Sunday, April 22, 2018

Going Green

I awoke to the nicest day we've had in ages, sunny and warm. Made Chocolate Chip Pancakes for breakfast with a grapefruit slice. They ended up being a little too thin and got a hole in the first one, but they tasted all right. Celebrated Earth Day and Mother Nature's better mood with a couple of cartoons about environmental concerns.

The Lorax is a little orange fellow who speaks for the Truffula trees. The Onceler and his family have been chopping down the trees as fast as possible to make the faddish Thneeds...but while the factory employs his family and others and supports a town, it's also destroying the land around it and sending animals fleeing. When the last tree is cut down, the Lorax and the Onceler learn a terrible lesson about the damage unchecked "progress" can do.

The Sailor Guardians have their own problems with nature in "Usagi's Panic: Rei's First Date." Usagi is jealous that Rei is on a date with a bemused Mamoru, so she grabs nerdy Umino and follows them to a local park. Ami's also at the park, checking in with a gardener in the park who is a friend of hers. She's worried about his strange behavior ever since it was announced that the park was closing to build an office complex. Turns out she had every right to be concerned. Nephrite is not only controlling the man's energy, but that of every animal in the park, too...and he orders them to attack anyone who might abuse nature

Work was busy for most of the day, not surprising for a Sunday. I spent most of the first half of my shift doing carts and most of the second half bagging. Managed to gather baskets and squeeze in mopping the bathrooms right after break, before it got very busy again. The day went by quickly, and there were no major problems.

It was too nice of a day to rush straight home. I took the long way back to Oaklyn down Nicholson Road, dodging Sunday drivers and other bikers. As soon as I got in, I changed and went right back out for a walk. I thought I saw a line for the ice cream shop on West Clinton, but nope, it wasn't open yet. It was a table filled with plants and saplings being sold in front of The Square Meal. I strolled down West Clinton and back around to Goff instead. It's really spring now. The trees are all in bloom, clouds of pale green and snowy white and cherry pink and soft lavender. Bold, spicy-scented tulips have largely replaced early daffodils in gardens. The sun felt nice and warm on my back, though a stiff, chilly wind remained.

Worked on writing for the next couple of hours. Leia, Han, and the servants Cyril and Artello ride into Chateau Bonne Chance, a sprawling manor house on a hill overlooking the City of the Clouds, a few days later. They're greeted by Duke Lando Calarissian, an old friend of Han's, and one of the few who knows his true identity. He seems guarded at first, then suddenly turns friendly, flirting with Leia and reminiscing about old times with Han. Leia and Luke, remembering Yoda's warning, are less trusting. Cyril's worried too...especially after he runs across Palpatine's men in another part of the house...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftover ham and the last of the cabbage while watching an earlier Tiny Toon Adventures episode. "Pollution Solution" has three shorts revolving around different aspects of saving our Earth. "No Deposit, No Return of the Trash Bag Dispenser" brings in Plucky to show Elmyra how to recycle her mud pie cans. It's a "Jungle Bungle" when Buster and Babs have to stop a selfish executive from destroying the rain forest to build a huge front yard. Go-Go finds himself "Waste Deep In Wackyland" when Montana Max uses his home as a dump for his new factory.

Went right into Wii Sports as soon as the episode was over. Focused entirely on tennis tonight. I did win my actual game, though not after a few nail-biting moments! Didn't do as well at the mini-games. I'm still having a hard time with aiming straight, especially on the "Timing Your Swing" game. I just can't get it through the target more than once, maybe twice at the most.

Played some Lego Star Wars next. I was finally able to finish the New Hope bonus round with Darth Vader. Attempted "Jedi Destiny," but just could not get around those light-up circles fast enough to get the last piece. Played "Discovery On Kamino" just to get enough extra studs to buy the 8X extra.

Finished the night with Twister, another story about respecting Mother Nature. After witnessing the death of her father in a tornado as a child, Jo Thornton (Helen Hunt) grows up to become a storm chaser, a meteorologist who tracks and measures tornadoes. She shows off her newest computer, the DOROTHY research units, to her estranged husband Bill Harding (Bill Paxton). He's come over to get her to sign the divorce papers, and has even brought his fiancee Melissa (Jami Gertz). He ends up helping her chase down a storm to get the better of Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes), a corporate-funded scientist who has developed his own advanced research unit. As the two continue to go after storms, with the help of Dusty Davis (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and other members of Jo's team, Melissa begins to realize that the two have a lot more feelings for each other than just their shared fondness for "twisters"...

I ended up surprisingly enjoying this. Critics were really harsh on this at the time, panning the generic writing and some shrill performances, but I thought it was fun. Those "twisters" are amazing to this very day - the sound and special effects got deserved Oscar nominations. (Look for the flying cows!) Hunt and Paxton weren't bad as the lovers, and Elwes was pretty decent playing against-type as the villain, but my favorite character was Lois Smith as tough-as-nails Aunt Meg (whose gravy is apparently considered to be a fifth food group among Jo and her team).

Linda Young and I aren't the only ones who loved this movie. It was the second-biggest hit of 1996, trailing only Independence Day at the box office that year, and spawned a ride at Universal Studios Florida that was around for almost 20 years. If you're a fan of the cast or disaster films, it's absolutely worth seeing and is highly recommended.

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