Friday, June 09, 2023

All of Oz Is a Stage

Started off the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel makes "Something Special for Dad" when he sees how happy a letter from Grandpere makes his father. He makes a letter of his own and sends it in the mail with the help of his mother and Mr. McFeely. They're also recruited to help deliver mail, so everyone gets something special. Daniel and his dad go to Baker Aker to make banana bread that'll say "I Love You, Mom."

Headed off to work shortly after the cartoon ended. Work was very boring for almost the entire day. With most of the smoke having drifted further south, the weather was utterly gorgeous, sunny, breezy, and in the 60's. It was way too nice for shopping. We had some bobbles with those government cards. It did pick up a bit during the evening rush hour, but it slowed down enough by 7 for me to shut down without any trouble.

Mixed feelings on my schedule next week. In good news, more hours and two days off, Wednesday for physical therapy. Unfortunately, my 8 and 1/2 hour day next week is Saturday, which means no farm market. No day off after Wednesday, either, and Sunday is the earliest I get off. 

Went straight into Match Game Syndicated when I got home. This one gets really wild when Charles claims Bill said he'd give him his plaid coat. Not only does Bill give it to him right then and there, but he starts taking off other pieces of clothing, too! They did manage to calm Bill down before the shirt came off. Patty Duke was more nervous about dealing with "___ For Dinner" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night on YouTube with a stage musical adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz from 1981, since I just finished reading the book yesterday. This show from the Children's Theater Company and School of Minneapolis went over so well, it was recorded and released on video. I have to admit, I'm impressed. The kids were terrific, especially the one playing Tip. The costumes were actually better than the ones on the Shirley Temple episode, including a not-at-all-scary Jack Pumpkinhead and a very scary Mombi. 

I also appreciate how well they stuck to the book. Some sequences were eliminated for time, but they also added a new character who worked well, General Jinjur's second-in-command Colonel Cardamon. Two more who were only mentioned or had a few lines in the book, Emerald City maid Jellica Jamb and Dr. Nidkik, were expanded on. The songs were slight but charming, especially Tip's laments and wishes for friends and family. 

This makes me wish the second Oz book was adapted more often. If you're interested in stage shows or are looking for a kid-friendly Oz adaptation, you can do far worse than this one. Here's the link, so you can enjoy this show and see it for yourself:

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Greasers and Angels

Began my morning with breakfast and Super Mario World. By 1991, Mario and Luigi had dropped the live-action wrap-around segments and been added to Captain N-The Game Master in segments that now reflected the most recently-released game. I went with the first episode, "Fire Sale." Fed up with being cold in her Ice Land kingdom, Kootie Pie (aka Wendy, the only female Koopaling) steals Mama Fireplant in an attempt to warm her palace. When his friends are frozen, Yoshi must overcome his fear of water to rescue them and Mama Fireplant.

Switched to Cry-Baby after that. I go further into this 50's spoof with Johnny Depp as a greaser who falls for "square" good girl Amy Locane at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Had lunch and got organized while watching Tattletales. Came in time for the hilarious question where each lady has to say whether or not their men would describe a certain part of the female anatomy with their hands. Helen and Gene didn't get anything else right...but Helen knew darn well how her husband was around women, especially busty ones. 

Meanwhile, Hugh Lambert and Nancy Sinatra were the big more than one way. Lambert apparently was just as gentlemanly and charming in real-life as he was in his Tattletales appearances, and Nancy adored him. She was devastated when he died in 1985 and to this day has never remarried. 

Headed out to work as Tattletales ended. In good news, the haze is finally starting to dissipate, and it doesn't smell smoky anymore. (In fact, one good thing about the smoke is it's keeping the area cool. It's barely been in the 70's here the past few days.) They're still working on the parking lot, but they've now moved to the back where the Christmas tree lot is during late November and December and are no longer blocking the Nicholson Road entrance. 

In frustrating news, work was still a pain in the rear. There were at least four people who put away part or all of their order because they were shocked at how expensive things were or only had so much money. If you read the prices, you know how much things cost. Thankfully, by 7 PM, it slowed down enough for me to leave with no relief.

Watched Match Game Syndicated during dinner. Patty Duke stays on, this time in the sixth seat. She's joined by Joe Santos, Donna Pescow, and Bill Daily. Gene has a long chat with a young man about where he hits the "wall" as a long distance runner (i.e, where he runs out of energy and stops) and explains the concept to Brett. Patty is more worried about figuring out "Smash ___" on the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night at the Roku Channel with Charlie's Angels. They're "Angels In the Stretch" when a long-time horse track better is killed while inspecting one of the horses. Sabrina pushes herself as an exerciser for the horses and comes to suspect that a handsome Irish exerciser knows more than he's telling. Kelly's more interested in the horse's elegant and wealthy owner (David Hedrison), while Bosley and Kris pass themselves off as rich ranch owners from Arizona who want to buy a certain horse. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

What's Right for Me?

Started off a quick morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola's frustrated when Charlie and Marv are learning Spanish and she can't understand what they're saying, so she creates her own language and country with her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson. The boys try to figure out how to say "Welcome to Lola Land" and get back the globe they need for their homework.

Karen picked me up shortly after the episode ended. Frankly, our session didn't go very well. There's no library assistant jobs out there in this area. The few that exist are temporary jobs at the universities in Philadelphia or schools in the Philly suburbs. I need something permanent, and until I figure out where I want to live, closer to home. I'm so frustrated. Nothing's happening. Again. I'm so stuck. I'm tired of living like a college student, with a job teenagers do. I want a real, honest-to-goodness career. I say I'm going back to school, and they say get experience...and then I try to get experience, and they all want more skills than I have, or specialized skills, or my skills are worthless. 

