Thursday, June 30, 2022

Down On Haddon Avenue

Started off the morning with a quick breakfast and the tail end of Supermarket Sweep. There was no bonus round run for 5,000 in this episode, because this was the first day of their Tournament of Champions week. Each contestant pair already won the big money and had come back to win even more. The Big Sweep was fun, with everyone gathering four magazines and moving bags of dog food onto their table to get extra money. 

Continued with Match Game '75 while getting organized. Carol Bartos, one of the biggest winners in the show's history, gets her first game here, while Bob Barker (The Price Is Right) and Arlene Francis (the 60's Price, What's My Line?) make this something of a game show crossover week. The others try to figure out "Pie __" in the Audience Match and why Dumb Donald wouldn't see Jaws

Headed out after that. Had a few errands to run, starting at the PNC Bank in Collingswood. There were a few people in line at quarter of 1, including a very old lady who was trying to deposit several smaller checks and seemingly confused about it. Thankfully, they opened a second teller, and I was able to do what I needed to do and head out. (I saw the woman's grandson waiting for her outside, so at least she had help getting home.)

After a quick stop at WaWa for cucumber-lime water, I parked my bike and finally hit Samaritan Thrift. They were having a lot of great sales, including records for a dollar. Picked up three of those, plus a birthday card for Finley and a new baby card for Keefe and Julia for a quarter each. 

I originally considered taking the train up to Haddonfield, but while it was hot, up to the lower 90's by 2 PM, it also wasn't humid, and there was a nice breeze. Thought a ride would do me some good. Wanted to stop at the Haddonfield Record Exchange on Haddon Avenue, but they didn't open until 3, so I moved on.

Rode up to King's Highway instead. Inkwood Books used to be in a tiny storefront. Sometime in the last two years, they moved across the street to a store that was at least twice the size of the old one. I was hoping to find the last book in the Caraval series or more of the mystery series I couldn't find at the libraries. I did see a nifty Golden Book on Betty White, but I had such a hard time deciding, I just ended up moving on. 

Went to lunch at the Bistro at Haddonfield after I got out of the book store. I far prefer their shady outdoor tables to the pitch-dark seating inside. They make terrific salads; their pear-spinach is my favorite. A big pile of spinach under chunks of juicy chicken, chopped pears, crumbled fresh bacon, and bits of blue cheese. (It also used to have candied walnuts, but mine didn't. Maybe those have gotten too expensive.) Still as tasty as ever. I enjoyed my meal while listening to college students and office workers chatter around me. 

Was in and out of several stores for the next hour. The reason I don't visit Haddonfield more often, other than it being a long ride, is there isn't much there. They have lovely consignment shops, boutiques, and gift shops...all of which are expensive as heck. I'm not paying the same price for a used shirt that I would for a new one, and I don't care if it does have a designer label. Even one cookie at the cookie shop cost $3.75. As much as I like their toy shop the Happy Hippo, that's a bit much, too. Their small Care Bears are $17. They're $9.99 at Target. They've always been expensive, since long before the pandemic began. Just ended up buying mouthwash and a sugar-free Gatorade from their CVS before moving on.

Haddonfield Record Exchange proved to mostly be a disappointment, too. Their records were twice the price of the ones in Collingswood and Westmont, and they had no $1 bins. On the other hand, they did also have books and CDs, which Innergroove Records doesn't carry; Phidelity has CDs, but not books. Found two small "discount" crates up front and another one in back. Pulled Senior Prom, a Time-Life 50's music collection, out of one. I figured $10 for four records wasn't that bad, and was certainly a better bargain than anything else in the store. 

The other records I found were:

Arte Shaw and His Orchestra - Moonglow

The Melachirino Strings Orchestra - Moods In Music: Music for Relaxation

Johnny Mathis - The First Time (I Saw Your Face) 

By that point, it was past 4:30, and traffic was getting worse on Haddon Avenue. It was time to start back toward Oaklyn. Made one final stop at the Westmont Acme for date bars on sale. Dug through a cart of half-off Crest toothpaste while waiting in line. With the half-off coupon, the regular sale, and two online coupons, a tube of toothpaste that was originally $7.49 came up to $1.49! 

Tried to go into writing when I got home, but I was too wiped out. Broke for dinner and Match Game '74 instead. Brett gets a lot of jokes on her glittering Atlantic City t-shirt, including from Charles and Richard, and tries to flirt with Anson Williams. Noisy Kaye Stevens is happier to play with her fluffy feather boa and annoy Richard. 

Put the laundry on, then went back to Match Game PM. For some reason, they jumped back to the beginning of '77 for the episode with Nipsey Russell and Rosemary Forsyth. Gene tries to calm a nervous contestant, while the others wonder how "Alfred __" came out to "Alfred Einstein." 

Finished the night online with Two Girls and a Sailor. I go further into this classic MGM musical with a sister act competing for a handsome serviceman at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dolls and Angels

Got a very quick start this morning! Barely had time to gulp down breakfast before I dashed off to work. I I rushed across the White Horse Pike and down the Black Horse Pike and barely got to work on time.

Work was confusing. I was originally listed as bagging. I swept the store and then gathered carts, but was pulled after an hour. The head manager didn't want two baggers. Trouble was, they didn't really need an extra cashier, either. We just weren't that busy, and they had plenty of help for once. I mostly shelved candy until around 1:30. Turns out the head of the online shopping department called out sick, and they pulled the bagger to handle her orders. I spent the remaining two hours sweeping and pushing carts again.

At least it was a nice day to be in and out. Blue skies, brisk breezes, hot - probably in the mid-80's - but not humid. Between the weather and this being close to the beginning of the month and a major holiday, I'm surprised we were even mildly busy. Everyone's probably getting ready for the weekend. 

It was such a nice day, after buying peach muffins for lunch next week, I stopped in downtown Oaklyn for a treat. I first thought of Phillies Yummies, but they weren't open yet. Then, I went across the street to the new juice place, but they close at 3 on Wednesdays. Finally ended up at Common Ground Coffee House. Had a frozen hot chocolate (which was really more like a chocolate milk slush) and a "cinnamon chuffin" - a cinnamon roll made with flaky pastry baked in a muffin tin. Yummm. Sweet, spicy, and flaky. Had my treat outside to enjoy the beautiful day.

After I got home, I changed and watched Tattletales while settling down. Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible and Vega$ and his wife Lee were the last-minute big winners today, over Janice Lynde and her husband William and comedy writer Jack Douglas and his sweet Japanese wife Keiko. Whammies flew fast and furious on Press Your Luck; the one guy got three in the first round alone. In the end, they took him out, and a cool little old lady named Jonie got a Hawaiian vacation and money to spend on it.

Dressed the dolls for July and Independence Day while the shows were on and afterwards. I finally found Felicity's white Summer Gown with the wide floral sash for a decent price on eBay last year. Molly's in her Camp Gowanigan uniform and saddle shoes. Whitney's ready to dance in the American Girl Revue Tap Costume that was also an eBay find and Molly's tap shoes. (The bottoms of the red tap shoes that came with the outfit are coming off.) Josefina wears her original school outfit, her Indigo Skirt and Camisa. Samantha's Sailor Middy and Tam was the second outfit I got for her after her Christmas dress. She wears it with black stockings and black and white boots. 

I originally bought the blue and bright pink-red terrycloth romper for Ariel, but it didn't come with the original jacket, and the tube top is kind of brief. I gave it to Barbara Jean instead. Ariel's outfit is entirely home-made other than her white Swiss lace Springfield Collection espadrilles. She has a patriotic patchwork peasant blouse Lauren found in her area and jean shorts from one of the local craft shows. Jessa keeps things simple in the red t-shirt from the original mid-90's Blue Jean Basics, jean short-alls, and purple jelly sandals. 

Tried to work on writing, but I was too tired to concentrate. I don't know why I get so caught up doing nothing, like looking up the history of hotels in Las Vegas or something when I should be doing work. I'm supposed to be writing, but it's too easy to get distracted. 

Had dinner downstairs, then finished the night after a shower with Charlie's Angels at The Roku Channel. "Angels In Vegas" was the two-hour third season premiere. No less than original Rat Pack member Dean Martin is the owner of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Vegas who's seen suspicious deaths happen to two of his closest friends. He hires the Angels to find out who's behind the murders. Kelly joins the Moulin Rouge show as a can-can dancer, Kris gets hired by the casino's lounge singer (Dick Sargent) as his partner, and Sabrina works with the owner...and falls for him. He tries to push the girls away when he thinks they'll get hurt, too, but Sabrina won't abandon him...and then Kris disappears, right after meeting with the singer for rehearsal...

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Lady In the Tutti Frutti Hat

Got a quick start today with breakfast, then writing. The Red King called "all the king's horses and all the king's men" to help Humpty Dumpty, but they all ran off but Sir Jack (Klugman), the Red Knight. They're also after the Mad Hatter, who is one of Queen Betty's messengers. They don't want him or Orson the March Hare to get back to Wonderland and tell Queen and King of Hearts what happened to White King Gene. 

Broke for a very quick lunch before dashing out. At least it was a nice day to hurry off to work! Sunny, bright, windy, far hotter than yesterday, but not really humid. I didn't really see too many people out and about, but they may have all been at lunch.

