Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Keep Moving Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 29, 2021

Everybody's Got a Home but Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Hoping for a Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Come to the Supermarket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday Surprises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Giving Thanks for Family and Matches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Dolls and Holidays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Everybody Dance Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 22, 2021

Swashbuckling Holidays

Began a gloomy morning with a quick breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel Fixes Trolley," or at least, his toy one, when the wheel pops off and his mother suggests he find a solution on his own. He has to figure out where he left his shoes when Katarina and Henrietta show up for an outing to the park, too. He becomes "Problem Solver Daniel" when he and Miss Elaina break a toy at school and Teacher Harriet encourages them to fix it together. 

Rushed out to work even before the episode ended. Work started out as a normal bagging day, but by noon, they'd pulled me to take customers. Apparently, a cashier called out. Then they had to pull two boys to sweep and check the bathrooms and gather carts. No idea what else got done, if anything. 

At least I got a few things done during my breaks. I did call three of the apartment buildings and texted one. No answers from anybody, which isn't surprising, given this is a holiday week. Mom called in the morning, but I figured it would be easier to talk to her at home. 

Called her after I got in, changed, and had a snack. She talked to Rose last night shortly after she got off with me. On one hand, she thought Rose was too harsh on me about the planner and told her to lay off about finding a job. I will, but a home comes first. Unlike Rose, whose (usual) job involves confrontation, she does understand about my difficulty with confronting people and talking on the phone. When I try to call someone or talk to someone in authority, I just...freeze. I can't do it. I don't know what to say. Even with Rose a lot of the time, I don't say anything because I'm not sure what to say, and I'm afraid what I do say will make things worse. 

Mom suggested I take online courses in business and communication. She took online courses a decade ago, and they helped her land the Ferry ticket-taking job. At the least, brush up on my computer skills. Actually...I already decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to look into online courses for library sciences. I'll check out those, too, after I find an apartment. 

And yes, another thing I need to do once I settle down is find a psychotherapist. Jodie and Rose were supposed to call someone Jodie knew three years ago, but it never happened. From now on, I'll do something like this myself. Rose said Craig had a list of names that might work. I'll see if I can get them from him on Thanksgiving. 

E-mailed another apartment building on Apartments.com and a room on Craigslist, then finally broke for dinner around quarter of 7. Made egg salad and steamed broccoli while watching Match Game '79.  Gene kicked off this episode by "auctioning" off Loni Anderson's bathing suit poster. We also get a question about how "Black Magic" is the name of a movie about __ being elected president. (Hint - Nipsey Russell was also on the panel that week.)

Match Game PM had contestant trouble. The male contestant was kind of strange - he gave Gene a very odd look when he asked him what breed his dogs were. The lady was livelier, but only slightly smarter. Richard was the only one who matched anyone. He didn't have as much luck with "__ Dream" in the Head-to-Head.

Switched to DVDs while cleaning up from dinner. The swashbuckler satire Jack of All Trades somehow managed to work a Thanksgiving episode, "One Two Three, Give Me Lady Liberty," into its second season. Napoleon is building a familiar statue with a crown and a torch to send the US as a token of friendship. He even convinces Emilia to model for the face. She and Jack discover there's something more sinister behind the tiny tyrant's seemingly sweet gesture. They first try to distract him with a big turkey dinner. When that doesn't work, Jack trots out another Thanksgiving tradition - football!

Finished the night on Amazon Prime with The Plymouth Adventure. Captain Christopher Jones (Spencer Tracy) isn't thrilled to be carrying a group of pious pilgrims and robust tradesmen on a long voyage to the New World. He looks down on them at first, but eventually falls for lovely Dorothy Bradford (Gene Tierney), the wife of minister William Bradford (Leo Genn) during the long and arduous trip across the Atlantic. Young carpenter John Alden (Van Johnson) has slightly more luck with pretty Priscilla Mullins, despite soldier Miles Standish (Noel Drayton) also being taken with her. 

