Friday, April 06, 2018

Suddenly Springtime

Started off a cloudy day with breakfast and cartoons. It seemed like the right kind of day for the mystery-themed episode of The Backyardigans, "Whodunnit?" Detective Pablo is invited to the Lady Tasha's manor for tea with her, her butler Tyrone, and their neighbor Austin Frothingslosh. Shortly after Pablo arrives, Uniqua Underhood also shows up, claiming there's going to be a robbery. Sure enough, Lady Tasha's jewels are stolen moments later. Could the thief be Austin, who took off suddenly after the jewelry vanished? Or Tyrone the butler, who was conveniently pushed into a closet during the scuffle that lead to the disappearance of the jewels? Or maybe it's the mysterious figure running around in the moors?

Did some writing after breakfast. Kanan Jarrus is so grateful for Han and Leia rescuing him and his adopted son Ezra, he offers to fix Falcon's shoes and Leia's armor for free. Leia shows Sabine and Ezra Luke the Unicorn, while Kanan chats with Han. He seems to have some idea of who Han is, though he thinks he's incognito and only refers to him as "Solo." He does try to encourage him to return to his mother and to give Leia more of a chance.

Leia, Han, and Luke head along to Alderaan Manor later in the day. They've just come over the hill when they see a plume of smoke...and a streak of red fire in the sky. Leia races down the hill on Luke, hoping they're not too late...

Broke for lunch at 11:30. Switched to Max & Ruby while eating and getting ready for work. "Grandma's Berry Patch" is filled with berries for her special surprise recipe. Ruby loves to pick them, but her brother would rather eat them right away. Ruby and Louise are making a banner for "Ruby's Bunny Scout Parade." Max's toys are annoying at first, until they keep giving the girls ideas for things to draw on the banner. Ruby has her own mystery to solve in "Ruby's Detective Agency." Her stuffed animal Mrs. Quack has disappeared! She's hot on the trail, but Max may know more than he's telling.

By the time I headed to work at noon, the clouds were breaking up, and it was starting to get much warmer. Despite the nice day, I spent the whole time inside. While I did clean the bathrooms and bagged when it got busy, I mostly organized the last of the candy and the gift card kiosk. Got a lot done in both cases. I completely finished the candy, and hung many packs of cards on the card hooks at the registers.

I'm not that happy with my schedule next week. In good news, four days off, including Sunday and Monday (along with next Saturday for my birthday). In annoying news, I'm back to fewer hours, and the hours I do have are bunched into two 6 hours shifts on Tuesday and Friday and another 8 1/2 hour shift on Wednesday. I really wish they'd just go back to spreading my shifts out! (And I'm going to have to call the dentist's office to reschedule that cleaning appointment.)

Grocery shopping went a little better. Ground turkey was on a really good sale; I bought two packs. Decided to try the Belvita chocolate sandwich cookies, since it was on a decent sale and there was an online coupon. Bought a zucchini and shredded cheese for dinner and a small can of tomato sauce that was free with a coupon from the Acme's current Monopoly game. Took advantage of a 4-day sale and another Monopoly coupon to get Goldfish Graham Crackers really cheap, too. Restocked yogurt, mandarin oranges, grapefruit, bananas, peanut butter, skim milk, and chocolate chips. Also picked up a three-pronged cleaner covered in terry cloth that will allow me to dust the blinds without having to try to scrub them or use a rag or duster.

Finished out another Max & Ruby episode while I put everything away. "Ruby's Safari" has her and Louise looking for an "exotic" animal in their backyard for their Bunny Scouts scrapbook. Max's noisy toys keep scaring them away...but one quieter one might be good for attracting them.  Ruby and Louise want to play beauty shop again, this time with fruits as "all natural" cosmetics. Ruby's brother prefers the equally natural beauty of "Max's Mud Bath." The girls are taking care of the Bunny Scouts' chameleon in "Max's Lost Lizard." When he escapes, Max enjoys watching him blend in with his surroundings.

By 6 PM, the clouds were long gone, and while it was still windy, the temperatures had soared into the mid-60's. It was now too nice to eat indoors. I went for a walk down to West Clinton Avenue and had dinner at The Square Meal, a sandwich shop that specializes in locally grown, sustainable ingredients. I ate at one of their outdoor wicker tables. It was too nice to eat inside! The roast chicken sandwich - shredded chicken with fresh greens and Vermont cheddar on a chewy ciabatta bun - was incredible. The chicken was so perfectly seasoned!

Went for a short walk down to Kendall Boulevard, then back around to Manor after dinner. Spring has finally sprung here in South Jersey. The trees are starting to show their little white flowers. Daffodils and hyacinths fill every yard. There's almost more green than yellow in lawns now.

Played some video games after I got in, starting with Wii Sports. While I can KO on the lower boxing levels and am doing somewhat better with tennis and baseball swings, I'm having a hard time with other aspects. I can't figure out timing my tennis swings or how to keep my puts low and make small ones in golf. Did better in other games; got a silver metal in the quick batting.

Moved onto Lego Star Wars around 7:30. I was able to get True Jedi on "Jabba's Palace" and "Jedi Destiny," but I had a harder time getting all the pieces on the latter. There's just one piece I can't get on "Destiny." It takes forever for me to run around the panels and light them up fast enough to get the piece.

Finished the night after a shower with another Zucker/Proft spoof, Top Secret! We move from cop satire to a goofy take on Elvis musicals and World War II movies with the tale of Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer), who is representing the US in a big music festival in East Germany. Turns out the festival is a cover for the East Germans' attempts to bring the country back together under Communist rule. He flirts with pretty spy Hilary Flammond (Lucy Gutteridge) at a big dinner, and later at the ballet. She's hoping to find her father, Dr. Paul Flammond (Michael Gough). He finds him after he lands in prison and tries to escape. He manages to get out of execution by performing a concert and escaping with Hilary, who brings him to the local resistance. It's headed by Nigel (Christopher Villers), whom she was once stranded on a deserted island with. But there's a traitor in their midst who is reporting their every move to the Germans. It'll take all of Nick's musical and physical prowess to prove he's not the traitor, get the girl, and get out of Germany with all his parts intact.

Kilmer's having a blast as the twist and shouting Elvis-esque singer in this salute to the B teen fodder of the 1950's and 60's, both spy and rock-related. If nothing else, the musical numbers are actually a lot of fun, especially the big sock hop spoof in a pizza parlor that turns into a rollicking 50's-style ensemble dance. If you love Kilmer or the other Zucker/Proft spoofs, this one is worth checking out as well.

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