Work was on-and-off busy, likely due to this being the day seniors get a five percent discount. There's a senior housing building two blocks from the store. Not only was it too nice of a day for most people to be shopping, but a lot of folks are likely waiting for either the beginning of the month or the holiday weekend or both. I did have a one woman who cheerfully complained about the prices and said she wouldn't be coming back, and another one of those people who somehow think they'll be able to buy 300 worth of groceries for 100 and put half of it back. If you're going to have a cart filled with giant bags of chicken and shrimp and huge packs of beef, it's not going to be under 100...and that would have been true even before the pandemic began.

Came home in time for the Audience Match on Match Game PM. Jon "Bowser" Bauman is thrilled when he gives the top answer for "Doll __" and "Good as __." Brianne Leary is more nervous when she has to help with "__ Hockey." 

Watched the finale of Sale of the Century while eating a late dinner. It was between the two gentlemen in the last episode of the 1983-1989 run. Even after buying a jukebox, the champ still jumped ahead in the Speed Round. He finished off the show with one last big win on the Bonus Round as well.

Finished the night online with Something for the Boys. I go further into this bizarre World War II vehicle for Carmen Miranda and Perry Como at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Home In the Rain

Began a cloudy morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. It's "Clean Up Time" for Daniel and O when they have to put away Dan's farm toys. This becomes more important when Daniel loses his watch, and they have to clean up the toys Dan dumped out to find them. The kids take part in "Neighborhood Clean-Up Day" when a strong wind blows sticks, leaves, and trash all over the playground. Katerina doesn't want to help at first, until she realizes how hard it is to twirl in a messy playground!

Put on Match Game '75, but got caught up in looking at my journals from last year. Last winter was just such a mess. All Jodie did was complain and rant on her side of the house. Rose was helpful...until things started to get down to the wire, and then she assumed I'd move in with Mom and threw a fit when I couldn't. No one in the family could fill Uncle Ken and the dads' shoes and do and be everything to everyone. I really wish they taught us how to do that, how to be everything to everyone, instead of just assuming someone would take over when they weren't there. 

And I'm still trying to figure out why Rose got upset. Because she was worried I'd get hurt riding around on my bike, living up here with all the traffic? Because she thought I'd end up living with her, and she'd have to take care of me on top of everything else she does? Because she was angry I didn't keep her more up-to-date about what was going on when I was looking for an apartment? I didn't because I didn't know what to say. I kept trying and getting turned down. She's just so intimidating, it's hard to talk to her sometimes. That makes her a great lawyer...and very difficult to explain problems to.

Finally ended up looking for writing job ideas online. I'm not really sure what I can do, besides write. The only time I've ever done almost anything is out of desperation. I took the job at the Acme because every office in North Cape May in 1999 turned me down, and I had no idea what else to do. I thought I could be a secretary for the manager of the store, but grocery store managers apparently don't need secretaries. I've spent the last 20 years being told by my parents, my co-workers, and my counselor that people only take jobs to make money and have health insurance. 

I was thoroughly depressed when I got on Zoom to chat with Mrs. Stahl. On one hand, other than Lauren getting overheated during the walk on Saturday, our vacation went very well. We even got to check out a mall I hadn't been able to get to before. I'm also glad my dental appointment went well, and while I am concerned about my diabetes numbers being higher than I'd like, I'm actually in pretty decent shape at the moment.

Still haven't heard from Rose or hireAbility, though. I'm wondering if they actually got my paperwork. If I don't hear from them by Tuesday or Wednesday next week, I'm going to call them or Vocational Rehabilitation and see what's going on. I have no clue what to do about Rose. Finley's birthday is on Sunday. I'll try to at least drop her present off, but I can't see Rose inviting me like she did last year. 

Oh, and Keefe invited me to a baby shower for his new daughter in late August. I'm not sure if I can - or should - go. I could probably get time off of work and take the train down there, but there's the matter of where to stay. Keefe and Julia have a small apartment, and Mom will be living down there by August as well. I haven't stayed at hotel since 2001. It's a lot easier to plan a vacation when you're just staying at a friend's house. I need to talk to Mom about it.

The rain finally started around noon, a heavy, soaking rain that fell in heavy sheets off and on. By the time I got off with Mrs. Stahl, thunder and lighting were added to the mix as well. Between the weather and how tired I was, I wasn't really up to anything but a nap. 

Got up about an hour and a half later for a little writing. Brett's a little worried when The Red King (Mark Goodson) and his slovenly Red Knight (Jack Klugman) follow the clumsy guards into the woods. Not only do they not find them, but the Red King scolds Jack for not being more careful and getting to Humpty in time.

Broke at 6:30 for dinner and Match Game '74. McLean Stevenson got really wild this week, even for him. He kept running out and kissing all of the men when the contestants won, including Gene and Richard, who weren't terribly happy about it. Meanwhile, Charles's face is somewhere between shocked and disgusted when Brett jokingly says they're engaged! 

Vacuumed and pushed the Swifter during Match Game PM. The audience was a flat-out nuthouse during this episode! They screamed curses, yelled at every answer, booed loudly, and cheered even louder. Gene looked like he was going to pop a gasket a few times. Charles even fled to the back of the set at one point and wrote an answer there, hoping to separate himself from the pack and the noise. Meanwhile, Richard Deacon is dressed as an actual deacon, and Robert Pine is nervous about helping the contestant with "Grizzly __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night at HBO Max with Who's Harry Crumb? Harry Crumb (John Candy) is an incompetent private eye who has been assigned to find a millionaire's missing model daughter Jennifer (Renee Coleman). He suspects her shallow stepmother Helen (Annie Potts) and her tennis coach lover Vince (Tim Thomerson) kidnapped her, especially after a note arrives demanding ransom. Neither Detective Casey (Valri Bromfield) nor Eliot (Jeffery Jones), the current manager of the Crumb & Crumb Detective Agency, think he's much use, but Jennifer's neglected younger sister Nikki (Shawnee Smith) is more than willing to help crack the case. Helen's not the only one behind the kidnapping, though...and it'll take all of Harry's bravado and sheer dumb luck to track down the real crook and keep them from skipping town.

Pretty typical Candy vehicle from the late 80's, released just prior to his breakthrough in Uncle Buck. There's some funny moments, especially his trying so hard to improve his vocabulary and show off, and some, like his Indian air conditioner repairman schtick, that definitely wouldn't fly today. Fun for a rainy afternoon if you're a fan of Candy or wacky random comedies from the 80's and early 90's. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Games for a Song

Started off the morning with a quick breakfast before heading out. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning. Sunny, windy, warm but not too hot. Everyone must have been at church or sleeping in. I barely saw a soul outside, not even on the Pikes. 

They all went grocery shopping. It was busy from the time I arrived until around 2 PM. Everyone came through with food to take to the Shore or for barbecues and picnics, or just to feed kids who were now home all week. It slowed down after 2, but never emptied out. 

I did have a couple of annoying families about an hour before I left. One family came through loudly arguing amongst themselves. They were some of those people who say they have a hundred dollars to spend, despite having a car full of giant bags of shrimp and fish and packages of thick back and steaks that cost 200 or more. They ended up putting back a quarter of it, and ended up splitting it into three orders, even though they really didn't have to. 

My last customers had the wrong cheese for their WIC card. I had to go retrieve it, even though I only had about five minutes left before I was done for the day. And then the PIN number for their card wouldn't go through, and it eventually locked. I finally turned them over to the head manager and barely got out on time.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road to calm down and enjoy the day. While it was much hotter and more humid, it still remained a nice, sunny, windy day. Once again, there was no traffic anywhere. I was even able to cross the White Horse Pike quickly. Everyone must have either gone to barbecues or the Shore by that point. I admired gardens of waving purple and orange lilies and satiny roses. 

Went straight into writing when I got home. As Brett and Charles leave Humpty-Deacon, they hear a great crash. "All the king's horses and all the king's men" are supposed to put him back together again, but all they do is get lost and act ridiculous. 

Broke for dinner at 7. Listened to my cast album for George M! while I ate. This is the original 1968 version of George M. Cohan's life and times, with Joel Gray as George and Bernadette Peters as his sister Josie. I really do wish they'd used more of the lesser-known songs. "Billie" introduces his second wife Agnes, and there's a lot of cute chorus numbers like "Push Me Along In My Pushcart" and "Popularity" that didn't make it into the TV version. 

Finished the night online with more musical shows. Face the Music from 1980 had people guessing which songs related to celebrities of the day. It was better-known for its strange contestants than its gameplay. Here, a woman can't stop screaming, whether she's yelling out an answer or just talking. In her enthusiasm, she often forgets that she needs to figure out the face, too. Ron Ely tries his best to keep things from getting too crazy. 

Fandango was the first game show on The Nashville Network (now Paramount Network). This is a simple country music trivia quiz hosted by the ever-charming "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson. He was joined by a talking jukebox named Edgar who spouted bad jokes sent in by viewers. This was an early hit for TNN, running from 1983 to 1988. 

Triple Threat was originally a syndicated show in 1988. That only lasted a year. It was revived on BET in 1992, with families playing instead of celebrity-contestant pairings. This is kind of a variant on Face the Music, only in this case, they ask questions related to the song itself. It could be fun to watch; it was too bad it still didn't last more than a year. 

