Sunday, January 20, 2019


Began the morning with my first day back at work. It was...fine. Actually, it was really boring, especially for a Sunday. Everyone must have gotten the hint that we're only getting freezing temperatures tomorrow (and for one day, at that), not snow. Either that, or they all went away for the weekend, or were waiting to shop before the football games began. I did briefly gather baskets and helped bag a few times, but we mostly had so much help, I spent the morning pulling items on shelves to make sure they all looked even.

Went straight home as soon as I got out. It wasn't easy. The clouds that had lingered this morning were long gone by quarter 2. The sun was out, but so was the wind. The raging gusts made it hard to get anywhere, especially on the wide-open Black Horse Pike. I just kept pushing as hard as I could.

When I got in, I went straight to bed for a nap. I had no other plans for the day, and I was tired from being up later than I should have last night. Slept as well as I could with Charlie and his buddies chattering downstairs for about an hour and a half, then read a chapter of The Adventures of Robin Hood and wrote in my journal. I left in too much of a hurry to do it this morning.

Spent the rest of the evening writing. Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and Thomas and his dog Artoo do manage to get Leia out of the Sheriff's rooms at Nottingham Castle. Han's smitten...for all of five minutes, before she starts demanding to know who he is and how do they plan on getting out of there? And that's before more guards start attacking...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. I made a warmer variation on last night's dinner. Once again, I crumbled bacon into spinach. This time, after I fried the bacon, I sauteed spinach and mushrooms in the drippings, along with a bit of lemon juice, then added the bacon. Oh yum. Smoky and earthy and just tangy enough.

Listened to the 1960 original cast of Bye Bye Birdie as I ate. Dick Van Dyke and Broadway star Chita Rivera headline this tale of a songwriter and manager whose most famous client, Conrad Birdie (an obvious spoof of Elvis Prestley), was just drafted. He devises a contest that will end with a typical teenage girl kissing Conrad on the Ed Sullivan Show right before he leaves. Said teenager ends up being Kim McAfee (Susan Watson), a huge fan of Conrad's who is over the moon about being chosen. Her nerdy boyfriend Hugo (Michael J. Pollard) and dad (Paul Lynde) are less amused. After the Ed Sullivan episode turns into a disaster, Conrad takes off with Kim and most of the kids in town to look for excitement, while the songwriter's girl Rosie (Rivera) goes off to have some fun on her own.

Between the satire of the early rock scene, the Ed Sullivan subplot (including a whole song about him and his show and how important it was to middle-class families at the time), Rosie's insistence that her man should be in a secure job like teaching English, and Mr. McAfee's lament about the growing generation gap "Kids," this couldn't be more early 60's if it tried. It's been turned into a movie both on the big and small screens; I'm not a fan of the so-so film version with Ann-Margaret (haven't seen the TV movie with Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams). A 2009 revival with John Stamos and Gina Gershon only lasted a few months.

Moved to Oklahoma! after Bye Bye Birdie ended. Watching Broadway: The American Musical inspired me to check out the historic original 1943 cast. I know the show was a huge hit at the time, but it's...just ok. Celeste Holm has fun as Aldo Annie, and long-time Broadway leading man Alfred Drake does make an especially robust Curly. Pretty much everything else is kind of bland. There would be much better versions of this show in subsequent years.

Finished the night with the Lena Horne 2-disc set. It's kind of strange. She sings a mish-mash of songs from the late 60's and early 70's, many of them covers of Beatles or Harry Nilsson tunes. That said, I did enjoy her renditions of "In My Life" and "Everybody's Talkin'," along with "Nightwind" and "Watch What Happens."

Oh, and in good news, the Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints to become the NFC Champions and go on to the Super Bowl. In bad news, the Patriots beat the Chiefs and also go on to the Super Bowl. Again. Like they need to go. I hope the Rams kick the Patriots to heck and gone in Atlanta.

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