Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tigers, Rabbits, and Matches, Oh My!

Began the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel Waits for Show and Tell" has him all ready to show his class the photo book of his birthday that he and his dad made. To pass the time, Teacher Harriett and the kids sing songs and wait for a duck egg to hatch. "A Trip to the Restaurant" is made easier when Katarina and Dan play games while they wait for their meals to come.

Switched to the musical The Shocking Miss Pilgrim on Roku's TV Time Musicals channel after breakfast. I go further into this tale of the first woman secretary in Boston at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Cult Flops - The Shocking Miss Pilgrim

Did things around the apartment while the movie was on. I stripped the flannel sheets off the bed and replaced them with the lighter cotton ones I use for spring and fall, then went through stacked papers and envelopes on the table next to my desk and got my bills sorted. Cleaned the bathroom after that. I was at home a lot more than usual this month, and the sink and especially the bathtub needed it.

Put on Here Comes Peter Cottontail as I finished the cleaning and had a quick lunch. Peter (Casey Kasem) is a cocky young fellow under consideration for the title of Chief Easter Bunny, but nasty old Irontail (Vincent Price) wants to take over the role. He easily sabotages Peter, becoming the new head of April Valley and Easter. Peter has to travel through a year's worth of holidays to give away the eggs he was supposed to deliver at Easter and evade Irontail's attempts to destroy them.

Did some writing after the cartoon ended. Ethel banishes Fannie to the kitchen and denies her dinner for dropping the tray. Richard scolds her for being unkind to the young woman over a simple mistake. He and Charles flee after Fannie before Ethel's daughters can attempt to throw themselves at them again.

Spent the rest of the day resuming the Match Game marathons. Patti Deustch, one of the most creative of all the semi-regulars, was in the spotlight today. Her deadpan expressions and offbeat answers that only occasionally matched the contestant made her divisive among fans. Personally, I think she's hilarious, whether she matches or not. Patti started off in a memorable episode in 1973 that also featured Mr. Magoo himself Jim Backus. One of her more memorable early appearances had Gene asking her if he could "get a little milk" from her. Others showed off her odd answers, like her response to one about what would make Long John Silver do the high jump on his peg leg.

She also took part in one of the funniest early syndicated episodes, along with Dolly & Dick Martin and Nipsey Russell. A contestant got so excited, she practically attacked Gene. He dove away and hid behind the set. Nipsey opted to hug and kiss the girl instead, insisting "If you won't take advantage (Gene), than I will!"

And speaking of Nipsey, he's our next semi-regular in the spotlight. Be sure to bring your favorite rhymes to these episodes revolving around the Poet Laureate of Television, tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern! For now, here's Patti's marathon, for your enjoyment.

The Best of Patti Deustch on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1979

Oh, and Jodie called again while the marathon was on. Now she's pushing back the moving to July. It depends on when Dana and Jesse can make the deal on their house.

Monday, March 30, 2020

All Alone

After the last week, I desperately needed to sleep in. Didn't roll out of bed until past 11. When I did get moving, I had breakfast and did the dishes while watching Yogi the Easter Bear. Yogi's not "smarter than the average bear" when he eats all the candy and ruins the Easter Bunny costume Ranger Smith intended to use for Jellystone's Easter Jamboree. Hoping to make amends and keep Yogi from being sent to Siberia, he and Boo Boo search for the real Easter Bunny to replace the candy and save the Jamboree.

Moved to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while doing a few things around the apartment. Mrs. Tiger has a new job as a carpenter, and she brings Dan along when she repairs the stage in the Enchanted Garden. "Daniel Finds Something to Do" while his mom is working, like turning boxes into a snowman and a white cloth and foam pool noodles into a skating rink. When Prince Tuesday has work and King Friday is busy in the yard, Daniel, Chrissie, and Prince Wednesday have to figure out how to make their own fun in "Daniel's Royal Good Time."

Headed out around 1:30 to run a few errands. It was cloudy, damp, and cool but not cold, in the upper 50's according to the digital sign outside of City Hall. Not the prettiest day to be out and about, but it wasn't raining, either. First stop was the Oaklyn Post Office. It's hard to practice social distancing there. The lobby is so tiny, I'm not sure it is six feet. I bought the two stamps I needed, hid in a corner to get organized, and ducked out just as other people came in.

Next stop was Dollar General. Their eggs are normally cheaper than the Acme's, but they were $2.55! What, are all the chickens getting sick, too? That was still cheaper than the Acme's, so I bought them. Also grabbed sponges, tissues, and what I came for, Liquid Plumber. The drain in my shower's been running slow for over a week now. Unlike the Acme, they have not yet restocked toilet paper or cleaning supplies, though they seemed to be good with everything else.

Rode back down the White Horse Pike to WaWa for a lunch treat. Bought a roast beef and Swiss hoagie for dinner and a Shortbread smoothie for right away. The smoothie was really more of a vanilla-caramel drink topped with cookie bits, but it tasted pretty good. I have no idea why they had a limit on 15 people in the store at a time. I don't think I've seen more than five people in there at a time the two times I've been there.

After I got home, I made a less sugar-heavy chocolate-mocha smoothie with coffee yogurt, dark cocoa, honey, peanut butter, and skim milk. Watched Password Plus and Super Password while I enjoyed my drink and a pair of tangerines. Wacky then-married couple Patty Duke and John Astin competed against each other as much as against the other contestants on Plus. Poor Tom Poston just did not have much luck on Super, missing several puzzles, including one about Aesop's Fables that took them forever to guess.

Tried to focus on writing around 3:30, but it was hard. I did manage do do some things. The moment they arrive, Fannie's stepsisters Meredith and Victoria grab Richard and babble on about what perfect catches they are. All he wants to do is retreat, but he backs into Fannie with her tea tray and knocks the food over. Ethel yells at her for being clumsy, but Richard insists on helping her clean the mess.

(Incidentally, it finally started raining somewhere around 4:30. There was a short but noisy thunderstorm around 6. It's rained off and on, sometimes heavily, for the rest of the evening.)

It was past 6:30 before I finally gave up and had dinner. Watched Match Game while I ate my hoagie. Brett and Fannie figured into one of the funniest episodes of 1974 when they stumbled into the studio in lacy hats and feathered accessories and claimed they just came from Allen Ludden and Betty White's wedding. Charles finally retrieved them, joking about them needing nurses and baths. (White and Ludden were actually married in 1963.)

Started making Molasses Cookies while Sale of the Century was on. By 1986, the show had finally added a genuine bonus round. Instead of just choosing whether they wanted to take the prize or come back, contestants had to play a Concentration-like matching game with names of prizes under each square. The prize they matched was the one they'd get that day. The game added some much-needed excitement to the last five or ten minutes of the show, which frankly seemed anti-climatic. The champion got stiff competition from the other gentleman, but made it to the bonus round even after buying two Instant Bargains. He ended up winning a lovely painting.

Continued on to Concentration while the cookies were in the oven. Buzzr just debuted this one today as part of it's revised evening and night schedule. Unlike the later 80's Classic Concentration, the 1970's syndicated version of the show didn't have returning champions. Two women contestants played two rounds. The main round remained almost entirely the same, save the board that made an intriguing clicking sound when a new piece revealed itself. The bonus round was still played for a car, but the ladies had to guess two smaller rebus puzzles in 10 seconds instead of matching cars. I actually like this bonus round better. It fits in more with the rest of the show. Veteran host Jack Narz was in charge here.

Jodie called me as I was turning the cookies onto a towel to cool. She and Dad are still on lockdown, due to Dad's cancer. They've been so isolated, she's scared every time she even has to do grocery shopping that she might touch somebody and kill Dad. Rose is still on lockdown, too. Khai can't even see his friends. I tried to explain to her how all this made me feel, but I just got reminded that everyone else is going through everything, too, and that I'm lucky to have a job. Craig is out of work - the Italian restaurant where he's normally a cook doesn't need as many people to do deliveries.

I know that. I know everyone else is having a hard time. I just wish I had someone watching out for me. Jodie may only have Dad, but at least he's there, no matter what shape he's in. I'm the only person I know who is totally alone. No one understands. I go home, and there's no one I can talk about my fears with or who will comfort me. I have nobody.

At least tomorrow, it looks like the Match Game marathons will resume. The next Match Game semi-regular in the spotlight with be Patti Deustch, the nasal-voiced redhead whose creative answers may have frequently not matched the contestant, but did make her a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Chasing Matches and Rainbows

Began the morning with breakfast and Johnny Mathis. I figured I needed The Wonderful World of Make Believe. This LP highlights songs from fantasy-themed Broadway shows or films, like the title songs from Camelot, the Disney Alice In Wonderland, and the flop Broadway musical version of Lost Horizon, Shangri-La, or standards with a fantasy bent like "Dream, Dream, Dream" or "Sky Full of Rainbows." "Camelot" and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" are especially good.

Work was more of a pain. I'm still cleaning bathrooms and wiping down doors. One person actually fussed at me over using the liquid abrasive bleach on the toilets. It cleans better than the regular sanitizer. She said she was allergic, but I do wipe them down with regular sanitizer after I use the bleach. The fact that I was still depressed over Lauren pushing back our get-together so far into the summer didn't help. At least we still weren't that busy, especially for a Sunday.

I needed to do my regular shopping after work. Shockingly, they did have toilet paper. Not a lot - the shelves were far from full - but I was able to grab another single roll. Thankfully, they also had the quart milk containers, which I had an online coupon for. Cranberries are finally out of season; replaced them with tangerines and bananas. Broccoli was on a good sale, too. The Acme's generic dental floss was buy-one, get-one. Decided I deserved Oat-milk oatmeal cookie pint ice cream and a Cherry Vanilla Coke to make an ice cream float and Red Baron cheese pizza. Found two breaded fish fillets with managers coupons and picked up tortillas for tacos later in the week. Restocked butter, yogurt, canned black beans, frozen green beans and almonds, powdered sugar, and molasses.