Romantic melodrama wins points for adapting a time period not often depicted in films and for its excellent cast, especially Tracy and Tierney as the gruff sea captain and the pious minister's wife who truly believes there's good in his heart somewhere. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Let's Get Organized

Started off the morning with Banana Coconut Pancakes for breakfast and Here's Love on the record player. This musical version of Miracle on 34th Street from 1963 would be the last Broadway show from composer/lyricist Meredith Wilson. It largely sticks to the original film about a Macy's Santa who may or may not be the real thing and teaches a Macy's executive (Janis Paige) and her daughter (Valerie Lee) about fantasy. The big one here is Santa's nostalgic "Pine Cones and Holly Berries" sung in counterpoint to Doris' version of an earlier Meredith Wilson holiday song, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."

Switched to much quieter music while doing the dishes. One of my earliest record finds was a set of American mountain folk music played on the flute. It makes for lovely, quiet listening during Thanksgiving and other national holidays.

Headed out shortly after that. We were busy off and on through about 2:30-3 PM. It's less than a week before Thanksgiving, and people are starting to think about the big dinner and what to eat before that. Didn't help that the weather wasn't great, either, cold, cloudy, and windy. It slowed down so much by quarter of 5, I was able to leave a few minutes early with no relief or need for one.

Hurried home...then grabbed my purse and went right back out. I needed a few things from Dollar General. Mom and Rose called me while I was on the road. Good thing it's a lot easier to pull over and take a call on a bike than it is in a car. 

Mom was in a better mood. She understands that I'm not as good with phone calls or confrontations as Rose. She also wants me to take a whole month off of work. I can call out for a day every now and then, but I'm not sure I'd be able to take a full month off, especially at the height of the holiday season. 

Rose was angrier that I hadn't gotten to sending an e-mail or buying a planner or organizing things. She complains that she's the one who has to take care of me. I wish she wouldn't say that. I don't want anyone to have to take care of me but me. 

She had better news on the legal front. She may be able to get me two month's notice instead of one. I think she's a wonderful lawyer, but I'm not holding my breath. Jodie says we have to leave in a month, because that's when the new owners will take over.

Dollar General was very busy when I arrived, with a long line. Good thing I didn't need much. I was mainly there for the planner I forgot to pick up yesterday. Bought trash bags so I can start packing, too. 

As soon as I got home, I sat down and organized that planner, writing down everything I need to do in the next few days and all the information Rose and I jotted down when I was at her house on Friday. I also found my original list of apartments I made in the beginning of this month and added to and updated it, writing down if I'd gotten e-mails from them, needed to call them, or if they were full or not interested. 

Made salmon, steamed broccoli, and riced cauliflower with vegetables for dinner while listening to Mr. President. Irving Berlin's final Broadway show is the story of the (then) current president, who loves his job but has just been voted out. His daughter's (Anita Gillette) having her own problems. She's dating the son of a Middle Eastern president, but her Secret Service guard has a huge crush on her. The President goes on an around-the-world tour with his wife (Nanette Fabray), and almost causes an international incident in Russia before smoothing things over. He really wants to return to public life...and his daughter really wants to know who belongs to her heart.

Not the best way for Berlin to go out. This is cute and has decent performances from Fabray and Gillette (whose patter number "The Secret Service" is a highlight), but is otherwise dull. If the story was old-fashioned in 1962, it's downright antiquarian in the 21st century, and Berlin's music is far from his best work. Only if you're a really huge fan of his or Fabray's.

Jodie came in while I ate dinner. Apparently, there's going to be a house inspector around on Wednesday. We have to clear out from 10 to 2. I'm off that day. Maybe I'll go out to eat and see if I can check out a few places. 

Returned to organizing after a shower. Turns out 700 Station Avenue in Haddon Heights is Haddon Court...and according to the umbrella website for it and several other properties in the area, there's nothing available there. I e-mailed them again anyway, just in case. 

(Oh, and quick research online revealed that, yay, the Eagles walloped the Saints this afternoon 40 to 26. No wonder it died so fast at work.)

