Thursday, December 02, 2021

Oh Christmas Tree

Started off the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "The Tiger Family Grows" when Mrs. Tiger reveals she's going to have a baby. Daniel's not sure he wants to be the big brother, especially when he plays family with Katerina at school, but he finally grows to enjoy helping out. "Daniel Learns About Being a Big Brother" when he helps his parents set up the new baby's room and they show him how he's outgrown his old crib and clothes.

Went online briefly to see if I heard from Sue Bromley about the White Horse Pike house. I had, but she only needed to ask a question about my application. Turns out they're not going to make a final decision until tomorrow. 

Spent the rest of the morning packing. Jodie brought in two large boxes she bought from Home Depot, and I cleared crates for books. Packed up all the books on the shelves in the hall, half the books in the living room, and all of the books in the bedroom but the self-help guides (which are on top of my desk and I keep forgetting about them). One of Jodie's boxes held pots and pans I don't use as often; the other holds the records I cleared out of the crates.

Watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as I figured out how to squeeze all of the books into the crates laying around. "Mickey Saves Santa" when he's stranded on top of Mistletoe Mountain. Donald goes along to give Santa his Christmas list and gets constantly reminded to "be nice!" if he wants Santa to bring him gifts.

Since I was already at Disney Plus, I switched to Mickey's Christmas Carol. Despite the title, Uncle Scrooge is actually the star of this 1983 featurette, playing his namesake. Mickey is put-upon Bob Cratchit, Donald is Nephew Fred, Goofy is a surprisingly effective Jacob Marley, and Big Pete is a scary Ghost of Christmas Future.

Ran A Garfield Christmas Special on the Roku Channel while wrapping presents for Lauren. Garfield's not thrilled about being dragged to the farm for Christmas, but he does manage to make friends with Jon's tough and feisty Grandma. When Grandma admits she misses her husband at Christmas more than anything, Garfield finds a way to make her holiday a little merrier.

Headed out as soon as I finished getting Lauren's package together. Thankfully, there was only one other person ahead of me at the post office. After Lauren's Christmas package last year didn't arrive until Christmas Eve, I was taking no chances. I wanted it out as soon as possible. Got in, sent it off, got out.

Spent the next half-hour or so riding my bike around the neighborhood, despite the cloudy, warm, and gloomy day. I really didn't feel like sitting around anymore. Besides, I was hoping the fresh air would clear my nose. I was sneezing like crazy. I even stopped briefly at the Tracey Connors Park in the back of Oaklyn and played on the playground, pushing myself through a tube tunnel and down the smaller slide. (The larger one had a big puddle on the bottom. Even the smaller slide had some water, but it was easier to slow down and jump off of.)

Rose called shortly after I came in. Jodie chickened out and had her lawyer nephew talk to them. It doesn't sound like anyone wants to back down an inch. I really, really need to get either the White Horse Pike apartment or the one on Collings Avenue. Rose is hoping if I can find a place, she'll just negotiate for Jodie to pay my moving expenses. Trouble is, as you may have noticed, it's hard to find a place right now. Either my income is too low (even though I have money in the bank), or the building is full, or they rent it to a friend. 

Went straight into writing when I got home around 3:30. Kitty and her flower girls tell Richard they saw what they thought to be a very red flower with thorns on her head pass through. Richard knows who she really is...and he needs to find her before the Red King does...

Broke for dinner at 5:30. We briefly see sweet Janet Finn, a previous winner, in the audience during Match Game '75 when her good friend and neighbor Carol Bartos admitted she gave her a piece of her winning card for luck. It worked. Carol went on to become the show's top champion at that point. Meanwhile, Brett convinces Gene to switch his usual tie for a jauntier orange scarf. 

Headed out around 6 for a walk and to look at lights. It began showering lightly as I made my way past displays of rainbow colors and huge inflatable Santa and elves. It didn't really amount to much, and I arrived at the Oaklyn Fire Hall around learn the parade wasn't until 7. No matter. I strolled a few blocks down and bought a super-sweet Frozen Chocolate from Dunkin' Donuts.

By the time I strolled around a few more blocks and came back to City Hall and the Fire Hall, everyone had arrived. Little kids chased each other while their older siblings joked and climbed on each other's backs and their parents talked over strollers. The Civic Association and Oaklyn's food pantry set up booths behind us. Honestly, half the fun of attending these parades is seeing the show beforehand. The kids are just so funny running around, yelling for Santa (even the pre-teens) and teasing and chasing each other. 

Oaklyn's Parade of Lights finally arrived at quarter after 7. It's grown substantially since it started about five or six years ago. Normally, the "parade" is a couple of fire trucks decorated with lights. We had that, but we also had some themed trucks, one that sprayed "snow" on the crowd, and a mummers group dressed as "monsters." (The kids were really funny imitating the mummers' strutting.) My favorite decorated truck was the Coca-Cola themed one with the polar bear in a sled pulled by dalmatians. 

Many of the kids held fiber-optic wands as they darted between their friends and parents. I hadn't seen those since I was a kid. Long plastic bristles glow red, gold, and green from a battery in the handle when you swirl them around. They used to sell them for the 4th of July fireworks and other similar events in Cape May. Turns out the Civic Association were giving them away for free, along with hot chocolate, soft pretzels, and candy canes. I took everything but the hot chocolate. since I already had the Frozen Chocolate earlier.

Went straight into the shower when I got home. Watched Evening Primrose online after I got out. I go further into this bizarre 1966 musical, the only small-screen show with a full score by Stephen Sondheim, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

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