There has to be another job I can do that involves writing, organizing, reading, and/or editing. I wish I knew what. Every time I get an idea or come up with something, I'm told the job is too competitive, I don't have enough skills, enough training, enough of this, enough of that. What am I good enough for? I can't stay in retail, but I don't know what else I'm good for.

I was miserable when I got home. I tried to cheer myself up with writing. Joyce sets up a little nest for her friend in old towels before Brett arrives. It takes Joyce a few minutes and one of her rambling stories, but she does finally admit to Brett about the dog. Brett doesn't think it's a good idea to have him there, but she says she'll ask around and find someone who can take him.

Watched Match Game '77 during lunch, then went to work. I wish I hadn't. It was off-and-on steady, with several large orders and many cranky people. Three people put back part or all of their orders, one because she was shocked at how much her order cost. She must have not read the signs. If you read the signs, you know what things cost. They're in the midst of repaving the half of our parking lot closer to Nicholson Road, which may be blocking some people. We're still really short on help, too. There were only two cashiers all night. They had to call the producer manager to take my line so I could get out on time.

Rode to and from work in a haze of smoke and dust. At least it was cooler, barely in the 70's, and the haze did make the sunset very pretty. The sun glowed in a shade of fiery gold-red I'd never seen reproduced anywhere before. 

Went straight home and into dinner and Match Game '74. This episode began with proud dad Richard Dawson showing off photos of his son Gary dancing with a hula girl during their vacation in Hawaii. The others try their best with "Beat the __" on the Audience Match. Alfie Wise continues to do very well on Match Game Syndicated, but it's Charles who really stands out here. He's "ready for his bow" when he thinks his answer to "__ Shoulders" will be on top in the Audience Match. In the second episode, his sobbing answer to a cheerleading question brings (semi) praise even from Oscar-winner Patty Duke.

It took me a while to decide on something, but I finally finished the night on YouTube with Shirley Temple Storybook Theater. Since I'm in the midst of reading The Marvelous Land of Oz, the first sequel to The Wizard of Oz, I thought I'd do her version "The Land of Oz." Temple herself is Ozma and Tip here, traveling to the Emerald City with Jack Pumpkinhead (Sterling Holloway) on the Sawhorse (Mel Blanc) to stop the witch Mombi (Agnes Moorehead) and Dr. Nidick (Jonathan Winters) from taking over Oz.

One of the more intriguing existing Storybook Theater episodes. On one hand, Temple makes an adorable Tip, Blanc's Sawhorse is very funny, and Moorehead's having a great time as Mombi four years before she played a more famous witch in Betwitched. I have no idea why they replaced General Jinjur with Nidick, though. I can understand eliminating a lot of things for time, but that doesn't make much sense. Doesn't help that it's hampered by the made-for-TV budget. Jack's costume is more frightening than it is funny, the Gump looks more like a bunch of rugs sewn together, and the Sawhorse is obviously not really running. Still, this is a fun production, and worth seeing if only for the cast and for Marvelous Land of Oz not turning up as often in adaptions as its predecessor. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Tooth and Troubles

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast before hurrying off to my dentist's appointment. It could have been worse. I got across Cuthbert quickly, and the weather was gorgeous. It's a little hazy, but still mostly sunny, breezy, and warm but not hot or humid. I arrived at the dentist's office in Westmont just in time...before the receptionist told me they just put all their paperwork online. I had to redo my paperwork, despite having used them for years.

My cleaning went fine. I went in. The lady scraped and polished my teeth. I went out with a bag of a toothbrush, a little container of toothpaste, and floss. Nothing hurt worse than her moving my lips so she could do my lower teeth. The x-rays took less than a minute, too.

And then I talked to the doctor. It seems the molar on my left side that they did a root canal on two years ago is still cracked and still not healing. Despite the fact that it doesn't hurt at all, they're going to have to remove it. I'm dreading that after the last one they removed hurt like heck, but at least I'll have time to get ready for it. I'll be getting the tooth out the last week of June and my regular cleaning in early September.

Still didn't have much luck finding a bike basket at Target, either. I went into the tiny Target a few doors down from the dental office, but found nothing besides helmets and some accessories. Ended up getting a Diet Canada Dry and a reusable bag I could carry in my purse. (The cloth bag I carry in my purse has many holes in it from hauling records with pointy sides, and I've had it for a while now anyway.)

Went home and into lunch and writing. Joyce does manage to sneak the dog past the security guards and into the dressing room she shares with Brett. As she sets up a little nest for him on the floor among old towels, she hopes Brett isn't too drunk for her to ask advice on what to do about him.

Headed off to work around 2:35. Wanted to pick up a container of clearance cookies beforehand, but I had to put them back until I could get them later. I wish I hadn't gone into work at all. It was a pain in the rear. It's the beginning of the month and the day we have a 5 percent senior discount. Between that, we had long and cranky lines all afternoon, even when we did have enough help. Thank heavens it slowed down enough by 7 for me to hurry out with no relief and no need for one.

Had dinner upstairs while watching Match Game Syndicated. Comedian Alfie Wise made his first appearance on the show this week. He proved to be quite adept at the game, matching almost every question. Brett was less happy about wearing dark glasses to hide a black eye and stitches from a roller skating accident. 

