Saturday, June 30, 2018

In the Swim

Celebrated the 4th of July coming up next week with America Rock. Made during America's bicentennial in 1975 and 1976, these shorts discuss the basics of US history and government. "No More Kings" and "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" goes into detail on the American Revolution and the events leading up to it. "The Preamble" explains the importance of the US Constitution. "Elbow Room" discusses manifest destiny and the move west. The jaunty ragtime tune "Fireworks" revolves around the Declaration of Independence. "Sufferin' 'Til Sufferage" is a dynamic R&B number detailing how women finally got the vote in 1920 after years of protests. "The Great American Melting Pot" reveals how immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century helped shape the US. "Mother Necessity" goes further into that, showing how many of them invented the objects that continue to shape our lives. "I'm Just a Bill," on the process of how a bill becomes law, is probably the most famous of these shorts today.

It was already in the 80's when I headed out to the Collingswood Farm Market around 10. While not as packed as usual, there were still quite a few people around, buying produce for their graduation parties and 4th of July barbecues. Saw eggplants and cranberry beans for the first time this season. One tent featured baby goats and the things made from their milk; children were allowed to hold them, to their delight and the goats' bemusement. I just ended up with blueberries, strawberries, and a tomato.

Stopped at the Oaklyn Library on my way home to volunteer. It was quiet when I arrived; the only person there was the librarian. A few folks arrived to use the computer as I went through the DVDs and took a look at the picture books and board books (which are in the midst of being reorganized).

Finished out America Rock when I got home and made my grocery list. "Three Ring Government" compares the structure of the US government to a typical circus. Two later shorts also discussed the workings of the government and voting. "Tyrannosaurus Debt" from Money Rock is a surprisingly pointed commentary on the US debt and how it keeps growing. "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote To College," which was made for the 30th anniversary DVD set I have, uses academic language and college fight songs to discuss the Electoral Collage.

Went in the opposite direction next to the Acme. Along with doing my shopping and getting my schedule, I wanted to bring that Banana Pudding Icebox Cake to the luncheon for a retiring bagger. I came just in time to see several managers hand him a big star and congratulate him.

There sure was plenty of food for his party! Entrees included meatballs, tortellini with spinach, baked ziti, macaroni and cheese, sausage, and hoagies from the deli. I saw two kinds of pasta salad and a potato salad. The dessert table groaned with carrot cake, brownies, pound cake, jam-filled butter cookies, and chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. I had a tri-color pasta salad with tomatoes, a turkey hoagie, two helpings of the tasty tortellini with spinach, a slice of carrot cake, and a jam cookie.

Picked up my schedule on the way in. I was delighted and surprised to note that I have the 4th of July off. I haven't had the 4th off in years. It's pretty good the rest of the week, too. I mostly work 11 to 3 or 11 to 4, with next Saturday off as well and a later day Friday. Best schedule I've had in ages. Between the heat and the days off, I think I'll just skip the Haddon Township Library this week and do Oaklyn on Saturday after the farm market again.

I had quite a bit of grocery shopping to do after I ate. Needed more vanilla wafers, pudding mixes, and Cool Whip to make a larger icebox cake for Independence Day. Restocked cereal, breakfast cookies (had an online coupon for Belvita), yogurt, brown sugar, conditioner, pasta, honey, canned pineapple, tuna, and tea. Picked up batteries on sale, but I bought the wrong ones. They were C, and I need Ds for my flashlight. I'll exchange them tomorrow.

Since it was still pretty early and I already had lunch, I played some Lego Clone Wars when I got in. Picked up two more pieces on "Blue Shadow Virus" and tried to get more on "Jedi Crash," but got stuck. Finally got the x10 red brick. Opened up bonus rounds that focus on trying to capture a certain planet, but by that time, it was getting late. I'll work on that tomorrow.

Did some writing next. Vader finishes with Motti just in time to see the group walking around the corner. He not only recognizes Luke and Leia from their encounter at the factory in LA, but he feels the Force in them, too. Harry discovers powers of his own when his punch sends Vader's goons into the wall on the other side of the room!

Meanwhile, Luke has figured out how to use the Sword of Light within the gun...but he can't control it. He ends up shooting holes in the hallway and leave it in flames. The others take this chance to escape, while Vader searches for another presence he's felt...

Went over to Dad and Jodie's around 5 to swim in their pool. I picked the right time. It was just them and me when I came in. I swam laps and floated around, just enjoying the quiet. We also discussed the 4th of July and their helping me with the cost of the tickets for the train to Lauren's in September. They say they're just having a small get-together with Jessa, Joe, and some of the neighbors on the 4th. I'll still bring the icebox cake - it went over well last year.

A couple of the neighbors arrived around 6 with their kids. Rose came with her family shortly after. Rose and Craig are taking their kids to visit friends in Maine for the 4th and wanted to say goodbye before they left. I played with the kids in the pool for a while as Craig held little Finley, teaching her how to kick and float. (She's doing so well, and she's so cute, in her new neon orange floral tankini.)

It was after 7:30 before I finally went home. Had the last of the tuna salad with greens and leftover vegetables while watching Summer Holiday. Mickey Rooney headlines this 1948 MGM musical as Richard Miller, a teen living in a small town in Connecticut in the early 1900's with his family, Aunt Lilly (Agnes Moorehead), and Uncle Sid (Frank Morgan). Richard's picked up a lot of notions about the rights of the common man from the books he reads that he spouts to anyone who'll listen, including his nervous girlfriend Muriel (Gloria DeHaven). Angry when her father catches her reading his books and forbids their relationship, he goes off for a night in a bar with a floozy (Marilyn Maxwell)...and learns that maybe he's not as grown-up as he thinks.

It's too bad this adorable tale sat on the shelf for two years and was a flop when it came out. It's actually a lot of fun, with some nice numbers for DeHaven and Rooney and another good one for Maxwell in the bar that makes far better use of color filters and fades than South Pacific. Walter Huston is especially good as Richard's (mostly) supportive newspaper editor father.

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