Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leaping Into Leap Year

Began my Leap Year day with breakfast and two quick episodes of Match Game from 1977 on YouTube. In the first, Brett has to do some explaining to tell Gene that Jane doesn't talk the way Tarzan did in the 30's movies, and everyone comes up with some interesting answers to "Put __." Gene has trouble with his shoelaces in the next episode, Charles gives his opinion on a question involving a man trading his wife in, and Elaine Joyce is even noisier about where Gene puts his hands.

Headed to work even before the episode ended. Work went pretty quickly for a relatively long day. I did go in for a cashier early in the morning, shelved candy, and swept the store once, but I spent the majority of the day outside with the carts. Not a bad day for it. While it remained windy and cold, it at the very least was also sunny and dry.

Ran into Rose loading up her car in the parking lot while doing the carts later in the morning. I finally told her about the landlady raising the rent next month. She's not terribly happy with her or me and insisted I call Jodie and Dad for help.

Picked up my schedule when I arrived. It's one of the better ones I've had in a while. Mostly afternoon and early evening hours, except on Wednesday and Thursday when the head manager is off and comes in late respectively. Same days off, Tuesday and Friday. I'll have plenty of time to talk to the family, work on writing and job ideas, and do my monthly cleaning.

Went straight into grocery shopping after I finished. Took advantage of more online coupons to get deals on Belvita cookies, a pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream, cranberries, honey, milk, cheese, and yogurt. My vegetable crisper is just about empty. Grabbed bags of green beans, carrots, and spinach to have with dinner this week. Since bagged Green Giant frozen vegetables were also on sale, I thought I'd give the butternut squash Riced Veggies a try to get more vegetables in my diet. Restocked canned pineapple, bananas, tangerines, cereal, and canola oil.

Returned to Match Game on YouTube while I unpacked everything. Jumped back to 1975 for two of the earliest nighttime games. Richard Dawson and Clifton Davis made a few racial jokes that you'd never get away with today in the first episode. William "Captain Kirk" Shatner and Lee "Catwoman" Merriweather helped liven up the second.

Worked on writing after I finished. Marcia and Gene attempt to attack Malade, who sends spiny rose vines after Gene and knocks Marcia back. Bill's terrified the witch will muzzle him and try to force him to work for her again, and Charles is still surrounded by fire...and even more scared.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers and made Chocolate Chip Muffins from Alton Brown's Old School Muffin recipe while watching the Cannon Movie Tales version of Beauty and the Beast from 1987. I go further into this surprisingly charming retelling at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Family Fun Saturday - Beauty and the Beast (1987)

Finished the night after a shower with two Match Game "premieres" on YouTube and Charlie's Angels on The Roku Channel. "Angels On Wheels" take the women into competitive roller derby after a star skater dies in what seems to be an accident. Her sister believes otherwise, despite what the police say. Jill gets into the sport and becomes a skater herself, Sabrina poses as an insurance agent looking into phony claims, and Kelly claims she's a woman reporter while searching the deceased's apartment. Someone, however, doesn't want the Angels finding out what's really going on with those phony claims and are willing to blow them out of the ring (and Kelly's car) for good.

Friday, February 28, 2020

A Windy Day In the Neighborhood

Kicked off the morning with breakfast and a couple of PBS Kids cartoons. Happiness and being happy was the theme of the day on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. He teaches "Daniel's Happy Song" to Katrina and Miss Elaina when they visit and play stuffed animals with him. "Prince Wednesday's Happy Birthday" has the kids celebrating his big day with "Pin the Tail On the Bunny" and a treasure hunt to find the cake.

Molly of Denali wants to show off for her cousin by insisting she knows how to do "Snowboarding, Qyah Style." There's one problem - she's never snowboarded before in her life. She tries to learn how from her friend Tooey, until their neighbors give them ideas for their own kind of tricks. Nadia, the daughter of a friend of Molly's mother, is supposed to do the "Seal Dance" for a local festival, but she can't get the moves right. Molly, a historic statue of a seal dancer, a group of real seals swimming by the shore, and Grandpa Nat's stories all inspire her to keep practicing until she figures it out.

I intended to return to Pluto TV for Match Game on Buzzr...but Pluto TV just would not work. They  updated their interface yesterday, and now it decided it didn't like my Roku anymore. I'd reset the Roku and put the app on. It would show the main screen, load...then return to the home screen. The Roku itself played everything else fine, and Buzzr and Pluto TV played normally on my laptop. I did e-mail Pluto about the problem, but haven't heard from them yet.

Gave up on it briefly around 11:30 and decided to head out for a walk. I wanted to volunteer at the Oaklyn Library before it closed. The windy and party cloudy day looked as gloomy as I felt. There's almost no color in the neighborhood. I saw patches of daffodils coming up in other parts of town, but they aren't here. Gardens were brown and yellow and lifeless, and the few banners were faded Valentine's Day or winter flags. I saw only a few people outside, heading into cars on a day that remained cold and blustery.

The Oaklyn Library wasn't much busier. They're still going through their books and DVDs and clearing out older or less-used titles. I didn't see much to do in the adult DVD area, but the kids' books were a mess. Had to shelve quite a few titles they'd left laying on shelves or between stacks. It being lunchtime, I saw one other man there reading the newspaper. Went to the bathroom and headed back out.

I wasn't really in the mood to go home. Had enough money left on my food stamps for a chilled mocha cappuccino drink. WaWa's coffee drink is sweet and creamy enough to mask the bitter flavor. Tossed in a soft pretzel for a snack.

After I got home, I watched I Dream of Jeannie on The Roku Channel to test the box; opted for "Everybody's a Movie Star" from the third season. Big shot movie directer Allen Kerr (Paul Lynde) wants to film a documentary at NASA and chooses Tony and Roger as his stars. Roger gets a big head when he thinks Allen called him a "natural talent"...but he really thinks Roger's a nuisance.

Got the laundry done after lunch. I picked the perfect time to do it. The laundromat was empty when I arrived, and I think I saw one other person the whole 40 minutes or so I was there. Maybe the brief flurry I ran into on my way to the White Horse Pike scared everyone off. At any rate, I worked on story notes and ignored Rachel Ray and General Hospital on ABC.

When I got in, I put everything away, then went on the computer to work on writing. Angry after Richard kicks her, Malade drains his energy. She surrounds Charles with fire, the one thing he's most terrified of. She's just thrown Richard away as Gene smashes the front door in. Accidentally - he'd been hoping to get it open, not destroy it. Marcia has to drag Bill over to do it, but they do manage to attack Malade before she can use her magic on anyone else.

Broke for dinner at 6:30...or so I thought. I spent another hour fruitlessly messing with Pluto TV. It worked once, briefly showing bigger and easier to read interface before crashing again. Tried to upload Stirr TV, but they would also play for a few minutes before crashing.

Finally gave up and added my Roku to my YouTube account instead. It did allow me to watch some Match Game. The nighttime Match Game had an Audience Match question in 1975 that went "___ Olsen." Surprisingly, the top answer was not the show's announcer Johnny Olsen! In an episode from 1976, poor Gene had a bad cold...which no one wanted him to spread around. The others kept avoiding him as much as possible. Brett teased Gene about his brown suede shoes in a 1978 show.

Wasn't really up to anything but Charlie's Angels on The Roku Channel after all that. "I Will Be Remembered" is a spooky first season episode. Former movie star Gloria Gibson (Ida Lupino) believes someone is trying to drive her insane, recreating death scenes from her previous films. She's hoping to make a comeback with a remake of one of her big hits. Kate poses as her secretary and takes care of her at home, Kelly lands a job as an extra, and Jill is supposed to be a reporter. Someone, however, doesn't appreciate the women snooping and is determined to get them and Gloria out of the way.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Daydream Believers

Began a thankfully sunny morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. The contestants on the second half of the show were three women who wrote a book on a subject near and dear to my heart - conservation of our oceans. Everyone said the lady was the gentle-but-firm #2...and they were all right. She may have been tiny, but she apparently managed to organize a 51-country summit to discuss regulating water pollution and cleaning up our oceans. Growing up next to the beach, with both my father and stepfather working on the ocean, keeping our seas clean were a major concern during my childhood. (Especially after medical waste did wash up on the Jersey Shore in the late 80's-early 90's.)

What's My Line? featured the youngest contestant I'd ever seen on a game show - the little fellow was only four. The panel didn't get close to guessing what he did. He and his 9 and 10-year-old brothers were stunt drivers in mini-cars. Poor kid looked too terrified to say much besides "yes" or "no." His brothers proved to be far chattier, discussing their act and their dreams for the future.

Work went far better than it did yesterday. We were dead all morning. I did have to take registers briefly, but other than that, I spent the day doing returns or outside with the carts. It may have been just as well. The day was cold and gusty, but it was also much sunnier than it has been, and the sun felt nice when you could get into it.

Changed and had a quick lunch as soon as I got home. Finished out Sailor Moon Super S as I ate. The Guardians finally make it to Nehelania in "When the Crystal Shines: The Beautiful Power of Dreams." They don't do well against her dark magic, until the Amazoness Quartet replace the Golden Crystal with a pineapple. That gives Sailor Chibi-Moon the chance to call on all dreamers to save their planet and the power to keep on dreamin'.

We get Nehelania's backstory in "Dreams Forever: Fill the Heavens With Light." Sailor Moon pursues the evil dark queen as she flees with Chibi-Moon back to her shattered mirror. She'd once been the queen of an asteroid, adored for her beauty by her fawning servants. One day, when she looked into her mirror, it showed her what she would become - a broken down, wrinkled crone like Zirconia. Horrified, she consumed all of her subjects' dream mirrors to stay young, turning them into her monsters. Hoping to destroy Sailor Moon's dreams for the future, she throws Chibi-Usa off the crumbling circus tent...but nothing can stop a pair of beautifully dreaming Guardians.

