Saturday, June 22, 2024

First Harvest of the Summer

Started off the morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola is excited when she and Charlie go to the seaside to visit their grandparents. She's especially looking forward to building a huge sandcastle with her brother. A little girl watches them, then takes Lola's spade as she tries to make a sandcastle herself. Lola's upset when she falls on it, until her brothers come to help. "But We Always Do It Like This!" Lola protests, until it turns out the other kids have good ideas, and Lola learns how much fun it can be to share a project.

Hurried off to the farm market first. Saw the first tomatoes and peas of the summer season. They were still fairly busy at 10:30, despite it already being in the 80's by then. I grabbed cherries, Colby cheese from the dairy booth, yellow peaches from the orchard booth, blueberries, and whole-wheat sandwich bread from one of the bakery booths. 

Stopped at WaWa on my way home for a much-needed smoothie. Grabbed a Pina colada smoothie for now and a turkey wrap for a quick dinner later. I thought they'd be busy with people getting cold drinks. I must have just missed the breakfast crowd.

When I got home, I made my bed, put everything away, and had lunch while watching Leo on Netflix. I go further into this animated tale about a class pet who helps the kids with their problems at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while getting ready for work. The kids go on a "Safety Patrol" as Prince Tuesday teaches them about basic road signs. stop lights, and how to be safe in their neighborhood. Mrs. Tiger reminds Katerina and Dan that "Safety On the Beach" is equally important. They have to remember not to go in the water without a grown up and not go where the grown-up can't see them.

Called Uber for a ride to work the moment Daniel Tiger ended. I got away with the five-minute ride to Collingswood this morning, but by quarter of 2, the temperature had risen to 97. It was just too hot for a bike ride. The rider going to work arrived in 9 minutes. The one going home only took 5, despite it being past 6 when I contacted them.

Work could have been a lot worse. Yes, I had to push carts, but I made sure to do it in 20-30 minute intervals. When I got too hot, I'd go inside and put things away or water plants. I even made an arrangement with lovely orange roses. They provided water for people working outside in the employee's room. It helped that it was pretty quiet, especially later, and for once, there was plenty of help. I was in and out with no trouble.

After I got home, I went straight in the shower, then spent the rest of the night with dinner and the Match Game marathon. Basically, this was another random episode marathon, likely because the owner of the channel is busy with his other businesses at the moment. We saw highlights of the show's peak years from 1973 through 1977. 

Robert Morse tried to help a young woman figure out what Friday does with Robinson Crusoe that makes him go crazy behind Gene's back in a memorable episode from 1974. Another '74 episode had Gunilla Hudson showing off the writing on the rear of her colorful trousers. Nipsey Russell happily flirted with a lovely teacher later in the show. Earl, the little guy who pulled the Audience Match answers out, also fell for a pretty lady who made her own clothes in the episode where someone in the audience gave Gene and the regulars flowers. There was also the incident with everyone arguing over whether "spot" matches "puddle" and "little yellow spot" from 1974 and the long-lost PM episode from 1977 with Brett fluttering her fan and Gene saying a few regrettable things to a Japanese-American gentleman (that he at least took well). 

Celebrate the most fruitful years on the show in this hilarious marathon!

Friday, June 21, 2024

Night of the Hot Flowers

Began the morning with breakfast and Laff-a-Lympics. The competition begins in Italy, with a motor scooter race through Rome that the Dread Baron actually manages to win legitimately. They cheat far more outrageously in the Venice Canal Race, which ends with them losing to the Yogis and the Scoobys. No one does especially well with hang gliding or skydiving in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina...especially poor Yakky Doodle, who can't get down! He's in the air for so long, he ends up being the Yogis' entry in the hot air balloon race. The Rottens put in a good showing for once, coming in second after the Scoobys.

Called Uber for a ride to work. This time, it was just too hot to ride my bike. The heat index was nearly up to 100. The Uber driver picked me up in 8 minutes. The one going home took 12, and then he was late because he couldn't figure out where the Acme was.

The floral department was in chaos when I arrived. Apparently, the Acmes in Philadelphia totally ran out of their own arrangements and took ours...which meant we had nothing in the display case this morning but a few of those glass balls with the roses inside. (Although I did see a really cool rainbow-colored one.) 

After watering plants, sweeping up, and pricing and shelving stuffed mules, I was able to help the manager make smaller arrangements. There were four of the slim vases with the rose buds stuck in rocks, four vases of three roses, and four little round "Artisan" vases with shorter roses. I also helped her with regular blue and bright green latex balloons for a sudden Door Dash rush order.

The manager had just gone home for the day and I was working on the "Artisan" (short) arrangements when a man came up and said he wanted roses. I pointed towards the bouquets, but he said they weren't quite right. He didn't know what kind of arrangement or roses he wanted. He finally grabbed two red rose bouquets and the largest vases on the shelf. The resulting arrangements were looked as rushed as they were, but he left with a smile on his face and said they were beautiful.

He may have been happy, but I now had less than 20 minutes to finish the arrangements, put them in the cooler, and clean up the mess left from making them. And then, as I was trying to gather the four huge bags of cuttings and trash, I knocked over two buckets of rose bouquets, spilling water everywhere. The head bagger and a manager helped me clean up, and I was still late getting out.

Which also meant that I rushed my grocery shopping, since at that point, I just wanted to get home. Mainly needed to restock yogurt, granola bars, and coconut milk. Had online coupons for buy two, get a dollar off Propel drinks and buy two, get five dollars off Tresemme shampoo and conditioner. Found sweet cake like "cannoli" vanilla glazed cookies on the bakery clearance racks for $1.99. Small slices of strawberry cake were already on sale for $2.50. With a $2 online coupon, it came to 50 cents. 

Oh, and I got my schedule today. Such as it is. Once again, I barely work at all. I did ask for Tuesday and Thursday off due to three appointments, but certainly wasn't expecting Sunday, Monday, and Friday too. And Saturday is 7 1/2 hours! The head bagger is cashiering that day. In fact, the only reason I got work at all was Wednesday and Saturday are the days the head bagger is off or busy. I don't know what they're going to do when she retires, which will likely be in a year or two. 

Changed as soon as I got home, then had a snack while watching The Price Is Right. Though not all of the pricing games were won today, at the very least the ones with the cars were. The young woman who won the second car played one of the best games of Hit Me I ever saw. She picked the right items and only needed to two get 21. The Showcases had Holly as a train conductor waiting for prizes to come through the station and Johnny as the head of a complaints department who combats the fussing from the models with prizes. 

Spent the next two hours working on a project. The 400-disc DVD case I bought to house all individual films but musicals was out of order and getting too full to carry. I picked up smaller pink and  yellow cases for comedies and animated movies. As it turned out, the case was too small for the animated movies I own. I forgot how many of Disney's movies were two-disc sets. It was just the right size for the comedies, though. I'll get a larger case for the animated movies later in the summer and use that case for dramas instead. All other discs were rearrange in the case 

Watched The Wild Wild West as I worked. "Night of the Poisonous Posey" brings Jim West and Artemus Gordon to the small town of Justice, Nevada. They're seemingly welcomed with open arms after a scary prank, but a tarantula that turns up on Artemus' pillow makes Jim realize they aren't as popular as the locals claim. Turns out the town is a hide-out for criminal Lucrece Posey and her gang of international thugs. She wants to create a world-wide organization of crime that sounds a bit like what Big Boy had in mind in the 1990 Dick Tracy. When she captures Jim, Artemus manages to infiltrate her gang as one of the members to rescue him.

