Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Lights of Christmas

Kicked off the morning with the Christmas episodes of Sheriff Callie's Wild West. Toby badly wants an animal of his own to ride on for Christmas. He thinks "Toby's Christmas Critter" is a horse with prickles. It's really Comet the Reindeer, telling him where bandits took Santa's sleigh. Toby has to alert Callie and Peck to their presence and deliver the gifts to Nice and Friendly Corners himself. It's "A Very Tricky Christmas" when Tricky Travis and Oswald the Bear convince the citizens to form a band, then steal their tree. Like the Grinch, "their hearts grow three sizes" when they see the townspeople are together and happy with or without a tree.

By the time I was eating breakfast, I'd moved on to Family Feud. One of the families gave Richard a very cute bear dressed as WC Fields this morning. It was a close game, too. The challengers got ahead on the last question. They didn't do nearly as well on the Fast Money board, though.

Went into apartment hunting next. Still am not having any luck. The few apartments available are either in questionable neighborhoods and buildings or are too big or expensive or both. I really, really should have started looking in June.

Mom called to check up on me just as I was getting off. She's sending me an Amazon gift card for Christmas. I told her I was going to be seeing two apartments this week. I also admitted to her that, while I'm glad Rose is going to take her family to Maine for some fun...I wish I could do that, too. I don't want children or marriage, just a group of people to spend the holidays with. Mom a point. She spends a lot of her time alone, including Christmas, and it doesn't bother her. While she does see her grandchildren, she still doesn't get along with Anny all that well, and is no fonder of driving up here than Amanda is. 

Broke at 1 to do the laundry. It's early, but I'll be seeing apartments for the next two days, and the weather's not supposed to be great on Saturday. Since I didn't have that much to wash, I threw in the sheets and pillowcases, too. Once again got money at WaWa and bought a Vanilla Sugar Cookie Smoothie to make change. 

Though the laundromat was empty except for three people, two of the women kept going on and on about the terrible things happening in one's life. After I threw my clothes in the dryer, I went down to the pretzel shop two blocks away to avoid them, only to discover it's closed Monday through Wednesday. Thankfully, they were gone before I got my clothes out. Spent the rest of the time working on story notes.

Had a banana-pear smoothie for lunch while watching Sonic Christmas Blast on Tubi. This seems to be the holiday episode of The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, though it uses aspects of the darker Sonic the Hedgehog from Saturday mornings as well. Sonic and Tails are shocked when Santa seemingly retires and leaves his job to Dr. Robotnik. Turns out Robotnik captured the real Santa in order to keep all the presents for himself. Santa insists Sonic can't deliver all the presents in one night...unless he uses the ring Princess Sally gave him to access a special run that will give him super speed!

Cleaned the bathroom while watching Tattletales. Soap opera star Peter Haskell and his outspoken wife Cricket only got one question right. It was the very last double question, so their section did get some money, but they still lost to glamorous Alana and George Hamilton and Europeans Juliet Mills and Michael Miklenda. 

Press Your Luck got a lot closer. The champ was behind for most of the game. The only guy got all the money and none of the Whammies in the first half. The other woman Whammied out mid-way through the second round, leaving the other two to battle it out. The guy really didn't look happy when he handed his last turn to the champ...and she landed on a bar set that won her the game, along with a trip to San Diego.

Let Whew! run while I vacuumed the floor. Two college students charged and and tried to keep the other from answering "bloopers," factual statements with one or two words wrong, by placing "blocks" on the board. It's a lot more fun to watch than you might think. The contestants get so into it! It was a really good game, too. The young man and woman won a game each. He barely won the tiebreaker on the last level and beat "The Gauntlet" bonus round where people run through standing figures of the show's "villain" mascots with two seconds to spare. 

Worked on writing for a while after I finished vacuuming and pushing the Swifter. No sooner are they on the train than Brett finds herself sitting in a train car, surrounded by her sons and a group of very strange people. A grouchy conductor (Joey Bishop) asks her for tickets, but she admits she has none. He tells her gruffly she'll need to get one at the next stop. 

Rose called while I was on the computer. Still no news from Jodie or her cousin lawyer. He won't get back to Rose or let her see that deed of sale...and I want no further trouble. Rose says there's nothing else anyone can do unless I want to sue them. I do not want to sue them. Jodie's already threatened to sue us. I don't want anyone doing anything extreme. I just want to find an apartment. 

I really wish Jodie just talked to Rose back in September and explained about the house and what was going on, instead of giving into her fear and avoiding her or hoping a white knight would swoop to her rescue and do everything for her. Rose claims I'm making excuses for her. I just don't want things to get worse. 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '74 at 6:30. Long-married kooky couple Donald Ross and Patti Deustch appeared together for the first and only time in one of the funniest weeks of the entire series. It's Charles who gets the best line after Fannie answers the question of what Chiquita the flamenco dancer bangs together instead of castanets. 

Realized I packed all of the recipe books, including the ones with muffin recipes. I made Chocolate Chip Muffins from memory while watching Match Game PM. A gentleman with long, thick hair and a beard to match really turned Brett's head in this episode. It was Richard who helped with "Jack the __" on the Head-to-Head, though.

Went for a walk after the muffins came out of the oven. I needed to get out. Went for a walk to look at Christmas lights. I don't think I even got around to doing that last year. It was a nice night for it, too, cloudy and cool but not too cold. Most houses in this neighborhood settle for outlines in rainbow colors or red and green and a few wire reindeer sculptures on the lawn. 

They get more elaborate in the neighborhood between the school and the Black Horse Pike. I saw lawns festooned with every possible holiday icon, from Santa to polar bears to nativities. Inflatables aren't as common as they used to be, but they still do appear; my favorite was the big jolly Santa and his sleigh. I also loved the house with the white and colored lights that looked like strings of jewels and crystal glowing in the night; the icicle lights that dripped off the roof resembled necklaces of the finest crystal beads. 

Finished the night online with John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together at YouTube. I've had the classic soundtrack album on CD since the mid-90's, but I've never seen the actual special until today. Piggy's upset that the show's big elf number doesn't feature her more, so she demands changes from Denver...and he's too much of a nice guy to say no. 

There's some wonderful numbers here, many of which aren't on that soundtrack. I liked Piggy's big number, as a doll singing "I Will Wait For You" from the French musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg while toy soldier Denver and his wind-up regiment march off to war. There's quieter segments too, including a lovely part towards the end where all the kids in the audience join Denver and the Muppets singing "Silent Night," and another involving realistic Muppets depicting the birth of Jesus. Absolutely worth seeing if you're a fan of Denver or the original Muppet Show

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