Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Little April Showers

Started off my morning reading about one of my favorite silent actresses, the wonderful Marion Davies. I love her delightful vehicle Show People, a very funny spoof of silent-era Hollywood. I ran across When Knighthood Was In Flower on YouTube a few years ago and really enjoyed that, too. I had just enough time to write in my journal, change, and grab breakfast before Karen picked me up for today's job counseling session at the Haddon Township Library.

I had no idea signing up for federal aid was so complicated! Turns out I need my most recent bank statement and this year's tax return. I have them - in fact, I just put my tax return away - but I didn't have them on me. We just looked for jobs instead. I wasn't happy about applying as a secretary for Cooper University Hospital. I really want to stay out of health care. It's too stressful, and I know nothing about medicine. There just isn't much out there that fits my abilities and interests.

After Karen dropped me off, I grabbed my bike and went right back out. I never did get to check out Cacia's Bakery on King's Highway last week. They're a small Italian bakery across the street from a church and the big CVS, and they make terrific food. Despite the small size of the little brick building, I just couldn't decide. A slice of cake, or oatmeal cookies, or maybe one of the square pizzas? I eventually bought some butter cookies as a treat for now and a Jewish apple cake for dessert over the next week or so. 

It had been cloudy and windy all morning. The clouds grew darker as I rode down the back roads of Audubon. They finally burst as I headed back. Thankfully, they didn't last long. I got a bit damp going home, but they were gone by the time I crossed Cuthbert Road. I didn't want to take my chances, though. I went nowhere else today.

Went straight into lunch and Match Game '77 when I got home. Jo Ann Harris had no trouble giving Gene his "new kid on the block" kiss in the opening. Meanwhile, Avery Schriber has a hard time just staying in his seat! 

Messed around a bit online before I finally decided to settle down for a nap. I didn't care how nice it was or wasn't. I'm just really, really worn out right now. I went down at 1:30 and didn't get up until past 4. Read the next chapter in the silent stars book on Lon Chaney Sr. Alas, his only movie I've seen is The Phantom of the Opera, which I watched on Halloween in college one year. His specialties were largely horror, crime, and melodrama, none of which interest me. I do want to check out the bizarre He Who Gets Slapped, where he plays a scientist-turned-clown in a film that also includes John Gilbert and the young Norma Shearer, his Hunchback of Notre Dame, and both silent and sound versions of The Unholy Three

I went on the computer around 4:30 for writing. Richard admits he, Gene, and Gary formulated a plan. They're hoping the gold will lure the Wild Rider Gang out of hiding, and they'll be able to catch the rest of them. Fannie's not crazy about that plan...and neither is Richard. He claims he's more worried about his own neck and keeps trying to flirt with Lee, who ignores him.

(Oh, and the clouds moved in again somewhere around 5 PM. By 6, it was raining again, and much harder than before. It's rained off and on, sometimes heavily, for the rest of the night.)

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game '79 while I ate. Bowser is touched when Joyce Bulifant gives him her rope of beads in the opening. Gene's less amused when the cameras won't get off of him, prompting him walking right into the camera for a creepy close-up!

Finished the night online after I did chores downstairs with The Black Pirate. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. is another silent movie star I've read about this week. A lot of his later swashbucklers get too big for their britches (and plots), but this one is just right. After a band of cutthroats destroy his ship, a young man (Fairbanks) vows revenge by joining the ones who did it. After he kills their captain (Anders Randolf), he claims he'll capture their next ship single-handed. Not only does he manage to do that, but he insists they hold the female passenger (Billie Dove) for ransom. The pirate lieutenant (Sam De Grasse) would rather have her, period, and has the ransom ship destroyed. The young man has fallen in love with her and tries to free her, but ends up sent off a plank for his troubles. But you can't keep a good Fairbanks down, and with the help of a one-armed Scotsman (Donald Crisp), he survives the jump and leads the cavalry to rescue his lady fair. 

If you ever wanted to check out one of Fairbanks' swashbucklers, this or The Mark of Zorro are probably the best places to start. They're shorter, leaner, elaborate without being overdone, and a heck of a lot of fun. Fairbanks has a ball as the young nobleman out for revenge, and Donald Crisp is hilarious as the old Scotsman who helps him out. If you love silent action or are a swashbuckler fan like me, this is highly recommended. 

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