Saturday, August 31, 2019

Welcome to the Holiday Weekend

I was so glad that the weather remained stunning. I had a lot to do today, starting with breakfast and a couple of Tom & Jerry cartoons. "Texas Tom" uses a western record wound by Jerry to serenade a pretty cowgirl kitty. Jerry rebels and embarrasses Tom. Jerry helps a lion who escaped the circus in "Jerry and the Lion." Tom's conducting a concert in "Tom & Jerry at the Hollywood Bowl," but an annoyed Jerry comes in and wrecks havoc. Jerry rescues a pet fish from becoming Tom's next meal in "Jerry and the Goldfish."

Headed out as soon as the last-named cartoon ended. I had a lot of errands to run, starting at the Collingswood Farm Market. It was quarter after 11 by that point, and they were starting to wind down. In fact, the orchard booth tossed in three extra small Gala apples just to get rid of them. I dodged people buying produce for their Labor Day barbecues and back-to-school lunches long enough to pick up nectarines, two small eggplants, and lettuce along with the apples.

Made my way across Collingswood and Cuthbert Road to the Haddon Township Library next. I didn't stick around, but I did want to return my DVDs. Dug around in the book sales again and found Melody's first American Girl book and the thriller Sorry, Wrong Number on DVD. Didn't take any movies out - I've been having too much fun with Match Game, plus I still have a few movies I haven't watched.

I was going to stop at the Oaklyn Library next, but they were closed. Turns out they're off for Saturday and Monday. Rats. I'll try them again later next week.

Went home and put everything away and rested a bit before heading back out. There was one more thing I wanted to do today. I had to deliver the snickerdoodles to work. A sweet older lady who works in the deli is retiring, and we had a huge party for her, with her family and lots of pink roses and balloons. There was plenty to eat, mac and cheese and ziti and roast beef for sandwiches, two types of deviled eggs, a vegetable tray, pasta salad and potato salad and meatballs. Desserts included a massive yellow cake with whipped icing, molasses cake, cheesecake, jam butter cookies, white chocolate-dried cranberry cookies, and lots of candy. I enjoyed a roast beef sandwich, slightly dry ziti, two deviled eggs (one with spices, the other with celery and a pimento), pasta salad, a huge slice of cake, and the white-chocolate dried cranberry cookies.

I wasn't feeling well when I got home. My throat had been sore, and I was dead tired. Ignoring the noise Charles and Richard made while working on the new brick walkway out front, I jumped in the bed as soon as I could and had a nice sleep for two hours.

When I got up, I tried to focus on writing. Maz gives Harris food for the road. He hugs her and apologizes for the mess. She says she and her remaining people will cover their escape.

Had leftovers for dinner while watching an episode of The Muppet Show in honor of Valerie Harper, who passed away after a long bout with cancer yesterday. Valerie turns up in the late first season to perform two 70's Broadway favorites, "Broadway Baby" from Follies and "Nobody Does It Like Me" from Seesaw. Statler, one of the balcony hecklers, has a crush on her and is determined to see her, but the plant he brings with him climbs all over the place until it nearly takes over the backstage.

Played Lego Star Wars after dinner. I got so close on the Return of the Jedi Super Story! I actually got past "Battle of Endor" and all the way up to the beginning of "Into the Death Star" this time. I'll make another try tomorrow or Monday.

I still wasn't feeling well by the time I finished the game, so I took my temperature. Ugh. It was 99.5. I took ibuprofen, put a cold cloth on my head, drank lots of water, and watched the 1997 version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella for my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997)

Finished the night with a ton of Match Game, mostly focusing on 1974 and 1976...but I couldn't resist the Star Wars references in one episode from 1978. Hope you're all having as much fun with them as I am!

Match Game '74 (Gene discovers that his microphone telescopes - that is, moves up and down.)
Match Game '74 (Richard somehow manages to dig up a photo of a young and handsome Gene Rayburn knitting.)
Match Game '74 (With a contestant and a panelist being from South America, there's quite a few south-of-the-border jokes.)
Match Game '75 (Fannie Flagg has quite a crush on a handsome contestant.)
Match Game '75 (Major ham Jack Cassidy joins in as that good-looking contestant finally loses.)
Match Game '76 (The contestant is very pregnant...and it's making everyone very nervous.)
Match Game '76 (Richard does his best impersonation of Charles, to the annoyance of the latter.)
Match Game '78 (Lots of Star Wars references when the machine that holds the questions makes strange noises, including a bit of the main Star Wars theme!)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Summer Breeze

Kicked off a gorgeous, sunny morning with breakfast and a couple of western and southwestern-themed Disney shorts. Mickey is "The Galloping Gaucho" who drinks and watches Minnie shimmy in a tavern. Big Pete is there too, and he decides he wants Minnie for his own. Mickey's rescue attempt is hampered by his drunk ostrich. "Two-Gun Mickey" is a later black-and-white short. An unusually feisty Minnie is a cowgirl who resists bandit Pete's advances, while cowboy Mickey once again rushes in to save her. "Don Donald" introduces Daisy Duck, under the name Donna. She's a Mexican senorita who isn't impressed with Donald's burro...but the car he buys acts up even more.

Rushed out to get the laundry done as soon as the cartoon ended. I needed clean work clothes. Of course, I ran out so fast, I forgot my laundry detergent. Luckily, I was able to borrow some from another person there. By the time my small load was in the dryer, most everyone had cleared out, and it didn't get busier again until I was on my way out.

I put everything away as quickly as I could, then made my grocery list and had a very fast lunch while watching two more Looney Tunes that took their regulars out west. "Bugs Bunny Rides Again" when he tackles Yosemite Sam to see who'll get out of town first. "Drip Along Daffy" insists that he'll defeat the bandit and "clean up this one-horse town," but it's sidekick Porky who is the real hero.

Headed to work as soon as I could. Thankfully, after all that, work was fine. I spent almost the entire time outside with the carts and doing the trash and recycling. We were crazy-busy early on. By 4 PM, the crowds were gone, and one of the college boys were helping me with the carts. No problems whatsoever. At least it was a gorgeous day to be outside. It was hotter, but still dry, and there was a wonderful breeze blowing down Nicholson Road.

My schedule next week is much better than this week's was. Sunday and next Friday and Saturday off. I do work early on Labor Day, but I didn't really have any plans for that day anyway. (Dad and Jodie are having their party on Sunday.) In fact, I work early pretty much the whole week, and I'm fine with it. Means I'll have time to clean and run errands later in the day.

Did my grocery shopping as soon as I got off work. A lot of good sales or sales-with-online-coupons this weekend, including for the Acme's generic organic fruit spread and Skippy Peanut Butter. Grabbed instant oatmeal, glitter crayons, and fancy mechanical pencils off the clearance racks. I was thrilled to see the Belvita Pumpkin Spice Cookies again after I loved them last year. Restocked white flour, butter, chocolate chips, yogurt, and canned pineapple.

Went home and put everything away as quickly as I could, then actually did a little bit of writing. Harris manages to get Leia into the Falcon before she can get frozen further. Charlie comes out with their luggage. Chewie is busy attacking one of Fettman's boys. He gets Charlie in the back, then lets Chewie in the passenger seat before turning to Maz to tell her they're heading out.

After I got off, I decided I was way too tired to do anything resembling cooking. I strolled down the street to West Clinton and the Final Friday Block Party. On the last Friday of every month during the summer and early fall, Oaklyn holds a big party with food trucks, local businesses advertising in booths, and live musicians. While the food trucks are a nice idea in theory, their wares are far too expensive for someone who has no budget. I ended up joining the 11 and 12-year olds at Phillies Phatties, enjoying a slice of mushroom, a slice of Margarita (mozzarella, tomato, and basil), and a can of Cherry Vanilla Pepsi while the kids chattered and tennis played in the background.

Watched Tiny Toon Adventures while enjoying the Acme's pint almond milk ice cream (peanut butter and cookies flavor). It's "High Toon" when Babs and Buster first mistake a tiny Mexican village for a theme park. After bandits set them straight and pick them clean, they round up a reluctant Plucky and Hamton to make sure the desperadoes don't do worse damage.

Finished the night with a bath. I enjoyed my bath so much on Wednesday, I thought I'd do it again. I read a book on old-time radio and kicked back and relaxed, something I desperately needed after a long week and a longer summer.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Getting So Much Better

Awoke to an absolutely stunning day. It had cooled off enough by the end of breakfast for me to switch the air conditioner off again and open all the windows. It was so nice, I decided to make cookies for work on Saturday. I had just enough butter, sugar, and flour left to make Snickerdoodles, butter cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. They came out perfectly, chewy and spicy-sweet.

Watched the 1965 Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella while I baked. I go further into the version of Cinderella I grew up with on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1965)

Did two episodes of Sailor Moon from the second season revolving around fairy tales as I cleaned up and got ready for work. An, one of a pair of aliens looking to zap energy from students, cheats on drawing straws in order to "Steal a Kiss from Mamoru! An's Project Snow White!" and get the leading role in his play. Usagi is horrified when she's the wicked witch! An's looking forward to kissing Mamoru, but her partner Ali is jealous and sends a monster to stop the show.

Much later, after the arrival of Chibi-Usa, Usagi is telling the little girl the story of Sleeping Beauty in "Awaken the Sleeping Beauty! Mamoru's Distress." She's hoping to get a little romance back in her life. Mamoru has been telling her their through, and he was seen driving another girl home. Upset, Chibi-Usa runs out, attracting the Guardians and the evil Ayakashi Sisters Petz and Calaveras. The witches put Usagi to sleep...and only a kiss from her reluctant sweetheart can save her.

Thank heavens after yesterday, work was no problem whatsoever. I was outside the entire day, when I wasn't alternating sweeping the store with the head bagger. This was no day to be shopping. The weather couldn't have been nicer, sunny, early 80's temperatures, fresh winds. It was so gorgeous, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road, despite it being rush hour and having to dodge a lot of cars.

Instead of working on fanfiction when I got home, I decided to get the musical review done. I tend to push it so late at night, I get this entry done late and end up going to bed late. Thought I'd take advantage of my having watched it this morning to finish it earlier.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Did one more Sailor Moon episode while eating a fried egg wrap with sauteed tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese. Skipped ahead two seasons to Sailor Moon Super S. Romantic Makoto falls in love at first sight with a handsome man who danced with her in "Destined Partners? Makoto's Innocence." She literally waits up all night to see him again. That man is Tiger's Eye of the Amazon Trio, and he's more interested in her dream mirror than her dreams of love.