With the revival of Name That Tune still running on Fox, I revisited the 1970's syndicated version with Tom Kennedy. That was a big deal in the late 70's-early 80's as one of the first shows to offer a six-figure payout. I loved the version with Jim Lange as a child, and it's just as much fun to watch people try to name all the songs in the Golden Medley here.

Most music-based game shows don't just involve knowledge. The Singing Bee and Dance Revolution threw the focus on actual performance. The Singing Bee had contestants called up to hear part of a popular song. They then had to sing the next lines. This started out well in its original run on NBC, but it ended up dying by the end of 2007. It did slightly better on Country Music Television (CMT), running from 2009 to 2012 there. The episode I chose is a special from the CMT version that focused on former members of 90's boy bands playing for charity.

Dance Revolution brought kids in on the fun. This Saturday morning CBS show emphasized exercise and nutrition...but it was really an excuse for groups of children to show off some funky moves. Host "DJ" Rick Adams and his Slumber Party Girls would catch moves from three teams of contestants, the "Dance Crews." The Crews would learn new moves from a choreographer, then see who could execute them the best. The kids could be fun to watch, but it moved slowly and spent too much time on the "Slumber Party Girls" and their routines. No wonder it barely ran a year. 

Of course, the concept is nothing new. People have been judging performance probably since someone first shook their caboose in a cave. Judge for Yourself is one of the many musical shows showing off live performance in the 1950's. This is the original format from 1953, hosted by acerbic Fred Allen. He, three celebrities, and three audience members watch a trio of professional performers. If the audience's points matched the celebrities', the contestants won a jackpot. If they didn't, it increased until someone won. Yeah, I can see why they retooled the format after a few months, and this didn't even last a year. I can't imagine the audience and the celebrities were in complete agreement that often. 

Dance and sing your way into the summer with these musical excursions to the past!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

It's a Hot Summer, Charlie Brown

Started off a quiet morning with breakfast before heading out. It was already hot and sunny at quarter of 10. The sky was a searing blue and the humidity was through the roof. At the very least, I did get out fast enough to arrive right on time.

And that was probably the most exciting thing that happened all day. We were dead for almost my entire shift. It did get a little steady on occasion, but nothing overwhelming. Plenty of help, too, especially later in the evening. I spent a lot of time standing around, writing story notes or organizing soda coolers. Everyone's either at the Shore, were out at picnics or barbecues, or are waiting for the beginning of the month and the big holiday weekend next week. I picked up yogurt for breakfast this week and oatmeal cookies on sale during my half-hour lunch break.

Went straight home and into dinner after work. Watched He's a Bully, Charlie Brown while I ate. Chuck's not sure he's going to like camp when a bratty kid picks on him and Snoopy the very first day. He plays Re-Run for his grandfather's prized marble collection, and the little boy is devastated when it turns out this kid plays for keeps. Angry for once, Chuck learns the ins and outs of marble competition from Snoopy in order to get Re-Runs marbles back and beat this little jerk at his own game. Meanwhile, Marcie teases Peppermint Patty about her being with Chuck at camp, prompting her best friend to abandon summer school to join them.

Finished the night on Tubi with Tom Sawyer after a shower. I go further into the 2000 animated direct-to-video version of the beloved Mark Twain novels at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Hot and Bothered (Getting Things Done)

Slept in this morning and read until almost 11:30. Finally had my brunch while watching Match Game '75. In honor of the show's German counterpart, Gene replaced all blanks with the words "Schnick Schanck." Apparently, the Germans have no word for "blank" in their language. This lead to many German accent jokes, including from Richard Dawson, who knew real Germans and Austrians doing Hogan's Heroes

Headed out shortly after the next episode began. First stop of the day was Goodwill. I had a bag of books and records to donate. Finally found the donation center behind the shopping center. The door was open and surrounded by carts. I dropped my bag in the cart closest to the back door and headed out. Went around to the main store to check out the shelves, but I didn't see anything I really needed. I've bought enough junk lately.

Dodged lunch hour traffic in the parking lots and headed up to the Acme to do grocery shopping. Mainly needed something for lunch next week; grabbed scones. Larabars were on sale for a dollar each. I skipped the packaging and bought 7 in various flavors instead. Had a free online coupon for the new Biosteel electrolyte drink and 2 dollars off for the large container of blueberries. 

Not entirely happy with my schedule next week. In good news, Monday and Thursday off, Monday for counseling. Considering it's supposed to pour on Monday, it's a good thing I do have counseling that day! I also have three 8 1/2 hour shifts, including all of next weekend, plus I'm bagging on Wednesday again.

Since I went down West Clinton on my way through Oaklyn, I stopped there for a quick lunch. Wanted something better than pizza, so I had a tomato, feta, and spinach quiche, apricot shortbread cookies, and a "Manor Mixer" (milk with crushed strawberries and juice) at Common Grounds Coffee House. They were busy for them with people chatting over tables, even by quarter of 3.

Next stop was the CVS on the border of Collingswood and Oaklyn. They were having a buy one, get one 50% off on the shampoo and conditioner I use. Their nuts tend to be cheaper than the Acme's, too. Bought unsalted mixed nuts. And...I just wanted to see if they were still open. I did hear one of the cashiers mention that the Westmont store closed June 9th. Like I said, I'm guessing they finally succumbed to the competition. There's a Rite Aid and a Walgreens within walking distance of that store on either side of Haddon Avenue, plus Target and two more Rite Aids in Collingswood and Haddonfield.

Headed home after that. Had a snack and rested while watching two episodes of Police Squad. This is the original Zucker Brothers spoof of police shows that eventually lead to The Naked Gun series. It starts off with "A Substantial Gift," or "The Broken Promise," as the narrator reads in the opening. A blonde secretary a credit union kills her boss and one of her customers to steal their money and frame the latter. Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielson) thinks there's definitely something up and talks to a dentist who says a mouthful.

Drebin hits the "Ring of Fear" or "A Dangerous Assignment" when he's assigned to investigate the apparent suicide of a boxer. The boxer's manager, Mr. Frank, insisted on all his pugilists taking dives and handing him the money. Drebin takes control of the management of one of them, Bobby Briggs, and sets him up to beat "the Champ" fairly. When Frank has Bobby's drunk wife kidnapped, Drebin has to race against time to rescue her and bring her back to cheer her husband on.

Worked on writing for a while after the episodes ended. Humpty-Deacon finally points them back into the woods and tells them that to jump the square, they have to jump his wall. They finally do so when he decides he's had enough and simply ignores them. 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '74 at 6:30. Richard happily spends the episode flirting with a very pretty blonde. The others have to figure out what Tom Thumb will use to float in and who "___ Hopper" is in the Audience Match. Richard at one point finally turns around and tells Brett to "shut up, you hamburger!"

Had dessert during Match Game PM. Gene's impressed with a slender redheaded contestant who stands 6 feet, 7 inches and is amused by a lady with a very thick southern accent. Dick and Dolly Martin are more impressed with each other. The others try to figure out how a man likes his women and his eggs, Brett scolds Gene for being off-key, and Dick tries to help with "Debbie __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night The Roku Channel with free shows there. Charlie's Angels find themselves involved in "Dirty Business" when a sleazy film publisher hires them to find out who's been threatening him and tried to burn his product. Turns out, not only is the guy a pornographer who makes sex films, but he films wealthy people in compromising positions and use them for blackmail...and he's filmed someone where they shouldn't be...

Switched to I Dream of Jeannie for the black and white first season episode "Guess What Happened On the Way to the Moon?" Tony and Roger are sent into the desert to learn survival tactics. Jeannie is shocked to see her beloved master sweating and thirsty, so she makes food and shelter appear for him. Not only does Tony have to explain why he's so healthy after a week in the desert, but Roger isn't happy he seems to have gotten deluxe treatment. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Summer Showers

Slept in this morning. When I finally got out of bed, rain pattered on the roof in a heavy shower. Opted to cheer things up instead with Silly Symphony shorts set around summertime as I ate breakfast. "Summertime" and "Night" are variations on the "animals sing and dance and eat each other in time to classical music" theme that was popular in the early Symphonies. "Playful Pan" plays music that makes the forest dance, but he's less helpful when gyrating clouds unleash lightning that sets off a fire in the forest. 

"Bugs In Love" was the last black-and-white Silly Symphony. An insect community comes to the aid of two ladybug lovers when a crow tries to eat the female. Disney's first color short "Flowers and Trees" is a similar story. Here, though, the lovers are two young trees threatened by an old hollow log, and he's the one who sets the forest on fire. 

Spent the next hour doing research on the NJ Transit River Line. It apparently travels from Camden to Trenton, stopping at small towns along the Delaware River. Some of those small towns, like Riverton, Riverside, Edgewater Park, Palmyra, Burlington, and Cinnaminson, have shops and tree-lined avenues that might be worth exploring. If nothing else, it would be a quicker summer trip than taking two trains and a bus ride to get down to the Shore. 

By 1:30, the rain had finally ended. I was bored out of my skull and needed to get out of the house and do something. Headed out for a bike ride. Cut through Newton Lake Park on my way to Westmont. It's so green there now. The leaves on the trees are big and bright now; flowers and thick rushes grow along the lake's edge. Even on a gloomy, gray, cool day, people went for strolls and took their dogs for a walk.

