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! 

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