"The Night of the Bottomless Pit" is a bit darker. This time, both Jim and Artie are in disguise, Jim as a French war criminal, Artie as a disgraced member of the Foreign Legion, to free a captured agent. They have to dodge the vicious head of the prison and his amorous wife in order to not only rescue the agent, but get Jim away from being eaten by red ants after he's caught trying to escape.

Switched to Match Game '79 after the episode ended and while I ate dinner. Comedian Foster Brooks made his first appearance on the show in these episodes, joined by Lorna Patterson of Airplane! In the first episode, a young man seemed a little embarrassed by a question about what prosthetics an elderly stripper uses. Betty does better by "__ Circuit" in the second episode.

Finished the night at Tubi with If the Shoe Fits, a TV movie from 1990. Kelly Carter (Jennifer Gray) may be living in Paris, but she's not feeling especially romantic. All she wants is to become a shoe designer for Francesco Salvatore (Rob Lowe), but she's so shy and uncertain that no one notices her. She's late for her appointment with Francesco after helping a confused older woman (Andrea Ferreol) figure out where she's going and is swept under the rug yet again. 

Francesco is bored and dissatisfied with his current models and holds a ball to find a woman with a standout look. Kelly's best friend Veronique (Elisabeth Vitali) snares a dress for her to attend the ball. She doesn't want to go...until she steps into the dress and her glittery shoes and becomes a whole different person. Francesco is enchanted with this sleek, confident vision and insists she model for him. Kelly, calling herself "Prudence," agrees...if she can bring Kelly as her shoe designer. As she works closely with him, Kelly finds herself falling even more with Francesco, but she can't help wondering if it's the girl he's really after, or the magical facade. 

I remember seeing this around in the early 90's, but never quite getting around to watching it. Gray is lovely as plain-Jane Kelly and confident Prudence, but Lowe's not-so-charming prince of fashion is an obnoxious jerk who treats his models and everyone else around him like dirt. Considering how badly he acts, it's refreshing near the end of the movie when Prudence gives him a taste of his own medicine. The whole movie is very "TV in 1990," with colorful costumes that now look more ridiculous than fashionable and cheap sets without a dollop of Paris flavor. Worth checking out once on a quiet evening or afternoon at home if you're a fan of Gray or romantic comedies. 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Balance On a Hot Day

Slept in and spent so much time writing in my journal and finishing Against the Currant, it was 12:30 before I got moving. Watched PAW Patrol while eating brunch. "Sea Patrol: Pirate Pups to the Rescue" has Ryder and the Pups responding to a distress message from their friend Carlos and his Chihuahua Tracker. The duo were hunting for treasure on a remote tropical island and were stranded after a booby trap left Tracker's tent at sea. They first have to get around more booby traps, then need to rescue Carlos after the song from a magic flute hypnotizes the jungle animals and they carry him away in the treasure chest.

Did some stuff online for the next hour and a half or so. The truth is, I'm bored. I'm really bored. I'm stuck at a standstill with nothing happening. If the Acme is going to continue to give me lousy hours, I need something to do. I just wish I knew what that was. I looked up yoga studios online, but I finally decided it was too hot to be doing poses in a steamy studio.

I eventually just broke for lunch at quarter after 2. Watched the 24/7 Murder She Wrote streaming channel while I ate. Jessica is upset when her friend in Texas who owns a trucking company may lose his business after a shipment of computers going to NASA is stolen. The man (Earl Holliman) is having his own problems. His son (Patrick Wayne) seemingly prefers playing with a band at a local road house than working in his father's business. He's even more devastated when his son is accused of turning the ex-husband of his waitress girlfriend into "Roadkill." Turns out the guy was involved in far more nefarious dealings than arguments over a girl, including a smuggling ring.

After lunch, I just went out for a walk in Newton Lake Park. I couldn't think of anything else to do. At least it was hot and dry, but not to the degree that it's supposed to be tomorrow, and there's still that nice breeze. I sat on a bench for a few minutes and tried to communicate with nature, listening to the animals chatter and the wind rustle the leaves over my head. I even saw a family of Canadian geese all in a row step into the water, with two parents floating out to check out the water while their goslings and two older siblings stayed in formation.

Stopped at Dollar General for a drink. I thought of buying watercolor paint, but I don't want to pick up something, then get bored and stop doing it. I'm tired of wasting time and money on things that I just don't finish. I have at least five different stories going right now that I've started, but haven't finished. I just can't figure out where to go with them. I bought a Propel and a Diet Mountain Dew for later and walked home.

Finally did yoga myself in my bedroom. I never did get rid of my yoga mat. I have that box of illustrated yoga moves, too. They don't really give you instruction on how to do them. I haven't done yoga in over a decade. I ended up looking for them online. I really had a hard time with balance. I just can't stand on one foot without wobbling and nearly falling over. I can't lift myself very well, either. I wasn't even going to try headstands! At the least, I did feel a little bit better after having done it

Watched Mo' Better Blues while I worked. I go further into this 1990 jazz drama with Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes as rival jazz musicians at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

It was 7:30 before I finally broke for dinner. Ate while watching Match Game '79. For some reason, Buzzr jumped way back to mid-'79. Gene reveals how out-of-touch he and Charles often were when they admit they've never heard of the song "See You In September." An audience member sings it for them, and rather well, too.

Finished the night with more of my recent CD acquisitions as I worked on my review, starting with SPF 16: Summer Party Favorites in honor of the first day of summer. The reason I bought this is the sheer variety of summer-themed songs on this disc. We get everything from "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince to "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer" by Nat King Cole to "Southern Nights" by Glenn Campbell. Other unexpected tracks are "My Sharona" by the Knack, the theme from the original Hawaii 5-0 by the Ventures, and "Rio" by Duran Duran.

The Great Songs of George Gershwin features some of his most popular work in honor of his 100th birthday in 1998. This is another eclectic collection, with selections ranging from Judy Garland singing "Swanee" on the Star Is Born soundtrack to George Benson doing a jazzy "A Foggy Day" to a lovely and previously unreleased version of "The Can't Take That Away From Me" by Mildred Bailey and Her Orchestra. We also have some summer music here, too, with "Summertime" by Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra and "It Ain't Necessarily So" by Aretha Franklin.