First stop was something for lunch. There's a whole row of restaurants (and a spa and Hair Cuttery) in a shopping center across from the Westmont Theater gym. I chose Que Ricas, one of the smallest spaces in the mall. This colorful, tropical-themed space sells real Venezuelan street food. I went with the scrambled egg, cotija cheese, and vegetable "arepas," a type of soft cornbread roll and a can of Diet Pepsi. Oh, yum! All of the flavors melded together so beautifully, and I loved the soft cheese tucked into the bottom. Not a bad price, either. Very tasty.

Headed a couple of blocks down to Phidelity Records after lunch. Did very well here. For some reason, Paramount doesn't have every episode from the original Odd Couple online. I picked up the fourth and fifth seasons, plus Police Squad and the second series of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Records included: 

George Shearing Quintet - Black Satin

The soundtrack from the Lucille Ball Mame

Jack and the Beanstalk Peter Pan children's record

Went across the street after that to check out Samaritan Thrift. Alas, I spent a little too much time in Phidelity Records. It would seem they close at 3, and I went over at 3:30. Peeked at McMillian's Bakery, but by this point, it was rush hour. Traffic on Haddon and Cuthbert was getting worse, too, and big black clouds were beginning to gather again. 

I thought of stopping at the CVS on Cuthbert to pick up conditioner, but...there was no CVS. The building was empty, and the sign was gone. I swear it was there the last time I rode down Cuthbert! Either I didn't notice it closed, or they just closed in the last week or two. I finally just headed home the way I came. 

Went into looking at local houses for sale and apartments for rent when I got in. Had an early dinner and watched Match Game '79 while I ate. Charles announces it's Save Your Vision week and how important it is to take care of your eyes while eating on the air. Debralee Scott is more nervous about helping the contestant with "__ Talks" in the Head-to-Head.

Worked on writing for a while after I finished. Humpty-Deacon wants to stay on the subject of words and discuss how he makes up his own. Brett complains that this makes no sense, rather like the poem about the Jabberwock she'd read in the Alice book in her backyard. Deacon tells her it's mainly talking about all the monsters in Limbo and how slimy and terrible they are. 

Finished the night after a shower with Stars and Stripes Forever. I go into further detail on this 1952 biography of John Phillips Sousa at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Hum While You Work

I swear I heard the alarm go off this morning, or I thought I did. I set my alarm for 7, but I ended up sleeping until 8:30! Not a good thing, as I had work at 9:30. Rushed through breakfast and darted out; I was lucky to only be a few minutes late.

After all that, we weren't really all that busy. I spent the whole day sweeping or doing carts. I did have to put away cold items at one point. I dropped a cartoon of half-melted ice cream, and while it thankfully didn't make a mess on the floor, it did get all over my arm. I was really embarrassed by that. 

At least it wasn't a bad day for pushing carts. Humid, but cloudy and cool, in the upper 60's. It was supposed to rain later in the day, but it hasn't done anything worse than spit slightly at press time. Even so, I rushed back to Oaklyn, hoping to avoid any bad weather.

Went right upstairs and into a snack. Watched Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while I ate. They just put out their third hour-long special, "Daniel Visits a New Neighborhood." Daniel's excited when he and his mom take a train ride to visit her friend Valentina and her family in mostly Hispanic community. Dan and Valentina's son Juan Carlos are pen pals. They're shy at first, but then they discover everything they have in common, from playing with cars to how much they adore their favorite stuffed animals. 

Put up the summer decorations and took down the spring stuff during the second half. I don't want to hang anything on the walls, but I do have several wooden sunflowers and a lovely little wreath for summer. There's also a few patriotic-themed decorations I've picked up over the years, including two red, white, and blue bows for the doors, a trio of folksy angels with the letters "USA" on their pedestals, an Uncle Sam cardboard container, two patriotic mini Beanie Bears, and America Cares Bear, the Care Bear with the US flag on its tummy I found at a yard sale several years ago. (Incidentally, I remember seeing this bear sold in the early 90's under another name and with a slightly different stomach symbol with a star instead of a flag.)

Had an early dinner while watching Match Game '74. Scoey Mitchilll made his first appearance in an episode mid-way through the year, while Charles returned after being sick the previous week. Bert Convy appeared after the Head-to-Head, making love to a contestant as the turntable came back around! In reality, he was there to advertise Tattletales, which was just about ready to debut. 

Worked on writing for a while after that. Brett is more than happy to comply with Humpty-Deacon's insistence on moving on to another topic besides age. This leads into discussions of "unbirthdays," which are quite common in the Under Kingdoms. Brett would rather get presents as a surprise, but in Wonderland, there's reasons to celebrate birthdays all year round.

Finished the night at the Internet Archive with The Mouse Factory. I remember seeing this syndicated Disney anthology show on The Disney Channel as a kid in the 80's and early 90's. Human hosts (generally actors who had done voices or appeared in live-action Disney films) interact with costumed characters to introduce cartoons or live-action documentaries revolving around a theme. The show opens with the characters and the host checking in to the "Mouse Factory" before moving into a rapid-fire preview of the episode's gags and shorts. The main bit is a series of skits revolving around the theme and leading into that episode's shorts or segments from longer films. The host would toss out a little bit of trivia or history about the subject at hand between skits. 

Just looking at the stars tells you this was made in 1972 and 1973. In addition to Charles Nelson Reilly (who is in charge of the vacation-themed pilot episode), hosts include Jo Ann Worley, Johnny Brown, Henry Gibson, Ken Berry, Joe Flynn, Annette Funicello, Wally Cox, Kurt Russell, Jim Backus, Harry Morgan, John Astin, Johnathan Winters, Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, Dom DeLuise, Pat Paulsen, Nipsey Russell, and Sharri Lewis and her puppet pals Lambchop and Hush Puppy. That alone, along with the odd rapid-fire cutting and occasionally dated gags, could explain why this is on the Internet Archive and not Disney Plus. 

Winters' lone entry, "Interplanetary Travel," wins for the weirdest episode hands down. His deadpan impersonations, including an alien, are mainly lead-ins for the odd animation from the Tomorrowland segments of the original Disneyland show. Disney created some of the freakiest alien designs I've ever seen for those episodes. They look more like they crawled out of the Paraphernalia Wagon in Halloween Is Grinch Night than a Disney show. 

Funicello's first show gets the nod for "host most related to the subject matter." Who better to be in charge of the episode revolving around Mickey Mouse than a former Mouseketeer? Her warm presence makes this far less frantic than most episodes as she introduces "Thru the Mirror" and "Symphony Hour." 

Most of the shows are a lot simpler. Worley's second episode, "Horses," gives us everything from Goofy trying to learn to ride a horse to Mickey and the gang playing polo against popular Hollywood comedians of the 1930's. Gibson is an unlikely choice for "Knighthood," as he shows how Goofy and Arthur of The Sword In the Stone went from being squires to knights and kings. Reilly returns to sell the Disney crew on "Spectator Sports" like horse racing. Brown shows off several "Folk Tale Favorites" (including segments from the rare Song of the South) and teaches Donald and Goofy how to fly a plane and a glider in "Aviation." Flynn's only show was "Water Sports," as he convinces Mickey and his crew to become "Boat Builders" and sells Goofy a boat that gets him into "Aquamania" and turns him into a water skiing champ. 

I'm not sure what younger kids would think of this today, but for those of you who grew up watching it in syndication or on the Disney Channel like I did and are familiar with either the celebrities or the shorts, it's absolutely worth a watch. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Welcome to the Summer

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast in the front room before rushing out. It was still a nice, sunny day at that point. Thankfully, it continues to be much cooler here than it currently is in the south and Midwest, barely in the 80's. Dodged some traffic, but got into work just on time.

Work was dead almost the entire afternoon. It did get a little busy around the noon rush hour. Otherwise, we were pretty quiet. Had some trouble with a woman who didn't or couldn't get everything she needed for her WIC card. They don't have a book anymore; everything they need to read is online. We're also out of a lot after the holiday weekend, including the store-brand eggs and milk needed. It took so long to figure out what she got that wasn't on the card, I had to move and take other customers while the manager finished. All I did the whole time was panic. 

Rushed home the moment one of the college boys came in for me. The sun had vanished behind clouds at this point, but it remained fairly cool and breezy. It was even a tad chilly for the first day of summer. 

As soon as I got in, I went online to do some writing. Humpty-Dumpy is Richard Deacon, a grumpy, balding character actor who sometimes sits next to Brett on the show. Brett and Charles keep trying to get him to come down, but he either ignores their questions, thinks they're asking riddles, or asks personal questions from them.

Broke for dinner and to do the laundry at 7 PM. Ate while watching Match Game PM. Brett and Charles happily spend the episode sniping at each other, including over what a lion that's been trained to attack when it hears a bell eats. Gene's less amused when he has to fix the recalcitrant turntable and push it himself. Brett's more nervous about handling "__ Peck" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night after a shower and bringing the laundry upstairs with George M! I kick off two weeks of All-American Weekdays with this adaptation of a Broadway show about the life of George M. Cohen, featuring Joel Gray as Cohen and Bernadette Peters as his sister, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Day In the Sunshine

Started off the morning with Father's Day material from Colliers Harvest of Holidays, which I forgot yesterday. We had a lovely short story about a father taking his little girl for a night walk by the river to calm her down enough for sleep, the chapter from Cheaper By the Dozen where Mr. Gilbreath has his kids form committees to help with chores and other family decisions, and several poems. 

