Sunday, February 28, 2021

Rainy Day Matches

Began a gloomy morning with simple buttermilk pancakes for breakfast and Sugar. I've been wanting to pick up this musical version of the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot for years. It's pretty much the same as the film. Two musicians (Robert Morse and Tony Roberts) witness a gangland killing in Chicago in 1928. They disguise themselves as women, join an all-female band going to Miami, and make friends with the band's blonde bombshell singer Sugar Cane (Elaine Joyce). Not only are the gangsters wintering there, too, but a wealthy businessman (Cyril Ritchard) falls hard for one of the guys in disguise. The other falls hard for Sugar, dressing as a frigid yachtsman to impress her.

There's some cute songs, including "The Beauty That Makes Men Mad" for the musicians after they get into dresses and the gala "Sugar" for the guys, but it's really nothing special. Many people consider Some Like It Hot to be one of those perfect movies that don't need embellishment. It did well enough in 1972, running about a year and a half, but it was probably too old-fashioned for the time period. (Wikipedia indicates that it did far better elsewhere, including Mexico, England, Argentina, as well as on regional stages in a revised version.)

Headed out shortly after the record ended. No trouble anywhere today, including my first day back at work since last Sunday. Got Uber fast going home and back, for once. Work was on-and-off steady. We had plenty of help, inside and out. It's also the last day of the month, and the weather was terrible. It started showering lightly as I arrived at work. By 4. the shower was a lot heavier. Other than my relief just barely got in on time, there were no problems. Rose called me at work. I called her back at home, but haven't heard from her.

After I got in, changed, and called Rose, I finally finished up Pirates of Blank. Bill Cullen wakes up Gene in the dressing room they share. He wants to change the channel and watch a ball game. Gene's fine with that. He has a plane to catch, anyway. Since Bill's watching a Pirates-Dodgers game, Gene asks him if he'd like to be a pirate and stick it to Goodson. Bill shrugs. Other than he wish he got more for hosting The Price Is Right, he has no beef with his boss. Gene leaves him to his ball game with a sigh.

And that's that. This was intentionally supposed to be a shorter story after Fairy Tale Blank took almost all of 2020. The next one will revolve around the only regular currently without a fanfic, the Richard Dawson Zorro-inspired western Wild Wild Blank, and I'm planning on it being a long one. I'm hoping to start it after work tomorrow. For now, here's a little nautical nonsense for the end of winter!


Listened to another rare "old fashioned" Broadway show from the early 70's while having fish and the last of the arroz con pollo for dinner. Purlie is based after the play Purlie Victorious. A preacher (Cleavon Little) wants his sweetheart (Melba Moore) to fool the local bigoted landowner Ol Cap'n (John Heffernman) into thinking she's the servant of his long-lost cousin, so she can gain the inheritance money and Purlie can save the local church. Turns out that Ol Cap'n son's Charlie (C. David Colson) is nothing like his jerk of a father and is ultimately the one who helps Purlie save the church...and inadvertantly takes down his father in the process.

The great cast and some good songs make this a bit of an improvement over Sugar. Along with Little and Moore, we have Sherman Helmsley as a servant who would rather do things his way than fight Ol Cap'n directly. Moore's big song is the delightful roof-raiser "I Got Love" that ends the first act. I also like Little telling everyone how he's "A Newfangled Preacher Man" and the hard-driving chorus number "First Thing Monday Morning" for the male workers. The story may be a little too old-fashioned for Broadway nowadays, though this was seen as an Encores concert in 2006.

Finished the night online doing more game show salutes to Black History Month. I really wish CBS hadn't lost most of Musical Chairs. This 1975 music-based game show was the first to employ an African-American host, hip singer Adam Wade. The one episode on YouTube isn't in the best shape, but it does showcase some great performances by Irene Cara, Mary Stuart, The Spinners, and Wade himself (along with vintage commercials). 

One of the things I love about Match Game is the diversity on the panel. You never know who'll turn up in those glittering orange boxes. Probably the best-known African-American panelist would be Nipsey Russell. Known as "The Poet Laureate of Television," his ribald poems livened up many a game show, and he'd even do some hosting himself in the 70's and 80's. I watched his first show from 1973, and my favorite of his episodes from early 1979. Gene flees for his life behind the set when a lady contestant proves to be way too excited, but Nipsey has no trouble giving her a squeeze! 

Tough Scoey Mitchilll didn't play the game nearly as well as Nipsey, but he had some memorable moments of his own. He and Charles switched seats during an episode in 1976, prompting a lot of jokes and confusion from Gene and the rest of the panel. As a fan of The Jeffersons during my childhood, I had to include Isobel Sandford, who seemed to enjoy her one week on the show later that year. Jimmie Walker of Good Times could get a little annoying, constantly working up the crowd, but he was popular enough to appear on Match Game well into the '90's. His first episode in the 1990 version has him happily flirting with a very pretty contestant. 

Match and sing along with more African American Greats as we finish out Black History Month!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Dolls, Games, and History

It looked like it rained earlier today, but by the time I had breakfast around 11, the rain was long gone. Watched a new Muppet Babies episode as I ate. Robin wants to be "The Ribbiter" and play a super-villain with Animal, Fonzie, and Gonzo. His concerned Uncle Kermit sabotages his Bad Guy Audition to make sure that doesn't happen. It's a "Presto Uh-Oh" when Piggy tries to use Summer's magic wand to fix the fan that's supposed to be part of her act...with less-than-magical results! 

Switched to Tubi to try something I hadn't seen in over 30 years. Captain N: The Game Master was one of Rose's favorite cartoons in the late 80's-early 90's. This massive crossover featured typical video game-loving kid Kevin, who ends up in a world where Nintendo characters are real. He rounds up several of them to save their world from Mother Brain and help him get home. 

The episodes at Tubi are from the second season that focused more on shorts revolving around the adventures of Mario and Luigi with Princess Peach and their buddy Yoshi in Dinosaur Land, to the point where Tubi calls the show Super Mario World. "Send In the Clowns" has the plumber brothers rescuing the cave people from King Bowser and his children's circus. Kevin and vampire hunter Simon Belmont "Return to Castlevania" to get an award, only to be told that Simon's grandfather wasn't as brave as previously believed. The two follow Count Alucard's very early 90's surfer dude son to find out the truth.

Moved to reorganizing the doll clothes and dressing the dolls after the cartoons ended. Ariel's things are now in the smaller box. She has the least clothes; they're the only ones that fit. 

Took advantage of my final day off to get the dolls into their early spring and St. Patrick's Day outfits. One of the dresses that came with the Amazon collection from Lauren last Christmas has a floral print that's great for St. Patrick's Day. Ariel wears it with a matching scarf around her hair and the white lace jacket from the Our Generation Retro picnic outfit. Whitney wears the navy Picnic outfit skirt with the white and green print turtleneck from the American Girl Girl Scout outfit and Molly's saddle shoes. 

Molly's in a shamrock-print dress I found at a yard sale years ago and the white t-strap shoes from her Polka-Dot Outfit. Samantha wears her mint green Special Day Dress. Jessa has an emerald-green wrap blouse, a pair of cargo pants, and black and white high-tops worn with Molly's thick bobby socks. Felicity sports her friend Elizabeth's celery-green "Summer" Gown. It has a quilted insert that really makes it more appropriate for spring than summer. Josefina's dressed in her Harvest Outfit with the long-sleeved camisa (shift) and sage-green print skirt.

It was quarter after 2 when I got to lunch. Put on DC Superhero Girls while I made a Banana-Cherry Smoothie for lunch. Diana Prince gets a "#CrashCourse" when she becomes determined to earn her driver's license. "Bumblebee" Karen, the youngest Superhero Girl, and "AquaLad" Garth join her for the ride. She's scared to really drive until Harley Quinn, Livewire, and Catwoman speed past in a stolen car. The ensuing chase ends with them in the river and Garth having to use his water powers to get them out. Karen and Diana beg for one last chance...and this time, when they encounter the speeding bad girls, they manage to get them off the road and still obey traffic laws.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Dolly asks if she can stay with her husband Dick on Gene's ship; Captain Tom Kennedy tells her it's fine. Gene promotes Jimmie Walker to cabin boy and lookout, Gary to navigator, Dick to third mate, Charles to second mate, and Brett to first mate. Charles and Gary get them turned around to follow The Family Fortunes down south while Tom leads his crew back onto The Golden Medley to unearth Jack's treasure at Cape Island. 

Spent the rest of the evening watching Buzzr's African American Greats Marathon. Buzzr's first major marathon of the year spotlights Black History Month with episodes either featuring a popular African-American performer as a panelist, or highlighting a remarkable historical figure that was profiled on the show. Such was the case with episodes of What's My Line? from the 50's that featured poised and gracious tennis star Althea Gibson and let The Harlem Globetrotters show off their signature trick basketball moves. Singer Adam Wade was a contestant on To Tell the Truth in 1960; he would become the first African-American game show host on the 1975 show Musical Chairs. As a jazz fan, I loved seeing The Modern Jazz Quartet play live at the end of a 1972 syndicated What's My Line? episode. 

