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!

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