Monday, January 31, 2022

Talks With My Sister

Slept in this morning and read books. It was noon before I finally got rolling. Ate a yummy bulgur and fruit breakfast while watching Match Game '74. Betty White appears in a cameo in the audience, cheering on her husband Allen Ludden. Meanwhile, there's much joking in the opening about Fannie Flagg's sweater with the huge glasses on them. 

Let the next show run while I did the dishes. Glad I did. It started off with everyone making jokes about Gene's plaid patchwork pants, which were horrifying even for the 70's. Richard then lead the group in singing "He Has the Whole World In His Hands" in honor of the hands print on Fannie's latest sweater. (Even Johnny Olsen sounded surprised by it in the opening!) Rich is less happy when Gene ends up in Elaine Joyce's lap to read a question.

Made a couple of texts earlier in the day. Responded to them as the show ended. Craig did give me the name of the neuropsychology clinic he used, but he apparently can't co-sign for me. No explanation, since I know he makes good money at Anthony's. I'm not going to push him and risk further upsetting Rose. Also got a hold of Jessa, who said she'd meet me after work at 2:30.

Managed to get out to the laundromat by 1:30. Thankfully, this time, they weren't that busy. Grabbed trash bags and a drink at Family Dollar, then went back to the laundromat and did some research on my phone. Apparently, there's something called a third-party co-signer where you can get a company to sign with you. The landlord has to agree to it, though. I really hope we can get away with that. I may not have a choice. 

I need to figure out the government sites, too. I keep looking at their websites, but all the low-cost housing is for seniors or the disabled, or it's full. I have no idea where to even sign up for them, or if it would be worth it. It might not be a bad idea to contact PNC and see if they can cover me, or at least give me a letter stating my credit and savings are good. It might be better to have some kind of proof I can pay beyond the financial statements and pay stubs, since they don't seem to be working.

Jessa called while the laundry was in the dryer. She arrived early and was waiting for me. Good thing the laundry only had about three or four minutes left by then anyway. I hurriedly dumped everything in the bag, rushed out, unlocked the bike, threw it all in the basket, and rushed home. When I got in, I put the bag and the box of trash bags inside, then went out and joined Jessa in her car by the snow-clogged curb.

We were going to eat at the Oaklyn Manor Bar, but they're closed on Mondays. We ended up eating cheesesteaks across the street at Phillies Phatties. I explained my situation to her. She's also convinced I should get another job. That would be great, if there wasn't a time crunch. There's no guarantee that I would get a job in a month, and even if I did, landlords aren't going to accept a job that someone's only made money on for a few weeks. They want steady, safe income. Too many people have lost their jobs due to Covid or other factors and relied on savings alone. 

She also can't co-sign. The reason she works two jobs is she doesn't make enough money at either of them to live even decently. And interestingly, she does own her condo, and I believe it's in her name. She's the only person in the family besides Rose and Craig who owns their home. And I've seen her condo. No room there, either. It's small and really very messy, just big enough for them. She did suggest I bring checks with me to viewings to show these people I'm able to pay them.

Went straight online when I went home. I took a lot at that Match Game western fanfic I started a while back. I wonder if I could finish that one. Maybe switching stories would give me a boost. I really wanted to finish Blank In Wonderland, though. I'm more than half-way. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had a banana-orange smoothie while watching Match Game '78. Gene and Bob Barker joke about their suggestion a while back of appearing in a show of their own together. (I wonder what in the heck that would have been like, with those two huge hams?) Meanwhile, Patti helps a sweet and shy contestant with "__ Dark" on the Head-to-Head.

Went straight into the PM episode for the week after that as I did the dishes. Soap star Erica Hope and Laugh-In comedian Arte Johnson helps a lady figure out "Bronx __" in the Audience Match. Bronx native Charles, of course, had to demonstrate the Bronx cheer. 

Leaves scatter around the apartment every time I come in the door. I vacuumed and Swiftered them, then dusted whatever I could reach. Watched Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I worked. The whole neighborhood is "Looking for Snowball" when the class pet gets out of his cage. Teacher Harriet is beside herself, and the kids are upset, too. It takes everyone working together to figure out where the hungry bunny hopped off to. "Daniel's Neighbors Help" when he and his mother are sick. Lady Elaine takes him home from school and brings them chicken soup, X the Owl brings them books to read, and Mr. McFeely delivers get-well cards from Dan's classmates.

Finished up the night on Tubi after a shower with a first season Charlie's Angels episode. The girls are hired to find a missing antique dealer, but things get complicated when they learn his store was robbed, and one of the items may have smuggled diamonds. Jill joins "Consenting Adults," a computer dating service that's really the front for a prostitute ring, to learn more about the call girl who distracted him while the robbery took place and what her gangster boss is after. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Picture This

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and the original cast album of Flower Drum Song in honor of Lunar New Year on Tuesday. Rogers and Hammerstein's tale of strife between two generations of Chinese immigrants and the bride who comes from China to marry the younger is badly dated today, but does have some good songs. The brassy "I Enjoy Being a Girl," performed here with verve by Pat Suzuki, is this show's major standard. Other lovely tunes include "A Hundred Million Miracles," "You are Beautiful," "Sunday," and "Love, Look Away."

Headed out before the record ended. Between the snow and temperatures that barely got in the 20's, I took Uber to and from work. I got incredibly lucky today. My ride to work was supposed to take 17 minutes to arrive; the one going home was listed as arriving in 19. They both took less than ten. The main roads weren't bad. The real problem was the Acme's parking lot. Salt and ice congealed to form a slick, messy surface that resisted plowing. Customers complained about it all day.

The Acme was off-and-on busy. It's likely that the frigid weather and the mess in the parking lot kept it from being even worse. Big championship games between the Chiefs and the Bengals and the Rams and the 49ers probably cleared folks out, too. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by 5 that I was able to shut down with no relief.

(Incidentally, the Bengals and the Rams are going to the Super Bowl in two weeks. Bengals beat the Chiefs 27-24 and the Rams won over the 49ers 20-17.)

Finally got to working on some writing. Patti (Deustch) Dee and Donald (Ross) Dum don't appreciate being stared at like dummies or poked at by Brett's son David. They're not waxworks, you know, and poking isn't polite. Sir Richard explains they're on their way across the Looking Glass Checker Board so Brett can be queen.

It was almost 7:30 before I broke for dinner. Had leftover Italian bean casserole while listening to the soundtrack from Streets of Fire. This extremely 80's hard rock action musical has some great tunes, including the hit ballad "I Can Dream About You" and the epic dance song "Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young."

Finished the night on YouTube with picture puzzle games. Seven Keys was a local game initially produced for the LA market in 1961 before going national briefly in '62. Host Jack Narz and a model in a fur choose three at home contestants randomly who wrote down keys they wanted. The keys open some kind of prize, ranging from furs to appliances. The main game is basically Chutes & Ladders for adults. The contestant spins a wheel and can go up and down depends on where the wheel lands. When they land on a space, they answer a trivia question that will give them a key to a prize package. Alas, the lady contestant didn't reach the end or the big kid-themed prize package. 

The winner here is the Concentration franchise. The version hosted by Hugh Downs with the simple clickety-clack board lasted on NBC for 14 years, from 1958 to 1973. Alex Trebek hosted the later NBC Classic Concentration from 1987 to 1991, this one with a chroma key board, more wild and take cards, and a bonus round that had contestants matching car models in order to win the last model they matched. The episode of Concentration I went with from 1963 is one of the few remaining of the original show's run. Buzzr runs the 1987-1989 Classic Concentration episodes to death, which is why I picked one of the show's last episodes from 1991. (And hey, NBC, how about a night time revival? Could be fun for the summer months.)

Catch Phrase, Headline Chasers, and All Star Blitz are three failed picture puzzle games from 1985. Catch Phrase is by far my favorite. One of the earliest games to make heavy use of computer graphics, it has two contestants trying to guess a puzzle to open a piece of a larger "Catch Phrase" puzzle. If they get the full puzzle, they win the round. It's too bad this didn't last a year in the US. It's too adorable, and Art James looks like he had fun with it. It seems to have found far greater success in other parts of the world, notably England and Vietnam. 

Headline Chasers is somewhat similar, only here, the "catch phrase" is actually parts of a news headline. As more letters are revealed in the headline, the contestants have to guess the headline. Wink Martindale handles the headlines here. All Star Blitz brings in celebrities as Peter Marshall leads contestants to choose a square. A celebrity has to answer a question, and the contestant decides if they're telling the truth. If they guess right, part of a word puzzle will be revealed. All-Star Blitz barely made it a few months; Headline Chasers didn't even make a year. I do have some fond memories of both from their runs on the USA Network in the mid-late 80's. 

Even Nickelodeon got in on the picture puzzles. Their Get the Picture from 1991 is basically Catch Phrase with stunts. Two teams of two kids first have to reveal an outline of dots piece by piece and guess what the dots represent after answering trivia. The second round featured an actual picture under the pieces. Occasionally, the kids choose a "Power Surge" piece that allows the kids to play some kind of stunt for extra cash. The winning team moves on to the "Mega Memory" board. The kids see a group of nine photos, then have to remember where they're placed. 

This was a really fun show. It was actually a bit challenging to remember all those pictures and where everything was. I'm surprised this one didn't run longer, either. It was only on first-run for nine months, though it re-ran for several years on Nickelodeon, and later on the Nick GAS game show-oriented channel.

Here's hoping you can concentrate and figure out these picture and word puzzles! (Look for the original commercials on several shows, including Concentration and Get the Picture.)

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Winter Wonderlands

Awoke late in the morning to the much-talked-about snowstorm. Fine, delicate flakes continued to fall fast and thick as I looked out into a white world. Everything was covered this time, including the streets. It's a good thing I was already off. If I worked in the morning, I probably would have called out.