By far my favorite episode of the night was the syndicated Family Feud show from 1989, and not just because I may have seen it as a kid. Though Buzzr played up Little Richard's appearance on this Grammy-themed special, he was far from the only superstar playing. Other black greats who turned up to play that week included soul singers Luther Vandross and Dionne Warwick, pop beauty Vanessa Williams, and Bobby McFarrin, whose "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was one of the biggest hit songs of 1989. The groups were rounded out by jazz and rock vocalists The Manhattan Transfer. According to host Ray Combs, the ladies were winning the week, but the guys came back to win the night for The United Negro College Fund.

Two pioneering TV performers turned up on Password Plus and Super Password as I made pan-fried crusted tilapia, steamed broccoli, and leftover arroz con pollos for dinner. Della Reece is known to most people nowadays for her long run on the drama Touched By an Angel, but she'd done everything from host daytime talk shows to play game shows for decades. She joined Bill Anderson for one of the later Tom Kennedy-hosted Password Plus weeks from 1980, and seemed to have a good time despite only getting her contestant to the Alphabetics board once on the episodes I saw.

Kennedy returned as a player on Super Password in 1986, this time with Nicholle Nichols of the original Star Trek. Nichols started off a bit nervous, but she did much better as the episodes went on. By the second episode, she helped her contestant make it pretty far through the Super Password bonus round. 

Finished the night online with The Emperor's New Clothes on Tubi. I go further into this comic Cannon Movie Tale featuring Sid Caesar as the Emperor and Robert Morse as one of the flim-flam men who sell him on a magical cloth at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Muppets and Matches

Kicked off a sunny, breezy morning with breakfast and Doc McStuffins. "Big Head Hallie" sees a TV show about her and thinks she's a star on-screen and off. Her desire to show off all her skills not only scares off her friends, but makes her unavailable for her usual nursing. Doc finally convinces her that they like her the way she is, whether she's a TV star or not. Strawberry Shortcake-esque southern belle doll Peaches Pie comes to Doc's office after being carried around by a dog. She wants to dance with the others, but no one will go near her because her clothes smell like wet dog. Doc tells her if she wants her regular peaches smell to come back, "Peaches Pie, Take a Bath!"

Switched to PBS Kids for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I cleaned up from breakfast. "Daniel Learns About Empathy" when he's pretending to fix his playhouse with O the Owl and O says he's hitting his hammer too loud. His mother reminds him that he needs to think about how other people might feel. He learns "Empathy at School" when his older friend Chrissie loses her favorite charm bracelet and he wants to keep playing doctor. Teacher Harriett reminds him of how he felt the time he lost his beloved stuffed animal Tigey and convinces him to help her find it.

Moved to Match Game '78 after Daniel ended. No clue why Buzzr constantly skips the hilarious episode that ends with Brett and Jack's mock "wedding." Maybe they find mock weddings to be offensive? On the other hand, I'm not complaining too much, considering the next week features Mary Wickes, Richard Paul, Loretta Swit, and hot Lou Grant reporter Robert Walden. Brett teased Gene about them flying together to LA from Boston and tries to help a lady win $10,000 on her "__ Sale" Head to Head. The next one gave Walden a chance to help a contestant, this time with "__ Crown."

Called Uber shortly after the show ended. It took them a while to get here, so I finally moved one of the dolls' wardrobes into the box I bought yesterday. The floral design suggested Felicity or Josefina, but their fancy two piece gowns and skirts are too big for the smaller box. Went with Molly (most of her clothes are separates anyway) instead.

Hit the Acme for this week's grocery shopping and to get my schedule. I really didn't need that much. I've eaten out of the fridge a lot lately. Picked up another cheap bowl of steamed shrimp for dinner. Thought I'd try one of the Poland Spring sparkling water bottles on sale - went with Blood Orange Hibiscus. Restocked milk, yogurt, butter, unbleached white flour, frozen fruit, spinach, apples, and bananas.

Mixed feelings on my schedule next week. In good news, Tuesday and Friday off, and nothing later than 6. In frustrating news, two long and early 7 and 1/2 and 8 and 1/2 hour shifts on Monday and Wednesday, and cashiering shifts on Sunday and Saturday (the days when we have the most bagging help). 

Threw on Super Password as I got in and started putting everything away. Richard Kline did get his contestant to the Super Password bonus round, but they did badly with guessing and only got a few words. George and Alaina Hamilton won for the second day in a row on Tattletales, culminating a wild episode that included George taking his shirt off to illustrate a question. Things also got pretty wild on Press Your Luck. This was the second day in a row everyone got slammed with Whammies. The last guy standing picked up over 9,000 in cash and only one Whammy. 

Made Banana-Honey Muffins for lunch at work next week while the shows were on from that muffin recipe book Jen Waters gave me years ago. They came out very well, so soft and moist, and smelled lovely in the oven. I love how well this oven cooks everything. (Though some things, like the cake, you have to watch, or they can become overdone.)

Worked on writing for a while after the shows ended. Doc McLean announces that their groups have a lot of cuts and bruises, but no broken bones. If they need rum, it's for antiseptic, not drinking. Gene agrees to drop Anson and Lorrie off at the nearest port to head to Philly, where Anson has friends who may give him a job. Brett says she does want to see her children eventually, but for right now, she's more than willing to stay with Gene and his crew and get their treasure back from Richard.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had that shrimp with broccoli and leftovers while watching Match Game '74. Once again, for some reason, Buzzr skipped an existing episode and moved into the next one. Mitzi McCall joined the regulars, Gene, Richard Deacon, and Gunilla Hutton of Petticoat Junction for detective jokes on what Sherlock Holmes would find on Kojak's bare head (which didn't amuse bald Deacon) and what a fortune teller would read after attending medical school.

Hans "Captain Hook" Conried, sweet little Sarah Kennedy from Laugh-In, and Betty White came in for Match Game PM. We get jokes about what a creature that's scaly and 10 feet tall does to a man's wife and what Sir Lancelot brings to bed. Richard helps the winning officer with the answer to "__ Boiled," but it's Betty who has the most fun!

Sale of the Century was another close, low-scoring game. Everyone won something, but the champ bought both Instant Bargains and the Instant Cash and just barely managed to win the Speed Round. He's still having trouble with the Bonus Round, though.

Finished the night on Disney Plus with more Muppet Show, this time from the fifth season. When Kermit fires Miss Piggy over telling a tabloid they're married, Loretta Swit gladly takes over for her in "Veterarian's Hospital" (Rolf and Janice aren't any weirder than the military hospital personnel she usually works with) and "Pigs In Space."  (And I didn't know Swit had such a great voice - check out her singing "I Feel the Earth Move" as big blue Muppet monster Thog smashes miniatures around her.)

Carol Burnett's not ready to make the dance floor move when she arrives and finds Gonzo's holding a dance marathon. She's even less thrilled to be partnered with Animal! At least she manages to sneak in a lovely "But Not for Me" in her Charwoman character from The Carol Burnett Show

Piggy also has trouble when Tony Randall's on the show. He reads a spell that turns Piggy to stone! Kermit's livid, but the rest of the gang has fewer problems with her petrified status, especially the "Pigs In Space" crew. It'll take a recitation from Tony at the end of the show to change her back. (Oh, and for some reason, the Disney Plus copy is missing Tony's big song from the start of the show.)

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Warmth of the Sun

Slept so long this morning, Match Game '78 was on by the time I got to breakfast. Jack Klugman actually wears the shirt he was given in the previous episode in the first show, but he still complains about not getting prizes. Meanwhile, jokes about Betty's friendship with Charles and Brett abound when one of the questions asks who would play the Beast to Betty's Beauty. The second has Betty stuffing her scarf in Gene's pocket; he eventually decides her prefers it around his neck.

Headed out after I got organized and rounded up my laundry. It was too nice of a day to do the wash at home this time! The weather continued to be sunny, breezy, and in the 50's. People must have wanted to get out in the sunshine before the storms return on Saturday. The laundromat was dead the entire time I was there. Family Dollar wasn't busy when I grabbed a yellow and gray circle-print shower curtain, either. 

WaWa, on the other hand, was packed. It was quarter after 2 by then, well past the lunch hour. I guess I wasn't the only one who wanted to treat myself to a frozen "hot" chocolate. Grabbed the Smores flavor, which was pretty much chocolate with chocolate syrup topped with graham cracker crumbs. Not bad. Didn't taste any marshmallow in there, though, which is what I was hoping for.