As soon as I got home, I put everything away, then answered the Census and did some writing. Ethel clomps into the parlor, followed by her two daughters. Meredith clings to Richard and keeps giggling. Victoria is sour and sarcastic. Richard asks Ethel about Fannie and her magic, but Ethel dismisses her magic as silly and Fannie as s spoiled child who needs to learn her place.

Finished the night with the next Match Game Marathon. The operator of the channel went the unique route of pulling together episodes that are banned for non PC-answers or skipped because of degraded master tapes or problems with getting celebrity rights clearances. Several early episodes from '73 have bad tapes,  including one with a memorable answer from Shelley Winters. Price Is Right model Anitra Ford only gave her blessings for her week of episodes from 1976 to air on Buzzr in 2018. Good thing, too. It featured the ongoing flirtation between Richard and a gorgeous blonde who went on to win quite a bit of money and was totally hilarious. Other episodes were banned for answers that wouldn't fly today, like one Brett gave during the week with Mama "Cass" Elliot in 1973 and Charles' answer to a question on a PM show in 1975.

This wound up being by far the most popular marathon he's run so far, getting over 100 viewers at its peak. Here it is, for your enjoyment!

Match Game Banned & Skipped Episodes 1973 - 1982

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Golden Girl Matches

Spent most of the day at work. Yes, I cleaned the bathroom and wiped down the freezer doors and credit card machines for the entire eight and a half hours. I never did anything else. Maybe it's just as well. While it wasn't raining when I went to work, it apparently started shortly after and continued for the rest of the day. We were steady during lunchtime, but otherwise was never really busy, and there was plenty of help for once. At least there's still snacks in the back, fruit and mini-bags of chips and popcorn and bags of nuts and small Tastycake sponge squares and pies.

My schedule for next week is far closer to normal for me. Morning hours all week; the latest I work is 2 on Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday off, Monday originally for counseling, and now just to recover after this long week.

Went straight home in a misty shower. As soon as I got in, I changed and went online for the next Match Game marathon. Betty White is best-known today for her roles in the hit sitcoms Golden Girls and Hot In Cleveland, and for pretty much being one of the coolest older ladies in the universe. In the 60's and 70's, she was equally well-known for her prowess on game shows. She never failed to be delightful, whether she was sparring with Brett over their ages or rolling Gene's pant legs down while he talked to the upper level or switching places with Charles (and ending up with his pipe).

Some of her best episodes came during the later syndicated run. Betty loves animals, which was a frequent source of jokes for the writers. Her fondness for dogs came in handy on two episodes from 1980 that featured an appearance by Trotter, the sweet black pooch that belonged to Gene's daughter Lynne. Betty took very good care of her while she was on stage, and frankly that dog was far better-behaved than some of the panelists.

Betty also loved doing a faux striptease whenever the appropriate music started. This culminated in a 1981 episode where she turned up in a brief bright-red dancer's costume in the opening and started doing a routine. That whole episode was crazy; later on, Sharon Farrell and Richard Paul demonstrated mud wrestling when they ended up on the floor together.

Tomorrow's marathon will showcase episodes that have been banned due to non-PC content, are skipped in rotation on Buzzr and Game Show Network, or are otherwise hard to find anywhere but YouTube. And it'll be an extra-long 10-hour show with several rarities, from what the owner of the channel says.

The Best of Betty White on Match Game Marathon - 1973-1981

Ran The Aristocats as the marathon wound down. I go further into this tale of jazz-loving felines in 1910 Paris on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Animation Celebration Saturday - The Aristocats

And...Lauren told me she had to reschedule her trip down here to late August. I think that's too late, but she doesn't want to go through New York and risk her parents getting sick. I'm so disappointed. I was so looking forward to her coming here! I don't have much else to look forward to right now. I wish I could have talked her into at least July, but New York is in such bad shape, she's worried about going through there.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fried Green Matches

Kicked off the morning with breakfast and The First Easter Rabbit. Stuffy the Bunny is little Glinda's favorite toy, but her mother reluctantly dumps him on the bonfire pile when she gets scarlet fever. A fairy takes pity on him and turns him into the Easter Bunny, symbol of spring for all children. Stuffy has to figure out how to bring Easter goodies to his beloved Glinda and avoid Zero, who wants to bring snow to April Valley and doesn't care that he's ruining everyone's spring fun.

Headed out to get the laundry done after the cartoon ended. I got lucky. The laundromat was totally empty when I arrived, and I saw only one other man the entire time. I didn't have a huge load, anyway. It was mainly my work clothes. Worked on story notes and ignored talk shows and The View blaring gloom and doom on ABC.

When I got home, I put everything away, then went into writing. Richard and Charles are surprised when they see Fannie using breezes to gently blow the tea pots and saucers into their laps. She's an air magician who can command air currents at her whim. Her late mother was an air magician, but she didn't know much else about her. Gene has his suspicions - he knows who she is.

To my annoyance, I discovered that one of the bathroom doors came off its top hinges when I took a break. It's too low and scrapes against the carpet Charlie laid last year. I did find the screw and will try to fix it sometime early next week.

Ran the next Match Game marathon for the rest of the afternoon. Years before she became known for the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and the screenplay of its film version, Fannie Flagg was a stage and TV comedienne from Alabama. She brought her dry wit, whimsical sense of humor, and collection of tight and unusual t-shirts to Match Game starting in late '73. She frequently flirted with contestants, most memorably handsome high school teacher Ron Valenti on three episodes in 1975, made a hilarious Greta Garbo, and looked fetching in a long wig and Brooklyn accent. Musical fans may recognize her from her brief cameo in the beginning of the film version of Grease as the school nurse who complains about her castor oil being missing; she got to wear the costume again to pose as Brett and Charles' "nurse" in '77.

She also took part in one of the funniest episodes of the 1979-1982 syndicated run. The question on the Audience Match in late '79 was "___ Balsam." Fannie did come up with Martin, but Charles' Oil of Balsam and Scoey Mitchlll's Cheerio Balsam were met with boos from the audience. One guy in glasses loudly suggested "Wella Balsam," the shampoo, and the contestant went with that. Turns out that yes, Wella Balsam was the top answer, leading the entire panel to walk out in protest!

Here's the entire marathon, for your enjoyment. And look out at 1 PM tomorrow on YouTube for the next one, revolving around everyone's favorite Golden Girl and queen of game shows Betty White!

The Best of Fannie Flagg on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1982

Tried making icing during the marathon to glue together the two halves of my gingerbread loaf, but it was a disaster. I put in too much milk, and it came out soupy and made a mess when I ran the mixer. Couldn't get the loaf out of the pan I left it in, either. I don't think it did anything besides squirting out the sides. It certainly didn't glue bits and pieces together.

Mrs. Stahl called while the marathon was on. I think you can guess that she canceled our appointment for Monday. I'm not up to riding all the way over to Haddonfield or really talking to her after last month's appointment didn't go that well, even if things were better. We arranged for an appointment during the last week of April and will hope for the best.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Host With the Matches

Began the morning with breakfast and the 2003 version of Strawberry Shortcake on The Roku Channel. The girls' garden party becomes "The Costume Party" when they're hit with a rain storm. The others tease Strawberry about her ragged raincoat, prompting her to suggest putting on "Cinderella" to keep them amused. Strawberry plays Cinderella, Angel Cake is the fairy godmother, and they even convince Huckleberry Pie to be the prince. As they perform the story, the girls and Huck come to realize that it doesn't matter how old the coat is. The really important thing is the size of the heart inside of it.

Once again, I spent the entire morning and early afternoon cleaning. I'm starting to get a little tired of it, but I do know it's important. Admittedly, many customers have actually stopped me and told me that they appreciate what I'm doing, but there have been a few obnoxious folks. At least two women later in the day (one toting a child) complained because I wouldn't leave the bathroom door open so they didn't have to touch it. People need their privacy, too! I always wipe down the doors when I'm in there. (I will add that one of the women did apologize later.)

Hurried straight home after work. After I changed, I made another gingerbread loaf from the Acme holiday gingerbread mix. Alas, this one didn't turn out nearly as well as the first. It fell in the center and broke apart when I tried to get it out of the pan. Tasted pretty decent, but it was very messy.

Put on the Gene Rayburn Match Game marathon after I slid the gingerbread into the oven. Gene may have been the host and the star of the show, but he could get as crazy as any of his panelists. He broke through the entrance doors at least twice and had to shove through them twice. He introduced new female panelists by freshening his breath for a kiss and flirted with anyone, panelist or contestant, who looked vaguely female. Once late in the original run, he roller skated into the studio. Another time, he made his entrance by running around the audience. Like Brett, he also feuded with members of the crew, attacking cameramen when they missed cues or wouldn't move the cameras off a panelist. Syndicated episodes had him dressing as a cowboy and sporting an old man wig in imitation of one of the show's most famous characters, Old Man Periwinkle.

My favorite episode from this run by far came from the later syndicated run in 1982. Gene got into an argument with Charles over the merits of the min-series Sho-Gun that ended with Charles hitting Gene over the head with his blue paper square. While Gene recovered from his "injury" (actually a paper cut), a slightly nervous McLean Stevenson took over as host and read a question.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can enjoy all of Gene's wacky antics as well. Tomorrow at one will be a marathon honoring southern belle writer, comedienne, and favorite Match Game semi-regular Fannie Flagg.

The Best of Gene Rayburn on Match Game Marathon - 1973 - 1982

Finished the night with Duchess of Idaho. I go further into this fluffy romantic comedy vehicle for Esther Williams and Van Johnson at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Duchess of Idaho

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Matches and the Lady

Began the day with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. Our first contestants was a woman who owned many different jungle animals, including Mignon, the adorable baby Asian elephant in the studio. Half the panel went with sweet-looking number 2, and I and the other half opted for more scholarly number 3. Mignon knew her mommy - she chose number 3. Apparently, the lady and her animal trainer husband intended to start a wild animal habitat in New Jersey.

Work was the same it's been for over a week. I cleaned the bathrooms and wiped down doors and credit card machines again. At least it was dead again, and once again, weather may have been a factor. While it didn't rain as hard as it did on Monday, a nice shower fell off and on for most of the day. It was just slowing down as I headed home.