Had bulgur and grapes for breakfast while watching Frosty Returns. This 1992 special isn't a follow up to the Rankin-Bass Frosty. It's more like a Peanuts show with Rankin-Bass overtones. (The former is explained by Bill Melendrez being the producer.) Holly DiCarlo wants to perform magic at her town's Winter Carnival. She loses her hat, but gains a friend when it ends up on Frosty's head. Frosty's horrified when he learns the Carnival may not go on, thanks to a grumpy old financier (Brian Doyle Murphy) who has invented a spray that instantly clears snow. Holly, Frosty, and her friend Charles set out to prove to the town why snow and winter can be a lot of fun.

Put on Match Game '74 while I did the dishes. Mike Evans, the first Lionel on The Jeffersons, appeared on this wild week that also included Gary Burghoff sitting in for Charles Nelson Reilly while he directed a play. Gary and Gene scold Brett for eating a lollipop on the air. She gets him back when she and Gene tease him for his rather bad impression of his own character Radar from MASH. Meanwhile, Fannie Flagg shows off her unique snake and apple t-shirt and the others have a hard time figuring out the Audience Match "Point __."

Went online to look up apartments and online jobs. Not a ton of luck with either. There are still not many apartments I can afford out there...and I'm afraid I'll be turned down for anything else until I can make more money. Online jobs are more plentiful, but a lot of them are full-time and need all of your attention. Wish there were more book stores around here, or that the tiny record and book stores in the local towns needed more help. Even the local Barnes & Nobles don't need help. The closest job listed with them is in the Philly stores. 

I go so caught up in my search, it was 3 PM before I had lunch. Made a quick tropical smoothie while watching Match Game '75. This was another wild one. It started with a quick cameo from Orson Bean, who explained he was there because Gary Burghoff's wife Janet was about to have a baby and ended with contestant demonstrating leg wrestling with Gene. In between, the audience went wild over a question about how the Burbank fire department put out a fire. 

Mom as the second show began. She feels bad that she can't take me in...but she's also worried that her older owner may turn her out if she goes against her lease. I'm more understanding about it than Rose is. Frankly, I know how she feels. She has a lease and her rules, and that's that. I just wish everyone would stop trying to dump me on everyone else like an unwanted child. People have done that my whole life when they couldn't deal with me and my problems. 

She's also really for me getting a second retail job for a few months so I can get an apartment. First of all, how would that work? I wouldn't get a paycheck or a pay stub for at least two weeks. Second, I'm already worn out at my current job. And how would I look for an apartment or move if I was working two physical jobs? When would I have the time for anything?

And now I'm kicking myself hard for asking Dad to bail me out so many times, especially when I first moved here. Dad really should have encouraged all of us to be more independent and rely less on his money. Dad bailed Rose and Jessa out, too, and Bill's had to bail out Keefe and Anny. It's been at least five years or more since I needed anyone to pay the rent for me, but there was the to-do with Rose picking up my bike in November, and the time I needed money from Dad when I dropped my air conditioner on the porch and damaged the newly-laid fiberglass flooring.

It was past 4:30 when I finally headed out to run errands at Dollar General, and just to check out the snow. We must have gotten at least 8 to 10 inches. Heard the kids out playing in it earlier. The streets were clogged with frozen snow. Even the White Horse Pike had slushy salted snow shoved up against the curbs. It was cold and windy but brisk, and sunny by that point. 

I only needed Liquid Plumber anyway, which I forgot when I was at Dollar General the other day. The bathroom tub is running slow again. They also had the latest flavor from Mountain Dew, the raspberry lemonade Spark. Unlike some of their other flavors, it did taste like a cross between lemons, raspberry, and Mountain Dew, and other than being as sweet as usual for them, was quite tasty.

Tried going online to write when I got home, but I ended up browsing online instead. I've always had a problem with focusing, and it's just gotten worse over the past few years. I'll be doing something else when I should be writing. I really should at least be typing up some of the fairy tales I've written in my offline journal to post them online or try to sell them, but I'm not. It's so hard to do something when there's so many distractions out there.

Got so caught up, it was 7:30 before I broke for dinner. Had leftovers while watching Frosty's Winter Wonderland. This is the real Rankin-Bass Frosty sequel. Frosty's glad to be with the kids again, but he's lonely when they go home. They build a snow wife to be a companion for him, but she's not "all livin'" like he is at first. Meanwhile, Jack Frost is jealous of Frosty's popularity and will do anything to get rid of him, including stealing his magic hat.

Finished the night online after a shower with Aladdin. I go further into this 1990 Disney Channel production at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Snow Storm Cometh

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel and Miss Elaina go outside to play astronauts on "A Snowy Day." Dan wears his cardboard astronaut helmet outside, but he finds when he's too cold to play that a hat and gloves are far more appropriate for the weather. Katarina wants it to be "Tutu All the Time" when she gets a new dance outfit. When it gets splattered with paint while doing artwork and won't fit in the block house Dan and Prince Wednesday made, she has to admit that there are some places were tutus don't work.

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. Even as I made my way to work, it began to snow heavily...but the snow never stuck to anything but the ground. It was slowing even as I walked through the sliding doors and apparently would be off and on for the next few hours. 

Given the weather reports call for anything from 3 to 10 inches of snow here, I think you can guess we were very busy through most of the day. The off-and-on squalls probably kept the lines from being even worse. Not only did we not have enough help, but we had even less later in the day when the night cashiers started calling out to avoid the weather. My second break was so late, I didn't get to it until almost an hour before I finished.

Went straight into my own quick grocery shopping when I got off. Didn't really need much, anyway. Found maple-glazed salmon with a manager's coupon for dinner and yogurt, the almond milk I normally drink, and a bag of red bulger on clearance, and strawberries on sale. Restocked canola oil, white flour, canned pineapple and mandarin oranges, chocolate chips, butter, bananas, sandwich bags, and low-salt canned white beans.

Better schedule next week. In good news, slightly more hours, only two long days, Monday and next Saturday off. I just wish one of those long days wasn't bagging. I used to like bagging a lot more when I didn't have six thousand things to do in addition to sweeping, shelving items, and gathering carts...and I never have any help, either. 

The snow started again as I rode home. Once again, it only stuck to the ground, at least while I was out there. The streets were wet, but not snowy. I was able to ride home normally. It was past 10 PM before anything really stuck to the streets. It's still coming down pretty hard at press time, and everything is covered now - street, ground, sidewalks. It's beautiful, with the glowing white snow standing out against the stark indigo and ebony backdrop of night.

Texted Jessa when I got in. We're going to get together Monday afternoon to talk and have lunch together. She suggested an agent in Deptford, and recommended I try looking in her area. I'll do it, but most of her area is apartment buildings. It's become very clear that the apartment buildings in particular want nothing to do with me. I'll look over there, but I'm not sure what I'll find. 

Arrived in time for Match Game PM. Bob Barker was entirely too happy to have WKRP bombshell Loni Anderson sitting next to him, including whispering something in her ear at one point. A bit later, Gene got fed up reading the question for Robert Pine and took a nap against his entrance while he read it.

Had the salmon and sauteed escarole for dinner while letting Sale of the Century run. The two women were back and forth the entire show. The guy won a Fame Game early-on, but did little else. The other female challenger bought two out of three Instant Bargains, won the Instant Cash and a Fame Game, and pulled ahead in the Speed Round. Her luck ran out in the Bonus Round, though.

Finished the night online with free offerings from around the internet. Started with a second season Hart to Hart episode. Johnathan witnesses "Murder In Paradise" when he, Jennifer, and Max are in Hawaii for a croquet tournament and one of the officials turn up dead. He manages to get a key to them that could open a very important secret. They're not the only ones after the information. A mysterious agent from British Secret Service and a more direct one from the CIA claim to want that information, too...but which is the real agent, and which is the double agent impostor?

The three Sailor Moon hour-long "movies" are currently free on YouTube. I went with the third one, Sailor Moon Super S: The Movie. Children around the globe are being kidnapped by an evil witch who uses their sweet dream energy to power her Black Dream Hole. If she can make it large enough, it'll swallow the Earth! When Sailor Moon's daughter Sailor Chibi-Moon is among those kidnapped, she and the other Soldiers follow a dream fairy who befriended Chibi-Moon to the witch's lair to end this nasty nightmare for good. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

What's Right for Me?

I awoke to a phone call. I read in bed for a little while before I felt up to dealing with Rose. She reminded me that I only have a month left to find an apartment, and so far, I have not been successful. She's still bound and determined for me to move in with Mom, even just for a few months. We'll take care of each other...and more to the point, she won't have to take care of me. She insists I could find online work anywhere. Neither she nor Jodie can co-sign for me, as they don't have jobs or regular incomes. She also wants me to either transfer or take more time off work to find a better job.

Called Mom after I wrote in my journal. I'm afraid I can't move in with her. Mom's lease doesn't allow anyone but her to live there. Not only that, but she doesn't intend to say there very long. She's hoping to move down to Virginia to share a house my brother Keefe and his wife. She doesn't have a job and can't afford to live in New Jersey, either. 

I was tired of sitting around and thinking and being frustrated and angry, even though Mom says I shouldn't be spending money right now. I intended to take myself out to breakfast on New Year's Eve or Day like I used to, but between being busy and being sick, there wasn't time. Rode up to the Legacy Diner in Audubon for brunch. Their Apple Cinnamon Pancakes were too dry, even with the apples, and they forgot the syrup and almost forgot the whipped topping. The latter did help somewhat, and it was food anyway.

Took advantage of a nice day to run errands at Dollar General on the other end of the White Horse Pike. Despite it being noon, they surprisingly weren't that busy. I bought sugar and muffin papers and finally remembered sponges...but forgot Liquid Plumber, which was the other thing I was there for.

Went straight home after that and right online after I put everything away. Rose called before I'd barely turned on the computer. She was absolutely furious with Mom, accusing her of being selfish for not taking me in or doing more for me. She said she was done with me and refuses to aid me further or have anything to do with me. She has her own problems to deal with.

