Monday, December 06, 2021

Winds of Change

Read in bed and worked on my journal this morning until around 10:30. It was closer to 11 when I finally got moving. Had pineapple pumpkin muffins and made cranberry sauce while watching Family Feud. The previous champs continued on, wiping the floor with the other family. They had far less luck with the Fast Money, missing it by one measly point. 

Spent the next hour and a half on my computer, catching up on apartment-hunting. I e-mailed a bunch of apartment buildings in mid-November I hadn't heard from yet, so went with the closest one, Oak Terrace in Audubon, first. The manager kindly explained why I haven't had any luck with the apartment buildings. Apparently, a law called the Fair Housing Act doesn't allow them to take my six months to a year ahead of time offer, and it doesn't matter if I have money in the bank. They have to go by my actual income. 

At least she was nice about it and took time out to clarify things for me. I called the Oaklyn Villas next...and got the same terse young woman. They apparently processed my application last week, and it's the same deal. I don't make enough money. Wish she could have called me last week and told me. 

Next phoned an apartment in Collingswood that's very similar to the one I lost on the White Horse Pike, though a bit more expensive. It was listed as being available "soon." Turns out the apartment still has a tenant who won't be out until the 15th. The agent said she'd call around then.

After a little more research, I broke to run errands. Strolled down to Family Dollar for another bin. They were surprisingly busy for Monday, with a long line. Fished a few decent boxes out from around back, too. It was crazy-windy, but sunny and too warm for this time of year, into the lower 60's. Wanted to take a longer walk, but I had a hard time controlling the bin and boxes, even on my cart.

Went straight into lunch when I got home, then packed my TV DVD sets, remaining nonfiction books, and anything from the bathroom and kitchen shelves I won't need for the next two weeks. Half-watched, half-listened to Very Merry Christmas Songs while I worked. This is an expanded DVD version of the 80's Sing-Along video of the same name. Along with the original songs, we get four from direct-to-home-media productions ("As Long As It's Christmas" from Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, "The Best Christmas of All" from Snowed In at the House of Mouse, and the title song from Seasons of Giving) and four more older ones, including the Bing Crosby "White Christmas."

Switched to Tattletales after the DVD ended. I saw the episode they did today before, but it was a fun one. Jack Albertson and his elegant lady Wallace won easily over TV favorites Ken Berry and Jackie Joseph and kooky Donald Ross and Patti Deustch. Press Your Luck started slow, with everyone getting money in the first half and no one really hitting Whammies. They hit just enough in the second half to assure that the champ would win again, this time picking up a trip to Seattle for his trouble. 

Worked on writing for a while after the show. Brett's annoyed when Fannie seems to be inspecting her, but she has her reasons. The only way Brett will get her and her sons home is to play the "game" the Red King keeps talking about and travel across the Looking Glass Land chessboard. If she and the boys make it to the end, she'll become queen and make her own rules...and help push the Red King out.

Broke for leftovers at 6:30. Carolyn Reisner became the Match Game '79 all-time champ when Brett helped her win over $30,000 with "Snug __." That brought in two new contestants for the last (originally unseen) week of the show's CBS run to hear about the ball that the caddy can't get into the cup. Suzanne Sommers joined in for Match Game PM...and didn't like one of the answers to "__ Bunnies" one bit!

Slid pans of lemon-cranberry cookies in the oven while watching Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. This retelling of how little Virginia O'Hanlon wrote to her local newspaper the New York Sun asking them if there is a Santa and editor Frances Church put out one of the most famous replies in editorial history basically looks like a historical Peanuts special with more adult characters. It's done in the same style and has a lot of the same child actors. It's too bad this doesn't show up more often nowadays. It's really very adorable. 

Finished the night online with more holiday Mystery Science Theater 3000. The low-budget Mexican Santa Claus gets off to a very slow start as Santa introduces all of the children of the world playing songs from their country. Things pick up considerably in the last half-hour, when Santa has to dodge the Devil's antics and deliver gifts to every child in Mexico. The genuinely funny second half makes it a slight improvement on Santa Conquers the Martians, and Mike and the robots seemed to enjoy riffing it. 

Sunday, December 05, 2021

The Eagles Soar Over the Jets

Slept so late, it was noon before I got going. Made apple cinnamon pancakes for breakfast while listening to the soundtrack from Scrooge. This 1970 musical Christmas Carol features Albert Finney as the famous miser who learns a lesson from four ghosts on Christmas Eve. Finney makes a more effective Scrooge than you might think, given he was 30 at the time. Leslie Briccuse crafted a decent score as well. "Thank You Very Much" was Oscar-nominated. I also like "Christmas Children" for Bob Cratchit and his family, "December the 25th" for the Fezziwigs, and the Ghost of Christmas Present's philosophy, "I Like Life." 

Headed out to run to Dollar General around 1. Mainly needed bins; bought two. Also picked up eggs, but I think that might have been a mistake. Theirs were $1.90, not really much cheaper than the Acme's. Treated myself to my favorite pecan roll and Mountain Dew's holiday flavor, Gingerbread Snap'd. (Which pretty much tastes like Mountain Dew with ginger and spices. Reminds me of a Mountain Dew version of the Pepsi Holiday Spice sodas from a few years ago.) It took longer than planned. There were long lines twisting around the cashier area and down past the aisles. 

Went online for the Eagles game when I got home. They were already ahead of the Jets 24-18 when I went online. The Jets just made too many mistakes, and they couldn't get past the Eagles' replacement quarterback Gardner Minshew. In the end, the Eagles easily flew on by the Jets at the Meadowlands 33-18.

Worked on writing down everything that happened with finding an apartment in the past week. Like I said, I wish someone would give me a chance. Half the apartment buildings I e-mailed in the middle of last month haven't e-mailed or call me back. I need to call a lot of them this week. Updated the list of apartments with losing the White Horse Pike apartment and e-mailing the one in Collingswood and another building in Runnemede. 

Ran out again as around 4 as dusk fell. Jodie said earlier in the week I could do my laundry at her side of the house...but when I texted her on Thursday to ask if I could do it that day, she never responded. I figure it's probably best if I stay off her side of the house and use the laundromat. They were really busy, not surprising for 4 PM on a Sunday. I bought a turkey and spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette in a very thick pita. Not bad. Simple and salty. I enjoyed it while listening to the crowds. Checked the e-mail on my phone while the laundry was in the dryer.

Put the laundry away when I got in, then tried to work on writing. The Red Queen is Queen Fannie, who is actually the Red King's ward, not his wife. She's working with Sir Richard to bring her guardian down, or at least get him to be less strict...but she can be pretty demanding on occasion. Brett banters with her right away, unable to resist jokes about her tight red chessboard T-shirt. 

Broke for dinner at nearly 7. Had a banana-cranberry smoothie while listening to Holi-Daze. This Looney Tunes LP features four stories, all with voices by Mel Blanc. Bugs is "Bugs the Red Nosed Bunny" when he takes over leading Santa's sleigh for an ailing Rudolph. Elmer claims he'll give his fortune to anyone who can cure his "Santa Claustrophobia." Daffy and Bugs pose as a nurse and a psychiatrist to get that money. Bugs and Granny are in a "Holi-daze" after Sheriff Yosemite Sam mistakes them for bandits and arrest them. They convince him to release them and help him capture the real crooks. "'Twas a Sight Before Christmas," and Bugs' nephew Clyde doesn't believe in the jolly old man in red. Bugs interviews Tunes on the street to prove otherwise.

I overheard Jodie complaining on the phone again earlier tonight. She says she can't afford the internet and cable anymore, so she's shutting it down. I unplugged the cable box and put it in the den. I haven't really used it since I got that new TV in April. I could never figure out how to get them hooked up. If she fusses to me, I'll tell her I don't need cable and she can use the rent check I gave her for December to cover the cost of the Internet. 

Finished the night online with game shows hosted by Dick Clark in honor of his birthday November 30th. Most people nowadays associate Clark with his hosting Rockin' New Year or American Bandstand, but he goes further back with game shows than most people realize. His first show was The Object Is from 1964. Three celebrities give clues to objects. If their partners name the objects, they can guess the subject. This is really boring and I can understand why it didn't last a year, but it's also one of the very few game shows of the 60's to exist in full.

Clark did much better a decade later helping celebrities lead their partners up The $10,000 Pyramid. He became so associated with the franchise, only one other man (Bill Cullen) hosted the various versions between 1973 and 1988. I went with an early episode of $10,000 featuring Barbara Felton and John Schuck, a New $25,000 from 1986 with Adrienne Barbeau and Schuck, and a Tournament of Champions episode from the syndicated $100,000 in 1988 with Nathan Cook and a rare red-headed Audrey Landers. All feature at least one big Winner's Circle victory; the 1986 episode actually has two.

Clark continued hosting occasionally through the 90's. It Takes Two is a 1997 Family Channel revival of a short-lived late 60's game show. Three couples each guess the individual number in answer to a question. Their answers are averaged, and the winner is the one whose average number is the closest to the answer. Celebrities, often ones associated with other game shows, would come out to ask questions. Marcia Wallace answers questions about the Simpsons (which she did voices for at that point) and one of the (then) San Diego Chargers did two on the Chargers' total points for 1996 and how many fans packed into their stands. Cute show, but while it moves a lot faster than Object Is, it's not really much more exciting. No wonder it only lasted a few months.

Clark's last regular game show, the American version of Winning Lines from 2000, also involved answering number-related questions. Five out of 49 contestants advanced to the second Sudden Death round. The questions asked involved opponents numbers. If the contestant answered with their own number, they stayed in the game. If they answered with an opponents number, they were gone. Last person standing made it to the Bonus Round, The Wonderwall, where they have to answer as many questions as possible. 

