Saturday, September 01, 2018

One Quiet Summer

Though it was still cloudy and humid when I got up this morning, it was at least a bit warmer. Cheered up the dark day with shorts featuring my favorite Disney character, Donald Duck. He checks out a museum filled with "Modern Inventions," but starts to question the machine age when the inventions just drive him crazy. Coached by a radio show, Donald tries to exhibit some "Self Control" while lying in a hammock, but every animal around him constantly disrupts his nap. "Donald's Nephews" introduces Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They play pranks on him even as they arrive at his home. Donald hopes that this newfangled "child psychology" will help him deal with them. The boys return as "Good Scouts" who give Don a hard time on a camping trip and get him involved in a tussle with a bear.

Headed out to the Collingswood Farm Market around quarter of 11. Even at that point, they were still busy with people picking up produce for their Labor Day barbecues and back-to-school dinners. Picked up my first mini-Gala apples of the year. Also grabbed peaches, an onion, a small cantaloupe, carrots, and red and orange peppers. Watched kids dance with their parents and siblings along with a group playing 60's rock hits, including the Beatles' "Things We Said Today."

Took the long way across Newton Lake Park back to Oaklyn. I wasn't the only one who opted for an outing. It was humid, but still not terribly hot. Saw a couple of teen boys chatting together as they went for a run, a solo jogger, and several dog walkers. While most flowers are gone now, the trees are still lush and green, and the grass is mostly still thick, with only a few bare patches.

Stopped at Dollar General quickly on the way back. I was almost out of eggs and sugar, and I wanted to bake later. Both are cheaper there. The line was long, but it moved fast.

Returned to Donald as I put everything away and had a quick lunch. Don's nephews play even more pranks on the putting green in "Donald's Golf Game," including handing him joke clubs and a jumping ball. He's in charge of the dogs during "The Fox Hunt," but can't get the fox to cooperate. "Donald's Lucky Day" has him delivering a ticking package on Friday the 13th while avoiding a playful black cat. "Donald's Cousin Gus" from the comics comes to visit and proceeded to eat him out of house and home. Donald's the one playing pranks on Pluto in "Beach Picnic" when he scares him with a rubber horse flotation raft. A group of Native American ants who invade his lunch give him more trouble. Donald's "The Autograph Hound" who tries to get a name from big-name stars with no luck, at least until famous kid fan Shirley Temple recognizes him. "Officer Duck" dresses as an infant to infiltrate bank robber Pete's hideout.

Began The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. This an anthology film showcasing the three original Winnie the Pooh featurettes. In the first story, Pooh will do anything to get honey, from pretending to be a "little black rain cloud" to eating so much of it, he gets stuck in Rabbit's front door. Things get a little spookier in the second segment, which introduces Tigger, Piglet, and Owl. The residents of the Hundred Acre Woods find themselves dealing with some wild fall weather, including blustery winds and a flood. Pooh, unnerved by Tigger's talk of honey-eating monsters, has a wild psychedelic nightmare about "Hefalumps and Woozels." The last story is a little more typical. Rabbit, tired of Tigger's insensitive bouncing, tries to get him lost...but it takes him getting stuck in a tree to end his bouncing, at least until he reminds Rabbit how fun it can be.

This is one of Disney's most laid-back and charming films, one I typically watch every year towards the end of the summer. As a big Pooh fan, it's a favorite of mine. It's also the perfect starter Disney movie for very young kids, who'll enjoy Pooh's colorful world and his sweet and (mostly) gentle adventures.

Worked on some writing around 2:30. Luke manages to dodge Yasmin Hutt's monstrous bodyguard long enough to get him out to the garden. He manages to drop a rock over his head, knocking him out, but he's captured by Yasmin's other guards and her second-in-command Barry Fortune. Yasmin tells him she intends to make both the Skylark twins the focus of the next "wedding of the gods" ceremony at the Twin Suns Club...

Didn't break until 5. Cleaned the bathroom, which surprisingly wasn't that bad. The bathtub in particular only needed a little scrubbing; maybe it was all the baths I took this month.

Watched One Crazy Summer as I worked. Hoops McCann (John Cusack) agrees to join his buddy George (Joel Murray) at Nantucket for a couple of weeks after high school graduation. On their way to the ferry, the pick up lovely rock singer Cassandra Eldridge (Demi Moore). She's supposed to be staying at her grandfather's boarding house, but he dies and leaves her in debt. If she can't make money soon, the house will default to rich and nasty Aquilla Beckerstead (Mark Metcalf) and his lazy and spoiled son Ted (Matt Mulhern), who want to tear it down and build condos. After a date with Ted's bimbo girlfriend Cookie (Kimberly Foster) goes south, Hoops proves to Cassandra that he likes her by advertising her big local gig. It's not enough to pay for the house...until their friend Ack-Ack (Curtis Armstrong) suggests entering the local regatta against Ted. Hoops hates the water and is no good at basketball, but he's determined to prove to Cassandra that even an awkward guy like him can win the girl of his dreams.

I have fond memories of watching this one on cable as a kid with my sisters. The typical story is enlivened by some pretty bizarre shenanigans, including a running gag that involves George constantly getting sat on at the beach, George's sister and how protective she is of her scruffy dog, and goofy twin mechanic Egg (Bobcat Golthwait) ending up in a Godzilla suit. If you're a fan of director "Savage" Steve Holland's other comedies, the cast, or other 80's slobs-vs-snobs films, you'll want to dig this one up as well.

Moved to Weekend at Bernie's while making chicken-pepper stir fry for dinner. Richard (Johnathan Silverman) and Larry (Andrew McCarthy) are two normal working stiffs at a New York life insurance company who discover a discrepancy in the books. Their boss Bernie (Terry Kiser) invites him to his house in the Hamptons during Labor Day Weekend to discuss it further. Turns out it was all a ruse. Bernie was the one scamming the company, and he wants them killed...and is killed himself by a mobster's hitman (Don Calfa). Determined to enjoy himself and not end up in the same state as Bernie, Larry suggests that they make it look like Bernie never died. Despite the fun party, Richard ends up seriously regretting it when the girl he has a crush on (Catherine Mary Stewart) thinks he's crazy and the hit man chases them and Bernie all over the islands.

The 80's loved it's strange and slightly macabre comedies, and this one is another long-time favorite. It was a surprise hit in 1989, and the plot has been popping up in goofy sitcoms ever since. McCarthy in particular is having a blast playing against type as horny, party-loving Larry.

Finished off the night with Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation as I went online. The Toons are out of school and ready for a summer of fun, but even they didn't expect some of the crazy stuff that happens. Plucky's eager to join his best buddy Hampton on his family's trip to Happy World Land, until he realizes they're so smiley-happy, they'd give the Brady Bunch cavities. Babs and Buster spend most of their summer on the river, avoiding several creatures who want them to be on the barbecue menu. Fifi follows a handsome skunk movie star around town, trying to get his autograph, but he's not what she thinks he is. Fowlmouth drags Shirley the Loon to the movies, but she'd rather he disappeared into the cosmic either. Elmyra terrorizes the animals at a local safari park.

While the longer stories featuring Plucky and the rabbits work better than the cliched side stories, this is still highly recommended if you're a fan of Tiny Toons and the other reference-filled cartoons of the early-mid 90's.

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