Mom called almost seconds after I got off with Rose. We're both pretty fed up with her, too. I appreciate the legal counsel, her getting me the extra two months, and steering me to Anthony Pezzelle...but she has the same problem as Jodie with ignoring what she doesn't want to hear. I can't move in with Mom because she doesn't want to deal with me, and I can't move in with her because Jodie doesn't want me here. That is not the way the world works. 

And I'm a little fed up with both of them. Yes, I appreciate what they have done for me over the years and the support they've given me. On the other hand, if I had a dime for every time one or both of them claimed they'd do something, then forgot, put it off, or suddenly didn't have the time, I'd actually be able to afford an apartment here. And often when I did finally get them to do it, they'd complain I should be doing it myself. Everyone in this damn family has either ignored everyone else's problems when it didn't suit their agenda or turned it over to another family member to deal with...and now there's no one left who's willing or able to handle those problems. 

And I am sick and tired of all the mothers and daughters with children being at each other's throats. I want them to GET ALONG! I've been tired of it for most of my life. Mom's always fought with Anny, and she's had her moments with Rose, too. Jodie is actually friendly with Anny (they became Facebook buddies after Rose's baby shower in 2017), but apparently she and Rose have been at odds for years. It's frustrating and annoying when you're being pulled in three different directions, and everyone wants to do what they want without considering anyone else's feelings. No wonder Keefe moved to Virginia and Jessa refuses to come near anyone in the family but me. 

And I can't help feeling guilty, even though the one thing they all agree on is that this isn't my fault and I've done everything I can to get out. If I hadn't insisted on moving to Dad's house during a world-wide pandemic, especially knowing how sick he was, a lot of this wouldn't be happening. If I found a real job years ago, I'd be able to afford an apartment. 

We talked for so long, it was 2:30 before I could look for apartments. Nope, still can't find anything anywhere. Cape May County is even more bare of apartments than here, and I suspect it's not entirely because it's the off-season. They have even less housing stock than we do. 

I also texted Jessa, asking her if we could get together sometime next week. I really need to talk to someone in the family who isn't frothing at the mouth right now, and she's the only other person in the family who lives in the area and has a job. Two, actually. I'll give her more details when I get my schedule tomorrow. 

Broke at 3:30 to try something. Four thick slices of chocolate cake were getting stale in my refrigerator. Instead of letting them go to waste, I mushed them into crumbs, mixed them into butter, and baked them as a crust for the cherry pie filling and Cool Whip I bought last night. It actually didn't come out too badly, very chocolatey and not too sweet despite the cherries and chocolate. 

Watched American Pop on TCM as I worked. I go further into Ralph Bakshi's adult animated epic about four generations of a family bent on show business success at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Slid chicken legs in the oven to bake before I went back online. I originally intended to write, but I couldn't concentrate. I ended up doing research on neuropsychologists and what they do and cognitive behavioral therapy instead. Neuropsychologists apparently find and treat brain disorders, and cognitive behavioral therapists work with people to change those brain patterns. I don't think there's anything wrong with me besides social awkwardness and being stuck in my habits, but it couldn't hurt to try it.

Watched Match Game '78 while having chicken legs and steamed broccoli with cheese for dinner. It was music and mayhem tonight as an older woman's choir the Sweet Adelines serenaded everyone from the audience. Later on, Betty White performs a bit of "Sweet Adeline" with Gene and Gary Burghoff and scolds Gene for swatting a fly and Charles is so moved by the earlier song, he has a hard time figuring out the Audience Match "Girl Scout ___."

Mom called as I finished the dishes, wanting to know if I'm all right. No, I'm not. I don't know what to do. She thinks I should get a second job, but I'm not sure about that. I can barely handle the one I have. Trouble is, there may be no other way for me to make enough money for a second apartment, or at least to please the landlords and convince them I have the necessary income. 

She also asks me if I think she's selfish for not taking me in. No, I don't. I think she's being honest. I saw her house when Anny's family lived in it. It's tiny. Mom says Anny and her family were so rough on it when they were there, the landlord won't let her have any kind of guests for more than a few days. 

And I can't blame her for wanting to leave South Jersey. I want out of this area too. Trouble is, unlike everyone else I know, I have no one I can move in with. My three best friends live with their parents and are nowhere near me. Lauren's area is lovely, but it has a lot of the same problems as Cape May, from a seasonal economy to overpriced housing that's hard to come by. I'm proud of Amanda for landing a better job she enjoys, but her parents' house in Vineland is barely big enough for the three of them. Kelly's taking care of her ailing father in an apartment in Wildwood that once again is big enough for them and not much else. 

I really and truly don't know where to go or what to do next. I wish I knew what area would be right for me. Chicago? Boston? Go back to Ft. Lauderdale and revisit my roots? Join Mom, Keefe, and her family in Virginia? I just don't know. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Tax Woman

Began a sunny morning with breakfast and a blast from the past. I haven't watched The Backyardigans in ages. The first two seasons are currently on Paramount Plus. I went with one of the few episodes I never found in DVD form, "Quest for the Flying Rock" from the first season. Tasha, Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone find a map that least to a magical rock that'll allow the bearer to fly. They split the map in two, with the girls trekking through the jungle, and the boys making their way across the dusty desert, dodging obstacles along the way.

Went straight into doing my taxes after I finished with breakfast. This is a far easier process for me than for most people. I own no property and have no dependents. I just needed to add the money from the final stimulus check in May and the last of the interest from my now-ended college payments to Turbo Tax. Took me less than an hour. Apparently, the state of New Jersey isn't processing until tomorrow, but the Federal returns are going in now. Looks like I should be getting around 1,000 back, on par with what I got last year and far more than I got in the previous three or four years before that. 

Looked at apartments next. Still nothing. Everything is either too expensive or too far. The only person who has offered me a room is an old high school friend who lives in Cape May. She's a nice woman, and I do remember her aunt and uncle's home in Cape May is lovely, but it's too far, I haven't seen her in years, and I really don't want to live in Cape May County. It would only be if I was desperate. Most government housing assistance is focused on the elderly or those who were impacted by the virus, not single working people like me. 

Tried to concentrate on writing, but I'm having a hard time focusing. There's just too much going on right now. I go back and read what I've written instead of progressing. It's really frustrating. I want to finish Blank In Wonderland and I have plenty of ideas, but it's just not coming out. 

Broke at 12:30 for an banana-orange smoothie for lunch and Match Game '74. Brett's jokes about her and Gene spending time at a motel in Encino dates back to this episode. They weren't, but it made her feel better after her rough divorce/separation from Jack Klugman to say so. Meanwhile, we have dueling Howard Cosell imitations (including from Patti Deutsch) and everyone tries to figure out the Audience Match for "__ Climber." 

Switched to the original My Little Pony on The Roku Channel as I got ready for work. The Ponies are initially delighted to say "Baby, It's Cold Outside!" when it suddenly snows in the middle of summer. They eventually realize this isn't normal, and it's destroying their home. Turns out the source is The Penguin King, who wants to destroy anyone who can't withstand cold weather. It takes his own compassionate son Edgar to make him understand that compassion is far more important for a ruler than a cold heart.

Tossed in an episode of Bluey since I had a little time before work. Bluey sends her little sister Bingo a video while she's in the hospital. "Bumpy and the Wise Old Wolfhound' has Bluey as a little girl who wants a puppy (her cousin Socks). She's devastated when her friend takes ill, but the only way it'll recover is to give up her purple underwear and find someone who has never been sick. The latter is easier said than done...bringing Bluey to the conclusion that everyone gets sick once in a while, and more to the point, they'll recover.

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. It was chilly and breezy, but sunny, and I was only working for four hours anyway. Figured I'd be fine riding to work. Though I was originally listed as being a bagger, I pushed carts for a half-hour before they pulled me to take customers. Admittedly, we did have long lines until about 5-5:30, after which it died so quickly, I was able to get off without a relief. Picked up cherry pie topping and Cool Whip for a recipe I want to try tomorrow, shampoo and conditioner, and a salmon fillet with a manager's coupon for dinner.

Changed into regular clothes, then put the salmon in the oven with roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner, along with whole wheat bow tie pasta. Watched Match Game '78 while I ate. Gene's thrilled to kiss gorgeous young Judy Landers from Vega$ as a welcome.  Meanwhile, a young officer is defeated by a lady who gets help with "Run and __" from Nipsey in the Head-to-Head, and we have jokes about Betty handling an elephant on The Johnny Carson Show

Cleaned up from dinner while Match Game PM was on. Ironically, it was the nighttime episode for the just-seen Raymond Burr week. Gene tries playing matchmaker for the single contestants. Brett's more interested in flirting with the guy. Burr's a good player and has a voice that could read the phone book and make me happy, but he seemed rather confused by all the lunacy around him. Later on, Joyce Bulifant seemed reluctant to give the obvious answer for "Joyce __."

Went on YouTube for another German fairy tale movie after pulling Key Lime Cookies out of the oven. This one was a version of Snow White made for German TV in 1992. Here, Snow White is a bit younger than usual, and her best friend is the king's handsome and sweet court jester. The Huntsman wears armor constantly and won't admit to anyone what he looks like without it, and the Dwarfs knew Snow White's mother and mourn one of their own who wished to be more than he was. The second half sticks more closely to the original story, including the witch attacking Snow White before she brings the apple and her awakening by accident, not a kiss. The queen's ending is a bit lighter than either the original story or Disney's version, though. 

And...I lost two apartments. I was turned down for the Audubon duplex. Once again, I just don't make enough money. I'm not good enough, and I never will be. No matter how hard I try, how hard I work, how much money I put into savings, how much I try to explain what dire straights I'm in and what a good, quiet tenant I am, it just isn't enough. No one wants a good, quiet tenant who doesn't make real money. They want a rich tenant who can pay them. 