Returned to Lego Star Wars. I still can't get past the Return of the Jedi Super Story! I'll get to the end of "Battle of Endor" and no further. I'll keep working on it until I go on vacation, and if I can't get it by then, well, 99.6 isn't a bad place to be.

I finished the night with more Match Game. Did an early one from '73 and a pack from '74 and '75. Kick back with your drink of choice and have fun!

Match Game '73 (Betty White gets very embarrassed when she fails to match "Pass" and "Word"...and she's married to the host of the game show Password.)
Match Game '74 (The contestants are missing all together in the opening. Later, host Bert Convy has a unique way of coming in and advertising his new game show Tattletales.)
Match Game '74 (Betty's Password-hosting hubby Allen Ludden comes in for some teasing when his answer seems a little strange to the rest of the panel.)
Match Game '75 (Huge hams Jack Cassidy and Richard Dawson put on their best pirate voices to read a nautical-themed question.)
Match Game '75 (Gene has to get between Brett and Charles when they start in on each other again.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Had a Bad Day

Kicked off  a cloudy morning with a quick breakfast and one of the serial-esque second series episodes of Danger Mouse. DM and Penfold have a "Close Encounter of the Absurd Kind" when they're snatched by aliens in mid-air while trying to deal with Baron Greenback. They have to first escape the aliens, then stop Greenback's latest plot.

Work was a total pain in the rear. I would have been happy to stay a few extra hours if they'd actually asked me ahead of time. I was told there had been a note to ask me on Monday. No one asked me on Monday. Someone asked me to come in on Tuesday, but I was already busy. They had no one else to bag. There wasn't another person coming in until 4, so I stayed until 4. I never got to the Haddon Township Library to return my DVDs. At least it wasn't busy. I did some returns and the outside trash, but I was mostly either sweeping inside or rounding up carts.

The weather wasn't even pleasant. The humidity had returned, and the sun was in and out. It finally went in around 2:30-3PM, when it started showering lightly. It continued to shower lightly off an on for an hour, but it had vanished by the time I was heading home. To my knowledge, it hasn't rained since.

I was dead tired when I got home. I got caught up online and last night and didn't get as much sleep as I should have. Tried writing, but finally decided I would just take a late nap. The air conditioner was on and was drowning out the noise of Charlie and Richard working on the path leading to the mailbox and Charlie's side of the house.

Awoke at 6:30, just in time for a quick dinner of leftovers and another Danger Mouse episode. Greenback challenges DM and Penfold to "The Duel," a series of strange tests taking place in Antarctica and at an amusement park. It's really a trap to get DM out of the way, but he knows how to get to Greenback in the end.

Took a much-needed bath after dinner. Ahhh. This felt wonderful after my long day. I looked over the vintage Celebrate! cake-decorating books Mom gave me a while back and listened to a jazz CD.

Wasn't really up to anything but finishing the night with Buzzr and more Match Game on YouTube. Focused on earlier episodes from 1973 and a couple of '76 episodes. I hope you're having as much fun with these as I am!

Match Game '73  (The turntable that takes the contestants away and brings out the Audience Match board goes the wrong way. This is apparently filmed on the same set as The Price As Right. Did this ever happen to Bob Barker?)
Match Game '73 (The first episode where Gene really gets to use his signature extra-long microphone.)
Match Game '76 (Animal-loving Betty White is upset by an animal-abusive question and doesn't like it when Gene tries to swat a fly.)
Match Game '76 (Broadway legend Ethel Merman finally gets tired of fellow stage actress Brett Somers going on and on and tells her to shut up!)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Fairy Tale Fun

Kicked off a late morning with breakfast, then doing some job hunt work. I've been sitting in front of a computer too long. I wrote down ideas for where I could possibly get a job, from local newspapers to smaller magazine publications to local online news blogs. At the very least, it wasn't in front of a screen.

Ran the original 1957 Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella while I worked. I go further into the first of three versions of the beloved fairy tale on TV on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957)

Moved to Garfield and Friends while making a quick Peach-Tomato Smoothie for lunch. They did several episodes on fantasy and make-believe over the years. I went with a couple from the fourth and fifth season. "Canvas Back Cat" winds up going on for his owner when Jon is suckered into fighting a masked wrestler. Garfield has to trick the wrestler to keep him and Jon from getting flattened. Orson, Roy, and Wade travel to a "Make Believe Moon" when Orson shows how his imagination spots work. Two weasels try to steal chickens while they're distracted. "The Creature That Lived In the Refrigerator, Behind the Ketchup, and To the Left of a the Coleslaw" has mutated from Jon's discarded food idea. Garfield knows the best way to get rid of it.

Did one more short as I got ready to head out. "Airborne Odie" wants nothing more than to fly. A genie (guest star Buddy Hackett) gives him his wish...but he ends up using it to save Garfield.

It was still slightly humid and cool when I headed out, but the weather had turned mostly sunny and windy. Newton Lake Park was stunning today. The wind rippled in the ribbon of green water and rustled the leaves in the trees. They were just as busy as they were on Sunday, with kids playing in the playground and people walking their dogs and fishing and going for a stroll. The traffic wasn't bad, either. I had no trouble making it up to Haddonfield right on time for counseling.

My session went very well. In fact, it went pretty fast. On one hand, I haven't gotten much writing done. I've been inside for a lot of the summer and am having a hard time concentrating. Even if I had the money to do any kind of traveling, it's just been too hot.

On the other hand, some good has come out of the past few months. I've spent more time with pretty much everyone in my family. I've been thoroughly enjoying Match Game and the other shows on Buzzr. I've been able to continue with my blogs, including the above-mentioned Musical Dreams Reviews, with no trouble. I'll hopefully be getting that furniture from Rose soon.

Mrs. Stahl says continue writing essays...and consider talking to Rose and Jodie and calling the doctor either on my own or with Jodie's help. It's been two years since we first brought up me seeing a doctor, and while the paperwork is done, I still haven't seen them. Rose isn't going to have the time to do it. She's got enough on her plate. Its time we did it ourselves.

The sun was fully out by the time I was making my way down Haddon Avenue. Primo's Water Ice was busy with kids and their parents getting last treats before school begins next week. I went with the Oreo Cookie Dough flavor again. This time, it had a touch of mint to it, making me think that a water ice version of that Mint Chocolate Fudge ice cream I had a while back.

Went straight home across Newton Lake Park again. Took the shortcut over the hill and past the field of sunflowers and the Environmental Center. Thankfully, despite it being close to rush hour, the traffic wasn't bad on the White Horse Pike or Cuthbert and I had no problems going home.

Tried to work on writing when I got in. Once again, didn't get far. Leia is shot in the leg, knocking out her flight powers. Harris is more than happy when she lands in his arms.

Broke for dinner at quarter after 6. Watched another Garfield and Friends episode while making chicken cutlets with potatoes and tomatoes sauteed in lemon white wine sauce for dinner. Roy gets Orson and Wade "Once Upon a Time Warp" when he re-writes Orson's history book to keep from having to pay Wade back. Jon's normally desperate for a date, but even he's not crazy about the witch who wants to marry him in "Bride and Bloom." His pets try to find a better match for her.

"The Worst Pizza In the History of Mankind" was made by Jon's Italian ancestor. A certain handsome cat has to save him from an angry mob who tried to eat it. Orson reads Jack & the Beanstalk to the chicks, Roy, and Wade, but they want to hear more and write their own sequel, "Jack II: The Rest of the Story." The Buddy Bears try to sneak in some culture and just end up spoofing Garfield's bad eating habits in "The Garfield Opera."

Finished the night with the Lego Star Wars. I'm slowly inching along with the Return of the Jedi Super Story. I made it to the very end of the "Battle of Endor" round this time. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish it soon.

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Quiet Summer

It was cloudy and cool when I awoke this morning...and I couldn't have been happier. I was able to put together a blueberry-peach grunt from Alton Brown's Blackberry Grunt recipe in his I'm Just Here For More Food. I rarely get to use the fruits of summer in baking. It came out perfectly, too, sweet, tart, and flaky.

I hadn't done a Bowery Boys movie in a while. The gloomy morning felt right for Spook Busters. Slip and his gang are exterminators who have been hired to clear out a spooky house that was once owned by a magician. Strange things are happening there, from threatening messages appearing on mirrors to an organ that turns around to reveal a secret passage. Slip and Sach discover a mad scientist behind that organ who is determined to switch their brains with that of a gorilla. The guys have to dodge the quack in order to save their friends and what little brains they have!

Did a quick Three Stooges short while getting ready to leave. The Boys aren't the only ones who had trouble with gorillas and mad scientists. Another quack wants Curly's tiny brain for his gorilla in "A Bird In the Hand," but the gorilla ends up making friends with Curly instead.

Work was perfectly fine. It was quiet pretty much the entire afternoon. It's the week before a major holiday and the beginning of the month. Not to mention, by mid-afternoon, the sun had come out, and other than it was a tad humid, it had turned into a stunningly gorgeous day. I shelved candy early-on, then alternated between gathering carts and sweeping for the rest of my shift.

It was so nice out, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road. They weren't any busier than the Acme had been, not even around the entrance to the shopping center. Gardens glowed with sweet-smelling blossoms, and the shiny green leaves waved in the breeze. Kids raced down the streets on their bikes, passing adults walking their dogs or chatting with friends.

Tried to work on writing for a while when I got in. Leia confronts Bob Fettman in the air. She manages to get his jet pack, but his boys have the upper hand when they aim their ice guns at her...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Finished "Bird In the Hand," then did a Disney cartoon that also revolved around a gorilla. Mickey has to solve "The Gorilla Mystery" when a killer ape kidnaps Minnie and holds her hostage in her own house.

Moved to Lego Star Wars after dinner. It took three tries, but I finally finished "Into the Death Star." That completes the blue minikit challenges and brings the game up to 99.6 percent. The only thing left is to work on that Return of the Jedi Super Story.