Put on Super Password when I got home and put everything away. The ladies finally got to the Super Password round, but Shelley Smith didn't have as much luck as Richard Kline here. Kline did better with the Ca$shword mini-game,  hitting that one twice. Had a banana-coffee smoothie for lunch as Tattletales brought in a genuine legend, R&B singer James Brown and his wife Deirdre. Alas, they didn't do very well. Veteran players Mitzi McCall and Charlie Brill and George and Alania Hamilton were the big winners. 

Three new contestants took on the Whammies in Press Your Luck. Two of them didn't do very well, hitting tons of Whammies and losing most of their money. The eventual winner hit no Whammies and picked up a trip to Orlando for his trouble.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Gene finally sends Goodson off in a lifeboat, with reporter Robert Walden rowing. He offers Jack Narz Goodson's expensive cufflinks to cover the cost of a new ship. Narz takes them, but he's not buying a new ship. He'll get a job with another ship as a navigator until he can unearth his loot and pay for his retirement. 

Broke for leftovers and a cheese omelet for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '74 as I ate. With the first couple of episodes of the week lost, we pick up mid-way through. Richard Dawson isn't thrilled with the contestant's answer to what Ann Elder does when she eats at his house, while Patti Deustch gives some very unique answers, including on a tie-breaker.

Several Match Game PM '77 episodes are currently MIA as well, this time due to celebrity rights problems. We pick up with the only appearance of Suzanne Sommers on the show, during the height of her popularity as Chrissy on Three's Company. Though she does throw out the answer "Dumb Bunnies" to the Audience Match question "___ Bunnies," she's not terribly fond of the idea, or of Richard bringing up Playboy Bunnies.

Sale of the Century did not start off well at all. Though everyone won something - the lady bought the second Instant Bargain, and the other guy bought the Instant Cash - this wasn't a high-scoring game. The champ did manage to jump ahead in the Speed Round, but he still can't figure out the Bonus Round and missed it by one second.

Finished the night with Idlewild on Amazon Prime. I go further into this hip-hop 1930's-set gangster musical from 2006 at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Hint of Spring In the Air

Was reading the Connie Blair book The Clue In Blue in bed when my cell phone went off. Mrs. Stahl finally called back. Seems she left messages last summer, but I've never really figured out my voicemail on my cell phones. She's not yet taking people face-to-face. She mentioned Skype chats and video conferences, but I've never done anything like those before. I think I'd be fine with a phone call.

Finally had breakfast around 11. Watched Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while I ate. As a stuffed animal collector who does feel better when she gives her teddy bears a hug, I can very much relate to "Daniel Loves Tigey!" Daniel's upset when his favorite stuffed animal has to be washed, but his parents help him find a way to feel better, including taking Tigey in the tub for his bath. "Daniel Needs Tigey at School" when his parents go away and he misses them. He doesn't like it when Prince Wednesday gets in his face a bit too much, either, or when Tigey gets lost.

Switched to a couple of Bluey episodes as I cleaned up from breakfast. Bingo's in a "Bad Mood" when her mother calls her cheeky. She rides her father, who plays her literal "bad mood" and rampages all over the house. Bluey has to think of her sister's favorite activities to calm her down. Bluey's cousin Muffin was told she's "the most special kid in the world," but now she won't follow Bluey's rules in her play "Library." Muffin's dad explains that being special doesn't mean you don't follow the same rules as everyone else.

I've wanted to rearrange my DVDs for a long time. For one thing, I finally got around to buying the remaining Addie Mills films and needed to put those in the Christmas binder and the holiday programming disc holder. There's other movies I bought recently, too, like The Ice Pirates, Rio Rita, and Once Upon a Brothers' Grimm, that were never properly organized. Some titles were thrown in helter-skelter when I moved. The Harry Potter movies I got from Jodie had to be added to the action and fantasy films, too. 

Put on Match Game '78 while I worked. Jack Klugman returns to the show for the first time since 1973...but by this point, he and Brett Somers had (maybe) been divorced for at least a year. They prove why their marriage hit the skids when they get into a noisy argument over whether "Hallmark Hall of Fame" is a valid answer for the Audience Match. Jack complains in the next episode that the panelists don't get parting gifts the way the contestants do. Gene and the staff pacify him with a Match Game t-shirt.

Switched to It's a Living at Tubi while finishing with the DVDs. "Cassie's Cowboy" is a handsome millionaire who owns half the businesses in Texas. Nancy switches Cassie to dealing with his table...and he's so thrilled with her that he buys the restaurant out in order to have a date with her. Cassie does enjoy his gifts and taking her on trips, but she's also dumping her waitressing duties on the other women in order to spend weekends with him. When something important comes up for Jan, Cassie has to finally learn how to say "no" to her pushy cowpoke. Meanwhile, Dot bemoans losing the opportunity to wait on that cowboy after Nancy replaced her with Cassie.

Headed out after I finished with the organizing and quickly put my eBay order (the original cast album for the musical Sugar) on the front stoop. I initially planned on spending most of the week inside, reading and sleeping...but it was too nice today to hang out indoors! It was so warm by 1:30, I wore my jean jacket without being the least bit cold. Any snow in sunny places was already long-gone by the time I got outside. Even the snow in the shade was disappearing, though not as fast.

First stop was Dollar General. I mainly needed sugar. It's a lot cheaper there than at the Acme. Bought a shower curtain, but got rid of it when I realized how clear it was. Even though I live alone, I'd rather have some privacy when I type. Grabbed a bottle of flavored water and my favorite pecan log for a treat.

Since Newton Lake Park is two blocks from Dollar General, I strolled that way next. They have some kind of project going on in the parking lot and the field where I watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. It's all fenced off; I'm guessing it's part of the big lake dredging project the county's been doing. 

Not only was the playground open, I was surprised to see it was empty. You'd think every family with young kids in Parkview Apartments across the street would have been there! I had it totally to myself. Enjoyed sliding slowly across the balance beam, climbing up the jungle gym, and slipping down the super-fast and bumpy roller slide and the super-slow (but much higher) plastic and metal slide. 

There were more people out for strolls down where the path passes across the street from Collingswood High School. Unlike the creek by my apartment, Newton Lake was still mostly frozen. The ice was so hard, ducks and Canadian geese hiked across it as I passed over the concrete bridge. Headed home down Bettlewood Avenue, past the Post Office and Baptist Church and back around to Dollar General. Headed across the street just as a teacher lead her charges out of the daycare on the White Horse Pike.

Put on Super Password as I put everything away and got organized. It was all about the men today. Richard Kline of Three's Company not only lead his contestant to victory in the Super Password bonus round, but he won them two Ca$hword mini-games, too. Soap opera stars William Gray Espy and Janice Lynde were the big winners on Tattletales today, just barely beating long-married Scoey and Claire Mitchilll and then-dating Bill Macy and Samantha Harper.

Whammies flew fast and furious throughout Press Your Luck as I finished up my banana-berry almond milk smoothie for lunch. The one lady and the other guy kept hitting Whammies and were ultimately knocked out of the game. The champ played until he hit a Hawaiian vacation, then did one of the most sensible things I've ever seen on this show and stopped playing in order to retire undefeated. 

Worked on writing for a little while after the show. Gene tells Governor Goodson he not only intends to keep his fancy desk and expensive cufflinks, but he's keep his ship the SS Todman as a replacement for the destroyed Marauder and Concentration, too. He and the others finally give Goodson enough provisions to make it back to the Jersey Shore before letting Robert Walden row him to Cape Island (now Cape May). 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game '74. Brett wasn't too happy tonight when Richard ate the apple an audience member gave her! She consoled herself by teasing Charles about the hole in his sweater and his eating on camera. 

Started making Lime Cookies by the time Match Game PM was on. The premiere of the night time show's third season started off with Gene asking jokes about what a big girl had on the back of her pants. After Dick Martin, Brett Somers, and Charles Nelson Reilly matched the contestant, they all "played cards" in the second round. For once, Richard Dawson made the mistake in the Head-to-Head when he heard Gene ask the question wrong.

Sale of the Century was another close one. The guy bought the first Instant Bargain and the Instant Cash; the ladies won the Fame Games. He pulled ahead in the second half and won the Speed Round decisively. Didn't have as much luck with the Bonus Round money, though.

Finished the night on Disney Plus after a shower. The original Muppet Show debuted on the streaming service last week, including the never-on-DVD seasons four and five. Went with three episodes from season 4 tonight. Liza Minelli turned up in a film noir spoof with Kermit as a private eye that included her singing "Copacabana" with two huge monster Muppets. Johnathan Winters witnesses even more stranger goings-on than usual between his usual impressions, thanks to a gypsy's curse. Carol Channing and Miss Piggy duet on her best-known number "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," despite Piggy having sore feet from too-small shoes that Kermit claims to think are cute. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Sisters and Sunshine

Began a cloudy morning with breakfast and the second half of Blockbusters. By the time I joined in, the guy was playing a sister pair. They were just working on the second round when the show ended.