The realtor suggested I get Rose as a co-signer. I don't know how willing she'd be to do that. We're trying to make me more independent, not more reliant on her. Plus, she doesn't have a job right now. I'll ask her tomorrow and try to point out it's only temporary. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Out With the Old, In With the New

Had a quick start this morning with breakfast and one of the earliest episodes of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Prince Wednesday Finds a Way to Play" when Dan and Katerina are pretending to be parents with a sleeping baby and he wants to be a noisy dinosaur. Miss Elaina is excited about her backwards day with Dan and O the Owl. Dan loves it and joins in her backwards dances and games, but O prefers to stay front first. "Finding a Way to Play On Backwards Day" becomes even more important when the kids want to put on a backwards show, but O still insists on being forwards.

Rushed out to work as the cartoon ended. I bagged and pushed carts all day for the first time in over two weeks. As usual, it wasn't really bad until we hit the lunch crowd around noon - one o'clock. Then we were slammed and didn't have enough help. I kept ending up in a register when I was trying to push carts, sweep the store, gather trash, or do anything else. I never did get to the outside trash. 

There was a lot going on in the store today, too. New display cases were installed in the produce department and parts of the bakery. They look great, but they did take a while to refill and to uninstall the old ones. At least we had pizza and soda in the back room. It was cloudy when I went to work and flurried a little around noon, but the clouds started to break up shortly after.

Headed straight home after work. Changed and had a quick dinner while watching Match Game '78. Gene makes jokes about the audience standing in 110 degrees to get into the show in the opening. (Dang. I'd love it to be a bit warmer, but not that much!) They also make jokes about a champ who somehow has 15 children and how the two blondes and Raymond Burr on the lower tier take longer to answer a question than the notoriously slow Charles.

Finally got around to putting together my new computer chair during the second episode of Match Game '78 as Charles "attacked" the soldier who just got the Audience Match right and Match Game PM. It's the most basic Amazon chair and proved to be easy to put together...until it was time to screw the arms on the chair seat. I got them on wrong sides and had to switch them around. After that, there was no trouble. It was a little heavier than the old loose chair with the ripped pad Rose gave me a few years ago, but it rolled much better and had thicker padding. Put the old chair on the curb along with the trash; will probably be able to use the box it came in for moving.

Even Jodie was in a good mood. I heard her talking on the phone as I worked in the hall. (There's too many boxes anywhere else to put a chair together.) She has a new man in her life. I know I've heard a male voice over there lately. I think she says it's an old friend of Dad's. She saw three cardinals on her window this morning and took it as a sign that it's time for her to move on. I actually think that's really sweet, and I do hope her current relationship works out.

Finished out the night online after a shower with Stars Over Broadway. I go further into this dark musical drama with Pat O'Brian and opera tenor James Melton at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, January 24, 2022

As the World Falls Down

Began the morning with breakfast and What's My Line? Came in just as they figured out which golf ball made by a gentleman was a homing device. I was more interested in the stern female police commissioner from North Jersey (wonder how long she worked up there?) and hunky writer and critic Rex Reed. (Who apparently stumped the panel three times, including this one.) 

Moved to Doc McStuffins as I had my black tea. Professor Hootenbergh the stuffed owl nearly has a fit when Doc's Viewmaster Viewie Stewie claims he sees polar bears by the pyramids and the Statue of Liberty holding a fish. Doc gets Stewie "Fully In Focus" while trying to figure out how he's seeing two different images. "Picky Nikki" is a piggybank who will only accept shiny coins and refuses to take Doc's dollar. Doc and the others convince her to try something new after she accidentally loses all of Doc's money.

Rose called as I finished cleaning up from breakfast. First of all, yes, she and her family have continued to be sick throughout the month. Second, when she was up to it, she apparently did some research on the house and the attached apartment...and discovered the "apartment" isn't legal. It's not listed as an apartment, just a part of the house. Not only that, but it hasn't been inspected, not even when the rest of the house was remodeled. No wonder Jodie wouldn't make a real lease or rules. 

Also, she finally admitted that yeah, she and Jodie and I should have sat down and talked all this over last summer. Rose was over every couple of days to clean the pool. We had tons of time. Jodie never discussed it with her, or even brought up the subject of my moving. She kept telling me "you'll probably have to move when I sell the house in January/June, maybe," but never filled in any details on how to do that or where to go if I couldn't find another place. I suspect she assumed Rose would handle everything, including taking me in if I couldn't find an apartment. She's also genuinely terrified of Rose...or more to the point, that Rose will remind her she's bitten off more than she can chew and needs to stop avoiding her problems. 

Hurried out shortly after the cartoon ended. I needn't rushed. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. I spent a lot of the day shelving candy. Once again, we didn't pick up until nearly 3 PM. They sent me out briefly to do carts at that point, which was fine with me. It was too nice to be inside anyway. That may have been one of the reasons we were slow to begin with. The sun was out, the sky was a tickly baby blue, and while chilly, it wasn't quite as bitterly cold as the past few days. Alas, I got sent back inside when the bagger got off break and was nearly late when a customer fussed over her sales.

Went home, changed quickly, and went right back out to do the laundry...and then went back again to get the book I needed to return and renew. And then, when I got to the laundromat, I realized I forgot my detergent. I needed pads anyway, so I bought a very small dollar bottle at Family Dollar. And then when I got back, I realized I hadn't closed the door to the washing machine properly, which means I wasted twenty minutes. At least I was able to return the hat shop mystery novel to the library and renew the other two.

Put on Match Game '78 while making Italian pasta and beans with winter veggies for dinner. Raymond Burr gives a speech in his lovely deep voice in the opening after Elaine Joyce jokes that he never talks. Later on, Brett and Gene demonstrate where her hips are to explain one of her answers, and a contestant strikes out twice in a row on the Audience Matches. 

Let Match Game PM run as I had dessert. We stay in 1978 with the nighttime episode of the infamous week that Brett and her (maybe) ex-husband Jack Klugman appeared on after their divorce. They continue their feuding from the daytime episodes here, while country star Bill Anderson hopes to have more luck helping a contestant with "__ Broken" on the Head-to-Head.

Ran an earlier PM episode while vacuuming and pushing the Swifter. Songwriter Marvin Hamlisch (best known today for the scores of A Chorus Line and The Sting) join the crew as everyone admires the Kwanza t-shirt Isobel Sanford of The Jeffersons wears. (Brett can't resist a joke comparing Isobel's curves to another lady on the show who wears tight print t-shirts, Fannie Flagg.) There's also an argument over whether "meter" should match "parking meter." 

Finished the night on The Roku Channel with Charlie's Angels. Kelly and Tiffany are "Angels on the Street" during the fourth season after a pretty young music teacher is beaten by a local street hustler.  The teacher refuses to discuss or even acknowledge her beating, leading the Angels to go undercover with the pimp and as a dancer at the music school the teacher runs with her father. Not only does the pimp terrorize his girls, but the teacher isn't what she seems...and neither is the toughest of the street ladies, who insists she hates the teacher but can't explain it. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Family Feuds

Began the morning with Vanilla Pear Pancakes for breakfast and the soundtrack from The Boy Friend. This British musical is a take on the small-scale English salute to 20's musicals. Twiggy is Polly Browne, the girl who has to go on in said musical for the ailing star, and Tommy Tune is her tapping guy friend. She has a crush on the leading man (Christopher Gable), but isn't sure how he feels about her. Thankfully, the soundtrack is based on the original, uncut version. It retains all of the songs from the original show, plus two MGM standards randomly added for Twiggy, "You are My Lucky Star" and "All I Do Is Dream of You." The movie is fun but long, but there's a lot of good performances here, from Twiggy's charming "Lucky Star" to Tune and Antonia Ellis showing off for "Won't You Charleston With Me?"

Mom called shortly before I started with the pancakes. I told her about my crazy schedule and not being able to find a place and how upset Jodie is. Jodie's convinced I can instantly move in with Rose and her family, and should have months ago. Rose thinks I can move in with Mom. Neither is realistic at the present. Rose and Mom have tiny houses that barely fit them, and Mom not only doesn't own hers, but may not be able to afford it much longer. Cape May County is even more expensive and has less housing than Camden County. The public transportation is useless; it would be harder for me to get to work. 

Mom also says Rose and her family continue to be sick, including Rose herself. That's a big part of why I haven't called them as often or seen them other than at the Acme since the week I cat-sit. I know Rose and her family pick up every darn illness that comes down the pike. I don't want to disrupt Rose trying to find a job or make her feel like I'm relying on her too much, especially after she got me these extra two months. 

And I'm fed up with Jodie and her ranting about all of us. I am TRYING to find an apartment! I'm looking for an apartment while working anywhere from 32 to 40 hours a week and getting all my usual chores done, and I just got over being sick. And doing all this during a pandemic when the whole world is up at arms. I understand that she's tired of being here and doesn't want to pay the expensive heating bills, but I'm doing the best I can. At least I have a job. Jodie doesn't work...and unlike Rose, who is actively looking for one, she refuses to work. Claims she's retired. 

Headed off to work shortly after The Boy Friend ended. Work surprisingly wasn't that busy for a Sunday. We were off-and-on steady until about 3:30-4 PM, when everyone got off work and the lines got long. Thankfully, by the time I finished, it slowed enough for me to leave on time without a relief.

Hurried home after that, but I still felt depressed. I expected to have found an apartment by now. I feel like I'm not good enough for anyone...and hearing Jodie ranting about my apartment looking like a pigsty didn't help matters. Sadly, she's right. I haven't had the time to clean or keep up with scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom. I should be doing better. I left off in the middle of making Banana-Coconut Muffins to clean the bathroom as quickly as possible, then the kitchen. I'll scrub the tub better and do the floors tomorrow. I can't believe I let myself go so badly. I'm usually good about cleaning once a month. I was going to get to it on Wednesday morning or my day off on Thursday.