I've enjoyed watching Match Game on YouTube so much, I finished the night with more episodes, mainly focusing on 1975. I'm having so much fun with these. This is basically a Saturday Night Live skit with game elements, and it's a total blast to watch. Here's even more craziness for your viewing enjoyment!

Match Game '74 (Ace player Richard Dawson doesn't often put out a wrong answer...but when he does, the audience has no problems letting him know it.)
Match Game '75 (Richard discusses the dangers of "trench hand.")
Match Game '75 (When Gene's microphone isn't working, most of the panel helps him find his spare.)
Match Game '75 (The panelists change seats for an episode.)
Match Game '75 (Football player and future sitcom star Alex Karras takes on a female wrestler, with Richard acting as referee.)
Match Game '76 (Gene complains about his microphone cable not being wrapped up properly.)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Summertime, and the Livin' Is Easy

Began an absolutely stunning day with Blueberry Almond Pancakes for breakfast. They came out absolutely perfect, sweet and tasty. Made Zucchini Bread from a revised version of the recipe in Julie's Cooking Studio and the yellow zucchini from the farm market after I ate. I cut the oil down slightly, cut the two cups of brown sugar to one, and used a cup of whole wheat flour with the regular flower. Oh, yum! It came out sooo tasty, just sweet and moist enough, and it smelled amazing coming out of the oven.

Worked on writing while the bread was in the oven. Maz is angry as heck when Bob and his boys shoot ice beams that freeze her staff. She hurries off to sober up Charlie in a hurry while Leia confronts Fettman in the air.

As soon as the bread was out of the oven, I decided it was too nice to sit inside all day. I've been sitting inside all summer. I headed out for a walk. It couldn't have been nicer for late August. The breeze was cool and fresh, and it was warm but not humid. It was lovely in the neighborhood, with kids riding around on their bikes and their parents working in yards that had gone crazy from all the rain we've gotten.

Stopped briefly at Dollar General. I needed sponges, but they were out of the cheap pack. I grabbed one, some colored ink pens that looked cool, a Bai coconut drink, and my favorite pecan nut roll, and moved on.

I couldn't remember the last time I had a nice, long walk in Newton Lake Park. I wasn't the only one out and about today. The park was teeming with people. Kids chased each other on the playground while their mothers looked on and I happily hopped on the swings. Children rode their bikes; adults walked their dogs or went fishing or for strolls. The park was also glowing with colors that would make the rainbow pale. I sniffed beautiful flowers in shades of yellow and magenta and pale pink and admired a butterfly with a dot on its cream-colored wings flit from blossom to blossom. It was wonderful to finally be able to get out and communicate with nature again.

As soon as I got home, I changed into my bathing suit, sliced the bread, packed up some cookies, and went over to Dad and Jodie's house for a swim and a chat. Jessa and Rose and her kids were already there when I arrived. Had a sloppy joe with potato salad and corn on the cob before jumping into a cool-but-not-freezing pool.

Had a long chat with Jodie and Jessa after Rose took her kids home. We talked about Dad's many appointments for cancer treatments, about Jessa and Joe's jobs as mail people, and about the family. I have to admit, I'm going to miss this after the summer is over. It's been nice to go over and have a quiet chat with them over dinner and a swim. In fact, it's really been one of the highlights of my mostly frustrating summer.

Moved on to Lego Star Wars when I got home. No luck anywhere. Just couldn't get all the pieces in time on "Into the Death Star." Got a little bit further on the Super Story, to the end of the "Battle of Endor" round, but just couldn't do it. I'll try again tomorrow.

Finished up the night with a Match Game marathon. I couldn't begin to list all of the funny episodes I watched tonight, so I'm just going to choose one. We discover that even top-rated game shows have glitches when Gene has such a hard time getting the machine that holds the questions to stay put, he has to ask Charles and a contestant to help out.

Match Game '76

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Of Cats, Kids, and Pokemon

Kicked off an absolutely gorgeous morning at work. It wasn't busy when I came in and did the carts, but it did start picking up by lunchtime. Two baggers arrived later in the morning. One took over the carts, allowing me to show the college girl bagger how to clean the bathrooms. Surprisingly, no one ever taught her. (They didn't teach me until I asked, either.) She was a little grossed out, but was also a quick learner. She took over returns, allowing me to spend the rest of the day shelving candy and bagging.

Changed, then headed out as soon as I could. It was too nice to eat anywhere but Sonic. Needless to say, at 1 PM on a glorious Saturday afternoon, they were quite busy. There were two families eating on the patio when I arrived. I had a simple but tasty burger, tater tots, and cranberry limeade while enjoying the sunshine, fresh breezes, and lower-80's temperatures.

Had no luck for the rest of the afternoon. They only had a few New Balance Women's shoes at The Shoe Depot, and nothing on sale. Avenue is closing, but even their clearance sales weren't that great. Was in and out of Ross and Marshalls'. Considered a few CDs at Goodwill, but decided to save frivolous buying for vacation.

Cheered myself up with a much-needed water ice at Phillies Yummies when I got back into Oaklyn. I made my choice while waiting for a group of moms and their children to buy theirs. The small mint chocolate chip cup felt so nice and refreshing in the heat of the late afternoon.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Maz and her barflies come out...and turn out to have all kinds of powers as they attack Bob Fettman's gang. Bob has his own guns, given to him by his boss Vader - ice guns that freeze Maz's people and barely avoids turning Maz and Leia into ice cubes.

Rose called while I was writing. Did I want to come over for tacos? Sure, why not? I was supposed to be coming over at 5:30, but I couldn't find my socks and was ten minutes late. The kids were already eating, but I still got to enjoy tacos with broccoli and cheese and fresh tomatoes from a plant Rose had apparently bought from Five Below.

After dinner, Rose and I talked about the mattress and furniture she's giving me, and then Khai insisted on introducing me to their new kittens. As adorable as all-black Toothless was, Lynx seemed to really like me. He let me rub his ears and kept bumping my leg and rubbing my ankles for the rest of the night. Finley liked me, too. She curled into my lap after her bath and played with my fingers.

When the cats fled to quieter parts of the house, Rose suggested we all watch a movie together. Khai had popcorn, they both had ice cream, and she put on Pokemon Detective Pikachu. Insurance salesman Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) has come to Ryme City, where Pokemon and humans live in harmony, to sort through the last effects of his late police detective father Harry (Ryan Reynolds). When searching through his apartment, he comes across a purple gas that makes Pokemon aggressive...and a yellow Pikachu in a deerstalker cap (Reynolds) whom only Tim can understand. Pikachu was his father's partner, and he thinks Harry's alive. Tim's not so sure, until he encounters Lucy (Kathryn Newton), a reporter, and her Psyduck. Lucy thinks there's something going on with Ryme City founder Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy) and his neglected son Roger (Chris Geere). The trail leads them to discover genetic experiments on Pokemon, including creating Mewtwo from the legendary Mew. Lucy, Tim, and their Pokemon pals have to figure out what it is that the Cliffords are up to with the experiments, before they disrupt the harmony in Ryme City and harm Pokemon and people alike.

The critics were kind of rough on this one a couple of months ago, but I actually think it's pretty cute. The story is nothing new, but the actors are clearly having fun with their roles, and they interact well with the CGI Pokemon. Maybe they just weren't Pokemon fans. If you're into the franchise or want to see an unusual mystery, this one is worth checking out.

Went straight in the shower when I got home. Chatted with Lauren and watched The Sound of Music Live! after I finished. I go further into the first of NBC's big musical shows on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The Sound of Music Live!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Busy Day In the Rain

I awoke to a gloomy, cloudy day. Had breakfast while running Looney Tunes shorts based around fairy tales. Bugs Bunny helps Hansel and Gretel out of Witch Hazel's stew pot...but then she decides that she wants "Broomstick Bunny" for dinner instead. "The Bears' Tale" from the 30's is supposed to be about Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but somehow the Big Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood end up in there, too. "Foney Fables" is the first of two late-30's satire of various fairy tales, from the Three Little Pigs to the Boy Who Cried Wolf. " Sylvester is the papa cat in "Goldimouse and the Three Cats" whose spoiled son wants a mouse dinner. He tries, but the little blond mouse is too quick for him.

"Little Red Rodent Hood," "Little Red Walking Hood," and "Little Red Hoowinked" are all variations on "Little Red Riding Hood." Sylvester figures into the first, chasing a mouse Little Red, and the last, chasing a human Red carrying Tweety to a very angry Granny. "Walking" is a modern story that has Granny going after a very slick wolf!

Of course, just as I stepped outside to run errands, it started showering. I waited 20 minutes, but the rain wouldn't stop. I just went to the Acme and got wet. At least, while it remained humid, it was much cooler. I think it was barely in the 70's. I opened all the windows and turned off the air conditioner for the first time in days.

The rain must have cleared out the Acme. They weren't that busy when I arrived. I had plenty of room to pick up mayo and red grapes on sale an pull a Tree Tavern Frozen pizza off the frozen clearance shelf. The Acme's almond milk is still on a decent sale, and there was an online coupon. Bought dried cranberries to use for a recipe later. Restocked yogurt, peaches, a green pepper, peanut butter, shredded wheat, oatmeal, and buttermilk.

Not happy with my schedule next week at all. On one hand, one early day on Wednesday and three days off, Tuesday for counseling. My hours were cut severely, though, which I really can't afford. I've got vacation coming. I need the money. Not to mention, we're coming up on Labor Day and the beginning of the month.

Went straight home, still dodging light showers. Put everything away, then heat up the pizza for lunch while watching more cartoons. "The Trial of Mr. Wolf" and "The Turn-Tale Wolf" are retellings of "Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs" from the wolves' point of view. "Tom Thumb In Trouble" is a more Disney-esque short that has the title character pursuing a bird he's befriended, despite his father's disapproval. Sylvester once again is trying to steal Tweety, this time from the giant's castle, in "Tweety and the Beanstalk." "A Gander at Mother Goose" is more-or-less the same thing as "Phony Fables" with Mother Goose rhymes along with fairy tales. "Senorella and the Glass Hurache" is a creative, if stereotypical, Mexican version of "Cinderella."

Headed out into the increasingly light showers as soon as I finished my pizza. I had to get my laundry done. I needed clean work clothes. I picked the right day. There were only a few people there, and I didn't have a huge load, anyway. I half-listened to Ellen and read magazines (I forgot a pen to do story notes).

