Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Strange Magic

Started off a sunny morning with breakfast, then doing some baking. Turned Alton Brown's Old School Muffins into Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Muffins by replacing part of the yogurt with peanut butter. Yum! Very moist and just the right sweet-salty blend.

Since the weather was decent (if still chilly), I decided to run the first Easter special of the season as I baked. Here Comes Peter Cottontail was the first of three Rankin-Bass springtime cartoons in the 1970's. Peter (Casey Kasem) has to deliver colored eggs before the evil Irontail (Vincent Price), or Irontail will take over April Valley. Peddler Seymour S. Sassafras (Danny Kaye) gives him a time machine that'll allow him to return to Easter after it's already passed. Irontail is determined to keep him from getting back to his own month, following him through a year's worth of holidays.

Did one quick short from my public domain set while getting ready for work. The Wizard of Oz is a very condensed animated short of the famous book that apparently was made in Canada in 1933. Dorothy comes to Oz and meets the Scarecrow and the Tin Man much as she does in the book and later film (it even jumps from black and white to color once she gets to Oz). The lion's role has been eliminated, and the Wizard is an actual wizard who can make dolls dance and hen's eggs grow to gigantic size.

Work was absolutely no problem at all. Not only was the weather much nicer than it was this time last week - the worst we got were clouds and gale-force winds - but it was dead almost the entire day, up through rush hour. Though I did do carts when I first arrived, once other baggers took that over, I spent the rest of the day shelving returns and organizing candy and the gift card kiosk.

Went straight home after I was finished. Dug further into the public domain disc for Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor as I ate leftovers for dinner. Sinbad (Bluto) brags about his island filled with amazing monsters that he's tamed. Popeye is less than impressed, especially after Sinbad capsizes them and grabs Olive. He and Wimpy go after her, taking down each of Sinbad's creatures...but it'll take a little spinach to take out the "extra-ordinary fellow" himself.

Worked on writing for an hour after dinner. The man awakens in the cart to see Leia attending to him. He's dazed at first, calling her an angel. She explains that she's nothing of the kind and asks him his name. He can't remember. His memory is nothing but a blur. He manages to blurt out Han before asking about dinner, a bath, and a soft bed. Leia can't help with the bed, but she offers him her uncle's vegetable stew and a near-by pond to bathe in. Han's fine with the pond, but complains about the meal, fussing that he wants fine meat and fruit. Leia chides him for his ungratefulness and tells him she didn't have the chance to go hunting.

Finished out the night with The Court Jester while I was online. Hubert (Danny Kaye) longs to aid the rebel outlaw the Black Fox (Edward Ashley) as something more than an entertainer. The Fox is trying to get the infant king of England back on the throne in place of the usurper Roderick (Cecil Parker) and his daughter Gwendolyn (Angela Landsbury). He sends Hubert and Jean (Glyns Johns), one of his captains, to deliver the child to an Abbey. On the road, Hubert takes over the role of the king's court jester, hoping to get a key that will open a secret passage and allow the Black Fox to gain entry. Trouble is, the Jester is also an assassin, whom the king's adviser Lord Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone) has hired to eliminate his rivals. He's also hoping to eliminate Griswold (Robert Middleton), Gwendolyn's intended. But the princess wants a man far more dashing and romantic than her suitor. Her maid Griselda (Mildred Natwick) hypnotizes Hubert into playing the dashing rogue...but it gets him into a heap of trouble when Griswold challenges him to a duel. Now Hubert has to play the dashing rogue for real if he wants to save the infant king and secure his beloved Jean's heart.

Widely considered to be Danny Kaye's best starring vehicle for the excellent cast, fun patter songs, and tongue-twisting screenplay. (Just try keeping up with the famous "vessel's in the pestle" exchange!) If you love Kaye or comic swashbucklers, this film could not better be.

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