Saturday, June 16, 2018

Harvests and Yard Sales

I awoke to a glorious, brilliant blue and breezy June morning. Got a quick start with a classic black-and-white Popeye short. Popeye travels to "Goonland" to rescue his missing father. He defeats the Goons, very tall and strong creatures and frees Pappy...but the old man may not entirely appreciate it.

Headed off as soon as the short ended. I mainly wanted to check out the Collingswood Farm Market. I haven't gotten there since Lauren and I were on vacation. They were swarming with people by quarter of 10 who were looking for produce for their Father's Day and graduation barbecues. The first round of the summer harvest has debuted. Strawberries and spinach are gone, but I saw the first blueberries, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cherries, patty pan squash, and peas of the year. I grabbed mushrooms, blueberries, two small yellow squash from the organic booth, and my favorite snap peas.

The other big event going on today was Oaklyn's Town-Wide Yard Sale. I wish I'd gotten out a little earlier and given myself more time to look around. As it was, what I found was disappointing. Oaklyn is mainly families and elderly couples. There were lots of children's clothes and toys for young children and vintage knick-knacks, but nothing that interested me. Even the Oaklyn Library Book Sale was a bust. Most of the books were the usual worn paperback copies of the usual bestsellers by the same few authors.

One family had a pile of unique vintage Christmas ornaments in a box labeled "free." I found a cute porcelain snowman and a tiny broom with a holiday corsage like the one Mom had on our tree when I was little. Picked up Major League, Charlie's Angels, and Vegas Vacation on DVD at a house less than a block from my apartment.

I got in so late, I barely had the time to put everything away, eat lunch, change, and pack a snack for work. Not to mention, most of Manor Avenue is still a mess. They haven't repaved it yet. I tried to stay on the sidewalk as I rushed to work.

As it turned out, the rush was completely unnecessary. They had tons of help on a day that was mildly steady when I arrived. Though I did do the inside trash, mop the bathrooms, clean up a small soda spill, and helped with the carts and baskets, I spent most of the afternoon returning loose items and trying to look busy. I'm guessing everyone decided they wanted to spend a beautiful Father's Day weekend down at the Shore.

It was such a lovely evening, I took the long way home down Nicholson and Atlantic. It was worth dodging the late rush hour traffic. The day was gorgeous, hot but not outrageously so for mid-June, windy, and dry as a bone. Everything is so bright and green now! Lawns are growing faster than people can keep up with them; roses, peonies, and tiger lilies bloom in gardens. Sweet clover is scattered around fields like tiny white stars.

When I got home, I decided I'd try putting in the air conditioner. It's supposed to get in the 90's starting tomorrow. My apartment is on the second floor, and despite the abundant shade, it gets really hot up here in the summer. It's not a big air conditioner, and I actually didn't have any problems getting it from the back room to the living area near my table. Getting it into the window was another thing entirely. I spent ten minutes trying to steady it in the apartment before it fell out of the window. It landed on the ladder Charlie left on the porch. It and I were fine, but it made enough noise that Richard came up to see what the commotion was about. By that point, I'd gone outside and had managed to steady it the other way. I did get one side screwed down, but was having trouble with the other side. Richard was able to get that one.

(He suggested letting it sit for an hour before I used it. I think I'll start it tomorrow. The wind is still cool enough for me to leave the windows open one more night.)

Made Tuna Casserole in a pan for dinner while watching more Popeye and Pappy shorts in honor of Father's Day tomorrow. "My Pop, My Pop" wants to help build a boat, but he keeps falling asleep. Popeye figures out how to get the boat together without hurting his father's pride. "With Poopdeck Pappy" and "Problem Pappy" are variations on the same story. Pappy wants to go out and have fun, but Popeye keeps reminding him of his age. Pappy manages to give him the slip every time, whether he's fleeing from his bed or sitting on a flag pole. Pappy's not feeling well and needs "Quiet, Please!" Popeye proceeds to silence every noise in the city so his dad can sleep.

Finished the night after a shower with Ferdinand. Ferdinand (John Cena) is a gentle bull who would rather smell flowers and contemplate nature than fight a matador in the ring. Most bulls think it's their lot in life to fight and consider it an honor, but Ferdinand is soured on the whole deal after his father dies during a bull fight. He runs away from the bull breeding ranch where he was raised and winds up at flower farm, where he becomes the beloved pet and friend of little Nina (Julia Saldanah). An accident with a bee makes him go on a rampage that destroys half the town. He's sent back to the ranch, where everyone is convinced he's a fighter...except the other bulls, who still think he's a coward and a sissy. A goofy goat (Kate MacKinnon) tries to train him to fight, but she gives up on it when she realizes that he's just not the aggressive type. Ferdinand is determined to release all of the bulls from the farm and from the slaughterhouse. Even when he lands in the ring, he still wants to show that fighting isn't always the answer. Sometimes, it's nice to just stop and smell the flowers.

It's too bad the story is so cliched, because there's some interesting commentary here on being yourself and how aggressiveness and fighting isn't always the answer. Star wrestler Cena was all right as Ferdinand; MacKinnon had more fun as Lupe, the chatty goat who acts as Ferdinand's coach and best friend. Look for other athletes in smaller roles, including quarterback Peyton Manning as Guapo, one of the bulls at the ranch.

I don't know if this would have been nominated for an Oscar in a stronger year. I do know that this is a very sweet movie under all the goofy gags that's worth a look if you have kids who love animals or stories of other lands.

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