Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Hard Candy Christmas

Awoke to a phone call. Rose told me she intended to send Jodie a cease-and-desist letter this morning. She says Jodie should give me two months, or at least a couple of extra weeks. Apparently, she has no more desire for Jodie to lose the sale of the house than Jodie does. At the least, she wants Jodie to pay for my moving expenses. 

I tried to go back to sleep for an hour after that, but no matter how much I closed my eyes, I couldn't shut everything out. Got up and read the Hanukkah material from the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology book instead. They have an interesting essay on the history behind Hanukkah and the Jews' fight for religious freedom, a very funny segment from More All of a Kind Family where the girls attend a family party and one of the girls takes the remaining nuts home in an overturned umbrella, along with hymns and poems. 

Put on A Charlie Brown Christmas while I had breakfast. Chuck's upset by all of the grab, grab around him. Lucy suggests he direct the local Christmas pageant, but the kids would rather turn it into a jazz concert than actually listen to him. They make fun of him when he picks up a tiny real tree for the show, until Linus gives one of the most famous speeches in TV history to remind them of what the holiday is really about.

Rose came around as the show ended with moving boxes in tow. She continues to insist she's not trying to attack anyone. She just wants more time for me to get out of here if I can't find a place, which is entirely possible, given the time of year this is and the difficult housing market. She maintains Jodie is in the wrong and that only giving me a month is illegal.

After she left, I tried to focus on packing up the porcelain and collectible dolls on the dresser, the photos on the window ledge, and the wooden cut-outs of bears, hearts, and rabbits I made in junior high (along with the big wooden E Linda Young sent me a few years back). Listened to A Broadway Christmas while I worked. This is the Veresae Sarabande collection of Christmas-related songs from musicals. Some of them were cut from successful shows like the lovely "Christmas Eve" from She Loves Me or are from obscure flops or regional musicals like "Christmas Gifts" from a stage It's a Wonderful Life. There's also a then-just-rediscovered song, "The Happy New Year Blues" by Irving Berlin. 

The second the CD ended, I grabbed my coat, threw on boots, and ducked out. I just couldn't sit inside anymore. I didn't want to talk to Jodie, Rose, or anyone. I wanted to hide as far away as I could. Of course, even when I made my way down to a narrow dirt pathway in Newton Lake Park, I still got a call from Rose. She wanted to make sure I got that letter and that I didn't back down to Jodie. She also reminded me what a bad time this is to be moving, and that it's Jodie's fault for not having a real rental agreement or talking to her about any of this to begin with. 

When I let off with her, I sat down on a fallen log by the road and tried to focus. It was a beautiful day, all cerulean skies and leaves floating in a just-nippy-enough breeze, but I couldn't calm my mind. I closed my eyes and tried to meditate and listen to nature, but there was too much going on in there. Even the glowing sunshine, the golden leaves fluttering to the ground and the squawk of Canadian geese on the rippling green waters didn't help. I finally moved on, dodging groups of school kids out for lunch as I made my way up Bettlewood Avenue and back into Oaklyn.

I wanted to be around people. I was originally going to have pizza, but I went with a broccoli and cheese quiche, chai latte, and slice of lemon poppyseed cake at Common Grounds Coffee House. Some of the kids did come in later for warm drinks, but they didn't linger for long. I stayed there as long as I could before finally heading home.

Resumed packing when I got in. I was working on packing the adult paperbacks when Jodie came in, clutching the letter from Rose and sobbing like her heart was broken. She insists that she'll sue if the sale of the house doesn't go through, and that her lawyer nephew says it's all legal and binding. I told her to tell Rose that. Rose is the one who knows law, not me. 

Jodie is terrified of Rose. Claimed she didn't want to be yelled at and refused to talk to her. That was too much. I don't mind the crying - I do enough of it - but I've confronted Rose, and I'm no big fan of confrontations either. A lot of the current trouble stems from her and Rose not communicating in the first place. Rose probably did call her back in September, wanting to know if she was selling the house and when, and if she had a plan for helping me to find a place...and Jodie didn't want to deal with her it or do anything, so she avoided her. Confrontations are scary, but you can't always avoid them.

I told her what everyone's told me. Write down what you want to say to Rose, rehearse it, then call her. She didn't want to do that, but she did finally agree to call her first thing tomorrow. She'd better not put that off. Nothing is going to be settled or made better if she and Rose don't TALK, and not through me, either. 

(Also, Jodie claims the pandemic is over. Um...I take it she's been watching the Hallmark Channel and not the news or looking it up online, or only hearing what she wants to hear. Even I know there's still at least two killer strains out there and travel's been suspended to some countries again. She also said I was fine using the laundry room until I move.)

Put on Press Your Luck briefly after she left. It was down to the champ and the one lady when I switched the TV on. The champ hit a car and finally passed his last turn to her. She hit a Whammy on her last turn that won him the game. 

Worked on writing next. Kitty (Carlisle) and her flowers explain that the Red King stole their magic and made the ground hard under many beds, so they couldn't reach the nutrients that allow them to talk. Brett's less sympathetic when the prettier ones criticize her dress, hair, and makeup. She finally reminds them that she could pick the whole lot of them if she wanted.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had quick leftovers while watching Match Game '79. Fred Grandy of The Love Boat made his first appearance on the last episodes to air on CBS before the show's run ended. Singer Connie Stevens was definitely the right person to help a contestant with "__ Aces" on the Head-to-Head.

Let Match Game PM run as I did the dishes. Debralee Scott happily flirted with the handsome young male contestant during the opening. Richard Dawson has far more luck helping with "__ Majors" in the Head-to-Head.

I had It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown on earlier, but I didn't really hear much of it when Rose came in. Re-ran it while packing my crocheting supplies, cassettes, and the collectible teddy bears on the table in my bedroom. The linear story was traded for a series of skits about the Peanuts' holiday preparations. Snoopy rings bells on the corner as a sidewalk Santa, Chuck sells wreaths to buy a gift, Peppermint Patty and Marcie see the Hallelujah Chorus and play a sheep and Mary in the school pageant, while Sally works hard to remember her one line. 

Finished out the night on Shout Factory's website for the first of two holiday MS3K episodes. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians from 1964 is considered to be one of the worst movies ever made. Martians kidnap Santa to make their kids happy. Two Earth kids follow and try to get him back, only to be caught themselves. Hooo boy. This notorious low-budget cult favorite is campy as all get out, especially since the actors playing Martians are mostly taking the story seriously. Needless to say, the robots have a great time riffing on this one. In between, they sing their own versions of carols, read holiday essays, and give each other gifts. 

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