Finished the night on Kanopy with Oz: A Rock and Roll Road Movie. I go further into this strange modern Australian Wizard of Oz at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, June 05, 2023

Celebrating the Games

Got such a late start, it was 11:30 before I had breakfast and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "The Wizard of Dizz" is a cute two-part Wizard of Oz spoof from the fourth season. Minnie and Pluto duck into the shoe-shaped garage during a tornado, only to be sent over the rainbow to the Land of Dizz. Good Witch Clarabelle sends them to the Wizard (Professor Ludwig Von Drake), who is the only one who can help her get home. Along the way, she meets Goofy the Scarecrow, who wants brains, Mickey the Tin Mouse, who wants a heart that won't wind down, and Donald the Cowardly Duck-Lion, who wants to be King of the Jungle. The Bad Witch Pete is determined to stop them and get those pretty green glittery shoes Minnie wears!

Wanted to get my errands done as quickly as possible, so I called Uber. The driver arrived within seven minutes. She was such a pleasant lady and chatted so nicely with me on the way to the Cherry Hill Mall, I gave her a big tip.

Once again, I cut across the mall and went over the pedestrian bridge to the shopping center. This time, I started at Hobby Lobby. Ours is enormous! I was hoping to find doll clothes, like the Springfield Collection, but I couldn't even find the toy section. I did find children's craft boxes, though. I bought a craft box for the daughter of a friend who's turning twelve next month.

No luck in Target at all. They had nothing but helmets and bikes in their bike section...and they're the largest Target in the area. I walked out with nothing. At least it was a nice day for a hike over the pedestrian bridge. It remains sunny, blue, and breezy. Clouds were beginning to gather as I returned to the mall, though, and it cooled off a bit.

I had a late lunch at the food court in the mall. I've done Saladworks there before. I asked for the regular Turkey and Cheddar, but they thought I meant the grilled pannini. Oh well, it still tasted good. It just took longer. Had that with "Sophie's Salad," a spinach salad with blue cheese, chicken, apples, and dried cranberries, and a Coke Zero.

Had originally planned on taking the bus home, but I didn't feel like waiting nearly an hour for the next one. I just called Uber again. This time, the driver arrived in 7 minutes. He was nice, if not quite as chatty. He hit a little bit of traffic on Cuthbert, but nothing too terrible for the start of rush hour.

When I got in, I went online and looked up baskets on Amazon. I just couldn't decide what I wanted. I need something sturdier than the basket that broke, but I don't want anything too expensive, either. I also don't want a wicker or wooden basket. I don't think they can handle large grocery loads and records. 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '74 at 6 PM. In the first episode, Janet Finn was finally defeated by soft-spoken Italian beauty Sylvania, whose ability to speak several languages came in for some riffing from the panelists, including Charlie Brill, Joyce Bulifant, and Marcia Wallace. In the second episode, Brett boasts that she appeared in the West Hollywood Olympics, or at least, she wore the t-shirt.

Finished off my own National Game Show Day by honoring Buzzr's history. They began in 2016 as a place for British company Fremantle to unload their American game show re-runs, mostly from the Monty Hall and Goodson-Todman libraries. Indeed, their very first episode was the original 1963 pilot for Let's Make a Deal. (Later Deals from the 70's and 80's have been off and on the channel several times; the mid-80's version currently runs at 11 PM.)

Originally, they tried to skewer towards shows people weren't familiar with, like the short-lived Child's Play from 1983 and Alex Trebek Double Dare from 1976. Child's Play in particular is fairly unique. Bill Cullen hosts this show that has adults trying to guess a word described by young children. The game play may be a little too complicated, which is why this didn't last a year, but the kids are adorable and Bill does well with them.

Bill Cullen also hosted Blockbusters, a more traditional trivia show. Two family members take on a single player to answer trivia questions on a hexagon board filled with letters. I really wish the US version ran longer than two years. Bill enjoyed himself, the trivia was fun and challenging, and the two-on-one format made this unique among quiz shows.

Buzz occasionally ran older black and white panel shows like To Tell the Truth and What's My Line, usually in the middle of the afternoon or late at night. The black and white shows eventually vanished, but the color syndicated version of What's My Line continues to run on occasion. The syndicated To Tell the Truth recently returned to the network on prime time as a rather odd companion to the 90's The Newlywed Game.

Match Game and the various versions of Password dominate the schedule (along with Classic Concentration), and have been a part of the network from the beginning. Match Game originally ran four times a week and throughout the weekend; even now, it's still on for three hours during the daytime. They finally started running the Tom Kennedy Password Plus only within the past year. Perhaps they assumed Allen Ludden is more associated with the show.

Let's Make a Deal isn't the only Monty Hall-hosted show to turn up on the network. His version of Beat the Clock is another one that was on quite often in the beginning. Monty may not have been happy to be here, but the stunts are still very funny, and it is nice to see the original non-celebrity contestants in this early episode.

The original 1978 Card Sharks was another early favorite on the network. It would later be joined by the first year of the 1986 version. They only just started running the Card Sharks episodes from 1980 and 81 in the morning when it was dropped in favor of Press Your Luck (and starting this week, Family Feud). 

One of my favorite early Buzzr shows is Body Language. This cross between the earlier charades-based Showoffs and Password Plus has celebrities miming words for celebrities to guess, then slot into a story puzzle. If they can guess what the puzzle describes, they win the points. Winner goes on to describe ten words to determine how much they go for, then three to see if they can win it. Phyllis Diller and later Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell were the celebrities here.