Cannonball Adderly is one of the many jazz greats of the 50's and 60's I've been listening to on YouTube while puttering around online late at night. Most of the numbers on The Best of Cannonball Adderly: The Capitol Years are live recordings from the 1960's. I like his earlier stuff better; "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" was especially good. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Harts In the Western Heat

Began the morning with breakfast and All-Star Laff-a-Lympics. The first half in Athens is a showcase for basic track and field. The Really Rottens' cheating manages to trip the Scooby Doobies up twice in pole vaulting and discus throw. Yogi jumps over it in the vaulting, while Grape Ape helps Yakky Doodle deal with the discus. Bit surprised Daisy Mayhem was nowhere to be seen during the second half in the Ozarks. This seems like her turf. Maybe she was visiting relatives. The Scoobys came back from the trouble in the first half with Abu using a little magic to avoid the Rottens in the keel boat race and Dynomutt and Blue Falcon making a strong showing in the rail cart race.

Headed off to work after that. It wasn't that bad in the morning. A strong breeze kept it from feeling too hot. We were a lot busier than usual for a middle-of-the-month Wednesday, too. I wondered why...until I remembered that today is Juneteenth. Many people, especially in Camden, probably had today off. I think most of the kids are out of school by now too, and would have been even if the weather behaved better. Thankfully, other than having to put away a few cold items, there were no major problems.

By the time I got off, the heat had risen into the mid-90's. Even the warm breeze couldn't help now. I stopped at Common Grounds Coffee House for a cold, very sweet iced chai latte and macarons, and then went to the pretzel shop and got regular Philly pretzels for later and a can of Diet Coke. Common Grounds was busy; the pretzel shop was not.

Watched The Price Is Right on Buzzr when I got home. I think these episodes are from the mid-80's, probably right before Johnny Olson died. Bob has dark hair, the models wear suits and have big hair, and the ladies are in ruffly blouses, long skirts, and pantsuits. A lady only got one punch on Punch-a-Bunch, but it was enough for the top prize. An Air Force officer didn't do quite as well on Now and Then. After having waited the entire show, another lady in a striped pantsuit not only finally made it onstage at the last moment, she wound up with her Showcase, too.

Put on Dodge City while relaxing over popcorn and Propel. Errol Flynn stars as Wade Hatton, a cattle driver who helps bring the train to the title town. It also brings a wave of lawlessness that results in a series of sheriffs being killed or driven away and a little boy (Bobs Watson) dying in a gunfight. Abbie Irving (Olivia De Havilland), who saw her brother (William Lundigan) die in a stampede and Hatton shoot him while leading their wagon train out west, is less impressed. 

Her uncle (Henry Travers) tries to get Hutton to become sheriff and confront saloon owner Jeff Surrett (Bruce Cabot) and his gang, but he refuses...until he sees that little boy die. He then proceeds to clean up the town, arresting anyone who so much as starts a minor altercation on a Sunday. Abbie and reporter Joe Clements (Frank McHugh) have enough dirt on Surrett to get it into court. When he kills Joe, Hatton tries to get Abbie out of town and bring Surrett's man Yancy (Victor Jory) to trial, but Surrett is on their trail, and he'll literally burn the train they're on down to keep his criminal empire going.

Enjoyable Technicolor action was Flynn's first western and one of his best. De Haviland more than matches him as the strong-willed frontierswoman who won't back down to Surrett or anyone, McHugh is a lot less whiny than usual as the crusading journalist, and Alan Hale and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams are having a lot of fun as Hatton's freewheeling but loyal deputies. If you ever wanted to see Flynn clean up the west - or are fans of good-old fashioned, good guys-vs-bad guys western tales - this is one trip to Kansas that's worth taking that burning train for.

I enjoyed the western so much, I thought I might try taking a crack at the Match Game western again. I mostly just cleaned up a lot of spelling and editing mistakes. I applied for a receptionist job at a realty office in Stratford, too.

Broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7 PM. Holly Hallstrom of The Price Is Right made her first appearance in these episodes, joining big Jim Staal, an unshaven Bart Braverman, and her fellow redhead Debralee Scott. Gene got a little too into his kissing Holly in the first episode, to the point where Bill Daily had to get between them. We're also introduced to a private detective in LA to consult on a TV show. Gene is given a stick with mink on it - the panel calls it a "minksicle" - for kissing his aunt. 

Finished the night with classic TV action shows featuring male-female duos. Jennifer and Johnathan are enjoying a quiet night out for Chinese in the first season of Hart to Hart when an Asian man literally falls dead on their table, begging them to protect the man with the jade eyes and return him to their temple. Turns out that the man is a solid gold Buddha statue that belongs to a non-violent Asian religious group. Two shady characters have less-spiritual designs on the golden man as well.

Amanda King of The Scarecrow and Mrs. King is set for a quiet "Weekend" doing work at home when federal agent Lee "Scarecrow" Stetson convinces her to pose as his wife at a luxury resort to prevent a kidnapping. Not only do they not prevent it, but Amanda is taken too when she witnesses the incident. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Heat Is On

Began the morning with breakfast and Charlie and Lola. Lola is very superstitious and believes "Never, Ever Step On the Cracks" because Charlie said there's bears under there, and then her friends claimed lions and crocodiles live there, too. Charlie regrets his teasing when she won't move anywhere at all. He has to show her that superstitions are just stories, and nothing is out to get her.

Karen picked me up promptly at 10 AM. We did apply for a document specialist/customer service job at a law office, but found nothing else. I apologized to her all the way back. She says it's not my fault, external factors are at play, is my fault. I'm the one who is stuck. I'm neither interested in, nor know anything about health care, law, senior care, or cars, and that seems to be what most jobs revolve around. And Karen says she's retiring next week! I'll get a new counselor, but I probably won't hear from them until after the 4th of July holidays.

I felt terrible after Karen explained her retirement and that she felt guilty for not being able to help more. It's my fault, not hers. I should have done more. I needed a walk, and I didn't care how hot it was. Besides, I can no longer push the bottom of my electric toothbrush closed. I needed a new one. Stopped at Dollar General and picked up a good Oral B, along with Propel. Went to CVS to see if they had heads for it there. They didn't, so I quickly left with nothing.

My original thought for lunch was Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. I haven't eaten there since they opened. I thought the sign said open, but the door was locked. Unlike many small businesses on the White Horse Pike, they are open all week. I think they might have switched to all-takeout after the pandemic began. Ended up buying a fish sandwich at a quiet Crown Chicken and Gyro instead. 

Watched Mickey Mouse Funhouse while I ate lunch. Mickey and the gang go on a "Pirate Adventure" when Captain Salty Bones invites them on the biggest treasure hunt ever! They have to earn badges and brave geysers that gush in time to music, ride a huge catfish in the swamp, and figure out how to get across a rickety rope bridge without falling off. Even when they get to the treasure, there's still Captain Wheezelene and her cowardly weasel crew to deal with.

Settled down for Cindy on YouTube next. I go further into this 1978 TV musical with an all-black cast set during World War II in Harlem at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

I worked on my review while listening to some of the many records I picked up during vacation. I totally don't remember Give My Regards to Broad Street, other than "No More Lonely Nights" being a hit in the mid-80's. Apparently, the strange movie with Paul McCartney chasing the thief who stole his music is just plain weird, but the album has some merits. In addition to "Nights," we have some decent covers of McCartney's older Beatles and Wings music, including a rather lovely symphonic "Eleanor Rigby" called "Eleanor's Dream." Probably not the most necessary thing in the world if you just want "Nights," but worth hearing for fans of McCartney and his work.