Switched to Mickey Mouse Mixed Up Adventures while doing the dishes. Goofy's little goat friend Buddy McBilly insists that "It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Hot Dog Hills" and tries to make everyone around him happy. When his efforts only seem to make things worse, Goofy reminds Buddy that negative emotions can be just as useful as positive ones, as long as we don't dwell in them. Minnie and Daisy celebrate their "Happy Friend-aversary" with Cuckoo-Loca by setting up a surprise party for her and recalling how they all met.

Made the bed while Sheriff Callie's Wild West ran. "How the Water Was Won" has a pair of nasty beavers damming up the creek that's the main water source for Nice and Friendly Corners. They try to blackmail Callie into giving up the gold in the bank in order to get the water back. It's up to Toby, Deputy Peck, and shy Mr. Dillo the Armadillo to save Callie and get rid of the dam. It's "Double Trouble" when Tricky Travis dresses as the scary bandit Wildcat McGraw in order to rob banks. Wildcat thinks he really is his double and insists on being his partner, prompting Travis' real partner Oswald to turn to Callie to rescue his friend. 

Moved on to Match Game '78 while making Vanilla Buttercream Icing for the chocolate cake from last night and tidying up the apartment. Gene kicked off the first episode with a dash around the audience that left him so breathless, he couldn't even interview the contestants! He recovered in time for jokes about "The Old Philosopher," complete with the appropriate old-timey music, in the next epsiode.

Jessa finally picked me up around 1:30. By this point, the clouds were long gone, the sun was out, and it turned into a gorgeous, warm day. It was the perfect day to enjoy pizza and fountain sodas at the picnic tables on West Clinton. In honor of her birthday last week, I treated her to two slices of pepperoni pizza and a cup of lemonade; I had a slice of margarita, a slice of cheese, and Pepsi. We enjoyed a quiet meal in the windy late-winter sunshine, chatting and listening to the college kids coming out of the coffee shop.

Headed back at 2 and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening talking to Jess. Most of our chat was of a very personal nature. I know she's been upset with Jodie and how she's handled clearing out the house and Dad's things for a while. I like Jodie and I don't envy the task she has, but I agree with Jessa that she should have been more careful with asking us if there were things we wanted, instead of randomly deciding that "this should go to them" or "that should go to her"...like the huge dish set that was too big for me and the family photos that only half the family got to see. Jessa was adopted from China. Dad was all the family she had left.

We also discussed my difficulties looking for a job. She's an artist who hasn't had much more luck than I have plying her trade. Although she's been pairing back her social media of late, she still suggested I check out LinkedIn for writing jobs. I do have an account there. I just haven't had the time or motivation to check them out since last year. It's so hard for me to job hunt! I see a job that interests me and read that they want more experience or skills than I have, or I won't know what to say on proposals. I have a hard time selling myself. It's why I don't do more with Facebook or other social media accounts. 

We talked for so long, it was quarter after 6 when she finally headed out. Had a very quick leftover dinner while watching Match Game '74. Gene made another goofy entrance in beginning of this one, climbing through his doors, spitting out water, and claiming he swam to work! The rest of the episode was no less insane. For the second day in a row, they started a question over, this time because Robert Morse revealed his answer too early. 

Penny Marshall turned up in the ingĂ©nue seat in the next episode, two years before Laverne & Shirley. She seemed really nervous and didn't play terribly well. Like Julie London, she was apparently pretty shy. I'm not sure she knew what to think of the nuttiness from the rest of the panel, including Orson Bean and Betty White. Meanwhile, Brett complained that someone swiped her left-handed marker (she being left-handed). 

Did some writing when I went online. Gene finally corrals Governor Mark Goodson as the others dump his men overboard. Goodson assumes he'll be tossed in the Atlantic as well, but Gene decides to spare him. He lets Robert Walden row him to shore and ask him all the questions for his article he wants instead...which makes Goodson a lot more nervous than ending up wet!

Ended the night at Crackle with St. Louis Blues. I go further into this biography of "Father of the Blues" WC Handy featuring Nat King Cole and Eartha Kitt at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Home In the Rain

Couldn't have been happier I asked for this week off. Not for the first time this month, I awoke to a gray, cloudy day. By the time I settled down with breakfast and Blockbusters, snow drifted past the trees, falling on the slope just beyond my kitchen/living room windows. The father-daughter team was soundly beaten by a young man, but he didn't do nearly as well at the Gold Run round. 

Switched to cartoons as I sipped my tea. I'm not the only one who's been frustrated about a lot of things lately. "Daniel Gets Frustrated" in Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood when his stuffed animal Tigey won't sit right on top of the block tower he built with his mother, and then when they knock it over. Mrs. Tiger reminds her son to step back and ask for help with his project. He's "Frustrated at School" after the pretend spaghetti he wanted to use for his friends' play restaurant vanishes. Teacher Harriet calms him down and helps him figure out where it is.

Moved on to Sheriff Callie's Wild West as I cleaned up from breakfast. "Callie's Got Trouble" when the Trouble Brothers escape from jail. She does manage to catch the youngest Trouble brother, Teddy. Teddy thinks he has to be like his brothers, but he's too nice to do many of the terrible things they do. Callie and her friends teach him that being nice definitely isn't a bad thing. Peck tries to make an "Outlaw Roundup" after he reads yet another newspaper story that praises Callie and ignores him, but he's in over his head when he encounters a whole den of bad guys. 

Finally called Mrs. Stahl while Sheriff Callie's Wild West ran and gave her my phone number. I haven't heard from her since last April. I did call her around the time I moved, but she never called me back. She still hasn't. I'd like to at least touch base with her about the goings-on this past year. 

Also texted Jessa around this point and invited her over tomorrow or Wednesday. We could go out to lunch on West Clinton Avenue and have a nice long chat. She couldn't come Wednesday, but we did opt to get together tomorrow at 1. 

The snow had changed to rain by the time Match Game '78 started. I settled down on the futon to enjoy the show. The first episode kicks off with Debralee Scott trying to help a young man with a magnificent Afro win 10,000 by answering "__ Condition." Betty White has even less luck with the Head-to-Head later in the episode. 

Alas, it would seem that the next week and a half's episodes after that are lost, including an entire week that can't be shown due to celebrity clearance problems. Buzzr picked up with Greg Morris, Fannie Flagg, and Barbara Rhodes joining ever-nervous Bill Daily and the regulars. Bill and Barbara get very, very close with Gene Rayburn while he reads them a question...maybe a little closer than he'd like!

Put an episode of Bewitched on The Roku Channel while making a banana-berry smoothie for lunch. During the 6th season, Samantha's joke-loving Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde) has a cold that makes him lose his powers. Dr. Bombay (Bernard Fox) gives him a pill to help him recover, but it makes him turn into anything he thinks of. This becomes a problem when Samantha takes him outside, and he turns himself into "Super Arthur" and flies off. It's Darrin who manages to explain it all when he claims Arthur's really helping him with a new advertising campaign.

Tried to settle down for a nap after the episode ended. This lasted for an hour, or until I heard a crash. I'd accidentally kicked the dolls' bench and knocked them on the floor. Putting them back up left me too much awake to go back to bed. Watched long-married Scoey and Claire Mitchilll become today's big winners on Tattletales instead. 

Found three more large bowls and platters from that dish set and put them on the bar in the den for Jodie while Press Your Luck was on. Whammies flew fast and furious today, especially in the second half. It came down to the champ and the other man. The other guy went on for one spin too many and hit a Whammy, leaving the champ today's big winner with one Whammy and cash.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Decided I really didn't need Allen Ludden and Betty White's characters and cut their entire subplot. Dolly Martin is now the one who tells Gene about Brett being a runaway noblewoman after her husband Dick told her his suspicions. Bill Cullen arrives in a barrel after Dick and Dolly roll them into sailors to knock them overboard. He's dizzy, but feels well enough to once again pull a gun on Governor Goodson and make sure he doesn't hurt anyone else.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game '74. Things get really wild towards the end when Robert Morse does an ape imitation to help a very nervous contestant with her answer to a Tarzan question. There were so many complaints from the panelists on what matched and what didn't, they decided they'd start the round over next time. 

Match Game PM remains in 1977. Charles and Brett continue to enjoy picking on each other, even as Joyce Bulifant fields jokes about her yellow feather-trimmed outfit making her look like a chicken and Brett's about ready to kill Richard after he reminds her that she's a tad old for the handsome young male contestant. Richard does one of his longest and most suspenseful fake-outs in the end when the contestant is desperately waiting for his answer to "__ Majors."

