Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Falling Slowly

It was just cloudy and killer humid when I finally rolled out of bed after sleeping in a bit. Had breakfast while listening to the soundtrack of Hairspray. I have the original Broadway cast and the original film soundtrack, but this is the one I gravitate the most to. I like the additional songs "Ladies' Choice" and "Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)," and the cast is excellent. (Harvey Firnstein may be associated with Edna Turnblad, but let's face it. Where else are you going to hear a romantic duet performed by John Travolta and Christopher Walken?)

First stop on the agenda today after I finally headed out was the Oaklyn Library. Good thing I did opt to do them today. They're going to be closed again on Saturday. There wasn't really much to do there at any rate. The DVDs weren't that bad, and they're still in the midst of re-arranging the picture books. I did get to see how the bathroom is progressing. It's been painted yellow with white trim, but not much else seems to be different.

Headed out for lunch around quarter of 1. Genova Pizza on Cuthbert Road is selling white and tomato cheese slices for a dollar all summer. Like Phillies Phatties, they've remodeled since the last time I was in there, with new red and black counters and larger, simpler menus. Their menu remains largely the same, though, with more reasonable prices.

I'm guessing they don't have air conditioning. They were hot as heck. I took my slices of cheese pizza and can of Dr. Pepper with the goofy llama design to their outdoor patio. The patio is surrounded by a wooden fence painted bright scarlet. I ate my lunch at a simple metal table and thick plastic chair. There was one other guy outside, probably one of the workers, given that I didn't see any food on him. I listened to 80's music on a local radio station and ate my pizza quickly. I was out by 1.

As soon as I finished my lunch, I realized I was missing my plastic bag I was using to cover my notebook. It wasn't in the pizza parlor. Good thing the only other place I'd been was the Oaklyn Library. I rode back there and found it hanging on the silver knob of the bathroom door, where I left it.

Had just enough to hurry through Newton Lake Park and down to Haddonfield for this month's counseling session. Made it with five minutes to spare. I told Mrs. Stahl about my difficult month, with all the trouble at the apartment over the air conditioner and about Dad-Bill's condition. On one hand, I love Dad. He's done a lot for me. On the other hand...he's never taken very good care of himself. He drinks, he smoked until about a decade ago, he did heavy drugs in the 80's and 90's, he worked at a dangerous and stressful job until retiring about a week or so ago, eats tons of junk food, starts bar brawls at his local watering hole, and his idea of "exercising" is running his mouth. I'm just surprised he made it this long.

I'm more concerned about what his death will do to Mom and Anny. Mom's a strong woman, but she hasn't lived really alone in years. Dad's always come home. They both pay for the house and food. And Anny has always been Dad's little girl. She's close to him in ways even Keefe never was.

I want to find an online job, as a virtual assistant or transcriptionist. Trouble is, I research and research and read and read...but then I realize how much experience is required, or see how hard it is to get going, and I get scared and do nothing. Every time I try to break out, I get so nervous! Everyone says I should just "get over it" and do it, but it's not that simple.

There's the whole thing with Willa and Charlie and the air conditioner, too. I'm glad Charlie at least started the porch, but otherwise, it's been frustrating. I'm glad to let Rose deal with both of them.

I need the money. Mrs. Stahl pushed the Social Security money again after I told her that Jodie has her paperwork ready and we're just waiting on Rose. Thing is...I'd feel guilty, taking government hand-outs. I want to be independent and to truly rely on myself. I shouldn't be taking money from anybody.

Mrs. Stahl said to do research on the virtual assistant job and see what I can come up with. I'll do my best.

The clouds were gathering faster as I headed down Haddon Avenue through Haddonfield to Westmont. While it wasn't really that hot, it was still killer humid. I needed liquid refreshment..and so did everyone else in Westmont. They were busy when I arrived, with a mother and her autistic daughter getting ice cream and several teens at the counter. Saw a couple of new flavors; tried Chocolate Covered Raspberry. This was actually raspberry with chocolate bits. It was very sweet and extremely red, but it did taste like raspberry. The chocolate bits weren't big, but there were quite a lot of them. I got my treat just in time. As I sat down at the counter, a huge family of mothers and children arrived, creating a long line. They were still picking up their ice cream as I left.

It had just started to rain as I pulled in at the Westmont Acme. I needed vanilla wafers, lemon Jello, vanilla pudding, and Cool Whip to make a lemon icebox cake for another retirement party at work tomorrow. No wonder I got today off so easily. They were dead as a doornail when I was in. I was in and out in 20 minutes.

The rain picked up, even as I headed across Newton Lake Park. I stopped under a tree to avoid getting totally soaked. (Good thing I brought my blue rain coat.) At least the rain's been helping the flora around here. The trees look much perkier than they did even a week ago. The grass is still a little dry, but is showing fewer brown spots.

Went right into making the icebox cake as soon as I got home. I shouldn't have crushed all the cookies! They were way too much for the small pan I was using. And that lemon Jello was really lemony. I hope it didn't come out inedible. I dumped out some of the cookies that hadn't been broken enough anyway, layered the pudding-gelatin and Cool Whip, and hoped for the best.

Tried to work on some writing next. Luke and Yoda are now in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Yoda's telling Luke about Vader and the Force and how he'd killed off all the Jedi to get their power. Luke wants to know more about the Force's dark side and how the Force magic works, so he can get the goods on Vader. Yoda would rather he learned how to do it himself.

Finally broke at quarter of 7 for dinner. Played some Lego Clone Wars after I ate and took a shower. Finally found all five probe droids and got the last piece in "Jedi Crash," which gave me the elder Obi-Wan Kenobi. I really can't figure out where that last piece in "Defenders of the Peace" is. I finally just gave up around 8:30.

Finished the night with Once. I heard this film's big hit "Falling Slowly" at work yesterday while I was doing the gift cards, and it's been stuck in my head since. A street singer in Dublin (Glen Hansard) and a Hungarian pianist (Marketa Irglova) become friends when she meets him while he's chasing down a man who stole his music. They end up at the music store where she works, playing a song he's written called "Falling Slowly." They argue, but make up and spend a happy week recording and creating music. But he's getting over a bad relationship, and she has a husband and a child. They eventually go back to their original relationships...but they'll always have the music they made together, including "Falling Slowly."

I've had this movie on DVD for years, but I've never gotten around to watching it until now. It's a truly unique small-scale musical romance with some lovely performances from the two leads and fine songs. Along with "Falling Slowly" (which won Best Song at the Oscars in 2008), some of the best songs include the duet "When Your Mind's Made Up" and Irglova's solo "The Hill."

This was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic in in 2007, and it deserved every accolade. If you're looking for something smaller and sweeter in your musicals, this gentle romance is highly recommended. (A Broadway version debuted in 2012 and also did very well, winning the Tony for Best Musical that year.)

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