Star Power is one of K-Tel's many pop and disco collections, this one from 1978. It may be one of the best of their late-70's disco-themed albums. Among my favorites here are "Help Is On Its Way" by the Little River Band, "Heaven On the 7th Floor" by Paul Nicholas, "On and On" by Stephen Bishop, "It's Sad to Belong" by England Dan and John Ford Coley, "Boogie Fever" by the Sylvers, and "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day.

The Julie Andrews World War I musical Darling Lili was a huge flop in 1970, just as epic musicals were starting to go out of fashion. It certainly wasn't the fault of the music. The moody "Whistling Away the Dark" was the hit here, and it sounds sensational on Andrews. She also does well by "I'll Give You Three Guesses." The chorus gets the lovely title song and the big drinking number "Skal." 

It was past 7:30 when I finally got around to dinner and Match Game Syndicated. The show began with Gene repeating the story of how that officer accidentally kicked Eva Gabor's poor foot and ripped off the toenail, praising Eva for being a trooper and staying to do the remaining episode, despite it really hurting. She spent the next day with ice on her toe, eating chocolates. Betty White is more nervous about a big "__ the Table" Head-to-Head match. There's also all the varying answer to where someone would open a strange disco.

Finished the nights with more new records and CDs, this time Broadway cast albums. High Button Shoes revolved around the adventures of the Longstreet family as they run afoul of a con-artist (Phil Silvers) and his partner (Joey Faye) in turn of the 20th century Atlantic City. There were two big hits here, the sprightly polka "Papa, Won't You Dance With Me?" and "I Still Get Jealous" that were introduced by Mama (Nanette Fabray) and Papa (Jack McCauley) Longstreet, and there's also the chorus number "On a Sunday By the Sea." 

Actually, the best-known aspect of this nowadays is "The Bathing Beauty Ballet." Too bad we don't actually get to see Jerome Robbins' inventive farcical choreography along with the music. It's so well remembered, it would be recreated for Jerome Robbins' Broadway in 1989 and the recent Encores concert in 2019. 

The 1999 Annie Get Your Gun revival was so successful, it ran almost as long as the original in 1946. On one hand, I am glad they restored two of my favorite songs from this show. The charming "Who Do You Love, I Hope?" and "I'll Share It All With You" are nicely performed by Andrew Palermo and Nicole Ruth Snelson. Peters, however, is trying way too hard as Annie, and Tom Wopat isn't the singer she is (though his "Girl That I Marry" does come off well). They do better by "Anything You Can Do" - and you do believe Peters can hold that note longer than him! 

Monday, June 17, 2024

What to Do Next?

Began the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Donald is upset when he doesn't get any mail, so the others put together a box with their favorite things that might cheer him up. They just have to get "Donald's Special Delivery" past Postman Pete and his stamps

After I ate, I made an eye doctor's appointment for next Thursday, then called Uber. The driver arrived in less than 8 minutes. She was a pleasant older woman driving a big truck. Turns out she lived near the Outlets in Blackwood and had wanted to go home and get something anyway. She'd drop me off on the way. There was no traffic anywhere, not even the lunch rush on the highways. She pulled up in front of the Blackwood Outlets by 12:30. 

Why did I come back here when I was here with Lauren and Jessa last week? I wanted to focus on finding sneakers for work and to run errands in. I keep wearing out my sneakers in 6 months or less wearing them for work and to do everything else. I spent the next two hours going in and out of almost every shoe store in the mall. (I'm not a fan of Puma or Nike.) I was hoping to find the same New Balance trainers I buy on Amazon, but the one time I saw anything like them, they were really expensive. 

I did pick up a pair of Reeboks for running errands in. They're really cute, too, with pink and white trim and bright pink and purple floral backs. Found them for $39.99 at the Reeboks store. Beyond the cute print, it was one of the only stores that didn't require you to buy one, get one half-off for a sale. 

The only other place to have lunch besides Friendly's (and the snacks counter at Dave & Buster's) is Starbucks. Thankfully, by the time I got over there around quarter after 2, there was no line. The spinach, egg, cheese, and pepper wrap was kind of mushy, but the peach green tea lemonade was incredible, just sweet enough without the extra sugar. 

I ate outside in the main commons area. It was a far nicer day than the recent weather reports had led me to believe. Yes, it was sunny and warm, in the lower 90's, but dry temperatures and a deliciously cool breeze kept it from feeling overbearing. 

There were ads all over the mall for Ginny's cookie and ice cream treats. Since I couldn't decide if I wanted cookies or ice cream, I tried an ice cream sandwich. Theirs is made with soft serve between two cookies. The sugar sprinkle cookies weren't bad, crispy in all the right places. The peanut butter soft serve was a little on the bland side. I didn't really taste the peanut butter. I think I might stick to their cookies when I want to splurge at the mall and get ice cream from Hershey's or Haagen Daas. I did like their cookies so much, I took three more home to try later. The macadamia white chocolate could have had bigger white chocolate pieces, but the heart-shaped frosted butter cookies were sweet, rich, and yummy.

I hadn't found sneakers for work, and I picked up anything else I wanted last week. I just ended up calling a ride home at quarter of 3. I probably should have waited. It took 20 minutes for for the driver to get there. At least he was pretty fast once he did arrive. The traffic was largely going in the other direction. I got home by a little past 3:30. 

It was such a nice day, I went for a walk after I got in to clear my head. I guess I'm feeling a little down. I really don't want to go back to the Acme. The more I stay away, the more I realize how much I dislike that job. I miss Lauren, too. I wish I could meet more people around here like her. I badly want a home of my own and a decent job, but I don't seem to be getting any closer to finding either. 

I walked through the park, listening as the wind rustled through the trees. It's pretty much summer here now. The leaves are big and green, and the gardens are bursting with tiger lilies and big bright blue hydrangeas. Saw two little chipmunks darting across the path; watched a robin chatter to a friend as I relaxed on the stone bench near the back entrance to the park on Bettlewood. 

Did job searching when I got home. No luck here. I haven't heard from anyone in ages. I did apply on Indeed to a floor covering office in Cherry Hill. I just wish I knew what kind of work was really, truly right for me. I need something with health insurance that will make me enough money to buy a condo, something that I really want to do and enjoy doing. 

Listened to Bernadette Peters Loves Rogers & Hammerstein while I worked. Peters' covers of Rogers and Hammerstein's music comes out a little better than her solo album. For one thing, we get the rare "I Haven't Got a Worry In the World," which the duo wrote for a play. Other good songs here include "The Gentleman Is a Dope" from Allegro, "Mister Snow" and "If I Loved You" from Carousel, and "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" from South Pacific

Put on Match Game Syndicated during dinner at 7 PM. In the first episode, David Doyle, who was sitting in Charles' seat while he was away, wore his own sailor's cap and did his best impression of him for his unamused best friend Brett. In the second episode, the turntable moved too quickly after the game ended, cutting a very annoyed Gene off before he could tell the loser what prizes they got!