I finally figured out which cake I wanted to make by the time of Sale of the Century. It started out as the fourth nail-bitingly close game in less than a week. The women were so neck-and-neck through the second half, they bought no Instant Bargains and didn't even look at the Instant Cash. The champ got a number card on the Fame Game that allowed her to pull ahead and win the Speed Round decisively. Though she did pick up a trip to San Francisco, she had more trouble with the Bonus Round again.

Finished the night online after a shower and the cake came out of the oven. Returned to The Roku Channel for The A-Team. The crew discovers a "Recipe for Heavy Bread" in the second season when they rescue their former Vietnamese POW camp cook, now a pastry chef in LA, from their brutal former POW commander who wants revenge on them for escaping. They end up helping the cook and a reporter stop a drug smuggling campaign operating out of a bread-baking business. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

What's Goin' On

Began a beautiful, sunny morning with Cinnamon Roll Pancakes for breakfast. Made whole wheat pancakes with brown sugar, swirled cinnamon in the batter, and topped it with glaze. The first one came out more like a crepe, but the second...yum! Absolutely perfect.

Since I'm reading the second book about the American Girl 60's character Melody Ellison, I dug around in my record collection for real Motown. Melody's brother Dwayne forms a group and cuts a record for them. Found a two-disc greatest hits set I forgot I had, 25 U.S #1 Hits From 25 Years. It's a good collection of some of the most popular songs from the country, ranging from the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" to the massive hit duet "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. Each of their big acts have at least two songs (and the Jackson 5 have three). Favorites include "You Can't Hurry Love" by the Supremes, "You are the Sunshine" and "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by the Temptations, "What's Goin' On" by Marvin Raye, "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston, and "Still" by the Commodores. 

Worked on a little bit of writing after cleaning up from breakfast. Goodson's men have Robert and Gary, and no one knows were Betty and Allen are. Goodson thinks he has the upper hand as he tries to use the younger men to force Gene to surrender, but there's still one last ace left...

Got off at quarter after 10 to get ready for work. No trouble getting to or from the Acme today. The Uber rides took under 6 minutes to arrive, probably due to the nice weather. The lady who drove me there took the long way across Audubon, for some reason, but she was pleasant and chatty. The guy who drove me home went way too fast, especially in family-oriented Oaklyn, but he did get me and my bags home in one piece.

That nice weather may also have been why we weren't that busy today, especially for a Sunday. It was steady around noon, and again around 3. Other than that, we were pretty quiet. If people didn't do their big shopping before the last few storms, they're waiting for the beginning of the month, or just decided to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Not to mention, we're between holidays, and the storm we're supposed to get tomorrow is only supposed to bring rain and a tiny bit of snow. 

Since I got off at a relatively early 5 PM today, I did my own shopping this evening. Made use of online coupons to get Edy's ice cream, butter, laundry detergent, and free eggs and almond milk yogurt. Found more of those fruit leather snacks and the yummy After Eight Mints on the clearance shelves and breaded fillets of fish with manager's coupons in the seafood section. Restocked milk, powdered sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, honey, frozen berries for smoothies, bananas, oranges, and broccoli. 

Had a delicious dinner of crusted fish fillet, roasted broccoli, and sweet potato fries with honey while finishing the Motown greatest hits LPs. Switch to the Donna Summer album Once Upon a Time while cleaning up from dinner. Donna Summer was one of my favorite singers when I was very little, but I never heard of this disco take on Cinderella until I found the two-disc set at a thrift shop ages ago. By far my favorite number from this one is the adorable uptempo dance song "Fairy Tale High."

Finished the night on YouTube. While many game shows have had board games based after them, there's been a handful based after or inspired by board games. Video Village had a two-year run in the early 60's, switching coasts and hosts mid-way through the series. No wonder it spun off a kid version. The adult show is adorable, with its short but winding board and the bridge contestants hope to cross on the way to winning prizes. A young Monty Hall was the "mayor" by the time of the second-to-last episode. (By the way, Hall proved to have a fine singing voice when he joined a contestant in performing "People Will Say We're In Love" from Oklahoma!)

The late 70's-early 80's Canadian game show The Mad Dash is similar. Here, though, we have two teams playing. One contestant answers trivia questions and throws dice. The other moves around a less-elaborate board. It was so much fun to watch the contestants hurry across the board and go back when they landed on a bad square, I really wish more of this existed. Most of it was apparently a victim of tape reuse.

Scrabble was a game show twice, in the late 1980's and in 1993. I opted for an episode of the 1980's show from one of their weeks with game show hosts as players. Bill Rafferty got so noisy after he lost to Tom Kennedy, Peter Tomarken, Jamie Farr, and John Davidson had to drag him out. Kennedy proved to be a far more gracious winner...as did host Chuck Woolery when Marc Summers took over hosting so he could play, too.

Monopoly had a short run of 13 episodes during the summer of 1990...and I watched almost every one. It was either that, or re-runs. There just wasn't much on in the middle of July.  Three people answer trivia questions in order to earn money and buy a property. If they get two or three of the same kind of "properties," they get a monopoly and can build hotels. Most game show fans seem to think this was way too complicated for its own good, but I remember really enjoying it as a kid. 

Pictionary was also a game show twice. I can't seem to find much of the original 1987 run, so I went with the first episode of the 1997 show. Alan Thicke hosts; Caroline Rhea, Kelly Packard, Michael Gelman, and Brian Austin Green are the celebrities helping their contestants to guess what they're trying to draw. 

Scattergories had a very short-lived run in early-mid 1993. Two teams of five women and men guess which words can fill a certain category. Five "judges" have to decide if those words are acceptable. Five celebrities who were videotaped earlier are shown to describe the words on a list. If they describe words not on the list, the team gets a point. If they do get the words on the list, the team loses a point. Yeah, this is the one that's way too complicated, with too many people onstage and just too much going on. Dick Clark tries to make sense of it all.

Boggle returns us to Wink Martindale and The Family Channel's "interactive games" of 1994. Here, people can call in and guess the clue leads to a word made from the letters on an (older) phone's key pad. It begins with four players and gradually cuts it down to a winner. The "interactive" component is much stronger here than it was with Trivial Pursuit the year before, with game play stopped several times so people can call in at home and answer their own clues. 

Ended with the The Game of Life from The Hub (now Discovery Family). Here, a parent and two kids "drive" through a colorful cartoon landscape, occasionally stopping to answer trivia questions and earn points. If they get the question, they drive through the tunnel. If they don't, they're stopped briefly and could run out of gas before they can earn enough points. After the Life runs, they all play a Double Dare-esque stunt before the winning group gets to spin the wheel and win a trip to Space Camp. While the animation on the "drives" is pretty dated and the show frankly doesn't have that much to do with the board game, this is still pretty cute and a lot of fun to watch.

Keep yourself from getting "board" during bad weather with these board game-based game shows! (And look for the original commercials on Scrabble and Monopoly!)

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Long, Long Winter

I was very glad to see sun streaming through the blue curtains on my windows when I woke up this morning. Basked in the light coming in through the windows while enjoying breakfast and watching Sheriff Callie's Wild West. There's bandits on the prairie waiting to attack the "Stagecoach to Yonderville." Sheriff Callie considers scuttling it, but Tio Turtle desperately wants to attend his sister's 400th birthday party. She joins the crowded coach in order to lead it to safety. Tio and Uncle Bun turn a flapjack breakfast into "The Wild Brunch" when they have a contest to see who can flip the fastest flapjacks. It becomes a moot point when two hungry bandits make off with their pancakes and Tio, and Uncle Bun has to help Callie rescue him.

Strawberry Shortcake and her friends are dealing with "The Berry Long Winter" in an episode of the 2009 Berry Bitty Adventures show. A rare winter heat wave makes most of the girls regret not having done more winter activities when they could. They use Strawberry Shortcake's snow cone maker to create snow and build snowmen, so they can play "Capture the Snowman's Nose." When the carrot noses all vanish, they realize the local animals are hungry...and it's getting colder again. Strawberry has to decide whether or not to use their own scanty supplies for the animals, too.

Headed off to work shortly after Strawberry ended. No trouble getting an Uber this time. The one going to the Acme took a little under 15 minutes; the one going home took a little over 20. Both were on time and smooth driving despite the ice and salt on the streets. The chatty lady who drove me this morning was especially sweet.

Ended up in a register for the first half of my long 8 and 1/2 hour work shift. Once again, cashiers called out...but we we weren't really that busy. It got steady in the afternoon, but never overwhelming. By the time I finally made it outside to help with the carts, we were even less busy and there was plenty of help. The brisk wind and frigid temperatures may have scared some folks off as well.

Watched I Dream of Jeannie on The Roku Channel when I got home and had a snack. Tony and Roger are working on secret plans for a new flying space craft in "Jeannie and the Secret Weapon." Jeannie thinks their plans aren't quite right and blinks up a model to show them. Tony tells her to get rid of it, which prompts her to give it to a boy. Turns out the kid has a father who is trying to invent a new toy that'll make him rich, and he thinks the space craft will be his ticket to unlimited riches...