(Incidentally, this is my second-favorite season of the original show. A lot of fans prefer the third season because of Sailor Neptune and Uranus, but this one is a lot of fun, has some interesting discussions on the importance of dreams in our lives, and I frankly like Nehelania and the creepy members of the Dead Moon Circus better as villains than the bickering Doombusters. I will add, however, that this isn't for those who are new to Sailor Moon's world. Newcomers and casual viewers will want to start with the first or second seasons to get a better idea of the characters and their relationships. For those of you who have seen the rest of the series, this season is one of the better ones.)

Headed out to run errands right after the cartoon ended. The park remains bleak, all yellow and mud-brown, even as gardens begin to show signs of spring. The wind must have blown most people home. I saw a couple of folks out for a walk and a few ducks and Canadian Geese by the entrance and not much else.

It got a little busier at the Haddon Township Library. Their adult DVD shelves continue to overflow. I could only get about half the titles in. I did take out movies this week for the first time in a while. I've wanted to see Toy Story 4 and Abominable for a while now. The biopic With a Song In My Heart is for review on my Musical Dreams blog next week.

Stopped at Target first on the way home. I badly needed laundry detergent, but their containers were too large and expensive. I ended up grabbing a tiny bottle of Tide from Dollar Tree. I'll pick up a larger bottle on Saturday or next week.

Went straight into writing as soon as I got home. Malade grabs Richard and begins to drain his energy. Charles plays his lute to distract her again, but she orders her trolls to destroy it and end the music. Brett tries to escape the guard-turned-troll, but her stepmother blasts her, too.

Broke at 6:30 for dinner. Nothing seemed to go right on Match Game tonight. They aired stars in the wrong places during the intro, and the "magic toaster" that holds Gene's questions refused to stay upright. Charles helped him retrieve the questions for round 1, but one of the contestants had to hold onto it to keep it from falling back down. The lady champion didn't do much better on Sale of the Century. Even with buying no bargains, she still got her rear end handed to her by a younger man who bought two out of three of them. He too opted to return for that London trip.

Finished the night after a shower with the 2007 theatrical version of Hairspray. I go further into this bubbly take on the John Waters comedy at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Hairspray (2007)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Fairy Tale Guardians

Began a cloudy but thankfully dry morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. I came in at the same time as three mycologists - aka professors who studied mushrooms. The panel split their votes between all three men; in the end, number 1, the blandest of the trio, was revealed to be the fungi scholar and author of a book on mushrooms. They showed many pictures from his book...and I'm inclined to agree with Bill Cullen that most of the mushrooms didn't look like anything I'd want to eat (or the ones seen in stores).

They didn't have as much luck on What's My Line? No one got close to guessing a showgirl also moonlights as a gambling lecturer. She proceeded to give the panel and the audience pointers on the dice game craps.

Work was incredibly hectic for a Wednesday. They started a big three-day seafood sale for Lent today, and we were off-and-on busy the whole morning. I did manage to get sweeping in and round up trash, but every time I tried to get to something else, someone would call me to gather trash up front or take registers. We just didn't have enough help to handle the crowds. Not to mention, they had trouble with the bathrooms and shut them down. I used the bathroom in the former doctor's office the store now uses as a storage area. My last customer was a very sweet older woman I helped to her car; her praise cheered me up immensely.

Headed straight home after work. Changed and ate chocolate-chip banana bread while watching Sailor Moon Super S. The Guardians search for Chibi-Moon in the "Labrynth of Mirrors: Chibi-Moon Captured." While the Amazons try to ride Pegasus, Zirconia tempts the Guardians to give up their quest and follow their own dreams. The girls know better - saving their friends and the Earth is their shared dream.

Nehelania finally gets what she wants in "The Golden Crystal Appears: Nehelania's Magic." She attacks Chibi-Moon, forcing Helios' spirit to return his body and him to give up the Golden Crystal in his horn. Meanwhile, she's mad as heck at the Amazons for the incident with them stealing Pegasus and sent them to a nowhere zone, then ordered Zirconia to zap their energy. Sailor Moon encourages them to destroy the balls that allows Nehelania to control them and join their group.

Searched around the web for job ideas after I ate. Once again, the job boards had nothing of interest. So many of the boards want people with experience of two years or more! That's why I haven't responded to anything. I think my next move will be to do research online about blogs for things I'm interested in and see if they need writers.

Worked on writing around 5. Malade's fireballs distract Orson enough for him to run into a tree, spilling Charles and Brett onto the ground. Charles gathers enough courage to play music and send Malade screaming, but Brett's not feeling well enough to work her nature magic. Richard fights Ira, who wants to arrest him, not see his boss marry a thief. Malade screams for him to bring him over...and Ira finally manages to get Richard down and stab his arm, sending his sword flying.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game. For some reason, they jumped ahead to Orson Bean and a pair of wacky Pattys, supremely sarcastic Miracle Worker Patty Duke and the ever-creative Patti Deustch. The ladies admired the newly-repainted sets and repaired microphones and gave answers on "Trial ___" for the new champ. The lady champ on Sale of the Century bought none of the Instant Bargains, just barely won the speed round, and came back when she heard that they're switching out the prizes and the next one up is a London vacation.

Finished the night exploring YouTube. I've enjoyed the few episodes of Shirley Temple's Storybook that's currently available. Finally found one of the older black-and-white stories, "Rapunzel." Agnes Moorehead is the witch in this spooky and atmospheric rendition of the original Grimm's Fairy Tale with the father trading his daughter for rampion (a leafy green) and the prince getting blinded after falling out the window. There's also the insinuation that Rapunzel and the witch can hypnotize each other.

Shirley Temple Storybook - Rapunzel

Defunctland is a series of short 20 to 40 minute documentaries on aspects of amusement park history made by Kevin Perjurer. He mainly focused on closed or abandoned parks or rides in the first two seasons, but his third discusses Walt Disney's inspirations for Disneyland and how he came to create "The Happiest Place On Earth." Each episode has a comical theme - from film noir to country - and often, as in tonight's episode, original music that relates to the theme and is usually quite good. Tonight, Kevin and his team explored Beverly Park Kiddieland, a small children's amusement park in Southern California popular in the 50's and 60's that Walt used to visit frequently with his daughters. He actually chatted up the owner, a designer of theme park rides, for ideas for his own park, and even invited him to help him with his revolutionary new theme park idea...

If you have any interest in amusement park history like me, this is wonderfully narrated and edited and is highly recommended.

Defunctland: The History of Beverly Park Kiddieland

One of my co-workers mentioned a possible thunderstorm for this evening several times at work. The rain didn't finally arrive until I'd long gone online. To my knowledge, it hasn't thundered yet, but it has showered, sometimes heavily, since then.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Eyes Have It

Began a wet morning with breakfast and Sailor Moon Super S. It's the beginning of the end when the Guardians take on "The Source of Darkness: Dead Moon Circus." Pegasus finally explains to them who he is, why Mamoru's been sick ever since the cobwebs shut out the light, and what Nehelania and the Dead Moon Circus are really up to. They head down to the circus tent to take on the Amazons and their minions. They do manage to get rid of most of the monsters, but lost Sailor Chibi-Moon to evil Queen Nehelania and her second-in-command Zirconia.

Headed into the rain around quarter after 10. Rain or no rain, I had a couple of major appointments today. The eye doctor's office turned out to be in the big blocky Station office building on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. Found the main office on the first floor after only a minute or two of searching. The waiting room was a little larger than the one at the doctor's office across town; the chairs were comfortable, but old, with torn upholstery.

Thanks to the prescription from Dr. Jessica, it took a lot less time to relate my past history to them. They got me into an eye exam room in no time. Jill, a cheerful technician with blonde curls as bouncy as her personality, did the first half of my exam, putting these strange drops in my eyes that dripped yellow. Dr. Karen Levy did the second half, kindly asking questions about my past eye history and my family. She could talk to America's Best, but the only eye doctor I ever saw before that was at an office in a shopping center in Rio Grande that I'm not even sure exits anymore.

Verdict? My eyes haven't changed in the five years since I last got them checked. They're still really nearsighted. Dr. Levy told me the lazy eye isn't that big of a deal; doing surgery now would be too hard for my brain to process. It even moves faster than most eyes. It's the nearsighted that's more of a concern. She says to watch out for tearing or stretching in the retinas. I considered getting glasses, but I just don't have that much money. I may consider asking about a new pair for my birthday.

Rode down Haddon Avenue to the Westmont Diner for lunch. I got in as the lunch crowd swelled, but they were thankfully able to find a seat. Since it wasn't expensive, I went down-home with scrambled eggs and cheese, bacon, home fries, and biscuits and sausage gravy. Oh, yum. Soft biscuits, savory gravy, wonderfully fried potatoes with onions and peppers, and just-right crispy bacon and eggs topped with cheese. Very warm and filling on a gloomy day.

Made a quick stop at the Haddonfield Library after lunch. I really needed to use their bathroom. Explored their mystery section and books on film and theater upstairs for a little bit before counseling.

Counseling made me depressed more than anything. I'm not doing well at the moment. I don't know what I'll do in April after my rent goes up again. Mrs. Stahl doesn't really know much about the internet or what jobs are available online, and it's hard to explain to her how difficult it is to put myself out there. I know I should and I'm supposed to, but I look up jobs, see they require more experience than I have or want abilities I don't possess, and I don't do anything. Part of me desperately wants to be treated like an adult, but there's also the little girl in me who's terrified that she'll end up hurt and abandoned again.

She wants me to apply for a job online, any job. I'll see what I can find.

Wasn't really up to doing anything but going straight home after that. Though the rain had gentled to a soft mist by that point, it still wasn't appropriate to linger in. I figured I had enough of a treat in the big lunch anyway. Went home as quickly as I could down Haddon and Cuthbert, trying to avoid the beginnings of rush hour traffic.

As soon as I got home, I went online, canceled my Disney Plus and Amazon Prime memberships, and refunded the pants I ordered from Amazon two weeks ago that still haven't appeared. I only had Amazon Prime to get the pants and Sailor Moon quickly, anyway...and of course the pants, what I really needed, got lost. I bookmarked free streaming channels instead (I already have them on the Roku box), and I'll wear my jeans to work until I can find the cheapest khakis I can get away with.