As soon as I got home, I changed, took out the trash, lowered my bike seat, and went straight into the next Match Game marathon. Along with her sparring buddy Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Somers is my favorite panelist on the show. Many people find her abrasive or too much of a camera hog, but I think she's witty and delightful. My favorite from this round was the episode in 1978 where Brett appeared with her maybe-sorta-ex husband Jack Klugman. They were caught necking about mid-way through, and at the very end, the others held a "wedding" for them.

Some of the best of the '74-'75 episodes showed off the ongoing feud between Brett and whomever handled the buzzer. She'd yell at them when they buzzed her wrong answer, and they'd give her a raspberry sound or a Bronx cheer or a fog horn. There was also the time she and Gene showed off their dueling push-ups, or everyone's answers to a question about Brett streaking in the nude, or the answers to whom would play the Beast to Betty White's Beauty. There was also another one from '78 where she actually deserved the extra camera time - she was the only one who got the match for a game that ended in a scoreless tie.

Here's the Brett marathon - and come around tomorrow at 1 PM for the next one, revolving around everyone's favorite host, Gene Rayburn!

The Best of Brett Somers on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1980

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Matches In the Spring

Kicked off a gorgeous, sunny morning with breakfast and two new-to-me PBS Kids episodes. "Margaret's Birthday" begins with Daniel upset that he's not getting attention, too. Mrs. Tiger tells him that he's a "birthday buddy" and can help her set up games and choose the cake. Daniel's jealousy returns when "Margaret's Birthday Party" begins and everyone wants to play with Margaret and give her presents. He feels better when he helps the others with Pin the Tail On the Panda.

Switched to Molly of Denali for the more sobering "Grandpa's Drum." Molly finds a black and white photo of her Grandpa Nat holding a drum while standing with a girl in glasses. She wonders what happened to that drum, and he tells her that he gave it to the girl after the boarding school they attended wouldn't let them play their native songs. Molly and Tooey track down the now-older woman to find Grandpa's drum and bring his songs back. They say "Have Canoe, Will Paddle" when they and their friend Trini join a canoe race. The trio recruit a former Olympic athlete to coach them. They're upset when an accident loses their canoe, but a surprise helps get them back in the game.

Started dinner while Molly was on. Found a recipe for Turkey Sausage-Black Bean Soup I wanted to try in a recipe book Lauren sent me a few years ago. I didn't have red peppers, but everything else went in just fine. Yum! Glad I saved that turkey sausage. It came out rich, savory, and flavorful and smelled amazing while cooking.

The part I ordered for my bike seat arrived yesterday. I went out to try to get it on, but it wouldn't stay. My seat was slightly too far apart, and the wires may have been just a tad too big. Richard saw me struggling with it and put it on for me later.

At least it was a nice day to work on it. The weather was stunning today, sunny, breezy, and warm, probably in the lower 60's. I'm actually kind of glad that the kids were out of school. This was no day to be in a classroom. I could hear some of them playing in the park as I went back inside.

Did a little bit of writing. Fannie opens the door for a besotted Richard and his entourage. He'd much rather have tea with her than with loud Ethel and her daughters, but she's expected to do chores and bring the tea fixings.

Spent the rest of the afternoon watching another Match Game marathon on YouTube. This one highlighted the best episodes of stage and TV actor and director and acting teacher Charles Nelson Reilly. My personal favorite on this one was one of the best entrances I ever saw on any show. From late 1974 through mid 1975, Charles took a hiatus to direct a Broadway play. He literally dropped back in via flying harness and a stuffed bird! Other fun ones here include Charles and Brett's infamous feuding getting so bad, Gene puts him in the lower tier with Betty White, and two of the best episodes of the later run. Charles kindly gives a balding young man his toupee in a nighttime episode from 1981 and briefly took over as host from Gene in syndicated show from 1981.

The guy who cleans up these shows says he'll be doing one for Charles' sparring buddy Brett Somers tomorrow, and I'm very much looking forward to it. For now, here's the best of everyone's favorite fussy theater star!

The Best of Charles Nelson Reilly on Match Game Marathon - 1973-1981

Finished the night with Music In My Heart as the marathon and Match Game syndicated "premiere" wound down. I go further into an early vehicle for Tony Martin and Rita Hayworth at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Music In My Heart

Monday, March 23, 2020

Rainy Day Matches

Began the morning with breakfast and Tiny Toon Adventures. Fairy Babs prepares for "Springtime In Acme Acres" with three shorts about the Toons' warm-weather activities. "Love Among the Toons" has the Elmer Fudd-like Cupid giving his bow and arrow to Conrad the Buzzard so he can take a vacation. He returns to discover Conrad's made all kinds of mix-up matches, including Babs and Montana Max. "Elmyra's Spring Cleaning" proves to be hazardous to the health of several of her pets, including a fish whose bowl she sucks into her vacuum cleaner. "That's Incredibly Stupid" is a spoof of the kids' stunt shows that were popular in the late 80's-early 90's. Plucky continually makes Dizzy do increasingly difficult stunts, but he's the one in trouble when one stunt has him judging a muscle woman beauty pageant!

Spent most of the day at work. I cleaned the bathroom and wiped down credit card machines and freezer doors for the entire 7 hours. I kind of wish I could have switched off with someone else, but I guess the head manager likes how I do it. In the last hour, I also cleaned and dusted a shelf in the front of the frozen food area that was mostly empty.

Maybe it's just as well. It rained all day here. I went to work and got wet, and I went home and got wet. I was soaked when I came in the door.

As soon as I got in, I changed into dry clothes and went online. Today was the second half of that Richard Dawson-focused marathon on YouTube. I missed a lot of good episodes, including the infamous "School Riot," but I did come around in time to catch a few. The "school riot" was not the last time Richard argued with the judges over an answer. In one of his last episodes from 1978, he insisted that his and Susan Richardson's answer of "toes" matched "feet," which Ira Skutch, the judge and the show's producer, didn't agree with. He's not the only one who insisted his answer was right, either. In an earlier episode, Betty White insisted her "hips" answer matched "buns." Gene and Richard were more than happy to use her own hips and buns for a demonstration.

Here's the marathon in its entirety if you'd like to check out the rest of Richard Dawson's run on the show!

Best of Richard Dawson on Match Game Marathon - 1976-1978

And tune in tomorrow, folks! It looks like Charles will be the next regular to get a day-long marathon devoted to them.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Of Detectives and Matches

Began a cloudy early morning with work. While I did return cold items once, I spent the entire morning cleaning bathrooms and wiping down surfaces. They're further limiting what people can do in the store. There's now arrows that indicate customers can only go one way to keep away from others and where they can stand in line, and there's a one-item limit on all meat, cleaning and washing items, or anything else they don't have much of.

Needed a few things I forgot yesterday after work. With all the baking, my regular white flour container is getting low. Realized when I made popcorn the other day that I'm almost out of kernels, too. Found a container of hand soap that had been misplaced at the clearance racks and though I'd grab it.

When I got home, I changed and put everything away, then made quick Lemon Pancakes for lunch. Just added lemon juice and zest to whole wheat buttermilk pancakes. Other than I burned the side of one, they didn't turn out too badly. Nice and fluffy.

I rushed the pancakes because the guy who cleans up the Match Game episodes online is on quarantine and had the time to put together a huge 50-episode, two-day, nine-hour marathon of Richard Dawson's best moments on the show. I arrived in time to catch everything from late '74 onwards. Favorites include at least two times where Richard imitated his character from Hogan's Heroes Corporal Newkirk, him helping Gene out when the zipper on his boot broke, and one of my all-time favorite episodes, the incident on one of the earlier PM episodes where Richard gave "Color Television" as an answer to "Admiral ___" in the Audience Match. Gene didn't believe it was on the board, so Richard made a wager...and guess who was right?

Here's the entire marathon - and look for the second half with the episodes from 1976 to 1978 tomorrow!

Best of Richard Dawson on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1975

Finished the night after a shower and more Match Game with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Phryne is enjoying her night at the Green Hill dance hall when "The Green Hill Murder" ends things on a sour note. One of the patrons falls down dead, stabbed with a tiny sharp instrument. Turns out the guy was a nasty jerk who blackmailed pretty much everyone at the club and their relatives. There's no shortage of suspects as Phryne convinces Jack to let her join in and tries to get his constable Hugh to take her maid Dot to the policeman's ball.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Matches and Cookies

Kicked off a sunny, breezy morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. They finally got a few episodes I hadn't seen on PBS Kids. "Daniel and Margaret Play School," but Dan's upset when Margaret wanders off or won't listen to his stories. His mother tells him he's old enough to figure out how to keep her attention. Daniel visits Prince Wednesday and his cousin Chrissie at the Castle, but has a hard time deciding if he should play dinosaur with him or go on a "Treasure Hunt at the Castle" with her. They agree to do both, and then have to figure out who should get which rock they find during their hunt.

Switched to Split Second while doing the dishes. Two new champions were crowned in these episodes. The first echoed the episode I saw on St. Patrick's Day, with a woman coming from behind in the speed round and winning a car on her first try. The second one brought in three new players. Yet another lady beat the others in the speed round, but she didn't guess the right board for the car and agreed to come back in the next episode and try again.

Tested a recipe I never tried before while running Match Game. Dug around through various cookbooks and thought I'd try Indian Jumanas from The Betty Crocker Cooky Book. According to the book, they're South American nutmeg-flavored cookies that the locals under the equator color yellow or green with vegetables. Betty Crocker recommend using regular old food dyes. I didn't want to play with dye, so I skipped it all together. The recipe said to push a nut into the top of each cookie, but not what type of nut. I settled for the praline pecans I picked up from the Acme on Friday. Other than replacing a cup of regular flour with a cup of whole wheat flour, I otherwise stuck to the recipe.

Yum! They came out really well. The sweet candied pecans blended nicely with the earthy, slightly spicy butter rounds, and the apartment smelled incredible when they were in the oven. I could barely stop eating them.