Finished the night after a shower with Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return at Hulu. I go into further details on this notorious animated flop from 2013 at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Organizing Day at Home

Slept in so long, it was past 11:30 when I finally got out of bed. David "Bosley" Doyle, Nipsey Russell, and Debralee Scott joined Gene, Betty White, and the regulars for Match Game '78. Nipsey joked about sitting in Richard's former seat in the first episode while the others answered the question about what dance Nerdocrumbesians do before sporting events. Gene grumbled about wishing his double-breased suit was a single-breasted in the second.

We were in the midst of a snow-rain mix when I rolled out of bed. I think the rain turned to sleet, then ended by noon. To my knowledge, it hasn't done anything but be cloudy and windy since then. 

Spent the next few hours deciding on ideas for doll trunks. I considered picking up vintage doll trunks on eBay...but I'd need five of them. They're cheaper than the ultra-expensive American Girl trunks, but not that cheap, and most of them need extensive restoration. Samantha and Whitney's boxes are still in good shape and will do fine as their "trunks." Most of the unfinished wooden trunks with tops I saw online were too small for their clothes and accessories. I've come to the conclusion that maybe I'd be better off using boxes for all of them. I could get the boxes at work and wooden dowels, smaller boxes for accessories, and decorative paper and ribbon anywhere.

Broke at 3 for a banana smoothie lunch. Robert Walden is still kicking rear on Super Password, getting his guy to the bonus round towards the middle of the episode. They got all but one word right, too. Bill and Samantha and Scoey and Claire shared the big money today on Tattletales, defeating soap star William Espy and his lady Janice Lynde. Press Your Luck got a bit crazier. The champ couldn't get anything going and lost to a sweet and funny older man. He picked up a pool table, a trip, and a lot of money. 

Did a few chores I'd put off while the shows ran. Finally loaded that huge set of dishes Jodie gave me in two boxes and left them in the den for her. It was nice of her, but first of all, the blue and white flowered set totally clashes with the bright green and coral Fiestaware sets I have now. Second, I don't need 8 mugs, 8 dishes, 8 saucers, 8 bowls, a creamer, a platter, and a sugar bowl. They take up way too much room in this tiny apartment, and I rarely have more than one or two people over at a time even when things are normal.

Went through paperwork dropped on the top of the crates I'm using for folders while Press Your Luck was on. It's been so long since I sorted through all that, I found bank statements from last October. Cleared off everything but the paperwork that needs to be looked at sooner than later. 

Worked on writing after the show ended. Goodson is about to send Tom Kennedy and Gene and his crew overboard when he's knocked to the deck...by Brett! Brett and the ladies swing in on the sails, while Dick and Dolly Martin bowl over sailors with big rum barrels. Brett frees the Narzes, while Gene and Charles go to help Robert Walden and Gary Burghoff, who are being held back by Goodson's goons.

Checked my schedule while I was online. I do work work on Sunday, but I'll be doing a perfectly normal 6-hour cashiering shift. I'm off from Monday through next Saturday. I don't have an entire week of vacation time left (I used two days last summer before my leave was renewed), but five days and an unpaid day off should be more than enough time for a rest! I'm more concerned about the 8 and 1/2 hour day I have tomorrow than my Sunday shift.

Broke for scrambled eggs and leftovers at 6:30. We're back to the crazy week with Adrienne Barbeau and Robert Morse on Match Game '74. The red-headed male contestant had a thing for Fannie. He kept trying to kiss her and chase her during the Audience Match. Richard had to eventually protect her. Later on, a sweet nervous lady gave Gene a (toy) bear in a cage for good luck. 

Match Game PM got pretty goofy, too, starting with Brett showing off her new black floral dress in the beginning. The British female contestant wore a Match Game PM shirt...and gave some pretty strange answers, too. She did get far enough to hear Scoey Mitchilll's answer what Snow White is feeling and some of the weirder responses to the Audience Match "The Living ___."

Sale of the Century started out close, with everyone buying or winning something. The champ pulled ahead during the second half and stayed ahead, winning the Speed Round by a large margin. This time, she had no trouble with the Bonus Round, either.

Finished the night online with Stage Door. This comedy-drama was on TCM not long ago. I've wanted to see it for years. It's a crash course in advanced sarcasm with Ginger Rogers, Lucile Ball, Eve Arden, and Ann Miller among the women living at an all ladies' theatrical boarding house in New York. Terry Randall (Katherine Hepburn) is a rich newcomer who arrives hoping to find a career on the stage. She eventually lands the role that had been written for and about Kay Hamilton (Andrea Leeds), who had a major success in a play the year before but hasn't found work since. She doesn't do well with it, until Kay gives her advice. When Kay's gone, Terry devotes herself to putting in the best possible performance with the most passion she can, in honor of her lost friend.

See it for the cast throwing off largely improvised one-liners all over the place. Rogers, Ball, and Arden in particular have a great time. Hepburn has her own fun telling off the producer (Adolph Menjou) who won't see Kay and is putting the moves on her roommate and another women at the boarding house (Gail Patrick). A must-see if you love any of the ladies here, a good non-musical stage story, or an even better dramady. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

A Snowy Day at Home

Awoke at 7 to a world covered in white. Snow fell hard on Hillcrest, making it difficult to tell where the road began and the sidewalk and lawns ended. I called the Acme and told them I couldn't come in; got one of the managers, who said that was fine. There's no way I'd get a ride in that mess. The call took less than five minutes, and I was back in bed within fifteen.

Went back to sleep for another two hours before I finally opened my eyes for good. Read the 1940's Connie Blair mystery The Clue In Blue, then worked on my journal. Rolled out of bed in time for Blockbusters. The father-daughter pair defeated the younger man, but only got four questions on the Gold Run. They'd just started playing a solo woman as the show ended. 

Not only was it pretty obvious the snow wasn't stopping anytime soon, by 11 PM, it was starting to mix with sleet and freezing rain, too. It was no day to go anywhere. I texted Jodie and asked her if I could do the laundry at her house today or tomorrow. Since she was fine either way, I figured I'd get it done today. Might as well get it out of the way sooner than later. 

Gave my new Story of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom record a shot after breakfast. And it is new. I found it factory sealed and in perfect shape at The House of Fun. It's what the cover claims, a recording of the score and some of the dialogue from the film. Oddly, considering it's supposed to be for kids, it does include some of the more disturbing scenes from the film like the hearts being ripped out of chests and isn't shy about discussing Willie and Indy's relationship. 

Thought I'd try making some kind of sweet roll with my unexpected free time. I've had mixed results with my cinnamon rolls, but a snowy day felt like the perfect backdrop to give them another shot. This time, I almost forgot the egg in the dough! I kneaded it in, which made the dough sticky. Just ended up adding more flour. Don't think I put enough cinnamon after rolling it out, either. Oh well. The rolls did rise nicely and smelled amazing in the oven.

Finally took the laundry over to Jodie's side of the house while the rolls rose in my bedroom. Jodie was watching something on The Hallmark Channel as I passed through. She had two important pieces of mail for me. I ordered a copy of the original American Girl BeForever version of Never Stop Singing, the other Melody book, off eBay last week; it showed up a day early. Also got my new non-driver's ID.

Put on Match Game '78 as I cleaned up from the roll mess. Tab Hunter of Damn Yankees and Grease 2 and Marilou Henner of Taxi join Brett, Charles, Fannie Flagg, and Dick Martin here. Tab got a surprise match for big money in the first episode; Gene manages to swat a fly that was annoying him in the second.

Worked on writing for a while after moving the laundry to the dryer and the rolls to the oven. Put on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood after the rolls cooled enough to cover in almond milk glaze. Considering how angry and frustrated I've been with all the lunacy at work lately, I thought two episodes on dealing with anger were more than appropriate. 

Daniel is "Mad at the Crayon Factory" when the box-making machine doesn't have enough boxes for him. His mother calms him down long enough to wait for Lady Elaine to put more paper in. He's even more upset when his baby sister Margaret breaks his rainbow crayon, but his mother reminds him that broken crayons still color. He and O the Owl are "Mad at School" after they can't get their "invention" to work. Teacher Harriett shows them how to calm down, so they can think and fix the problem.

(Oh, and the rolls came out incredible. I probably should have used more cinnamon, but the rolls themselves baked beautifully, smelled wonderful in the oven, and tasted moist and flaky.)

Broke to grab the laundry at quarter after three. Caught the second half of Super Password as I went back and forth. This time, Robert Walden was the one who got his contestant to the Super Password bonus round...but alas, they only got about half the letters right. Tough guy comedian Scoey Mitchilll and his beloved wife Claire were the big winners on Tattletales today, over Bill Macy and his then-girlfriend Samantha and William Gray Espy and Janice Lynde. 