Worked on some writing after that. Re-wrote the escape to stay in the garden. Malade blocks their entrance to the castle, forcing Orson to take them into the snowy side of the garden. She distracts the troll with fireballs. He runs into a tree, dislodging his riders. Brett and Richard are mad as heck, but Charles, who hates fire, is terrified...and Malade can see it...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game. Louisa Moritz didn't do quite as well today, but then again, she wasn't the only one. Some of the other answers got pretty odd too. Best friends Charles and Brett have the habit of matching each other more than the contestants, and some of Fannie Flagg's answers are often more than a little odd.

Made key lime cookies from a cookie cookbook Lauren sent me a while back during Sale of the Century. The guy with the long hair and mustache didn't buy anything, but in the end, he just couldn't get past the one woman, even after she bought a TV and a nifty merry-go-round horse for her sons. She too opted to come back. Contestants did even better on Let's Make a Deal. The big deal of the day went to a cute skunk and her fiancee, who will be going to Rio on their honeymoon and watching a big-screen TV afterwards, with lots of spending money on the trip.

Finished the night with Hallelujah between Match Game premieres on YouTube. I go further into one of the earliest Hollywood films with an all-black cast at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Hallelujah (1929) 

Monday, February 24, 2020

A Preview of Spring

Began the morning with breakfast and Sailor Moon Super S. Queen Nehelenia, the head of the dark moon, breaks free of her mirror in "Terror In Motion: The Dark Queen's Evil Hand." Spider webs criss-cross Tokyo, blocking the sun and making Mamoru sick. The Guardians have to figure out what's going on and deal with the Amazoness girls causing trouble.

Looked at jobs after I ate. I searched several major job sites, but everything required too much experience or wanted me to multi-task. I wish I could just find something simple, someone who needed someone to organize or do some writing for them. I really have no idea where I should even start. My confidence levels need to improve to find a job and make money, but I won't be able to do a lot of what I want until I'm able to increase my confidence...and I'm not even entirely sure what I want to do, besides write and earn enough to either pay my rent or find a better home.

Broke for lunch at 11:30. Watched Match Game while I ate. Jimmy Walker of Good Times took Charles' place in an episode from 1975. Many fans online accuse Brett of being an attention hog, but Jimmy takes the spotlight-stealing to new levels with his constantly agitating the audience and yelling at them when they boo his answer.

Work wasn't nearly as interesting. We were dead the entire afternoon. I alternated between sweeping and cleaning up spilled chocolate chips inside and putting carts away and gathering trash and recycling outside. No problems whatsoever.  By the time the crowds picked up, I'd already headed out. It was too nice to be inside, anyway. I walked out into a sunny day that had to be at least in the mid-60's. Even when it clouded over later, the day remained fairly warm and windless.

Went back on the computer when I got home. Orson gets them in the house, where the women servants hold off the other demons. Ann (Elder) the maid tells them that Bill went up to his room to hide. Charles already figured out who Bill is - and Richard has the general idea. He orders Orson to get them upstairs before Ira figures it out and does real harm to the semi-wolf.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had a cheese and cherry preserves omelet, rye pretzels, and steamed broccoli and cherry tomatoes while watching Match Game. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest actress Lousia Moritz proved she's no dumb blonde when she managed to get a match nearly every time. Tough-guy TV producer Sheldon Leonard wasn't nearly as good and barely got any. Sale of the Century got a new champion when a long-haired drummer just got ahead of the champ and walloped everyone in the speed round. He too opted to come back again tomorrow.

Finished the night exploring streaming with three interesting shows from my childhood. Since there's a horror version currently in theaters, I thought I'd look into the original Fantasy Island. Crackle currently has the fifth and sixth season. Here, it's Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban) greeting "da plane" with Tatoo (Herve Villenchance) and lovely Julie (Wendy Schaal). I wanted to check out the season 5 episode "Forget Me Not/The Quiz Masters" because Gene Rayburn of Match Game played one of two game show hosts who take part in the ultimate game to compete for a lovely lady. Jill St. John has an even tougher time in "Forget Me Not" as a woman with amnesia trying to remember who she is. Her current lover (Dick Gautier) thinks he knows, but her husband prefers the free spirit she's become on the island.

Jonathan and Stephanie Hart cook up trouble in the first season Hart to Hart episode "Too Many Cooks are Murder" at The Roku Channel. French chef Maurice comes to Johnathan with a secret formula that he claims will "change the world," but he's murdered before he can hand it over. While the Hart's jack-of-all-trades Max flirts with his widow, the Harts try to figure out who among the guests at his final cooking instruction also wanted that recipe, and which recipe could be the "life changing" one.

Jem and the Holograms is another cartoon from the mid-80's my sisters and I adored; the first season is currently on Tubi. We had many of the dolls and clothes, and Anny even had the stage that doubled as a cassette player. It may have also been one of our introductions to episodic storytelling; many of the stories played out in multiple parts and often had a soap-opera feel to them. Music executive Jerrica can transform into pop star Jem with the touch of her star earrings, thanks to Synergy, the computer her late father created. Jem, her sister Kimber, and their group the Holograms have to continually compete with the spoiled punk rockers the Misfits to stay in the spotlight.

Due to the late hour, I went with a one-part episode, "In Stitches." The Holograms are thrilled when they're chosen to join a huge rock fashion contest in Venice, Italy. Trouble is, so are the Misfits. They'll do anything to rattle Shana, who not only designs all the Holograms' costumes, but plays drums, too. When Shana comes up with bold new ideas and says she's not afraid of them, their boss Eric sends his sleazy henchman Zipper to steal them. Thanks to Synergy and their own talents, it's the Holograms who end up having the last laugh.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sleepy Time Gal

Began the day with work. It didn't start out too badly. I spent the first half gathering carts and rounding up the trash on a gorgeous, sunny, windy morning. The crowds picked up around 11. I tried to keep up with the carts, but they kept disappearing...and then they pulled me in to take a register. I went back outside after I got out to help the other bagger who just arrived, but they wanted me back inside to bag. Thankfully, it slowed down considerably by the time I finished. Grabbed golden sugar (they were out of regular sugar; thought I'd try it) and hurried out.

Made carrot pancakes for lunch while listening to Hooked On Classics. This is the original 1981 K-Tel album featuring fast-moving medleys of popular classical pieces. My mother used a cassette version for a couple of her aerobics classes in the mid-late 80's. Though there's a few slower tunes (and at least one based around songs from The Nutcracker), most are loud and thumping and guaranteed to get your heart moving! I'm hoping the Hooked On series will make great background music for doing chores and writing.

Went down for a long nap after lunch. I worked early all week and got up even earlier today. It really wore me out. Even with Charlie and his crowd watching TV downstairs, I was still out for over three hours.

Did some writing after I finally rolled out of bed. Gene's wonky magic manages to distract Malade the evil queen long enough for Orson to pick up Brett and Charles with the wheelbarrow. Richard takes a ride on his back before Malade can pull off his hood. They're all going to warn Bill that Malade and Sheriff Ira are after him. Gene and Marcia use their magic to make themselves disappear and reappear upstairs.

Broke at 7 for a quick leftovers dinner and the original cast album of Bloomer Girl. This 1944 musical featured Celeste Holm as Evelina, the daughter of a hoop-skirt tycoon who ardently admires her aunt Dolly Bloomer and her new more comfortable "bloomers" for ladies. Her father gets her engaged to Jeff Calhoun (David Brooks), the son of a now-poor southern family. Evelina likes him, but she won't marry him until he frees his slave Pompey (Dooley Wilson). Jeff likes Evelina and agrees with her views. Many in upstate New York, however, find the new "bloomers" shocking and arrests those who wear them. No sooner are they freed than the Civil War begins, and Evelina finds herself having to wait for her man to come home.

Between the timely racial and feminist themes and a great score by Harold Arlen and E.Y Harburg that includes "The Eagle and Me" for Wilson and the ballad "Right as the Rain," I'm surprised this one doesn't turn up a lot more. There was a TV version in 1956 with Barbara Cook as Evelina that is on DVD and preserves the Agnes DeMille Civil War Ballet, but that's it. I hope someone will take another crack at this show someday - the score has some real gems.

Finished the night with Body Language on Buzzr. Jamie Farr of MASH and Mindy Cohn of The Facts of Life really had a lot of fun acting out words ranging from "gorgeous" (Mindy) to Jamie's hilarious imitation of Phyllis Diller. Poor Jamie didn't have much luck; the lady Mindy worked with had no trouble guessing most of her words and won the bonus round at least once.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Come and Get Your Happiness

Began a sunny morning with a late breakfast and Sailor Moon Super S. Chibi-Usa is tired of being a kid and wishes she could grow up faster, while Usagi wishes she could be a kid again and have less homework. They both get what they want, thanks to Palla Palla switching their ages when they argue instead of attacking her. Chibi-Usa thinks Pegaus will love her new look. "Pegasus' Secret: The Boy Who Protects the Dream World" is that he's really Helios, the young priest of Elysion, the land of dreams. Usa's dreams are no longer open to him when she's grown, leading her to break the spell to be with him.

I had three bananas that were very close to being pudding in their skin. Used them to make banana-chocolate chip bread as I moved on to "Chibi-Usa's Little Rhapsody of Love." Everyone wants to know who the kid's new crush is. The girls all spy on her, and Mamoru takes her out to question her. She gets fed up with their questions and runs off. They all think the random guy across from her is the man she's enamored with...and are even more convinced after he becomes Ves Ves' next target.

Minako convinces the others to help out with a "maturity ceremony" for people turning 20 in "Dream to Be an Adult: The Amazonness' Confusion." The Amazon girls, hoping to find dream mirror targets, also volunteer. They do well with tasks like hanging decorations, and actually end up admiring the Guardians' abilities...but they're so accustomed to getting their way as children, they have no idea why anyone would want to become an adult. The Guardians try to prove to them that anyone, at any age, can have dreams, and that dreams of adulthood are just as important as the ones we have when we're younger.

