Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Winds of the Yuletide Season

Began another sort-of cloudy morning with a late breakfast and Blockbusters. The mother-daughter pair keep rolling along. They were working on another young guy when I came in and were working on the second round when the show ended.

Put on Muppet Family Christmas while I cleaned up from breakfast. Lauren sent me my copy of this 1987 special featuring all the Muppets who'd been created up to that point. Fozzie brings his Muppet Show buddies with him to his mother's house for Christmas. Ma Bear isn't pleased - she was going to Malibu for the holidays. Doc and Sprocket from Fraggle Rock, who were renting Ma's house to have a quiet Christmas, aren't happy with the hubbub either. Kermit is more worried about Miss Piggy, who was supposed to drive out to Ma's house and got caught in a huge blizzard.

I was going to head out after that ended, but...when I went out to the garage, my tire was flat. Again. The same darn tire. I don't know what happened. I swear it was fine when I did the laundry yesterday! I really wanted to get to Westmont to finish up Christmas shopping. I ended up hitching a ride with Jodie, who said she'd be fine doing her grocery shopping at the Westmont Acme.

First stop when Jodie dropped me off at Westmont Plaza was Dollar Tree. The last time I was in Westmont, they were in the midst of remodeling. They were long done by now, What a difference! The cramped, dirty, overstuffed store was replaced by tan tile flooring, bright lighting, and well-stocked and clean shelves. They took over part of the closed hospital supply store next door, and it really made all the difference. Took me a while to figure out that the toys were now near the gift cards and the paper supplies were on the other end where the toys used to be. I mostly came for Christmas gift bags for Amanda and for bread in a few weeks; picked up a small item for Amanda and a card for my nephew Collyn's birthday next week.

Target, on the other hand, remains largely the same, other than the Starbucks is closed. Wanted to finish my Christmas shopping for the kids there. Picked up a video game for Skylar and an Our Generation ballet costume for Lilah's favorite doll. Grabbed a bag of cranberries for me later this week. 

Called Uber in the back of the store to get home, then went out front to wait for them. And wait...and wait...and wait. They were supposed to arrive by 2:17, but it was closer to 3 when they finally arrived. Though the sun came out by noon, it was cold, very wind, and not a lot of fun waiting for him. Apparently, it was the gentleman's first day on the job, and the GPS on his phone didn't know the area any better than he did. His phone almost landed us in Collingswood. I ended up giving him directions back to Oaklyn.

Had lunch while watching Buzzr. Patty Duke and Fred Grandy were giving out the clues on Super Password. Patty got a big surprise when she and her contestant got the Super Password bonus round at the very last second! Scoey Mitchilll and his wife Claire and ever-nervous Bill Daily and his calm wife Pat were up against Brits Tim Saunders and Dana Valery. Everyone knew their spouse pretty well - all of the couples ended up winning. 

Press Your Luck started pretty slow, with everyone picking up something in the first round and no one hitting any Whammies. They didn't hit until the second round, and they especially went hard on the champ. He was soundly beat by a lady who had no Whammies and won five prizes, including a New England vacation to see the fall leaves. 

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Gene drifts along with the tide, too tired and despondent to even try to free himself from the ropes. He finally bumps into a fellow pirate ship, The Golden Medley, but he's too tired and sick from his long immersion to even notice who finally fishes him out of the water and into a lifeboat...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had a cheese omelet and steamed broccoli while watching Match Game '75. The show started wild, with Gene flinging Conny Van Dyke around and Jack Cassidy going after them, and it didn't get any less crazy from there. They especially had trouble with a question about what Robinson Crusoe found out Friday was - even the contestant didn't quite understand that one. Jimmie Walker had the nerve-wracking honor of helping a contestant win a dyn-o-mite 10,000 on Match Game PM, after he nearly gave everyone a striptease to show off his fashionable wide-collared suit. 

Sale of the Century was dominated by the champ and the one woman. He bought all the Instant Bargains; she got two of the three Fame Games. Once again, the champ killed everyone at the Speed Round. He picked up an odd flower-themed artwork on the Match the Prizes board.

Listened to the shows while I put up the Christmas tree. It ended up in my bedroom, next to my desk. It's kind of blocking my bed, but it's also about the only place in the house large enough for it! I got the tree itself up, but ran out of time for the lights and garland. I'll do those before Amanda arrives tomorrow.

Took a shower, then tried to close the curtains on the small window in my bedroom. I guess I tugged at them too hard. To my horror, the metal piece holding the rod on the right came off, and the nuts that held them rolled into the heating vent. I tried my hardest, but I couldn't find any nuts that were the right size to fix it. I was able to get it on the window, but the garland had to go on the ledge. 

Finished the night with Andy Williams' Early New England Christmas from 1981 on YouTube. Williams is joined by Dick Van Patten, figure skater Dorothy Hamill, and Aileen Quinn fresh off Annie for this merry look at Christmas in Vermont over a hundred years ago. Hamill is the village schoolteacher, Quinn is her most precocious student, and Van Patten is the chatty owner of the general store. Flutist James Galway pops in a few times to play authentic songs of the mid-19th century. While Quinn's belting does seem a bit out of place on "Let There Be Peace On Earth," this is otherwise a charming look at a time and place gone by.

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