New shows premiere on Buzzr as Fremantle buys companies or convinces others to let their shows run on the network. One example of a show Fremantle purchased is Supermarket Sweep, which debuted on the network in 2019. It doesn't turn up quite as often on the channel since it got its own 24 hour channel on Pluto TV, but it still turns up on weekends. This episode is part of their Tournament of Champions, as pairs who appeared on the show before and didn't win the $5,000 get another chance to find it. 

Celebrate Buzzr's National Game Show Day by taking a look at their own history and heritage! (The copy of the Let's Make a Deal pilot I used includes its original rediscovery on Game Show Network and its Buzzr run.)

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Dolls on National Game Show Day

It was so late by the time I finally got up, I had breakfast while watching Match Game '73. The last day of Buzzr's National Game Show Day marathon kicked off with a repeat of the show's first episode. I think they meant to show the last episode of the series...but the Match Game Syndicated episode they showed was the last one of the second syndicated season in 1981, not the series. It was still funny as heck, with Betty White in Brett Somers' seat, Bart Braverman running off with the pretty winning contestant, Bill Daily bringing over stairs so no one will be shorter than the contestant, and Joyce Bulifant nervously answering "Fairy __" in the Head-to-Head. 

Went straight into dressing the dolls for June after the shows ended. Felicity wears her new petticoat under her blue and white rose-print dress. Whitney's in a purple cabbage rose print dress from Our Generation Retro, with purple netting under the skirt and shiny purple shoes Lauren gave her. Molly's Birthday Pinafore dress is sleeveless and is more appropriate for summer than her actual birthday in April. Kit gets her Yellow Flowered Print dress with the beige strap shoes. 

I couldn't decide what Barbara Jean should wear, so she's in her original purple and pink paisley minidress with the velvet trim and lace skirt. Lace tights from one of the Our Generation outfits replace the stockings that are really too fragile for her to wear. Ariel celebrates Pride Month and is working on her skating in a rainbow terrycloth jumper and plastic roller skates. Jessa sports a simple magenta t-shirt and jean capris with clogs. Samantha looks very grown-up in Rebecca's beautiful Lace Dress with the drop waist and pink bows and the matching white shoes. Josefina wears her lovely white, tan, and maroon Weaving Outfit. 

Let Buzzr run as I worked on the dolls. Tattletales kicked off with three great couples, comedians Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, dancers Elaine Joyce and Bobby Van, and TV and stage actor and artist Dick Gautier and his mouthy wife Barbara Stuart. I'd seen this episode before, including the story of how Bobby met Elaine in a singles bar. 

I recognized nothing in the Tattletales finale they played...because, first of all, it wasn't the finale of the 1970's version. It was the finale of the revival that ran from 1982 to 1984. And of course, this was a themed week with couples from CBS soaps of the time, so I knew no one besides host Bert Convy. Frankly, I didn't even think their stories were all that funny.

Password Plus was vastly more interesting. I've seen the first episode of that one before, with Elizabeth Montgomery and her husband Robert Foxworth playing like gangbusters and Allen Ludden hosting. By the time the show ended in 1982. Ludden had died of cancer and was replaced by his good friend Tom Kennedy. Audrey Landers didn't do too badly, but this was never Tom Poston's game. He really flubbed the Alphabetics, doing two illegal clues there. 

The first episode of Super Password from 1984 featured a far more interesting soap star, Gloria Loring, along with beloved Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak. Bert Convy had his other major hosting hit here. I just saw the hilarious series finale from 1989 on Friday, with Betty White and Christopher Hewitt of Mr. Belvedere. Betty White gets to destroy the hated Ca$hword question holder, and I don't think anyone else could have gotten away with destroying studio property besides her.

I was less interested in the first two and last two episodes of Classic Concentration, so I decided to get out and stretch my legs instead after eating a quick lunch. The weather remained the same as yesterday, cloudy, windy, damp, and deliciously cool, probably in the lower 70's. Made a brief stop at Dollar General for a Coke Move Zero before strolling down to the back entrance of Newton Lake Park for a nice walk. We badly need rain. Everything is looking so dry, from the dusty yellowish leaves to the parched, cracked dirt road. 

The last thing I expected to see as part of Buzzr's marathon were the first two and last two episodes of Match Game '90. They've run this show twice, on Halloween weekend and Veteran's Day. It's never been a regular part of their schedule. Makes me wonder if they intend to add it anytime soon. Sally Struthers, then doing the voice of Rebecca on Tail Spin, and Joe Alasky, who did the voice of Plucky Duck on Tiny Toon Adventures, appeared with Charles Nelson Reilly during the first week. Charles was joined by Nell Carter, Brad Garrett, and late soap star Jacklyn Zemen during the last week.

Worked on writing next. Joyce coaxes the little dog into her purse with a granola bar, then manages to sneak him past the guard. She's hoping one of the panelists will know what to do, or will know a shelter who will take him. She is, however, worried about their producer Ira Skutch fussing over him being there...

Broke for a shower at 7, then had a roast beef sandwich for dinner. Finished off the night watching the second Match Game marathon this weekend revolving around panelists who appeared on MASH. Jamie Farr made his only Match Game appearance on Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, where he and Jon Bauman fielded many nose jokes. McLean Stevenson turned up that week, too, and was sarcastic as ever. 

My favorite of McLean's appearances on the 70's Match Game was that wild week in '73 with Nancy Dussault. He kept trying to kiss everyone after contestants won and claimed he borrowed his suits from the other guys. Loretta Swit also turned up late in '73, with Morey Amsterdam and dancer and game show hostess Ruta Lee. Swit even fielded a question about what Hot Lips lost on the operating table. Swit appeared through '78. Gary Burghoff would turn up until the second-to-last syndicated season, even after he left MASH. 1974-75 wasn't the last time he took Charles' seat. He took over it briefly for a week during the syndicated era, too, when Charles was away directing an opera. 