Switched to Downton Abbey as the bread baked and I did chores around the apartment, including making the bed. Finally got around to watching episode three of season 3. Edith is on cloud nine during the preparations for her wedding to Lord Anthony Strallan. Strallan is nervous and doesn't agree, eventually leaving her at the alter. Things go better elsewhere in the household. Carter discovers hope for Mrs. Hughes' cancer scare, and Matthew finally takes the money from Lavinia's family that will allow him to save Downton and become joint master with Lord Grantham.

Headed out as soon as I pulled the bread from the oven. The weather was absolutely stunning, sunny, windy, and likely in the lower 50's. I got out too late to hit the Oaklyn Library, but I did need to run a few errands. Was in and out of Dollar General; they didn't have any fire or carbon monoxide detectors. Grabbed money for laundry this and next week and a pomegranate sparkling water at a fairly busy WaWa.

Went home, had a quick slice of banana bread, grabbed my laundry, and went back out. I really needed to get it done. Had a fair-sized load, including work clothes. Thankfully, the laundromat wasn't busy. I used one of the smaller front-loading washers. They only cost a quarter more than the top-loading ones, and they wash faster. Worked on story notes and ignored XFL (Extreme Football League) games on TV.

As soon as I got home, I put the laundry away, then worked on writing. Richard manages to get Ira on the ground just as Malade arrives. She ends Gene's spell and reveals the deception - they're all as human as the next person. She wants to find Bill, but the others won't let her get to their furry friend. Orson Bean, whom Malade turned into a troll, shows his loyalty to his boss and helps him and his friends get past her.

Finished the night with Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I go further into this 1938 Shirley Temple vehicle at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Family Fun Saturday - Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Guardians and Angels

Kicked off the morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. Got up early enough to catch most of both groups of contestants. The first had then-topical connotations. Three gentlemen claimed to be the security guard who called in the Watergate thieves. The panel split between #2 and #3; #2 proved to be the correct man. Evidently, he had a hard time keeping a job thanks to cops and the media constantly wanting to talk to him and he wanted compensation. (Which he apparently never got.) Three American women who claimed to have taken part in women's Japanese sumo contests and won really stumped the panel. None of them got close to guessing #1, the most slender of the trio. (I would have paid money to watch her sumo wrestle Peggy Cass though, no matter what Peggy said!)

The panel on What's My Line? did much better. Allen Ludden easily guessed an Australian minister also moonlighted as part of a water skiing troupe. Arlene Francis hit the nail on the head when she guessed a cheerful female college student to be a bellhop at a Long Island inn. They didn't do nearly as well on the guess-the-audience-member's-occupation mini-game, though. No one got it right, and the contestants got the whole pot.

Work went quickly and quietly. There isn't much going on right now. I alternated between shelving items and returning carts. Gorgeous day to be outside, too. Though it remained chilly, the sun beamed down and the sky remained windless and searingly blue. Got in and out with no problems whatsoever.

This time, I did make it to Chick Fil'A for lunch. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea. They remained fairly busy at quarter after 1. I did get my hot waffle fries and grilled chicken sandwich, but it didn't come with the frosted lemonade I ordered. I asked a girl to get it for me, but she misunderstood me and brought me a regular lemonade. I had to go to the desk to get my drink. I didn't blame the girl; they should have given me my drink to begin with.

Did my grocery shopping after lunch. The Acme's having a lot of big online coupon sales this week, including 99 cents for peanut butter, 19 cents a pound for bananas, 29 cents for a dozen large eggs, and a free box of pasta, all with a $25 dollar purchase. Found a salmon filet and ground turkey on good sales as well. Also had online coupons for frozen peas and yogurt. Restocked cranberries, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, cream of mushroom soup, cereal, pancake mix, butter, turkey hot dogs, and milk.

Got my schedule as I shopped. Pretty much the same deal as this week, with a later day on Monday and Friday instead of Saturday off along with Tuesday for counseling. Slightly fewer hours, but nothing out of line with the time of year.

Headed home after I finished. Put everything away while continuing with Sailor Moon Super S. The Guardians learn "Don't Lose Sight of Your Dreams: The Mirror of Truth" from a starving artist they encounter in the park. He refuses to paint anything but the truth, even when his customers insist they look more attractive than he depicts them and refuse to pay. Cere Cere gives him a sob story about her father to lure him into giving up his integrity, but Sailor Moon and Chibi-Moon remind him of how important our integrity is.

Chibi-Usa has her own problems in "Pegasus Disappears: Wavering Friendship." She wants to know more about Pegasus, but he's not willing to discuss his past, leading her to not trust him. The other Guardians and Usa's school buddies are more interested in helping a boy realize his dream of creating his own flying vehicle. It's Usagi who makes her daughter understand that we can have close friendships and still maintain our privacy and secrets.

Worked on writing for a while. The Sheriff's guards can scarcely believe their eyes as tools and furniture seemingly rises up on its own to attack them! Brett sends the plants in the garden after them, and Marcia uses her mind powers to throw them around. Former Merry Man Orson Bean, who had been turned into a troll, decides to defy the evil queen and help his boss out, too. Sheriff Ira has his own ideas on who's doing this, and he's not about to let Richard go without a fight!

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Carol the contestant continued winning main rounds on Match Game, but even with Richard's help, she had no luck in the Head-to-Head round. Sale of the Century was closer, with two men alternating the whole game and the one woman not far behind...but in the end, the champion killed in the speed round. He claimed to be a college student, and I really thought he'd take the entertainment center and huge TV, but he opted to keep coming back.

Finished the night after a shower with more Charlie's Angels. The Roku Channel's currently running the first, second, and fifth season. I decided I wanted to see Farrah Fawcett in action and opted for the first season episode "Dancer In the Dark." Jill Munroe takes a job as a disco teacher at a dance school whose owner uses the sleazy male teacher to lure rich women and have them pay big bucks for incriminating pictures. Sabrina (Kate Jackson) poses as a clumsy but rich dance student, Kelly as the assistant to the photographer who takes the damaging photos, and Bosley as Sabrina's wealthy father.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Chilly Weather

Kicked off the morning with To Tell the Truth. Came in just as they were going into the last contestant. Three men all claimed to have written a book that said the average housewife should be paid for her duties. Almost everyone but Nipsey Russell got it right. The second man just sounded the most technical.

The panel didn't get that lucky on What's My Line? The gentleman who signed in sold a certain machine, but they couldn't figure out what it made. Henry Morgan finally got "peanut butter." Yes, he sold a machine for grocery stores and other commercial venues that ground fresh peanut butter. They had even less luck with the next lady. No one came close to guessing she was a professional football player! (With her towering height and wide shoulders, she looked like she could give some of the Philadelphia Eagles a run for their pigskins.)

Work was even quieter than yesterday. We're between holidays, it's the middle of the week, and it's cold again. The temperature only hit the mid-30's, not as cold as it could be at this time of year, but more than it has been. I did end up in a register briefly early-on, but I mostly spent the first half of the day rounding up carts and baskets and the second half sweeping and shelving items after another bagger arrived.

Changed after I got home, then watched Sailor Moon Super S as I ate oranges and vanilla yogurt with peanut butter for lunch. It's a "Clash of Dreams: Minako and Makoto's Broken Friendship" when the two argue over a handsome preschool teacher and whose dreams will be easier to fulfill. Their quarrel becomes a moot point when Cere Cere, the elegant flower-arranging Amazon, attacks the teacher.

Chibi-Usa and her guy friend Kyusuke learn to "Overcome Your Fear: The Jump to Freedom" in order to be able to jump the vault on their school's Sports Day. Jun Jun the Amazon Acrobat teaches him how to deal with his fear, by making him so afraid, he forgets it...but she still goes after his dream mirror. It takes jumping over her flying monster for Chibi-Usa to overcome her own fear of the vault.

Headed off to Westmont after the second episode ended. The weather continued to be blahh, gray, and cold, with the sun only occasionally peeking through. It may have scared people off. Few people strolled by the leafless black trees and crusty yellow grass in Newton Lake Park besides a flock of ducks and Canadian geese going for an afternoon swim near the Westmont entrance.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't much busier than the Acme when I got in. The kids began to file in and play with the toys in the children's area even as I shelved their DVDs. Didn't do as well with the adult titles, which are still overflowing. I've been having so much fun exploring online and Roku for movie and TV options, I just ended up getting the next book in that soul food mystery series, Murder With Macaroni and Cheese.

Took a quick peek at AC Moore on the way home. Surprisingly, despite it posting closing notices, it looks like it's put out Easter items. I checked the doll clothes and considered getting a few things for Ariel, but decided to wait. Besides, it was getting late, and I wanted to sneak some writing in.

Went online when I got in. Ira's guards can't hide their nerves about the empty castle. They're convinced it's haunted...and they're even more convinced when tools and arrows come out of nowhere and they're tackled by empty air. Ira knows something's up, and he's even more suspicious when he recognizes Richard's voice...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Carol the contestant continued her winning ways on Match Game. She just barely beat two challengers, but did much better on the Audience Match and Head-to-Head. In fact, she did so well, she became the show's all-time winner at that point. Brett criticized Gene's fashion sense, insisting on him wearing an orange scarf with his outfit instead of a brown polka-dot tie. (I can see what she meant...but it looked ridiculous. Gene didn't have the neck to pull it off.)

Finished the night after a Match Game Syndicated premiere on YouTube by renting Stormy Weather at Amazon. Went further into this dynamic vehicle for Lena Horne and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Stormy Weather

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Warmth of the Winter Sun

Began a lovely morning with To Tell the Truth. The panel were up against three young women who claimed to be a crossbow champ. They all claimed the first woman spoke in technical argot that only someone who is an expert in their field would know...and they were all right. She even gave an example of her talents by hitting a cup in the center of a bullseye perfectly.

They had even more fun on What's My Line? None of the panel came close to guessing the occupation of a woman plumber. They did all get to take a crack at her job by putting pipes together well enough for water to flow from a spigot. It took a while, but Anita Gillette and Soupy Sales once again emerged the winner. Arlene Francis and Henry Morgan were left to clean up the mess.

