Monday, July 12, 2021

Out and About In Cherry Hill

Awoke to the patter of feet and little girl giggles in Jodie's side of the house. Alas, by the time I finally finished my usual morning routine, Jodie was the only one home. I settled for Coconut Lime Pancakes for breakfast and Blockbusters instead. The mother/daughter pair continue to beat all comers. They had no problem breezing past a big bearded single guy whom Bill Cullen tried playing matchmaker to the girl with. The girl missed two questions on the Gold Run, but otherwise did very well. They were just starting in on another guy as time ran out.

Cleaned up breakfast after I switched to the latest Muppet Babies episode. Robin the Tadpole is tired of relying on his old blankie every time he's scared, so he asks Animal to hide it. Trouble is, Animal can't remember where the hole he dropped it in is. "Robin Digs Deep" with the help of the others to find his blankie and his hidden courage. Fozzie adores his little sister and is devastated when she opts to play fairy tea party with Summer and Piggy instead of pattycake with him. He first tries to get her attention, then convinces the boys to help him invade "Rozzie and the Fairy Tea Party."

Switched to The Cat and the Hat Knows a Lot About That while getting organized. He shows Nick and Sally how to "Dig Deeper" into the darkest depths of the ocean, where they meet Auerelia the baby angler fish and learn about the cold bottom of the sea. They literally fly into a cloud to figure out a "Puddle Puzzle" and find out where their puddle vanished to. 

Finally remembered how to get into Uber. I wanted to hit up the Garden State Park shopping center today. Figured I'd do what I've done the past few times I went to a mall and take Uber there and the bus back. The Uber driver wouldn't arrive for nearly a half-hour! 

Oh, well. I watched Match Game '79 while I waited. Brianne Leary's newsboy outfit and cap inspired lot of jokes in the first episode...and prompted some drooling from Gene and Bob Barker. Gene got teased about wearing blue socks with brown shoes, too, while Jon "Bowser" Bauman read a poem he wrote about being on the show. Bob has to help a contestant win 10,000 with "__ Handed" in the second.

The Uber driver finally picked me up around quarter of 1. No traffic in Cherry Hill or Collingswood anywhere at that point, not even by the Crowne Plaza/Cooper Medical building area or the Cherry Hill Train Platform Shopping Center. He dropped me off next to Lands' End at the Market Place less than 20 minutes later.

Despite it being the middle of a hot, humid, sunny Monday, almost all of the stores I went to were crowded today. I guess everyone's catching up on their shopping after the past year. I hoped Lands End sold shoes, but that store is an outlet. I did find a tank top with the cutest peach and yellow floral print. 

I never did find my Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, so the only other store I went to at the Market Place was Best Buy. Disappointingly, their DVDs are now limited to a few small shelves in the back, and they're mostly Blu-Ray...except for a smattering of complete series sets on DVD. Found the sets for the original She-Ra, Voltron, and Thundercats on a bottom shelf. Hulu has all versions of Thundercats in full, so it was between She-Ra and Voltron. I ultimately went with She-Ra. I found half the first season of She-Ra and The She-Ra-He-Man Christmas Special at yard sales and figured I might as well finish out the show. 

After a brief look at the Gap, my next stop was Barnes & Noble. I always have a hard time choosing there! Hung around for over an hour, inspecting the children's area, the music and film books, the fantasy novels, the young adult section, and the mysteries. 

My first choice was Snow & Rose, a children's chapter book based on one of my favorite childhood fairy tales, Snow White & Rose Red. The second was one of the more recent Joanne Fluke novels, Chocolate Cream Pie Murder. I'm a bit behind on her books, and while I'm disgusted with the emphasis on how ridiculous Hannah's love life got recently, I'm hoping the novels from the past year and a half will throw the focus back on her bakery and family.

Briefly checked out DSW Shoes, hoping to find new walking sandals. The ones I bought from Lands End last year wore out from all the walking I did in them last late summer. Dodged women checking out the nearly-latest styles and looking for kids shoes, but in the end, didn't see anything I liked.