Had a quick lunch after the cookies came out of the oven, then rushed off to get the laundry done. Thankfully, it was open, and not terribly busy when I arrived. I did have a pretty big load, including work clothes. Did my story notes and ignored the news bleating gloom and doom, then rushed out as soon as I could.

Spent the rest of the afternoon writing. Cinder-Fannie's stepmother Ethel invites Richard, whom she thinks is a prince, to visit her stately plantation home. Gene agrees in the hope that they'll find out more about what Malade's doing. Fannie's father was a spy and adviser to the king and queen who died defending them. His wife had no idea what he really did for a living...or that his daughter has continued his work.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftover hot dogs and cole slaw with my own steak fries while watching The Slipper and the Rose. I go further into this exquisite (and lengthy) British Cinderella tale at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Family Fun Saturday - The Slipper and the Rose

Friday, March 20, 2020

Busy, Busy Spring

Began a warm and cloudy first day of spring with breakfast and Sale of the Century. Switched to "Springtime Serenade" finishing my tea. This is one of the very few color Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts made at Universal. Ozzie and his sister Fanny are delighted when spring arrives, even doing spring cleaning in their bed and breakfast house. A grumpy groundhog is determined to spoil everyone's fun with his predictions of cold weather, but he may be right.

Moved on to black and white Silly Symphony shorts as I did the dishes. "Springtime" is one of the earliest cartoons in the series, and it's pretty much just animals and flowers dancing and eating each other in time to classical music. Two adorable cubs are upset when a bigger bear steals their honey log in "The Bears and the Bees," but said bees aren't too happy to see any bear rears near their food supply!

Switched to writing after the cartoon ended. Meredith and Ethel hang all over Richard, wanting to know who he is and if he'll be at the ball. He tells them that he and his valet and court musician are recovering from fighting a sorceress, and that Ethel should treat Fannie better. Fannie gets fed up with their fawning and tries to pull them away, only for her stepmother to give her more chores and no dinner.

Returned to shorts while having a quick lunch and getting ready for work. "Birds In the Spring" is one of the first color Silly Symphonies. Two bird parents rescue their curious fledgling who fell out of the nest from a hungry snake. "The Goddess of Spring" is a full-blown mini-opera retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades, complete with flowers dancing above for her and imps doing a jazz number underground.

Work was an absolute pain. I kept trying to get out to the carts or clean the bathrooms, and they kept putting me in a register. All I did was stress out. I'm no good with crowds or people. At least everyone was really sweet about it. Not to mention, the orders were all normal-sized ones that a family would buy for a week off at home, not huge orders people bought because they were panicking.

Goes without saying I have a busy schedule next week. On one hand, I'm very glad I got two days off, Tuesday and Friday. In fact, I'm shocked and pleased that I got two days off, given I have twice as many hours than I usually do, including 7 hour days on Monday and next Saturday. Thankfully, the other days are all normal four or five-hour shifts.

I also needed to do regular grocery shopping. The only things I had trouble getting were meat and milk. There was no meat. The only things I saw were pork, which I can't eat (it gives me indigestion), and big slabs of beef and big hams, which I can't carry home. I went with chicken sausages, even though they were expensive. For some reason, one of the dairy stock people told me they aren't making the quart milks anymore. I bought the only quart I could find, a "smooth & creamy skim plus" that was also expensive, but was better than nothing. Grabbed strawberries and block cheese on sale and got a bag of shredded cheese free with the online rewards program. Plucked bags of almonds and praline pecans and another gingerbread mix from the clearance shelves. Restocked aspirin, cake mix, Jello, yogurt, butter, soup, and cranberries. Treated myself to pints of the Acme's natural and coconut milk ice creams, since I had Monopoly coupons.

I was dead tired when I got home. Put on Match Game, put everything away, and flopped on the couch and rested with my big soft Pluto in in my lap until I felt able to move. I'd already pulled out hot dogs earlier in the day, so I just opted for hot dogs and cole slaw for dinner.

Called Mom while Sale of the Century was on. Today was her birthday. She's out a job as of Monday. They're cutting hours severely at the Ferry and are only going to be calling necessary personnel in. Mom's not too upset. She has plenty of money from Social Security checks, selling her house last year, and from spending most of her time at home. She admonished me to get lots of rest and constantly check and make sure I'm not sick.

Finished the night with two Match Game syndicated "premieres" and the next episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. "Murder on the Ballarat Train" has Phyrne and Dot heading to the title city to collect Phyrne's new luxury car. On the way, Dot witnesses an argument between a stout, grouchy older woman and a man with a little boy who annoys her. It becomes more important when Phyrne discovers the woman's daughter drugged and the woman gone. After convincing the police to look for her, she turns up hung from a water tower. Phyrne, with the help of a little girl pickpocket who found the woman's jewels, has to figure out who besides the man with the kid wanted that lady dead.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

I Yam What I Yam

I overslept a little this morning, but I did have time for breakfast and To Tell the Truth. Three elderly nuns who claimed to also be a car mechanic didn't stump the panel at all. They all went for big, tough number one...and they were, indeed, right.

The panel on What's My Line had less luck figuring out what unique instrument a teen girl played. (Especially since her comely looks rather distracted Gene Rayburn and Gene Schallit of the bushy mustache.) Turns out she played the saw, and even gave a nice performance. Arlene Francis got to ogle the next contestant, a handsome young speaker.

Spent all of work cleaning the bathrooms and wiping down doors and credit card machines. I tried to get to everything, but the running around was tiring, and I'm fed up with hearing everyone talk about the virus at work. At least they had food in the back again, tangerines and bananas along with snacks, mini-pies, and bags of mini-muffins.

Rushed home as soon as I could get out the door. Changed, then had a quick lunch and made popcorn while running the third Popeye the Sailor: The 40's set. It starts out well with "Olive Oyl for President," a remake of "Betty Boop for President." When Popeye laughs at the idea of a female president, Olive tells him what she'd do if she were in charge.

Most of the other cartoons don't get quite that creative. The majority are once again variations on the Bluto/Popeye/Olive love triangle. Bluto gets to play everything from an amorous caveman ("Pre-Hysterical Man") to Hercules at the first Olympics ("Popeye Meets Hercules") to the Sheriff of Nottingham ("Robin Hood-winked"), with Popeye taking him down every time.

By the end of the decade, Famous Studios was strapped for ideas to keep Popeye going. Clip show cartoons - shorts made up of clips from other shorts, with new wrap-around material - had been common going back into the Fleischer Brothers era. We get two such shorts here. "Popeye's Premiere" is just "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp" with new wrap-arounds about Popeye and Olive attending the short's debut. "Spinach Vs. Hamburgers" has Popeye showing his nephews what spinach can do for them via sequences from other shorts. (Including the rather offensive "Pop-pie A La Mode.") There's also another cartoon that may offend many people today, the Pilgrim-and-Indian "Wigwam Whoopee."

Remakes also became more common as the decade wore on. Cartoons reworked from earlier Fleischer Brothers material included "Barking Dogs Don't Fite," "A Balmy Swami," and "The Fly's Last Flight." The last-named takes us into the 50's with a cartoon that seems more like something Donald Duck would star in than Popeye. He's bedeviled by a fly who just won't let him sleep and ends up destroying his home to get rid of it. If my public domain set is any indication, this wouldn't be the last short that focused on Popeye dealing with an annoying critter.

Also worth mentioning - there's one cartoon, "A Wolf In Sheik's Clothing," we're apparently lucky to have at all. Ten shorts were made in Polarcolor, a short-lived cheap alternative to three-strip Technicolor. Apparently, the magenta strip of "Wolf" was lost and the remaining elements weren't in good shape. What's there is noticeably a bit more faded and pastel than the others, but it's far from unwatchable and doesn't look horrible.

Ehh, ultimately, the Warner Archives Popeye sets are mainly for major fans of the character or those who have fond memories of when these ran in the theaters or on TV.

Worked on writing for a while after the disc ended. Richard comes in to complain to Ethel (Merman) and her stepdaughters about their treatment of Fannie. He quickly tells them he's a visiting prince and his entourage who just fought a sorceress and need their rest. Meredith cuddles up to him, hoping to gain his favor. Vicki doesn't really care, even though her sister drags her along. Gene has to break them up, claiming they'll be at the ball.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game. We finished out the Ed Asner/Julie London run with the shy contestant making it to the Audience Match and going up against a more personable young man. Sale of the Century crowned a new champion, a young man who came from behind in the speed round to beat the woman champ. He also opted to come back and try for that big shopping spree.

Finished the night with The 'I Don't Care' Girl. I go further into this odd "biography" of vivacious vaudeville performer Eva Tanguay starting Mitzi Gaynor at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The 'I Don't Care' Girl

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

It Might as Well Be Spring

Began a beautiful morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. Three young women who claimed to be gymnasts who specialized in the uneven parallel bars were on the docket. The panelists all thought she was sturdy number one, including me! We were all wrong. It turned out to be long, lean number 3. She gave a rather impressive demonstration on the bars just as I was heading out.

Started out doing the carts at work and enjoying a sunny, breezy, fairly warm day, but I was called in after about an hour. The head manager wanted both bathrooms scrubbed every hour on the hour, as well as all the doors and credit card panels on the registers wiped down. Not only did it take me a while to do all that, but cashiers and other managers kept calling me to return cold items and do other things.

At least they fed us. Someone put boxes of mini-packs of chips, Cheez Doodles, and popcorn, peanut butter and cheese-filled crackers, and packs of small brownies and muffins in the back. By the time I finished, they'd added small pepperoni pizza pies and containers of hot wings, too. I grabbed brownies and pizza and snitched the celery from the hot wings. (I don't do extra-spicy.)

After I got home, I changed, then put the St. Patrick's Day decorations away. Since I had the box out and I figured I could use the cheer, the Easter decorations went up in their place. I still can't use the tinsel garland, but I did find room for everything else. Patchy the big resin bunny statue went behind the DVD player in the living room. The porcelain bunny in the purple dress is next to him on one end of the TV. The smooth porcelain bunny candy holder is currently filled with wooden mini-eggs and sits on the dining area table. Freddie the Frog and Flora the Bunny, two rolly-polly toys that (used to) play music go in the bedroom on the book shelf with the American Girl Easter supplies.