Went straight to work after that. Though I did a small cart of returns early in the day, put baskets away, hung up gift cards, and rounded up baskets, I spent most of the day outside with the carts. Even though the carts weren't really that bad, the weather remained too nice to be inside. It wasn't as warm as yesterday and it was a bit windy, but it remained sunny and bright outside. Grabbed trash bags on my way out; our trash goes out today, and I used my final bag the last time I took it out.

After I took out said trash, I changed and had a snack while watching Super Password. Statuesque blonde Shelly Smith joined Bert Convy and Jamie Farr for this round. They were all stumped by a "cute" puzzle that took longer than you might think.

Spent the next hour looking at job sites online, then did some writing. Everyone is hiding and invisible when Ira and the trolls break in. Ira wants to find Robin Hood, thanks to a tip from his boss. Truthfully, he doesn't like his boss much, and he thinks the trolls are dirty, smelly idiots and wishes Malade would stop turning people into them. He thinks the place is empty, and it's giving him the creeps, but the trolls sense something there...

Broke for dinner at 6. Dr. Joyce Brothers, Bill Daily, and Patti Deustch finished their run as a new contestant introduced who would become one of the most winning players they ever had. Meanwhile, the question on the Audience Match is "Gene ___"...and Gene Rayburn hopes he's the top answer! The next episode switched up the panel, bringing in writer Fannie Flagg, Bob Barker from The Price Is Right, and Arlene Francis from What's My Line?. Nervous Bob would rather give the entire audience refrigerators to bid on that let his answer be booed!

The game on Sale of the Century got very close tonight. Only one contestant bought an Instant Bargain (and I couldn't blame her - I'd like to see Montreal myself), but she got outpaced in the bonus round by a young man. Like her, he wasn't interested in the gold necklace and opted to return.

Finished the night switching around to various streaming services. Crackle still has the last two seasons of Charlie's Angels. The ladies learn all about the real estate business in "Homes Sweet Homes" from the fourth season. Local mansions containing small, priceless artifacts have been burglarized after being sold by a specific real estate company. Kris Munroe joins the firm as an agent, but the smarmy owner (Dick Gautier) and his assistant are suspicious of her lack of credentials. Bosley and Kelly eventually join her as a collector and his assistant, with Tiffany posing as the owner of a house with very important and expensive historical letters.

Tubi features the original 1980's My Little Pony. "The Glass Princess" is another fairly dark story. The princess is a spoiled pig whose magic cloak allows her to turn anything into glass. The three obnoxious bird-like creatures who work for her are basically using her magic and vanity to get the entire land for themselves. She orders them to capture three of the ponies, whose magical hair can repair her torn cloak. Megan, two of the ponies, and the fuzzy Bushwoolies go to the Black Mountains to rescue them. Poor Shady, who blames herself for their capture, follows along with Megan's little sister Molly.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Guardians and the Duke

The clouds were still out when I rolled out of bed this morning. Had breakfast while watching Press Your Luck. The one woman playing did do well and avoided Whammies...but not well enough. She made the mistake of giving her spins to one of the two guys, both of whom outpaced her. It came down to the two of them; in the end, the champ only won because the other guy hit a Whammy.

Spent the rest of the morning making collages. I finally picked up enough catalogs during the holiday season to put them together, but I didn't have the time until today. I had so many, I ended up making four. The Vermont Country Store catalogs alone provided enough to do collages for Halloween and Christmas. I also did one for Thanksgiving from the Bed Bath and Beyond flyers and a winter one I have hanging up now on the refrigerator.

Ran the remaining episodes on the first disc of Sailor Moon Super S while I worked. The Amazon Trio finally ran out of time in "Mirror of Dreams: The Amazon Trio's Last Stage." Usagi takes Fish Eye home and tries to make friends with him, but he ends up figuring out who Usagi and Chibi-Usa really are. Hawk's Eye is ordered to look into Usagi's dream mirror, but an unknown clown monster breaks it. Now it's up to the Amazon Trio to restore Sailor Moon and learn what it truly means to be real, dreaming humans.

Their replacements, the Amazoness Quartet, make their first full appearances in the next episode, "The Amazoness: Nightmare From Beyond the Mirrors." Unlike the adult Trio, the Quartet are little girls who have no desire to ever become adults. They're convinced that if they grow up, they'll lose their childhood dreams. Indeed, they make fun of Chibi-Usa's friend Momoko because she insists she can't wait to have a boyfriend. They invite her and the others to the Dead Moon Circus...but it's really a trap to steal her dream mirror.

The remaining episodes on the disc mainly involved either upgrading the other Sailor Guardians' powers or the Amazons driving a none-too-amused Zirconia up the wall. Babyish Amazon Palla Palla turns her play dentist office into "Dentist of Horrors? Palla Palla's House" and tries to steal the dream mirrors from her unsuspecting patients, including Usagi and Chibi-Usa. Ami's too shy to show a composer she met online her lyrics to his lovely melody in "True Power Explodes: Ami's Melody of the Heart," but she discovers the power within her when she has to help break the others out of his computer. Rei also gets to upgrade her power in "Flames of Passion: Mars' Raging Super Attack." A young girl imitates her when she thinks she wants to be a shrine maiden. It takes a mimicking monkey monster to make both her and Rei understand that we need to lead our own dreams.

Returned to Buzzr as I rounded up the paper mess and got organized. Jack Cassidy and Richard Dawson worked together to ham it up on a pirate-themed question in a 1975 episode of Match Game. Classic Concentration allowed a college-age girl and an older man to win prizes and try to match for a car. Alas, neither of them matched enough spaces to earn a vehicle.

Headed out as Concentration wound down. My original plan for today involved just hanging around...but the sun emerged around noon, and it became an unusually warm, off-and-on sunny day. It was just too nice to be inside. I took a ride into Collingswood to get my hair done. My hair is very thick, and it gets frizzy and unmanageable when it's too long. A blonde lady at Hair Cuttery trimmed it to above my shoulders, layered longer in the front and shorter in the back. It's actually a little shorter than I wanted, but that's not a horrible thing, and it does look pretty cute. I tend to throw it back when it's long anyway and not do much with it.

Went for a stroll on Haddon Avenue after she finished my cut. I hadn't browsed the dollar bins at InnerGroove Records in ages...mainly because I'm running out of room for them and don't really need to be spending money on a ton of junk. I did find a few interesting titles, two of which I've been looking for:

Rupert Holmes - Partners In Crime

Meco - Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk

Hooked On Classics & Turned-On Broadway 2

Made a brief stop at Frugli Consignment next. I hoped to find a pair of trousers for work. No luck. I couldn't even find a pair of trousers in my size, let alone ones appropriate for working in. Got in and out of there quickly.

Besides, by that point, it was rush hour. I had problems with the wonky bike seat, but I did manage to get to Newton Lake Park. It would have been a crime not to ride through there. The day was warm for winter, in the upper 50's. The waning afternoon sun sparkled on the river as I dodged many other bikers and people out for a stroll.

Went into writing when I got in. Charles isn't entirely sure about Gene turning them all invisible. Richard thinks it's the only way to really surprise Malade and her trolls. Brett insists on joining them, even though she hasn't fully recovered from the poisoned comb. Marcia's annoyed with Bill, who claims he's guarding the inside. Even as she complains, they hear the buzzing of Malade's trolls and hooves of the Sheriff of Nottingham's army arriving at the gate...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Had leftovers while watching more Match Game. This time, it's Patti Deustch who rolls up Gene's pants leg while he talks to Charles, to the amusement of Richard, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and the audience. Sale of the Century crowned a new contestant, a woman who came back during the speed round to pass both men in the very last minutes. Despite being tempted by a lovely double-strand gold necklace and a beautiful fur coat, she opted to come back tomorrow to try to earn more money.

Finished the night baking Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies and going online while watching The Duke Is Tops. I go further into this B-movie that introduced Lena Horne to movie audiences at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The Duke Is Tops

Monday, February 17, 2020

Spoofs of Times Past

Got a late start and only had time for What's My Line? this morning. The panel quickly guessed that the first man sold a jump rope with what amounts to what we would now call a pedometer. All four got to try it out. Poor Henry Morgan and Soupy Sales couldn't time their jumps right and barely got anything. Anita Gillette by far out-skipped the others, and Arlene Francis didn't do too badly, either. Henry redeemed himself by quickly guessing the identity of a woman dog catcher. Arlene Francis made use of her many years of experience on the show in a mini-game that had her correctly guessing the occupations of four members of the audience.

Went straight to work after Arlene made her guesses. Considering the holiday, it wasn't as busy as I figured it would be. For one thing, we had amazing weather. Glorious sunshine, blue skies, and soft breezes replaced the rain and cold that's plagued South Jersey for most of last week. I did end up in the register a few times later in the day, when we were short on help, but I mainly gathered carts, put baskets away, shelved candy, and bagged.

Put on Tattletales when I got home and changed, and then as I finally got around to taking down the Valentine's Day decorations. Orson Bean and his then-wife Carolyn, who played for the yellow "banana" section, were the overwhelming winners today. They got every question right, joking about his slobbish tendencies and storytelling.

Worked on writing after I put the box away. Malade threatens to bring in Ira and her trolls before finally vanishing. Gene and Richard agree that they need to find a way to stop Ira and Malade's army from doing damage to them and the castle. Poor Bill the wolf is so terrified of ending up in Malade's clutches again, he refuses to help. Marcia's disgusted with him, but he doesn't want her to harm him or his servants. It's Richard who comes up with the plan to take Ira and his men by making them all invisible with the servants.

Broke for dinner at 6. Made Salisbury steaks, steamed broccoli, and cranberry sauce while watching episodes of Match Game from 1975. Psychiatrist Dr. Joyce Brothers had a field day trying to figure out Patti Deutsch and her unusual answers and Bill Daily and his many anxiety tics, along with fielding wisecracks from Gene and the three regulars. For some reason, Sale of the Century jumped back to 1985. All three contestants were pretty close for most of the game, but the champion pulled ahead and won the speed round decisively. He opted for taking that day's prize, and I couldn't blame him - it was a gorgeous white grand piano. I would have taken it, too.