Sometime in the last year and a half, the shopping center expanded into the grassy area between the main "lifestyle center" and the luxury condo and apartment buildings a couple of blocks away. They're still working on one of the buildings in the front, but most of the others are finished. Didn't see any shoes I liked at TJ Maxx. Thought of having lunch at Shake Shack, but didn't think I'd have the time. Wanted a drink and a snack at Trader Joe's, but I couldn't figure out where the small health-food store kept the cold drinks.

At least the bus arrived just on time. There was a little traffic going home, mostly on Cuthbert, but it didn't amount to much. The driver dropped me off at where Merryfields' bar is still working on its expansion next to TD Bank on the White Horse Pike. Stopped at WaWa for a pretzel and a frozen Chips Ahoy cappuccino while walking home. 

Threw on a third season episode of Hogan's Heroes while having a quick Berry-Banana Smoothie at home. Hogan convinces "Casanova Klink" to romance Colonel Burkhalter's sister Gertrude (Kathrine Freeman) when the guys hope to get sabotage plans from his office under the nose of a Getsapo agent. Klink is terrified that it may turn into something more series...but as usual, Hogan has a plan for that, too.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Brett and her sons find playing croquet with Queen Betty and her court to be nearly impossible. They can't control the flamingos, and the hedgehog balls go where they want to, rather than through the card wickets. And of course, the Queen has to win at everything. Brett's about ready to tell Betty off, but there's more guests coming...

It was also around this time that Mother Nature finally figured out what she was doing. Dark clouds began building up as I left Barnes & Noble. By dinner time, it began pouring and thundering. The rain's been off and on for the rest of the night. At least Jodie let me move my bike back into the garage earlier today, even if there's still a ton of stuff from the repaving there. 

Watched Match Game '76 while eating pan-fried flounder with sautéed zucchini. Pat Moriata continues his week as everyone joked about how Arturro the Fortune Teller reads old people's fortunes and the answers for the Audience Match "Hot and __." Trotter, the sweet black dog who belonged to Gene's daughter Lynne, appeared with animal-loving Betty White on Match Game PM. I don't know why Charles seemed wary of her. That dog was better-behaved (and probably a lot smarter) than most of the panelists. 

Tonight's Sale of the Century was no contest. Though the other guy did win a Fame Game, the champ bought all three Instant Bargains and pretty much dominated the game full-stop, including the Speed Round. He picked up a shopping spree for his very happy wife on the Match the Prizes board.

Finished the night online, exploring the new NBC-Universal streaming site Peacock. Unlike most of the other streaming companies, they have many offerings that are completely free, with no need for the original Little House On the Prairie. Dad used to love this show, mainly because he liked stoic dad Michael Landon. Jodie's a fan of it now. I think she enjoys the melodrama.

I remember this show being depressing as heck when I was a kid, and time hasn't softened that view...but I figured "Plague" from the first season was something I needed to see, considering the ongoing troubles with the virus. People in the town of Walnut Grove are suddenly stricken with typhus. Even Charles Ingals (Landon) has to stay in quarantine when he helps victims of the virus. No one can figure out where this is coming from, until Charles talks to Mr. Edwards and one of the stricken kids and figures out what they all have in common.

My sisters and I loved Punky Brewster, both the sitcom and its more fantastical animated version, when we were kids. I remember the show mostly being fun, but like most 80's sitcoms, it did work in frequent "very special episodes." The second season finale "Accidents Happen" has Punky revealing she wants to be an astronaut at her school's career day. She's thrilled to watch the Challenger shuttle launch with her class...and is devastated when real-life history occurs and it explodes, killing everyone on board. It takes no less than her teacher bringing in real astronaut Buzz Aldrin to encourage her not to let the fear of the unknown stop her from achieving her dreams.

(I was six when the Challenger exploded. I remember it being bitter cold, and us being home from school on a rare snow day. I know I got upset when the footage of the shuttle breaking up pre-empted The Price Is Right. Yes, even then, I was a game show nut. I didn't care about exploding shuttles. I wanted to watch Bob Barker. Mom turned white as the snow outside when she saw the footage and called Dad home from the dock in Wildwood. They watched the news for the rest of that day.) 

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