As soon as I got everything put away, I thought the weather was finally right for baking. I bought the dried cranberries to make "Nantucket" cookies from the cookie cookbook Lauren sent me a few years ago. I didn't have bittersweet chocolate chips or sea salt, but they still came out beautifully, perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy and sweet on the inside.

Did more fairy tale-themed shorts while I worked. "Ancient Fistory" has Cinder-Popeye going to the ball to win the hand of Princess Olive with the help of his Grand-Pappy. Olive writes another story with her as the princess, this one the story of "Aladdin and His Magic Lamp," with Popeye in the title role. "Popeye Meets Ali Baba and His 40 Thieves" is similar, only this time, Popeye, Olive, and Wimpy take on Bluto as the title head of the infamous Arabian Knights robbers. Moved to Disney for "Ye Olden Days." This black-and-white short has minstrel Mickey competing with Prince Goofy for the hand of Princess Minnie.

I went on the computer to do some quick writing. Maz and her people emerge with guns of their own just as Fettman attacks Leia. Maz admonishes Harris to get them out of there to a place where Fettman won't find them...but Fettman has some new toys from his boss that won't make that easy...

Went out to wait for Jessa at the curb around 6:30; she arrived ten minutes later. At the very least, by this point, the rain was long gone. In fact, there was a lovely magenta sunset coming on as Jessa puled up to the curb. The Nantucket Cookies recipe made so many cookies, I had plenty to give to Jessa and Joe for dessert.

She enjoyed our morning trip to the Pop Shop a while back so much, we went again tonight. To my surprise, they weren't busy. It being the tail end of the dinner hour by then probably helped. I had a chicken sandwich with provolone, tomato, lettuce, pickles sliced into chunks, and sun-dried tomato mayo. Jessa had a burger and fries, the latter of which she shared with me. We chatted about the family, us both working outside (she delivers packages for the post office), and I told her about Buzzr and Match Game and how much I've been enjoying seeing all those old games again.

I had so much fun telling her about Match Game, I showed her one of the episodes on YouTube when we got in. I went with the "Admiral TV" incident on the syndicated night time show with Richard Dawson, host Gene Rayburn, and an answer of ace player Richard's that Gene didn't expect to be on the Super Match. I posted it the other night, but I'll post it again just because it really is that funny. Jessa and I laughed very hard; she said she'll check out a few more episodes when she gets home.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

One Alone

I tried to sleep in as much as I could this morning, then finished Bryant & May Off the Rails before having breakfast. Watched the first episode of the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon while I ate. The guys make "Turtle Tracks" when they rescue reporter April O'Neil from a group of ninjas who have been stealing technologically-advanced equipment. She's surprised to discover the pizza-obsessed walking, talking turtles, and even more so when their formerly human rat guardian reveals that his old enemy Shredder is the one who orchestrated the thefts.

Tried to work on that game show essay for a while. I did manage to write some of it, but, to tell the truth, I'm really bored. I'm bored, and I'm feeling blocked. I've barely done anything all summer. I haven't had the money, or it's been too hot, or my hours were weird. I can't concentrate. I don't know what's wrong with me. Just restless, I guess.

Broke for lunch around 1. I enjoyed Jodie's cucumbers in sour cream so much on Sunday, I thought I'd try my own version with plain yogurt and lemon juice. (I don't like sour cream and don't keep it around.) It didn't come out badly, but I think it'll be even better in a few days. Continued with the Turtles while I ate. The Shredder makes his first appearance in "Enter the Shredder"...and so do BeBop and Rocksteady, dumb goons whom Shredder combines with a rhino and a warthog from the zoo. He sends them after the Turtles, but the guys know how do deal with them.

Headed out for a library run after lunch, beginning with a quick stop at the Oaklyn Library. It was near closing by the time I came in, and between that and a sunny day, they were dead quiet. I organized the DVDs, said hi to the librarian, used the bathroom, and moved on.

It wasn't a bad day for a ride in Newton Lake Park. It was still humid, but a bit less hot than it has been, and that wind continued to whip down the path. I mainly dodged fellow bikers and fisher-folk who didn't mind the wind or mugginess. The sun beat down on the sparkling ripples on the lake and rustled the heavy green leaves on the trees.

The Haddon Township Library was much busier. There were lots of kids around, creating a play in the puppet theater or playing games on the computers. There was lots of things to shelve. I couldn't fit all the kids' DVDs, but I did manage to get most of the adult titles in. This time, I did take out some movies. Wanted to see Aquaman again on the small screen after I enjoyed it in January. I also grabbed the historical fantasy Wonderstruck and The Sound of Music Live for review on my blog this Saturday.

Hurried straight home after I got out, dodging rush hour traffic on Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike. Managed to do a little bit of writing when I got in. Leia goes for Fettman's "family jewels" to get him on the ground. It works...but his buddies break out guns Vader gave them...

Had a scrambled egg with mushroom wrap around 6:30. Did one more Turtles episode while I ate. Shredder has "A Thing for Rats" when he hires scientist Baxter Stockman to mass-produce his rat-catching "Mouser" machines and sends them after Splinter and April. The boys have to not only find Krang and the Technidrome, but save their mentor from Shredder and his mutagen, too.

Moved on to Lego Star Wars after dinner. Managed to get through the very long "Battle of Endor" in two tries, barely getting it on the second, but I'm still having trouble with "Into the Death Star." I get to the room with the reactor and take forever trying to shoot all the guns. I'll give it another go tomorrow.

Texed Jessa after a shower. We'd been trying to get together, but missed each other yesterday. We're going to go out for dinner at 6:30 tomorrow.

Finished the night with the 1953 Desert Song remake. I go further into the differences between this and the 1943 version at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The Desert Song (1953)

And I must add one more to my list of Match Game episodes last night. This is too funny not to mention. Get a load of Richard Dawson and Betty White imitating Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly in this one!

Match Game PM '76 (Richard and Betty do pretty darn good imitations of Brett and Charles)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Dragon Match

Began a hazy morning with breakfast and a second season episode of The Monkees. They think they're going to be singing at a dusty resort, but they end up working there as regular employees. Four pretty girl motorcyclists make them feel better about being stuck there...until their boyfriends show up and threaten to hurt them. "The Wild Monkees" have to figure out how to accept their challenge of a motorcycle race without ending up killed.

Thankfully after all the chaos yesterday, work went just fine. Though I did gather trash and recycling, shelve items, and sweep the store later, I spent most of the day outside with the carts. It was still hot and humid, but a nice wind kept it from feeling quite as bad as it has for the past few days. I did briefly end up in a register to take someone's break for 15 minutes. Other than that, we weren't busy and there were no problems.

After I got in, I changed and went right into yogurt and grapes for lunch. Watched a couple of Woody Woodpecker shorts while I ate. Woody's niece and nephew Splinter and Knothead have to deal with a "Red Riding Hoodlum," a wolf who is after their granny. The kids are savvy enough to know how the story works, but Granny has a surprise of her own. Splinter and Knothead also figure into "International Woodpecker" as Woody tells them the history of their family. "To Catch a Woodpecker" has a telephone tycoon dressing as a woodpecker to lure Woody away from his poles.

I'd been getting up early all week, and I was dead tired. With no one home downstairs or next door and the weather still quiet, I decided it was the perfect time for a nap. I needed it. I went down at 2 and got up at quarter of 4, feeling a little groggy but mostly better.

Worked on writing for a while. Fettman throws passes at an angry Leia, even as she throws fireballs at him. Harris uses the guns on the Falcon to stick Bob's men to the ground. Fettman has his own weapon...and it could do even more damage than Leia's fireballs.

Broke for dinner at 6. Did a few more Woody shorts while I dug leftovers out of the fridge. "Fodder and Son" are a father bear and his boy cub who try to look pathetic to snitch food. Woody keeps luring the dad bear to the Old Faithful Geyser to get him off his back. "Everglade Raid" is a southern-fried variant on the earlier Woody short "Pantry Panic." This time Woody chases an alligator to make luggage from his skin, even as the alligator decides he's the perfect meal.

Clouds had gathered as early as my ride home from work, but they didn't burst until I was writing. At that point, it was only rain, nothing more. We didn't get the pyrotechnics until late at night, completely with noisy rumbles of thunder and pouring rain.

Moved to Lego Star Wars after I finished. Tried the Return of the Jedi Super Story again, but only got slightly farther than last time, about mid-way through "Battle of Endor," before running out of time. I did finally finish "The Great Pit of Carkoon" blue minikit challenge, though. I'm now up to 99.2 %! I'm getting so close. I now have two rounds and the Super Story left.

Finished the night with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The dragon riders of the Viking town of Berk are still rescuing dragons from poachers, but their little town is now overcrowded. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is determined to find the "Hidden World" his late father spoke of that'll be the perfect place for the dragons to hide. Meanwhile, Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham), an infamous dragon hunter, has captured a white female Fury that he hopes to use to lure other dragons. Toothless finds the Fury and falls for her, but she's still shy around humans. Hiccup, Astrid, and the Berk residents do manage to stop Grimmel's traps, but they burn down most of their town in the process. Hiccup rallies them to find a new home. They discover a clearing that might be perfect, if Grimmel wasn't following them. Hiccup finally follows Toothless and his new mate to that Hidden World...but it won't stay hidden if Grimmel gets to it. Hiccup, Astrid (America Ferrera), and all the people of Berk defend their dragon friends...and finally discover that home is where you find it, and sometimes, it's easier to let go than trying to keep someone where they don't belong.

A gorgeous finale to one of Dreamworks' best franchises. The animation is stunning, the score is moving, and it's satisfying to see the characters - especially Toothless and Hiccup - grow and change in a way that seldom happens in animation. If you're a fan of this franchise, this is a must see...but I definitely recommend that you catch at least the first two films to have any understanding of what's going on here.

I've discovered a channel on YouTube that's been restoring all of the 70's Match Game episodes, including ones that can no longer be shown on television due to non-PC answers. From Joyce Bullifant jitterbugging with a contestant to Richard Dawson starting a riot when his reasonable answer wasn't accepted by the judges, anything can happen on this show...and usually does! If like me, what you catch on Buzzr or Game Show Network isn't enough, here's even more orange-hued lunacy to whet your appetite.