Yeah, it's pretty obvious this is an overly complicated Who Wants to Be a Millionaire clone, right down to the dark-ish tone and neon sets. The many against.one theme also brings to mind Greed and 1 Vs 100. It just couldn't distinguish itself from an overcrowded pack and didn't last a month. 

Climb Pyramids and chase numbers with this disc jockey-turned-beloved host! 

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Christmas With Friends

Started off another gloomy morning with a quick smoothie breakfast and Mickey and the Roadster Racers. It's a "Happy Hog Diggity Dog Holiday!" when the Racers choose partners to help them find ornaments all over town. Chip and Dale go with separate partners in order to win the big star tree topper, but eventually realize they work better when they're together. Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo Loca are "Happy Holiday Helpers!" who get so caught up doing small jobs for everyone in town, they almost miss their own Christmas party.

Checked my phone to see when Amanda was arriving. Seems she'd be an hour late, so I went online. Sent an inquiry about an apartment in Collingswood that looks to be very similar to the one I just lost in Audubon. Alas, it's also slightly more expensive, but it's something. Very similar house, about a decade older. Put in a request to see another one in Audubon that was listed as pending. I figured if it was still up there, it was worth trying.

Amanda knocked on my door around quarter of 12. We headed out after I grabbed my purse and coat. Amanda is an old friend of mine from college, and my only college friend who has stayed close to me for 20 years. We always get together about three weeks before Christmas, and have since we roomed together during our second year in college. 

This year, we felt confident enough to go slightly further afield for lunch. Good thing she wanted breakfast for lunch, because I'd planned on us eating at the Legacy Diner on the White Horse Pike. It's in a straight line from Oaklyn and has plenty of parking. We did have to park in the back, and the main dining room was relatively busy, but they got us a both on the other side pretty fast.

They seem to have returned to more-or-less their previous menu. Amanda had hash browns and a "Sunrise Quesadilla" with eggs and vegetables. I had two big coconut-pineapple pancakes. Considering the size and richness of those pancakes, I'm glad I ordered the short stack! We admired the holiday artwork painted on the windows as I explained my troubles with the family and apartment-hunting. 

After lunch, we backtracked to Oaklyn for coffee and hot chocolate. Amanda loves coffee, and since I paid for lunch, she paid for our drinks at Common Grounds Coffee House. She had peppermint mocha. I went with a plain hot chocolate. They were really busy for them, with almost every table taken by someone on a laptop or chatting with a friend. 

We weren't planning on spending time at my apartment with everything going on there, so we exchanged gifts at Common Grounds. She loved the Peanuts coffee cup and stuffed Snoopy I gave her. She gave me candy cane-scented lotion and hand soap, a fancy hand-made bar of soap, a cane-shaped container of Hershey's candy-coated chocolate drops, boxes of peppermint and Sleepytime Vanilla tea, and a cute Hallmark ornament of a gray and white kitten with a cookie in its mouth. 

Though we were still full from lunch, she apparently saw or heard a commercial for The Puddin' Palace and wanted to try it. It took a while for her to decide, but she finally decided it would be easier to carry the "grab and go" parfaits in plastic containers with lids home. She chose a strawberry for her dad and a chocolate for her.

Went for a walk around the neighborhood after lunch. Normally, we'd go to my place and decorate the tree, but I'm not going to be able to decorate for Christmas this year. Took her down to the school yard along the lake, which doubles as the town park. Noticed they're finally dredging the lake and they built a new playground for little guys next to the school (which was fenced in and we couldn't get to). Headed back up Clinton to the library, then past that and down Newton Avenue. 

Amanda told me all about her newest job. She finally got tired of dealing with sick animals at the vet clinic and went back to teaching. What she found is probably perfect for her - teaching a kindergarten class at a small private academy just outside of Vineland. While she does admit she knows little about technology and the challenges of remote teaching, she otherwise sounds like she's having a great time with her kids. Her school even took their kids apple picking at the same farm (or one close to the same) as we went to back in September.

She also told me why she still lives at home. Her new job actually earns slightly less money, and she really wants a place on her own. As regular readers may have noticed, those can be pretty expensive. And unlike me, she's still paying off college debts. 

Was finally dropped at home around 3:30. Spent the next few hours looking for apartments online, then working on writing. Bill the White Rabbit and several flowers explain why they're terrified of the Jabberwock. It's a huge, dragon-like creature with sharp teeth and scales that can devour a man or rabbit whole. It lives in Limbo, a desolate place where nothing grows and time stands still. 

They want to figure out who is thumping into the garden, but they can't get to them. Richard finally shows them how - by walking away from the figure. That does the trick. The "figure" is Fannie Flagg dressed as a very well-endowed red chess piece. Seems she knows Richard, and she's concerned about what her guardian is doing to the land...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Watched The Care Bears Nutcracker while I had leftovers for dinner and lemon-ginger tea with ginger molasses cookies for dessert, then while packing art supplies and videos. This hour-long special was apparently intended to be a full-length movie, but got scaled back to a TV show when Care Bears In Wonderland flopped. This time, Anna is the little blonde girl the Care Bears and Cousins journey with across a fantasy landscape. They're searching for the magic ring that will end the rule of the wicked Vizier. Anna makes friends with an amnesiac nutcracker, while her little brother and Baby Hugs and Tugs stow away for adventure.

Finished the night after a shower with Annie Live! I go further into last night's version of the beloved 1977 Broadway show at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, December 03, 2021

From Bad to Worse

Kicked off my morning with oatmeal and cranberry sauce for breakfast and Yogi's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper. Yogi and Boo Boo hopped on a bus to the big city to visit the other Hanna-Barbara funny animals. Not only did their buddies go to Yellowstone looking for them, but they encounter a little girl at a department store who claims to be all alone. Turns out she's the daughter of a neglectful rich man who's been paying more attention to his work than her. The other Hanna-Barbara characters go out looking for him when they do finally make it to the city.

Rose called while one of the episodes from that 1982 Family Feud beauty pageant winners week I saw last July ran on Buzzr. She was going to talk to Jodie's lawyer nephew and try to get them to pay for my moving, my lost week and a half pay, and my first month's rent, or if I couldn't find a place, at least let me keep my furniture here and my things at Rose's. 

Spent the next hour packing DVDs and CDs into smaller boxes, the board games and photo boxes on the top shelf in the living area into a larger box, and the self-help books into a crate. Watched Match Game '79 while I worked. Charles did a bit of Mario Lanza's hit "Be My Love" for the Audience Match "__ My Love," but Brett got the big answer for that one. For some reason, they skipped the next two episodes, taking us into the middle of the next week. Audrey Meadows proved she was no dumb blonde by giving a good answer to the Head-to-Head round "__ Cold." Meanwhile, Patty Duke by far has the best answer to the question about the what the farmer's son is plowing that he shouldn't be. 

Switched to The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! at Tubi as I made a banana-chocolate smoothie for lunch and continued to pack. Nick, Sally, and the Cat want to take Ralph the Reindeer home to Freeze Your Knees Snowland for Christmas Eve, but the Thing-a-Ma-Jigger keeps breaking down. They're helped along by elephants, dolphins, and red crabs, all of whom teach them how different animals find water sources, travel, and stay together. 

Headed out after the cartoon ended. Wanted to get some grocery shopping done. I don't really need much anyway. I've been eating out of the fridge a lot lately. I mainly bought fruit and vegetables. Picked up a bag of green beans for turkey soup tonight and took advantage of a good sale to get broccoli. Bought dried cranberries for a cookie recipe. Found the cutest little pears for a good price, too. Restocked yogurt, milk, butter, honey, bananas, garlic, shampoo, conditioner, and fresh cranberries. 

Put away the groceries while watching Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales. This is another series of skits made to fill a half-hour with A Charlie Brown Christmas...but as such, it's pretty cute. Sally writes to Samantha Claus and hopes to "fall" down a Christmas tree, while Lucy has Linus write her letter to Santa. 

Rose called again as I did dishes. She did manage to get in touch with Jodie's nephew. While he is open to paying for the move (more than Jodie is), he's apparently being cagey about showing Rose the actual deed for the sale of the house. And Jodie told him the house wasn't sold. It is, or that's what she keeps telling me. 

As soon as I went online, I checked my e-mail. I checked it all day, hoping to hear from Sue Bromley. I did finally hear from her around 4:35. I was rejected yet again. They went with someone who has a higher income than me. She was nice about it and said she'd try to help find me a place, but...that puts me at square one. Yet again. I wish someone would negotiate with me or give me a chance. I know it looks bad, but I honestly and truly will pay, and I will look for a better job and get schooling when I've settled down. 

I was checking the listings again when I heard Jodie chattering on the phone at her side of the house. She cursed Rose out, complaining about her possibly losing the sale of the house, and that if she did, she'd sue both of us as much as possible for damages. If she just TALKED to Rose back in September and not avoided her, or set me up as a real tenant with an actual lease last year, a lot of this likely wouldn't have happened. 

Also heard her insist that Rose and I are after the house, have always wanted the house, and are trying to keep her from selling it. Um...no. Rose has a house, and I don't want this house. I want a house, all right...a nice, quiet little cottage somewhere far away from all of these people. I don't want this monstrosity, either. I know it's too big to take care of. 

She was still complaining when she brought a guy in to hang a fire extinguisher on the wall and a carbon monoxide tester in my room. I don't know why those things weren't there when Jesse and Dana lived here! I kept my back to them and ignored them...but I did hear her tell the guy that the internet is being shut down on the 19th. Apparently, movie producers and their wives don't use the internet. 

