Monday, August 24, 2020

Where to Go Next

My eyes had scarcely opened when my cell phone rang. Mom called. I've been meaning to call her and thank her for the masks, anyway. She said for me to consider all my options, but what she really meant was "move back to Cape May County. It's safer." Not any safer than here. I can't really talk to her, either. I've never known what to say to her or Rose. I love them, but I've spent most of my life caught between their arguments and opinions.

Called Rose after I got off with Mom. I agreed with her about putting the money into two accounts I can take small amounts out of. I got annoyed with her when she started talking about me getting a credit card. What do I need a credit card for? It's just another bill I don't want. She said I was interrupting her. I didn't realize I was. I just wanted to explain my feelings. I guess I should have waited. I really don't know how to talk to people. She got off before we could arrange to sign those papers.

Didn't make my blueberry pancakes until almost 11. Had them while watching one of the new Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episodes. Dan and his friends are talked through "The Fire Drill" at school by Teacher Harriet. After they get out of the building, volunteer fire fighters Doctor Anna and Music Man Stan tell the kids when they can return and how to stay safe during a fire. "Daniel and Mom Go to the Market" after she has to clean up broken glass. Dan gets lost in the store, but he knows to ask stock boy Prince Tuesday for help. He makes sure Daniel listens for his worried mother and gets back to her.

Switched to Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That as I cleaned up from breakfast. Sally and Nick decide that they want to be like their parents "When I Grow Up." Not all animals look like their parents when they're older, though. The Cat takes the kids to meet Puggle, a strange-looking billed, web-footed mammal. The kids try to figure out what she'll grow up to be. Sally is frustrated she lost her class guinea pig and can't find him. The Cat introduces the kids to an ostrich that runs instead of flies, an ocelot who loves to swim, and a mudskipper fish who finds food on land to show them how "Doing Things Differently" may help them find Sally's pet.

Headed out shortly after The Cat In the Hat ended. Waved to Jodie and her friend Margaret on the porch. Jodie mentioned two boxes had arrived for me. One was very big - the trash can arrived! The second was much smaller. It was The Wings of Eagles, the paperback I bought last week. It was delayed slightly from yesterday to today. I put Wings on the to-read pile and decided to leave the trash can for later.

Finally did make it out around 12:30. I hadn't hit the shopping center behind the Acme in a while. Ross and Marshalls are next-door to each other back there, along with Five Below and Goodwill. The department stores were very good to me. Got a shower caddy from Ross to replace the one I've had since college. Found another very soft, if slightly more pebbly, gray bath rug and a Swifter-style dust mop with a gray-printed handle at Marshalls. Dug through the back-to-school bins at Five Below and came up with a box of glittery mechanical pencils, along with a birthday card for my nephew Skylar (his birthday was at the end of July, but I was broke then) and a Zagnut bar. Picked up two short-sleeved blouses (one on sale), the CD version of Manheim Steamroller's Christmas In the Aire (replacing a cassette copy I've had for ages), and a CD collection of summer-themed light rock and instrumental pieces at Goodwill.

The rides to and from Audubon Crossings was hot and sticky. While it was sunny, it was also hot as heck and killer humid. Surprisingly, it was also fairly busy. Ross and Marshalls' weren't bad, but Goodwill and Five Below were crawling with people looking for back-to-school deals. Dodged a bit of traffic on Nicholson Road going home, too.

Put on Tattletales when I got in as I put the trash can (which was smaller than I expected) under the sink and organized everything else. I caught the Tattletales episode a couple of months ago. Gary Crosby and his then-wife Barbara easily beat songwriter Sammy Cahn and his wife Tita and comedian Milt Kamen and his wife Margot. Press Your Luck started off well, with no one hitting any Whammies in the first round and everyone getting something. That ended in the second round, when the two male contestants got slammed with Whammies. The one woman hit no Whammies and picked up a diamond pendant, a cruise to the Bahamas, and a bicycle.

Went into writing after the show ended. Charles is horrified when his former student Gary (Burghoff) is turned to stone right before his eyes...and worse, Malade finds his hiding place with Brett and Betty. She once again threatens Betty's frog friend, and threatens to take the fairies' powers, too.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Sweet Brit Juliet Mills and stoic South American Alejandro Rey joined in for hi-jinks on Match Game involving what Maxwell Smart dresses as on the farm (including Gene and Richard's dueling Don Adams imitations). The woman champ finally finished her run on Sale of the Century. She was behind the other woman for the first half of the show, but picked up in the second half and won the speed round by a mile. Couldn't get the car in the bonus round, though.

Spent the next half-hour at the living room table, listening to my Hooked on Swing LP and writing all the pros and cons of renting a house and an apartment and owning a house. I thought I wanted the responsibility of owning something, but now I'm not sure. Doing anything in New Jersey is expensive, but the pandemic makes it hard to move out of state. And I have no desire to return to Cape May County. That would be a backwards step, and I'd lose everything I have here, the closeness to public transportation and work. I don't want to live with Mom, either.

I was letting off steam about Mom and Rose and crashing around the bathroom when Jodie came in to see if I was ok. I was more ok than she was. She's understandably still choked up about Dad's death. She really did love him. She repeated what she said about not putting the house on the market until after the New Year. (Knowing her, it'll probably be well into spring - or even summer - before it goes on the market.) We talked, and I allowed her to get off her own steam and grieve for Dad. It felt good to be the one counseling someone else for a change!

Finished the night on Hulu with ThunderCats. In honor of the new version currently running on Cartoon Network, Hulu now has the original 1986 show and its 2011 remake. I went with the first two episodes of the 1986 original. "Exodus" introduces us to the ThunderCats, a race of cat-human creatures who escaped their planet just before its destruction and are now looking for a new home. Young Lion-O is the designated head of the ThunderCats, but he's still a kid. After their ship is damaged by an invasion of mutant creatures, his elderly mentor Jaga gives his life to pilot their ship to Third Earth. Lion-O grows into manhood during suspended animation, but he has a lot to learn about being a man, as he discovers when the Mutants attack again.

The Mutants form "The Unholy Alliance" with Mumm-Ra, a shape-shifting demon in ragged bandages who badly wants Lion-O's Sword of Omens. Lion-O may now be a man in body, but he's still a boy in mind and heart. He impetuously goes off alone, only to regret it when Mumm-Ra attacks and he gets tar stuck on the Sword of Omens.

Rose and I loved this show when we were kids. It was a long-time favorite of ours. We loved the unusual villains and surprisingly serious stories for an 80's fantasy action show. I think the corresponding toy line may have been expensive at the time. The only ThunderCats figures we had were Lion-O and Mutant Vulture Man, and they belonged to me. We used to use Lion-O as a love interest for our She-Ra dolls and Vulture Man as a lackey to more interesting villains like Emperor Palpatine.

I don't know about the figures, but the show is sort of corny now, with it's over-serious plots, bad dialogue, and colorful-but-stiff animation. It's fun for fans of He-Man or similar shows, but those looking for better writing or animation might want to skip ahead to the 2011 and 2019 versions.

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