Match Game '73 (Betty White has a lot of fun here; Robert Vaughn joins in)
Match Game '74 (For once, the contestant is as funny as the panelists! Morey Amsterdam takes Charles' "fussy guy" seat here.)
Match Game '75 (Game show fans get a rare chance to see announcer Johnny Olson on camera when he sits in for a late Gary Burgoff.)
Match Game '75 (Charles Nelson Reilly returns after being away to direct a Broadway show...and does it in a very unique way.)
Match Game '76 (Fed up with the doors never opening right, Gene tears through them!)
Match Game '77 (Upset over his reasonable answer not being accepted, a frustrated Richard Dawson starts a riot that eventually consumes the entire panel.)
Match Game '78 (Charles heckles Gene one too many times, and he briefly hands the microphone over to him.)
Match Game '78 (The new Star Wheel debuts...and guess who it lands on?)
Match Game '79 (Joyce Bullifant joins a contestant for some totally awesome jitterbugging.)
Match Game PM '75 (Gene can't believe it when Richard's odd answer comes up on the Super Match...but Richard knows why.)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Summer Fun & Games

Began a sunny morning with breakfast and cartoons. Little Audrey was a mildly popular character in the late 40's-50's, a goofy little girl with a big imagination. "The Lost Dream" is a tad dark. Audrey takes her dream back to Dreamland, but she can't resist peeking in the door where the nightmares are kept. She tells her teacher that she's not a fan of Mother Goose rhymes in "Goody Goody Gander." She dreams of a much more "hip" Mother Goose, but the gangsters from her comics invade the rhymes and wreck havoc. "Tarts and Flowers" has her attending the wedding of the gingerbread boy and the angel cake, and even saving the bride from a slice of devil's food cake.

Work was a bit crazy. They were spray washing the patio this morning, which meant I couldn't do the carts for almost an hour and a half...and when I did get to do them, I had to put them all back by myself. I had no help until a half-hour before I finished. At least I did get the carts done and shelved most of the returns.

Hurried straight home after work. Ran more odd shorts from my public domain set while eating yogurt and an apple for lunch. "Comin' Round the Mountain" is a Paramount sing-along short spoofing hillbilly feuds to the tune of the folksy title song. "Crazy Town" from Harvey Cartoons is an odd mixed-up city where firefighters spray wet houses with flame, prices are literally half-off, and horses ride their jockeys. "Hawaiian Birds" from the Fleischer Brothers is a Silly Symphony imitation that has a girl Hawaiian bird running off with a slick oriole from the city and her mate braving the snow to go after her. "Little Hawk" is a mid-60's Melo-Toon tale of a young Native American who uses his sharp eyes and knowledge of the forest to find his captured sweetheart. "Marriage Wows" is another sing-along, this time as animals prepare for a wedding to the tune of "For Me and My Gal."

Worked on writing for several hours after lunch. Instead of doing a story, I started an essay on the game shows I've watched over the years...and why I'm enjoying watching Match Game and Buzzr now. I didn't get far. I got too caught up reading about the game shows. If nothing else, all the reading I've done has made me appreciate that most of my favorite childhood shows (including the vast majority of the 70's Match Game) still exist in full. Most game shows from the earliest 50's programming to the mid-late 70's were wiped - that is, erased and reused. The versions of Jeopardy and Match Game my parents and older friends watched are largely gone...but I can still answer trivia with Alex Trebek or turn cards with Bob Eubanks or laugh at Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly. It's like playing along with the history of the last part of the 20th century.

Broke for dinner at 6. Had leftovers while doing a few more public domain shorts. "Music Academy" is a strange British cartoon that is a series of skits set to classical music, showing all the crazy things that go on at a music school. "Peeping Penguins" returns us to the Fleischers, this time with the story of a group of curious penguins who explore a log cabin, despite their mother's admonishment that "curiosity killed the cat." "The Cobweb Hotel" returns us to Silly Symphony-style turf. Two flies find themselves having to escape a "hotel" that's really a trap set by a spider.

Moved to Lego Star Wars after dinner. Completed "Speeder Showdown" with less than a minute left. Tried "Great Pit of Carkoon" and "Into the Death Star" again, but didn't finish either. I'll try again tomorrow.

Finished the night with the 1943 version of The Desert Song. I go into further details on this wartime adventure operetta at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The Desert Song (1943)

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Mouse and the Kid Superhero

Began a sunny, hazy morning with breakfast and a couple of classic Mickey Mouse color shorts from the 30's and 40's. "Mickey's Circus" gets out of hand when Donald tries to show off his not-very-well-trained sea lions to an audience of unruly mouse kids. "Mickey's Garden" was his first color short. He and Pluto spray the garden to get rid of pests...until Mick has a nightmare where the pests are bigger than him and attack him. "The Little Whirlwind" annoys Mick when he rakes Minnie's garden...but when he tries to get rid of it, it brings out one that's even bigger!

Headed to work shortly after "Little Whirlwind" ended. Work was a pain. I ended up in the register shortly after I came, and other than gathering carts around 11 and putting baskets away and shelving a few items right before I left, I was taking customers all day. One cashier was late, and we simply didn't have enough help. The lines were long, and I was so flustered and upset. At least most of my customers were really good about it.

I forgot two items on Friday and picked them up today. I'm almost out of cereal. I took advantage of a good sale and an online coupon to try the new Special K multi-grain honey flakes. Today was the last day of another Turkey Hill/Acme generic ice cream sale. This time, I went with the Acme's light mocha almond fudge.

Went straight home, put everything away, changed, and threw together a blackberry-peach smoothie and peanut butter and marmalade wrap for lunch. Did more Mickey shorts while I ate. The gang goes on a "Hawaiian Holiday" that gets pretty wild, thanks to Goofy's attempt at surfing and Pluto chasing a crab. When Sheriff Pete forecloses on their home, Mickey, Goofy, and Don have a chaotic "Moving Day" to get their furniture out before Pete can sell it. The mouse orphans are picking on Don again in "Orphan's Picnic," only this time, they're stealing his food.

Switched from the Mickey Classic Favorites set to the Walt Disney Treasures Mickey Mouse In Living Color, Vol. 2 while making Blackberry Flummery. Mickey enters Pluto in a "Society Dog Show," but he's thrown out after attacking the judges. He gets his chance to show his real stuff when he saves a pretty pekingese from a fire. He tries to teach Pluto to be "The Pointer," but they end up running across a grizzly bear. "Tugboat Mickey" thinks a ship is sinking and orders his crew members Donald and Goofy to get their tub moving. As it turns out, things are a lot more dire for them than the ship when too much coal gets in the boiler. Mickey and Minnie recall the simpler times of vaudeville and crank cars in "The Nifty Nineties." "Orphan's Benefit" is similar to "Mickey's Circus," only this time, Don is being picked on while reciting nursery rhymes.

Switched to two of my Have a Nice Day 70's CDs while dusting. I really shouldn't have put it off for so long. The entertainment area and bedroom were especially bad. At least I have less to do than I used to. The new window sashes are easy-wipe vinyl.

Worked on writing for a while after I finished. Bob Fettman and his boys arrive as Harris is taking Leia back to her room. He shoots missiles at Harris almost immediately. Leia goes after him, but he has his own plans for her...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Tossed most of the vegetables in the refrigerator and the last of the taco meat into a summer vegetable stove-top casserole. Continued with Mickey and the gang while I ate.

Everyone gets a chance to shine in "Symphony Hour," with Mickey conducting and Pete hoping for a rousing success. When Goofy drops their instruments down an elevator shaft, it turns more into a comic routine, complete with Donald throwing a fit over his drums. "Mickey's Delayed Date" has him rushing out in a hurry when Minnie demands that he show up yesterday, but it's Pluto who brings his tickets. Mick and Pluto head to Australia in "Mickey Down Under," where he gathers bananas with a boomerang and they try to take an emu's egg, only to be chased by it. Mickey's followed by a seal who wants more of his fish in "Mickey and the Seal." Mick and Pluto try to get rid of it, but it just wants more seafood. "The Simple Things" was Mickey's last theatrical cartoon until 1983. He and Pluto want to enjoy a day at the beach, but crabby crabs and hungry sea gulls get in their way.

Moved to Lego Star Wars after dinner. Got surprisingly far on "Speeder Showdown," one of the longest and most difficult rounds in the game. (It helps that they give you 15 minutes on that one, instead of the usual 10.) I actually only missed one piece. Tried "Great Pit of Carkoon" again, but didn't get nearly as far.

Finished the night after a shower with Shazam! Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a foster kid who is bitter over being abandoned by his mother. He's not expecting much of his new foster home, but it turns out to be run by an energetic couple who have already taken in five other kids. He befriends the one closest to his own age, the nerdy, superhero-obsessed Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer). One day on the subway, Billy suddenly finds himself in another dimension. An ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) declares him pure of heart and chooses him to be Shazam, the champion of his powers. When Billy says "Shazam," he changes into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi). Freddy's thrilled and films him goofing off and testing his powers. He's less happy when his videos go viral and thrusts Billy into the spotlight. Suddenly, he's ignoring his new family and cutting class to be a big hero and make money. He thinks that's all there is to this hero business, until the evil Dr. Silvana (Mark Strong) kidnaps Freddy and the other kids find his long-lost mother. Now Billy has to decide where he really belongs...and find the true heart of a hero within himself.

This was a lot of fun. Levi and Angel were both hilarious as the kid who suddenly finds himself in the superhero version of Big. Grazer was even funnier as his disabled buddy who wishes he could be as popular as Billy. The problem here is with the villain. Despite seeing his backstory, Dr. Silva comes off as a bit of a cardboard action baddie, making the drawn-out finale not as interesting as it could be. I like some of the CGI, though, especially as Billy is testing the limits of his powers and in the Rock of Destiny.

I can see why this was a fairly big hit in the spring, despite being released around the same time as Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. Those looking for a meatier or darker story will probably want to flip over to Marvel, but if you're in the mood for a lighter action tale or loved the original Captain Marvel in the comics, you'll want to give Billy Batson's world a look.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

It's So Nice to Be With You

Began my day with the first of two very early work shifts this week. Despite the heat and humidity, I spent a lot of time outside with the carts and outside trash and recycling. We were busy, and they just kept vanishing. I did end up inside to take a cashier's break for 15 minutes, and I spent the last hour doing returns when another bagger came in and took over the carts.

