Friday, July 10, 2020

Rainy Day at Home

Awoke to pouring rain and raging winds. Listened to the rain on the roof as I settled down for breakfast and Split Second. Three new contestants today, two women and a gentleman from Scotland. The man was ahead the whole time and decisively won the countdown round. He opted to take a trip to London instead of a car so he could go home and visit relatives.

Started to clean up while Blockbusters was on.  The brother team and the young woman were still playing today, and it was a tight game. I don't know how the British Blockbusters works, but the main problem with the original version of the American one is the rounds move suuuper slooow. They can spend a whole episode on a round and a half without ever getting to the Gold Rush round.

Listened to Donna Summer's On the Radio for an hour while doing chores. I made my bed, then moved the hardback children's books that were in a crate into one of the bins. Finally decided I would keep my journals and loaded them into two tote bags. I'll buy real boxes for them after I move, or use one of the bins.

Charlie appeared with a young woman in a baseball cap at 10 minutes to noon. I mostly hid in the kitchen again while he showed her around and gave her his spiel about how he's going to gut the place and widen this and redo that. To her credit, the woman asked very intelligent questions about the rent and what his plans were for the space, even mentioning she has a kayak and dogs of her own.

I also finally showed Charlie the hole in the wall in my bedroom. He said no problem. He'd tell his mother he would fix it after I move. He intends to take out most of the walls in the apartment and add insulation anyway.

Made a berry-coconut smoothie for lunch while watching the early afternoon Match Game episodes. Charles Nelson Reilly was late for taping these episodes from 1976, so Jimmie Walker of Good Times filled in for him. As usual, he whipped the crowd into a frenzy for his answers, whether they were good or bad. Richard was busy worrying that he matched Brett towards the end of the second episode, which started with Fannie making a Kojak lollipop gag.

Spent the next hour or so in the back room, now that I could actually go back there. The back room I use for storage has no electricity, heat, or air conditioning. It's stuffy and musty and gets very hot in the summer! It cooled off enough today for me to finally do some packing there. I loaded more things to go to Goodwill into one bin, odds and ends into another. Brought some of the bins in the back room out to the living room to label them. Taped and labeled a box that held my scrapbooks and a few other back room items.

Watched Dragonwyck as I worked, and later after I'd settled down with a snack and my crocheting. This Gothic thriller from 1946 starts with Connecticut farm girl Miranda Welles (Gene Tierney) going to work as a governess for the daughter of her cousin Nicholas Van Dyne (Vincent Price) at his huge old house in the Catskills Mountains in New York. Miranda is dazzled by the massive house and all its splendor at first, but things are far from glamorous in the Van Dyne family. Nicholas is estranged from his shallow older wife Johanna (Vivienne Osborne) who couldn't produce a son, and his daughter doesn't really love either of his parents. He owns all the land worked by the farmers in the area, but they're tired of giving him tributes for land they don't own and are in the midst of rebelling.

Dr. Jeff Turner (Glenn Langan) is on the farmers' side, especially after he sees Nicholas evict a tenant at his 4th of July party for not paying the rent-tribute and then accuses him of murder. Nicholas agrees to be lenient in exchange for Jeff checking on Joanna, who has a cold. Joanna dies suddenly that night after eating cake, leaving Nicholas free to marry Miranda. Miranda assumes she should be happy, but Nicholas is still determined to have a son...and there's talk of a curse on the family that revolves around an ancestor and her harpsichord that only the family can hear play on its own...

Typical Gothic romance enlivened by an excellent performance by Price as the "patroon," head of his household, who wants so badly to have an heir and continue his family's line and their way of life, he descends into madness when he's threatened with the loss of both his son and his traditional home. Tierney does the best she can with a thankless character, especially later when Miranda begins to realize there's something not quite right about her new husband. There's some great sets and costumes too that ably recreate the Catskills, New York, and rural Connecticut of the early Victorian era.

If you have a soft spot for Gothic thrillers like me or are a fan of Tierney or Price, you'll want to give this moody supernatural tale a look.

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I dragged more bins from the back room into the living room. As I recall well from being the oldest in a family with four kids, "Playtime Is Different" when you have baby siblings. Daniel wants to play restaurant with O and Katerina, but Margaret upsets their table. They have to find a way to include her in their game. Likewise, "The Playground is Different With Baby." Daniel, Prince Wednesday, and Miss Elaina find a way for Margaret to take part in their playground circus.

Went back to Buzzr as I packed the cast-iron pizza pan and the crock pot in one crate and plastic containers of flour in another. I think I've seen today's Tattletales episode. Singer Nancy Sinatra and her husband Hugh Lambert, and actor Robert Blake and his shy wife Sondra were today's big winners. A woman beat both the guys on Press Your Luck, getting only one whammy and big wads of cash. Her adorable little son and his buddy came out to congratulate her after she won! They were too precious.

Worked on writing for a while after dinner, or actually re-writing. I took out their encounter with Ira after leaving the basement and let them all split up in the basement instead. I also made it clearer that Gene sent Brett's sons to his wife Helen to be taken care of by sympathetic people in Televisa City. Meanwhile, Ira is about to run Gene through in the ballroom when familiar voices are heard by the chandelier...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Since it was cool enough to really cook, I sauteed boneless chicken thighs in a sauce made from salsa, apple cider vinegar, and chicken stock. Had it with steamed snap peas and deliciously sweet corn on the cob.

Match Game went to 1977 this evening, as Richard teased Brett about her wig being inside-out. Sale of the Century also crowned a new champ. Everyone bought something today, but the younger man blasted through the speed round and got the bonus round with one second left.

Finished the night after a shower with original Nutty Professor at Crackle. Professor Julius Kelp (Jerry Lewis) is a nerdy chemistry teacher at a college who isn't popular with anyone but his sympathetic student Stella Purdy (Stella Stevens). Hoping to finally find the courage to deal with football-playing bullies and the school's intimidating dean (Del Moore), he first attempts to beef up his muscles at the local gym. When that doesn't work, he concocts a formula that turns him into super-suave Buddy Love (Lewis), a handsome, chain-smoking, girl-chasing crooner. The crowd at the students' hang out The Purple Pit thinks Buddy's piano performances are to die for, but Stella finds him more obnoxious than charming. Kelp keeps taking the formula, hoping to charm her and everyone around him, but it continually wears off at the most embarrassing moments. Kelp doesn't know what to do when he and Buddy are invited to the prom at the same time...but he finally takes the opportunity to teach everyone at the school that human chemistry has less to do with formulas and potions and more with being yourself.

A lot of this version hasn't dated well at all, from Buddy Love's chain-smoking hyper-masculinity to the way all of the women are treated (even by men other than Buddy). There are some things to recommend it, starting with Lewis' adorable performance as Kelp and the rainbow sets and outfits on the students. Younger folks might want to go to the updated Eddie Murphy movie first, but those who grew up seeing this one on cable and video and major fans of Lewis' will want to check it out.

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