tibet, where they dodge traps in an Asian temple and search for steps to the Pony's home. But who can save the pony? Only the Mysterious Lady (Uniqua) knows.

Switched to "Flower Power" while I got ready for work. Uniqua's in the spotlight this time. She's a flower seller in Garden City who gains the power of plant life when she sticks her finger on a thorn. After she learns to use her newfound abilities, she becomes Flower Girl, defender of the city. But the Gloom Meister (Austin) has an evil plan afoot to cover the entire city in darkness! Uniqua has to stop his plot, or there will never be another flower in Garden City.

It was still bright and windy out when I headed off to work. Checked the bathrooms to make sure they had soap and toilet paper for the first half-hour, but I was mostly outside doing carts. That was fine with me. The day remained gorgeous, windy but relatively warm, until around quarter after 1. Even after the clouds came in, it still wasn't too bad. The crowds were steady, busy but not overwhelming, a bit surprising for a holiday weekend. I guess they all went down to the Shore while the weather was behaving.

The clouds were increasing, even as I headed home at 4. By the time I was on the computer starting my next story, it had begun to shower lightly. I focused on writing and ignored the gloomy weather and Charlie cursing at dogs and deities at the top of his lungs downstairs.

My next fairy tale is the second Hans Christian Anderson story I have planned for this run. Finn and the First Order Princess is based after The Swineherd. Finn is the prince of a small, relatively poor country, Atch-To. One day, while riding through the Empire of the First Order with his adopted sister Rey and his guard Poe, he catches sight of the beautiful Princess Phasma and falls in love with her. He's determined to woo her, despite his siblings insisting that she's harsh and demanding under her attractive facade.

Finn first sends a lovely rose and a nightingale. Phasma rejects both, but not because they're real. She is the commander of her father Snoke's armies and wants weapons she can battle with, not soft things she deems useless.

The young prince dresses as a peasant in an attempt to be near her. Her stiff brother Hux assigns him to tend to the pigs. At night, Finn works on making a pretty sword for his love. During the day, he befriends Rose, a kind stable girl who is upset that her sister had to go to war. Finn thinks of Rose as a friend...until one day, when he sees Phasma abuse a horse that Rose takes care of...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. The Monkees also went on a treasure hunt in the early second season episode "Monkees Marooned." Peter trades his guitar for a map that leads to a supposedly "deserted" island. As it turns out, the island is home to a former major and his hep-cat man Thursday who are also looking for the treasure, as well as an aged jungle king abandoned from his silent movie set. The boys have to dodge the trigger-happy military man while trying to find the treasure before he does!

Went back to Lego Star Wars after having leftover chicken legs, roasted vegetables, and baked sweet potato fries for dinner. "Jabba's Palace" became the first round I found all the pieces and the red brick on, though I still need to get True Jedi. Got almost all of the pieces and the red brick from "Chancellor In Peril."

As I brought my ice cream dish and spoon to the sink, I happened to look out the window...and see snow. That was a surprise. It wasn't that cold today. There's quite a bit of it, too, probably about two or three inches. I doubt it'll last the next 24 hours - it's supposed to get warm again tomorrow - but it looks pretty now.

Finished the night with Smokey and the Bandit. "Bandit" is the CB trucking "handle" (nickname) for Bo Danville (Burt Reynolds), who is hauling illegal beer to Georgia for a rich father-son pair. His friend Cletus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reed) is actually doing the hauling, while he distracts the law in a black Trans Am. Things really heat up when, while driving back with their haul, Bandit picks up runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field). The chatty dancer was about to marry the sniveling son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), but got cold feet and exited the wedding. The trio are helped on their way by everyone from a little old lady to an undertaker with a funeral procession to a waitress and every trucker at her diner. All the while, Justice stays on their trail...but Bandit and his talkative girl are always one step ahead of him.

This was the other major hit of 1977 besides Star Wars. Unlike that movie, this noisy chase comedy is very much a product of its time. Trucker culture, CB radios, and down-home country flavor were the "in" thing in the late 70's-early 80's. Even if you pretty much have an idea of how it's going to come out, at least everyone's having a marvelous time, including Field as the dancer who would rather join the truckers than marry a guy she barely knows and Gleason as the not-so-long arm of the law.

If you're a fan of the cast, car chases, the southern-fried films of the 70's and 80's, or country music (the song "East Bound and Down" was also a hit), then you'll want to give this salute to the Great American Chase a look.

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