Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Long Day's Journey Back to Home

Stared the morning by feeding the cats, then read The Curious World of Christmas in bed. I was about to have breakfast when I heard my cell phone ring. It was Rose. She and her family decided to come home early! Yipes! I just barely dashed into Khai's room and pulled on regular clothes as they pulled in the door. 

I was so embarrassed. I didn't have the chance to take out the recycling or wipe down the kitchen counter better or fold the blankets on the couch or finish packing. Good thing I didn't work until 11:15. At least the kids finally got to open their Christmas presents. Yes, Khai loved his coffee-table book of dinosaur lore and his toy dinosaur in the Santa hat, and Finley loved her unicorn and vintage Barbie Fairy Princess Golden Books and pink plastic bird.

The kids watched Dinosaur Train while I got organized and their parents tried to figure out what to do about lunch. This PBS show is what the title says. A mother pterodactyl adopts a Tyrannosaurus Rex and shows it and her own children how different the many types of dinosaurs are, via the titular train. "Shiny's Sea Shells" are her favorite collection, but she's willing to give up the shell in order to help a crustacean find a  home. "King Crylophosaurus" has the dino-kids and their mother searching for the elusive King, a dinosaur with a bone crest on his head that resembles Elvis' famous hairstyle. He wrote the Dinosaur Train song, but is afraid he won't come up with another just as good. The kids encourage him to keep trying.

(And yes, poor Finley is indeed under the weather. She was quiet and fairly subdued for her. Her mother called the doctor shortly after they got in.)

Headed off to work after Rose said she or Craig would take my things over later. Work was dead almost the entire day. I spend the afternoon mostly shelving candy and working on story notes...until it hit 3:30. Then, all of a sudden, we got slammed and didn't have nearly enough help to deal with everyone. Thank heavens it slowed down considerably by 5:15, enough for me to head out a few minutes early.

And I needed to leave a few minutes early. I didn't feel well. My head hurt, and I was achy and dead tired. Didn't help that I couldn't get in the house when I did finally make it home. I just couldn't get my key in the lock. It wouldn't go in. A neighbor finally helped me in through Jodie's side. 

I was so tired, I could barely unpack my bags. Plopped down with a banana smoothie in front of Match Game '74. Gene's dapper golf shoes come in for a lot of ribbing in the opening, including Richard asking Gene where the carnival was. Later on, an animated contestant keeps worrying about how bad her answers are...and if the audience response is any indication, they're not very good.

Charles got the jokes in the next episode. One of the questions asked what part he'd play in Snow White. Everyone said the lead...except for Jo Anne Worley, who went for something meatier. Richard had far less luck with he Head-to-Head, one of the few times his being British really effected his answer. 

Fannie Flagg was an agreeable replacement for a busy Brett Somers in the Match Game PM episode. Gene's so annoyed when the contestant names him for a question about a lady having a boyfriend with the face of Paul Newman and the body of __, he strips off his jacket to show off a fairly well-toned body for a 60-something. Fannie did much better with "Onward __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished off the night with The Ice Follies of 1939 on TCM. I go further into this mess of ice-bound kitsch featuring an out-of-their element Joan Crawford and James Stewart at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Moved to YouTube for a fond childhood memory. I found a copy of The Dance Fever Christmas Special from 1980, and I loved it. Rose and Anny and I were huge fans of this syndicated proto-Dancing With the Stars during the 80's, when it ran on WPIX New York on Saturday evenings. Normally, four amateur dance couples compete to win cash and a big prize like a car or vacation...but here, we have eight, a set of adults and a set of kids, each from a different part of the US. Instead of dancing with the stars, the stars are the judges. Here, joined by their daughters, were Chad Everett, troubled detective star Robert Blake, and singer and actress Connie Stevens. The show also featured magic routines from David Copperfield and a song from The Gap Band. Professional dancer and choreographer Danny Terrio was the original host. 

(Incidentally, my favorite adult routine were the southern pair who somehow managed to mix the Charleston with disco moves and make it genuinely entertaining. The kids were split between the duo in gold from Anaheim who did an awesome number to "Hot Lunch Jam" from Fame and the mini-cowgirl and cowboy from Texas who performed a lively square dance. My favorite group routine was no contest. The kids and adults from New York appeared as the Chipmunks and Dave, doing a hilarious mock-fight to the tune of the Chipmunks' version of "Here Comes Santa Claus." The southern group's patriotic routine to a disco "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was unique for Christmas and had a lot of energy.)

If you're a dance lover or also watched this show in its heyday, here's the link to a piece of genuine early 80's kitsch! 

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