Monday, October 18, 2021

Any Way You Want It

Began the day on the open road. Heavy dark clouds lingered among the rays of sunlight, and it was cold and windy, barely in the 50's. Even the horses wore blankets as we passed them grazing. Lauren took us over the border and into upstate New York, past lovely little hamlets and quaint farming communities with whitewashed churches and stately little libraries. We turned onto the highway, heading past downtown Albany and over to the off ramp for the Wolf  Road shopping area.

Crossgates Mall is one of the largest malls in New York State, and I believe the largest mall in Albany. Since we parked there, we started off at JC Penney. Alas, we didn't do nearly as well there as we did at Holyoke and walked out with nothing. 

Didn't find anything at Amazon 4-Star, either, but it's a neat store. This is Amazon's first shot at a brick-and-mortar storefront. Basically, they sell anything with really good reviews. I looked at the books, toys, and some of the electronics, but didn't see anything I really needed.

We were in and out of a few stores next. Lauren pointed out a yellow blouse with a pretty blue flower print at Macy's that was a plus-size shirt on the regular size racks. I loved the print, and not only was it the perfect size for me, but it was on a deep discount, too. Didn't find anything at the huge GameStop or the vintage game store shop Jay Street Video Games.

Uno Pizza and Grill just happened to be across the way from Game Stop, so we had lunch there. We thought the individual pan pizza and soup lunch special was perfect for us. I had a salty-but-tasty French onion soup; she went with broccoli and cheddar. Her thin crust Taco Pizza was a lot bigger than my deep-dish Farm Market vegetable pie. I finished all but one slice of mine; she didn't close to finish hers and ended up taking half of it home for a snack.

Returned to shopping to walk off that filling lunch. No luck at Burlington Coat Factory. This one was much smaller and narrower than the massive store at Holyoke. Even Lauren couldn't find anything. We did better at the huge Build-a-Bear Workshop. I bought a "love" t-shirt and long jeans for my tomboyish Cabbage Patch doll Carrie, and Lauren bought an outfit for her Cabbie Larry. 

Lauren didn't dig anything up at FYE, but I came up with a winner at the last minute. It took me forever to find the musicals in that large, overstuffed store. When I did run into them on the back of a shelf, they had the Criterion Collection Lubitsch Musicals Eclipse set I've wanted for years, but could never afford until recently. It has The Love Parade, Monte Carlo, The Smiling Lieutenant, and One Hour With You. Lieutenant and Love Parade have showed up on TCM, but I've never seen the other two anywhere. Also grabbed Supergirl: The Second Season and finally found Wonder Woman 1984 for a decent price. (I refuse to get HBO Max just for the DC media, and the CW only has the more recent seasons of Supergirl on their website.)

Hit up Dave & Buster's for an hour next. This is a huge arcade and bar that's pretty identical to Round 1, without the bowling and with tapping or inserting your card instead of swiping it. Fewer cranes, too, with less elaborate prizes. They also have more games that give you a ton more tickets. I did best with the spinning wheels that handed out tickets, including one pirate-themed wheel you spun yourself. Tried basketball and throwing balls into milk jug, but I have terrible aim. Had a lot more fun with skee ball and massive neon-lit versions of Centipede, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man, a faster-paced Galaga, and arcade versions of Crusin' and Mario Kart

Having amassed far more points than at Round 1 (Lauren had over 1,800!), we went to look at the prizes...and still couldn't decide what we wanted. We did better on the cranes. Lauren won a two-foot stuffed giraffe she named Jeffrey off one crane. We both got rubber ducks. She won a purple one. I got a peach duck and a duck wearing monkey ears. (I'll give the latter to Finley.)

Shortly after we left, I pointed out a small toy store a few doors down from Dave & Buster's. Heroes Hideout specialized in toys and games based after whatever's big in pop culture. One whole wall is covered in Funko Pops toys. Lauren bought four of those and a small Care Bears "mystery" figure in a box. I picked up a stuffed Cheer Bear in adorable anime-esque version based on the version of the show that just debuted a few weeks ago. Headed to Old Navy after that, but we didn't find anything there.

Running around that arcade throwing bean bags and skee balls really worked up a thirst. We made our way back down the hall to a small Orange Julius booth. The Orange Julius at the Cherry Hill Mall was replaced by Haagen Daas, and Lauren has none in her area. She bought a Tripleberry Smoothie; I got a Pina Colada Julius. Settled down on soft leather couches across from the booth with Jeffrey and enjoyed our treats.

At that point, we figured it was time for dinner, even though we weren't really that hungry. I bought a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry may pannini from a deli store, but could barely eat half of it. Lauren couldn't eat her second taco from Taco Bell, either. Plus, she'd been hauling a two-foot stuffed giraffe for over an hour. We packed up the rest of our meals and made our way back to JC Penney.

Once we finally remembered where the door we came in was, we had no problems. There was no traffic on the road going or coming. The mall wasn't busy, either, not even Dave & Buster's. The parking lot was very wet when we came out. It must have rained hard earlier in the afternoon, though the sun was trying to come out even as we climbed into the car. It showered a little bit when we were on the road, but nothing crazy.

We showed our finds to Mr. and Mrs. Miller when we got in and tried to find a place for big Jeffrey. (He ended up on a TV tray table.) While they got organized, I took a much-needed shower and did whatever packing I could. Along with my DVD finds, the Millers gave me Maude: The Compete Series, and I had to find room for that and the Lubitsch set. 

Finished the night downstairs with Lauren online after a shower. I was so pooped, I was barely up to more Match Game. Brett proved so popular during her first two appearances, by episode 26, she was officially a regular. Fannie Flagg, one of the most popular semi-regulars, made her debut a few months later. She became the first woman Gene welcomed with a kiss, albeit on the neck. 

Brett also figured heavily into two of my favorite episodes from 1974. Everyone went looking for her earring at the end of the show in one from early in the year. Later, she and giggling Kaye Stevens get to beat up on Gene when he accidentally yanks soap star Trish Stewart off her seat! (Thankfully, she was a good sport about it and laughed it off.) Meanwhile, Charles admires an especially pretty contestant in a very skimpy top in another episode. 

Here's still more of the early years of Match Game, to start off your week with a bang and a few naughty answers!

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