Had a very quick breakfast, then headed out. Left early...which may not have been smart. Work was being done on West Clinton Avenue, between 7-11 and City Hall. I still got to the Acme with time to buy some salad bowls for later in the week and buy one, get one free bags of bakery oatmeal raisin cookies. 

Work was crazy today. We had no bagger until 6 PM. I ended up pushing carts, sweeping the store, taking a register, and going in for other cashiers' breaks. At least it was a gorgeous day for pushing carts. Sunny, dry, warm but not oppressively so for June, and the wind finally died down, too. I ended up going in for another break a half-hour before I was done. Thankfully, they did have a relief for me.

It was so nice, despite it being rush hour, I had to take the long way home down Nicholson Road. Everything is so fresh and green now! Flowers bloom in brilliant rainbows across yards, and the leaves are fat and shady. I'm wondering if a lot of people had today off, considering how busy it was this morning and later in the day. Maybe they all went for afternoon drives. (Oh, and they were long finished with the White Horse Pike by then.)

Went straight upstairs and into writing when I got in. Brett and Charles land and let the Jabberwock return to Limbo. They follow a brick wall until they find Humpty Dumpty...who looks like Richard Deacon with more of an egg shape. Humpty is a rather crabby fellow who constantly criticizes Brett, Charles, and everything else. Brett and Charles are just hoping he doesn't fall off that wall and need to be rescued by all the king's horses and all the king's men!

Grabbed dinner while watching Match Game '74. Charles was out sick, so voice impressionist and stand-up comic George Kirby took his place. Morey Amsterdam joined in help the others figure out "__Timer" in the Audience Match and what Brett has locked in her dressing room to make the man with the buzzer behave.

Match Game PM was from the otherwise-pretty bad week with Mabel King, Ken Olfsen, and Guich Kotch. Kotch didn't play that well, but he made great eye candy and was funny enough to return several times in 1978-1979. King did not play well and other than briefly singing, looked pretty bored. Olfsen had more fun, including helping a contestant with "Grandma __" on the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night with Overdrawn at the Memory Bank at Shout TV. This episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has a lot of things in common with The Running Man, starting with it being another 80's movie set in a dark future. Giant company employee Aram Fingel (Raul Julia) is caught watching Casablanca at his desk and is sent to a strange form of rehabilitation that involves putting his mind in a baboon's body. It works, but thanks to a passel of kids on a school trip, they lose the body. His personality is downloaded into the computer, and will be lost if they can't find the body soon. Within the computer. Aram finds himself caught between his dull job as a computer programmer and the exciting world of Casablanca. He's Rick, and everyone else he knows are the characters in the movie. The Fat Man is the evil head of Novicorp (Donald C. Moore), and the girl in the office he has a crush on is the singer at the bar (Wanda Cannon). Scientist Apollonia James (Linda Griffiths) tries keep Aram's personality amused and out of trouble...but he ends up first rebelling against the computer, then taking it over. 

Mike, Pearl, and the bots honor this being a PBS movie by parodying PBS programming and fund drives between segments, along with the idea of rewiring another person's mind. It's too bad that the ending is anti-climatic and makes no sense, because this is actually a pretty interesting ride before then. Jones' narration is annoying and unnecessary, but Julia does well as the normal guy who suddenly has the power to control what goes on around him. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

All Kinds of People

Started off my Father's Day by oversleeping. I somehow set my alarm to 7 PM instead of AM. Got up with just enough time to write in my journal, eat, and hurry out to work. It was still really windy and chilly this morning, enough that I needed my jean jacket when I left, but didn't need anything on at home.

Work was a pain this morning. We were busy up through about 3:30. Everyone was buying huge orders for Father's Day barbecues, birthday or graduation parties, or just to feed kids who were now at home all week. Lots of gift cards for dads, grads, and birthday presents, too. Once again, we didn't have enough help until later in the which time, everyone made it to their barbecues and parties and we were dead. We were so quiet by 5:30, I just shut down and left with no objection.

Went straight home after work. Had dinner while listening to one of my many recent record acquisitions, The Girl Who Came to Supper. In this musical version of the play The Sleeping Prince and the Marilyn Monroe/Lawrence Oliver movie The Prince and the Showgirl, the members of the West End show "The Coconut Girl" are excited when they learn the Prince of Carpathia (Jose Ferrer) is in London for the coronation of King George V and will be seeing their show. 

The star of the show, Mary Moran (Florence Henderson), catches his eye when she trips instead of curtseying. He invites her to dinner and becomes enchanted with her, and she's overwhelmed by his charm. But his teen son is aligned with those who want to overthrow the throne, and she's hardly versed in royal etiquette. Though their worlds are too far apart to make things work, she still teaches him a lesson in democracy and seeing the world in a different and more open way.

This was...just ok. It's especially disappointing for one of Noel Coward's works. Tessie O'Shea and Henderson stole the show. O'Shea got a supporting actress Tony for her medley of Cockney songs that takes everyone on a jolly musical tour of London. Henderson gets a sweet ballad, "Here and Now," after she's been invited to the Coronation, and a tour-de-force number that has her reenacting the entire "Coconut Girl" for Ferrer, including five songs. Ferrer and his material come off far less well. He can't sing, and it makes his ballads and patter songs sound all alike. 

Lesser Noel Coward is still worth hearing, so if you love him or the big brassy Broadway musicals of the 50's and 60's, you'll want to look up this one at least once.

Worked on writing for an hour after dinner. As they look down, Brett sees a wall with a familiar egg-shaped figure. Humpty Dumpty was supposed to help her jump to the next square. She gets the Jabberwock to let them down far enough away that he won't scare Humpty before taking off again.

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower with game show episodes honoring Pride Month and Juneteenth. Homesexual actor, director, and voice artist Charles Nelson Reilly and lesbian writer and comedienne Fannie Flagg are two of my favorites on Match Game. The only time they appeared together on Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour was the final week. I went with the very last episode, where Charles cries over his answers in Match Game and Fannie gets a few risqué ones in Hollywood Squares

Celebrity Bowling was what it says on the tin. Stars played four rounds of bowling for charity. Charles appeared at least twice. In the episode I chose where he's partnered with Gabe Kaplan from Welcome Back, Kotter, he accidentally hits Shelly Berman with his ball just as he's about to start! Charles did a lot less damage as a panelist on What's My Line in 1964, during the time he appeared in Hello Dolly on Broadway.

One of Fannie's funniest appearances on Match Game was also her last. She and Brett came rushing in late for the show! Gene gave them a good scolding for that. Fannie also did her last Head-to-Head, helping a gentleman with "__ Rebellion," and got to hear Brett complain how no one would rebel against whiskey!

Actor and "poet laureate of television" Nipsey Russell's natural habitat was word games like Password Plus. He did very well in early 1980, easily helping his contestant to the Alphabetics round. Jimmie Walker and his then-girlfriend Samantha did even better on a 1975 episode of Tattletales against experienced couples Lynda Day and her husband Chris and Don Galloway and his sweet wife Linda.

There's so much to celebrate this month! Honor some of the best panelists in game shows with these classic episodes!

And here's the Father's Day marathon Match Game Productions put together last year for even more June holiday fun!

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Windy Harvest

Got a quick start this morning heading off to the Farm Market. You'd never know it's three days before summer's supposed to begin. It was cloudy, wildly windy, and very cool, barely in the 70's. I nearly got blown away just riding to Collingswood! Stopped at WaWa first to get money and a creamy strawberry-banana smoothie before going across the street.

Despite the windy weather and the late hour, the Farm Market was still very busy. It being nearly 11:30 meant the sellers were willing to negotiate. I picked up two tomatoes for four dollars. They were originally listed as $3.75. I was surprised to see peaches at the orchard booth already. They said they were as surprised as I was that peaches debuted so early in the season. Also grabbed out-of-state blueberries and saw the first patty-pan squash and zucchini of the season. 

Needed to use the bathroom, so I rushed two blocks down and across Haddon Avenue to the Collingswood Library. Dug through their books for sale and came up with a Fannie Flagg title, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion, for a dollar.

After briefly looking for an estate sale on Cuthbert, I made a stop at the Haddon Township Library. I was hoping to find the last book of the Caraval trilogy or more of Fannie's books, but no luck. The only Caraval book they had was Legendary, the second, which I just finished, and I read everything they had of Fannie's. 

Did better at a very busy Target. Bought apple pie Target and blueberry Larabars date bars and a diet ginger ale. Stopped at Dollar General on my way home for more electrolyte tube drink mixes. They were also busy, though not quite as bad as Target. I was in and out of both places. 

Found a nifty yard sale on Cuthbert, about two blocks from Westmont Plaza. They sold a wide variety of clothes, shoes, hats, and collectibles, many of them vintage. Alas, I didn't have much left in the way of actual cash at that point. I took a look around and moved on. 