Listened to The Desert Song for a while during my "fish and chips" dinner of fried crusted flounder, sweet potatoes with apple cider vinegar, and steamed broccoli with cheese. My favorite recording of this venerable operetta comes from England. Edward Hockinridge is The Red Shadow, the leader of the Riffs in North Africa who is really the dandified son of a Legion general. Margot is his love interest, whom he absconds with in the desert. The real interest here comes from energetic future game show host Bruce Forsyth, who gets to perform two rare comedy songs for the son's reporter friend, "It" about sex appeal in the 20's, and "One Good Boy Gone Wrong."

Finished the night after a shower on YouTube. Threw the spotlight on Family Feud in honor of Louie Anderson, who passed away on Friday. Feud began as a spin-off of Match Game on ABC in 1976, based around the Audience Match. Two families answer a survey question, hoping their answers will match the survey. The winners get to go onto to the Fast Money bonus round, where two members of the family guess answers to quick surveys for big bucks. 

Richard Dawson was tired of giving silly answers on Match Game and begged to host. He proved to be a perfect fit with the show, kissing women on the lips and throwing out wisecracks about some of the really strange answers from the contestants. Unfortunately, he was also said to be difficult to work with; his ego inflated when the show got to be a huge hit, and he did his own feuding with everyone from the producer to his boss Mark Goodson. For all the trouble her caused, he's still likely the host most people think of when this show comes to mind along with current host Steve Harvey.

My fondest memories of Family Feud came from Ray Combs. His version ran at a very difficult time in my life, and he and his equally weird contestants never failed to make me laugh. I looked forward to seeing their antics between Card Sharks and The Price Is Right. For me in fall 1988, they were the perfect triple play. 

Dawson returned in '94, but he was older and not as on his game, His version ended in 1995. Anderson debuted as host in syndication in 1999. Neither he nor his show were well-received, and I can see why. He's trying way too hard to be funny and just comes off as annoying in his loud suits and louder nasal voice. The streamlined set is bland and ugly, and having only one strike in the final question makes it way too easy for one family to trump the other. 

He lasted until 2002, when comedian Richard Karn took over...and had the opposite problem. While they did tweak the set somewhat to make it a little more interesting, Karn himself showed none of the comedy he did with Tim Allen on Home Improvement, fading too much into the woodwork. Comedian John O'Herily took over from him in 2006 and apparently went over a bit better, enough to keep going until he was replaced in 2012 by Steve Harvey.

It's time to start the Feud with the first episodes of this beloved franchise! (The Karn episode comes with its original commercials.)

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Sunshine In the Winter

Started off a sunny morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Clarabelle's Clubhouse Mooosical" may not go on when the chickens she originally had in the show practice so much, they lose their voices. The rest of the gang take over singing silly re-written versions of familiar nursery rhymes like "Hickory Dickory Dock" (yes, Mickey runs up the clock) and "Miss Muffet."

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while doing the dishes. All the kids in Dan's class learn how important it is to stay together and not bring anything with you during "The Fire Drill." Fire fighters Music Man Stan and Doctor Anna commend the kids for listening to Teacher Harriet and knowing how to act in an emergency. Dan learns about emergencies the hard way when "Daniel and Mom Go to the Market" and he loses her. He's sensible enough to find stock boy and cashier Prince Tuesday and get him to help.

Looked for apartments after the cartoon ended. Still no luck. Everyone keeps saying "you'll find something." Shouldn't I have found something back in September? The government's no help, either. All the waiting lists are full, and most of the government-owned low-cost apartment buildings around here are for the elderly and disabled. I'm considering talking to a rental counselor and seeing what's open for me. I'm fast running out of options, and it's becoming obvious that there's not much available and no one wants someone who doesn't make enough money.

Hurried off to work shortly after. We were a bit busier today, maybe because the weather was also a bit nicer. It was sunny and chilly, but not cold to the degree of yesterday. It really could have been worse. We're between holidays, the Eagles are out of the playoffs, and unless we're expecting snow, there isn't much going on. I was even called to help push carts for an hour when they had no one else out there but the manager. It thankfully slowed down fast enough for me to leave without a relief.

Went straight home and into leftover chicken legs and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. Ate while watching more of Match Game PM's early years. One of the later episodes from 1976 featured two hapless contestants who could not match anyone. It took a tie-breaker round for even one person on the panel to finally match them. There's also a very dated question about what a geisha girl does to one's feet.  Gene and Brett showed off their dueling push-ups in the final episode of the first season, only to be outdone by soap star Janice Lynde showing how to do push-ups with your knees.

Finished off the night at Amazon Prime with the 1987 Cannon Movie Tales version of Sleeping Beauty. I go further into this low-budget retelling of the famous fairy tale at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Chilled Fairy Tales

Began the morning with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. It's "Quiet Time at School." Miss Elaina and Dan want to keep playing train, but Teacher Harriet encourages them to take their naps with the others. After they read or recharge, then they can go back to playing. Jodi and Dan are able to help with "Naptime In Blanket City" when they find her baby brother's lion blanket, so he can sleep.

Went briefly online to check for apartments. Nope, there just isn't much there, even on Craigslist. I e-mailed Collings Ave Apartments again when they said they had a studio apartment open...but then had to explain about my savings and working at the Acme and my not having the income, even though I have money in savings. 

Threw on Match Game PM while getting ready for work. "The eyes have it," or at least the sequined ones on Fannie's orange t-shirt do. Maybe that's why Gene had so many problems reading the first question about what a cowboy wears to bed that annoyed his wife. Later on, the answer to "__ Fisher" probably isn't the one most audiences would be expecting now...

Went to work a little early. Wanted to buy a salad bowl for dinner. It was in the lower 20's this morning, too cold for riding. Once again, I took Uber and had no trouble doing so. The morning driver came in under 5 minutes; the evening driver was at the Acme in under 3. They were both pleasant, professional, and helpful.

Until around 3:30, work was just as quiet as yesterday. Once again, I shelved candy between customers. It picked up considerably during the evening rush hour. While people are glad that we dodged another winter storm, they're not happy about the empty shelves. They claim to understand about the supply problems, and they still complain. There really isn't anything anyone can do. 

Since I was taking Uber home and had an easier way to carry things, I did my grocery shopping tonight. Found two flounder fillets with manager's coupons; I'll have one for dinner tomorrow. Grapes and broccoli are on good sales with online coupons. Almost all spices are buy two, get one. I picked up three containers of ground cinnamon to load into the big jar at home. Had online coupons for coconut milk, peanut butter, and yogurt, too. Bought mozzarella for a recipe later this week. Restocked bananas, apples, oatmeal, brown sugar, mandarin oranges, and vanilla extract. (Had trouble finding the brown sugar on sale I wanted and the canned pineapple. Got Domino's brown sugar instead of the Acme's and skipped the pineapple all together.)

Not happy with my schedule at all next week. Good news is I work earlier. The latest I get off is 6, and that only once. Not only do I also have an 8 hour and a 8 and a 1/2 hour day (both bagging), but I don't get another day off until Thursday...and my last day off was Tuesday! When the heck am I supposed to get my laundry done? What if I need to see apartments? I was told they had no one else they could put those days. While not as many people are out as earlier in the month, there still isn't enough help.

Returned to another episode of Match Game PM as I put everything away. Either ribald answers or a bad tape keep Episode 7 from being seen on TV nowadays. Too bad, as it's one of the funniest of the nighttime run. Richard once again gives an unexpected answer to the Audience Match that actually turns out to be on the board, this time for "Burns and __." Other funny moments include Patti Deusch's answer to where the butcher gets his unusual cuts of meat and Avery Schreiber eating a particularly bad answer.  

Finished out the night on YouTube after my shower. I've loved fairy tales since childhood. I used to spend hours pouring over two books of Grimm's Fairy Tales Mom had during the 80's and 90's. These were the real, unvarnished stories, with all the dark details left out of the Disney versions. When I got into high school and college, I took collections of fairy tales and folk tales from other lands out of the libraries. After enjoying the French Beauty and the Beast from 1946 and the German fairy tales from the 50's on Kanopy, I thought I'd browse around YouTube and see what they had for fairy tale movies from Europe. 

The Salt Prince from 1983 is a German adaptation of a Slovak story, also knowns as Salt Over Gold. King Pravolasv wishes to leave his kingdom to one of his three daughters. He's offended when his youngest child Amelia says he loves him more than salt. Salt is the foundation of life, says Amelia, who is in love with the Salt Prince. Nonsense, says her father. It's common and worthless. He forbids her marriage and exiles her. The Salt Prince's father the King of the Underworld is so offended by this, he takes his son back to their cave dwellings and curses Pravolasv's kingdom so all the salt will be gold. The king is thrilled at first, until no one can salt their food and everything starts spoiling. Amelia not only has to rescue her beloved prince, turned into a pillar of salt, but her kingdom as well when a neighboring kingdom and the peasants threaten revolt.

The 2011 German Cinderella has more in common with the version used for Into the Woods. No fairy godmothers here. Cinderella goes to the ball for two nights, and she wears beautiful silver and gold gowns she gets from a dove house and the spirit of her departed mother. Also, her father is alive here, but under the thumb of his shrewish wife, and one of the sisters cuts off part of her heel to fit the slipper. (And the stepsisters should be glad they didn't go the way of Into the Woods and keep their fates from the original story!) Otherwise, this is pretty close to other Cinderellas, with the cinder maiden in the ashes who goes to the ball and dances with the prince. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

No Snow Days

Awoke to damp streets, but no rain or snow or anything else. There was nothing on the ground but puddles. The snow we were supposed to get must have passed us by or gone south again. The snow finally started as I began breakfast and switched Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

As the oldest in a family of four kids, I can certainly relate to "Margaret Gets All the Attention." Daniel is upset when his mother plays with Margaret, but doesn't watch his jump-the-pavers game, and when his older friend Chrissie plays with her but not him. He has to be reminded that sometimes, you have to wait your turn before an adult can pay attention to you. Prince Wednesday discovers the hard way that little siblings have this problem too when "Prince Tuesday Visits" from college. Dan spend more time with his older brother than him, and then King Friday fixes Tuesday's bike when Wednesday wants him to see what they're up to. 