Celebrate more of of the greatest officers ever in Burbank or Korea with these very funny episodes!

Saturday, June 03, 2023

Farm Markets and Yard Sales

I overslept this morning and got moving later than I'd hoped. There was a lot going on today, and I didn't want to miss it. I changed, ate breakfast quickly, grabbed my bags, and hurried out.

Started off at the Collingswood Bike Share next to the Farm Market. This fenced-in area is filled with bikes for rental or selling to Collingswood residents...but it's also where volunteer bike mechanics fix everyone's bike problems. I was very tired of my loose chain coming off. It happened three times in two weeks. I left the mechanic there to tighten it as I went across the street.

The Farm Market was mobbed with people shopping for barbecues, birthday parties, and family get-togethers, or taking time-out from the Collingswood Town-Wide Yard Sale. Saw zucchini, yellow squash, scallions, and cucumbers for the first time this season. I bought those amazing ruby-red strawberries and beautiful cherry tomatoes in many different colors.

Rode around Collingswood for a while after I retrieved my bike. It was cool, cloudy, and damp, all of which were welcome after the dry heat we've had lately. My ride ended up being rather pleasant. Found the children's book version of Christmas Eve On Sesame Street at one house across from Knight Park, along with a hot dog bought from a boy cooking them on an indoor grill. Another sale a few blocks down had four books for a dollar. I bought The Swiss Family Robinson, a collection of adventure stores, a cookbook with recipes for one or two people, and The Taste of Home Baking Book, along with a two-disc CD collection of music by the Mamas and the Papas and "Mama" Cass Elliot solo. 

Made my best finds riding back to Oaklyn down Collings Avenue. One house on Collings near the high school had several lovely 60's and 70's-style home made doll outfits on a blanket. I picked up two long-sleeved coats or dresses for Barbara Jean, one in red corduroy trimmed with lace and ribbon, the other in woolen green plaid. There was also a flowered sundress that will go to Ariel or Whitney. A house on a side street yielded Timeless Tales Volume 3, a collection of Disney shorts. Four of them - Ben & Me, Morris the Midge Moose, Casey at the Bat, and Little Hiawatha - aren't currently on Disney Plus. (In fact, I bought the disc to have Ben & Me for the 4th of July.) 

Didn't have as much luck in Oaklyn. For one thing, it was past 12:30 by that point. I briefly rode down Hillcrest, then across West Clinton and down to Kendall. I didn't see Rose and her family around, but I did buy a lemonade from a family who was earning money to help another family's beloved dog have surgery and got a free water and soft pretzel from the new tae kwon do studio that moved in next to the soft pretzel shop.

Went home and changed quickly while watching What's My Line on Buzzr. I arrived just in time for this black and white episode's charming Mystery Guest. It was a very young and adorable bespectacled Sammy Davis Jr. Arlene Francis guessed him right. She'd seen his nightclub act. Francis carried over to the early Password episode with Sandy Bergman that was on as I was leaving for work.

Made a brief stop at Common Grounds Coffee House before I went to the Acme. I wanted lunch, but ended up buying a French Vanilla Chip muffin for later, along with a Vitamin Water lemonade. It was too busy to sit down or wait around in a long line.

Work was busy for most of the night. In addition to all those barbecues and get-togethers I mentioned, it's the beginning of the month and the end of baseball and softball season for local Little League teams. If people weren't buying barbecue fixings or huge beginning of the month orders, they were stocking Little League concession stands. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by 6 that I was able to leave with no relief and no need for one.

Had dinner while watching Journey Back to Oz on YouTube. I go further into this Filmation adaptation of the Wizard of Oz sequel The Marvelous Land of Oz on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Finished the night on YouTube with the Match Game Classics Saturday Marathon. Tonight's was a tribute to MASH actors who appeared on the show. Energetic Gary Burghoff (who replaced Charles Nelson Reilly in the third seat from late 1974 to mid-1975), wacky McLean Stevenson, and sarcastic Loretta Swit were the most commonly seen MASH stars on the 1970's and syndicated version of the show. Stevenson, in fact, took over Richard Dawson's "smart guy" seat late in the Syndicated run. Stevenson and Burghoff also appeared on The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in 1983 and '83, along with William Christopher and Larry Linville. 

See your favorite members of the 4077th have a crazy good time, whether they're in Korea or Burbank!

Friday, June 02, 2023

Hotter Than Harts

Slept in, then started the morning with breakfast and Scooby Doo and Guess Who? on Tubi. While not a huge hit, this modern version of The New Scooby Doo Movies, with the gang encountering celebrities and belvoed cartoon characters, went over well enough and was certainly better-received than the current show about Velma's back story. The gang accepts a challenge from an eccentric billionaire to stay overnight at a haunted hotel in Las Vegas that's about to be imploded. Also joining them are comedian magicians Penn & Teller. "The Cursed Cabinet of Professor Madds Markson" seems to explode before their eyes, producing a scary rabbit monster...but Penn and Velma think there's something more at work here.

Spent the rest of the morning trying to focus on writing and job-hunting. There's just not a lot of library assistant jobs out there. I can't even find anything listed at any of the town library sites. Maybe I was better off looking for data entry jobs. It may not be perfect, but there seems to be more of them out there. 