Watched some Match Game '74 when I got in and had lunch. Arrived in time to see everyone give their answers to "Moonlight __" on the Audience Match, including Charles teasing Brett about hers. Richard and Brett exchange insults during the "__ Watch" Head-to-Head. 

Switched to Poor Little Rich Girl on YouTube about half-way through the next episode as I laid down on my game chair to relax. I go further into this classic Shirley Temple film about a rich little girl who runs away from her neglectful father and joins a vaudeville couple at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wrote my review, then worked on writing for a while. Yes, the Jabberwock can fly easily between worlds. After a few minutes, Brett sees green land under them. She recalls to Charles that Red Queen Fannie (Flagg) told her that the next square is the home of Humpty Dumpty. Richard was supposed to help them through the square after that, but after the Red King threw him out the window at White Castle, Brett has no idea if he's even alive.

Finally broke for dinner at 7:30. Watched two more Family Feud episodes. This one came from a special week of the daytime run featuring heroes and heroines of famous action shows playing for charity. The heroes - among them Greg Morris of Vega$ and Mission: Impossible, Lyle Waggoner of Wonder Woman, and Adam West of Batman - beat the heroines (including Beverly Garland of The Scarecrow and Mrs. King and West's fellow Batman alumni Yvonne Craig) in both episodes and picked up the Fast Money both times. (I'd love to see the rest of the week and find out if the ladies ever caught up with the guys.)

Returned to YouTube for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir after I ate. Poor Claymore wants to be a "Ladies Man" in the second season, but he's shy and hopeless with women, not to mention a cheapskate. Captain Clegg despairs of him ever becoming as suave as the rest of the family. Mrs. Muir convinces friends of hers to come on to him at a cafe...which makes him thinks Mrs. Muir is interested in him!

Finished the night with The Lawrence Welk Show. Dug way back in the show's history for a Father's Day episode. This show from 1960 is one of the earliest I've found on YouTube. It's really more of a celebration of Welk's first five years on the air than a Father's Day show, including representatives of Dodge coming on to praise Welk for helping them sell more cars than ever. We do get the Lennon Sisters singing with their father, though, revealing where they got their talent.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Are You Ready for the Summer?

Started the day with a quick breakfast and writing. Brett suggests to Charles that they use the Jabberwock to get back to Looking Glass Land. It's the only creature that can travel freely between the Under Kingdoms and Limbo. Charles isn't happy about that, and just barely manages to get on when it takes off into the heavy gray sky.

Rushed off to work with time to pick up something for lunch before I went in. Work was off-and-on busy, not as dead as Wednesday, but not as busy as yesterday. There may be some graduation and birthday  parties still going on, but I suspect a lot of people went to the Shore for the Juneteenth holiday weekend. Worst that happened was my computer suddenly went down. I felt really bad, even though it wasn't my fault. The manager re-rang the lady's order...then wasn't happy when the register came back up faster than expected and it turns out she didn't have to do it. 

Picked up a few things after work. I finally found the right tops for my electric toothbrush. Needed something for lunch this week, too. Also grabbed my favorite fudge-topped shortbread cookies as a treat, and had a coupon for bags of organic nuts. 

Mixed feelings on my schedule next week. In good news, two days off in a row this time, Thursday and Friday, and at least one bagging day. Unfortunately, also two 8 1/2 hour days, one of them next Saturday, both cashiering.

Got home in time for Match Game '74. Elaine Joyce and Mitzi McCall show off form-fitting tops in the opening. Richard just opts to show off his chest. Gene's happier to meet a contestant who speaks Serbo-Croatian like him. Don Adams gets to show off his odd answer to what you meet in the park one enchanted evening.

Had dinner and cleaned up while watching Match Game PM. Jon "Bowser" Bauman also shows off his fancy duds in the opening, in this case a huge red polka-dot bow tie. Charles accuses Brett of drooling over Bowser during a question involving someone who has the difficult job of being marriage counselor to __. Bowser has less luck with "Cheryl __" in the Audience Match.

Finished the night online after a shower with Meatballs at The Roku Channel. Bill Murray had his first starring role in this classic comedy from 1979. He's Tripper, the head and nuttiest counselor at Camp North Star in the backwoods of Canada. He befriends lonely camper Rudy Gurner (Chris Makepeace) and tries to hit on head female counselor Roxanne (Kate Lynch), while the counselors-in-training who assist with the kids spend the summer chasing each other. They also compete with the snotty rich kids at nearby Camp Mohawk, including in the big Olympiad at the end of the summer. Rudy finds himself tagged to run in the marathon and hopes he can remember Tripper's advice.

Hilarious comedy is probably the best-known movie about summer camp, and by far the best and most popular in the long-running series of unrelated Meatballs summer camp comedies. Murray and Makepeace's relationship wasn't originally supposed to be the focus...but they were right to switch it to their charming banter from the more typical shenanigans with the CITs. Some of their gags and a sequence with Tripper practically attacking Roxanne borders on uncomfortable today; otherwise, this is still a lot of fun for fans of Animal House-style comedies from this time or Murray. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Cold Day In June

Got up with enough time to get some writing in. Brett reminds Charles that the Jabberwock can fly freely between Limbo and Looking Glass Land. Now that it's not trying to kill them, they could hitch a ride on its back. Charles, needless to say, is not thrilled with that idea, and the Jabberwock doesn't seem to be a fan of him either. Brett finally convinces him it's the only way they'll escape Limbo, rescue the others, and figure out what happened to Richard.

Had a very quick lunch before hurrying out to work. Surprisingly, given all the talk about the heat down south and in the Midwest, we were windy, cloudy, and very cool for June, barely in the 70's. Dodged a fair amount of traffic getting there, especially on the White Horse Pike and West Clinton Avenue as kids finished school for the year.

Work was insane for most of the afternoon. If people weren't buying flowers and gift cards for graduates, they were picking up food for birthday, Father's Day, and Juneteenth parties. Most of the morning and early afternoon front end employees called out, if they weren't already out for vacations or family emergencies. I got stuck in the express lane and spent almost the entire afternoon having anxiety attacks. Even when a cashier came in early so I could leave, I still left a little late because they had no other help and I had to take customers until another cashier came off break.

Rushed home as quickly as possible. Had dinner while watching Match Game '74. We get dueling Maxwell Smart impressions on a question about what Max has an insane desire to do while wearing a King Kong suit.  Don also has the best answer for "T __," but the pretty contestant is more interested in Richard. 

Switched to dessert during Match Game PM. Lovely soap star Erica Hope and Fannie Flagg took part in an argument over whether "seamstress" matched "tailor" on a question. There's also Brett and Arte Johnson's wisecracks on what Fannie did to her training bra as a 10-year-old. Brett didn't have much more luck with "Candle __" on the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night online with Soul to Soul at YouTube. I go further into this classic soul concert celebrating Ghana's independence at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Hot Day In Spring

Began the morning with a quick breakfast. I think it rained overnight, but by the time I went to work, the rain was long gone. I actually managed to leave a bit early for once. Dodged a lot of people walking the dog or taking a morning stroll and got there right on time. 

And that may have been the most exciting thing that happened all day. We were dead almost the entire day. If people weren't at graduation ceremonies, they were outside enjoying the hot, sunny afternoon. Or they're waiting for the holiday weekend coming up that includes Juneteenth and Father's Day. I had some trouble with a couple who were doing WIC Checks early in the day. Otherwise, there were no major problems. One of the teenagers came in so I could go home.

Went straight home and had dinner while watching Match Game PM. Bob Barker was absolutely delighted to be sitting next to bombshell Loni Anderson of WKRP In Cincinatti. When he wasn't getting his shows mixed up (since The Price Is Right and Match Game were filmed in the same studio), he was insisting on Loni whispering into his ear. Meanwhile, Charles has to figure out "__ Broker" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished out the night after a shower and getting the laundry done with a The Love Boat episode from the fourth season. Love is in the "Eye of the Beholder" when a kindly rancher (David Hedison) helps a newly blind woman (Leslie Uggams) realize that being sightless need not be an impediment to enjoying your life. Gopher tries to tell "The Girl From Sunshine Corners" (Barbi Benson) that she needs to wear clothes while getting a tan on-deck, but a dashing lawyer (Peter Haskell) comes to her rescue and takes her case. A paranoid man (Dick Martin) is convinced his ex-wife has "Bugged" his captain. His girlfriend (Judith Chapman) isn't amused, but another young lady (Mary Ann Mobley) claims she can help. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Rock and Roll and Feuds

This time, I started off with a quick breakfast while watching the remaining part of the All-Star Family Feud special. WKRP In Cincinatti faced off against Real People...but reality proved to be no match for an underrated radio sitcom. WKRP won the round and the Fast Money and earned the gold trophies.

Worked on writing for the rest of the morning. Turns out the Jabberwock has a jagged piece of wood in its paw. Brett pulls it out, winning the creature's trust, just as Charles gets the Vorpal Sword. She has an idea of how to return to Looking Glass Land - get the Jabberwock, who can fly freely between the two worlds. to take them there.

Broke for a very quick lunch, then rushed out to work. Stopped on the way to drop off that application in the mail. It rained overnight, but by noon, the rain was long gone. It wasn't even wet anymore. It was hot, humid, and hazy, in the mid-80's. 