Finished out the night on YouTube with Thanksgiving game show episodes. I dug out a little more this year than I did last November. Orson Bean discusses his role as the voice of Bilbo Baggins in the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit during the pre-Thanksgiving Match Game episode from that year. Sale of the Century showed off dining tables, fancy dinners, and a real Thanksgiving meal for their Instant Bargains in 1985. The 1987 syndicated High Rollers awarded "turkeys" stuffed with cash as prizes. Celebrity chef Guy Fiori gave away cooking-related prizes, including big dining room sets in the Showcase Showdowns on the 2010 Price Is Right Thanksgiving episode. 

Of course, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, which is why I had to sneak in a few Family Feud episodes. Richard Dawson and Ray Combs deal with some extremely goofy answers in the Fast Money rounds during these episodes as people freeze and toss out anything. The syndicated Combs episode is from Thanksgiving 1988 and even ends with a big meal.

Play games with your family while you wait for the big meal this Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Champagne Music and Matches

Kicked off the day with breakfast and Paw Patrol on Paramount Plus. "The Pups Save Thanksgiving" from Mayor Humdinger, who takes off with the turkey bouncy house when he thinks he's not invited to dinner. The Paw Patrol dogs have to rescue him and his Patrol-imitating kittens, then restore the town's ruined Thanksgiving feast. Zuma wants to take part in the windsurfing contest on Adventure Bay, but there's no wind...until Humdinger uses his huge fan to make some for himself and win the race! His kittens get too distracted to control it, and it ends up stranding the surfers instead. "The Pups Save the Windy Bay" and solve the mystery of where the sudden breeze came from.

Attempted to call Oakland Gardens, but either their phones are out, or there was (unsurprisingly) no one in the office on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. They didn't even have an automated voice telling me to leave a name and phone number. Rose called me shortly after. I told her about my confrontation with Jodie last night and her giving me the notice. Rose wants me to avoid her as much as possible and try not to say much if she comes over here. Oh, and to pay Jodie the rent for December, even though she said I didn't have to. 

You don't know how much this is driving me crazy. I just want everyone to get along, not be at each other's throats. I thought moving here was perfect last year, but I didn't know everyone would react so badly over Jodie selling the house and my having to leave. Everything seemed to be fine during the summer, but...something must have happened between Labor Day and the end of September that got everyone upset. I wish I knew what.

Headed off to work shortly after. No problems here, not even with the turkeys this time. In fact, we were surprisingly on-and-off quiet for the weekend before Thanksgiving, and even our busy times weren't that bad. I shelved candy and looked over our circular so I could remember what I needed between customers.

Did my grocery shopping right after I finished work. Had online coupons for dishwashing liquid, sugar, sweet potatoes, and free eggs. Found packs of salmon with manager's coupons; bought the two cheapest, along with shrimp for dinner. Bought Christmas cards for Mom and my sisters and a box of cute cards depicting a polar bear and a bird celebrating the season together. Restocked yogurt, apples, broccoli, bananas, onions, cranberries, cereal, and pads. 

I was so hungry, I went straight into shrimp for dinner after putting everything away. Went to YouTube for three classic Match Game episodes from '75 and '77. The first one ended with a question asking who would play the Beast to Betty's Beauty. (The panel's answers actually inspired one of my current fanfic ideas.) Everyone helped Gene find his spare microphone during the start of the second. The PM episode featured a twinkly old man contestant who spent the show flirting with Brett.

Stayed at YouTube for Bewitched as I made my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe. Aunt Clara gives us "Samantha's Thanksgiving to Remember" when she takes herself, Sam, Darren, Tabitha, and their neighbor Gladys Kravitz back in time to Plymouth shortly after the pilgrims arrived. Ironically, it's Darren who is accused of being a witch after he's seen lighting a match, and Samantha who has to defend him. 

Pulled the cookies out of the oven while watching the 80's cartoon anthology Saturday Supercade. The "Q-Bert" segment of this show is the last TV program I'd peg to have a Thanksgiving episode, but they somehow managed to turn "Thanksgiving for the Memories" into the story of Pilgrim Q-Bert getting help from the natives rescuing his little brother Q-Bit who has run away. Jealous Coile the snake only  helps out so he can win a horse and buggy that's supposed to be for the hardest-working pilgrim. 