Writing didn't go much better. I can't seem to focus. Joyce offers the dog a bit of oatmeal cookie she has in her purse. It trots over, sniffing around. She finally takes it into her arms. The dog is thin but is otherwise in good health, but it has no collar or tags and seems to belong to no one.

Broke to have a quick lunch and Match Game '73. Today, Buzzr ran first and last episodes of series, or their most famous shows as part of their National Game Show Day marathon. The first episode of Match Game was a far quieter affair, with shorter, non-naughty questions, but it did feature at least one panelist (Michael Landon) who never returned to the show, and the show's first memorable contestant, a gorgeous woman named Stanley. Match Game Syndicated was the first Kirstie Alley episode that turned up earlier this week. 

Found a box on the porch for me. I found two records on eBay I've hunted for years. Mom bought the Disney cassettes Rock Around the Mouse and Totally Minnie around 1989. I still have them in storage...but after over 30 years, I'm worried they won't last much longer. As you can probably guess from the titles, Rock is a 50's pastiche, while Minnie goes in for girl-power 80's pop. Catchy numbers on Rock include the title song, "Go Go Go" as Donald's nephews run him ragged for a weekend, and the ballads "Mickey and Minnie On a Moonlit Night" and "Here's to the Ears of Love." My favorite number from Minnie is an extremely cute pop version of "Let's Get Together" from the original Parent Trap.

Headed out before Syndicated ended. Despite the hot, dry day, we were busy when I came in. It's the first weekend of the month, and many people were likely using government money. Thankfully, other than a few cranky people, there were no major problems. I was nearly late getting off when the other cashier was late getting back from break, though. 

Fairly decent schedule next week. In good news, three days off, Sunday, Monday, and next Saturday. Mostly late hours, though, and an 8 hour day next Friday. Not enough hours, either. Considering we're coming up on high school graduations, Father's Day, and Juneteeth by the middle of the month, I have the feeling that'll be changing shortly.

Picked up a few things on the way out. I mainly wanted to restock drinks. Was out of coconut milk, and the Acme generic sparkling water was 29 cents for two with a digital coupon. Found two bags of brownie cookies on the bakery clearance racks. Bought a ball of slightly cheaper pearl mozzarella instead of the snacking packs. Grabbed Propel for the way home. 

Put on Buzzr when I got home. Arrived just in time for the second half of the infamous Michael Larson Press Your Luck episodes from 1984. Larson took them for over $110,000 on two extended episodes, all because he memorized the patterns on the board. That would remain a network winnings record until Who Wants to Be a Millionaire debuted in 1999.  

Had dinner while watching Super Password. This was the show's hilarious final episode from 1989, with Christopher Hewitt of Mr. Belvedere and Betty White as its last panelists. No one else but Betty White could have gotten away with throwing the question holder from the hated Ca$hword mini-game on the floor after she lost...and then doing it again to make sure it was well and truly destroyed.

Enjoyed dessert during To Tell the Truth. Three adorable third grade cowgirls discussed their "Pony of the Americas," a pony sized just for young ladies. One of those cowgirls grew up to be actress Cynthia Nixon, whose mother worked for the show. The other contestant's story wasn't nearly so cute. The panel had to figure out which French-Asian man was arrested in China and held in a prison camp there.

Finished the night online with Hart to Hart. "Max's Waltz" with a lovely older woman (Dorothy Lamour) at a local ballroom makes both of them very happy...until she starts believing a businessman who comes to her wanting money for a shopping center. Max thinks there's something else going on here and recruits Johnathan to do research. Turns out there's no shopping center. The man is a con artist who preys on wealthy widows. After Max's friend disappear, he and the Harts do a little dancing of their own to find out what happened to her. 

Thursday, June 01, 2023

June Is Busting Out All Over

Started off the morning in a rush. I thought I had job counseling this morning. I waited outside for nearly a half-hour and she never arrived. Never heard from her by texting, either.  I ended up going inside for a while and watching Charlie & Lola. Lola tells Charlie "I am Collecting a Collection" after she sees her brother get excited over dinosaur toys that come out of cereal boxes. Lola doesn't know what she wants to collect, until she finds the one big toy Charlie wants for his collection...

Made my way out around 10 after 11. Arrived at 3D Physical Therapy with barely five minutes to spare. I'm still working on my balance, and my hips can get sore after prolonged use, too. Plus, there's that sore toe. I balanced on a board again and did a lot of stretching exercises, including pulling my ankle up to my knee.

I forgot a few things when I was out yesterday, so I stopped by Family Dollar on the way home. Grabbed a yellow bottle of Tide, a box of trash bags, and a Coke Zero. Thankfully, the line wasn't long at all, despite it being the lunch hour, and the girl behind the counter was sweet.

Had lunch while watching Classic Concentration. This part of Buzzr's "National Game Show Day" that they've been hyping for weeks. The contestants kept winning prize after prize on the main puzzles, but had a harder time matching car models. It took the guy two tries to get it. 

Had regular counseling with Mrs. Stahl at 2. At least that went well. On one hand, things aren't going that badly. I had one of my most enjoyable vacations with Lauren ever, I managed to get out of jury duty, and the weather has been perfect lately. On the other hand, I still feel like every time I take one step forward in finding a job, I end up taking ten steps backwards. I wish we could do something concrete that would actually work out. It's the same old story. I get ideas, I think I know what I want, but I'm not sure, it doesn't end up happening, and I'm stuck again. 

I'm tired of being stuck. I want to know exactly what I want. I'm supposed to know. I'm an adult. Rose has scolded me for years about not knowing what I want, about not having a plan for my life and my future. I know I want something to do with books and writing, and I want a home of my own. I just don't know how to get there, or what to do with it.