None of that stopped work from being busy this afternoon. We had long lines for a lot of the day. Many schools let out for the year sometime between today and Friday, and parents now needed more snacks and meals for their offspring. It's also Senior Discount Day, and there's a lot of graduations (and graduation parties) going on this week. Plus Father's Day and Juneteenth are this Sunday. Other than one woman who gave me a hard time over the bags and I have a hard time keeping up with the express lane traffic without panicking. there were no major problems. It slowed down enough by 6:30 for me to leave without a relief.

Got home in time for Match Game PM. Gary Burghoff happily spent the episode drooling over Judy Landers, who sat next to him in the ingénue seat, and hiding from the camera while Nipsey Russell fired off his famous poems. Nipsey's a lot less confident when he has to give the answer to "Jury __" in the Head-to-Head. 

Let Sale of the Century run while I ate dinner. It was all about the men tonight. The one woman probably answered three questions the whole show. Though the challenger did win a Fame Game and the champ spent his lead on the Instant Cash, he also won money on a later Fame Game, bought both Instant Bargains, and blew the other guy away at the Speed Round. He had a lot of trouble with the Bonus Round, though...

Finished the night with Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I go further into this indie drama about a gay man from East Germany who becomes a rock drag queen at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Get a Job

Slept in this morning, which may be just as well. It was still cloudy in the morning when I rolled out of bed. Thankfully, that's all they were when I quickly gulped breakfast and headed out. Good thing, too. It was hot and humid enough as it was, even as the clouds lingered. 

We were off-and-on busy all day. I'm getting tired of dealing with people. It's really driving me crazy. Some of our customers can be such a pain! And it's getting scary, too. I heard officials catching what I later learned was a shoplifter. I was bored in a register when suddenly voices rose near the frozen food aisles. I don't know why anyone would try to steal from a store that's a block from a police department. He managed to get away, though I did hear the police say later that they were able to get the stolen items back.

Went straight home after work. There was a surprise waiting for me in the mail box. I was so intrigued by that All-Star Family Feud set Lauren bought last week, I picked up my own off eBay. This time, it worked just fine. 

But first, I finished off that application for the job search company. I mainly needed to look up how much I make in a week and a year. And...I have no clue what kind of job titles I want. Does "freelance writer" and "not in retail" count as job titles? Everyone assumes I want to stay in retail because I've been there for so long. No. I hate it, and I want out yesterday. I need to find something that will let me prove there are jobs out there with health insurance that I love. 

Had dinner while watching Family Feud. From 1979 to 1984, ABC ran a series of hour-long prime-time specials with celebrities playing for charity. They were usually from popular dramas and sitcoms of the time, although one episode did have Soap playing the hosts of the reality show Real People. WKRP In Cincinatti played The Love Boat earlier in that episode, leading to by far my favorite moment from the show. Fred Grandy couldn't keep his eyes off Loni Anderson's...assets...when he was supposed to be reaching for the buzzer! 

I enjoyed the show so much, I finished the night on YouTube with a week of Family Feud specials not included on the set. In 1983, Betty White lead Bill Cullen, Nipsey Russell, Jim Perry, and Bob Eubanks as the "Marvelous MCs." Peter Marshall, Leslie Uggams, long-time Miss America host Bert Parks, Jim Lange, and Tom Kennedy were the "Heavenly Hosts." Betty White is only the most brilliant woman to ever play a game show; anyone who has ever seen Bill on I've Got a Secret or To Tell the Truth know how amazing he could be on a panel. Between the two of them, the MCs made it to the Fast Money four times and won twice; the Hosts only made it once, but they did win once.

Here's the whole week, for your enjoyment!

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Games People Play

Slept in a little more than planned this morning! I barely had the time to work on my application for hireAbility. Got half-way through it before I realized how late it was. I didn't even really have the time for much lunch before I needed to get going. It rained hard overnight, but was just cold and cloudy by 11:30. It was so late by the time I got moving, I ended up taking Uber under any circumstances...and they were late arriving, which meant I was ten minutes late to work.

Not a good thing, as we were busy when I arrived. It stayed busy through about mid-way through the afternoon. Our customers cleared around 2 PM when the sun finally emerged from those clouds. In fact, it wasn't more than mildly steady from that point onwards. Everyone must have gone to graduation barbecues and picnics once the weather started behaving. By the time I signed off, we had plenty of help and it was quiet as can be. 

Had far less problems finding a ride after work. Got them in two minutes; they arrived in under ten. No traffic going home at quarter after 7. The clouds had reemerged, but it was a bit warmer and windier, and definitely more humid. To my knowledge, it hasn't rained again, though.

Spent the rest of the night online watching game shows that are based after board games. Trivial Pursuit debuted in 1981 and was an instant smash. From the mid-80's onwards, companies have tried to turn it into a game show. The first attempt never made it past the pilot stage. Wink Martindale's interactive Family Channel version from 1993 made it a year and a half. 

A second version, Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, barely ran eight months in 2008-2009. Former Brady Bunch actor Christopher Knight leads contestants to play against at-home contestants, "Team America," who submitted questions via internet. While not perfect, it at least tied the "interactive" component in better than Martindale's show did, and Knight was a genial host. (Apparently, two versions of Trivial Pursuit made in England didn't do any better . I'm crossing my fingers LeVarr Burton has more luck with a new syndicated version that's set to debut later this year.)

As far as I can tell, the oldest surviving game show based after a board game is the appropriately titled Big Game from 1958. Tom Kennedy had one of his first national hosting gigs as the head game hunter in this safari-themed version of Battleship. Contestants answer trivia questions in order to have chances to shoot down game in the other's territory. I'm surprised no one's tried to do something like this again, or at least put together a more legitimate version of Battleship, and that this one only lasted a few months. It was really kind of fun. 

Seven Keys began as a Los Angeles-based game in 1960 before going national a year later. Jack Narz leads contestants through what's more-or-less Chutes & Ladders for adults. They advance on the board by playing mini-games when they land on squares. They had 15 chances to get to the final square. If they made it, they'd earn a key that could unlock smaller prizes...or one big one. Not the most exciting to watch, but the games could be fun, and Jack seemed to enjoy leading the contestants through them.

Monopoly ran during July and August 1990 as a summer replacement nighttime series on ABC. I watched almost every episode on my little black and white Zenith. This time, answering trivia leads to rolls on the board and buying property. It's really complicated, and while I enjoyed it as an 11-year-old, I can see why others would find it too hard to figure out.

Like Trivial Pursuit, there's been at least four attempts to turn Pictionary into a game show. The one we see here debuted in syndication in 1989, during the height of the Double Dare gross stunt show craze. Two teams of kids do drawings of words from a category. Their teammates have to guess the word. For some reason, this leads to a big stunt run during the end, with the kids having to pour enough water to float balls out of their container. Yeah, Pictionary and stunts don't really work together. No wonder this only ran for three months. (Admittedly, a more adult-oriented version that came closer to the board game only did slightly better in 1997.)

Taboo did even worse than that on (The New) TNN in 2003. Despite sticking fairly close to the actual board game, watching teams try to avoid using certain words to describe a topic proved to be a bit too crazy and not that fun to watch, and the Bonus Round had nothing to do with the main game. Chris Wylde tried too hard to live up to his last name and came off as annoying rather than funny.

One of the longest-runners among board-game-based game shows is Scrabble. Chuck Woolery hosted the original version from 1984 to 1990 and it's short-lived 1993 revival. It's sort of like Wheel of Fortune without the wheel or Vanna White. Players choose letters and see if they fit in a kind of crossword. It's simple, addictive, and a lot of fun to play along, especially if you love the game or are into words yourself.

Grab your friends and family for these forays in to board game and game show history! (Look for commercials on Big Game...and thanks to Wink Martindale for that rare episode. And be wary of a bad tape on Pictionary, but that seems to be the only episode from that run online.)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Rainy Day Blues

I was so worn out today and slept so late, I didn't really have time for the farm market or to ride into Westmont like I originally planned. Besides, by the time I finally had breakfast and headed out, the weather was terrible. It was cloudy and cool for this time of year, barely in the 70's. That felt great, but I was more concerned about those dark clouds. It did rain while I rode across Oaklyn and into Audubon, a steady shower that left me more than a little damp when I arrived.

The only reason I went to the Acme today was to get my schedule. For some reason, it never showed up online. Ugh. I'm working a week straight through again. My next day off isn't until next Saturday. In good news, the earliest I work is 10:45, but that means I'm getting off later, too. And I'm cashiering all week again. I was so upset and frustrated, I got too noisy and upset someone sitting in the lounge area having a break, too. I was so embarrassed, bought a Propel and rushed out as quickly as I could.

Stopped fast at Dollar General as the rain fell off and on to pick up envelopes. I have nothing to send the paperwork for the hireAbility place in. Wanted a large envelope, but ended up buying the larger form of letter envelope when they were out of those. 

Had a snack at A&A Soft Pretzels a block from Comicrypt to make me feel better. I told the lady I wanted one of the twists with everything, but she gave me a regular smaller pretzel. Oh well, it was probably all I needed anyway, and it still tasted good. 