Went online for The Scarecrow and to do a little bit of writing. I go further into this sweet but strange animated adaptation of the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story Feathertop at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Finished up the night with Lawrence Welk Thanksgiving episodes on YouTube. Lawrence's "musical family" didn't quite go as all-out for Thanksgiving as they did other holidays, but they did do a few memorable episodes. The 1970 show went fully patriotic, with a few songs about being thankful and the cast dressed as pilgrims sprinkled amid songs about America like "This Land Is Your Land" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." 

The holiday was more evident in the other two shows, especially in 1981. That episode began and ended with "Home for the Holidays," and we got a hilarious cowboy-themed "Turkey In the Straw" with Bobby Burgess and his then-partner Elaine Niverson, along with a rare team-up by singer Ken Delo and dancer Arthur Duncan for "Back In Your Own Backyard." Norma Zimmer sings to "Bless This House" in 1973, while the full orchestra and chorus remind us that "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Here's all three shows to provide background for your Thanksgiving dinner! (And be wary of the 1970 show - the audio drops very low during the middle of the program, but I can't seem to find another copy of this one online.) 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Starting Over Again

My phone awoke me around 8:30. I held off a half-hour to read before calling back. It was Rose, asking to help me apartment hunt. We finally agreed to get together after work. I'd take Uber to work, and she'd pick me up when I got off. 

Came in for the second half of the 70's Concentration on Buzzr as I ate breakfast. Apparently by 1977, Goodson-Todman expanded the Double Play bonus round. The winners still answer two rebuses in 10 seconds, but instead of just winning a car, they get to match up to three large prizes, including a car. It's sort of a mini-version of the Match the Prizes Board from Sale of the Century. After they choose their prizes, they answer those two rebuses.

No problems on the road. The Uber driver arrived in less than three minutes. I barely had the time to grab my lunch and rush out. 

We had some free turkey problems at work. The coupon is working, but some people either didn't get the right turkey or bought the turkey with the order, only to realize that the order gave them what they needed for the turkey and they had to buy it separately. One lady got so upset, I called a manager to deal with her. The others took it a lot better. Otherwise, we were on and off busy. I put candy away between customers. 

Got my schedule. I'm livid. Not only do I have to work Thanksgiving, but I work seven days in a row, including two 8 1/2 hour days in a row. I do have Wednesday and Friday off...but I think I'll call out Thanksgiving day and keep the extra two days. I'm not working that day, especially since I won't get to see my sister and her family on Christmas Day. I don't care about losing the holiday pay anymore. 

Thank goodness my relief was right on time. Rose arrived minutes after I got out. with Finley chattering away in her seat. We had a scary moment when a car pulled out in front of us while turning off to Nicholson Road and we were nearly rear-ended, but thankfully we were all right with no damage.

Once we got home, Rose let Finley play with her brother in the living room while watching Paw Patrol while we worked on the table. Finley joined us a bit later to cuddle up with her mother and try to play with her laptop and paper. 

Rose wasn't really happy with my organizational skills. She says I'm still living like a college student. I did write down apartments to look at, but I haven't updated the list because I've kept the e-mails in my e-mail box. I'm trying to keep up with whom I've e-mailed and applied to, but I keep forgetting, and I really hate making phone calls. I do write down my weekly schedule on my dry erase schedule and list what I plan to do each day, but not blocked out into each hour. I don't keep a planner because I don't usually have that much planned besides work and the occasional appointment I can write down on my schedule. 

I already intended to look into online classes for library sciences, and I would have done it a lot sooner if I hadn't had to look for a place. She suggested business courses, which also makes sense. I don't think I'll end up in a library, but I could work as a data analyst or an archivist for a museum or historian, all of which can be done online. And if I can't sell my writing, I could try another type of online business, maybe copywriting or something. I'm so much better at organizing things than thoughts. 