Snow drifted gently across the hills in the back as I switched to Disney Plus for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Sir Goofs-a-Lot" must find a sword, a shield, and a silken banner for Queen Clarabelle. Only then will she make him a real knight. The others help him figure out how to get the sword from a rock and the shield from a windmill...but it's a lot harder to dodge a love-besotted Princess Pete to get the silken banner off the tallest tower!

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. The snow fell harder and faster as I made my way down to the White Horse Pike, but this time, it never stuck anywhere. It just looked pretty coming down. I have no idea why I crossed the Pike or thought the apartment was in the neighborhood behind Parkview Towers. It's actually in West Collingswood, on the other side of the neighborhood from the Collings Avenue Apartments. I arrived seven minutes late. 

Thankfully, John Callahan, the strapping owner, was really nice about it. The apartment is much larger than the other two I've seen recently, with brand-new cherry hardwood flooring, a small but new kitchen, a small bathroom with a glass shower door, and new carpet on the hall stairs. There's a stacked washer and dryer in a room just off the stairway. He says the two other people who live under the apartment and over it are really nice and quiet. All the remodeling comes with a price, though. It's a bit more expensive than the last two I looked at, and you pay gas and electric to boot. 

I once again handed him my paperwork and explained my situation. He was polite about it, but he did remind me that he's gotten at dozens of applicants. It takes a while to get to all of them. I likely won't hear from him until Sunday.

The snow was starting to subside as I rode home. Went online for a half-hour to look for apartments, then made lunch while watching Match Game '74 on Buzzr. Charles Nelson Reilly was late (he was "getting his hair nailed on," according to Brett), so head producer Mark Goodson subbed for him. (And for a man who supposedly wasn't crazy about the show's hard left turn into comedy, he did surprisingly well.) Charles came in for ribbing later too when we had a question about what he dresses as for Halloween, while Betty modestly avoids saying the obvious answer to "Betty __." 

By quarter of 1, the snow was long gone. It was just damp and a bit chilly. No snow, rain, or anything else, and everything was clear. I had no trouble riding my bike to and from work normally. 

The weather did scare off our customers. We were dead almost the entire evening. In fact, we were so quiet, I spent the majority of the evening shelving two carts full of candy. I did take customers when we got a little busy around 4 and went in for a couple of breaks, and I had to watch a short tutorial on how to handle the cards that will be replacing the annoyingly hard to deal with WIC checks for low-income mothers on the 25th. Other than that, it was actually one of the easiest evenings at work I've had in a long time. I was in and out.

Put on another early Match Game PM episode while I had dessert. Action icons William Shatner and Lee Merriweather join goofy Joyce Bulifant and the regulars for the third episode of the nighttime series. Richard's thrilled when a contestant says she's there so she can kiss him...and even happier when he gets his chance during the Audience Match. Gene enjoys showing off his telescoping microphone, but has more trouble when Joyce's microphone starts flopping around and he has to fix it.

Finished the night online at the TCM on demand website with The Night Is Young. I go further into this bittersweet operetta featuring Mexican heartthrob Ramon Novorro and British beauty Evelyn Laye at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Warm Up the Winter

Began my morning with breakfast and more new Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel's having so much fun with his fish, he doesn't hear Dan Sr. say it's time to hit the Music Shop. "Daniel Listens to Dad" so they can get Dan Sr's trumpet fixed and have a jam session with Music Man Stan. "Daniel and Katerina Listen to Each Other" when Daniel wants to put on a show and Katerina doesn't hear, then he makes a snowy mountain on her purple castle. They learn to listen to their ideas and decide what is right for both of them.

Went online after that. I e-mailed an apartment on the border of Oaklyn and Collingswood near Newton Lake Park originally back at the beginning of the month, but I wasn't feeling well enough at that point to pursue it further. Plus, the apartment is a bit more expensive than the previous two I've looked at. Tried again on HotPads yesterday. Got the owner this time. E-mailed him to say I could see it in the morning tomorrow or Saturday.

Put on Match Game '74 while having leftovers for lunch. Alas, the last two episodes of the previous week are lost, which means we skip ahead to the week with Broadway star Michelle Lee and Laugh-In favorite Artie Johnson. Everyone asks Charles why he's wearing a floral fisherman's hat all week. He hands Gene a card that says he's "heirless," aka he doesn't have his infamous toupee. He gets everyone back for the jokes when he's the one who helps the contestant with "Get __." Richard has less luck in the next episode with "__ Canyon"...and gets soundly booed for missing the obvious answer on that one.

Headed out shortly after Richard gave his wrong answer. Work was off-and-on busy all afternoon. We're supposed to get yet more snow tomorrow. On one hand, it sounds like a bit more than we have been getting. They're saying at least 1 to 3 inches as of this second. On the other hand, that's still not a lot...and it was far warmer and sunnier today and yesterday than it has been, in the mid-upper 40's. Hopefully, it'll do what it's done the last two times we had snow and not stick to the streets.

Found a big package waiting for me on the porch when I got home. I ordered a new desk chair with Mom's 100 dollar gift card from Amazon. Unfortunately, it's not put together. I lugged the box into my apartment. I'll mess with it when I have time.

Since I ate dinner at work, I had dessert while watching an episode of Match Game PM on YouTube. Went with one from 1976, since for some reason Buzzr only runs the ones from 1977 onwards. Gene has trouble with the pop-up question holder in this one. It keeps falling and won't let him get the questions! Meanwhile, Brett's whispering answers into his ear, while Richard tries to figure out the tough Head-to-Head "Fine __."

Finished off the night online after a shower with a second season episode of Hart to Hart on Tubi. It's a "Murder Wrap" when the mummy of an Egyptian prince seemingly comes to life and kills an Egyptologist on the opening of an elaborate interactive museum exhibit. The antique dealer who helped with the show claims the legend surrounding the prince has him eternally searching for his beloved princess...who looks eerily like Jennifer. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

How Can I Change My Luck?

Started off a gloomy, windy morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. The finally have three new episodes at PBS Kids. I began with the rather appropriate "The Neighborhood Snowstorm." The kids are called out of school early on account of the massive snowstorm dumping buckets of flakes on the Land of Make Believe. Dan's excited when his father helps their neighbors dig Trolley out when he's stuck, but the storm's less fun after a pipe bursts and soaks his room, including his beloved Tigey the Adventure Tiger books. He and his baby sister Margaret end up at the Platypus' house, eating warm soup and playing games, while his parents repair the damage. 

Switched to Match Game '74 as I cleaned up from breakfast and packed my niece Lilah's birthday present. Jimmie Walker made his first appearances on the show this week, as Kaye Stevens runs off and Brett and Charles tease Jimmie about his funky blue denim cap. Charles gives an especially strange answer to a question about what a cheap fortune teller looks into in the second show. 

Moved to online after the show ended. Did some research and looked around for more apartments, but there's just not much there. This is considered a hot market. Two and three bedroom apartments in Haddonfield alone are going for upwards to 3 and 4 thousand dollars! They're cheaper elsewhere in the area, but not that much cheaper. One house in Oaklyn is renting for 2,000 for two bedrooms! The trouble is, I need to find a decent job and make more money to get a decent home... and I can't start looking for a job until I find a decent home to do it in.

Had counseling on Zoom at 2 PM. Told Mrs. Stahl that I'm really, really hoping to get the apartments in Collingswood or Audubon. I don't have a choice. I need something. I'd prefer the one in Collingswood, but I'll take one of the ones in Audubon, too. I wish I was less awkward and better at explaining all this to people, not to mention that there were fewer people out there looking for a place to live. How can I convince these people that I'm a good tenant and mean what I say when I tell them I'm willing to pay in advance? How can I distinguish myself from the pack? 

My family is driving me crazy, too. I appreciate everything Rose did for me and enjoyed cat-sitting after the scare with Toothless...but I want to be far away from the drama between mothers and daughters. I love my sisters. I enjoy visiting Rose's house and liked going apple picking with them last September, and I had fun with Jessa and Joe and the kids on Christmas Day. I just wish we could all do things together, as a real family, and that the mothers and daughters would just get along. They all have families to turn to, and I'm the one who most often gets left out. And I feel bad for making Dad and Rose do things I should be doing and for relying so heavily on them to make decisions and pay for things. 

Mrs. Stahl suggested sending a thank-you e-mail to Kim at the Collingswood house. I did that quickly after we got off, then headed off to run errands. First stop was the post office to send that package. There was a small line because a guy couldn't get his credit card to work. It went fast after he was able to pay. The lady was really sweet, and I was in and out.

The laundromat was a lot busier by 4:30. They were so mobbed, I ended up with a larger washer that takes longer again and was barely able to get a dryer. Went to Family Dollar and picked up laundry detergent after I used up the last of my previous bottle. At least the families and college students were all bunched up front. I largely had the back where the vending machines are to myself.

Put away the laundry when I got home, then had leftovers for dinner while watching a new episode of Muppet Babies. Gonzo loves Valentine's Day and is excited about the party he, Nanny, and the others are having, until he finds no Valentines in his cubby! He then becomes the villain Dr. Meanzo and says "Happy Villain-tine's Day" when he destroys all the decorations. The others turn superheroes in an attempt to remind him that he should have talked over his anger, instead of being destructive. Summer and Gonzo are excited about her squeaky narwhal and his potato buddy getting married in "My Best Toy's Wedding." She's less delighted when Gonzo won't let Narwhal take part in choosing any of the activities. They almost call off the wedding before Gonzo remembers what Miss Nanny said about marriage involving compromise.

Worked on writing after I ate. Identically dressed Patti (Deustch) Dee and Donald (Ross) Dum are not amused when the kids start poking at them because they're standing still. They'd rather recite their own odd poetry and remind them to watch their manners.