Messed around online for a half-hour after counseling, then took down the spring decorations and put up my patriotic items and my summer things. I know summer isn't for another three weeks, but it got into the mid-80's today. That's summer enough. I put out my stuffed flamingos, small sunflower vine wreath, and beaded angelfish to hang on my closet door. Set America Cares Bear on a shelf, and the USA folk art letters on the same top shelf as the big wooden key holder and my schedule. The two big American flags are held up by the collectible bears, and the Uncle Sam cardboard container is on the table. 

Watched The Chocolate Soldier while I worked. I go further into this operetta vehicle for Nelson Eddy and Met soprano Rise Stevens based after the hit 1924 play The Guardsman at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Returned to messing around online until dinner. Put on Bugs Bunny's Busting Out All Over while I ate. Chuck Jones animated this special with three original shorts hosted by Bugs. The first has a mild late spring-early summer theme, as a young Bugs dodges young Elmer's pop gun on the first day of summer vacation. The second takes Bugs up to Mars, where Marvin the Martian wants him to be the pet to Hugo the Abominable Snowman. Bugs thinks there's someone who would make a better friend for Hugo.  The third is basic Wile E. Coyote-Road Runner shenanigans with a twist ending that sees Wile E. finally getting what he a really big way. 

Spent the rest of the night watching more of Buzzr's National Game Show Day marathon revolving around big winners. While the lady on Classic Concentration won just as much as the guy earlier in the day did, she never did manage to match the cars. A young man did far better on Press Your Luck, dodging the Whammies long enough to amass over $58,000 in prizes and becoming the second-biggest winner on the show.  

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Ease On Down the Road

Slept in longer than usual. Match Game '77 was on by the time I got to breakfast. I let it run into Tattletales as I got organized. We had three great couples here, Jamie Farr and his funny wife Joy, Betty White and Allen Ludden, and Eddie Mekka and his girlfriend Shirley Kirkes. The married couples were the winners here, with Jamie and Joy getting every question right. After the first episode, I took my laundry downstairs, watched a bit of the second show, and headed out.

I wanted to run a few errands while the weather remains nice. Stopped at the library first. I mainly wanted to find the first couple of Oz books for fanfiction inspiration. Found a collection of the first three stories. I also picked up the latest Tea Shop Mystery novel, Lemon Curd Killer, and Bibliphile Mystery, The Paper Caper

Next stop was Target for lunch and to pick up a few things. There was a long line of hungry Catholic high schoolers when I finally arrived. I bought my usual spinach-feta-egg wrap and a honey-lemon citrus tea. The tea was on the same menu as the chilled Refreshers drink...but I had no idea it was hot tea! It was in the 80's today, not great weather for hot drinks. Not only that, but there was way too much lemon in it. It was too bitter to drink. I didn't even get through half before I tossed it.

Looked at toothpaste for gums, but decided it was cheaper elsewhere and bought mouthwash instead. Grabbed a pack of vanilla yogurt and decided to try honey-lavender cashews. Snagged a Diet Canada Dry for the ride home. Grabbed some cold packs for my sore toe that I stubbed at the Goodwill on Friday, too. (And forgot what I came in there for, which was laundry detergent. I had just enough for my huge load today.) 

Ran a couple of Daniel Tiger episodes while putting more of my huge laundry load in the wash and getting organized. "Daniel Fixes Trolley," or a toy one, when his mother encourages him to solve his problems himself. He becomes "Problem Solver Daniel" when he and Miss Elainia try to figure out whether to build a block train or space ship and when he and Prince Wednesday want to wear the same jacket to be an alien.

"Daniel Follows the Rules at the Pool" when he's there with his mother. He learns why they're important when he slips while running and Prince Wednesday is reminded that he needs a grown up's permission to go into the big pool. "Daniel's First Swim Class" makes him a little nervous after he nearly falls into the pool. He feels better once he gets the chance to blow bubbles. Katerina isn't happy when they're called out of the pool before it's her turn, but they can't swim during a thunder storm.

Tried to focus on writing The Wizard of Blank. This Match Game take on The Wizard of Oz is set during the height of the show's popularity in mid-1976. Sweet Joyce Bulifant notices a dog rooting around in the trash near Television City. She can't let the poor little dog go hungry, so she decides to sneak him into the studio and figure out what to do from there.

Broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7. The first episode was the infamous show where a contestant gives such a strange answer to the Head-to-Head question "Cuckoo __," Gene and the panelists almost literally fall over laughing. The second one continues the gags with Joyce's wigs. (Actually, I like her as a strawberry blonde. She looks a bit like Sandy Duncan.)

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower and finally bringing the laundry upstairs with two very different half-hour animated Wizard of Oz specials. The first is from 1991, and it's more-or-less an accurate condensed retelling of the first book. The shoes are silver, Glinda is from the South, the Witch of the North is a kindly old round lady, and they meet Glinda after the Wizard leaves. Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz is a half-hour version of the book Ozma of Oz. It's pretty much the same thing as the Disney Return to Oz, only here, a rather bland Ozma leads the rescue mission to find the Queen of Iv and her children, and there's no creepy witches who remove heads. 