Finished the night on Crackle and the Roku Channel with a "sitcom period movie spoof" mini-marathon. I Dream of Jeannie did a few costumer satires, including "My Master, the Pirate" from the second season. When Tony tells Jeannie about searching for Captain Kidd's treasure, she flashes them back on board Kidd's ship. Tony accidentally knocks the Captain overboard, becoming captain himself. His crew threatens mutiny after Tony refuses to kill a beautiful prisoner who turns out to be his great-great-great grandmother. He and Jeannie have to flee the ship and get his grandmother to safety, or Tony won't exist!

Suddenly Susan, a late 90's work-com featuring Brooke Shields, did a hilarious take on Titanic in their third season, "Seems Like Old Times." After an earthquake wrecks havoc on the offices of the magazine where she works, Susan and her co-workers help a little old lady out of a stuck elevator. Grateful to be rescued, the woman relates a fantastic story of how her mother (Susan) sang for Enrico Caruso and discovered her great love, a sweeper at a tavern (Judd Nelson, who played Susan's boss), only to lose him when the San Francisco Earthquake of 1903 hit. Check out the awesome dance routine to "Proud Mary," of all songs, here!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Adventures In Asian Cuisine

Began the day with work. Started off doing the carts and outdoor trash, but I wasn't out for long. Another bagger took over the carts around 11, giving me the chance to work on shelving a full cart of candy and helping bag for long lines. The lines were so long, I ended up in the register a few times. My hands are cracking; grabbed Band-Aids off the clearance rack, along with half-price heart-shaped York Peppermint Patties. Got my annual bag of Girl Scouts Lemonade cookies just as the girls were closing up shop.

I wanted to go out for lunch, but I forgot that my first choice, Chick Fil'A, is closed on Sundays. Despite the sun and relative warmth, it remained too cold for Sonic. Arby's gives me heartburn, and I just had dinner at Tu Se Bella with Jessa a while back.

Ended up at the new Pho Asia Vietnamese restaurant in the Audubon Crossings shopping center. My experience with Vietnamese food is limited to the delicious spring rolls I once had at a fancy restaurant in Cape May on Christmas Day in 2004. I just missed the lunch crowd; a large group left as I came in. Pretty much needed spring rolls, which I've loved ever since. Opted for a simple beef-noodle soup for lunch. It came with a plate of bean sprouts with wide, flat minty leaves. I tried eating the sprouts with chopsticks, but I don't think I did very well. The Vietnamese kids working there eventually took pity on me and gave me a fork. The sprouts actually tasted quite good in the soup; it complimented the sliced beef and thin rice noodles nicely.

Went straight home and into bed. I stayed up relatively late with Lauren last night, and it was busy at work. I needed a nap rather badly. I was so worn out, I slept until nearly 5:30.

Worked on writing for a while after I rolled out of bed. Gene finally emerges, blasting the old woman into the fence. Yes, she's the evil witch Malade. Bill runs off in fear the minute he identifies her. Marcia and Richard are all for getting rid of her, but she vanishes before anyone can do anything, threatening to bring out the Sheriff and her trolls.

Had whole wheat pancakes and turkey bacon for dinner while listening to The Pirate Movie soundtrack. This is one of my best record store finds. This is the last thing I expected to fish out of the dollar bins at one of the local music stores. It doesn't have the best reputation, but some of the songs are really fun. Mom used to like the revised lyrics on "Modern Major General," and Ted Hamilton has a blast with "I am the Pirate King." I also like the ensemble version of the finale "Happy Endings," and both "We are the Pirates."

Finished the night after a shower with Buzzr. They did their own tribute to the late Orson Bean with two episodes from Match Game, one of which, Orson's first (with Marcia Wallace), I'd already seen. The episodes of Super Password were entirely new to me, though. Orson joined host Bert Convy and Mary Cadorette of the short-lived Three's Company spin-off Three's a Crowd for the final two episodes of a week in fall 1985. Orson admitted he's a "walking compendium of useless knowledge" when he explained to a miffed Mary and puzzled Bert about the Australian airline company Qandas and what the letters stand for. "Qandas" came up in the Super Password bonus round, and Mary hadn't heard of it and didn't know how to describe it. (Research reveals they're still in business today as Australia's leading airline.)

(The also ran non-Bean episodes of Body Language featuring Mindy Cohn and Jamie Farr between the shows. I guess they couldn't bring themselves to preempt that one again after they did it last week for the Valentine's Day marathon.)

Saturday, February 15, 2020

An Armful of Sunshine

I stayed up late last night watching YouTube. Didn't get up until almost 10:30, and it was closer to noon when I finally rolled out of bed. I got up so late, Buzzr already started running Match Game. Had a very quick brunch and made my grocery list as I enjoyed the game. Orson Bean made a cameo in the beginning as he came onstage to admit he was there as a stand-in for Gary Burgoff, whose wife was about to have a baby.

Didn't get out until past 1:30. Made my first stop of the day at the Oaklyn Library. They're still in the midst of reorganizing their adult DVD and book titles. I did those, then took a brief look at the kid area. They were about a half-hour from closing when I arrived, and I saw no one but the librarian. I headed out ten minutes before closing.

I wanted to do my grocery shopping today because the Acme's had "dessert party" in the back room, with all kinds of sweet treats set out on two tables. Along with my donuts, I saw a pineapple upside-down cake, a moist pound cake, a banana pudding cake, mini-cheesecakes, brownies, a rum bundt cake, and a regular chocolate cake with vanilla icing. I tried the rum cake, a brownie, a few donuts, and slices of the rum cake and pineapple upside-down cake. The pineapple cake was by far the best of them, perfectly sweet and fruity, with huge cherries in the center. I believe the rum cake was made with real rum - I could taste the slight bite in the near-liquid topping.

Needed quite a bit today, mainly things I kept forgetting in the past few weeks. I have an online coupon for free eggs from the Acme's rewards program, as well as online coupons for yogurt, bananas, and milk. Found broccoli and cake mix on good sales. Picked up boxes of My T Fine pudding mixes from the clearance racks. Restocked canned mandarin oranges and pineapple, toilet paper, buttermilk, lemon and lime juice, parchment paper, turkey bacon, plastic bags for bread, and chocolate chips.

My schedule's not bad. Early days all week; Tuesday and next Saturday off. The head bagger went on vacation again. At the very least, I'll have the time to get a lot done after work, and Tuesday is the only day this week we're supposed to get rain.

Returned to Buzzr when I got home. Let's Make a Deal had Monty Hall giving out a Mexican vacation to a lady who wanted a Hawaiian vacation and a tropical holiday to a woman who wanted to go to Mexico. The first lady ended up being one of the big dealers of the day and got cash that would likely be enough to go anywhere she wanted. A couple dressed as vacationers in sun hats and kiddie floats got the big deal, a huge stereo and TV set and a gorgeous piano.

Continued into Classic Concentration as I got organized and rounded up the laundry. The audience got unusually rowdy today as a college student and an older woman from Brooklyn both got "Take" cards...and both claimed a beautiful grandfather clock that they claimed to want badly. In the end, the young man took it back, won all the other prizes, and got the puzzle right. He couldn't figure out the car bonus round as fast, though. Alex Trebek joined in the fun, cracking jokes about his ex-wife and getting unusually loose for him.

Headed to the laundromat even before Concentration ended. I really needed to wash work clothes and couldn't put it off. For once, I picked the right time. They weren't busy at all. However, I discovered to my dismay that they raised the prices on the cheap washers another 25 cents; they're now $2.75, just 25 cents less expensive than the big front-loading washers. I'm tempted to use those from now-on, no matter how much slower they are. It got so late by the time my load came out, I ended up rushing the dryer and not letting them go as long as I probably should have.

Listened to Billy Joel on my CD player as I put the clothes away when I got home, then switched to writing. Bill the wolf figures out what happened to Brett when he sniffs around the comb in her head. The comb has been dipped in poison. Charles gets it out right away and restores her to health, though she remains groggy and sick. Marcia and Richard demand that the old woman explain herself, but she's not exactly talking.

I finished so late, I didn't break for dinner until well past 7:30. Made turkey bacon, roasted potatoes, and scrambled eggs with spinach, cheese, and mushrooms while watching more Sailor Moon. The second half of the Super S (fourth) season arrived from Amazon yesterday. The first disc kicks off with "Destined Partners? Makoto's Innocence." Makoto is thrilled when a handsome, mysterious young man chooses to dance with her at a big college party. She's so smitten with him, she stays up all night waiting for him. That young man, however, is far from what he seems...and his wooing her is part of a Dead Moon Circus plot.

Fish Eye goes after Mamoru in "Shadow of Evil: The Trio's Last Chance." Fed up with their constant failures, Zirconia tells them what they really are...and that if they don't get Mamoru's dreams, she'll return them to what they were. Fish Eye desperately tries to woo Mamoru, but he adores his dream-filled Usagi. Puzzled, the Amazon ends up befriending Usagi and trying to find out why he and his guy buddies don't have beautiful dreams like hers.

Finished the night with Heidi's Song for free on Vudu. I go further into this lovely Hanna-Barbara animated musical from my childhood at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Animation Celebration Saturday - Heidi's Song

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Match

Considering what the weather this week's been like, it was wonderful to wake up to sunshine and blue skies. Watched the Peanuts Valentine's Day specials while eating breakfast and cleaning up afterwards. Linus is in love with his teacher Miss Othmar in Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown. Sally thinks the candy he buys is for her. Lucy would love it if Schroeder would leave the piano long enough to give her a kiss, while Charlie Brown is desperately hoping to get some kind of valentine from his peers. Meanwhile, Snoopy's staging elaborate and rather messy puppet shows.

The kids don't have much better luck in the later A Charlie Brown Valentine. Snoopy's recruited to write love poem's for Sally's valentine, which Linus refuses to touch. Charlie Brown keeps trying to figure out how to ask the Little Red Haired Girl to the Valentine's Day dance, but ends up going with Peppermint Patty and Marcie. Lucy continues to hangs around Schroeder's piano in the hope he'll actually give her a Valentine's gift.