She's also concerned that the apartment buildings I'm looking at are kind of sketchy and that I'm not safe in Camden County. She's still pushing my living in Cape May County with Mom. No. That's the one thing I won't do. I'm not moving backwards, and I'm not living with my mother. It wouldn't work. We're too different, and we're used to living alone. Besides, first of all, Cape May County is way too expensive. Mom complains about that every time I talk to her. Second, Mom doesn't want to stay in Cape May County. She's talking about moving to Virginia to live with Keefe and his wife. Third, there's nothing down there. Terrible public transportation, lousy internet reception, a seasonal economy with little work, and it takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes or more to ride between towns. Rose means well, but I just can't do it. 

Thing is...I don't want to stay here, either. Unlike everyone else I know, though, I have no idea where I want to go. Rose and Anny want to move their tribes to family-oriented, semi-rural Hammonton. I don't really want to live in South Jersey anymore, but I'm not sure where I could be, or want to be, or what's right for me. 

Another place where I agree with Rose is finally getting in touch with that psychotherapist she and Jodie never called a while back or a similar one. I don't think Mrs. Stahl can do much more for me. I need more help than she can provide. I also think I don't have anything really major, but if nothing else, I do need help with my social skills if I want to get anywhere. 

I want to start over, which is how she put it, and re-write myself. I want to get to a place where I can live fully on my own, with no one in the family worrying about me all the time, and I can be called an adult. No one should have to take care of me but me. 

The kids came in around 6 PM, demanding dinner, and I was hungry too. Rose made excellent teriyaki chicken cutlets on an indoor grill. She says sometimes the grill doesn't cook it right and makes it rubbery (and Khai did report a half-rubbery piece), but mine was fine. Tons of pasta and roasted broccoli and cauliflower, too. I finished mine and had seconds. Finley cleared her plate. Khai wasn't a fan of the vegetables, but his mother convinced him to finish most of them. After all, they both still had huge bags of Halloween candy for dessert. (I had snickerdoodles at home. My Halloween candy is long gone.)

Rose finally drove me home around quarter of 8. Jodie came in shortly after with the eviction notice. Unfortunately, we got into a fight again. I tried to get her to extend it just a little while longer, but she's adamant about it being legal. She's also going between complaining about nowhere to stay, then insisting she'll be at her aunt's house when I tell her to look up apartments online. I think she's terrified to do anything online besides mess with Facebook. She wouldn't even touch YouTube when I suggested it to her last week. "I don't know how," she claimed. I think she does. She's just too scared and too used to her own ways and other people doing things for her to try. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

No Home for Me

Began a beautiful, sunny morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. It's "Margaret's First Thank-You Day," and her big brother Daniel is excited that his beloved little sister will get to hang the first card on the Thank You Tree. He's upset after it becomes obvious that Margaret isn't well and needs to be sent home. He and his father stay at first, until they realize that what they're really thankful for is their family being together.

Headed out the moment the episode ended. While we weren't that busy, I still had a lot to do. They keep listing younger workers as baggers on the schedule, only to pull them for other departments. I once again spent the day trying to do everything myself. At least I was able to do the outside and inside trash and recycling this time. They also finally let two of the boys go long enough for them to help me gather carts during my last hour. At least it was a lovely day outside, sunny and unusually warm for November, in the lower 70's. 

Oh, and Rose called during my first break. I called her back when I had lunch. Yes, she apologized. Apparently, she had a bad day on Tuesday, too. She and I need to talk to some of the apartment buildings about taking my four to six month's rent. I really don't have a choice about it now. I have to go somewhere. 

Went home, changed, and put the laundry in the washer. I texted Jodie earlier and said I really needed clean work clothes. She said it was fine, and she wasn't around when I got home, anyway.

Mom called when I was at work. I meant to call her back but forgot. Heard from her just as I was about to check for more apartments. She and Rose are absolutely furious with Jodie for not pushing harder with the people who bought the house to let me stay at least until after the holidays. I tried to explain about the couple wanting the tax credit and not wanting boarders, but she said that shouldn't matter. I have a legal right to stay. 