Ran the second Popeye shorts collection while I worked, and later as I did the dishes. Popeye did more wandering in the post-World War II world, taking his adventures everywhere from under the water to outer space...but the basic premise remained the same. Bluto (or a Bluto-like villain) makes Popeye look bad. Olive snubs him and goes to Bluto, only to regret it when he moves in on her too fast. Popeye sees them fight, eats spinach, and rescues Olive.

"House Tricks," at the very least, is a variant. Popeye and Bluto compete to see who can build a side of Olive's house faster. "Service With a Guile" is similar, only this time, they're trying to impress an admiral by rebuilding his car at Olive's service station. In both cases, they focus so much on their feud, what they build or repaired ends up falling apart.

More common are shorts like "Rocket to Mars," "Klondike Casanova," "Peep In the Deep," and "Wotta Knight" that take the Popeye-Bluto feud to other time periods (the Alaska gold rush or King Arthur's court) or places (Mars or under the sea). There's also at least one short, "This Island Fling," that features incredibly offensive native stereotypes in a riff on Robinson Crusoe. Carnivals are another favorite spot for Popeye and Bluto to fight - they demolish two midways in "Abusement Park" and "All's Fair at the Fair."

I'd like this more if it didn't get so repetitive, but there's still some good stuff, and it was largely better than the shorts from the tail end of the war years. Great if you're a Popeye fan; newcomers might be better off looking for the original 30's sets.

Spent the rest of the afternoon working on writing and editing my story. Fannie's about to explain to Richard what she does when the bell rings in the main shop. Her stepmother (Ethel Merman) and stepsisters (Meredith MacRae and Vicki Lawrence) have arrived in their vulgar, bright-colored dresses, demanding that she come home and starting making dinner and fixing up their outfits for the ball. Arlene and Gene are about ready to tell her to stuff it, but Fannie doesn't want trouble.

In the back room, Richard suggests they convalesce at the Merry Men's cottage in Sherwood Forest. It's quiet and isolated. Perfect place to recover from their injuries and make plans.

Broke for leftover chicken tacos and cole slaw for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game while I ate. Shy jazz chanteuse Julie London and crusty Ed Asner join Fannie Flagg, Gene, and the regulars for a round of jokes about Ed's grouchiness, Brett's tendency to chatter on, and Fannie's considerable cleavage.

Sale of the Century was neck-and-neck between two women contestants. The one guy didn't get close. Both women bought one Instant Bargain, and they tied on the speed round. The challenger answered the tie-breaker question incorrectly, allowing the champion to win at the last minute. She opted to come back when she heard the prizes were changing, and the next prize up was a $5,000 shopping spree in Beverly Hills.

Finished the night after a shower with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. The Roku Channel for the time being runs this hit historical mystery drama from Australia. Phyrne Fisher (Essie Davis) is a titled lady who returns to Melbourne in the mid-20's and becomes a private detective. In the first episode "Cocaine Blues," she attends a lunch at the home of a friend of hers, only to discover the woman's husband's been murdered. Police Detective Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) found he was poisoned, but after questioning the housemaid Dot (Ashleigh Cummings), she learns that another housemaid was sent away for odd reasons. Following the lead on the maid brings her to a major drug smuggling ring and a notorious abortionist named "Butcher George."

No wonder Mom loves this show and has often recommended it. It's fun, and Phyrne's a blast to watch. I hope it'll stay on Roku for a while longer. I'd like to check out more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Luckier Than You Think

Kicked off a cloudy St. Patrick's Day with Irish Oatmeal Pancakes and Split Second. I just added oatmeal and molasses to the usual whole wheat mix. Not bad, actually. Might have come out better if I hadn't burned the side of one.

Buzzr honored St. Patrick's Day by running episodes themed around "Lucky Wins" all day. Some of them really were amazing, like the come-from-behind victory in Second. With the champ having taken that vacation yesterday, there were three new contestants answering trivia. One of the two women was ahead going into the bonus round...but the other, who bore a striking resemblance to a blonde Annie Potts, emerged the winner. And not only that, but she picked the right board with the car in the bonus round on her first try!

Blockbusters pitted a serious young man with a beard against a mother-and-daughter team (the daughter had the memorable first name "Puff"). Puff and her mom kept blocking his lines, but he finally got through twice. Not only that, but he just barely got the bonus round and picked up $5.500. The father in the father-daughter pair on next had an even more interesting name - Jimmy Carter! (He looked nothing like the president, though, including claiming that peanuts gave him heartburn.)

Switched to the late 70's Wonder Woman while making Irish Soda Bread in a square pan. (My round pans were too big for the recipe.) "Pot o' Gold" from the third season is technically a Christmas episode, but it has more to do with Irish mythology than the winter holidays. Diana has to help a little old Irish shoemaker recover his gold from a small-time crook, who hopes to use it to buy plates from an industrialist.

Returned to Buzzr for the 12 PM Match Game episodes while slicing vegetables and putting together an Irish Chicken Stew in the Crock Pot, then headed out to run errands. I couldn't stay inside anymore. Besides needing a few things, the sun started to emerge around 1. I'm probably one of the only people who can go outside right now, and I figured I might as well take advantage of it.

Came back in before I got past the front walk. Mom gave me a 25 dollar online gift card for Amazon to cheer me up last weekend. I chose the next two Popeye 40's shorts sets from the Warner Archives. I brought them upstairs and slid them on one of the black shelves before going on my way.

Originally, my first stop was going to be the Oaklyn Library. Yes, they are closed, but only for about a week and a half, not for the under a month that the Haddon Township Library will be closed. They're so small, I don't think I've ever seen more than 10 adults in there at a time, even at the knitting club or on computers. I've only seen more than 10 people in there at a time when they've had elementary school classes.

Strolled to WaWa for a treat instead. I'm glad to be able to get out and enjoy spring. It's lovely in the neighborhood now. Pale purple and snow white crocus, brilliant yellow daffodils, and cotton candy pink hyacinths grace every front yard. Sunny dandelions brighten green grass popping out of crinkly lawns. Some of the trees are starting to show flowers; buds have appeared on others.

To my surprise, WaWa was dead when I arrived. I figured I'd be lucky to get in, considering what the Acme's been like. Maybe they're all still at the Acme. The bread was empty and some candy bars were missing, but otherwise, things were perfectly normal. They weren't even really out of milk. (Of course, their milk is kind of expensive.) I bought a beef and cheddar hoagie, a small chocolate-covered coconut egg, and a sinus-clearing Cream Mint Smoothie.

Strolled down the White Horse Pike to see what was open. Dunkin' Donuts had people driving around to their window - I guess that, at least, is open. There were cars in Family Dollar's parking lot, too. The House of Fun was supposed to be open, but they weren't. Had more luck at Dollar General. Mom's birthday is on Friday. I bought her a card and a gift card. Wanted to try the new Dr. Pepper & Cream flavor. I used to love their Berries and Cream flavor a decade ago. The line was no longer or shorter than usual, and only one woman had a full cart.

Went right online after I got home to do some writing. Fannie sadly admits that her stepmother would rather her stay home from the ball and did chores. Arlene says she'll find a way for her to go, even if she has to make it appear herself...

Ran more Buzzr while I worked. Things got really crazy on the 1978 Card Sharks. A sweet little teacher barely made it into the bonus round and totally struck out there, going bust on the second line. By contrast, the next woman walloped her in the regular round and killed at the Money Cards, making over 28,000 dollars in one go.

Match Game returned as I broke to make a lime vanilla cake from a vanilla cake mix. Today's episodes were some of the last from the daytime run on CBS in mid-1979. A young woman named Carolyn kept killing at the bonus rounds. She matched so often, she became the show's all-time winner with over 30,000 dollars. (Incidentally, these episodes weren't in the original run on CBS, though they did apparently turn up on a few New York stations. They weren't seen until Game Show Network ran them in the early 2000's.)

I'd just started making the bed as Jessa arrived. I texted her earlier and invited her over. She had to work, but said she'd come for dinner. We shared Irish Chicken Stew and Irish soda bread while watching Match Game and Sale of the Century. An older woman just barely came from behind in the speed round to win. By the time of this episode, instead of just taking the prize or saying they'd come back, they had the first of two bonus rounds. This one involved matching prizes to see which one you'd take home, rather like the cars in the Concentration bonus round. I don't think the lady was too upset about winning a trip.

We mainly chatted about our families and how we're kind of lucky. Yes, we're both overworked and tired and are annoyed with everyone here...but she lives with a dog and her boyfriend Joe, I live alone, and we all have "essential" jobs. We won't be losing money, we don't have kids out of school, we're all healthy, and Jessa and I are shy introverts who aren't big on social interaction to begin with. It's hard to explain this to Rose and Jodie, who are more extroverted and confident and have more typical business and law careers.

Tried to pull out the lime vanilla cake while Sale of the Century was on, but it didn't come out well. It fell on the bottom and just made a mess. Like Daniel Tiger's smushed birthday cake, it did still taste good, and Jessa didn't seem to care how messy it was.

Continued with the first half of Let's Make a Deal as I finished the bed and cleaned up after Jessa left. A flapper in a flame-red dress really hit the jackpot today when she traded in a bag of money to go for a car. Monty had her press buttons on an old-fashioned brass cash register. If she got a "no sale" sign, she'd lose the car...but she never hit the signs. She hit money signs around them, but not them. She became one of the few people I'd seen on the show go for the car and not lose it or trade it away.

Finished the night with syndicated Match Game "premieres" on YouTube and Once. I go further into this sweet low-key Irish romance on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Once (2007)

And whether you spent it out and about or at home, I hope you had an equally lucky St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Pandemonium at the Store

Thankfully, I was able to sleep in this morning. I didn't have to work until later. Watched Split Second while eating breakfast. Buzzr quietly returned it to the morning schedule last week; I'm guessing they figured it paired better with the also-trivia oriented Blockbusters than Press Your Luck. The lady champion was ahead for most of the game, but the other woman, a horse lover and frequent rider, came back and won the speed round. She opted to take a vacation to London rather than the car.