The Pink Panther has even worse luck in Pink at First Sight. He's so lonely, he imagines everything around him to be a lady panther, including a child's teddy bear. He finally takes a job as a bike messenger to make money, using cassette tapes as his "specialty." Most people don't seem to appreciate his efforts, whether it's a wife whose husband mistakes his crooning recording for an attempt to seduce her or gangsters who are sent a bomb and blame him for it.

Headed out shortly after the end of the cartoon. Things started out pretty well. I spent the first hour doing carts and sweeping. It didn't start to get crazy until later, when people got off of work and headed out to pick up flowers and steak and seafood for their surf and turf dinners. I ended up in a register at least twice, but mainly swept the store and shelved candy. Picked up pads (the generic Acme brand was buy one-get one) and a bag of heart-shaped York Peppermint Patties on the way out.

Worked on writing when I got home. Marcia uses her magic to pry the witch - Malade, the evil queen in disguise - off Brett. Richard threatens her with his arrows to get her to reveal how to revive Brett and lift the curse on Bill, but she's not talking. Charles attends to his fallen friend...and he's the one who realizes what's going on, and how to bring her out of her faint...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game while I ate breaded fish fillet, roasted potatoes, and the last of the Brussels sprouts. Joan Collins joined Brett, Charles, Gene, Richard, tough Scoey Mitchlll, and Patti Deustch of the oddly creative answers for her only appearance on the show in mid-1975. The champion had stiff competition in Sale of the Century from a young woman and another man, both of whom jumped past him at a few points...but in the end, he bought both Instant Bargains and the Instant Cash and managed to win in the speed round. Did even worse with the bonus round, though, missing one question and messing up another at the last second.

Switched to Sailor Moon Super S: Black Dream Hole while attempting to make chocolate donuts for the Acme's dessert party tomorrow, despite being out of eggs and milk. It's a few days before Valentine's Day, and the Sailor Guardians are all very excited to be able to give away their own chocolate chip cookies. Usagi's hoping her boyfriend Mamoru will enjoy hers far more than their daughter Chibi-Usa's. As it turns out, she has worse problems than whose baking Mamoru likes better. An evil witch has kidnapped children from around the globe and is draining their sweet dreams to energize her Black Dream Hole. If it becomes large enough, it'll swallow the globe whole! Usagi and the other Guardians join up with a gentle dream elf who befriended Chibi-Usa in order to rescue her and stop the witch.

Finished the night with a special Match Game Valentine's Day marathon of my own. Match Game was even more fun when two married people played on one panel. From married dancers Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce to Password king and queen Allen Ludden and Betty White and grumpy Jack Klugman and his salty wife Brett Somers (they later divorced or separated - no one seems entirely sure which), it's definitely more fun to match with a loved one!

Match Game '73 - Bobby & Elaine: This was Elaine's first appearance on the show...and we get a rather interesting question about another famous duo, Batman and Robin, early-on.
Match Game '73 - Jack & Brett: Jack's not happy about one of the questions, to the point where his wife has to keep him from walking out. A blissed-out Mama "Cass" Elliot becomes one of the few rock stars to appear on the show, and does rather well, too.
Match Game '74 - Bobby & Elaine: Elaine is most definitely her husband's "#1 fan," at least according to her t-shirt.
Match Game '74 - Donald & Patti: Comedy writer Donald Ross proves to be a perfect match for his equally kooky wife Patti Deustch as they and Charles help a lady become the all-time show champion at that point.
Match Game '75 - Allen & Betty: Allen comes down to defend his wife's honor after Gene makes a remark about "having Betty"; Brett, meanwhile, is having more fun doing her own idea of belly dancing to the tune of the "Star Spangled Banner."
Match Game '78 - Gene & Helen: Richard jokes that his fiancee is in the Gene's annoyance, as he's pointing to his beloved wife Helen.
Match Game '78 - Jack & Brett: Check out the end of this one, where the rest of the cast dress the two for their second "wedding"...despite them having already been permanently apart by this point.
Match Game '79 - Dick & Dolly: Married stars of Laugh In Dick & Dolly Martin join in on the fun as Gene avoids an especially excited contestant that Nipsey Russell has no problems embracing!

Here's hoping you had a wonderful Valentine's Day with your own perfect match!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Rainy Day Blues

Began a gloomy, wet morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. Three women all claimed to have written the book The Incredible Journey (which later became not one, but two wonderful Disney films). Only Peggy Cass missed it; everyone else correctly guessed #1. (Peggy thought the writer was Canadian, and the lady on the end had a British accent.) She had some really interesting stories about her research for her next book on Eskimo culture, including what narwhal meat tasted like.

Had an even better time with What's My Line? The panel didn't get close to what the 77-year-old woman did for a living - she painted houses. They were encouraged to see  how well she could match shades by creating a shade of yellow that matched the one on a board behind them. It was absolutely hilarious to watch the four banter back-and-forth, with Arlene Francis bossing Gene Rayburn around and Soupy Sales cracking cooking jokes. In the end, Soupy and Anita Gillette were judged to have the closest tint of yellow. (As it turned out, this was fairly ironic. Anita later admitted that Soupy's color blind.)

One of the managers called me early in the morning and asked me to stay later at work. The bagger who was supposed to work in the afternoon called out. I would have been happier about the extra hours if this wasn't the third time I've had to take hours for this guy when he didn't want to come in on a rainy day. I also had to chase after both the large and smaller brooms again, and I messed up the clock when I accidentally signed out for lunch after I meant to do the sweep log. I was more than happy to finally head home, especially since the rain had finally vanished by 3. (It remained cloudy and cold for the rest of the day.)

Watched Tattletales after I got home and changed into dry clothes. Orson Bean and his wife Carolyn were the "banana" (yellow) team in this 1974 episode. Perpetually complaining Nancy Sinatra and her husband Hugh Lambert gave them stiff competition...but rather ironically, the winners were troubled tough guy Robert Blake and his nervous then-wife Sondra.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. The seemingly harmless old woman manages to stop Charles and Bill in their tracks. Before Richard and Marcia can attack her, she slides a comb into the hypnotized Brett's black-silver hair, then takes off with a cackle, believing she's rid herself of her competition and stolen her older stepdaughter's beauty.

Switched over to Match Game while making a cherry preserves and cheese omelet to go with the broccoli-cheese soup for dinner. Orson, Pat, and Joyce finished out their run with a rather handsome young fellow who mostly seemed to like Brett for the Head-to-Head, to her consternation. Sale of the Century disappointingly skipped over that college week that sounded like fun, opting to return to the usual game. This time, the contestant blasted through the competition, even with buying an Instant Bargain and the Instant Cash, but missed the bonus round in the very last second.

Did Bugs Bunny's Cupid Capers while watching the dishes. A cupid who looks suspiciously like Elmer Fudd tries to bring various Toon couples together. Bugs isn't impressed and claims he's more meddling than anything else.

Finished the night with Love Me Tonight. I go further into one of the most delightful musical romantic comedies ever made at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

My Funny Valentine - Love Me Tonight

And here's a few more vintage specials from YouTube on the funny side of love for your Valentine's Day enjoyment:

I Love the Chipmunks Valentine's Day Special
The Bernstein Bears' Comic Valentine
The Popeye Valentine's Day Special: Sweethearts at Sea
Ducktails (1989): A Ducktales Valentine
For Better or For Worse: A Valentine From the Heart
A Goofy Look at Valentine's Day (Disney Educational Short)
Cathy's Valentine
A Special Valentine With the Family Circus
He-Man: Prince Adam No More
From Disney With Love
Muppet Babies (1984): Be My Valentine

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Whale of a Tale

Began the morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. Three members of the panel questioned women who claimed to have written a book on American wedding rituals, from huge Polish weddings to "quickies" in Vegas. Bill Cullen dropped out early, claiming he'd read the book. Once again, the choices were all over the map, but in the end, the writer was #2, the one who'd never been married. The panel didn't do quite as well on What's My Line? None of them could figure out that the candy the woman worked with was actually Cracker Jacks - she put the prizes in Cracker Jacks boxes.

Work largely went much better than it did yesterday. For one thing, it was pin-drop quiet when I got in, and it never did get more than mildly steady. I spent most of the morning alternating between putting carts away and shelving items. The weather was nice for it, too, a little cooler than it has been, but sunny and windless. Switched the focus to shelving and sweeping after another bagger came in at noon. By the time it started to pick up and I'd started bagging, I was just about done.

Needed a few things after work. Tomorrow is Jessa's birthday, and I wanted to buy her a gift card. I keep forgetting to pick up yeast, too. I like to experiment with bread recipes in the winter. Also treated myself to those delicious chocolate "everything" (peanut butter chips and pretzels) cookies.

Put on Downton Abbey when I got home while I had a snack and changed. This time, I started with the right episode, the first show of the third season. There's finally going to be a wedding at Downton as the series begins. Mary and Matthew prepare for their vows with an onslaught of relatives, including Cora's eccentric American mother Martha (Shirley MacLaine). Sybil and her Irish former chauffeur husband are also among the guests. Tom's views on Irish nationalism offends Lord Crawley, but Matthew manages to calm everything by making Tom his best man. Meanwhile, Anna is still trying to get Bates out of prison, and Lord Crawley makes a disquieting discovery about their financial status.

Worked on writing after the show ended. A little old lady in tattered peddler's rags appears at the gate. Bill smells something familiar - and unpleasant - about her, and Charles and Marcia don't trust her, either. She does seem to have a hold over Brett, enough to get her to consider her basket of trinkets, including a beautiful and deadly comb...

Broke for dinner at quarter after 6. Watched Match Game episodes while eating leftover beef vegetable stew. The late Orson Bean offered his Vermont wit to a pair of shows from 1975 that also included sweetly daffy Joyce Bulifant (who happily promoted her new country album) and TV and stage actress Pat Finley.

Decided to try something different after dinner. I found a recipe for rye soft pretzels in one of the vintage bread recipe books I picked up from yard sales last year. Thought it would be a great way to get rid of the last of the rye flour I've had forever. Turned out I didn't quite have enough for pretzels, so I added whole wheat flour and made multi-grain pretzels. It was a very simple recipe that cooked quickly and didn't even require rising...and it came out quite nicely, chewy with a nice, crusty outside.