Put the laundry away while running Press Your Luck. The previous champ ran headlong into Whammies in both rounds and didn't get much in the way of turns. The one guy also ran into Whammies, leaving the other lady to pick up a trip and squeal as loudly as her platinum blonde fishing buddy, who was contestant on the show earlier in 1984 but lost.

Resumed writing after the show ended. Added a sequence where Gene swings down, just as Goodson is about to send Tom Kennedy over the side. Gene duels with the amiable Goodson...who is a lot less pleasant when he's reminded that everyone, including reporter Robert Walden, could reveal his corrupt ways on land. He's about to take Gene down when Brett flies into him...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game '74. Nipsey Russell joins Anita Gillette and Jo Ann Worley of Laugh-In, Gene, and the regulars for jokes about President Ford pardoning baseball players and what animal gets put in the mailbox to get back at the mailman. 

Tonight's episode of Match Game PM hasn't been seen since it originally ran in 1977. I understood why when they made a few dicey jokes about an Asian contestant that he handled well, but may not be taken at face value by audiences nowadays. Otherwise, this was actually a pretty fun episode. Eva Gabor and "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson joined in the jokes here.

It was a tight race for the third time this week on Sale of the Century. The champ said she'd just moved and bought a glass coffee table for her new house; the other lady bought a lemon dessert of the month deal and won two of the three Fame Games. The guy bought the Instant Cash. The champ was behind for the second half of the show, but she came back to win the Speed Round and just barely missed the Bonus Round money.

Finished the night watching The Cotton Club on Pluto TV's on demand service after a shower. I go into further details on Francis Ford Coppola's recut version of his 1984 gangster flop at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Before the Storm

Awoke to a glorious, sunny day. You'd never know we're supposed to get snow and sleet tomorrow! Watched Body Language while enjoying a quick breakfast. This time, the boys were the ones who made it to the Bonus Round. The kid only guessed one of Tim Topper's words before time ran out, though.

Worked on writing for a while after I cleaned up from breakfast. Goodson has Jack almost on the deck when Gene breaks in first, then Brett and the ladies. Gene's not about to let his friend get hurt...and Brett's not going to let him get away with murder or anything else.

Broke quickly around quarter after 11 to get ready for work. Had no trouble getting an Uber driver. He picked me up within ten minutes, and there was no traffic on the road.

Wish work went that smooth. Between the bad weather we're supposed to get tomorrow and the three-day seafood sale we're having for Lent, we were off-and-on busy for most of the evening. I got stuck in a register for the first two and a half hours. Four people called out, and they had no help up front. I wasn't able to get outside and help the one bagger until much later. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by 6 that the night bagger and I were able to gather most of the carts with no trouble. 

Called for an Uber driver as soon as I finished. He was in the midst of another job and was supposed to come in 20 minutes...then 25...then, after I waited 25, another 26. By that point, it was almost quarter of 8. I canceled the first ride and tried again. This time, I got a driver who came within 15 minutes.  

When I got home, I changed and went straight online. Wound down with Charlie's Angels on The Roku Channel. A gangster from Prohibition who just got out of prison hires the girls to find out who killed his beloved with Rosemary in the 1930's. Turns out that Kris is a dead ringer for his beloved Rosemary. She'll need a lot more than "Rosemary for Remembrance" to get him to remember what happened the night she died, before she becomes the killer's next target. 

Finished out the night with The Golden Girls on Hulu. Rose becomes a "Yokel Hero" when she's nominated for the Woman of the Year in her hometown of St. Olaf, Minnesota. When she complains that her application is too bland, Blanche and Dorothy add a few invented stories for some spice. The application is accepted, which leads to the four women taking a rather long journey to Minnesota. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Well, Did You Evah?

Began a slightly cloudy morning with a quick breakfast and Body Language. Jill Whelan of The Love Boat and Tim Topper of Growing Pains were the celebrities playing Teen Month this week. Topper's partner looked more like he was in junior high! At any rate, the girls were out-guessing the boys 450 to nothing when I finished eating. 

Worked on writing for an hour or so after breakfast. Gene and Bill free Charles, but things aren't going as well elsewhere. Goodson's men attack Jack Narz and Tom Kennedy, and the others are overwhelmed. Gene jumps in...but they'll be getting help shortly from a very different source...

Broke quickly at quarter after 11 to get ready for work. I now believe all the trouble with Uber on Sunday stemmed from a combination of Valentine's Day and the ice storm the day before. I had no trouble getting a ride to or from work today. My ride to work took three minutes getting here. My ride home took a lot longer, but I actually got it with no trouble.

Work wasn't much of a problem when I got there, either. I did end up in a register for an hour, dealing with a few annoying customers. Two morning cashiers called out. After I got out, I did carts and rounded up the outside trash and recycling for the rest of the day. We weren't busy later and I had plenty of help outside. It was warm this afternoon, but clouds moved in around 3 and the wind started howling. At least there was a glorious pink and molten gold sunset later.

Watched Sale of the Century while having dessert. It was another really close game. Everyone won something on the Fame Game. The one guy bought a trip to Las Vegas and won the 16,000 Instant Cash pot, but the champ pulled ahead in the Speed Round. She still had trouble with the Bonus Round money, though.

Finished the night watching High Society on TCM's on demand website after a shower. I go further into this musical romantic comedy featuring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Winter's Rain

Desperately needed to sleep in this morning after my long night yesterday. Celebrated my President's Day off with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood when I did roll out of bed and have breakfast. Teacher Harriet has Daniel and his friends make their own dragon for "The Dragon Dance." They have to work as a team to make it really come together. It's "Teacher Harriet's Birthday," and the kids and Mrs. Tiger want to hold a classroom party. Mrs. Tiger shows them how to work together to create a crepe paper rainbow and a "cake" made of different colors of clay.

Switched to Muppet Babies while doing the dishes. Kermit's blue frog friend Carlos is scared to go into space to see Henson's Comet up close. The kids put him through "Muppet Space Camp" to show him that space isn't so scary. Piggy's looking forward to "The Best Best Friend Beach Day" with Summer and taking new photos for their Best Friend Book. She's upset when nothing she suggested goes as planned. Summer and the boys remind Piggy that a spontaneous outing can provide just as many memories.

Moved to Match Game '79 as I took down the Valentine's Day decorations. For some reason, Buzzr skipped waaaaayyy ahead to the end of the CBS run to show off the episodes where Carolyn Reisner became the all-time Match Game '70s champ. Brianne Leary of CHIPs, Orson Bean, and Dick Martin joined Gene, Brett, Fannie, and Bill Daily as first Brett, then Bill answered tense Head-to-Heads. Bill was so excited after his, he almost stripped in front of everyone! 

Worked on writing for a couple of hours before breaking for lunch. Made a Banana-Carrot Smoothie while watching the newest episode of Mickey Mouse: Mixed Up Adventures. "Dale's New Pal" is Gordy the Groundhog. Chip thinks he's replacing him and tries to show off at the boat show. When both their boats sink, the trio have to figure out how to team up and create one big one. Cuckoo Loca wants to visit her cousins at the beach and help Minnie and Daisy with a wedding. She uses "The Cuckoo Turnstyler" to be in two places at once. 

Caught the tail end of Super Password after the cartoon ended. Started making Double Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies as I ogled Robert Walden, who joined Lauri Hendler to guess Password puzzles. All of the couples - Milton Berle and his witty wife Ruth, Glenn Ford and his then-girlfriend Cynthia Heyward, and perfectly nutty pair Donald Ross and Patti Deustch - did well on Tattletales. They each got at least one question right and all ended up winning in the end. 

Slid the cookies in the oven as Press Your Luck came on. Honestly, no one did very well. The contestants couldn't get answers right and didn't pick up many spins, and then they kept hitting low numbers. That changed in the second round. One of the guys picked up 11,000 in cash and one Whammy, more than enough to win.

Returned to writing after the show ended. Gene and Bill Daily go down to the main deck to release Charles, who is tied to the mast. The Nartz's are just about done dealing with Goodson, but Goodson has reinforcements. Good thing Gene does, too...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game '74. Goofy Kaye Stevens of the noisy laugh happily flirted with a handsome male contestant during the first half of the show. She was absolutely over the moon when he asked her to be his partner for the Head-to-Head. 

Match Game PM also jumped far back, in this case to 1977. This was the panel from the week of the "lower tier plays upper tier" episode, so it was already guaranteed to be funny. JoAnn Pflug got a rare chance to help a contestant win 10,000 with "Boo __."

The contestants were a lot closer on Sale of the Century than they have been in days, if not weeks. No one was far ahead for too long. The champ bought one Instant Bargain; a lady bought the try at the Instant Cash. Once again, the champ pulled ahead on the Speed Round. Didn't have nearly as much luck this time at the Bonus Round cash, though.