She did have an interesting suggestion of looking into Glassboro and Vineland. I did look up apartments in Vineland online. It's near my friend Amanda, is a lively college area, and is somewhat cheaper than up here with many of the same amenities. Unfortunately, research reveals it has the same problem with a lack of public transportation as much of South Jersey. There just aren't that many busses that go beyond Atlantic City. And even if I don't end up there, other college towns here and in eastern Pennsylvania may be worth checking out, too. 

Oh, and yes, Rose and Craig are taking their kids up to Maine for Christmas week. On one hand, Mom's right that it will likely be a lot more fun for all of them than just getting a pile of presents no one needs. It's a really sweet idea. On the other hand...where does that leave me? I wish I could have a whole family of my own to be together with during the holidays, or at least a like-minded group of friends who felt like family. 

Confronted Jodie when I switched the laundry to the drier. She's adamant that the contract is legal and binding. These people are apparently a young movie producer and his wife who want to make over the apartment into an office, and are utterly and totally adamant that they do NOT want strangers in their home. No neighborhood kids in the pool, no next-door neighbors using the dock. I would love to know why a young movie producer and his wife with no children would want to live in a neighborhood that's largely families and middle-aged widows. Don't they belong in Fort Lee, or Queens, or Hollywood, or Vancouver, or wherever they're making movies nowadays?

Jodie doesn't care. All she cares about is selling the house. It's costing her a bundle, she says...and that, I believe. Apparently, it's eaten up most of the money Dad left her. She claimed this was the only offer she got after two months, and they - and she - can't wait anymore. She also claimed Dad wanted her to sell the house four months after he died, but I suspect Dad didn't realize just how much remodeling the house needed. She really was upset...and while I'm not furious with her, I'm not happy, either. Maybe she doesn't care about my feelings, but I do. I don't have a convenient aunt I can live with, and Rose's home is too small for me to be squeezing in with them (no matter what she thinks). 

Didn't have leftovers until past quarter of 7. Watched Match Game PM while having quick leftovers for dinner. With the 6 PM episodes having jumped ahead to '79, the PM shows jump back to '77. Came in as they finished the main rounds. Nipsey Russell, Joyce Bulifant, and soap star Rosemary Forsyth got to help the regulars figure out one of the stranger answers to the Audience Match "Alfred __."

Finished the night with April Showers at Watch TCM. I go further into this tale of a vaudeville family at the turn of the 20th century at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Thankful For Comedy

Overslept a bit this morning and got a quick start with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. New York Eyewitness News anchor Roger Grimsby (who would apparently be the face of ABC News through the mid-80's) joins the others to question three men who claim to be the security guard who discovered the break-in at the Watergate Hotel. Poor man lost his job after asking for a raise (and he never did get it) for being the one who found the "burglars."

Rushed out after that. Yes, the bike was fixed. It was just in the way back of the garage. I dashed off and got into work just in time. Thankfully, that was the worst that happened all day, other than I'm still overwhelmed with everything I have to do. I'll be trying to sweep and someone will call me to return cold items, and then another person will want me to get plastic bags for the front, and someone else will want me to empty recycling. At least I did get the outside trash and recycling done this time and had help from a sweet college student for the last hour. 

Went straight home and online. Sent off more apartment requests, then worked on writing. Brett's sons literally pull the rug out from under Jack (Klugman) the Red Knight, stopping him before he can harm their mother or Sir Richard Dawson. Betty leads them all to a large gilded mirror in the palace hall with the Red King's men in hot pursuit. She gets the boys and Orson and Gary through...but they're getting closer...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Had baked herbed turkey London broil and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner while watching Match Game '79. The panel is a bit confused when a contestant answers "In September" for "I'll See You In __." An audience member brings them up to speed with a not-bad rendition of the early 60's hit. 

Charles spent most of Match Game PM being extraordinarily fussy, even for him. He wrote one of his answers in "Hebrew," then went down with Gene to see if his Audience Match answer to "Strictly __," Kosher, was on the board. They also had some drug-and-sex fueled answers to what the snake gave Eve in a "really revised" version of the bible. 