(Oh, and I texted everything to Rose. If Jodie doesn't want me to report this stuff, she needs to either lower her voice when she talks on the phone in the den or talk upstairs.)

Made turkey soup from the garlic and green beans, along with onions, the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, and the last of the celery, carrots, and brown rice. Watched more Match Game '79 as I chopped and sauteed vegetables. The second-to-last week of the CBS run brought in Carolyn Reisner, who became it's all-time champion with over 30,000. Orson Bean helps her here, even as he dodges a playful kiss from Gene.

Had my tasty and filling soup while watching Match Game PM. Richard Dawson made one of his rare goofs in the Head-to-Head, mistaking "Pall __" for "Paul __." Meanwhile, Dick Martin, Brett Somers, and Charles Nelson Reilly pretend to play cards on the upper tier when they already matched a question. 

Finished out the night on Paramount Plus with the animated movie How the Toys Saved Christmas. Granny Rose (Mary Tyler Moore) usually delivers the toys for all of the children in her neighborhood at Christmas, but this year, she's sick with a cold. Mr. Grimm (Tony Randall) claims he'll take care of the toys, but he really wants to sell them to rich kids. The toys decide to deliver themselves to the poor children who really need them. Meanwhile, orphan Christopher (Michael Caloz) writes that he wants "one special friend" for Christmas...but Grimm's claim that only rich kids get toys and his encounter with thieves make him wonder if there is someone out there for him.

I had no idea this was actually an Italian production, but it makes sense. The story of La Befana, the witch who delivers gifts while looking for the Three Wise Men, is an old favorite of mine and is very popular in Italy. I had this video for a while in the late 90's-early 2000's, but got rid of it ages ago. The story is charming, but it can also be a little depressing before Mr. Grimm gets his comeuppance. Still, it's worth seeing for older kids who know a little more about Santa and his helpers, or wonder if there's anyone besides the elves helping Santa handing out toys. 

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Oh Christmas Tree

Started off the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "The Tiger Family Grows" when Mrs. Tiger reveals she's going to have a baby. Daniel's not sure he wants to be the big brother, especially when he plays family with Katerina at school, but he finally grows to enjoy helping out. "Daniel Learns About Being a Big Brother" when he helps his parents set up the new baby's room and they show him how he's outgrown his old crib and clothes.

Went online briefly to see if I heard from Sue Bromley about the White Horse Pike house. I had, but she only needed to ask a question about my application. Turns out they're not going to make a final decision until tomorrow. 

Spent the rest of the morning packing. Jodie brought in two large boxes she bought from Home Depot, and I cleared crates for books. Packed up all the books on the shelves in the hall, half the books in the living room, and all of the books in the bedroom but the self-help guides (which are on top of my desk and I keep forgetting about them). One of Jodie's boxes held pots and pans I don't use as often; the other holds the records I cleared out of the crates.

Watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as I figured out how to squeeze all of the books into the crates laying around. "Mickey Saves Santa" when he's stranded on top of Mistletoe Mountain. Donald goes along to give Santa his Christmas list and gets constantly reminded to "be nice!" if he wants Santa to bring him gifts.

Since I was already at Disney Plus, I switched to Mickey's Christmas Carol. Despite the title, Uncle Scrooge is actually the star of this 1983 featurette, playing his namesake. Mickey is put-upon Bob Cratchit, Donald is Nephew Fred, Goofy is a surprisingly effective Jacob Marley, and Big Pete is a scary Ghost of Christmas Future.

Ran A Garfield Christmas Special on the Roku Channel while wrapping presents for Lauren. Garfield's not thrilled about being dragged to the farm for Christmas, but he does manage to make friends with Jon's tough and feisty Grandma. When Grandma admits she misses her husband at Christmas more than anything, Garfield finds a way to make her holiday a little merrier.

Headed out as soon as I finished getting Lauren's package together. Thankfully, there was only one other person ahead of me at the post office. After Lauren's Christmas package last year didn't arrive until Christmas Eve, I was taking no chances. I wanted it out as soon as possible. Got in, sent it off, got out.

Spent the next half-hour or so riding my bike around the neighborhood, despite the cloudy, warm, and gloomy day. I really didn't feel like sitting around anymore. Besides, I was hoping the fresh air would clear my nose. I was sneezing like crazy. I even stopped briefly at the Tracey Connors Park in the back of Oaklyn and played on the playground, pushing myself through a tube tunnel and down the smaller slide. (The larger one had a big puddle on the bottom. Even the smaller slide had some water, but it was easier to slow down and jump off of.)

Rose called shortly after I came in. Jodie chickened out and had her lawyer nephew talk to them. It doesn't sound like anyone wants to back down an inch. I really, really need to get either the White Horse Pike apartment or the one on Collings Avenue. Rose is hoping if I can find a place, she'll just negotiate for Jodie to pay my moving expenses. Trouble is, as you may have noticed, it's hard to find a place right now. Either my income is too low (even though I have money in the bank), or the building is full, or they rent it to a friend. 

Went straight into writing when I got home around 3:30. Kitty and her flower girls tell Richard they saw what they thought to be a very red flower with thorns on her head pass through. Richard knows who she really is...and he needs to find her before the Red King does...

Broke for dinner at 5:30. We briefly see sweet Janet Finn, a previous winner, in the audience during Match Game '75 when her good friend and neighbor Carol Bartos admitted she gave her a piece of her winning card for luck. It worked. Carol went on to become the show's top champion at that point. Meanwhile, Brett convinces Gene to switch his usual tie for a jauntier orange scarf. 

Headed out around 6 for a walk and to look at lights. It began showering lightly as I made my way past displays of rainbow colors and huge inflatable Santa and elves. It didn't really amount to much, and I arrived at the Oaklyn Fire Hall around 6:30...to learn the parade wasn't until 7. No matter. I strolled a few blocks down and bought a super-sweet Frozen Chocolate from Dunkin' Donuts.

By the time I strolled around a few more blocks and came back to City Hall and the Fire Hall, everyone had arrived. Little kids chased each other while their older siblings joked and climbed on each other's backs and their parents talked over strollers. The Civic Association and Oaklyn's food pantry set up booths behind us. Honestly, half the fun of attending these parades is seeing the show beforehand. The kids are just so funny running around, yelling for Santa (even the pre-teens) and teasing and chasing each other. 

Oaklyn's Parade of Lights finally arrived at quarter after 7. It's grown substantially since it started about five or six years ago. Normally, the "parade" is a couple of fire trucks decorated with lights. We had that, but we also had some themed trucks, one that sprayed "snow" on the crowd, and a mummers group dressed as "monsters." (The kids were really funny imitating the mummers' strutting.) My favorite decorated truck was the Coca-Cola themed one with the polar bear in a sled pulled by dalmatians. 

Many of the kids held fiber-optic wands as they darted between their friends and parents. I hadn't seen those since I was a kid. Long plastic bristles glow red, gold, and green from a battery in the handle when you swirl them around. They used to sell them for the 4th of July fireworks and other similar events in Cape May. Turns out the Civic Association were giving them away for free, along with hot chocolate, soft pretzels, and candy canes. I took everything but the hot chocolate. since I already had the Frozen Chocolate earlier.

Went straight into the shower when I got home. Watched Evening Primrose online after I got out. I go further into this bizarre 1966 musical, the only small-screen show with a full score by Stephen Sondheim, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Hard Candy Christmas

Awoke to a phone call. Rose told me she intended to send Jodie a cease-and-desist letter this morning. She says Jodie should give me two months, or at least a couple of extra weeks. Apparently, she has no more desire for Jodie to lose the sale of the house than Jodie does. At the least, she wants Jodie to pay for my moving expenses. 

I tried to go back to sleep for an hour after that, but no matter how much I closed my eyes, I couldn't shut everything out. Got up and read the Hanukkah material from the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology book instead. They have an interesting essay on the history behind Hanukkah and the Jews' fight for religious freedom, a very funny segment from More All of a Kind Family where the girls attend a family party and one of the girls takes the remaining nuts home in an overturned umbrella, along with hymns and poems. 

Put on A Charlie Brown Christmas while I had breakfast. Chuck's upset by all of the grab, grab around him. Lucy suggests he direct the local Christmas pageant, but the kids would rather turn it into a jazz concert than actually listen to him. They make fun of him when he picks up a tiny real tree for the show, until Linus gives one of the most famous speeches in TV history to remind them of what the holiday is really about.

Rose came around as the show ended with moving boxes in tow. She continues to insist she's not trying to attack anyone. She just wants more time for me to get out of here if I can't find a place, which is entirely possible, given the time of year this is and the difficult housing market. She maintains Jodie is in the wrong and that only giving me a month is illegal.

After she left, I tried to focus on packing up the porcelain and collectible dolls on the dresser, the photos on the window ledge, and the wooden cut-outs of bears, hearts, and rabbits I made in junior high (along with the big wooden E Linda Young sent me a few years back). Listened to A Broadway Christmas while I worked. This is the Veresae Sarabande collection of Christmas-related songs from musicals. Some of them were cut from successful shows like the lovely "Christmas Eve" from She Loves Me or are from obscure flops or regional musicals like "Christmas Gifts" from a stage It's a Wonderful Life. There's also a then-just-rediscovered song, "The Happy New Year Blues" by Irving Berlin. 

The second the CD ended, I grabbed my coat, threw on boots, and ducked out. I just couldn't sit inside anymore. I didn't want to talk to Jodie, Rose, or anyone. I wanted to hide as far away as I could. Of course, even when I made my way down to a narrow dirt pathway in Newton Lake Park, I still got a call from Rose. She wanted to make sure I got that letter and that I didn't back down to Jodie. She also reminded me what a bad time this is to be moving, and that it's Jodie's fault for not having a real rental agreement or talking to her about any of this to begin with. 