Went straight home and into the air conditioning for lunch. Made some tasty Blackberry Pancakes while listening to Johnny Mathis. His The Wonderful World of Make Believe is a collection of songs with a fantasy theme - rainbows, fairy-tale worlds, places beyond the distant shore, like "Beyond the Sea," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," "The Sands of Time" from Kismet, and the title songs of Camelot and the Disney animated Alice In Wonderland.

Worked on writing for a while after lunch. Harris walks Leia back to her hotel room. He's trying to explain why he can't stay with the Rebel League when she says she hears something on the road. He doesn't...until the sound of a certain armored van whining down the street alerts them to take cover...

Wriggled into my bathing suit and headed out around quarter of 5. Everyone - including Rose and her kids - were already inside when I arrived, but I was still hot and really needed the swim. I'm glad I did it. It was so relaxing and refreshing on a very hot day!

Jodie had chili, bread and butter, cucumbers in sour cream, and tomatoes with basil and olive oil out for me when I came in. Ooh, it was all so yummy! I especially loved the tomatoes. I may have to grab some basil somewhere along the line and try it myself.

Finley, Rose's two-year-old daughter, is just getting cuter everyday. We all watched Zootopia together with her. (Evidently, she's a fan of Judy Hops - she loves bunnies.) Jodie and Rose showed me how Finley sits on Dad and Jodie's bed and sniffs all of Jodie's perfume bottles. Finley and I sat downstairs and played with her Little Tyke green mountain set and her Little People, making them roll down the mountain slide. I showed her some yoga moves. (She wasn't bad at them, either.) We lay together on the thick green carpet and just chatted woman to woman. (Or as much as I could understand Finley's babbling. She is two, after all.) Khai spent the entire time I was there playing games on Jodie's tablet.

Finley, Jodie, and I joined Jesse to walk his new brown lab Nala around the block. Finley was a very good little dog-walker. She hung on tight to the leash and made sure she stayed with the dog. She was fascinated by a bigger dog that another woman was walking. Maybe reminded her of Toby, their dog who just passed away.

(Oh, and Rose told me they added some new members to the family. They adopted two kittens, the all-black cutie Toothless and long and lean Lynx. Toothless was named for the dragon character in How to Train Your Dragon. They called him Lynx because his gray-and-black stripes make him resemble one.)

Finished the night at home with Lego Star Wars. I thought I'd make my first try on the Return of the Jedi Super Story. Got hung up in "Jabba's Palace" and "The Great Pit of Carkoon" and didn't even make it to the Endor round. I'll try again another time, after I've completed more of the blue minikit challenges.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Harvests and Malls

Kicked off a sunny and hot day with breakfast and the soundtrack from the mid-60's version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. This is the version I grew up with on cable. Leslie Ann Warren is the title servant girl, Stuart Damon is the prince, Celeste Holm is a glamorous and motherly fairy godmother, and Pat Carroll and Barbara Ruick are the very funny stepsisters. There's one additional song that hasn't been heard in any other version, the gorgeous ballad "Loneliness of Evening" as a character song for the Prince. Apparently, it was cut from South Pacific, but it works just as well here, and Damon sounds every inch the romantic prince charming.

My first of many stops today after I headed out was the Collingswood Farm Market. It's the height of the summer produce season, and they were jammed with people buying fruit and vegetables for canning and barbecues. Blueberries are gone, but I saw winter squash, okra, grapes, and gala apples for the first time this year. Since I'm not going to be able to get here next week, I stocked up on peaches, blackberries, tiny sweet green grapes, Chinese beans, a small cantaloupe, mushrooms, and an onion.

After buying a Propel water at a busy WaWa, I strolled down Haddon Avenue to check out Collingswood's craft show. Unlike the May Fair, this is just crafts, food booths, and music. I saw stained glass hangings, glittering beaded mosaics, beautiful hand-made jewelry, creative wooden carvings, fine furniture, photos, and artwork. There was a kid's area on Powell Lane near the All Fired Up pottery shop where little guys learned to make a wooden frame or paint their own masterpiece. I didn't mind browsing, but I couldn't afford most of it or carry it home. I headed off again after about an hour.

Took the long way across Newton Lake Park, past Parkview Apartments, to enjoy the hot, sunny, humid, and windy day. Stopped at what was listed as an estate sale on Newton Avenue in Oaklyn. It wasn't even inside the little pink stucco house. It was just a bunch of items on tables outside, and nothing of real interest. I left quickly.

Since the Oaklyn Library is just down the street from the house, I went there next. They were totally dead when I arrived, with just the librarian doing paperwork. We talked about my vacation next month and the lovely old house taken from part of a mill along a stream her sister owns. They get new releases quicker than Haddon Township does. I grabbed two major hits from the late winter and spring, Shazam! and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, plus the 2014 Annie for review on my musical blog.

Hurried home, put everything away as fast as I could, finished Cinderella, then rushed back out. Despite the heat and killer humidity, I opted to go to Cuthbert on foot. There's no place on Cuthbert for me to stash my bike. I managed to make it there with ten minutes to spare. For once, the bus to Cherry Hill was right on time. There was no traffic and no problems on the road. I got off across from Market Place around 1:30.

I was so hungry and thirsty by that point, my first stop was Chick Fil'A. Despite it being the tail end of the lunch hour, they still had a long line. They also had a lot of registers open. I was quickly able to pick up a messy but tasty BBQ Bacon Chicken Sandwich with waffle fries and a desperately-needed frosted lemonade.

There have been a lot of changes since the last time I went to Market Place. The most obvious was visible as soon as the bus pulled up to the curb. Pei Wei had been painted blue and white and replaced by Land's End. They were my next stop after lunch and a short look around Hallmark. Land's End and I go way back. Mom's been buying clothes from their catalogs for her family since at least the early-mid 90's. Thankfully, they did carry plus sizes. I found a really cute watermelon-summer fruit print tank-top on the clearance rack for $9.99.

I was mainly there for a new backpack. My current one is faded, worn, and the drawstring came out within days of my buying it. I finally settled on a really large kids "classroom" pack with a blue-silver planet theme. The backpacks were half-off; mine came to $25.

It turned out to be very useful for my stroll to Bed Bath and Beyond. I ended up buying new kitchen towels and dishcloths. Some of my kitchen towels are so old, I had them in college. Also grabbed a new brush pick (my current one is over a decade old) and brush picks and new dish brushes.

Was in and out of stores for the next hour. Didn't see any musicals of interest at Best Buy, and their only copy of Sailor Moon was on Blu-Ray. Did better at Barnes & Noble, using a 15 % off coupon to buy the Han/Lando novel Last Shot from last year in paperback. Saw no sneakers for work I liked at DSW Shoes.

It took me a few minutes to figure out where the bus stop was on the Towne Center side, but it finally arrived around 4:30. Though the traffic was slightly heavier, there were no problems getting home. I was still insanely thirsty and stopped to get a much-needed Gatorade from WaWa on my way.

I thought a bath would cool me off after I put my new finds on a hook or in the laundry basket. Ahhh. It felt absolutely wonderful to relax in tepid water under shower gel suds while reading Christmas With Southern Living books and listening to big band and jazz.

Finished the night with leftovers for dinner, then went online while watching Annie. I go into more details on this remake of the 1982 film on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Annie (2014)

Friday, August 16, 2019

Swinging Summer

Kicked off a hot, sunny morning with work. Once again spent most of a quiet day outside, rounding up trash, recycling, and carts. It was the last hour when things got crazy. I went inside to use the bathroom...and every two minutes, someone would call me to take a register for someone or return an item or shelve something. I wouldn't even finish the previous thing before they'd call me for something else! They asked me when I was obviously in a register! And there was another cashier there by then.

I did volunteer to hang up the new schedule, since the head bagger usually does it and she's on vacation. Once again, I have all early days, Thursday and Friday off. I'm not happy about missing the farm market next week, but on the other hand, working early means I'll miss the heat and storms we're supposed to have early next week.

Grocery shopping went a little better. The Acme's having a big chicken sale this week. I found thigh fillets and cutlets for dinner next week. Grabbed blue tortilla chips for my salty snack this week. There's also a lot of back-to-school stuff on sale. I grabbed two folders and a notebook to write phone notes on. Restocked turkey hot dogs, cheese, yogurt, almond milk, eggs (I didn't badly need them, but once again, the sale was good), taco and spaghetti sauce mix, and chocolate pudding mix.

When I got home, I put everything away, then did some reading while listening to another Versase Sarabande musical CD. This one gathers songs from various retellings of Cinderella, from the Disney cartoon ("A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes") to Into the Woods ("On the Steps of the Palace"). My favorite numbers are from British Cinderella stories. "Raise a Ruckus" is apparently from the Deep South-set Cindy-Ella. "Suddenly It Happens" is one of the big numbers from a 70's family musical that remains a favorite in England, The Slipper and the Rose. The adorable "Spread a Little Happiness" was the big hit from a male Cinderella in the Roaring 20's, Mr. Cinders.

Worked on writing when I felt like moving. Harris wants Leia to join him and Chewie, fleeing the Rebels and the Empire and traveling around. Leia loves him, but just can't bring herself to leave her mother, her job, or the Rebel League.

Decided to try something different for dinner. Along with the leftover turkey hot dogs, I grated zucchini and a potato and had a zucchini-potato hash brown. I should have added the salt before I squeezed out the water. Otherwise, it came out very nice, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Ran two sitcom episodes revolving around fixed game shows while I ate. Scott Sherwood's "Popping the Question" on the first season of Remember WENN - game show questions, that is. His big new radio game show is skewed towards the sponsor's obnoxious son. Writer Betty Roberts and the cast do their best to make sure the show is honest. Meanwhile, Betty's date Doug Thompson, the station's lawyer, is waiting (and waiting) for her to remember him.

Richie Cunningham runs into a somewhat similar situation on the second season of Happy Days. He appears on the "Big Money" TV show and does very well with baseball trivia, making it all the way to the final round. He and everyone in his family and at Arnold's are excited...until the host hands him final answers. Richie has to figure out if he uses the fixed questions, or calls the game out for being rigged.