Blockbusters wasn't quite that exciting. The father-daughter pair went up against an older woman, finally getting it in the third round. The daughter did the bonus round and missed at least three questions before she finally made a full row and won the $5,000.

Worked on writing and looked up moving tips for the rest of the morning. Fannie explains that she can't leave her family's aging plantation. She promised her late father she'd look after it...and look after the royal family. Charles is more interested in Clifton insisting that musicians will be hired to play the ball...

Broke for lunch at quarter after 1. Switched to PBS Kids for one of the science-oriented episodes of the last season of The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That. The kids are upset when the batteries on their robot dies in "Batteries Not Included." The Cat takes them Lots-O-Lakes Land to show them the Dipsy Doodler birds and their goofy formations. When one falls behind, they want to help him rejoin his buddies, but then the Thingamajigger runs out of Go-Go Juice. They have to get creative and figure out other ways to move.

Nick and Sally just wrapped their Father's Day gifts, but they forgot "Checking the Boxes" is a good idea and don't know who gave which present. The Cat takes them to a cookie factory, where each cookie has a toy. When the shrunken Thingamajigger ends up in a cookie, they have to listen hard and weigh their options to find it.

Headed to work shortly after the cartoon ended. I wish I hadn't. Work was a mess. Hasn't everyone bought everything they need yet? We're out of meat, bananas, and toilet paper. I couldn't keep up with the carts during the first two hours, no matter how hard I tried. No help, either. The head bagger and evening bagger ended up in the registers. They finally gave up on the carts and pulled me and the afternoon bagger in to bag up front and return cold items.

Jodie called me shortly after I got home. And now, Dana and Jesse don't think they'll be able to foreclose on the house as quickly as they'd hoped. She also said she and Dad won't be leaving the house or accepting visitors for at least three weeks.

Was too tired to do much more after that than eat dinner, watch game shows, and take a shower. Match Game continued with Clifton Davis and Rona Barrett, who got to admire Gene's very green suit. (Practicing for tomorrow?) The lady on Sale of the Century bought one of the Instant Bargains but still blazed through the speed round. She also decided to come back and try for the huge stereo and TV. The first of the big deals of the day on Let's Make a Deal once again turned out to be around $400, this time for a woman in a sombrero covered in hearts. The other lady just swapped a Mexican vacation for a cruise to the Bahamas.

And while the Haddon Township Library has closed (I was right to not take anything out there), I'm not sure about the Oaklyn Library. If they're open, I'll go there tomorrow. Even if they aren't, the House of Fun will be open for a few hours, and I doubt WaWa and Dollar General have closed. I'll go for a walk.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

An Evening With Jack Benny

Began the day with work. Like yesterday, I spent most of the day outside, rounding up carts. Unlike yesterday, I didn't have as much help. They did send a teen girl out later, but she could only do so much. I ran around as fast as I could, but the carts continued to disappear. Thankfully, another bagger showed up at 1, allowing me to spend the last hour unloading the full outside recycling and trash bins. At least it was a nice day again for it. It started out cloudy this morning, but was back into the 50's and breezy by noon.

There was a package under the mail box when I got home. Mom sent B2 vitamins in the hope that I'll improve my health. I don't know. They just seem to be full of chemicals to me. The last time I tried taking vitamins, I stopped because I figure eating food is enough vitamins for anyone. Looks like I'm trying again.

Went straight into bed after I changed and put the bottle away. I am dead tired. I know I only work four to six hours, but I've spent almost all of those hours for the past week stressed and frustrated and constantly moving. Everything is going absolutely crazy, and I don't have many people I can talk to about it. I slept for over two hours, not getting up until past 5:30.

Tried to do some writing after I rolled out of bed. Fannie would love to go to the ball at Password Palace, but she doesn't believe her stepmother will allow her. Charles and Arlene are more concerned that Malade has plans for this gathering other than finding spouses for herself and her court...

Jodie called me while I worked on writing to confirm that I'll be moving June 1st. They need to paint the apartment and do a few other things before then. Fine by me. I just want out of here. I won't tell anyone here until I give my 30-day notice.

Broke for dinner at 7. Had leftovers while listening to one of my favorite cassettes. I hadn't done The Jack Benny Program in ages. In the first episode, Jack's bandleader Phil Harris (yes, the later Baloo the Bear Phil Harris) and his band have gone off to join the Merchant Marines. While Jack's wife Mary Livingstone jokingly calls him a "mother duck," Jack's valet Rochester (Eddie Anderson) prepares for their trip to New York next week.

Which does, indeed, happen in "A Night On the Town." Jack is looking forward to doing the Big Apple with none other than Gary Cooper. Cooper, however, is presented as something of a towering rube despite his good looks (Mary immediately swoons and says "Kiss me, my love!" in his presence). He'd rather see all the tourist sights, from the Bowery to the Empire State Building. There's also quite a few jokes about the rather run-down hotel Jack's staying at, the Acme Arms. (Wonder if he ran into any Looney Tunes when he was there?)

(Incidentally, as much as I like Jack himself, my favorite character on the radio show is Mary. She's an early advocate for advanced sarcasm, and while I know she had stage fright badly in real life, it's still so much fun to hear her chide the stuffing out of her hubby.)

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Fantasy at Home

Began the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel's Very Different Day" includes him wearing a trolley t-shirt instead of a sweater and having a picnic instead of going to Katerina's tree house. He's initially disappointed, but his parents remind him that it's okay to do things differently sometimes. When the "Class Trip to the Library" is canceled, Daniel and his friends at school find a way to start a library in their own classroom.

My day was far more pleasant than I thought it would be. Other than a half-hour towards the end of the day when I mopped the women's bathroom, I spent almost all of it outside, helping the other baggers with the carts. It was a glorious day for it. There's nowhere else I would have rather been. Sunshine, blue skies, soft breezes, and still fairly warm, into the lower 60's.

At least we had a good lunch. A retired manager sent the Acme ten boxes of pizza from a place in Audubon. I enjoyed two greasy slices of cheese and a nice, spicy pepperoni.

Yes, they were crazy inside, as I discovered later when I picked up the sugar, cheese, and laundry detergent I forgot yesterday. It's a good thing I got the toilet paper yesterday. Every single last bit of toilet paper is gone. I have no idea why. Doesn't the virus make you cough and sneeze, not go to the bathroom? I guess people think they're going to be inside for the rest of their lives.

Went straight home after work. Watched Let's Make a Deal while I changed and had a snack. The big deals of the day went to a towering cowgirl who probably could have roped Monty in a pinch and a nurse and her husband. Neither of them got the big deal, a car, but I suspect the cowgirl probably wasn't complaining about her trip to the Bahamas, but the nurse only got $422 from a giant "piggy bank."

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Cool cat town crier Clifton Davis shows Arlene, Fannie, and Charles a poster for a ball being held at Password Palace. Arlene and Charles wonder why the music-hating Malade is suddenly holding parties. Clifton and Fannie are just glad that she is. It'll be a great chance for musicians to find work and for nobles to strut their stuff. If only Fannie could go...

Broke for dinner at 6. Watched Happily Ever After while eating chicken tacos for dinner and making the Cranberry-Orange Muffin mix from the Acme. I go further into this infamous "sequel" to Snow White from 1993 at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Animation Celebration Saturday - Happily Ever After (1993)

Finished the night with two Match Game "premieres" on YouTube and La Belle et Le Bete from 1946 on Kanopy, one of the library streaming services that let you watch movies for free with a library card. I've always wanted to see the classic version of Beauty and the Beast by Jean Cocteau. It has a lot in common with the Cannon Fairy Tales version, actually. Here, Belle (Josette Day) only has one brother and two sisters, but they're still a layabout and spoiled and silly, respectively, and she's still expected to do all the work. Her brother's friend Avenant (Jean Marais) wants to marry her, but she insists on staying and taking care of her father (Marcel Andre). When her father comes home after picking a rose for her and says a Beast wants one of his daughters, she's the one who goes. But the Beast isn't what he seems...and neither is his odd castle of hands that hold candelabras and uncanny statues that move and shoot arrows.

Considered to be a classic of French film today, this is really a lovely and even spooky fantasy. Day makes a stunning and sweet Belle; Marais does well as both the tortured Beast and the macho suitor not far-removed from Gaston. If you're a fan of fairy tales or fantasy like me or have always wanted to check out French cinema, this isn't a bad place to start.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Alone In the Universe

Began a cloudy morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. Bill Cullen crowned a new champion, a brother-sister pair who just got past the solo lady. They didn't do nearly as well at the bonus round; the sister kept passing and only got four hexagons.

Made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies to cheer myself up after I did the dishes...but maybe episodes five and six of Downton Abbey weren't the best things for me to watch right now. The household is in a tizzy as Lady Sybil prepares to have her baby. Sir Philip, the London obstetrician Lord and Lady Grantham hired, claims she'll be fine, but local doctor Clarkson is concerned about her having Eclampsy and insists she should be taken to a hospital for a cesarean birth. Turns out he's right. The baby survives, but Mary dies from seizures shortly after. Her mother blames her father for not listening to the local man, especially after Matthew reveals he may have been overspending on Downton.

In episode six, Sybil's now-widowed husband Branson wants his baby daughter to be Catholic. Her grandparents don't approve, wanting her to be more like her mother's side of the family. Meanwhile, Mrs. Patimore hires former prostitute Ethel as a housekeeper and has her make a luncheon for the Crowley women, and Anna has to convince a woman who hates her husband Bates to state evidence.

Had yogurt and a banana for lunch while watching Classic Concentration. The two college students playing this afternoon were fun to watch, and crazy-smart. They both got puzzles with very little information. The girl just won the second round as I headed out.

Wanted to go to the Oaklyn Library today partially to donate a huge bag of DVDs, books, and cassettes I no longer want...and partially because I needed a friendly ear to bend. Work's driving me crazy, I'm tired and stressed and scared, I have a massive headache, and I can't see most of my family. No one understands. Everyone has someone they can weather the storm with but me. Even the librarian has her mother. I'm totally alone.