When I let off with her, I sat down on a fallen log by the road and tried to focus. It was a beautiful day, all cerulean skies and leaves floating in a just-nippy-enough breeze, but I couldn't calm my mind. I closed my eyes and tried to meditate and listen to nature, but there was too much going on in there. Even the glowing sunshine, the golden leaves fluttering to the ground and the squawk of Canadian geese on the rippling green waters didn't help. I finally moved on, dodging groups of school kids out for lunch as I made my way up Bettlewood Avenue and back into Oaklyn.

I wanted to be around people. I was originally going to have pizza, but I went with a broccoli and cheese quiche, chai latte, and slice of lemon poppyseed cake at Common Grounds Coffee House. Some of the kids did come in later for warm drinks, but they didn't linger for long. I stayed there as long as I could before finally heading home.

Resumed packing when I got in. I was working on packing the adult paperbacks when Jodie came in, clutching the letter from Rose and sobbing like her heart was broken. She insists that she'll sue if the sale of the house doesn't go through, and that her lawyer nephew says it's all legal and binding. I told her to tell Rose that. Rose is the one who knows law, not me. 

Jodie is terrified of Rose. Claimed she didn't want to be yelled at and refused to talk to her. That was too much. I don't mind the crying - I do enough of it - but I've confronted Rose, and I'm no big fan of confrontations either. A lot of the current trouble stems from her and Rose not communicating in the first place. Rose probably did call her back in September, wanting to know if she was selling the house and when, and if she had a plan for helping me to find a place...and Jodie didn't want to deal with her it or do anything, so she avoided her. Confrontations are scary, but you can't always avoid them.

I told her what everyone's told me. Write down what you want to say to Rose, rehearse it, then call her. She didn't want to do that, but she did finally agree to call her first thing tomorrow. She'd better not put that off. Nothing is going to be settled or made better if she and Rose don't TALK, and not through me, either. 

(Also, Jodie claims the pandemic is over. Um...I take it she's been watching the Hallmark Channel and not the news or looking it up online, or only hearing what she wants to hear. Even I know there's still at least two killer strains out there and travel's been suspended to some countries again. She also said I was fine using the laundry room until I move.)

Put on Press Your Luck briefly after she left. It was down to the champ and the one lady when I switched the TV on. The champ hit a car and finally passed his last turn to her. She hit a Whammy on her last turn that won him the game. 

Worked on writing next. Kitty (Carlisle) and her flowers explain that the Red King stole their magic and made the ground hard under many beds, so they couldn't reach the nutrients that allow them to talk. Brett's less sympathetic when the prettier ones criticize her dress, hair, and makeup. She finally reminds them that she could pick the whole lot of them if she wanted.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had quick leftovers while watching Match Game '79. Fred Grandy of The Love Boat made his first appearance on the last episodes to air on CBS before the show's run ended. Singer Connie Stevens was definitely the right person to help a contestant with "__ Aces" on the Head-to-Head.

Let Match Game PM run as I did the dishes. Debralee Scott happily flirted with the handsome young male contestant during the opening. Richard Dawson has far more luck helping with "__ Majors" in the Head-to-Head.

I had It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown on earlier, but I didn't really hear much of it when Rose came in. Re-ran it while packing my crocheting supplies, cassettes, and the collectible teddy bears on the table in my bedroom. The linear story was traded for a series of skits about the Peanuts' holiday preparations. Snoopy rings bells on the corner as a sidewalk Santa, Chuck sells wreaths to buy a gift, Peppermint Patty and Marcie see the Hallelujah Chorus and play a sheep and Mary in the school pageant, while Sally works hard to remember her one line. 

Finished out the night on Shout Factory's website for the first of two holiday MS3K episodes. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians from 1964 is considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. Martians kidnap Santa to make their kids happy. Two Earth kids follow and try to get him back, only to be caught themselves. Hooo boy. This notorious low-budget cult favorite is campy as all get out, especially since the actors playing Martians are mostly taking the story seriously. Needless to say, the robots have a great time riffing on this one. In between, they sing their own versions of carols, read holiday essays, and give each other gifts. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Keep Moving Forward

Started off a gloomy morning with breakfast and the Rankin-Bass special The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold, since I couldn't get anything to play on the TV. An Irish sailor finds himself stranded on a floating island inhabited by a clan of feuding wee folk. He accidentally releases a banshee when he chops down the pine tree that held her prisoner for 100 years. The banshee wants the leprechaun's gold, but he gives it to Dinty rather than let her get it. She has other ways of tricking the lad...but her deception finally brings the clans back together. 

Went online after the cartoon ended. Got an e-mail back from Susan Bromley, the real estate agent in charge of the house on the White Horse Pike. She'd be willing to show it to me at 3 or 4 PM. I had counseling at 2 and went with the 4 PM showing. Wrote out and sent the application for the Oaklyn Villas, too. 

Broke at around quarter after 1 for a banana-strawberry smoothie for lunch and the other recent Muppet Babies holiday episode. Nanny explains to the kids that she celebrates Hanukkah and misses her family, who is away for the holiday. The kids decide to do "A Mitzvah for Miss Nanny," something nice for her, and hold a party to make her feel better. Piggy wants to make a frame for the photo of Nanny's family, but she keeps dashing off to help the others with their duties. Gonzo and Skeeter go up against each other in a "Winter Sport-a-Thon." Gonzo's nervous because he claimed her can tie his shoes and he really can't. His shoes trip him up at every turn...until the others explain it's ok to not know how to do something. 

Went online for counseling after lunch. It took me a while to explain everything that's been going on. I've applied for five apartments, but only seen two. Of those five, three rejected me because I don't make enough money, even though I have money in the bank. One turned me down because they were full, and there was the one on Sunday who went with a friend instead. There were also the two apartments back in late September-early October that were rented out days, or even hours, before I was scheduled to see them. 

There's everything going on with my family, too. I'm starting to realize how much of our lives the men in this family had control over. Once they died, all the women and children crumbled and melted into squabbling. I need more independence outside of a family that's vanishing before my eyes...and I really don't want to be a part of Jodie and Rose's feuding. They can sue each other until the cows, pigs, and chickens come home, but I want out of it. I just want a place to live. 

After I left off with Mrs. Stahl, I printed out my pay stubs. I had a hard time printing out the letter I wrote to explain having money in the bank...until I realized the black ink was low and changed it. Scanned my savings account statements to prove I have the money in the bank to pay. 

Hurried up the White Horse Pike around 3:35, dodging the start of rush hour traffic. I figured it would be quicker to go straight up the Pike than roam around the back roads. The apartment is on the block between the Audubon WaWa and the CVS on the corner of the Pike and King's Highway. Susan Bromley, the real estate agent, met me at the door. She told me right away that she was showing the apartment to two other people that afternoon. After the owner of the apartment I looked at on Sunday didn't bother to tell me someone else also saw it, I appreciate her honesty. 

It's not that far removed from the other Audubon apartment, a second-floor enclave in a 1940's Cape Cod that may have been carved out of two bedrooms. The kitchen is shoved into a tiny box (Ms. Bromley was probably right about it being a former closet), but had all new appliances and counters. Like at Manor Avenue, a large living room and bedroom make up for the small kitchen. The bathroom was also recently remodeled in a cute yellow and brick retro tile design. No storage room, but there's lots of cubby holes and narrow but deep closets, including one downstairs in the foyer. The small fenced-in back yard has a wide covered patio that'll work for parking my bike, and there's a basement laundry room that the first floor resident is willing to share.

She did mention some work still needs to be done on the apartment. The previous tenant left a hole in the plaster wall of the bedroom and had a cat when she wasn't supposed to. The cat apparently did some damage, including scratching the edge of a cabinet in the kitchen. She also mentioned possibly replacing the carpets, though they looked all right to me. 

I told Ms. Bromley I'd take it if at all possible and gave her the folder with all my paperwork, then explained to the best of my abilities about my current precarious situation. She gave me a paper application to sign, scan, and e-mail her and said she'd text me links to credit report companies tomorrow. (I looked them up tonight anyway and sent one. I've already lost three apartments to competition that moved faster than I did.) 

Stopped at WaWa quick for a drink. They had my favorite Vanilla Coke (and were out of the Winter Spice Cranberry Sprite). Grabbed a soft pretzel, too. 

Went into writing when I got home. The giggly Daisy (Joyce Bulifant) and curvy Rose (Lynda Day George) happy flirt with Richard. The haughty Iris (Kitty Carlisle) is more concerned that he should be trying to convince the King and Queen of Hearts to lend them aid. Richard and Brett explains that they were already attacked, while Jimmie the Dodo kisses the leaf of a cute pansy (Chelsea Brown). 

Jodie came out and said she wanted to talk in the den as I finished writing around 5:30-6. Basically, she repeated the same things she's said for the past three months. She's selling the house on the 19th because she can't afford it's upkeep, the sale is legal, and it's legal for a month. She can't extend it by another month. She also claims none of this is her fault and she doesn't want to confront or deal with Rose. If the sale of the house falls through, she and her lawyer nephew will sue Rose for damages.

I listened to her go on...then finally said I've had enough of this. Rose tells me one thing, Jodie tells me another, and they both insist that what they say is the utter truth and they're in the right and the other person is completely in the wrong. They mean well, but they're not communicating. Rose pushes too hard, and Jodie needs to learn to deal with things and not let some white knight do it for her. I told Jodie to call Rose and get their stories straight, then walked out and texted Rose about what happened.