Did a quick round of Lego Star Wars after dinner. Tried the extra-long "Battle of Endor" for the first time tonight. I got 7 blue pieces, not bad for my first try on one of the longest rounds again. Did "Into the Death Star" twice, but didn't get far. I'll try again tomorrow.

Finished the night with Swing Shift. Kay (Goldie Hawn) and Jack (Ed Harris) Walsh live happily in a residential neighborhood in LA in 1941, but their lives change when Pearl Harbor is bombed and the US enters World War II. Jack joins the Navy, and Kay gets a job at a munitions factory. She becomes good friends with the other women from her neighborhood who work there, including blowsy former singer Hazel (Christine Lahti). Kay finds herself not only becoming better at her job, she falls in love with handsome musician Lucky (Kurt Russell). When her husband comes home from leave and catches her with Lucky, she has to decide which man she loves more...even as she discovers her own independence.

I've heard this movie had a lot of problems, including tacking on an extra 30 minutes that weren't approved of by the writer or director that emphasized the love triangle. I think they put the emphasis on the wrong part of the movie. The second half, when Jack comes home and the romance comes to the fore, is far less interesting than seeing the women bond and prove themselves in an environment that to this day is still often considered to be "men's work." The ladies are excellent; Lahti got a Supporting Actress nomination as the blowsy singer whose leadership earns her the respect of Kay and her neighbors. The costumes and sets are perfect reflections of the World War II homefront and what everyone went through so the boys could win the war.

If you're a fan of the cast or are like me and enjoy stories of the mid-20th Century, you'll want to give this wartime tale another look.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Hot In Oaklyn

Began the day with another early work shift. Once again, it was pretty dead. I gathered trash and recycling and swept the patio in the morning and swept the store later, but I was mainly outside with the carts. There just wasn't that much to do inside. Besides, it was a pretty decent day. It was cloudy when I went to work, but by the time I was on my way home, the sun was out, and it was breezy, hot, and humid.

Had a quick lunch when I got in, listening to more Unsung Musicals. My favorite of the entire series is the second Unsung collection, featuring such lovely and enjoyable songs as the title number from Roadside, "Everything In the World I Love" from The Yearling, and "The Memory of Tonight" from a musical version of Arthur. Switched things up with Unsung Irving Berlin, a collection of Berlin numbers from abandoned projects and cut from shows and movies. Favorites here include the sprightly opening number "It's a Lovely Day for a Walk," the gorgeous "Whisper It," and the jaunty "I'm On My Way Home."

Tried to head out to the laundromat after lunch...but no matter how much I searched, I couldn't find my laundry detergent. I must have left it at the laundromat last week. I ended up dashing to Dollar General a few blocks down to grab more detergent and an Orange Coke. Thankfully, the laundromat was pretty quiet when I did make it there, and I didn't have a big load anyway. I was mainly washing my work clothes. I did story notes and half-listened to the Philly police commissioner talk about the cops who were shot yesterday (and complain about the DA).

Put everything away when I got home, then went right on the computer to write. Harris and Leia sit down for Maz's dinner. She has everything set up in the bar, from an intimate space in the back to a roast beef meal. Harris is hoping he'll finally show Leia how he feels...but it's not going to stay intimate for long...

Did a Three Stooges short while making turkey hot dogs and zucchini and cherry tomatoes sauteed in lemon-white wine sauce for dinner. The guys are "Three Hams On Rye" when they're ordered by the owner of a theater to root out a critic who always pans his shows. Not only do they not find the guy, the performance becomes a real hoot when they accidentally put a pillow in a cake and end up coughing up feathers.

Moved on to Lego Star Wars after I ate and put on vegetable stock to steep. Finally completed "Jabba's Palace" at the last minute. Still couldn't figure out "Great Pit of Carkoon." I'll try again there tomorrow.

Finished out the night with the 1951 MGM Show Boat. I discuss the differences between this version and the 1936 film at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Show Boat (1951)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Little Summer Showers

Kicked off the morning with early work. It was almost exactly the same as yesterday, up to and including the on-and-off showers. I spent a lot of the first half of my shift gathering carts, and most of the second doing returns and sweeping, especially when another bagger came in during the last hour. The rain scared most of our customers off. We were quiet as can be the entire morning.

It had started to shower again when I rode home. Thankfully, the rain was stopping by the time I made it home. Charles was taking down the tape around the boardwalk. Yes, it's finally dry. I was able to park my bike at the wooden rack, pick a few cherry tomatoes from his garden, and dash upstairs.

Despite the humidity, it was cool enough for me to make Oatmeal Fruit Squares after lunch. This time, I used the Fruit & Honey jam and the last of the blueberries. Listened to my Lost In Boston IV and Unsung Musicals CDs while I worked. I love these series from Varese Sarabande. Lost covers songs cut from Broadway musicals. Unsung showcases songs from musicals that either never made it to Broadway, or were from shows that had super-short runs and were never recorded. Favorites of mine from Lost include "Marking Time" from Pippin, the hilarious "Thirty Weeks of Heaven" that's funnier than anything that made it into By the Beautiful Sea, and three devastating character songs from Ballroom. By far my favorite number from Unsung is the ravishing ballad "Starfish," from a musical version of La Strada that featured an early appearance by Bernadette Peters.

The bars came out of the oven around 2:30, giving me enough time to dash off to Westmont. Not only was it not raining by then, but the sun was struggling to come out. Newton Lake Park was a lot busier than you'd think on such a dreary and wet day. I passed a woman being tugged along by her huge Irish settler and black lab, several bike riders, and a couple of fisher-folk. The park is looking a little brown despite the rain, but the leaves over my head were emerald green and wide as umbrellas.

The Haddon Towship Library wasn't much busier than the Acme had been. It was mainly young teens amusing themselves on the computers. It must have been busy earlier, though. The DVDs were overloaded! It took me an hour to shelve half the adult DVDs, and I never even got to the kids' titles. I didn't take any movies out this week, but I found five interesting paperback mysteries on the free book racks, along with a cookbook devoted to candy.

Since the weather was holding out, I stopped at Target quickly on the way home. I needed sugar and a drink; grabbed Dasani Sparkling Water. They weren't busy, either, not even the self-checkout terminals. I went in, got what I needed, and went out.

Went straight into writing as soon as I got in and took out the trash. While Maz prepares dinner for Harris and Leia, she tries to work on the engine of the Falcon. When he helps, she pushes him away at first...but they end up kissing. A drunk Charlie interrupts, telling them that Maz is calling them for dinner before falling over them.

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Had an egg, cheese, and fresh tomato wrap for dinner while watching a few public domain shorts featuring Canadian kids show host Mr. Piper. This jolly gentleman tells limited animation fairy tales, some of which are still obscure to this day. "Brave Molly" tells of a little girl who uses her brains to defeat a giant and rescue a queen. "The Kindhearted Girl" has a gentle girl give animals her food when she visits her witch aunt. They repay her kindness by not stopping her escape. "Hasty and the Princess" also involves kindness to animals. This time, they help a country bumpkin win a princess. "The Proud Princess" snubs a prince who gives her sweet, simple gifts. He dresses as a swineherd to get near her, but learns what she's really like when he does find something to give her.

Moved onto Lego Star Wars as soon as I cleaned up from dinner. It took two tries, but I finally completed the blue minikit challenge for "Hoth Battle." No luck anywhere else. "Into the Death Star" is so dark, I couldn't see many of the pieces, and I couldn't figure out "The Pit of Carkoon." I'll try again tomorrow.

Finished the night with Ernest Goes to Camp. Ernest (Jim Varney) is hoping to be a counselor at Camp Kikakee, but right now, he's just the handyman. He gets his chance when he's assigned to a group of delinquent kids whose pranks left their previous, rather obnoxious counselor with a broken leg. They prank Ernest too, at first, until he tells them stories during a campfire and helps them with their tent project. Ernest doesn't have as much luck fending off the nasty head of a mining corporation who wants the oil under the camp. He tricks Ernest and the camp's Native American owner (Iron Eyes Cody) into signing over the rights. The kids are angry at Ernest at first, until the owner's daughter (Victoria Racimo) convinces them and Ernest to fight back.

The first Ernest movie was a surprise hit in 1987. Though it's cliched and a bit corny, it also has its moments, including Ernest's campfire story and the big action finale. Fun time waster if you're a fan of Ernest or have kids who will enjoy his antics.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Showers, Showers Everywhere

Kicked off a cloudy, gloomy morning with breakfast and the original cast album for My Favorite Year. Tim Curry takes the Peter O'Toole role as the former swashbuckling movie star turned drunk who was hired to appear on a popular 50's comedy show. Lanie Kazan reprises her role as the kid's Jewish mother. The stand-out here is the opening perfectly describing the chaos that went on before a live show in the 50's, "Twenty Million People."

Rushed off to work even before the CD ended. It wasn't raining when I left, but by the time I was outside doing carts, it had begun to shower lightly. It showered off and on, mostly lightly, pretty much for the rest of the day. I did do cold returns, shelved candy, and swept the store, but I mostly spent the day trying to gather the carts before the rain got worse.

Thankfully, it wasn't raining when I made my way home. I had changed and had a snack, then finally got around to vacuuming and shaking out the rag rug and welcome mat as well as I could in the continuing light shower. It needed to be done, especially in the bathroom and in the bedroom, where hair tends to build.

Worked on writing for a while after I finished. Harris is glad to be getting closer with Leia, especially after Maz makes them dinner. She also manages to corral Chewie and feed him and lead Charlie out after he gets so drunk, he tries to hit up a coat rack. ("Maybe he'll get lucky this time," Harris quips.)

Broke for dinner at quarter after 6. Threw together taco turkey meat, corn cut off the cob, tomatoes, onions, and cheese for Southwestern Turkey Casserole. Enjoyed my dinner while watching some Three Stooges. They have "Crime On Their Hands" when Shemp eats a priceless diamond and the thieves who stole it are willing to cut him open to get it back. The boys may have an unusual rescuer, in the form of a gorilla!

Moved on to Lego Star Wars after dinner. Finally got through "Jedi Destiny," but had no luck elsewhere. Just missed one in "Hoth Battle" and three in "Jabba's Palace."