Given how late it was, I had enough time to organize DVDs before dashing out. At least the weather improved by that point. The sun came out as I went to the library. I rolled down Nicholson Road under a blue sky, riding against a fresh, cool gale. It was warm and almost-summery, probably in the 70's.

Went to the Acme next. There were no bags of tangerines, so I bought pears. They're having their occasional "buck a bag" vegetable sale; picked up celery, mushrooms, and bags of scallions, spinach, and mini-sweet peppers. Had online coupons for cranberries, yogurt, milk, and mayo. Potatoes were on sale for St. Patrick's Day; picked two small reds. Restocked bananas (some of the last ones on the shelves), peanut butter, brown sugar, ground chicken, and cereal. Found more of that tasty gingerbread mix on the clearance rack, along with bags of pralines. Saw 20 ounce bottles of the new Cherry Vanilla Coke on a display and thought I'd try one. And amazing as it may seem, I genuinely needed toilet paper. I'm almost out from normal use, and I usually use single rolls anyway.

The lines were ridiculous. I couldn't believe how busy it was. Yes, the shelves were empty of many items. One man tossed Scott tissue rolls into his cart like he was on Supermarket Sweep. He needs to remember that other people might need them, too. Even before I got into line, one of the managers asked me to come in tomorrow. I told them I'd do it. I don't want to do it, but they need the help and I need the money.

At least my schedule's much better. While I'm not overly happy about two very early days this week, I otherwise have more hours and fairly decent ones. I'm hoping I'll be able to keep Tuesday and next Saturday off. If things are going to be this crazy, I'll need the time to recharge.

As soon as I got home, I put everything away, then went right back out. I now no longer had the time to do the laundry tomorrow. Maybe no one else did, either. They weren't busy. Didn't have a big load, anyway. Worked on story notes and ignored Action News frantically bleating on the TV.

When I got home, I watched Match Game while putting everything away, then tried to do a little bit of writing. As Charles and Gene explain what happened to Orson, a hip young town crier (Clifton Davis) arrives with news. Her Royal Nastiness has changed her tune and is hiring musicians for a big ball...but only royalty is to attend...

I called Mom earlier while making the cookies, but she was at work. She called me back just as I finished writing and was switching to Sale of the Century. She's fine, probably better than me. While she is in her 60's, she's also healthy, hale, and like me, lives alone. She works at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry as a ticket-taker, and though she did mention that they glassed-in the ticket takers boxes, they're otherwise deleting hours, not adding them. She's also getting along well enough with my sister to see her grandchildren at least once a week.

She told me to try not to focus on my fear so much...but it's hard. All the talk at work scares me. I hate dealing with people. It drains me and frightens me. I don't know what to say to them or what to do when things go wrong. I worry. I don't want anyone upset or angry. I'm just so nervous!

Finished the night with chicken tacos and riced butternut squash for dinner while watching an episode of Charlie's Angels from Crackle. The girls are "Angels at the Altar" in the fourth season when a friend of Kelly's who is getting married (Kim Cattrall) suspects someone is trying to kill her fiancee (John David Carson). Kelly is already her maid of honor and encourages the others to come on board. Kris poses as a maid, Tiffany as a violinist with the musicians, and Bosley as a bartender to find out if they're really after him...or her parents' money.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

On My Own

Began a cloudy day with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. This time, everyone had to guess the identity of a male nurse who worked for a home-care firm. Everyone but Bill Cullen said big, strapping number 2. Bill had a "hunch" it was three...and his hunch proved to be correct. The gentleman with the drooping mustache was the nurse. (The big fellow in the middle turned out to be a professional football player!)

They did better on What's My Line? Dana Valery figured out that the object the first gentleman had with him helped young children learn to hit a ball correctly. They all took a literal whack at it - Soupy was hilarious, and he and Henry Morgan actually managed to hit the ball.

Things were slightly less crazy at work this morning. I did end up in the register again, but only for about 20 minutes, not the whole day. Did manage to get some carts done, shelved half of a cart filled with soda and water, and helped a manager clean up a broken spaghetti sauce jar. The lines remained long, but not to the degree of the day before.

Ran into Jodie at the deli counter while putting away a cold item. She confirmed that Dana and Jesse have apparently been looking into a house. It sounds like they do need to paint the apartment, but I should be able to move in by early June...and they'll pay for everything, including the internet. All I'll have to pay is the rent.

Hurried out, went home, changed, and went right back to my bike. I had errands to run today that I couldn't put off anymore, starting with lunch at Phillies Phatties around the corner. They were busy with kids out of school for teacher conferences. Honestly, the 11 and 12-year old boys crowded around the table next to me discussed the whole virus deal more sensibly than any of their parents at the Acme this morning. I listened to them with interest while enjoying my slice of cheese, slice of vegetable-ricotta, and the last can of Mountain Dew in the decimated soda cooler.

Took the long way across Newton Lake Park. Spring's all over the park now, with new green grass springing from the old dry yellow blades and buttercups blossoming along the riverbanks. Saw lots of people out and about enjoying the relatively warm weather, including mothers letting their little kids run around the playground and several folks out walking their dogs. Canadian geese and ducks went for a swim in the bottle-green lake.

Surprisingly, the Haddon Township Library was also relatively busy. I guess parents wanted to find something for their kids to do. Shelved the few kids' DVDs, but once again couldn't fit half the adult titles on the shelves. Didn't take anything out myself. I've enjoyed exploring streaming companies for movies and TV shows, and I'm not sure I'll be able to return anything next week.

Stopped at Target on the way home. I wanted electric toothbrush refills, but they were out. I thought people were buying up toilet paper, not tooth brushes. I did find small wraps to make meatball hoagie wraps for dinner, along with honey. (They were out of peanut butter, too.) The lines were a bit longer here, but it was almost rush hour by that point.

Went straight home and on the computer. Richard flirts with Fannie the moment he can...at least, as well as he can after having been drained of his energy by a wicked witch. When Orson props up his boss, Fannie can't resist staring at him. He, Gene, and Charles explain what happened and why they're at Arlene's shop.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Match Game finished up the Joe Silver/Esther Rolle run with Richard's surprise match on a Head-to-Head and everyone getting a little nervous over an expectant contestant who was very close to being due. The champion on Sale of the Century got a good run from a lady who bought a Bermuda vacation and new kitchen appliances she said she needed, but ended up coming from behind on the speed round. He decided he'd fallen in love with a giant entertainment center with a TV and big speakers and ended up going home with that.

Jodie called while Sale of the Century was on. She says she and Rose are quarantining their respective families for two weeks. Rose is worried about her kids, and she's worried about Dad. Which of course, leaves me on my own...but then again, I've always been on my own.

Finished the night after a shower with Cover Girl on Roku's TV Time Musicals app. I go further into this classic Rita Hayworth/Gene Kelly hit at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews.

Cover Girl

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Hawk and the Identical Cousins

Started a sunny, warm day with breakfast and the second half of To Tell the Truth. Today's guests were three older women who claimed to be one of the heads of the Gray Panthers, a militant group that fought for the rights of those 60 and older. Answers were all over the map, but it turned out to be number one, the soft-spoken British woman. It was fascinating to listen to her talk about how she and her group held sit-ins and protests to bring the elderly out of old people's homes and into regular society, especially given the Acme is two blocks from an apartment building for the elderly and at least a quarter of our customer base is over 60.

What's My Line was absolutely hilarious. The panel didn't get close to guessing what a retired colonel did for a living - he made and sold castanets to dancers. He let them test his musical wares and try dancing with them. Soupy Sales and Jim Backus really got into it, doing the most adorable flamenco I ever saw.

Work wasn't anywhere near that much fun. First of all, I didn't discover they were waxing the floor in the back room until I tried to get in the back. Second, though I did finish the carts, that was all I managed to get done today. They tossed me in the register an hour after I got in. One of the cashiers called out, and they're still short on help. The lines got long during the noon rush hour, and I was really nervous. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by 1:30 for me to get out at the regular time and dash home.

Watched Classic Concentration and Password as I changed and had lunch. The champ in Concentration managed to win a tie-breaker and make it to the bonus round, but had no luck matching cars. Password held a "Tournament of Champions," including at least one contestant I'd caught on a previous episode. June Lockhart of Lost In Space and Ross Martin of Wild Wild West competed in a duel of words, with their partners often getting them in one guess.

Tried to focus on looking up writing opportunities for an hour after Password ended. I wanted to write down sites I could send in articles or blog entries or stories for, but I'm so tired, it was hard to think. I did write down a few ideas; I'll see if I can get some more tomorrow or this weekend.

Got a little further on writing. Arlene mixes a chocolate brew that she claims will bring Richard back to life. Poor Orson can't control his troll body and keeps knocking things over, though he is able to retrieve a cocoa tin without damaging the room. With Gene's help, they do manage to get Richard to drink the cocoa mix. He awakens...just in time to see a beautiful redhead name Fannie flutter into the room. Seems she had a hard time getting away from her stepmother and her many chores...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Esther Rolle and Jack Silver continue their run on Match Game. Charles is more interested in needling Gene's fashion sense. Everyone did some shopping on Sale of the Century. None of the contestants went home empty-handed, but the champion pulled ahead in the speed round.

Switched to Hudson Hawk on Crackle after turning the gingerbread mix I got at the Acme into a moist gingerbread loaf. Eddie "Hudson Hawk" Hawkins (Bruce Willis) is a master thief and safe cracker who just got out of prison. He's no sooner joined his buddy Tommy (Danny Aiellio) at their bar for some coffee than he's attacked by a Mafia family who want him to swipe a horse statue from a museum. Turns out they're not the only ones after horse statues. A bonkers group of gung-ho CIA agents, headed by George Kaplan (James Coburn) and insane tycoons Minerva (Sandra Bernhard) and Darwin (Richard E. Grant) Mayflower are also after not only the statues, but what they lead to. Three crystals hidden in three museums hold the secret of Leonard DiVinci's machine to create gold from lead. Joined by Tommy and Vatican operative Sister Anna Baragli (Andie MacDowell), Eddie has to figure out how to keep that machine out of the hands of these human cartoons, dodge murderous butler Alfred (Donald Burton), and finally get that cup of cappuccino he's been wanting.

