Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Winds of Fall

Today was my early work day. I'm actually glad. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was sunny and very windy, probably in the lower-mid 60's, a little chilly for this time of year but nothing unbearable. I did get the inside and outside trash done, rounded up baskets, and shelved a few cold items, but I was mostly outside. It picked up a little bit around the noon rush hour; otherwise, we were dead all day.

The moment I finished, I once again rushed home, got dressed, and rushed out. This time, I was going further afield. I really had some errands to run in Westmont that I couldn't squeak in on Friday, starting with a stop at the UPS Store. I wanted to send Lauren's birthday package in time for her big day on Friday. Alas, to my embarrassment, I couldn't send it. I didn't have enough money. Not to mention, they were kind of expensive for a light box. The guys in charge were really nice about it (one was excited about the wrestling figure I got Lauren - he's apparently a wrestling fan, too), but I still can't believe that happened, again. I won't be able to send it on until Friday, which means it won't be there for Lauren's birthday.

The Haddon Township Library didn't make me feel much better. They were saving what few DVDs there were to return for later volunteers. I organized the DVDs on the shelves, but otherwise, there wasn't much going on there. It was too beautiful to be sitting in a library.

I took out a bunch of movies this week, mainly to make myself feel better after all the trouble I've had the past few days. Grabbed Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and the 1931 Dracula to get ready for Halloween. I have seen Broadcast News, but not in a long time, and it's one of my favorite movies. Enjoyed the original Pacific Rim enough when I rented it earlier this year to check out its sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising.

When I got home, I decided I needed a treat. I made real hot cocoa from actual cocoa, brown sugar, water, and milk. It was a little watery side. Had it with the last of the cranberry-orange Belvita cookies.

Worked on writing for a bit. Artie gets worried when Luke, Leia, and Harry fail to come out after an hour and wants to go after them. Clarence thinks he's crazy, but they don't have much of a choice when they're spotted by Vader's men and the local workers. The monkeys take care of them, allowing the duo and Charel to escape.

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Decided to try something quick from the pantry. Sauteed two mushrooms, the remaining broccoli and cauliflower florets, and eggplant, then added canned chicken, home-made vegetable broth, and cream of chicken soup. When it was cooked, I added a sprinkling of Parmesan and cheddar cheese, along with some Montreal Chicken seasoning. Oh, yum! A bit salty - next time, I may leave out the seasoning - but otherwise amazing. One of the best pantry meals I ever did. I'll have to try this or something similar again sometime. Had it for dinner with a baked sweet potato with butter and honey.

Watched Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein while I ate. Wilbur (Lou Costello) and Chick (Bud Abbott) are two none-too-bright baggage clerks who are supposed to be bringing crates with the remains of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and the Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange) to a wax museum in Florida. Laurence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) tries to warn them about what the crates contain, but he turns into the Wolf Man before he's able to do so. While they're delivering them, Dracula and the monster come to life! The boys are accused of stealing them after they vanish and are arrested. They're bailed out by the insurance company. Insurance investigator Joan (Jane Randolph) fakes an interest in Wilbur to try to figure out what happened to the "exhibits."

Meanwhile, Wilbur's actual girlfriend Sandra (Lenore Aubert) has her own plans for the short comic. She's a scientist who has studied the notebooks of Dr. Frankenstein and thinks the guy had something. She and Dracula want Wilbur's brain for the monster. Wilbur thinks he has two girls interested in him, but he loses that notion quick after a costume party. They try to dodge the monsters, but Wilbur ends up strapped to an operating table with a hypnotized Sandra after what little brain he has!

Classic horror comedy with the title comedians at the top of their game. The movie ably spoofs the cliches of Universal's own monster movies, especially when the monsters are more prominent in the second half. And this is one of the only horror movies I've ever seen where the valiant cop and the mad scientist were female. If you're like me and prefer your scares to be mixed with laughs, give the boys and their bout with Universal's finest a shot.

Finished the night with two Bowery Boys and East Side Kids films that featured Strange and Lugosi. Strange played another pieced-together monster in the Bowery Boys film Master Minds. This may be the only horror comedy I've ever seen where the brain switch works, at least temporarily. Sach (Huntz Hall) gets the ability to see the future every time he has a toothache. His buddy Slip (Leo Gorcey) puts his newfound-talents to work in a carnival as a mind-reader. Unfortunately, his talents also attract a mad scientist (Alan Napier), who wants his brain for his monster (Strange). Now the "monster" is walking around sounding like Sach, and Sach is growling like a monster, unless the guys and their friends Gabe (Gabriel Dell) and Louie (Bernard Gorcey) can figure out how to switch them back.

Spooks Run Wild was the first of two horror-oriented films done for their earlier incarnation as the East Side Kids. While he's not a vampire here, Lugosi does play a mysterious caped figure who claims he can heal one of the boys in his spooky mansion after the youth is accidentally shot. The Kids are desperate. They snuck out of their summer camp, and they have to get back before they're caught. While they try to figure out what's going on with this strange house, the head of the camp and school nurse search for the boys after hearing about a killer on the loose in the area. The "killer" isn't whom anyone expects, and neither is the caped gentlemen.

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