Finished the night with the 1936 version of Show Boat, the first of two I'll be watching this week. I go into more details on this classic at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Show Boat (1936)

Monday, August 12, 2019

Daydream Believers

Got a quick start to the morning with breakfast and some classic late 60's rock. I have two AM Gold CDs representing the mid-late 60's. I had just enough time for the first half of the 1967 disc. There's some gems here; along with my favorite Monkees song "Daydream Believer," I also love "Up, Up, and Away" by The 5th Dimension, "Happy Together" by the Turtles, and "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

As soon as I finished eating, I hurried out the door. Rode straight to City Hall and locked my bike at the fire department, then went to catch the bus. It was on time, and not really full. There was no traffic and no major problems, and I was in Somerdale by 11:30.

I originally was thinking of seeing Once Upon a Time In Hollywood today...but it runs almost three hours! I'm not sitting in the theater for three hours. I finally decided on Spider Man: Far From Home. Since I had almost an hour before the movie began, I took a fast walk back down to the White Horse Pike to enjoy Pizza Hut's buffet. I had a small salad, two slices of cheese and thin-crust vegetable pizza, and more Parmesan and cinnamon bread sticks than I probably should have.

On my way back, I discovered a service road that winds around the side of the Super Wal Mart near Pizza Hut and back down to the shopping center parking lot. Took me back to the theater with twenty minutes to spare. I didn't mind taking a seat up front. I had the first two rows entirely to myself.

I'm not going to give the plot because of spoilers, but I did enjoy this. Tom Holland is such an adorable Spider Man, and Zendaya and Jacob Batalon are hilarious as MJ, the darkly sarcastic girl Peter has a crush on, and his goofy best friend Ned. JB Smoove and Martin Starr also had some great moments as the kids' teachers, who are in way over their heads with superheroic antics. Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury is on more familiar turf here than in Captain Marvel, and Jake Gyllenhaal is both charming and delightfully deceptive as Mysterio. There's some amazing special effects, particularly with the water Elemental in Venice and the finale in London.

There's a few minor complaints. First of all, many references are made to the events of Avengers: Endgame. I've read enough about that movie to not mind being spoiled, but if you haven't seen Endgame and don't want spoilers, I'd pass on this one. This isn't the place to start if you want to get to know the Marvel Universe. It's also a more conventional superhero tale, which may disappoint some coming after the unique Into the Spider Verse.

If you're a fan of the character or the Marvel Universe who has either seen Endgame or don't mind being spoiled, you'll want to swing on over the theater and check this one out.

Headed back to the White Horse Pike to catch the bus after the movie ended. I had enough time to relax on the bench behind Taco Bell and enjoy the much hotter but still dry and sunny day and even take a brief walk down the block. The bus, for once, was right on time, and there was only a tiny bit more traffic than there had been late in the morning.

My throat was so dry, I needed some kind of a drink. I rode over to Dunkin' Donuts a few blocks away to wet my whistle. Ended trying their Kit Kat Coolatta, which was pretty much a vanilla slush with Kit Kat pieces. It was...ok, even if the Kit Kats sometimes blocked the straw and oddly tasted more like Snickers.

As soon as I got home, I went into writing. Luke discovers Darth "Father of Death" Vader in a strange machine-like ice object. They fight, but when Luke cuts his head off, he sees his own face behind the mask. Rudy realizes that Luke is upset and goes to let him lean on his shoulder.

Didn't break for dinner until 7. Had an egg wrap with cucumber-tomato salad while watching a movie-themed episode of Tiny Toon Adventures. Buster and Babs are "Cinemaniacs" when they hit their own local multiplex to catch a couple of films. "Super Babs" has Babs as the Girl Bunny of Steel, saving Acme Acres from the schemes of Wex Wuther (Montana Max). Plucky, Hamton, and Furball go to where no Toon has gone before in the very hairy "Duck Trek." Monty's back, this time antagonizing Buster as Indiana Jones in "Pasadena Jones and the Meaning of Life."

Finished the night with Lego Star Wars. I finally got through The Empire Strikes Back Super Story, and with five minutes to spare! I think I actually did better here than with New Hope, where I barely made it through at the last second. Next, I'll try to finish "Hoth Battle" and move on to Return of the Jedi.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Kicked off a gorgeous morning with early work. It started pretty well. I spent the first half-hour outside, gathering carts and enjoying the stunning weather. It was once again sunny, breezy, and dry, probably no warmer than the lower 80's. After the carts were done, I shelved loose items until break. Things picked up considerably by 10, to the point where I kept getting stuck in the register, even when the head manager told me to mop up the leaking freezer they're still having trouble with. (Although to be fair, they're in the midst of fixing it, and even before that, it wasn't nearly as bad as it has been.) Thankfully, I was able to spend the last hour shelving candy and back out with the carts.

Stopped to grab a few things after I finished. They had a ton of discontinued honey. I figured I'd get at least one more jar. What I really needed was money. I'm hoping to go to the movies tomorrow and do my laundry later in the week.

Headed straight home after work. Charlie said last night that I could take whatever I wanted from his garden. It doesn't look like the big tomatoes are quite ready yet, but I grabbed five cherry tomatoes to go with the ones I bought yesterday and a very fuzzy cucumber.

When I got in, I thought I'd try something different with that tomato windfall. I've made some delicious Tomato Spice Cakes, so I thought I'd try Tomato Spice Pancakes, with brown sugar and sliced cherry tomatoes. Other than I burned one side, they actually came out nicely. I may use less sugar if I make these again later in the summer, though. They might have been slightly too sweet.

Listened to Steel Pier while I enjoyed my brunch. This odd Kander & Ebb musical from 1997 has dancer Rita (Karen Ziemba) taking part in a marathon in Atlantic City in the early 30's. She's partnered with handsome young pilot Bill (Daniel McDonald) who suddenly appears on the boardwalk. He's not what he seems, though, especially when he manages to keep them in the show despite her falling. Meanwhile, her husband Mick (Gregory Harrison), who counts on Rita and her marathon dancing as his meal ticket, is more than a little jealous. The story is confusing and more than a little odd, but there's some real gems in the score, including "Willing to Ride" for Rita, "First You Dream" and "Leave the World Behind" for Bill, and the ribald "Everybody's Girl" for fellow marathoner Shelby Stevens (Debra Monk).

I was so tired from a late night and an early morning, I took a nap for two hours after lunch. I got up just in time to change into a bathing suit and ride over to Dad and Jodie's house for a swim. It was just the two of them and me tonight. Everyone else was at work, recovering from work, or on vacation. I floated around the slightly murky waters, then blew a curved yellow leaf across the ripples. Dinner was meatloaf with scalloped potatoes, creamed corn, and slices of a delicious banana bread that Jodie made herself with added orange juice. Dana did join us to eat, having come in from her own nap.

Finished the night at home with Lego Star Wars. I tried "Jabba's Palace" twice and "Hoth Battle" once with no luck. I might just go back to the Super Story tomorrow.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Under the Breezes

Kicked off a stunning morning with breakfast and something different. I thought, after all the TV shows I've binged on this week, I needed a break. I opted for music today with the original cast of Hello Dolly! Carol Channing was a sensation as the title character, but to tell the truth, she's a little strange in the title role. I prefer Pearl Bailey. She has a nice supporting cast, though. Along with Charles Nelson Reilly in a rare romantic role as Cornelius Hackle, she's joined by grouchy character actor David Burns as Horace Vandergelder and Eileen Brennan, best known to my family as Mrs. Peacock from Clue, as Irene Malloy. "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and "Elegance" are especially fun here, and Channing gives her all in the title number and "Before the Parade Passes By."

As soon as the record ended, I dashed off to the Collingswood Farm Market. They were packed elbow-to-elbow with people buying the abundant produce for barbecues and family get-togethers. I went with peaches, tiny Granny Smith apples, a yellow zucchini, potatoes, a small cantaloupe, and heirloom cherry tomatoes that were so sweet, I ate them like candy throughout the day. It was certainly a gorgeous day for a trip to the farm market. The day was pleasantly warm, with a cool breeze and no humidity at all.

It was so nice, I took the long way back across Newton Lake Park, past the Parkview Apartments. Dodged quite a few people on my way down the winding path, including other bikers. The river sparkled in the morning sunlight; the trees waved to me in the soft breeze.

Had enough time to switch to the fourth season of Sailor Moon while having a quick yogurt and fruit lunch. The Guardians hit the beach to enjoy their own beautiful weather and admire the hot guys in "Sparkling Summer Days: Ami Under the Sea Breeze." Usagi's little brother Shingo would rather admire Ami. When Tiger's Eye of the Amazon Trio goes after Ami and hurts Shingo, she's the one who goes into action to save the boy.

Headed to work after the cartoon was over. Work was a bit of a pain today, Though I did manage to get outside and sweep early-on, they had plenty of baggers. What they didn't have was cashiers. I got stuck in the register for entirely too much of the day. It was busy, too, much busier than it has been. The college kids are starting to get ready to go back to school. Thank goodness it slowed down enough by 4 for me to rush out.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Luke wants to know more about his light powers and how they contrast with the dark, but Yoda's not too keen on discussing them. He tries to get Luke meditating instead, but he can't focus. Luke is about to leave when he feels strange vibrations coming from a tangle of trees and vines nearby...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Enjoyed tacos with tomatoes and cucumbers and fried potatoes for dinner while listening to Dames at Sea. This 1968 off-Broadway show was a small-scale spoof of the Busby Berkley spectacles of the 1930's and gave Bernadette Peters one of her first major roles. My favorite number from this one goes to Peters, the rather lovely jab at poetic rain-themed ballads, "Raining In My Heart."

Moved on to Lego Star Wars after dinner. Decided to give a couple of rounds from Return of the Jedi a shot. Had no luck with either. I got closer with "Jedi Destiny" than with "Jabba's Palace," where there was one piece I just could not get to. I may just return to Empire tomorrow.

Charlie called while I was playing the game. He stained the wooden walkway leading to my apartment today, but it's going to take until Wednesday to dry. He also mentioned that the vegetables are now up in his garden and I was able to take a few.

Finished the night on YouTube with Rock-A-Doodle. I go further into this odd Don Bluth animation/live action hybrid at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.