Switched to Thanksgiving sitcom episodes as I made chocolate chip muffins. One of the most famous Thanksgiving shows is "Turkeys Away" from the first season of WKRP In Cincinatti. Station manager Arthur Carlson (Gordon Jump) feels useless and tries to shove his way into everyone's projects. He, timid newscaster Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) and sleazy sales manager Herb Tarlek (Frank Bonner) come up with a huge promotion involving launching 20 turkeys into the air as a promotional stunt. It proves to be memorable, all right, just not in the way Arthur intended.

Balki (Bronson Pinchot) and Larry (Mark Linn-Baker) don't have much more luck with "Wild Turkey" during the 7th season of Perfect Strangers. Larry picks up 58 birds from a farmer, intending to sell them to last-minute shoppers. Not only does he only sell one turkey, but it may have swallowed his wife Jennifer's (Melanie Wilson) wedding ring. He and Balki upend the dinner of the family who bought the turkey while trying to find it.

Finished the night on Hulu after the muffins came out of the oven with "The Yalu Brick Road" from the 8th season of MASH. Most of the 4077th spend their holiday weekend in the infirmary after eating bad turkeys Klinger got from another camp. Winchester (David Ogden Stiers), Hot Lips (Loretta Swit), and Father Mulcahey (William Christopher) try to take care of their patients without Winchester and Hot Lips killing each other. Meanwhile, Hawkeye (Alan Alda) and Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) do everything they can to return to the base with the medicine, with the help of a North Korean soldier they "capture" and keeps following them around. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021


Started off the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures. Everyone's excited for "Mickey's Thanksgiving Fun Race" as the Roadster Racers join their closest friends and family to drive a parade float. Mickey and Donald pair up in the gravy boat, but Mickey wants to take things slow, and Donald wants to go fast. The two learn a lesson about cooperation and teamwork when their arguing ends up running all the racers off the road. 

"Happy Thanksgiving Helpers!" are prepared for a big traditional feast. Daisy panics when her grandmother trusts her with making the Double Berry Cranberry Sauce and she can't find any of the ingredients and is upset when no one can bring their traditional dishes. In the end, she learns it's not about what we eat, but who we eat with that matters.

Switched to Buzzr as I cleaned up the dishes. For some reason, they weren't able to get streaming rights for the 90's Newlywed Game. I prefer Family Feud, which they had on it's place, anyway. Richard Dawson really will flirt with anyone, including an especially precocious 10-year-old girl with some terrific answers. I loved it when she answered "Hopalong" to a question about famous Cassidys, then admitted she didn't know who he was. 

Called Rose after breakfast to see how things were going with the bike. Yes, she has the bike, but she wishes I'd be better about finding ways to get things myself. She doesn't always have the time to do things for me. And she's not happy I haven't pushed harder to find jobs. In fact, she's downright upset that I haven't. I told her I'd look again after I got an apartment and that is first priority. 

The trouble is, I've put off job-hunting before. I've come up with ideas that never came to fruition, or have done research on ideas, only to shunt them to the back burner or let them fade away when I don't have the experience or the skills or the transportation for them. I keep saying I want to get out, then for one reason or another, don't do it. I hate where I am, but I'm just plain scared to get out.

I guess I complained to Rose one too many times, because she got really upset. She accused me of lying to and manipulating her and said that she didn't believe in me because I don't believe in myself. If I made her feel that way, I didn't mean to, honest! I had no idea she felt that way. I understand she's having a hard time, too, and I shouldn't put so much pressure on her to do things for me. 

Tried to storm out, but there was a knock on the door. It was Rose, there for the nut for the back bike wheel. I gave it to her, then returned to the computer. Applied to the Oaklyn Gardens apartment complex next to the WaWa. I don't want to live next to WaWa, but I don't have a choice in the matter. I have to get out of here. 