Finished the night on YouTube honoring Pride Month and Juneteenth with game shows featuring beloved black and gay performers. Charles Nelson Reilly, for instance, was told a gay man would never work on television. Nowadays, he's probably best-known for his work on TV, including his off-and-on stint on the 70's-80's Match Game. He turned up on many other game shows, too. He was one of the first celebrities to appear on Super Password, with Abby Dalton in the episode here.

Paul Lynde ruled Hollywood Squares from his domain in the center square during the 1970's. As long as he had a script, he was the king of witty zingers. He was in the center square for so long, he remains associated with the show and the center spot to this day. 

Author and comedienne Fannie Flagg was also a regular on Match Game in the 70's and 80's. She made her last appearance on The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in 1984. Other actors joining her here include Tom Villard, Leonard Frey, the adorable cool older lady Nedra Volz, and soap star Anna Stuart. 

Manic Jm J. Bullock could get annoying on shows where he actually had to sit down (like Match Game), but he was a natural for Body Language. He not only had a great time contorting his body to represent the word in question, he and his contestant managed to beat big former football star-turned-host Lynn Swann.

Poet Laureate of Television Nipsey Russell was equally at home on The $100,000 Pyramid. After spouting his usual poem in the beginning, he did his best to help the contestant to victory. Sweet Teresa Ganzel did even better, helping her contestant to blast through the Winner's Circle in near-record time.

Sammy Davis Jr. turned up many times on the panel shows of the 50's and 60's. Check him out in this vintage 1955 episode of What's My Line. He sports a dashing eye patch and changes his voice ever time someone talks to him. It almost worked, until Arlene Francis caught on. Cab Calloway, the Hi-De-Ho man himself, had his own fun playing stunts on the early 70's syndicated version of Beat the Clock. 

Take My Word For It was a San Francisco-based version of the describe-the-weird-word format that would eventually evolve into Wordplay in the late 80's. Frisco native Jim Lange led four celebrities, including Roxy Roker of The Jeffersons, through odd descriptions of even stranger vocabulary. The contestants have to figure out which celebrity is giving the real description. 

There's so much to celebrate in June! Honor Pride Month and Juneteenth with these hilarious episodes!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Satisfy My Soul

I slept in today and got so caught up finishing Murder Lo Mein and reading the pieces about a dad and his little girl and the chapter from Cheaper By the Dozen in the Colliers Harvest of Holidays, it was past 12:30 when I finally rolled out of bed and had a quick breakfast. Listened to the Bob Marley Legend greatest hits CD collection while I ate. I've heard a lot of Marley's music all my life without actually knowing it. I first encountered "Jammin'" on the soundtrack for old family favorite Captain Ron, and I know I've run into "Buffalo Soldier" elsewhere as well. Other favorites here include "Could You Be Loved," "Get Up Stand Up," and the original "I Shot the Sheriff." 

Headed to Collingswood on my bike around 1 PM. It was too nice of a day to waste inside, whether I had a dad or not. As I was riding across the parking lot behind the Collingswood Senior Center, I heard music and voices. I went to the other end of the block and discovered a Juneteeth fair, with people selling African crafts at booths, children throwing bean bags into a wooden board, and step dancers in bright pink and black doing a really nifty number. I watched the group and applauded them, then moved on. 

I next stopped at a very busy Haddon Culinary first. Ordered half of their turkey club sandwich on a whole-wheat roll with their house-made potato chips. Picked up a "cactus rose" sparkling water, too. Passed families and couples eating at the benches alongside the building, including a couple with a handsome golden retriever and a man with two frisky little pomeranians. 

Took my lunch down Haddon and Collings to Knight Park for a late spring picnic. After riding around for a bit, I settled at a bright blue metal picnic bench under a grove of shady trees. The sandwich was good, with real turkey slices and thick tomatoes...but the real stand-outs were the potato chips. They were by far the best chips I've ever had. They were thick, earthy, crunchy, and not a bit greasy, with just enough seasoning. I may have to go back sometime and get more of them. 

It was such a gorgeous day, I continued riding around the park, watching kids play in the playground (even the rusty log cabin-themed one), walk dogs, play catch with their parents, and go for bike rides. Enjoyed the ride and the sunny, breezy day so much, I continued through Collingswood, admiring the older homes and Art Deco-esque church. It was quiet for a Sunday holiday. Many people may have gone away to the Shore with their dads this weekend. I saw a few people walking dogs and some kids on their bikes.

Rode across the White Horse Pike to explore the stores on Collings Avenue in West Collingswood. I stopped at what proved to be a small deli and convenience store that advertised having water ice. Turned out to be scoops in paper cups nestled in the cooler with the ice cream novelties. I bought a Coke Zero and what turned out to be rainbow. Enjoyed them on the brick risers outside of the store.

Hit the shower soon as I got home, then finished Bob Marley while doing job hunting. I really wonder if I'm barking up the wrong tree. I should know what I want to do, like every adult, but I don't. All I've ever wanted to do is write, but how can I turn that into a career? Is it really the right thing for me? What is the right thing for me? 

Switched to the Little River Band Greatest Hits CD while looking up some things online. I used to hear these guys a lot on the radio when I was a young kid. Some of my favorites from them include "Lonesome Loser," "Cool Change," "Reminiscing," "Down On the Border," and "Happy Anniversary Baby." 

Finished out the night on YouTube with the Match Game Father's Day marathon. Actually, this marathon originally ran in 2021, but since I missed more than half the original broadcast due to work, I had no trouble with the repeat. Match Game did have its fair share of dads who turned up during the original run. Michael Landon was on the very first week in 1973. Tom Bosley turned up for a memorable week in 1975. David Doyle is best-known to 90's Nickelodeon fans as the original voice of Grandpa Pickles in Rugrats. Donald Ross appeared with his wife Patti Deustch in 1974. Their toddler son Max would be seen with Gary Burghoff's darling daughter Gina in Gene's arms in 1978. 

Other real-life dads appeared on the show as well. Richard Dawson was the proud single father of two teen sons. He brought the younger, Gary, onstage briefly for his birthday in 1974. Jack Klugman had two sons with Brett Somers whom Brett spoke of frequently. Robert Pine was as handsome in 1979 during his run on CHiPs as his son Chris Pine would be in later years. McLean Stevenson's smart and pretty daughter Jennifer would appear onstage in 1978. In 1981, he brought two kids onstage to get sweaters; one giggly little girl even helped him play the game.

Bring your dad to play along with some of the wackiest dads ever on television in this adorable marathon!

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sleepy Harvest

Got a really quick start this morning! I had a lot to do, so I ate breakfast really fast, then gathered the last of my donations. When I was out with Lauren on Thursday, I noticed a sign at Logan Memorial Presbyterian Church in Audubon for their bi-weekly thrift shop. Instead of turning my donations (including the old oversized purse) over to Goodwill or dumping them in a bin, I thought I'd leave it with them.