Put on Match Game '79 to cheer myself up while having a raspberry jelly omelet, celery sticks, and fried sweet potatoes for dinner. We finish this week with Gene ducking away from Patti Deustch sneezing on him. Meanwhile, the others try to figure out the Audience Match for "__ Tut", and the audience gives Don Galloway his first booing. 

Did the dishes during Match Game PM. Brett starts things off modeling her newest dress, a brilliant flower print on a black background. She's not the only one in a nifty outfit, either. A Canadian contestant sports a Match Game PM t-shirt, a long list of family members that has Betty White taking notes to figure it all out, and some really strange answers. Meanwhile, Richard Dawson reminds Charles that a man who wears a toupee is the last person who should be making jokes about hair roots. 

Mom called as PM ended. She was pretty much just checking up on me. She also said that what happened with the house on Sunday wasn't fair. The owner should have told me someone else looked at the house instead of leading me to believe I had it. That's why I was so upset. 

Finished the night after a shower with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I go into the first of two movies I'll be doing with music by the late Stephen Sondheim this week at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Everybody's Got a Home but Me

Began the morning with breakfast and the second Christmas Muppet Babies episode. "It's a Wonderful Elf-Bot" that Bunsen and Beaker made to create gifts from art supplies. The kids say they want to make a paper wreath for Statler and Waldorf, only to over do it asking for their own gifts. They finally realize how greedy they got when there's no art supplies left, and they still don't have something for their neighbors. Bunsen learns why "A Merry Litter Christmas" isn't much fun when the boxes of shrimp-flavored milk he blasts into outer space blocks supplies from getting to Gonzo's home planet. 

Made lists of everything I needed to do today and all the things I need to pack after breakfast, then went online to see if the owner of the house called. She finally did around 11:45...to tell me she rented the apartment to a friend who looked at it right after me. I thought I had it! No, he said he'd take it before I did, apparently. 

So, I was back to square one. I checked online again. Tried to finish one application for The Commons of Audubon, but didn't know if Jodi or Willa from my previous apartment had e-mail addresses. Called Oaklyn Villas on the White Horse Pike; got a rather terse-sounding woman. She said she'd e-mail me an application. I know the building was remodeled about five or six years ago. In fact, the local bigwigs made a rather big deal about it, since it was pretty dilapidated before they fixed it. Also e-mailed another apartment in a house listed on the other side of Audubon.

(Oh, and at the very least, from what I can hear next-door, Jodie didn't end up getting the house at the Shore she wanted, either.) 

Headed out to run errands around 1PM. I still decided it's time I started packing. Hit Dollar General for canned pumpkin, sponges, and a few bins. They had plenty of canned pumpkin and I did get a bin, but were completely out of sponges. I ended up buying those at CVS, along with paper towels. 

I didn't even put everything away when I got home. I went right online again. I haven't wanted to get too many people involved in this, but I'm desperate. I asked for help on Facebook. My cousins who live in Clementon down the Black Horse Pike sent me information on two places. One's a little too far from transportation, but the other (where their older son apparently lives) is closer to what I'm looking for.

Jessa called as I worked. She saw my message on Facebook and wondered what happened. She pretty much just said keep trying. It's not like I have a choice. I have to get out of here. 

Worked on writing for a while next. Sir Richard leads them all into a magical Technicolor garden, where the flowers all talk and look like blonde beauties. Brett doesn't appreciate their giggly gossiping, but Richard has an easier time. 

Rose called while I was on the computer. She too heard about my losing the apartment. She keeps insisting that Jodie is in the wrong and should have given me two months to leave instead of one. At this point, I don't care, and I'm tired of trying to wade through everyone's six hundred different stories. All I want is for everyone to just get along and stop all of this. 

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Had Thanksgiving leftovers while watching Match Game '79. Loved Lee Merriweather's reaction when she helped a contestant with "__ Counselor" on the Head-to-Head. Bill Daily had less luck with "__ Exit" later. We also had some jokes when Charles gave Butter for "Cocoa __" later. (Mom used cocoa butter hand lotion for years, throughout the 80's.) We also met a contestant who does surgery on fruit flies.

The Match Game PM was the episode Buzzr rediscovered and ran for the first time in 40 years a few months ago. Eva Gabor made her debut on the show this week. Meanwhile, Brett plays with a fan and Charles uses it to heighten suspense in the Head-to-Head round.

Started packing after the show ended. Dropped the Christmas and holiday books except for the ones I'm reading into a bin. I won't need them. I'm not going to be able to celebrate Christmas this year. I did listen to my In the Christmas Mood II and True Value Happy Holidays Vol 28 cassettes. The latter was the first True Value Happy Holidays collection I bought (though not the same copy - my original cassette broke two years ago). Also packed the rag dolls, since they were sitting on top of the Christmas books.

Ended the night online with Christmas drama and action episodes. The Love Boat made several holiday voyages, starting with Season 4. The ship's lounge singer (Jack Jones) isn't saying "That's My Dad" when his estranged singer father (Allan Jones, Jones' real-life singer father) turns up on the ship thanks to their wives trying to reunite them. Gopher and Isaac's efforts to teach "The Captain's Bird" how to talk ends with the parrot insulting Steubling.. A young stowaway (Meeno Peluce) hopes he has a "Captive Audience" in a good-natured playboy (Dirk Benedict). 

The holidays are more dangerous for Jennifer and Johnathan Hart in Hart to Hart. "'Tis the Season to Be Murdered" when the private detective Johnathan hired to find out about counterfeit toys going out of his toy company is murdered right after giving him information. Johnathan and Jennifer go undercover to figure out who's leaking new toy concepts to their competitor. Meanwhile, Max is more interested in his new hobby - meditation. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Hoping for a Home

Started off the morning with Cornmeal Pancakes and the Follies 1971 original cast album, the latter in honor of Stephen Sondheim's passing on Friday. Follies has been my favorite Sondheim show for years. It's certainly one of his most unique shows. Two middle-aged couples realize just how difficult their marriages have become when they reunite for the first time in 20 years at a reunion of Ziegfeld Follies-type showgirls. It's a fairly dark show that requires knowledge of all the changes going on, in show business and in general, in the early 70's. If you have the patience to figure out all the layers, it features some of Sondheim's best songs, including "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs," "Broadway Baby," "Losing My Mind," "Too Many Mornings," and "The Story of Lucy and Jessie." 

Went on the computer after I did the dishes. Wanted to print out my pay stubs so the lady would know how much I made. Tried to print out my bank statements, but they didn't come out looking like much more than black lines.

Dashed out at 10:40. Turns out Carlisle Road was in the way back, between the White Horse Pike and the Westmont Plaza. It's closer to Haddon Heights than Westmont, about two blocks or so from the Pike. It's a maze back there, and it took me so long to figure it out, I arrived there with two minutes to spare.

Carol met me at the door. She apologized for the disarray in the apartment; apparently, she too is in the midst of packing and moving. The apartment is small but lovely. It's smaller than the Manor Avenue apartment, but larger than what I have now. In fact, it's a lot like a smaller, updated version of the Manor Avenue apartment. There's a really lovely kitchen with heavy, wide countertops and brand-new appliances, a small but clean bathroom, and a storage area in the back. Unlike the storage room in the back of Manor, this room has electricity and is heated. The bedroom is tiny, so I'll probably put my desk, printer, and office supplies back there along with clothes and seasonal decorations. 

Honestly...I really liked it. She we'd wait to discuss anything pertaining to the pay stubs and my pay when her sister gets back. I told her I'd call my sister and get back to them as soon as possible.

I was on cloud nine when I headed out. I finally found a place...and I did it on my own. Rose helped me get organized, but I found the listing on Craigslist. I talked to the lady. I saw the place. The apartment will be available the 15th, likely when Carol moves out.

Called JoAnne the owner when I got home. Got her phone. Called her twice, said I was thinking about it...then called her again and said I'd take it. I don't think I'm going to find anything better, especially in this area and time of the year.

Called Rose next to keep her abreast of what's going on. She's happy I found a place I really like, but not that I want to move so soon. Next month is a busy time for her, and that's without going on vacation Christmas week. We both want me to be out as quickly as I can, but I may have to wait. Her suggestion of transferring to the Westmont or Haddonfield Acmes, on the other hand, is worth considering. One of the college boys already did it. I still want out of the Acme, but until I can find a better job, maybe I should move to a smaller store.

I was pretty depressed when I went out to do my laundry. All I want is to get out. Everyone's driving me crazy. I understand Rose thinks I should have two months, but...I don't need the extra two months. I need to get away from this toxic situation. Trouble is, moving vans cost money, and I only know so many people. 

At least doing the laundry at the laundromat went a lot better than the last time I did it there. I treated myself to a super-sweet Vanilla Sugar Cookie Smoothie from WaWa while the laundry was in the washer; worked on story notes while it was in the dryer. They were a little busy up through 1 PM. Once the Eagles game started, they cleared out.

Two of my next-door neighbors (and their rapidly-growing black lab puppy Gunther) overheard how upset I was when I brought my laundry inside. First of all, I had no idea Jodie found a house at the Shore. She hadn't mentioned this to me at all. Second, they said they'd be willing to help me move out. I told them to bring it up with Rose. I'm not sure how she'll react to it. 

Third, I'll never stop thinking that this is my fault. Maybe I didn't get Rose and Jodie angry at each other, but if I hadn't moved here, they wouldn't be threatening legal action. Or if I'd done what I was supposed to do and look for an apartment last January. Or better yet, started looking for a place the day after Dad died. I shouldn't have stayed or expected whomever bought the house to want me around. 

