I just made it to work on time at quarter of 10. It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, sunny, but colder and incredibly windy. I tried to get the returns done during the first half of my shift, but I kept getting called to do everything else, including clean up a cracked egg mess and find several items for people. I was glad to move outside after break and spend the rest of the day helping the other bagger with the carts. Wind or no wind, it was preferable to the insanity inside.
(And incidentally, from now on, the bike stays in the Acme's employee lounge when I work. It's a pain to drag it through the store, but it's obviously not safe where it was, either.)
Got my schedule after I finished. Other than a very early day tomorrow, it's mostly late morning and early afternoon work, perfectly normal for this time of year. My only complaint is that my next day off is Friday (although I have Friday and Saturday off), and slightly more hours might have been nice.
Headed home at 2:45. Read The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy for a while, then worked on writing. Began my last Star Wars short fairy tale of the year, Little Red Riding Rose. Rose Tico is a young lady who lives with her sister Paige in a small cottage in a great wood. She's excellent at fixing things and is often called by her neighbors to repair their furniture and early appliances. One day, Paige sends her to fix the stove owned by Leia Organa. Leia has hurt her ankle and can't fix it herself. Her brother Luke, the head of the woodsmen, is busy, and her husband Han is a sailor at sea. She gives her sister bread, apples, and cheese for lunch and admonishes her to beware of the wolves and other animals who live in the woods.
Rose stops and chats with her friends the Huntsman Poe and Woodcutter Finn on her way down the path. They exchange good-natured teasing, mostly about Poe's massive ego, but the boys also warn her of the dangers in the woods...especially the sorcerers and wizards who can turn into anything...
Charlie called me just as I was finishing with my writing. Seems there was a package waiting for me downstairs. Good. A friend of mine, Rodney Walker, said he sent me an early Christmas present. Turns out it was a much heavier and thicker lock for my bike. It was a variation on one of the ones I looked at but couldn't afford when I was at Target on Thursday.
Spent the rest of the night as I had spent the morning before work, watching episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. There were some touching and even sad sequences in this round. One of the "neighborhood" sequences had all the regular neighbors/puppeteers getting together and giving Mr. Rogers a surprise party after discussing "surprises" in the Land of Make Believe. Henrietta Pussycat also got a surprise party in that episode, though she thought everyone had forgotten her birthday because they were focusing on a comet King Friday insisted was his.
One fun "neighborhood" segment showed how a chef made spaghetti from a hand-cranked pasta maker. Another took Mr. Rogers to a local landmark, Lucy the Elephant, a giant elephant-shaped museum in Margate near Atlantic City. I also liked the visit to a Pittsburgh trolley museum. Mr. Rogers talked about how he rode trolleys as a child, and even got to drive a trolley.
There was some fun in the Land of Make Believe, too. Poor Ana Platypus was upset that her parents couldn't afford a bike like Prince Tuesday's in one segment. He offered to share his bike with his best friend, once he figured out how to ride it. In another segment, the entire Kingdom was late for a bass violin festival in Westville because they got mixed up and thought it was being held in their neck of the woods. Thankfully, no one was angry with the lateness, and they all enjoyed the violin music, puppet show (within a puppet show), and even dance. A third episode had O the Owl getting ready for the arrival of his cousin Mary (a human in an owl costume). While they waited, Lady Aberlin took O and Henrietta to visit a couple in another town who had just adopted a baby. In another story, Bob the Dog had to explain to Daniel Tiger that planting vegetable soup cans had resulted in rusty cans, rather than the soup can tree he'd built to make him happy.
Finished the night with leftovers for dinner and making Carrot Chewies from that carrot cake mix. (It's a variation on the Chocolate Chewies from the Cake Doctor cook book.) Watched the 2005 TV musical Once Upon a Mattress while I worked. I cover this one more thoroughly at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.
Once Upon a Mattress