Rushed over around quarter of 11 and left my bag at the front desk. They were really busy with people searching through shelves and shelves of books, boxes of CDs, tables of toys and dishware, and huge racks of clothes. I didn't see any CDs or records that interested me, and it was too busy in the main room for me to check out the clothes. I just ended up with a copy of the Fannie Flagg novel Welcome to the World, Baby Girl. 

Dashed back down the White Horse Pike and across Oaklyn to Collingswood for this week's Farm Market. I arrived in time for the last half-hour. Even at that late hour, I still dodged people picking up produce for their Father's Day barbecues and graduation parties. The summer produce is just starting to roll out. Saw the first cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, and peaches of the season. Bought strawberries and cherries from the berries booth, blueberries from the booth with the corn later in the summer, and a big loaf of multi-grain bread from the Lost Bread Co tent. 

Went across the street to WaWa after that to pick up a much-needed Propel. While not killer hot like it's supposed to be next week, it's still very warm and fairly humid, probably in the mid-80's. I needed hydration badly. 

Made one last stop up at the pretzel shop on the way home for lunch. Grabbed a cheesesteak-filled and two regular pretzels. The place was pretty busy. A woman waited for her order while I got mine; a dad came in with two daughters as I left.

Put on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I had lunch. I'm not the only one picking up fruit today. It's "Fruit Picking Day" in the Neighborhood, too. Daniel and Prince Wednesday are disappointed that they're too small to reach the fruit...but they're also small enough to get the golden pear Queen Sarah wanted out from under the roots of a tree. "Daniel Is Big Enough to Help Dad" hold and paint the door to his new playhouse and hold the cabinet door for his mom while she glues the knob on.

Watched Rock-a-Bye Baby after lunch. I go further into this farcical musical with Jerry Lewis as a TV repairman who finds himself caring for abandoned triplets at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Went down for a nap after that. I was dead tired. I've been going non-stop for the past two weeks. Fell into bed at 4 and didn't get up until 6.

I awoke just in time for today's Match Game marathon. Today's theme was bad answers and tearing things up, whether it was the aforementioned bad answers or the time Charles tore his toupee off his head during a PM episode and gave it to a personable but balding young man. Sometimes, someone would blurt an answer, like Buck Owens or Jack Albertson did (or even Gene a few times), and producer Ira Skutch would come out with a replacement question. Other times, Brett would tear up an answer she didn't approve of or thought was bad. And several times, someone would strike out in the Audience Match and not make it to the Head-to-Head bonus round at all. 

There were at least two PM episodes where the contestants struck out completely on the Audience Match and didn't make it to the Head-to-Head. The first time this happened, the contestant just disappeared afterwards. Richard read a hilarious letter as a monologue in his Newkirk Cockney accent instead. The second time it happened, they let the lady answer a question and match the contestants for $100 each. She went home with six hundred dollars and a smile on her face.

Rip it up with the panelists as we see some of the all-time craziest answers in this unique marathon!

Friday, June 14, 2024

The Good Life

Got up early this morning to drop Lauren off. Her train left at 8:30 AM. She was watching The Price Is Right when I was finally ready to go. I called Uber...and considering it was 7:30, I was surprised to get one in three minutes. Lauren wasn't quite ready herself, but we finally got her luggage loaded and off to Philly within a few minutes. We did hit traffic on the Schuylkill River, but arrived at 30th Street Station by ten after 8.

Shortly after we got in, they started lining up for Lauren's train. I gave her a hug and let her go there. We always have fun together, and this extra-long trip was no exception. I bought a drink from the Dunkin Donuts' counter, waved good-bye to her as she boarded the train, and headed out myself. 

Once again, I had no trouble getting a driver, despite it being 8:30. He arrived in four minutes. This time, we hit no traffic anywhere, not even on the bridge going past an empty Citizen's Bank Park. I was back in Oaklyn within 20 minutes.

Went inside, grabbed a bag and my bike, and went back out. I had grocery shopping to do and errands to run. First, however, I wanted breakfast. Since I had to hit Target and Sprouts, I ate at the Westmont Bagel Shop. Had a tasty egg white and vegetable omelet with provolone cheese, hash browns, and a blueberry bagel. I ate the bagel and the omelet, but had no room left for most of the potatoes. 

Hit Target next. They still didn't have the vitamins I wanted. I ended up buying a larger bottle of Target's generic women's gummy vitamins that was only slightly more expensive.

Didn't need a whole lot at Sprouts, either. Took advantage of clearance sales to pick up Annie's Organic granola bars on a good sale.  Decided to try their new cherry granola cookies. Got my coconut milk here, too.

Rode down the hill and past the fast food restaurants and Haddon Township High School to the Westmont Acme. I mainly needed to restock yogurt. Ollipop was 4 for 10, 50 cents off one with an online coupon. The Jiff peanut butter was finally on sale, too. Grabbed apple butter and more Kind bars on clearance. None of the stores were remotely busy. I was in and out of each in 20 minutes.

Took Newton Lake Park going home. By this point, it was almost noon. I saw kids lining up for Mr. Softee and considered joining them. The line was so long and daunting that I decided I'd wait and get ice cream later. Pushed my bike on the trail over the hill and past the Haddon Township Environmental and Historical Society building, passing another guy coming down with his bike on my way.

Watched the 1986 Card Sharks when I got home. They were in the midst of their Young People's Week. I got to see a boy just barely beat a slightly older girl, then pick up good cash and a trip to Hawaii. Two more kids were working their way thought the board as they ended.

Switched to Peanuts by Schultz as I had lunch and checked my schedule. Though this was technically supposed to be set in spring, most of it either revolves around Snoopy's eccentricities or the infamous kite Charlie Brown can't fly. In "No Strings Attached," Lucy gives Snoopy Charlie's kite when he's fed it up with it not flying. Lucy comes to blows with Snoopy, whom she sees as a "Crazy Mutt." 

We see what happened when Lucy learned she had a new baby brother and why Re-Run hates outings with his mother in "The Last of the Bunch." Lucy tells Charlie to make his own "Philosophy," which Sally is much better at. Charlie has to remind her that "Being Nice" is more important when he writes her letter to Grandma.

Incidentally, I barely have a schedule next week. I don't work again until Wednesday at the usual 9:30. I don't even work on Father's Day. I suspected this would be the case. It's probably the reason I got two weeks off with no fuss. I'll bet I made more money on vacation this week than I would have actually working. At least I do have a floral department day next Friday, probably to help with graduation bouquets.

Put on The Garfield Movie soundtrack while I put up the patriotic decorations. I would have done it before Lauren arrived, but I thought it would be a little much with all of her stuff, too. Spangle and Glory were joined by America Cares Bear, a mini-Spangle, and another mini Beanie Baby, Liberty. Three folk-art angels with u, s, and a on them went on the entertainment center next to the TV. The big folk art Uncle Sam is on the coffee table. Taped the big cardboard flag on the door to the bedroom. The smaller flags are on top of a record crate, the larger ones behind my collectible bears.