I had to get out after I finished the application. Didn't see the bike in the garage, so I grabbed a bag of books to donate and took them to the Oaklyn Library. The librarians there have always been sweet to me and never mind lending an ear. She said I was being too hard on myself, and that I would find something soon. She also suggested checking rental assistance. (I did later. The application period is long done. The last one they had listed was last spring; the most recent was only for those displaced by virus-related unemployment.)

Jessa called while I was on my way to the library. Other than she's crazy-busy with work at Amazon and still not overly happy with Jodie or Rose, she's fine. She claims the tumor isn't that big, and she was going to see a doctor about it later in the afternoon. She also says she's getting along fine with Joe. 

Went for a walk after leaving the library. Rose lives just two blocks from there. I strolled around the neighborhood, trying to drum up enough courage to apologize. I walked and walked and tried to think of the right words to say to make everything better. I just couldn't do it. Everything I came up with sounded so trite and wrong. I didn't want to say something offensive and make things worse. I even went up to her front steps, but couldn't bring myself to knock on the door. 

Ended up at Common Grounds Coffee House instead. Tried the "Landis London Fog" and a huge, soft cinnamon roll. The "London Fog" was tea with steamed milk and honey, and it wasn't bad. Tasted a bit of coffee; some may have gotten mixed up when they made it. The cinnamon roll was incredible, thick, rich, and full of buttery goodness.

Shortly after I got home, Jodie came in. First of all, hers and Dad's old friends from West Cape May Brian and Diane were passing through here on their way to the Philadelphia Airport to leave for Miami tomorrow. She wanted to take us all out to dinner at Mulligan's at 6. 

Second...she sold the house. I have to be out by December 22nd. I begged her to convince the buyers to put it off until after the holidays. Apparently, they need it for taxes or a tax write-off or something tax-related and don't want boarders. So, no holidays for me this year. No tree of my own, no cookies, no decorations. You don't know how disappointed I am. Christmas is usually my favorite time of the year, and I can't even enjoy it on my own. Rose will have a tree when I cat-sit, but it won't be mine. 

Made a citrus smoothie for lunch while watching the 1944 musical Shine On, Harvest Moon to cheer myself up after she left. I go further into this biography of early 20th century vaudeville star Nora Bayes at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Switched to writing around 4:30. Jack the Red Knight stops Brett, only to let her go. He's fighting whatever it is the Red King did to him and can't bring himself to hurt her. Richard fights him, but it's brief, and he sends them off to the mirror instead. 

Jodie popped her head in around quarter after 5:30. Brian and Diane were already there and wanted to go out to dinner early, so they could get an early start to bed. I quickly threw on my boots and coat and joined them in the kitchen. I'm afraid I got emotional again when I explained everything that happened with Rose. Jodie's still not too happy with her, especially with her not helping me more. 

Mulligan's parking lot was packed when we arrived. Jodie had to drive down the block to find a space. While the bar itself was busy, the dining room looked pretty normal for Tuesday at dinner time. I'm afraid I wasn't fun company. I mainly watched a soccer game while the other three talked. At least my pan-seared scallops on fresh arugula with tomato and balsamic vinaigrette was excellent. The other three mainly talked about Jodie looking for houses at the Shore. 

(And I'm glad I didn't go for sandwiches this time. The crab cake sandwich and cheesesteaks the others ordered were massive, way too big for me. I just wasn't that hungry. Jodie did offer me some of her fries, which I enjoyed, but I didn't take the rest of her cheesesteak.)

Talked to Diane while Jodie went to get the car. She said almost exactly what the librarian said earlier about not being hard on myself. She also reminded me that I'm going through a lot of upheaval in my life right now.

Put on Match Game '79 when I got home, then Match Game PM. Wish Alfie Wise was on the show more often. He was very funny the few times he did appear, like when they all had to figure out the Audience Match "__ Griffith." There was also some of the rowdier answers to what Betty White's host hubby Allen Ludden doesn't know is over. (The contestant said "Password," presumably meaning the then-brand-new Password Plus. "Bite your tongue!" said a shocked Betty.)