A friend let me pick records out of a box she was going to donate to Goodwill. I came up with:

Nat King Cole - The Nat King Cole Story, Vol. 2

Andy Williams - Born Free

The Supremes - Diana Ross & the Supremes 25th Anniversary

Hooked On Classics III

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds

Dick Clark: 20 Years of Rock N' Roll

Spent the rest of the afternoon upstairs in my rooms. Watched two of the Match Game '74 episodes I saw earlier in the week with Lauren during lunch. The first episode was the one with Jackie Joseph and her flowered headband and dress. The second brought in Bert Convy and slightly ditzy Cuban blonde Louisa Moritz. 

Watched Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I got organized. "Daniel Waits With Dad" when he needs to go to the dentist. Dan really wants to hit the library for the new Tigey the Adventure Tiger book, but first, he has to amuse himself in the waiting room at the dentist's office. He really wants to go to the park, but his baby sister Margaret's shoes are too small. He has to wait while Prince Tuesday and his mother find "Margaret's New Shoes" for her.

I was too tired for anything else. I settled down for a nap until around 4 PM. After that...I wanted to write, but I mostly just puttered on the computer. I should have been writing, or working on that application. I'm so worn out. I keep getting so caught up online and staying up way too late, or getting so caught up that I don't do the writing I'm supposed to be doing.

I did manage to get something done with my story. Brett realizes that there's something wrong with the Jabberwock when he keeps whimpering. Turns out he has a big stick in his paw. She pulls it out while Charles retrieves the Vorpal Sword.

It was quarter after 7 before I finally broke for dinner. Watched Doc McStuffins while I ate. "Fetchin' Findo" is a realistic toy puppy who can "fetch" his toy bone via an electronic chip in his nose. When the chip stops working, Doc opens a veterinarian branch of her office to help animal-like toys who can't talk like her other toys can. Jaz and Chaz are "Twin Tweaks," twin acrobat toys who can normally do all kinds of flips and stunts. Doc has to help them figure out why they propel each other apart instead of together after an accident with Stuffy knocks the magnets off Jaz's feet.

Finished the night on HBO Max with Another Cinderella Story. I go further into the first sequel and first musical in this franchise at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Out In the Sunshine

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and brushing my teeth. I was surprised with how nice it was outside. I thought it was supposed to rain sometime today, but it was breezy, dry, and gorgeous, in the upper 70's by quarter of 10. It took me too long to get going, and I was slightly late for my dental appointment. I hadn't been there for more than two minutes before they took me in.

I was only there for a routine cleaning and check-up anyway. Nothing like all the work I had done last year! The cleaning took about twenty minutes; the check-up and x-rays less than five. The doctor said I was fine. No trouble whatsoever, not even with my gums. I guess using gum-specific toothpaste and mouthwash paid off. I'll go back for a follow-up in September. 

Ran a few errands in the area next. Strolled across the street to drop off one last book at the Haddon Township Library. I did have a look around, but I have a bunch of books I've picked up over the past few weeks I haven't read yet. Went back over to Target for date bars and a card and gift card for my oldest nephew Skylar's high school graduation. 

It was past noon when I dodged traffic on Cuthbert heading home. After I got in, I watched Match Game '77 while having lunch. Came in time to see Gene discuss a contestant's hobby of collecting antique cars and almost forgetting to get answers from the panelists in the lower desks. Charles had an interesting word in response to a crack from Brett, while Elaine argued the judge not matching "bird" and "pigeon." 

Soap star Meg Bennet joined in to hear Fannie make a crack about sharing a dressing room with Brett in the opening of the next episode. They then got to admire a woman's collection of lucky charms from her children. They didn't do her much good. A police officer in an rather odd avocado-green suit won and got to ask Richard for help with "__ Bible" in the Head-to-Head.

Did a few things on my computer next. I needed to send a bill to the Clinical Neuropsychology Associates and get Skylar's graduation card out. Did some things online, too. 

Dropped the cards in the mail box on the White Horse Pike across from City Hall around quarter of 2, then picked up Uber from there. The traffic was awful going to the Gloucester Outlets. We must have gotten stuck in between tourists on their way to the Shore. At least it did allow me time to take a short nap.

I was mainly at the Outlets to return a bra to Lane Bryant. It was the style I wanted, but I grabbed the wrong size. They were able to quickly find the right size on their racks and make the exchange. Was in and out in less than 10 minutes. 

No luck anywhere else. I looked at Rack Shoe Store, Adidas, Sketchers, and Clark's for shoes, but found nothing. The 40 % off sale at Hanes required you to buy three or more bras. I only need two. Didn't see anything I could use at Jockey either, and nothing else besides the shirts at Eddie Bauer. 

I can't remember the last time I had an Aunt Annie pretzel. There's a small store on your left the second block after you come in, next to a combination Cinnabon and Ginny's Ice Cream. Enjoyed a buttery rich soft pretzel that was just right and an iced tea that was so sweet, I couldn't finish it at a small metal table in front of a shady patio with an unlit fireplace. 

Probably should have left earlier than 4:30. It took me nearly 10 minutes to get a car, and 25 for him to arrive. At least he was funny and pleasant when he did arrive. He told me about how his little daughter encouraged him to pick up the bright "trinkets," or Happy Meal-type toys. on his dashboard. And we hit no traffic this time. As he pointed out, it was still going down to the Shore. 

Went straight upstairs after I got in to take a look at a job service Vocational Rehabilitation recommended me for. Apparently JEVS hireAbility is a job program in Philly and Camden that helps disabled and challenged people find jobs. I printed out the applications, but was too tired to finish it. I'll do it tomorrow. 

Also did some writing, but was too tired for a lot. Brett and Charles barely manage to dodge an angry Jabberwock. Charles tells Brett to distract the creature while he goes after the Vorpal Sword. She has no idea how to do that without ending up as his lunch...but something in his paw might give her the answer...

Broke for dinner and Match Game PM. Loretta Swit made her first appearance in a while, joining jovial Richard Paul, sour Mary Wickes, and handsome Lou Grant reporter Robert Walden. We got a couple of adorably rowdy answers to what a man shouldn't touch on his girlfriend's bakery-themed t- shirt and why the psychiatrist never said anything to his client. Robert's more nervous about helping the contestant with "__ Christmas" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night with Captain Kidd on Tubi. Charles Laughton has a ball playing the infamous buccaneer who loots and destroys and English ship and buries the treasure on Madagascar. He then convinces the King of England (Henry Daniell) that he was the head of that vessel and the captain was the pirate who destroyed his ship and stole the treasure.

He rounds up a new crew from condemned sailors, including the more erudite Adam Mercy (Randolph Scott), then returns to Madagascar to intercept another British vessel. This one is carrying an even more precious cargo - Lady Ann Dunstain (Barbara Britton) and a chest of gold from India. They manage to switch both to their ship and kill off the Ambassador. Kidd wants to get rid of his other confederates and keep the treasure for himself, while Mercy has his own reasons for signing on with Kidd. He wants revenge for his family...but Kidd may get there first.

Truthfully, for a pirate movie, this moved super-slow and was really kind of boring. It didn't perk up until near the end, when we get a duel between Scott and Kidd's confederate Jose Lorenzo (Gilbert Roland) and Kidd starts to figure out why Mercy really joined his crew. See it for Laughton's delightfully scenery-chewing performance as the infamous buccaneer and some nice sets. 

Thursday, June 09, 2022

June Is Bustin' Out All Over

I was delighted to see sun when I woke up this morning. By the time I had breakfast, the clouds were long gone. I thought it was supposed to rain into the early hours, but all that was left when I headed out to work were large puddles. 

That may have been the most exciting thing that happened today. Work was boring, when it wasn't annoying. We went between being stone-cold dead to long lines down the aisles and back again in a blink. They don't have enough help in the morning and afternoons. There were a lot of grumpy people, too, including at least two who wouldn't help me bag and held up the line. Thank goodness it was back to being quiet when I finished, allowing me to head out on time.

It was still a beautiful day when I headed out, sunny, breezy, a bit humid, and much cooler. It was such a lovely day, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road, despite it being rush hour. It was worth dodging traffic on Nicholson and the White Horse Pike to enjoy sweet-scented rosebushes and trees with full-grown, dark green leaves waving in the breezes.

Got home in time for dinner and Match Game '74. Jack Narz, of Concentration and Now You See It, made this a bit of a Buzzr crossover. The others, including Elaine Joyce and Fannie Flagg, teased Fannie about her fried eggs sweater and everyone's answers to how one streaks for a soft-spoken Frenchwoman. Plenty of jokes about what the first McDonald's at the North Pole sells and Richard's answer for "__ Brush" in the Head-to-Head in the second.

Cleaned up while watching Match Game PM. This was the nighttime episode for the infamous week in 1978 where Brett and Jack Klugman appeared together after their divorce. Bill Anderson hoped he could have even more luck with "__ Broken" in the Head-to-Head.

Jodie called during the game. I hadn't heard from her in ages. She sounded pretty happy, other than she's still angry at Rose for not being more of a help with finding me a place, and she still doesn't think she did anything wrong last year. She has indeed found a house at Ocean City with four bedrooms. She says she's not angry with me at all and invited me to stay some weekend this summer. We'll see what happens. 

Finished the night on Amazon Prime with Presenting Lily Mars. I go further into this charming Judy Garland vehicle based after a Booth Tarkington novel at my Musical Dreams Move Reviews blog.