Hoo boy, is this a weird one. I remember it being a massive flop in 1991. I suspect they were expecting a heist caper, not a bloody, foul-mouthed Looney Tune. Everyone is chewing the scenery all over the place...except for Coburn, who plays it straight and manages to be even funnier. If you like your action movies bloody and nuts or are black comedy fans, you may want to take flight with this wild heist story.

Finished the night with The Patty Duke Show on The Roku Channel. Rose and I used to love this show on Nick @ Nite when we were little. We may not have looked alike like Patty and Cathy, but we were as different as sisters could be, had a little sister who drove us crazy like Patty's brother drove her up the wall, and thought Patty had the best dad in the universe (William Schallert). In the first season episode "Horoscope," Patty becomes obsessed with reading the stars and starts fortune telling for her friends and her dim boyfriend Richard (Eddie Applegate) to earn money for her mother's birthday present. She even enlists Cathy and her brother Ross to help with the load. Turns out that not only is fortune telling illegal in New York without a license, but Patty's predictions aren't entirely true.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Dolls on a Sleepy Day

Began a gloomy, warm morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. Two elderly ladies played a younger teacher with a considerable mustache. The ladies played very well, getting to the end of the board first besides just being plain funny. They had a few bobbles, but did finally win the 5,000 in the bonus round.

Switched to spring-themed records while dressing the dolls for March and the warmer weather. Samantha wears her pretty green floral Special Day Dress and the black shoes from her meet outfit. Whitney borrowed Molly's navy "meet outfit" skirt and saddle shoes and Jessa's green-print Girl Scout turtleneck. Ariel also borrowed Molly's argyle sweater (which has some green in it), modern AG doll jeans, and loafers. Jessa's in an emerald-green wrap blouse, cargo pants, yellow ankle socks,  and denim Springfield Collection sneakers. Josefina gets her lovely sage green-print skirt and long-sleeved camisa (shift) embroidered with red flowers. Molly's in a shamrock-print dress I found at a yard sale years ago and her white t-strap shoes. Felicity gets her friend Elizabeth's celery green "Summer" gown. It has a quilted insert petticoat that makes it more appropriate for spring.

Watched Classic Concentration while eating a quick chocolate-coffee smoothie for lunch. The first female contestant got very lucky, winning a beautiful red Mustang literally at the last second in the bonus round. Her successor didn't have as much luck making matches and missed the car by a mile.

Continued onto Password from the mid-60's while dusting the apartment. Broadway's Barry Nelson and Agnes Moorehead, who is still likely best-known for playing Samantha's witch mother Endora in Bewitched, were today's celebrities here. Moorehead absolutely killed at this, getting her contestants through at least two bonus rounds.

My original plan for today was to hit the Haddon Township Library...but by the time I'd finished dusting, I came to the conclusion that I just couldn't do it. I've been going all week. This was my first day off since last Tuesday. It's also my first chance at a day home all winter. I normally spend at least a day or two entirely at home, due to extreme cold or wind or a snowy day...but it hasn't been that cold, the extreme wind hasn't lasted long enough to be a problem, and we haven't had snow since late January. I fell into bed and napped for two hours.

When I did emerge, I went into writing. Arlene just finished claiming she's no longer able to heal when her partner and business associate Soupy (Sales) storms in. She can heal just fine, he claims. Her potions are wonderful. She just lost confidence after Malade fired her. Charles and Gene convinces her to heal Richard by reminding her that he's Robin Hood, the champion of the people...and he can heap humiliation galore on Malade if he's up and about.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. The Match Game episode was a new one on me. I'd never heard of Joe Silver, but I did recognize homey Esther Rolle of Good Times. Sale of the Century crowned a new champion, a young man who came back to win the speed round at the last minute. He, too, opted to come back the next day and try for the two water skis.

Finished the night with Match Game syndicated premieres on YouTube and The Dolly Sisters after a shower. I go further into the very Hollywood-ized biography of one of the most popular acts in vaudeville in the early 20th century at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The Dolly Sisters

Monday, March 09, 2020

The Warmth of the Sun

After my long week, all I wanted was to get some sleep. I read and did my online journal in bed and didn't roll out until around 9:30. Did an episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood during breakfast. "Daniel Gets a Cold" and is disappointed that he'll have to miss Prince Wednesday's birthday party at school, but his parents remind him that he needs to rest. When "Mom Tiger Is Sick," her boys bring her vegetable soup and finish her Fruit Picking Day invitations.

Spent the rest of the morning taking down the winter decorations and putting up the ones for spring and St. Patrick's Day. Yes, I know we're a week from St. Patrick's Day and a week and a half from spring, but the weather went into the lower 70's today. Mother Nature says it's spring, even if the calendar doesn't. Don't have a place for the green tinsel garland anymore, but I was able to put up the St. Patrick's letter banner, the shamrock-print Beanie Baby bear, and the cute vintage animals dressed as leprechauns. Shamrock Bear's joined by spring stuffed animals Lilly the Duck, Sunny the Bunny, Carrots the Beanie Baby Bunny, April the spring Beanie Baby Bear, and Shari the Lamb. Tiny baskets of fabric spring flowers go on the dresser in the living area

Watched the fourth episode of the third season of Downton Abbey while I worked. Things kick off with the return of Branson, who's now wanted by the Irish police for taking part in the destruction of English property. The Crowleys are appalled, and upset that he left his pregnant wife Sybil behind. She arrives safely later, but now wants to stay at Downton. Branson wants to return to Ireland and continue fighting for independence. Meanwhile, the new footman Jimmy and maid Ivy are turning heads, Ethel turns her son over to his grandparents for a better life, Bates is no longer allowed to have letters or visits from Anna, and Edith shocks all when her letter about woman's suffrage is published in a London paper.

Watched a little Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour while eating a very quick lunch, then dashed off to work. As it turned out, I read the schedule wrong. I thought they wanted me at noon; I wasn't due until 12:30. I probably could have come in at any time. We were relatively steady for the entire day, not really dead, but not as busy as yesterday. I began and ended the afternoon with the carts; when another bagger came in at 2, I shelved loose items. Very briefly ended up in a register shortly before I came in, but that was only for another cashier.

It was certainly a gorgeous day to spend a lot of time outside. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Sun warmed the parking lot, and the wind had diminished considerably. I'm surprised were even steady. I figured everyone would be outside.

It was so quiet by 6, I left a few minutes early. Went straight home for leftovers and Match Game. The contestant got so excited and bounced around so much after she won the main game, Gene claimed she actually damaged the floor. Richard actually looked a little nervous when she bounded over to give him a kiss for helping her win money!

Sale of the Century got even more exciting. The two women kept alternating the leads, and the one guy wasn't far behind. In the end, the woman champion bought two of the three Instant Bargains and just barely won the speed round. She opted to return and try for the upcoming prizes; I suspect she had her eye on a vacation to Ireland.

Friday's Let's Make a Deal ended with a lady devil; today's began with a woman angel making bargains. She went for a car, but missed it at the last minute. The big winner of the day was a mermaid in a sexy tight costume, who won over $8,000 in cash for her and her fiancee.

Ran Batman on the Roku Channel next. Robin is "Stuck In the Middle" when he's used as a pawn to lure Batman to the Riddler. The Riddler's girl (Jill St. John) dresses as Robin and pretends to be him in order to infiltrate the Batcave, but she doesn't last long there. Batman has to figure out where they're keeping Robin, and then stop him from taking out his fiendish plan at the Moldovian Embassy.

Finished the night with I Dream of Jeannie at Roku before I watched Match Game premieres on YouTube. "Jeannie and the Wild Pipchicks" from the fourth season has Jeannie's mother sending along her favorite candy. Turns out it can give humans incredible strength. A female sergeant (Reta Shaw) wants it for NASA's nutritional program...but it makes humans amorous if not cooked correctly.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Out of the Blue

Awoke to a sunny, breezy morning. I blinked, rolled over to look at my alarm clock...and to my horror, it said 8:07! I was supposed to be at work by 8! I quickly changed, ate cranberry sauce and yogurt for breakfast, and dashed out the door.

After all that, we were dead when I arrived. They hadn't even noticed I was missing. I told them I'd stay an extra half-hour to make up for the mishap. I'm glad I did manage to work on the carts in the morning. It was chilly when I arrived, but by noon, the temperature rose to the lower 60's. The nice day brought in the customers...and decimated our work force. Three people called out. I ended spending most of the rest of the afternoon in the registers, despite the bagger who came in needing more help with the carts.

Needless to say, I dashed home as soon as I finished. As soon as I changed, I fell into bed. I'm so dead tired. I haven't had a day off since Tuesday (and won't until this Tuesday), and it's been busy at work with the beginning of the month. I slept for two hours and didn't really feel much better.

Tried to do some writing when I got up, but I remained too groggy to think much. Charles is dazed when he awakens in a strange room. Arlene and Gene explain that Gene managed to bring them all to the herbal shop to make use of her remedies. Charles, however, is more concerned about his friends Brett and Richard...

Broke for dinner at 7. Cooked up the shrimp with imitation Old Bay seasoning and ate it on a bed of spinach with my own home-made French dressing for dinner. Had green beans with butter on the side. Listened to the soundtrack from Flashdance while I ate. I've never been the biggest fan of the melodramatic 1983 musical film, but it does have some nifty music. Along with the Oscar-winning "What a Feeling!" and the hit "Maniac," I'm a fan of the sexy "He's a Dream" and "Manhunt" and the touching ballad "Lady, Lady, Lady."

Finished the night as I did the dishes with a blast from my own childhood. Debbie Gibson's albums Out of the Blue and Electric Youth were among the things that helped get me through a rough time in the late 80's and early 90's. I used to listen to "Fallen Angel," "Red Hot," the ballad "Between the Lines," and the perky title song constantly. My sisters loved her so much, they shared a version of the black hat she always wore.