The hit on the Garfield soundtrack is the one heard throughout the film, "It's the Good Life" by Jon Batiste. Hannah Waddington's "I'm Back" number, with its comically scary lyrics and demands to her mooks throughout the song, is the other favorite here. Callum Scott also does a nice "Then There Was You."

Vacuumed and dusted the floor while listening to the Jane Powell triple-soundtrack. Royal Wedding is by far the best of the three movies highlighted here. We have two standards, Fred Astaire's "You're All the World to Me" (which he sings while literally dancing on the ceiling in the film) and Powell's "Too Late Now." Their comic tough-guy routine "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I've Been a Liar All My Life," is funny too. Carmen Miranda gets the best songs from Nancy Goes to Rio, "Love Is Like This" and "Magic Is In the Moonlight." The dull songs from Rich, Young, and Pretty aren't nearly at that level, though "Wonder Why?" isn't bad. 

I tried to go online, but I kept nodding off. I finally went down for a nap around 5:30, despite the heavy wind and continuing sticky heat. At least it was a bit cloudier by that point, and not as hot.

Awoke to heavy rain. I think I caught the tail end of a thunder storm. It was slowing down, even as I rolled out of bed. By the time I put on Match Game Syndicated and was trying to find something for dinner, it was long gone, though the heavy wind remained. Debralee Scott, Gary Collins, and Dick Martin join in to make fun of Gene's ugly tweed green and brown plaid suit in the beginning. North Jersey native Debralee later shows off a better New York accent than the contestant from Queens. Brett's delighted to be sitting between Bart Braverman and Robert Walden in the second episode.

Since it had cooled off considerably by 6:30, I went out for a walk. It must have dropped 20 degrees since I'd gone down for a nap. I've been wanting to try the new Hispanic ice cream parlor on the corner of Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike since it opened, but it's only open after 5, and I never felt like going out then. Even with the heavy wind and cooler weather, they were still busy with kids getting sundaes and Mexican street corn. I went home with a large, tasty, and rather expensive coconut milkshake. At least it was sweet, cooling, and filled with actual coconut shreds.

Took a shower, then finished the night with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Future War was one of the most-recent movies they covered, having only debuted in 1997. A human from the past being used as a slave by cyborgs (Daniel Bernhardt) dodges the dinosaurs they use to track him by staying with a nun (Travis Brooks Stewart). They ultimately get help from a local gang she's had dealings with in the past.

Oooh boy. Ripe cheese of the cheapest sort. For one thing, as Crow points out, the title is a misnomer. They're not in the future, and there's no war. The acting is terrible. The dinosaurs move well enough, but they're totally out of place. The vast majority of the film involves people talking in dull warehouses. The whole thing is just flat out ridiculous. I wouldn't go anywhere near here without the robot wisecracks unless you really, really like cheesy sci-fi action from the 80's and the 90's. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thank You for Being a Friend

Began the morning with Family Feud. The competition between The Young and the Restless and The Price Is Right continues, this time with Restless as the big winner. Holly Hallstrom had by far the most fun as she teased the hot soap guy who would face off with her. There was also her rather violent answer to what she would do to her boss in her fantasies. (I think Bob Barker looked a little nervous.)

We headed out at around 11. This time, I called for Uber to get us there quicker. The pleasant gentleman picked us up in less than five minutes and pulled into the parking lot at the pizza parlor across from the Wal Mart in Somerdale in less than 10, hitting no traffic on the way.

Turns out it was too early for the pizza parlor to be open. We ended up at Applebee's instead. Lauren had two gift cards she wanted to get rid of. She had a sweet and spicy crispy chicken sandwich, while I went with a tasty grilled bacon ranch. We both had iced tea and perfectly seasoned skin-on fries.

The other reason we ate at Applebee's is it's right next to the Cinemark movie theater. I had that free pass leftover from a few weeks ago after my first attempt at seeing The Garfield Movie got cut short due to a fire alarm. There were no such problems this time. We slid in just as the commercials began.

Incidentally, The Wild Robot and Moana 2 win for the most interesting ads. Certainly, there's room for more of Moana's discoveries across the Pacific, while Wild Robot looks like a charming parable about connecting with nature. I'm not as sold on Mufasa: The Lion King after that photorealistic Lion King remake from 2019 turned out to be more boring than majestic. 

I'm not going into details on The Garfield Movie because of spoilers, but both of us ended up enjoying it a lot. It plays like a feature-length episode of Garfield & Friends or The Garfield Show, which tended to be more action-oriented than the slice-of-life comics. Chris Pratt is a delight as the fabulous feline, while Samuel L Jackson is hilarious as his con-artist father. Hannah Waddingham also has a marvelous turn as the Persian whose desire for revenge spurs the plot. The stretchy animation adds to the fun, especially the utterly darling kitten Garfield.

My one big complaint is I wish they'd done more with Jon. Garfield's relationship with Jon is a big part of the comics. It's barely explored here. I also wish there'd been less focus on characters we barely know. Critics have come down hard on this for not following the comics better. I say they have followed the source material. The more action-oriented cartoons often featured one-off characters who would never be seen again after the episode and heavier slapstick and violence than turned up in the comics. 

I say, if you're a fan of the Garfield TV shows who doesn't expect this to be exactly like the comics, this is worth checking out for the funny voice actors and animation alone. 

We hiked up the hill to WalMart next. As we headed past the crafts and pet items section, Lauren spied a display with t-shirts and other memorabilia from The Garfield Movie. She bought two t-shirts with Garfield and kitten Garfield on them. I couldn't find any shirts my size, but I did pick up the soundtrack. I also grabbed a Coke Zero, more of those Junkless granola bars and the raspberry lemonade Propel, and a five dollar copy of the Easter/springtime set for that French Peanuts show.

After we got out, we went down the hill to the White Horse Pike and waited for the bus. And waited. And waited some more. The bus took over a half-hour to arrive and was 15 minutes late. We figured out why when, in addition to rush-hour traffic on the White Horse Pike, it kept stopping every two blocks to pick up or drop off commuters.

Finally got off at Haddon Heights around 4 PM. Stopped at Local Links again for a drink. She got the Revolution Cold Brew again. I went with The Purity smoothie - oats, apples, vanilla, almond milk, and cinnamon. Oddly, I tasted more banana than apple, but it was still pretty good. 

There was still a little time before Anthony's Fine Italian Cuisine opened, so we returned to Station Avenue Antiques. I didn't buy anything this time, but Lauren got another necklace with a purple stone, stickers, and another mushroom pin.

We arrived at the door to Anthony's promptly at 5. Good thing, too. The place started filling up not 10 minutes after we arrived. Anthony's is an elegant, expensive Italian restaurant, with two kinds of forks in the cloth napkins and a glass for water and a glass for wine. I wanted to take Lauren out somewhere nice to celebrate her having gotten a promotion at the bank. 

Lauren ate the pepper salad - I don't like olives or jalapenos - and I had crusty bread and olive oil. She had the orecchiette (saucer-shaped) pasta with sausage, broccoli rabe, and olive oil. I had house-made gnocchi in marinara sauce with fresh mozzarella. Both were topped with greens. Oh wow, yum! The gnocchi was perfect, and the cheese was better. I ate all but three, and Lauren demolished hers. Lauren equally enjoyed her lemon-raspberry cheesecake. My chocolate cake gelato - ice cream - was sweet and yummy, with lots of big cake pieces.