Speaking of the Eagles game, I put that on my laptop after I got home and folded my clothes, then made a quick banana-chocolate smoothie for lunch and took down the Thanksgiving decorations. The Giants were the only ones who scored during the first half, and that was a field goal. The Eagles did play better in the second half, but it was too little, too late. The Giants won 13-7. 

Made lists next. My Christmas list was first. I can't bake or decorate, but I have shopped for most of the people on my list, and I can send cards. Also started a list of everything in the bedroom I need to pack, and cleared the junk off the top of the printer.

Went into writing after that. I mostly went back and edited parts, but I did get to adding Jimmie (Walker) the Dodo also joined them in an attempt to avoid the guards. Fearing being followed, Richard leads them out into the garden, which seems similar to Queen Betty's, but very different...especially after Brett swears she hears one of the flowers giggling... 

Broke for leftovers at quarter of 7. Ate, then took down the general fall items. Normally, I'd be getting ready to put up the Christmas stuff in their place, but it doesn't look like that'll happen this year. I will clean later this week, and not just because of moving. The kitchen in particular needs to be done.

Listened to the original cast of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as I worked. The trouble with Sondheim is, his shows can get depressing...and I wasn't in the mood for depressing. I went with Sondheim's first solo show to make Broadway instead. A hilarious cast of professional hams - including Zero Mostel as Rome's shiftiest slave and Jack Gilford as it's most nervous - have a blast with adorable comic numbers like "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" and the opening number "Comedy Tonight." 

Finished the night on YouTube with my own post-Black Friday Frenzy Marathon. Shopping shows had their own popularity in the 1950's, with auctioneers allowing people to bid on anything from the badge Ralph Bellamy wore on a cop program to a new refrigerator to a trip to Las Vegas. What's Your Bid? is one of the earlier examples, a messy proto-Price Is Right. Everyone bids on a smaller items; high bidders get to bid on larger items, including something from a celebrity. The show was dull and unorganized, often with many bids going on at once in the beginning. "Liberal Bill" did better handing out prizes later in the show than auctioning them off. 

Let's Make a Deal was far more successful. In fact, as far as I can tell, other than a change of hosts (from Monty Hall to Wayne Brady), Deal has pretty much run the same way for over 50 years. The host plays "pricing games" to get contestants dressed in wild costumes to guess what's behind three doors. It may be big prizes, or a crazy "zonk" prize like an animal or bunk bathtubs. Went with one of the remaining black-and-white Monty Hall episodes from 1969 that's pretty typical of the series as a whole, and even features a "Big Deal of the Day" win.

When Wheel of Fortune began in 1975, instead of having prizes on the Wheel, players could use the money they'd accumulated to that point to buy prizes between rounds. I've never seen it played this way before. In the episode from 1976 I selected, Chuck Woolery oversees a "tournament" of returning champions with some very competitive gameplay.

Bargain Hunters, which ran briefly on ABC in 1987, was more complicated. Three sets of two contestants each played a series of short games mainly revolving around figuring which small prizes were the greater bargain. The winners of each round came on to play the Super Savers bonus round. They had to choose whichever prizes they thought were the greatest bargains. Whomever came closest to the actual prices would get a trip or a car. Peter Tomarken tries to make sense of this complicated and fairly dull game.

I never heard of Shopping Spree, a late 90's Family Channel clone of Shop 'Till You Drop, until tonight. It's still set at a mall, but here, two women have to figure out the visual clues from what two men are wearing to figure out their interests and grab photos from the appropriate "store." The bonus round was even more ludicrous - choosing the gift from a rack on the wall of items celebrities might want for their birthday parties and sliding the presents to cheap black and white sketches of said celebrities. Bubbly host Ron Pearson was not the right person to make any of this interesting. 

Go on your own shopping spree this week with these rare forays into shopping shows past!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Come to the Supermarket

Started off the morning with breakfast and the first Scooby Doo Christmas episode, the series finale of The New Scooby Doo Mysteries with Shaggy and Daphne, "A Nutcracker Scoob." Fred joins in as the crew prepares to put on a holiday pageant for an orphanage. Not only is a miser trying to shut the orphanage down, but the Ghost of Christmas Never is also determined to bring a premature end to the kids' Christmas. Mystery Inc tries to solve the mystery and figure out what the miser and the ghost are after.

Headed off to work shortly after the episode ended. I started out doing carts...but as it turned out, there was already someone doing them. They had plenty of bagging help today, with one guy there in the morning and a college girl coming in later. I spent the rest of the day alternating between shelving the carts of returns, cashiering, and shelving candy. 

JoAnne, the owner of the apartment who called me yesterday, called me in the morning. I got back to her during my first break. Her sister Carol can show me the apartment tomorrow at 11. Around 5, she finally remembered to send me the address. It's in the neighborhood behind Cuthbert Road, a few blocks down from Paul the Sixth Catholic High School. 

And it turns out that the Acme is able to spare me until the 18th. That makes sense. The middle of the month is usually when the store starts picking up again and people begin shopping for their holiday baking and big Christmas dinners. I won't be paid for next week, but I'll use my last vacation time for the week after that, and I have two random "float" days I actually forgot about. The "float" days have to be used by the end of the year anyway. 

Changed and went online when I got home. Richard reveals after he lands on the others that the Red King captured most of the animals of the jury or turned them into toys. They weren't playing the way he wanted them to. He has no idea what happened to King Allen and Queen Betty. Marcia encourages them to move along, before The Red King figures out where they went.

Heard from Mom, too. She went to my sister Anny's for Thanksgiving dinner, then spent the weekend doing projects at home. She's thrilled about my seeing the apartment tomorrow. She says it'll be perfect for me if I can get it. 

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Had leftovers, then made cranberry sauce while watching the 1958 TV version of Aladdin. I go further into the last musical with songs by Cole Porter at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday Surprises

Started off a gloomy morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Friends Help Each Other" when Daniel helps Katarina gather the tea cups she dropped on the floor and clean up after a spill. "Daniel Helps O Tell a Story" after they discover the last page of O's dinosaur book is missing and they decide to create their own ending.

Switched to Buzzr for Match Game '75 while I cleaned up from breakfast. The panel welcomes back former contestant C.B Farnsworth, who won a bundle the year before, in the audience. They even sing a bit of the number Charles and Richard came up with when he won. Richard gives the top answer for "__ Bubbles" and is a bit annoyed when the female contestant runs over and only gives him a little kiss on the cheek!

Headed out after that. It may have been cold, cloudy, and windy, but I wanted to finish my Christmas shopping, or at least get closer to it. I also wanted to further explore the new House of Fun, which moved to a small shopping center in Barrington earlier this year. It's a long ride up there, almost a half-hour, and frequently on bumpy roads with no sidewalks, but it's worth it. 

The House of Fun sells toys, collectibles, tons of Funko Pops, stuffed animals, video games, comic books, cult DVDs and Blu-Rays, t-shirts, vintage board games, and books and magazines on all of the above. I didn't see anything for Amanda and I'm trying to avoid buying junk for me, but I did finish my Christmas shopping for Lauren. Found a video game I hope she'll want to try and a Funko Pop. 

After I finally left there, I took the same way back down Atlantic...but this time, I turned at Virginia Avenue and Market Street in Audubon instead of going straight into Oaklyn. Wanted to hit the Acme for my schedule and grocery shopping. I didn't really need much in the way of groceries anyhow. I was mainly there for milk. Found Christmas tote bags to put Finley and Khai's gifts in. Restocked yogurt, brown sugar, white beans, deodorant, cranberries, and bananas. 

To my surprise, I don't have a schedule next week. They can't spare me for a full month, but they can give me a week. Actually, this is probably the right week to take off. Not only did I originally ask for two days off anyway for counseling and Amanda's visit on Saturday, but my hours probably wouldn't have been that great. We're usually dead for at least two weeks between Black Friday and when Christmas baking kicks in. In fact, the store was empty even as I shopped, and it was 3 PM. The last thing on anyone's mind right now is buying food! I won't be paid for it, but at this point, I don't care. I need to find a place. 

Put on Tattletales when I got in and shelved everything. Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible and his soft-spoken wife Lee were the only people I recognized here. I'd only seen Janet Lynde and her hubby William Gray Espy on the show, and I never heard of Jack and Reiko Douglas. Frankly, it was so dull, I gave up and went online instead.

Threw out a few more e-mails for about an hour. Threw one last shot to an apartment building, The Commons in Audubon on Apartmentguide.com. Browsing Craiglist around 5 PM turned up an listing for another Audubon apartment, this one a duplex over a 92-year-old woman's rooms. It wasn't too bad of a price, and having lived over an older woman once, I wouldn't mind doing it again. The family said they visited her frequently and were willing to share her internet and cable. The listing didn't have a phone number, so I e-mailed them. 

Worked on writing after I sent the e-mail. Brett's annoyed to find she's landed in what looks like the palace hall...and Marcia's even more annoyed that Brett landed on her. Richard's the last down, and he immediately shoos all of them out the door before the guards come after them.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had Thanksgiving leftovers while watching Match Game '79. Don Galloway makes his first appearance on the show as everyone tosses around jokes about Bill Daily's new short beard. (Brett called him Santa Claus!) Speaking of Brett, she spent most of the episode ranting about increased property taxes in California and having to pay them. 

Made Pineapple-Pumpkin Muffins while Match Game PM ran. Orson Bean sported the bushy beard in this episode, but the panelists were more interested in Gene's dapper two-tone shoes. Gene and Richard preferred flirting with a nervous high school contestant who was barely above the age of consent. 