Checked the e-mail while I wrote, and to my disappointment, I lost the Collingswood apartment. Kim was very polite, but she said she and her husband went with someone else. On one hand, I also heard from Mary Johnson later, and she said the Audubon apartments are still available. I'll take one of them if I can, but...I'm really disappointed about the Collingswood apartment. I thought it was so perfect for me! Kim seemed to understand, and it was such a nice place. I wish I knew how to compete with the hundreds of other people looking for a place around here.  

Switched to Kiss Me Again after I gave up on writing. I go further into this bubbly early talkie operetta at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.  

I desperately needed a laugh after I got that e-mail, so I finished up the night on YouTube with another marathon. This one honored another TV favorite who passed away over the New Year's holiday, Bob Saget, with his best episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos. The premise of this hit that began in 1990 is pretty simple. People send in their most hilarious home movies and compete for a big 10,000 prize. The winner can come back at the end of the season for a chance at $100,000. Saget provides goofy commentary or voices over many of the videos. (It still runs on ABC to this day, incidentally, with another TV comedian Alfonso Ribiera doing the hosting.)

I watched it regularly from 1990 to early '92, usually as background noise on Sundays when I was doing homework or reading. By the time I went to college and had cable again during the fall of 1997, Saget was gone, and the show was now a mid-season replacement for a failed action program. I'd never seen the episodes made from 1993 to 1997. While a lot of them were corny or too silly, others, from a baby who watches a dog constantly running by him to a little boy who breaks an oversized lollipop over his head to ABC's sports commentators at the time giving the play-by-play on football mishaps, remain hysterical to this day. Saget's fellow Full House alumni made several appearances in later episodes, including a full-blown reunion in his second-to-last one. Even the Olsen twins showed up to promote their series of kiddie video mysteries. 

Honor this beloved TV dad with some of the wildest mishaps to happen to ordinary people! 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Matches for Two Birthdays

Awoke to howling winds and gloomy gray skies this morning. Even with no snow on the ground, it was still no day for running around outside. Read material from the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology instead. Dr. Martin Luther King was still alive when it was published, but the material from the now-seldom celebrated United Nations Day worked just as well. King and the United Nations both worked for peace and equality. Did part of Dorothy Canfield Fisher's "A Fair World for All," "Prayer for a Better World" by Stephan Vincent Benet, and several poems.

After I finished with my journal, I rolled right into making Pineapple-Coconut Pancakes while watching the first of two Betty White-themed game show marathons on YouTube today; switched to them fully after I ate. Betty White's 100th birthday would have been today, and Match Game Productions celebrated with two separate runs. 

Betty appeared occasionally on the short-lived but enjoyable 1990-91 version of Match Game on ABC. Many people complain about this one because host Ross Schafer is in charge rather than Gene Rayburn. I think he's just fine, especially dealing with his wacky celebrities. Betty certainly had enough fun, playing along with Charles Nelson Reilly, then-popular comedians Joe Alasky, Brad Garrett, Vicki Lawrence, and Fred Travelena, and soap stars Stuart Damon, Lauren Marie Taylor, and Perry Stevens. 

Betty's final appearance on Match Game had her in the original sixth "comedienne" seat during the Gameshow Marathon special in 2006. Ricki Lake hosted this series of vintage CBS game shows with celebrities playing for charities. Most game show fans complained about Ricki's hosting. I thought the panel had more fun. George Foreman in particular did surprisingly well, helping Kathy Najimy move on to the last show.  

Check out Betty in the 90's and new millennium in her final appearances in the franchise! 

Threw together a quick Orange-Banana Smoothie for lunch and made Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Cookies while watching Buzzr. They had their own marathon for Betty White this weekend. They were doing White's appearances on Whew! when I made lunch. The wild and wacky Whew! proved to be a little too unique for most audiences. In an attempt to boost ratings, they switched to a format with celebrities helping regular contestants. Betty helped get her contestants to victory at least once, and unlike the last few contestants I've seen on the show, beat the Gauntlet with time to spare. Even she was no match for a feisty little old lady who helped Richard Kline get up the board in record time!

Betty did better on Trivia Trap. This generational trivia battle also had trouble attracting an audience in 1984. By '85, they also switched to an all-celebrity format. Here, the elders-vs-youngsters format was dropped in favor of men vs women. Betty joined Jayne Meadows and her close friend Vicki Lawrence to play against Jamie Farr, Bill Cullen, and Tom Poston. The ladies wiped the floor with the guys, winning both of the games I saw (though they missed the bonus round). 

As I prepared to watch the Betty White Birthday Match Game Marathon, I saw flashing lights outside my bedroom window. Paramedics and police officers rolled one of my next-door neighbors onto a stretcher and into an ambulance. I have no idea what that was about. Heard Jodie yammering about our neighbor having a stomach virus and possibly getting Covid, but I don't think that would require a stretcher and a trip in an ambulance.

Threw chicken legs coated with Italian seasoned bread crumbs and a sweet potato in the oven around 5:30. Added steamed Brussels sprouts when they came out an hour later. Watched Super Password while I ate. Betty was on the final week of the series in March 1989. She was joined by Christopher "Mr. Belvedere" Hewett, who did quite well against her. They both lead their contestants to the Super Password round; Betty's won with several seconds left. She also got to have her revenge on the Ca$hword mini-game no one liked when she threw the question holder on the ground after losing the final game!

Finished the night online for Betty's 100th Anniversary birthday celebration. Admittedly, most of the episodes I caught tonight - Betty's first appearance on the show proper with Brett and Charles, the week with her and Allen when Gene said "I've had Betty," the PM episode where Betty imitates Charles and Richard does Brett, the syndicated episode with the blind contestant and his service dog Princess, the two appearances of Gene's daughter Lynne's dog Trotter on the show, the one where Betty makes her entrance in a short dress in flaming red and shows off her legs - were seen in previous marathons. 

Episodes we hadn't previously encountered include Betty and Richard getting wound up in Gene's microphone wire, Gene telling the panel about his trip to China and showing up in a real Chinese outfit (it looked more like he was going to drive everyone to the airport), Richard giving Gene "direction" for a question, Betty, Gene, and Richard "frisking" poor producer Roger Dobowitz, and Gene flubbing a question and putting a word in the blank.

Celebrate what would have been Betty White's 100th birthday with a collection of her absolute best appearances on the show! And while I'm probably not going to watch it, if you're a fan of the original America's Funniest Home Videos, the owner of the Match Game Productions channel will be doing a marathon of that for Bob Saget, who died shortly after White over the New Year's holiday, at 5 PM tomorrow!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Wintertime Matches

Began a sunny morning with breakfast and the original cast album of Bloomer Girl. Evelina Applegate (Celeste Holm) is the daughter of a hoop-skirt manufacturer in upstate New York just before the Civil War, but she knows her own mind. She won't marry southerner Jeff Calhoun (David Brooks) until he frees his slave Pompey (Dooley Wilson), and she advocates the loose trousers her aunt Dolly Bloomer (Margaret Douglass) created. I'm not sure why this musical barely appears today. If anything, its themes of equality and feminism are even more relevant today. There's also some great music by Harold Arlen and E.Y Harburg, including "The Eagle and Me" for Pompey, the hit ballad "Right as the Rain" for Evelina and Jeff, and two funny numbers for the ladies of town who take to wearing bloomers, "It Was Good Enough for Grandma" and "T'morra, T'morra." 

Dashed off to work before the record even ended. Work started off fairly quiet, but it picked up by noon. Most people were either shopping for the big Eagles-Buccaneers playoff game at 1 PM, or to beat the "snow" we were supposed to get later in the day. To tell the truth, the snow was less than an inch - most reports said we'd mainly be getting rain - but it was enough to scare people. Once again, a lot of people were in bad moods, too. I was so glad when it slowed down fast enough for me to shut down and rush out without a relief.

(Oh, and the Eagles' season is over. They lost to the Bucs 31-15, and I heard they played rather badly.)

Went straight home and online, where I puttered around until it was time for the next Betty White/Match Game YouTube marathon to start. The final 1981-1982 season of the syndicated run featured some of my favorite episodes of the entire series. Betty faced tragedy in this years as she lost her beloved Allen Ludden to cancer, but it didn't effect her performance on the show. If anything, she seemed to have more fun than ever arguing with Brett and Charles and teasing new permanent third regular McLean Stevenson. 

In fact, two of the best episodes of the series period came out of its final years. Betty showed up in a brief red dress to flash her still-great gams during the start of one show. Later on, Sharon Farrell accidentally grabbed Richard Paul and demonstrated mud wrestling after they ended up on the floor, and a contestant showed off a piercing, Joker-like laugh. It was supposed to get his kids out of bed, but I suspect it's more likely to have given them nightmares. The series finale had a lady kissing a beet-red McLean despite his cold (and Skip Stevenson kissing the other contestant!), Betty quipping that she give that back to Richard Dawson, and Charles doing jokes in the opening with the mannequin used to test color levels.

Other great episodes from the final years included another Betty attempt at a strip tease after Gene and the other panelists constantly comment about her see-through blouse, McLean inviting a little girl to join them onstage and play the game with them, Elaine Joyce's own six-year-old daughter Taylor Van hiding under her mother's desk, and several episodes featuring a very proper English butler whose presence inspired Charles to help Dolly Martin improve her own Liverpool accent, My Fair Lady-style.

Join Betty for the end of the original show...and come back tomorrow at 10 AM to celebrate Betty's 100th birthday by seeing how she did eight years later in the short-lived ABC version from 1990.

Betty White: A Life Well-Lived - Syndication 1981-1982

Oh, and we did get snow around 6:30...for all of an hour or two. It changed to pouring rain around 10, and has been raining steadily ever since. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Soul Matches

Began a quick morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Donald's Hiccups" quickly spread to all of his friends and may prevent them from singing "The Mickey Mouse Club March" on Clarabelle Cow's TV show! They all try to find ways to cure their hiccups...but it may take longer to cure Donald of his. 