Finished out the night on Tubi with The Bold Caballero. This 1936 Republic western was the first Zorro movie filmed in color and sound...but we didn't really see much of Zorro. Don Diego Vega (Robert Livingston) courts the Governor's daughter Isabella (Heather Angel). His attempts to woo her and continue his activities as Zorro go off the rails when her father is killed by a man who marks him with a "z." Isabella, now the governor of California, demands vengeance from her boastful Commendate (Sig Rumann). She gets more than she bargains for when she discovers Don Diego's real identity...and who really killed her father.

Angel's the stand-out here as the feisty and determined young woman who is strong enough to rule all of California and do better tracking down Zorro than most of the men in Zorro films. Livingston, on the other hand, makes a better impression as foppish Don Diego than his few moments playing Zorro near the end. Rumann does better as the blustery captain whose bragging hides a coward's heart. Not the best Zorro movie in the world, but worth checking out of you love the character or western swashbucklers.

It was cloudy the entire day. The rain didn't arrive until late tonight...and when it did arrive, it was rain. Not ice, snow, wind, or anything else. It's still going at press time. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine's Games

Began a cloudy Valentine's Day morning with Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes for breakfast and Pink at First Sight. The Pink Panther takes a job as a singing package delivery boy in order to earn money to find his own Pink Pantheress. None of his Valentine's Day jobs go right, whether it's dancing with a wife whose husband gets jealous, accidentally delivering lingerie to a priest, or bringing a ticking package to gangsters.

Worked on writing for a while after I did the dishes. Richard doesn't want to hurt Gene. After all, Gene was his mentor, even if he doesn't want to work for him anymore. He jumps overboard rather than deal with Gene or Goodson, vanishing completely. While Gene looks in vain for him, Bill Daily runs over, rambling that their forces are overwhelmed, and they may need more help...

Broke to get dressed and pack for work. By 11:30, all I could hear was the plip plop of ice melting off the roof. Lawns remained icy, but the roads and sidewalks were perfectly clear. I got an Uber driver in 7 minutes; arrived at work with time to spare.

Was on the register today. One of the cashiers is on vacation. Work was on-and-off busy. It never got quite as insane as yesterday, but we still had long lines. Men wanted to buy their ladies flowers; ladies wanted to buy their men and children chocolate-covered strawberries and cards. Other than I'm tired, there were no really major problems. I was in and out...

Or I would have been if I could get a ride home. For the second day in a row, I just couldn't get through to Uber. I tried and tried for a half-hour, but nothing was available. It must have been the holiday. The weather was perfectly fine. Cloudy, but with no snow, ice, rain, or wind. It wasn't even that cold. The drivers must have been hauling couples around Philadelphia. There was no way I was going to call Rose during the dinner hour, either. I gave up around quarter after 7 and walked home. 

Put on A Charlie Brown Valentine while having a quick leftovers dinner when I finally got home. Chuck would love to ask The Little Red Haired Girl to the Valentine's Day dance, but he accidentally invites Marcie and Peppermint Patty instead. Sally and Lucy would be happy if their crushes acknowledged them at all. Snoopy spends Valentine's Day writing love poetry for the kids' cards.

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown goes further into the various Peanuts crushes. Linus is crazy about his teacher Miss Othmar and buys her a huge box of candy for Valentine's Day. Sally thinks the box is for her. Meanwhile, Chuck is hoping against hope to get any kind of a valentine, and Snoopy's putting on romantic and very messy puppet shows.

Finished the night on YouTube. Romantic game shows go way further back than reality dating shows like The Bachelor. Probably the best-known is The Dating Game, which began on ABC in 1966. Thankfully, the original runs for these are intact; I remember catching the re-runs when I was a kid and thinking they were the most late-60's thing ever. A young woman would ask three young men who were hidden behind the set questions. She and the one she chose at the end of the show would have an all-expenses-paid date. I went with the original show's 8th episode. Among the bachelors answering queries are a very young, unknown Burt Reynolds, a decade before Smokey and the Bandit

The Newlyweds Game is pretty similar to Tattletales, only in this case, the "tattletales" are regular, just-married couples. Though the original show began shortly after Dating Game in 1966, I went with an episode from the mid-80's revival. Though I do remember running across this occasionally in syndication, romantic games like Newlywed or Love Connection held little interest for me as a child. I preferred seeing Bob Eubanks ask high-low questions on Card Sharks to seeing him ask married couples about their home lives. 

He Said She Said was an early version of Tattletales. Here, Joe Gargiola asks the couples a subject, and one chimes in with a story and one word to describe that. The other half of the couple has to have the same answer to get the points. The early episodes of Tattletales in 1974 were similar, only with "Tattletales Quickies" that had each couple answering a question about how the other would respond to a situation. The "quickies" proved to be so popular (and so much less complicated), they eventually became the whole show.

As I mentioned last Valentine's Day, Match Game is even more fun when a married couple...or in one case, formerly married couple...plays on the same panel. In 1978, Jack Klugman and Brett Somers appeared together for the third and last time, even though they may have divorced the year before. That didn't stop the rest of the panel from holding a mock "wedding" for them on the final episode of the week. 

Alas, the second and final week of Betty White and Allen Ludden together on the syndicated show in 1980 is currently lost...except for its PM episode. Jimmie Walker and Jonelle Allen join in the fun, with Allen and Betty obvious enjoying sitting next to each other. This would be their final appearance together on TV. Ludden already had stomach cancer; he died a little over a year after this episode aired.

Spend Valentine's Day enjoying these games with your own perfect match! 


And here's more vintage Valentine's Day specials!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

New Jersey On Ice

Got such a late start this morning, I had breakfast while working on writing. Richard and Gene are evenly matched, as swordsmen and as captains. Gene's still angry with Richard for his betrayal. Richard, for his part, regrets letting Goodson dump Gene overboard...but not taking Gene's treasure for his own. When Gene asks Richard how he got so good on a sword and on a ship, he tells Gene he learned everything he knows from watching him.

Broke at 11 to get ready for work. Clouds hung low over Hillcrest and it remained cold, but it wasn't wet or snowy, or even windy. I still had a hard time finding an Uber driver. It took 20 minutes for them to arrive. Thankfully, I called for one early enough that I still got to work on time.

If you've seen the weather reports today, you can probably guess that the Acme was a total madhouse, especially early in the afternoon. We're only supposed to get freezing rain, sleet, and regular old rain from this round, but that was still enough to make people want to buy food. There's the holiday weekend and tomorrow being Valentine's Day, too. Thankfully, I had help outside with the carts for most of the day. Other than sweeping once when the other bagger went on lunch and bringing in trash, I was outside with the carts. 

The freezing rain finally started around 3 PM. It wasn't really bad at first...but the longer it continued, the icier everything got. I had to dodge several patches of ice on the otherwise-heavily salted parking lot. Thankfully, though I slipped a few times, I never fell. 

Did my grocery shopping as quickly as possible after work. Mostly needed milk, which I'm almost out of. Found boxes of orange clove herbal tea and After Eight Dinner Mints on clearance. Grabbed three salad bowls for dinner later this week. Restocked oranges, bananas, cereal, peanut butter, black beans, and yogurt. 

Not happy with my schedule next week. In good news, two days off and no early days. Trouble is, I'm still working very long hours...and next Saturday is an 8 and 1/2 hour day. Three people went on vacation, the bagger who got sick earlier this week took leave, and there's still many people out to avoid the virus.

As soon as I finished, I tried to get through to Uber. And kept trying. And trying. I tried for 20 minutes and could not get a driver. It either would say "error" and not go through, or no cars would appear as available. One of my co-workers tried calling cabs, and none of them could pick me up, either. There was no one willing to brave the storm.

Ended up hitching a ride with a co-worker, a sweet college student who lives in the Audubon Park development across the street from the Acme with her family and knew Oaklyn well enough to get me home. Even she had trouble when we got out. Her car was so thickly coated with ice, she ended up calling her mom to help her scrape it off. She also did grocery shopping tonight; I put her cart in the corral, only to finally slip and fall after I finished! I was more amused than hurt. I pushed carts all afternoon and only slipped a bit.

Thankfully, the roads were perfectly fine. There's a ton of salt leftover from our last two or three storms. As I discovered at work, it's the untreated curbs and sidewalks that are a problem. I had to get out of her car very gingerly, but I did manage to get myself and my groceries into my apartment with no trouble besides a little slipping.

Put on Super Password while I quickly got organized and had a snack. Patricia Klous and Orson Bean were the celebrities on the 1985 episode I saw. Orson got his contestant to the bonus round, but even his brain filled with trivia couldn't figure out words for two of the Super Passwords. 

Finished the night watching A Monster In Paris on Pluto TV. I go further into this French animated romance in tonight's Musical Dreams Movie Review.