Neither of us were up to a long walk or another bus ride after the last one. I ended up calling Uber for a ride home. He arrived in 10 minutes, and got us home in a little over 5. 

Watched Match Game Syndicated when we got in. They celebrated Charles' birthday in the end of the first episode, complete with cake. Brett laments him going away for a few weeks to appear in a Broadway show in the second.

Finished the night at Netflix with The Prom. I go further into bright, shiny musical about four stage celebrities who try to help a lesbian teen take her girlfriend to her prom at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. was Lauren's last day. She goes home early tomorrow. I have two more days left after today, including Saturday. I'll run a few errands, but it's going to be too hot to do much.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Began the morning with Family Feud. They jumped to 1989 and the week where Bob Barker, the show's producer, and three models from The Price Is Right played the cast of The Young and the Restless. Turns out that Bob and his ladies know about more than pricing games. They were winning when we finally headed out.

It was a gorgeous day to walk into Collingswood. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the breeze was deliciously cool, and it was warmer than yesterday without being overly so like it's supposed to be later this week. We strolled through the park, enjoying the shade and giggling at the adorable little chipmunk who ran out to greet us. 

We arrived at the Pop Shop for brunch around quarter after 11. I had the Bananas Foster "Bettys," aka pancakes with caramelized bananas and walnuts. Lauren had the Magill Grilled Cheese with three different kind of cheeses and tater tots. She shared her tater tots with me when she couldn't finish them all. Unlike the Bananas Foster Waffle I had there a few years ago, the bananas and walnuts were actually baked into the pancakes, and not too big to eat in one setting. 

Given the Pop Shop has won awards for its ice cream concoctions, we had to try some ice cream. We both went simple with ice cream sodas. She had a cherry float with Cherry Coke, cherry syrup, and vanilla ice cream. I went with Coke and coffee ice cream. They came in adorable little mason jar mugs topped high with whipped cream that overflowed when they were brought to us. My coffee ice cream and Coke complimented each other nicely. Lauren seemed to enjoy her cherry float, too.

(And we got there at just the right time. Even as we finished our sodas, the Pop Shop had begun to fill up with noisy families and kids who got off of school early.) 

There were two stores we missed in Collingswood and Westmont on Saturday that we still wanted to check out. I thought Lauren would love Secret Comics, a huge comic book store on Haddon Avenue that replaced a gym a few years ago. I didn't buy anything, but she came out with two Nightwing comics she'd been looking for and a Funko Pop Sophia from The Golden Girls for a guy friend. Two adorable little kids buying toys with their dad said they liked my new Pokemon backpack, which was sweet of them.

Samaritan Thrift in Westmont closes at 3, earlier than most of the small stores in South Jersey. They were busy with women on their lunch break looking for bargains. Lauren found a blouse in a nice brown print. I picked up two CDs.

After that, we headed down to the Westmont PATCO train station behind Santander Bank. We got in at the right time. The train arrived quickly, and it was barely half-full when we rumbled into the 9th/10th Street Station in Philadelphia.

Rustic Music is a block from the 10th Street PATCO entrance. I wanted to check out at least one of the Philly music or book stores while we were in town. I hadn't been to this tiny store in over a decade. They may be small, but they have a good selection. Lauren bought three CDs. I walked out with two CDs and six records. We were even treated to an impromptu jam session by a young man trying out one of the guitars and discussing vintage guitar lines with the owner while we were there.

Between Rustic Music and Samaritan Thrift, I came up with four CDs:

Original Broadway cast albums for Avenue Q and the 1999 Bernadette Peters Annie Get Your Gun revival

Frank Sinatra - Come Fly With Me

Bob Marley and the Wailers - Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers

And seven records:

Soundtrack for Give My Regards to Broad Street and a triple Jane Powell MGM soundtrack collection featuring Nancy Goes to Rio, Royal Wedding, and Rich, Young, and Pretty

The K-Tel collection Star Power

Stars of the Silver Screen 1929-1930, a collection of songs from early sound films (some of them now otherwise lost)

Stan Kenton - Encores

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Martha and the Vandellas - Greatest Hits

The reason I wanted to visit Rustic Music is it's only a few blocks down 10th Street from Market Street and the Fashion District. We walked down there, then turned another two blocks to the huge Macy's. The Macy's in downtown Philly is massive, three stories of clothes, shoes, housewares, and toys. They used to be Wanamaker's before Macy's bought the brand. We really wanted to use the bathroom, but you need to ask a salesperson for a combination to open the locks. I bought nothing here, but Lauren picked up some shirts. 

Headed down a very busy Market Street around 4 PM to check out Primark. This Irish department store mostly sells casual t-shirts, shorts, slacks, and blouses, along with a lot of Disney and cartoon branded items. I looked at Disney-print sleep shirts, but ultimately decided I didn't really need them and just went to the bathroom in the main mall. Lauren did pick up a shirt. 

We took the elevator to the third floor to check out their Round 1. It's much smaller than the one in Deptford, but it does have some games they don't. I played the Star Wars pinball machine and tried a game similar to Whack-a-Mole, only you hit buttons and whack an on-screen alligator. The ring toss didn't work and I couldn't find the skee ball, but I did spin the Monster Wheels and the Pirate's Wheel, tried their Wheel of Fortune wheel, shot baskets, and did a different ring toss with larger rubber rings you tried to get on spokes. 

Lauren decided to save her points for when we get together in September, but I found something I've wanted for a while. Cute green-eyed Beanie Baby tiger Tiggy with his teeny little smile has been on the rack with other Beanie Babies at the Acme for ages. I think he's darling. I considered getting another one with Tiggy, but decided I too would otherwise wait for the fall.

We were going to hit Burlington Coat Factory next, but we saw a guy only letting a woman in through a barrier. That wasn't something we wanted to deal with after a security guard almost literally chased us down at Round 1 to check our bags. We just ended up taking a half-full PATCO home instead.

Stopped at WaWa for a drink on the way home. Neither of us were really up to anything fancy this time. I bought a Propel. She walked out with a Coke Spiced Zero. 

After we got in, we had a fancy lobster dinner with a friend and her family. Relaxed before we ate with Match Game Syndicated. Jon Bauman in Bowser greaser mode and sweet Gina Hecht joined in this week. Jon showed off his musical ability by playing the Match Game think music on the toy piano provided to musicians on the show. 

After our long walk, I wasn't up to much more than finishing the night with The New Scooby Doo Movies.  "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner?" The Mystery Inc kids, who are stranded at a mysterious mansion when all they're trying to do is ask for directions. The butler, maid, and several pirates all look familiar...and they learn why when Don Knotts reveals he's been in disguise to ferret out the ghosts who plague a wealthy sea captain who has gone missing. Knotts thinks they're the captain's nephews who are after his loot. The kids and Scooby not only prove otherwise, they help him find the real culprits.