Monday, April 19, 2021

Birthday Bounce

Knock knock knock!

Persistent banging at the door to the main house jolted me out of slumber late this morning. Jodie had a package for me. It was one of my several eBay birthday gifts to myself, the double DVD set of Nancy Goes to Rio and Two Weeks With Love. I actually bought it for the latter, a turn-of-the-20th century-set vehicle for Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds. I remember catching it on TCM around 2001 and thinking it was really cute. Both movies might be nice for summer vacation-themed reviews in July and August. 

Couldn't go back to sleep after that, and it was almost 11 AM anyway. I read in bed and did my journal for a while. It was past noon when I finally got up and moving. Match Game '75 already began, even as I poured milk into my shredded wheat. Bill Macy, who was appearing on Maude with Beatrice Arthur at that point, figured in to one of the wilder weeks of that year. In the first episode, a comment from the pretty young contestant that she didn't have any response for the Audience Match lead to a rather amusing slip of the tongue from Gene. The second featured a question as to whom would play the Beast to Betty White's Beauty. 

Made Oatmeal Raisin Cookies while finishing out the Mickey Mouse In Living Color set. My favorite color Mickey shorts had him joining Goofy and Donald for some truly inspired gags. "Clock Cleaners" has Donald tangling with a spring while Mickey saves a woozy Goofy from falling off the edge. Their ideas of being "Moose Hunters" is for Donald and Goofy to dress as a female moose and Mickey to grab the male one. Needless to say, it doesn't work out well. "The Whalers" has them hunting on the high seas, but Goofy can't even figure out the cannon. "Moving Day" doesn't go much better. When Sheriff Pete claims he's going to sell their belongings at auction, the trio try to high-tail it out before he can hold the sale. 

Along with "Lonesome Ghosts" (which I have in full elsewhere), "Mickey's Trailer" is the best cartoon to feature the famous trio. Things start out well in their ultra-modern, push-button vacation home, with Mickey making use of the bells and whistles to get Donald going in the morning. Things get hairy quickly after Goofy, who's driving the trailer, comes in for breakfast...and forgets the car is still running. He loses the trailer when he scrambles out, leaving Donald and Mickey flying down a mountain out of control!

The other Mickey cartoons from this era have him joining the gang to put on a show for his nephews Morty and Ferdie and their orphan friends. He's the star of the show in "Magician Mickey"...and for once, gets to pay Donald back for constantly stealing the spotlight. "Mickey's Amateurs" is more like "Mickey's Gong Show," what with Clarabelle Cow accompanying Clara Cluck's number and Donald's frequent (and unintelligible) attempts at a recitation. 

There's some real carnivore confusion in "The Worm Turns." Mickey creates a formula that makes weaker creatures able to fight predators. This is all well and good with a fly fighting off a spider and Pluto chasing off Pete the Dog Catcher...but Mickey also makes a far smaller, more animal-like mouse than himself able to chase off a cat who has no interest in the bigger mouse right next to him! Things get a little spookier in "Mickey's Parrot," as Mickey and Pluto investigate some eerie sounds after hearing about an escaped convict on the radio. 

Mickey's best shorts from this era often featured him going through great lengths to show off for Minnie. "Mickey's Rival" is Mortimer Mouse, a long-nosed jerk who butts in on Mickey and Minnie's picnic date. It takes an angry bull to show Minnie which mouse really cares about her. Mickey is "The Brave Little Tailor" in one of his most impressively-animated shorts. He takes down a huge giant who is a lot nastier than Willie in Mickey and the Beanstalk to win the hand of fair Princess Minnie. 

Rose called me as I pulled the cookies out of the oven. I emailed her yesterday to ask if they were doing anything for Khai's birthday. She let him take the day off of school and took him and Finley to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden instead. Apparently, Khai wanted to have pizza and a few friends over afterwards. Did I want to join them? Sure! I had a set of Garfield comics I picked up on Amazon to give him.

(Oooh, and other than slightly burning one batch, the cookies came out well, nice and chewy.)

Put on Tattletales while wrapping Khai's birthday present. This time, Gene and Helen were the big winners, answering almost all of the questions right. (Even if Helen's answer to the first one made me wonder if she'd ever seen some of her husband's more overt skirt-chasing on Match Game.) It was all about the ladies on Press Your Luck - the one guy kept running into Whammies. The previous champ finally picked up a ton of money and trip to Curacao in the Caribbean, among other prizes.

Worked on writing while the shows were on. Gene takes Richard across the street to the City Hall, where Mayor Allen Ludden has his offices. The railroad also has offices here. It's represented by Ira Skutch in town; his boss Mark Goodson generally stays back east and is rarely seen.

Took my bike to Rose's house around quarter of 5. Khai played the goofy card word game Apples to Apples with two buddies of his from the neighborhood in the backyard as his mother and father restrained the dogs and delivered cheese, pepperoni, and sausage pizza slices to everyone. Finley insisted on me joining her to play with her new mother and baby stuffed penguins, which apparently she bought from the gift shop at the Adventure Aquarium with her Easter money. 

We climbed up on the trampoline to play with the penguins after we ate. Of course, the boys eventually saw us and decided they wanted to bounce, too. We all bounced around for a while - well, I really more hopped, being twice the size of anyone else and having fairly bad knees. Once Khai and the guys started wrestling with each other, Rose decided it was time for Finley and I to climb out.

We'd resumed playing "mother and baby penguin" when Rose brought out the cake. She told me on the phone earlier it was her first attempt at a tier cake. It was huge, two big layers iced with aqua blue frosting, with a molded candy shark's tail sticking out. For all her worries, it came out very well, and moist as can be. Everyone enjoyed it, including Craig's parents and Jodie, who arrived while we were on the trampoline. 

I headed off shortly after Khai's friends announced they were going home, too. Got home just in time for Match Game PM. Gene's vibrant red shoes comes in for some ribbing early in the show. Later, everyone sings about Texas when Richard gives it as an answer to "The Eyes of __" in the Audience Match. Steve Kanaly of Dallas and a young Jamie Lee Curtis join the lunacy here. 

We had another close game on Sale of the Century. Everyone bought or won something (and the champ finally got the Instant Cash), but here too, it eventually came down to the ladies. The other lady pushed ahead in the Speed Round, but just barely missed the Bonus Round.

Finished out the night with Hart to Hart on The Roku Channel. In "As the Hart Turns" from the fourth season, Max is addicted to the soap opera Doctor's Hospital. He's thrilled when Jennifer wins a walk-on role in a raffle. The writers on the show love the ideas she tosses out and convince her to work on storylines to bolster the show's ratings. One actor is less-than-thrilled with their decision to write him out...and intends to end Jennifer's storyline permanently. 

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