Watched Sale of the Century while the pretzels baked. The young man from the last few days had some stiff competition from the another fellow with a long face on the other side. They kept going back and forth all day, with both buying Instant Bargains. They even tied in the speed round, with the champ just barely winning. He didn't get as lucky in the bonus round this time, though...

Finished the night after a shower with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in honor of Kirk Douglas, who also passed away last week. Douglas plays Ned Land, a rowdy sailor who is on a Navy expedition with Professor Pierre Arronax (Paul Lukas) and his loyal assistant Consell (Peter Lorre) to find the "sea monster" that's been destroying ships. The "monster" takes a bite out of their ship as well, leaving them stranded. Turns out it's actually a monster-like submarine that belongs to Captain Nemo (James Mason), a scientist who made many great discoveries, but lost his family and was tortured by an island nation that wanted them. He now attacks all ships that make war or threaten to destroy others, destroying them and killing their crews before they can be destroyed. The ship and the energy that powers it fascinates Arronax, but Ned and Consell just want out of there. They'll have to dodge a massive squid more dangerous than any "monster" if they want to get the word out and stop Nemo before he does any more damage.

Possibly Disney's best live-action sci-fi film outside of the Star Wars series. The special effects won an Oscar at the time and continue to impress. The squid occasionally looks like the rubber puppet it probably is, but sequence builds it up well, and it remains terrifying. Mason gives one of his best performances as Nemo, who wants to stop war, even if it means killing others to do it. Douglas gets to play against type as a more roguish Han Solo-esque hero than usual for him, and even shows off a fairly attractive voice for the catchy sea shanty "Whale of a Tale."

It moves too slow for younger kids, but older kids on up who love steampunk or are willing to give an older science fiction movie a try will love this one.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Sweethearts and Matches

Kicked off a rainy morning with breakfast and the second half of Press Your Luck. This time, the first two contestants were hit with Whammies and knocked out of the game almost immediately after they began. The young man remaining won by default, but Peter Tomarken told him he could use his spins anyway. He used about half his spins (including a few he got from the board) before calling it quits after hitting a Hawaiian vacation, which is just about the most sensible thing I've ever seen anyone do on this show. The mother and daughter kept winning on Blockbusters, easily beating a sweet young woman with a dog named Alice and doing well against another handsome young gentleman.

Watched Match Game while getting ready to go to work. Gary Burgoff, Loni Anderson, Marcia Wallace, and McLean Stevenson ended their run with Marcia giving an unusual answer on the Head-to-Head, McLean pledging Gary's money to help the contestant, and Gene and McLean happily ogling Loni and joking about her hair being on McLean's shoulder.

It continued to shower as I headed off to work. I just went on my bike and got wet. It slowed down shortly after, and was gone all together by 4. The weather wasn't the problem. I spent the first half of the day alternating between sweeping the store and gathering carts...but somehow, the large broom vanished after lunch. I have no idea who took it or where it went. All of the departments have their own large brooms. I tried sweeping with a smaller broom, but it just didn't work. Ended up spending the last hour outside and skipping the sweeping all together. It may have been just as well. By then, the sky was mostly blue, the sun was out, and it had turned into a rather pleasant late afternoon.

Headed straight home and onto the computer after work. Marcia and Richard try their hardest to get Bill to tell them what's going on. He tries, but he just can't spit it out. Brett's really not feeling well. The black magic that permeates the castle is getting to her, and she's worried about her stepmother, the evil witch Malade...or is there something else lurking in the shadows outside of the garden that's waiting to spring on the unsuspecting group?

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Jodie's bagged broccoli and cauliflower from the Super Bowl fondue party was getting soft. I cooked it with onions in milk, cheddar cheese, and home-made vegetable stock and made Broccoli-Cheddar Soup. Had it with a baked breaded flounder fillet and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Returned to Match Game while I ate. Late comedian Orson Bean, stage and TV actress Pat Finley, and adorably goofy Joyce Bulifant joined Gene, Brett, Charles, and Richard for a show from 1975. Joyce's silly jokes and Orson's wry observations added to all the fun, including Brett and Charles starting in on each other again.

Sale of the Century went equally well. We had a new champion, a young man who bought the second Instant Bargain and still managed to blast the other women away. He even did well in the bonus round, winning it at the last second even after missing an answer.

Finished the night with Sweethearts. I go further into this romantic comedy vehicle for 30's operetta stars Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews.

Sweethearts (1938)

Monday, February 10, 2020

Rainy Winter

Began a dreary, rainy morning with breakfast and Press Your Luck. At least all three contestants did better than the ones I saw the other day. These actually had money after the first round. This time, it was down to an older man and a college student. The man hit a Whammy on his last turn, allowing the other guy to win a loveseat and a Hawaiian trip, among other prizes. Blockbusters was also pretty exciting, with that mother and daughter going up against a handsome young bartender. Many a female heart was broken when the women finally got past him.

Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon writing that mall essay. I've never been much of a clothes person. My mother would want me to try on clothes when we went to the mall, but I'd rather spend time at Sam Goody's or Waldenbooks or B. Dalton Booksellers or anywhere else. I'm overweight, and it was hard to find plus sizes in all those silly little "hip" stores like Merry-Go-Round and County Seat. Bookstores, video stores, and music stores were not only more fun, but I easily found movies, books, and CDs there that I would have otherwise had to order from Columbia House before the advent of the internet.

When we ate at the Hamilton Mall, we'd actually go across the parking lot to Red Lobster. It was such a big deal. Sure, there's seafood restaurants in Cape May County, but none of them had tropical slush drinks that came in giant plastic cups or those incredible cheddar cheese biscuits. We always tried to sneak a few of those home with us. Once, Dad put the leftovers on the roof of the car before we left...and forgot they were there until we heard the "thump" shortly after turning onto the Atlantic City Expressway. The only food we retained from that trip was Rose's slice of key lime pie, which she kept with her and wouldn't let anyone else touch.

It was past 1:30 when I finally broke for lunch. On Linda Young's suggestion from the other day, I decided to give Molly of Denali a try on PBS Kids. Molly Mobray (Sovereign Bill) is an Alaskan native who lives in the fictional village of Qyah with her family and her best friends Tooey (Sequoia Janvier) and Trini (Vienna Leacock). In the first short, "Ice Sculpture," Aunt Midge (Adeline Potts) asks Molly's mother Layla (Jules Arita Koostachin) to join an ice sculpture contest, but she's too busy. Molly wants to see her mother make an ice carving, so she and her friends find a way to hold a carving contest right there in Qyah.

Molly's Uncle Jack tells the "Tale of the Totem" when her family comes to see his new version of a totem from 1940 erected. He intends to use special abalone shells to make the eyes extra special. When Molly and her cousin Randall accidentally lose one of the shells, they first turn to shops to find one, then Jack's wife Merna. But it turns out that Uncle Jack has a surprise in store for the kids...

I can see why Linda enjoyed this one so much. The lovely Alaskan setting and Molly's native heritage gives this show an edge that similar coming-of-age tales lack. It's really interesting to learn more about life for modern Alaskan residents and how they combine the traditions of the past with twenty first century technology like the internet. Molly herself is a delight, smart and fun and utterly determined. Absolutely nothing stops her from solving a problem, whether it's a lost shell or finding a source of light for their ice sculpture contest.

Even if you normally consider yourself to be way too old for PBS Kids fare, this unusual cartoon and its strong-willed little heroine are absolutely worth checking out.

The rain continued to fall steadily as I ate. I debated staying home, but finally just opted to grab my library book and coat and head out. It's supposed to rain all week, and I wasn't going to wait until Saturday to go to Haddon Township. Besides, there were a few other things I needed.

The Haddon Township Library was my first stop. Either the rain scared the adults off, or they all had work this week. The kids' DVDs weren't really full, but the adults racks were so stuffed, I couldn't get most of them on the shelves. Didn't take out movies this week - I'm still enjoying exploring online - but I did grab a soul-food based cozy mystery and Carter Beats the Devil, the story of a magician in the 1920's. I originally read Carter in the mid-2000's, shortly after I moved up here, but haven't read it since. Thought it was time I gave it another look.

Made a quick stop at Dollar Tree on the way home. Picked up sponges and a card for Jessa's birthday on Wednesday. As it was rush hour by this point, they had a line going into the aisle. Thank heavens a second register opened! I went in, got what I needed, and went out. The rain was still going as I went home; I just went home and got wet.

A package awaited me on Charlie's porch when I got home. Lauren told me last night she intended to send me a copy of Scrabble for Valentine's Day. We had so much fun playing Roll With It! last spring, she wanted to find other games we could play together. It's even the nifty "retro" version with the original 1949 cover.

Worked on writing after I changed into dry clothes. After Richard breaks for lunch (to Charles' disappointment), Charles joins Brett, Marcia, and Bill in the garden. All three try to ask Bill about their collective dream, but the little wolf hotly denies that they're any more than just the products of their subconsciousness.

Had leftovers for dinner at 7. Watched Sale of the Century while I ate. We had a new champ, a lady who managed to stay two steps ahead of the crowd for most of the game, even with buying one of the Instant Bargains and the Instant Cash game. She had no more luck with the Bonus Round than the previous winner, though...

Returned to Charlie's Angels after a shower. Tanya Roberts replaced Shelly Hack as Julie Rogers during the fifth and final season. She got to put her role as the most streetwise Angel to use in "Chorus Line Angels" when she goes undercover as an agent who gets her dancer, Kris (Jacklyn Smith) a role in a Vegas show trying out in LA. Kris poses as a reporter doing a story on the director putting the show together. The show's star and original choreographer vanished, and its backer wants the girls to figure out why. The new choreographer is disgusted by this, as Kelly has no experience, but she may not be the real problem...

Finished the night on YouTube. The guy who's been posting and cleaning up all the Match Game episodes strung together 25 of Orson Bean's most memorable appearances on the show, including the very first episode of the original 1960's Match Game. Check this out to see even more of his best work on the show:

Match Game - Honoring Orson Bean