Finished out the night with Buzzr's third annual Black Friday Frenzy marathon. They dropped all shows but Sale of the Century this year as they ran the final episodes of the series from the spring of 1989. The show also had its final major champion as Darrel, a young-ish man with a mustache, proceeded to win pretty much everything but the car and the Instant Cash. He bought at least four or five Instant Bargains and won most of the money, but he just could never find the right box for that cash. There were a few amusing Instant Bargain skits too, including a tea set sold by Alice and the Mad Hatter and a "garage sale" made up of electronics and an entertainment center that failed to sell the first time they were out.

(Oh, and the next Buzzr marathon is another annual favorite, their Betty White Christmas. Looks like new Super Password, Password Plus, and Match Game Christmas week in honor of Betty's 100th Christmas season. Looking forward to it! The Betty White Christmas weeks are always fun. Betty will keep me company Christmas week while Rose and her family are away.) 

Got a call from Connecticut around 8 PM. It was the owner of the house I e-mailed on Craigslist this evening. The lady was visiting relatives for the holiday weekend, but either she or her sister would love to show me around on Monday. She'd call me back with more information after she got home. She did ask me what my job was, but I think they cared more about there being a quiet person with a steady job living over their mother than how much I made. She even said paying the year's rent in advance wouldn't be necessary. If I don't hear from them by Monday, I'll e-mail them again.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Giving Thanks for Family and Matches

Woke up at 7 AM and called the Acme to tell them I wasn't coming in. Besides the fact that I really am that tired, I refuse to work on Thanksgiving. It's one thing if you're a doctor or a nurse or police officer, and your job genuinely involves being on constant call, but this is a grocery store. I'm not sure why the Acme is even open. There's WaWas and drug stores if people need last minute milk or something. We're rarely busy from Thanksgiving Day through the middle of December. 

I was so worn out, I went back to sleep after I got off with them...and didn't wake up again until almost 10:30! Read a piece on the first Thanksgiving and a couple of Thanksgiving hymns and songs, including "Over the River and Through the Woods," from Colliers Harvest of Holidays, The Disney anthology Storybookland also features a Thanksgiving short story, "Pilgrim's Party." Mickey takes the gang north for a real old-fashioned New England Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock. It's all fun and Pilgrim cosplay, until Pluto steals the turkey!

Changed, grabbed breakfast, and went straight online after I wrote in my journal for the first YouTube game show marathon of the day. Sam Mitchell, who did that fun Halloween game show marathon, also put together one for Thanksgiving. No particular theme this time, just good episodes. I caught episodes of the tough word-find show Now You See It from 1974, part of Thom McKee's legendary run on Tic Tac Dough in 1980, and one of the Bill Cullen-hosted Joker's Wild episodes from 1986 before switching over to the all-Match Game '70s marathon. The guy who posts the vintage Match Game episodes on YouTube lost his beloved aunt last week and did an all PM episode marathon in her honor. Watched the first PM episode and fifth before Rose called and said Craig would be by to pick me up for dinner.

I came in around 1. Craig had the Bears-Lions game on as Finley played in the living room. Rose set out appetizers as I arrived. There was a plate with a cheeseball (Rose got Mom's famous recipe, the one she used on Thanksgiving in the 90's and 2000's) and crackers, another with shrimp cocktail, a third with grapes, cheese, and sausage, and a tray of vegetables. I enjoyed a little bit of everything but the really spicy sliced salamis. 

Craig's mom and dad arrived less than a half-hour later. By the time they came in, the Bears were just barely down in a tight game 14-13. They picked up a final field goal in the fourth quarter that eventually won them the game, 16-14. 

While Rose and Craig focused on dinner and cleaning up the snack trays, Mrs. Wurster read books to Finley. We all watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer together, which apparently is a favorite of Finley's. I go into more details on the original 1964 Rankin-Bass version of this beloved story and song at this Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog entry from 2018. 

After the special ended, Khai switched the TV to Disney Junior for his sister, and I ready Finley one of our favorite books from when we were little. The Bike Lesson is one of the earliest Bernstein Bears books. Brother Bear (here called Small Bear) wants to ride his new bike, but Papa insists that he can't until he teaches him how. Papa's idea of "teaching him how" mostly consists of Brother digging him out of scrapes and him showing the cub how NOT to ride a bike.

Rose finally declared dinner was ready around 4:30. What a feast! In addition to a huge turkey, we had mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, roasted asparagus, cornmeal stuffing and sausage stuffing from the restaurant where Craig works, ciabatta rolls from Shop Rite, and Khai's favorite canned cranberry sauce. Khai loves cranberry sauce so much, he started laying into three big slices before the rest of us sat down to eat! Needless to say, his parents scolded him for taking so much and not waiting.

Khai, Finley, and I watched Disney Junior shows while everyone else rested, chatted, and got dessert ready. Bless Fin's heart, she's a Muppet Babies fan too. It's a "Kitchen Catastrophe" when picky eater Sam the Eagle comes to Piggy's Diner for lunch. Piggy begs the Swedish Chef to make him a meal he can't refuse. The Chef won't even try Gonzo's pickle, pineapple, and sauerkraut sandwich, until Animal accidentally gives it to Sam. "Kermit Gets the Grumpies," and even the kids can't seem to get him to shake them. Bunsen and Beaker separate his grumpy side from his happy side, but then he keeps trying to avoid his grumpy half.

Mickey Mouse Funhouse is the newest show to feature the Disney gang. Minnie's upset when the toppings on her pizzas are all jumbled in delivery. She and the others go to ancient Greece to get more, only to find that the pizza maker is so harried, he needs to deliver his pies before he can make theirs. "Minnie's Big Delivery" takes the gang all over Athens, before Minnie realizes that pizzas -and people - don't need to be perfect. The gang meets "The Wanderin' Warbler" while in the Wild West. She's a singer with the habit of wandering off. When she vanishes on a day she's scheduled to sing in the local saloon, Mickey and Pluto go after her.

Fin still loves Bluey, and I'll admit, I've grown fond of the blue pup and her family, too. Bluey and her sister Bingo pretend to be old ladies on the "Bus" who wreck havoc trying to bring shy rider Chili and driver Bandit together. Chili and Bluey pretend Bluey is in "Mum School" while Chili shows her oldest daughter how to take care of one particular balloon that keeps wanting to fly away. 

Spidey and His Amazing Friends is another recent addition to Disney Junior. Here, "Spidey" is Peter Parker and his "Amazing Friends" include fellow Spider Kids Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, along with super-stretching Ms. Marvel Karmela Khan. He, Miles, and Gwen rescue a baby octopus whom a female Doc Ock grew to gigantic size and returned it to is parents in the first story. The second had Peter and Karmela rescuing Central Park from the Green Goblin's giggle gas that makes people laugh so hard, he can steal whatever he wants.

Rose announced dessert around 6:30. I always have a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, in this case topped with Redi-Whip. Yum! Sweet and perfect. Rose said she tried a different crust recipe this year. Whatever she did worked just fine - it was tender and just flakey enough. Had a bunch of macarons Rose picked up at Shop Rite, too.

Mr. and Mrs. Wurster dropped me and a huge bag of leftovers off at home by 7. I spent the rest of the night returning to the Match Game PM marathon. By the time I came in, they were on the much-later episodes with syndicated casts. One show featuring Fred Travelena started off with some jokes about Confucius featuring several very bad accents and stereotype jokes that's likely the reason this episode is now banned from the air. Allen Ludden and Betty White had more luck in what eventually became their last TV appearance together before Allen's untimely death in 1981. Charles kindly gave a balding young man his toupee, one of the very few times he appeared on the show without it, even briefly.

Spend your holiday weekend playing vintage games with both these hilarious marathons!


Oh, and here's that review for Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.


I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving with all the people you love to match with! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Dolls and Holidays

Started off the morning with breakfast and The Bernstein Bears Meet Big Paw on YouTube. Papa Bear is slightly shaken when Mama divines that Big Paw, a legendary figure on the mountains over Bear Country, will come and destroy them if they're not good to the needy. Mama insists he's not that scary, but the citizens in the valley are ready to blast him to bits...until they see Sister and Brother Bear trapped on the mountain. 

Quickly made my bed, then headed out to run errands and do some Christmas shopping. I would have done a morning in Collingswood whether the house inspector came or not. The weather was utterly stunning, sunny, breezy, and in the mid-upper 40's, perfect for November. It was too nice to be hanging around inside, even if I hadn't been spending a lot of time there lately. 

Wandered around for a while. Checked out the gift shop Occasionette, but didn't buy anything. Looked around at the games and toys store Extraordinary Ed for a few minutes before I dashed across Haddon Avenue to the Collingswood Library to use the bathroom. Since I was there, I peeked at their books and DVDs for sale. Found a set of the first three-episode season of the 1999 BBC Scarlet Pimpernel TV show for a dollar. I heard it's not much like the books, but I love anything Pimpernel and am definitely willing to try it. Went back to Extraordinary and bought two card games, one for Lauren and her parents and one for my 12-year-old nephew Collyn. 

Strolled further down the street and ducked into a tiny whitewashed shop crowded with tables of hand-made soaps, body lotions, and other fancy bath toiletries. Truthfully, I wasn't in a very good mood, even as I bought a gift for Mom. Everything is going wrong. I can't afford an apartment until I get a better job, and I can't get a better job until I find a place to live. Either everything is full, or they don't understand that I have money in the bank and can pay the rent. My family is all at each other's throats over it, and the job I do have is driving me crazy. 

She was really sweet. She apparently just lost her parents and is also trying to figure things out. She suggested going out into nature and giving myself a chance to think and enjoy the view. I haven't had the chance to get out and enjoy nature lately, or do much of anything. She also figured I was on the right track with my outing. I needed to take some time out and enjoy myself.