Called Uber again. Though it was sunny and bright outside when I awoke, it was also brisk, gale-force windy, and bitterly cold, barely in the 20's. Once again, this was no day for a ride. Thankfully, both morning and evening drivers arrived in less than 10 minutes. Other than the evening driver almost ended up going up the ramp to Camden, rather than Oaklyn, both rides were quick and pleasant. (In the lady's defense, it was dark, and she said she was tired.)

Work wasn't busy when I got in. We were so quiet in the morning, I swept the store for the bagger a few times. Things picked up considerably later in the day. There's another winter storm coming. We're not supposed to get much, if anything, besides rain and a tiny bit of snow from the next round, but people were worried anyway. Maybe that's why a few of them were so grouchy, including one man who fussed over his state food cards that pay for nutritious edibles. Thank goodness my relief was right on time.

After I got home, I went straight to Hulu for Summer of Soul. Watched it while eating delicious stuffed clams with sweet potato fries and sauteed escarole with mushrooms for dinner, then while making my own recipe for Pineapple-Coconut Muffins. I go further into the story of the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969 and how important it was to black culture of the time at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Heard Jodie ranting to someone or other on the phone while I made dinner. She's apparently not blaming me for still being here anymore - she's probably heard me talking about looking for a place - but she does blame Rose and insist that she's done nothing wrong. I wish she'd learn to take responsibility for her actions. She's as much at fault here as anyone. She's the one who couldn't be bothered to make me a lease or define me as "tenant" or "roommate" last year. She's the one who put off selling the house to remodel it. I've continued to give her rent. I'm sorry if the house is expensive, but I don't want to be here, either. I turned up Summer of Soul and finally ignored her. 

Worked on the application for the Collingswood apartment while watching the next Betty White/Match Game marathon. Most of Betty's PM episodes from 1979 through the end of the nighttime series in 1981 are familiar to anyone who, like me, is a regular Buzzr viewer. They're the ones they tend to run the most. Favorites from this round include the last time she and Allen appeared together on TV in 1980, the return of Trotter the dog (to the annoyance of Charles), a strange answer to a question about why Betty's able to attract cats from miles around, Brett's disgust at a perky 19-year-old contestant, and Betty's appearance on the final episode of the series in Brett's seat (she was doing a play).

Here's even more fun with Betty in the nighttime! And come back tomorrow for the last of the syndicated episodes!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Matches In the Night

Slept in and read in bed this morning. Buzzr was on the end of Supermarket Sweep by the time I got to the rest of the veggie pizza for breakfast. Arrived just in time for the winners to look for the 5,000. Alas, they got so close, but they missed the final question at the last second.

Let it go into Match Game '74 while I  ate and did the dishes. Gunilla Hutton of Petticoat Junction showed off her jeans that said "skoal" on the rear, predating the fad of women wearing messages on their rears in the early 2000's by nearly 40 years. She was joined by Richard Deacon on his first week, Nipsey Russell (sitting in for Charles), and goofy Mitzi McCall. 

Spent the next few hours online, checking for apartments and printing paperwork for the three I was seeing today. I didn't see a whole lot, but I'll keep an eye out. The owner of the apartment in Collingswood e-mailed me last night. I can't see the place tomorrow, but I could see it tonight at 5:30.

Broke to make a quick orange-banana smoothie and watch an episode of Doc McStuffins. Sir Kirby hopes that "Sir Kirby's Derby" will be an easy win on his stuffed "steed" Bonnie Blue. Bonnie cracks a wheel after a bad jump, but Kirby's so determined to win, he keeps on going. He gets his wish, but feels guilty when Bonnie's crack gets worse. Doc explains that everyone makes mistakes, but he does need to keep a better eye on his horse and make sure she gets treatment at the first signs of trouble. Lenny the Fire Truck becomes a "Ticklish Truck" after a pillow fight. There's something stuck in him that makes him laugh and squirt water uncontrollably. Doc and the others try to figure out what, then get it out.

Dashed off to my first apartment viewing of the day right after the episode ended. I was two minutes late, but apparently Mary Johnson the realtor only arrived a minute or so ahead of me. The owner wasn't able to clear out one of the two apartments, so I could only see A today. 

It's in a small brick duplex on the White Horse Pike in Audubon, across from the wicker store and a block or so from the WaWa and Cooper Medical office. I loved all the closet space, including a small walk-in closet in my bedroom, and there's a nice new carpet and a remodeled bathroom. The rest of the house didn't look as new. The white cabinets with the light wood trim in the narrow kitchen reminded me of the ones at our late 60's split-level house in North Cape May in the 90's, though at least the sink was new and the appliances were updated. The bathroom was even tinier than my old one on Manor. There was also no place to put my bike around back and no laundry room, though there is a laundromat in the block of storefronts behind the WaWa. 

Since I was in Audubon anyway, I rode to the Acme after I finished looking at the apartment. Ran into a lot of great sales. There's still some ice cream left on clearance. Found pints of Acme's generic natural brand and the coconut milk ice cream for 90 cents each! Dug up packs of chicken legs and thighs for less than $1.50 in a few cases. Found yogurt cups with 50 cent coupons that rendered them free. Picked up a card for my niece Lilah's seventh birthday next week. Grabbed clementines, celery, and tomatoes on sale. Found stuffed clams in the seafood section. Restocked bananas, milk, butter, lettuce (actually, escarole), pears, canned tomato sauce, mandarin oranges, and a can of tropical fruit salad. 

Mixed feelings on my schedule next week. Fewer hours, though not enough to wreck havoc on my paycheck. I'm also cashiering all week, and my only long days are Sunday and Thursday. Trouble is, three days in a row are until 7. I'll be riding home in the dark. I do have Monday and Tuesday off, Tuesday for counseling...but then I work the rest of the week, and lord knows when I'll get another day off. When will I be able to do my grocery shopping?

Mom called as I put everything away at home. She mainly wanted to see how my apartment hunting was coming. Happily told her I saw one apartment and would be seeing another. And yes, I've explained to Mary Johnson and everyone else about my situation with my finances and Jodie. I'm not the only person in that situation. People say they want nice, quiet tenants, but they go with the ones that'll pay them...and I just don't make enough money. 

Watched Whew! while I talked.  Another young man barely got a tiebreaker round as I pushed the backpack in the hall closet. He, too, had trouble with the Gauntlet, although I think he made it to the sixth villain before time ran out.

The apartment in Collingswood is on a street I'm not familiar with, and dark was rapidly advancing. I took an Uber driver. She showed up in good time, but took forever to get where she was going. I wish more drivers came from South Jersey! She took the long way around, down the White Horse Pike and past the Collingswood Diner. I barely got there on time.

Knocked on the door of the small 1910's house on the quiet, dark residential street, but no one answered. Went up the high, narrow wooden stairs, but no one answered there, either. I finally found the owner in the back with what I presumed to be two neighbors or other tenants. I hadn't realized she got home at 5:15. No harm done, she said, and proceeded to show me the big garage where I could keep my bike. The laundry room holds washers and dryers for each tenant and cabinets to hold their detergent. She was a sprightly little woman who reminded me a lot of Lauren, up to and including her hoodie sweater and the fact that she didn't have to duck down when we went to see the laundry room.

The apartment was really lovely. It too is small, but unlike the one in Audubon, the entire space was remodeled. The huge kitchen showed signs of still being worked on, with tools laying on the breakfast bar. It had been the home of a mother and 8-year-old daughter, but when the two-bedroom apartment next to it opened, they took that. The bedroom was tiny, but it too had new carpet, and the living room was a good size and had new laminate floors and a brand-new air conditioner. In fact, my only complaints are it being somewhat off the main road and there being less closet space than in the Audubon duplex. The lady was even nice enough to drive me home after I explained my financial situation and all the trouble with Jodie and Rose.

I'm still having trouble getting into the apartment. Got my neighbor to try to help. For some reason, the key opened a lock above the one on the knob. Whatever. It got me in. 

Went straight into Match Game '78 on Buzzr while heating up burgers and Brussels sprouts for dinner. Richard Dawson had a bad eye infection that caused him to wear dark glasses on his last two weeks of Match Game (and Family Feud as well). They made him even harder to decipher than usual. Not a good thing, as he was in a foul mood by this point and barely playin. The others, including Richard Paul, Jo Ann Harris, and a lady who let out a weird random laugh, had a lot more fun.

Rose called as I slid the pan into the oven. I was just about to text her anyway and keep her up to date about my apartment hunt. She's debating whether or not to text Jodie's cousin lawyer. At this point, I don't care what she does, as long as it gets me a place and calms Jodie down. I'm fed up with her ranting. It's not like I haven't been looking for a place! I've spent the last four and a half months trying to find an apartment. We're in the middle of a pandemic and living in an area that's expensive under normal circumstances.

Finished the night with more Betty White on Match Game PM. Unlike the daytime version, the syndicated nighttime show continued to be popular through late 1979. In fact, it was still such a hit, it encouraged the producers to bring it back in daytime syndication. Classic episodes from this round included the time that Gene and Richard nearly yanked a poor lady's arms out of her sockets when Gene tried to drag her way after Rich kissed her, the one with the male contestant from Brooklyn and the female contestant with the beautiful braids I mentioned a few weeks ago, the last episode on the original set with Bernie Koppel that had contestants who were so bad Charles was the only one who matched them, Jon "Bowzer" Bauman donning a giant red polka dot clown tie in an attempt to "dress up" for the nighttime show, the PM episode from the Jack/Brett week in 1978 that continued their feuding, Gene donning Guich Koch's huge cowboy hat, and him and Betty doing a mock strip tease when a contestant admitted she was a student of the human anatomy.

Do more matching in the nighttime with Betty! And come back tomorrow at 7 for Betty finishing out the PM show's run in 1980 and 1981.