Thursday, November 01, 2018

All For Fun

Began the morning with a quick breakfast before calling Mom. I just wanted to tell her that Dad and Jodie were going to drop me off at her house before the memorial service tomorrow so I can chat with her and the rest of the family. She sounded a little tired, but otherwise fine. She just watched her husband battle cancer for two years. He was suffering really badly in the end, and she understands that he's in a better place.

First order of the day was taking down the Halloween decorations and putting up what I have for Thanksgiving. I like Halloween a lot more than I used to...but after my frustrating October, I really don't feel like letting holidays linger right now. Thanksgiving is really more my speed anyway.

While I do have some Indian corn cobs that I hang on the walls, a beautifully carved turkey candle, porcelain turkey salt and pepper shakers, a tiny cloth pilgrim mouse, a pair of Webkinz turkeys named Plymouth and Mayflower, and two wood and cloth pilgrims who guard the TV, most of my Thanksgiving decorations are cardboard cut-outs. I found the pilgrim-and-Indian kid group, Snoopy and Woodstock in pilgrim and Indian garb, a pilgrim girl, and a really nice vintage turkey print at yard sales. The larger cut-outs that depict pilgrims and Indians working together came from the Acme the year I moved here. Given their unusually large size, I suspect they were originally intended for classroom use.

Watched Black Friday while I worked. The last of the Universal thrillers on the Bela Lugosi Collection set actually has very little to do with Lugosi, despite the description on the box. Karloff is brain surgeon Dr. Ernest Sovac. Devastated when his best friend, kindly English professor George Kingsley (Stanley Ridges), is nearly killed in a hit-and-run accident, he switches part of his damaged brain with that of Red Cannon (Ridges), the gangster who hit him and died in the accident. It's successful...too successful. Kingsley switches between his own gentle personality and the more aggressive and suspicious Cannon. Sovac is worried at first, until he learns that Cannon has hidden 500,000 somewhere in New York. Hoping to get the money for his research, he encourages the Cannon side to come out more often. Cannon, however, wants get his hands on the guys who set him up and murders each of his gangster co-horts one by one, recruiting a pretty nightclub singer (Anne Nagel) to help him find the cash. Meanwhile, there are other gangsters who want that loot, including Bulgarian mobster Eric Marnay (Lugosi).

The box stated that Lugosi was the gangster who had his brain implanted in Kingsley. Whomever wrote the description on the box must not have watched the movie. Lugosi is barely in the film, and when he does appear, he's pretty much just a stock-slick criminal. Karloff and Ridges are the ones to watch as the scientist who thinks he's helping his friend and the Jekyll-and-Hyde teacher. Not bad, but not as much fun as some of the earlier movies in this set. (A bit of trivia - this was written by Curt Siodmak, who would go on to specialize in even weirder sci-fi horror thrillers in the 1940's and 50's.)

Speaking of unusual science fiction, I moved on to an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures as I finished up the decorations. In "Strange Tales of Weird Science" from the later first season, the Toons demonstrate why some scientific concepts are best left on the shelf. Hamton is accidentally doused with a chemical that turns him into a "Scentimenal Pig." No one who smells him can resist eating him, including his best friend Plucky. Arnold the Pit Bull finds himself "Pit Bullied" when Sweetie reprograms Furball to chase him instead of birds. Plucky is a "Duck In the Muck" when he becomes the Toxic Revenger to show Montana Max what the sludge from his ice cream spoon factory is doing to his pond.

Ran one more short as I got ready to head out. Curly has "A Bird In the Hand" in a Three Stooges short when the guys are paper hangers hoping to escape an angry employer. They end up in a mad scientist's laboratory and have to save Curly from losing what little brain he has to a gorilla.

It was still gorgeous when I began my errand run, sunny, windy, and even warmer than yesterday. I was fine in a blouse and jean capris. First stop was the Oaklyn Library, mainly to return the DVDs. Both the adult and kid DVD shelves were really out-of-order and needed to be looked at. Otherwise, it was just me and the librarians. I took out the just-released Ant-Man and the Wasp (which will bring me up-to-date on current Marvel movies) and, since I've been revisiting a lot of 90's family comedies lately, the original Robin Williams version of Jumanji. I have seen that one, but not since it came out.

Next up was lunch at Genova's Pizza. It was 1:30 by the time I made it there, a bit after the lunch crowd, and still gorgeous. I took my two cheese slices and football-print can of Dr. Pepper outside to their patio to enjoy the unusually warm day.

Ran a few errands next. Went to Target to look at bike locks. They had a really good selection for a tiny store. I don't have the money now, but as soon as I do, I may break down and buy one of the heavier key locks. I'll just keep the key with my house key. Went a few doors down to Dollar Tree to pick up sponges and tissues.

The Haddon Township Library was even less busy than the Oaklyn Library had been. There was almost nothing going on there. I shelved the few adult titles that were around. That Mister Rogers' Neighborhood set I looked at a few weeks ago had finally gotten off hold. I haven't seen that show since I was knee-high to Daniel Tiger. It was a huge favorite of mine when I was really little. Also grabbed the Disney TV musical Once Upon a Mattress to review for my musicals blog and the comedy Downsizing from last year.

Headed down Cuthbert to Collingswood after I got out of the library. I needed a check from the PNC Bank in Collingswood for my rent. (I still haven't gotten around to ordering them.) Thankfully, it wasn't busy when I arrived. I went up to the teller, let her print the check, got the check together, and left.

Delivered the rent and the check for the air conditioner mess right when I got in. Spent the next few hours looking over some of my original work to eventually sell. I posted four older short stories that were no longer online on my writing blog, then wrote a super-short new one. It's just the tale of a little girl out for a walk on the beach with her daddy. The dad, a commercial fisherman, tells the daughter about the shells she finds.

I had to write something about a dad and a daughter today. Dad used to take us to the beach in the summer when he was home. He didn't really look at shells with me - he was usually swimming or playing in the sand with Anny. Still, I felt that I needed to write about a father bonding with his daughter. I miss that. I miss him.

Here's Daddy at the Beach...and if you enjoy this, there's four other new original short stories at my blog now as well.

Daddy at the Beach

Jodie called while I was writing. She and Dad are going to pick me up a little earlier, around 10:30. They want to avoid the worst of the rain we're supposed to get tomorrow. I believe it. Dark clouds had started gathering while I was on my way to Collingswood, and the wind was getting worse. It was really windy and gloomy by the time we talked.

Moved on to the 1943 musical DuBarry Was a Lady while having pan-fried salmon with lemon glaze, green beans, and Cranberry Flummery for dinner. I go more into this one at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

DuBarry Was a Lady

Finished the night with another wacky swashbuckler, the 1993 Three Musketeers. Chris O'Donnell is young and bold D'Artagnan, who has come to Paris to join the Musketeers. Trouble is, they've just been disbanded by the wicked Cardinal Richelieu (Tim Curry). He eventually joins with three former Musketeers, the priest Aramis (Charlie Sheen), comic Porthos (Oliver Platt), and stoic Athos (Kiefer Sutherland) to stop the Lady DeWinter (Rebecca DeMornay) from bringing a treaty to England. She tells them that Richelieu plans on having the king of France assassinated at his birthday party. It's up to the Musketeers to rescue their ruler and keep the Cardinal from taking over the throne.

Does this have much relation to history or the book? No. Is almost everyone but Curry and DeMornay wildly miscast? Yes. Do I care? Not at all. It's an old favorite in my family, and one of the most fun action movies around.

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