Friday, June 08, 2018

Pandemonium at the Library

I had just gotten dressed and was making my bed when Charlie and one of his men showed up to put in the new window around 8 this morning. I quickly moved the shelf with the Star Wars action figures, then cleared out of their way to let them do what they needed to do.

Ran two episodes of Good Eats while I ate my own good Honey Bunches of Oats and watermelon breakfast. (The very last of the watermelon Jodie gave me on Memorial Day, in fact.) Alton implores a young boy who refuses to eat his peas to "Give Peas a Chance." With a pea salad with herbs and cheese, split pea soup, and pea burgers, how could he not? Alton has "Sprung a Leek" when he tries the least-pungent of the family that includes onions and garlic as fried rings, a grilled and braised side dish, and a salad.

Headed out around quarter after 9. Stopped at WaWa to get money and a banana smoothie to make change, then headed to the Oaklyn City Hall. The bus that goes down the White Horse Pike stops there. There was some traffic around road repairs. Otherwise, I had no problems on the road. The bus dropped me off across from the Voorhees Library around quarter after 10.

The Voorhees Library holds the Camden County Library System's big book sale twice a year, in June and October. It was wall-to-wall books and people when I came in, just 20 minutes after they opened. Total pandemonium! I could barely move, let alone find anything. Not to mention, the tables and shelves of books, DVDs, and CDs are not the most organized. You really have to dig if you're looking for a specific title or genre...if you're not leaning over or around ten different people doing the same thing. I gave up on the children's room after a few minutes, and I couldn't even find the records.

That said, I did really well, possibly my best haul ever from the book sale. Found three Mercedes Lackey Elemental masters novels I didn't have and couldn't be found at Haddon Township (The Serpent's Shadow, The Gates of Sleep, and The Wizard of London), the Star Wars expanded universe novel The Truce at Bakura, and the book-themed cozy mystery If Books Could Kill. The DVDs were Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Paint Your Wagon, and an ex-library copy of Hail, Caesar! Also grabbed a CD of early American Christmas music. And I found the whole pile in less than a half-hour, which is about all the time I could stand being in that crazy crowd.

Since I wasn't at the library for nearly as long as I planned, I did a little bit of shopping at the Boscov's in the Voorhees Town Center across the street. I still needed extra work pants. It took me a while, but I did find a pair that I hope will work for at least the rest of the summer. Headed across the mall after that to Bath and Body Works, one of the few stores in the Town Center that remains open. Picked up a spearmint and eucalyptus hand soap and "Pink Chiffon" shower gel, both half-price. I also took a look around Adventureland, a colorful comic book shop filled with older toys and the latest superhero stories.

Had lunch around noon in the Friendly's just outside the mall on their Restaurant Row. They were fairly busy, and the staff was nice but super slow. It took ages for them to bring my avocado and bacon burger, and then my butter pecan ice cream with marshmallow sauce and chocolate sprinkles. I wonder if they were short on help; I only saw two waitresses handling a large lunch crowd.

Took the long way across the parking lot of the former Macy's back to the front entrances, where the buses arrive. Of course, I read the wrong schedule and thought the bus was supposed to come 10 minutes later and missed it. That did give me a chance to hit the bathroom...but there really isn't much else to do at the Voorhees Town Center. Pretty much the only stores left are Boscov's, Verizon, Tilt Arcade, Adventureland, Payless Shoes, Bath and Body Works. and The Children's Place. Everything else is an office or is closed. Even stores that looked like they may have been open listed drastically reduced hours or were just shut down. It was dark, dreary, and spooky in there.

Finally took the bus home around 2. Once again, there was traffic around the road repairs on the White Horse Pike, otherwise no problems. I got off across from the 7-11 in Oaklyn, picked up my bike at City Hall, and went straight home, dodging more road work on Manor. (Looks like they're repaving.)

Charlie and his buddy were long gone by the time I got in. The new window is big and white...and it opens twice as wide as the old one, allowing far more air to circulate. I moved the big bookshelf and the seat with the American Girl dolls back easily. The smaller hanging shelf with the Star Wars action figures was a pain in the neck. Half of them fell off when I tried to get the shelf back on the wall. There's a reason I don't mess around with those more often.

Headed out to the Acme as soon as I got everything put away and where it belonged. I needed some groceries. Picked up cherries, and the Special K Nourish cereal on good sales. Grabbed blueberries and asparagus to make up for not being able to get to the Collingswood Farm Market tomorrow. Restocked chicken legs, yogurt, eggs, skim milk, white and apple cider vinegar, peanut butter, canned chicken, and cheese.

Oh, and my schedule this week is pretty much the same as last week, with the same days off and the same amount of hours. One of those days off will be used for counseling; otherwise, I'm probably going to continue to focus on writing and cleaning.

Went into writing as soon as I got home. Leia is grabbed by Boba Fett shortly after getting in the door. Turns out it was a trap to lure her and Luke into his clutches. He intends to cut off Luke's horn and use it to absorb the power of the Grand Confluence. To Leia's horror, he's turned Han into a statue who can still think and hear...but not move or speak.

Broke for a quick dinner and some Lego Indiana Jones around 7. I was finally able to get the last pieces on "Escape the Mines" and "Battle on the Bridge." (Turns out I had to outrun the darn water to get the final artifact on the latter round.) I still can't seem to get past that glitch on "Shanghai Showdown," and the Young Indy round glitched when I tried to play it in Free mode.

I think I might do one more night with Lego Indy, then return to Lego Star Wars: Clone Wars. If I can't get past the glitches, I've done all I can do here.

Finished the night with the 2014 French version of Beauty and the Beast. This one follows the Beaumont version of the story more closely than either Disney film, at least through the first half of the movie. Belle (Lea Seydoux) valiantly takes her father's place when he's held prisoner by a horrifying Beast (Vincent Cassel). The Beast seems cold and unforgiving towards her during their dinners together. But she keeps having recurring dreams of a prince who was determined to hunt down a golden deer and the princess (Yvonne Catterfeld) who warns him against its pursuit. She finally agrees to dance with the Beast if he'll let her go home. Her father's dying, and she wants to be by his bedside. But her rich clothes and the jewels she brings has emboldened her brother Maxime (Nicholas Gob), who tells a gangster (Eduardo Noriega) and his mistress (Myriem Charleins) about the jewels and the castle. Now Belle and her other brother Tristan (Louka Meliva) have to race against time to stop the gangster from doing harm to the Beast.

Gorgeous version of the classic fairy tale starts fairly close to Beaumont, but ends with a little bit more action than the original (including a gruesome end for the gangster). The elaborate and fanciful sets, costumes, and make-up are the stand-outs in this sumptuous production; the costumes won the French equivalent of the Oscars. Evidently, critics in France and elsewhere weren't impressed, but I think they might have been a little too hard on it. Give this one a shot if you like the Beaumont Beast or truly colorful fairy tales. (The version I took out of the Haddon Township Library was - rather badly - dubbed, but I imagine it comes with the original French soundtrack, too.)

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