In that spirit, my next stop was a block down at Sabrina's Cafe. They're normally crazy-busy when I'm in Collingswood, but they didn't look full when I went by. When I asked the hostess, she said there would be a 15 minute wait. As it turned out, it was barely five minutes before she seated me at one of the small rustic wooden tables along the blue vinyl booths on the wall.

Sabrina's specializes in fresh local dinner and lunch meals. Some of their portions can be huge, so I kept things simple and ordered a cup of soup, half of a chicken sandwich on a bagel, and fries. Good thing it was only a half of a chicken salad sandwich. Even that was massive, piles of chicken spilling out of a thick, chewy bagel with everything on top. The spicy tomato-basil soup was tasty, but it was in a tiny cup, and there was a lot less of it. The fries were neither too greasy, nor too heavily seasoned.

Checked out Clutter after lunch, but I saw nothing there and moved on. The lady was right about it being the perfect day for the park. Since I still had a lot to do, I opted for a bike ride through Knight Park and Newton Lake Park rather than strolling by the lake. It did feel nice to be breezing past the glowing gold and flame orange trees on my bike again! It felt like fall, too, with just enough of a chill in the air to keep the food cold before dinner tomorrow.

Heard the phone go off as I left Newton Lake Park. It was Rose, who forgot to tell me the other day when to come to Thanksgiving dinner. I can come anytime after 12. I wanted to call her back anyway and ask her if she needed me to bring anything besides pumpkin bread. Nope, she said. She has everything else covered, since it's just us eating anyway. 

The Target on Cuthbert Road was my next stop. By this point, the local kids were out of school for the Thanksgiving weekend. I managed to push my way through a gaggle of students let loose from Paul the 6th Catholic High School down the street and lock my bike before going in. Surprisingly for the day before Thanksgiving, they weren't busy at all. I picked up a gift for my 17-year-old nephew Skylar, cute toys for Finley and Khai to play with on the way to Maine, and York peppermint patties shaped like snowflakes for me. 

My last stop of the day was at WaWa. Treated myself to a creamy eggnog smoothie. It was sweet and rich, and this year, actually tasted like eggnog. I enjoyed it while riding home.

Put my presents away after I got in, then dressed the dolls for the holidays. Samantha wears her original Cranberry Christmas Dress, which perfectly matches the red shoes from her Spring Dress. Molly wears her Evergreen Christmas Dress and borrowed Samantha's black strap shoes. Ariel gets Julie's second Christmas outfit, the purple brocade minidress with the white gossamer sleeves and the soft knit stockings. I actually like Molly's white t-straps better with that outfit than the black shoes that originally came with it. Jessa is in the original 1996 Chinese New Year outfit with the brocade pants and jacket. (The current dressier Lunar New Year's Outfit on the American Girl website is too girlie for Jess.) Josefina resembles a Mexican princess in her yellow and black striped Christmas Dress with the black lace mantilla. Felicity's ready to dance at the Governor's ball in her bright blue Christmas Gown. Whitney wears the elegant blue-violet Snowflake Ball Gown from 2010 with black stockings, a black spencer jacket from another dress, and black velvet strap shoes.

Half-watched, half-listened to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles while I worked. Neil Page (Steve Martin) is an ad executive who's desperate to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. He manages to make it as far as Wichita before his plane is grounded by a snowstorm...but not before his cab in New York is accidentally stolen by Del Griifth (John Candy). Del is a traveling salesman and the nicest guy you'll ever meet, but he's also a chatty mass of bad habits. As the two men keep getting thrown together traveling across the frozen Midwestern landscape, Neil starts to understand why Del is really on the road...and realizes how much he has to be truly thankful for. 

Two of Martin and Candy's best performances anchor this ode to getting home for the holidays under any means necessary. They're never less than believable, even when the movie takes a slight left turn into forced sentimentality towards the end. 

Rose called again as I finished with the dolls. She and Craig apparently heard that someone moved out of the apartment/condo buildings a block away between Manheim and Reading and are in the midst of remodeling the apartment and are willing to rent it for 1,000 when it's done in three months. I just hope they're also willing to negotiate...and Jodie is willing to wait that long.

Worked on writing for a while after I put all the doll things away. Brett sends her sons through the mirror, but she's hesitant to do it herself. She finally steps through the glass, which ripples like silk, before falling into a dark void. She only falls a few minutes this time before landing on something soft in the same room she left. But something seems different...

Broke for a banana-orange chocolate smoothie for dinner at 6:30. I've looked forward to Buzzr running this week of Match Game '79 episodes for a while. Vintage TV puppets Kukla and Ollie became the first non-humans to join the panel, and it's just too adorable, especially how Brett flirts with them. Meanwhile, Eva Gabor is still arguing over her answers with Gene and the judge while Charles snarks in Brett's general direction. 

Put on Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving while making that pumpkin bread for dinner at Rose's house tomorrow. I'll go further into this semi-musical anthology of Pooh holiday shorts and specials at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog tomorrow. 

Switched to Molly's Pilgrim as I did the dishes and pulled the bread out of the oven. Molly is a little Russian girl who came to the US with her parents for religious freedom. The other girls at school make fun of her accent, her old-fashioned clothing, her acrobatic skills, and her borscht lunches. She's really upset when her mother makes the pilgrim doll she's supposed to bring to school look more like a Russian peasant than a traditional Mayflower pilgrim. Molly's mother and her teacher remind her that her family are as much pilgrims as those Mayflower Voyagers were. As one of Molly's schoolmates point out, it really does take all kinds of pilgrims to make a Thanksgiving. 

Finished the night online. The Thanksgiving episode of Barney Miller, "Thanksgiving Story" from the fifth season, is currently on Crackle. Barney and his boys have their hands full with a guy who stabs his mooching brother-in-law in the hand with a fork over a turkey leg and a trio of escapees from a mental health institute who caused trouble at the nearby automat. 

There's dozens of Macy's parades from Thanksgivings past littered all over YouTube. I went with the jam-packed show from 1989. Wow, I'm sorry we spent that morning traveling to my Aunt Terri and Uncle Roger's house in the Washington DC suburbs. We missed The Jets doing a terrible version of the Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers theme song, a hilarious Looney Tunes tribute to Bugs Bunny, impressionist Fred Travelena's great Jack Nicholson Joker imitation, a Barbie float with colorful dancers all "Doing the Barbie," Melba Moore singing "Holding Out for a Hero" while escaping Doctor Doom on a Marvel float, New Kids On the Block, and a beautifully detailed float depicting great folk heroes of American history, from John Henry to Paul Bunyon and his blue ox Babe. Not to mention Alf making jokes about eating the Pink Panther and Garfield balloons and Michael Jeter's amazing rubber-limbed Charleston in the "We'll Take a Glass Together" number from Grand Hotel.

Here's the entire parade, complete with most of the original commercials! 


And here's even more Thanksgiving specials of the past to enjoy while you wait for the big dinner tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Everybody Dance Now

Started off the morning with a quick breakfast and Doc McStuffins. Chilly is so nervous about attending play school with Doc and the other toys, he keeps ducking out to the "Nurse's Office" to get out of tests. Hallie and Doc remind him that you can't keep faking sick just because you're nervous. The toys get "A Case of the Glitters" when they all have itchy heads after using Dress Up Daisy's explorer hat. Turns out Daisy and the hat had glitter spilled on them when Doc made a paper glitter dinosaur. Even after Doc gives them a clean bill of health, the other toys are afraid to play with Daisy, hurting her feelings.

Rushed out shortly after the episode ended. To my surprise, I cashiered today. Eight and a half-hour shifts usually mean a bagging day. Even more surprisingly, we weren't that busy. It was on-and-off steady and rarely overwhelming. Plenty of help, for once, may have been part of it. The weather may have contributed, too. It was cold and breezy but sunny and certainly nicer than yesterday. 

Made one last phone call during my first break, this time to Collings Avenue Apartments. I actually got a human being this time. The apartments in question are in the midst of being remodeled, but should be completed in two weeks. I need to call them back then.

Hurried home after work to look up more apartments and sneak some writing in. Orson the March Hare jumps through the mirror first with Gary (Burghoff) the Doormouse over his shoulder, followed by a reluctant Bill (Daily) the White Rabbit and Duchess Marcia (Wallace). The Cheshire Catwoman blinks through next. Brett pushes her boys through, but she's worried about Betty and Allen...

Made the mistake of checking my phone before dinner. Got a text from Oakland Gardens at 3:15...and they rejected me. "Insufficient income," apparently. I wish I could have figured out how to attach my bank statements to the application along with the pay stubs. I'm guessing "willing to pay a year's rent in advance" wasn't enough for them. 

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Made a very tasty pasta with beans and winter vegetables while watching Match Game '79. Joyce Bulifant showed off her dancing skills doing a terrific jitterbug with a champion contestant towards the end of one of the best episodes of that year. 

It's a double-dose of funny Pattys on Match Game PM tonight. Patti Deustch in particular was on fire tonight for once, actually matching twice and throwing out a hilarious answer for what Adam and Eve wear for Christmas instead of a fig leaf. Patty Duke was more of a help in the Audience Match with "Caesar ___." 

Let Sale of the Century run as I cleaned up from dinner. It's their "End of the Summer Bash" week, with high schoolers competing for kid-oriented prizes and a trip to space camp. The three kids all played well; the girl in the Latin club bought the first Instant Bargain, but the one boy got the other and the Instant Cash and won the Speed Round. He didn't have as much luck with the Bonus Round, though.

Finished the night with Invitation to the Dance at TCM. I go further into Gene Kelly's unique Terpsichorean passion project at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.