Neither has the best animation, but they both have other merits. The 1991 special is actually a pretty close adaptation of the original book. Ozma of Oz retains Billina the talking hen and the scary Wheelers, giving it a slightly dark tone (though not to the degree of Return to Oz). Both are worth checking out if you're an Oz fan looking for different adaptations of the story. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Began Lauren's last day here with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. "The Return of Major Bonicelli" brings back the pizza-loving Italian prisoner of war camp manager from "The Pizza Parlor." He's now Hogan's Italian contact, but he's been compromised. Hogan and the Heroes have to find a way to get him out of Germany...if the sausage and sauerkraut don't kill him first. 

"The Big Dish" was created by a female British scientist turned traitor. She convinces Hogan that she's not playing the Nazis' game, until she goes through with the radar experiments at Stalag 13 anyway. Now the guys have to figure out how to discredit her and destroy the radar, before the Germans down more pilots.

Headed out to lunch shortly after the episode ended. This time, Capitol Pizza was open. Lauren had a slice of mushroom, a slice of pepperoni, and a bottle of Diet Pepsi. I had a slice of cheese, a slice of mushroom, and a bottle of Diet Coke. We enjoyed our meal on the wrought iron tables perched on the curb. Not the best view, unless you like looking at the White Horse Pike and parked cars, but it was such a nice day, we had to eat outside.

Went to WaWa for a treat. I got a cooling Mint Cream Smoothie. She had one of those frozen ice bars that looked like Spider Man. We enjoyed them on the front patio near the trash can. Yum. The mint cream smoothie was just mint flavoring and milk, but it was just strong enough.

We were originally going to check out Comicrypt, the comic book store around the corner from me, but it's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Made Dollar General our next stop instead. I needed to restock my Sunbelt Granola bars; also picked up a Coke Move Zero. 

It was far too gorgeous to sit inside until Lauren left. We went for a long stroll down to Newton Lake Park to enjoy the sunny, windy, dry weather. There were a few families with young kids running around on the playground. We joined in, flying on the swings and sliding down the smaller, twistier slide. Lauren wanted to see where the dirt path ended, so I took her along behind the houses on Briarwood to the wide green patch of grassy land where it terminates.

After we got home, we snuck in one more Hogan's episode while Lauren finished packing. The Heroes say "Happy Birthday, Dear Hogan" and hold a surprise party for him. LeBeau overhears information that could be of great interest to their Colonel, but they're more worried when it turns out to be a Getstopo trap. As usual, Hogan finds a way to turn the tables.

A friend of mine drove us into Philly around 2;30. Lauren wasn't leaving until 3:56, but she wanted to get there early and have time to walk around. We also stopped at the bank so I could get money for the rent, for yard sales and the farm market on Saturday, and for the toll going into Philly. Despite hitting heavy traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway, we still managed to get into Philly by a little after 3 PM.

I got off with Lauren to spend a little more time with her before she left. We did walk around for a few minutes, but neither of us were hungry, and Lauren had no room in her bulging backpack and suitcase for more shopping. We settled on a bench and chatted until she saw the gate number come up on the announcement board around 3:30. I gave her a hug and made sure she got to her line all right. We had a great time and are already making plans for my visit to her neck of the woods in September.

Considered taking the NJ Transit train to Cherry Hill and picking up Uber from there, but the train wouldn't arrive until 4:41. I didn't feel like hanging around the station that long, so I just called Uber from the station. The cheerful young man arrived in 7 minutes. He had enough sense to take the Walt Whitman Bridge going past Citizen's Bank Park home. There was a ton of traffic going into the city (perhaps the Phillies played a late game?), but only a tiny bit going into New Jersey. I was home by quarter after 4. 

Vacuumed and Swiftered while watching Classic Concentration. A young college-age woman dominated the game I saw, winning both rounds and a ton of prizes. She just couldn't figure out the match-the-car game, though.

Switched to The Great Waltz while going over notes for several Match Game fanfics. I go further into this fanciful 1938 MGM "biography" of Johann Strauss II at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Had dinner while watching Match Game Syndicated. They're up to the wild week with Joyce Bulifant in a variety of wigs, including a frizzy bright orange curly one that made her look like Little Orphan Annie run amok. She wasn't the only strange blonde on that week, either. A very sweet contestant gave a very, very peculiar answer to what a jock centipede wore. 

Finished the night on Crackle with The Silencers. I felt like something weird tonight...and the first of four Matt Helm movies featuring Dean Martin as the suave photographer certainly fit that bill. He's called back to the secret agent business after the murder of one of their agents, the stripper Sarita (Cyd Charisse). He and the department he works for, the ICE, think Gail Hendricks (Stella Stevens) is an enemy agent after Sarita hands a precious computer film over to her. Hendricks is an ordinary woman who just happened to be there when Sarita was shot in the back. The computer file is linked to Chinese mastermind Tung-Tze (Victor Buono), who wants to set the US and Russia against each other and incite a nuclear war. He sends the seductive Tina (Daliah Lavi) to sidetrack Matt, but he and Gail somehow find a way to save the world anyhow.

Whoa, this was a weird one. Weird, incredibly dated in its Cold War plot and treatment of its female characters, and not as funny as it likes to think it is. In fact, this is kind of dark for what's supposed to be a spoof. There's a lot of gun play, blood is seen, and there's Stevens protesting she's not a bad guy, but no one believes her. There's also Buono obviously not being Chinese. It's worth checking out at least once if you love Martin or the imitation Bond spy capers of the 1960's and early 70's if you can handle the violence. 

(Oh, and Lauren got home with her parents around 10:30 PM. Other than the train from Philly to New York being full and getting squeezed in her seat, she apparently had no trouble anywhere. This is technically the end of my actual vacation...but I have another ordinary day off, and I asked for Thursday to do several appointments.)