Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Sock It to Books

Didn't roll out of bed until past 10:30 today. It was noon before I got going and had breakfast. Ate while watching Match Game '74. Penny Marshall made her only appearance on the show that early fall. Poor thing seemed like a deer caught in the headlights most of the week, though she did finally loosen up by Friday. Brett complains when Richard eats the apple someone in the audience gave her in the first episode. In the second, Charles and Betty draw matching mustaches on their lips, forgetting the markers had permanent ink. 

Sat down for an hour to finally call the Westville Center for Independent Living. They can't help me with placement, but they will send me a long list of resources. Frankly, at this point, I'm not even sure I want to stay in New Jersey. Not only is this state expensive, but Jessa is the only member of my family who isn't talking about either leaving it all together or moving to different parts of it. As nice as my neighbors in Oaklyn are, I don't really fit in with them. 

It took me twenty minutes to decide where I wanted to go next. On one hand, I'm really trying to save a lot of shopping for when I visit Lauren next month. However, Lauren isn't as heavily into books as I am, and I wanted to check out Trader Joe's again. Since it was past 2 at that point, I called Uber to quickly take me over to the Towne Center in Cherry Hill. The driver arrived within eight minutes and got me there in ten.

Started by strolling over to Shake Shack for lunch. Not sure that was a good idea. Their nifty crinkle-cut fries and the "'Shroom Burger" (burger fixings on a fried portobello mushroom patty) were good, but not worth the price I paid. I really loved their strawberry lemonade, though. Very strawberry and just sweet and tart enough. From now on, I'll get drinks and snacks there when I'm in the area, but will save meals for the larger restaurants elsewhere. 

At least I got to enjoy a pleasant lunch outside on their patio. If there's one good thing that's come out of the pandemic, it's increased outdoor seating. While the weather seemed a bit warmer and more humid than it did over the weekend, it still didn't feel nearly as bad as earlier in the month. Enjoyed sunshine and a pleasant, cool wind while listening to parents with small children chatter at the ultra-modern steel-and-wood-cut tables and chairs.

Trader Joe's is almost directly across the parking lot from Shake Shack, so I went there next. Thankfully, they weren't too busy for them. Picked up soft molasses cookies, chocolate coconut date bars, "PB&J" oatmeal bars, and those yummy sugared orange slices...then went back for what I really wanted there, their salt-free creamy peanut butter.

Strolled across the access road to Towne Center and Barnes and Noble. This store is a little smaller than the one at Marlton. No CDs or DVDs, but they do have a fairly extensive toy section for some reason. I looked at kids' books, but I ended up with one of the more recent Mercedes Lackey Elemental Masters books, Jolene, and the first book in a truly unique cozy mystery series, Shady Hollow. I've seen them set in every place and time possible...but never done as a small-town Zootopia, with animals as the main characters. Apparently, a vixen reporter tries to figure out who in town bumped off a grouchy toad. It sounds different, anyway. 

I originally planned on taking the bus home, but got tired of waiting and ended up calling Uber. Even during the start of rush-hour traffic, they arrived within 8 minutes. Surprisingly, the traffic wasn't really bad, even on Cuthbert Road, and I arrived home in less than 10 minutes.

Had dinner and took the laundry downstairs while watching another All-Star Family Feud episode. The Brady Bunch parents and three grown kids went up against the singers of the 50's music show Your Hit Parade. The singers couldn't hold a candle to a pack of Bradys working together. They killed in the main round, and thanks to some good answers from Florence Henderson, just barely beat the Fast Money round.

Worked on writing for a while after I ate. Brett finds herself hemmed in by Red Queen Fannie and White Queen Helen. Fannie in particular is determined to criticize her. Brett tries to ignore her and find out where her sons are being held and what to do about Sir Richard and his scrambled brain.

Finished the night online after a shower with more Laugh-In. Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder how much of this show I understood as an 11-year-old. There's a ton of topical humor, from blackout political jokes to cracks at the then-new Women's Liberation Movement, that I'm not sure people who don't know much about the mid-20th century will get. Not to mention, some of the jokes and humor, especially racial humor, hasn't dated that well. One punchline from Dick Martin while he and Dan Rowan were in a hot-air balloon got bleeped out in the copy currently on YouTube. 

On the other hand, some other aspects still work today. For one thing, for all the actors I never heard of, others, like Dawson, Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Jo Ann Worley, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Ruth Buzzi, and host Dick Martin went on to have extensive careers. For another thing, literally ANYBODY who was anybody in the late 60's-early 70's appeared on this show. 

John Wayne, of all people, was in one of the episodes I watched tonight. I'm not sure he knew what to think when an enamored Ruth Buzzi happily jumped into his arms! Jack Benny got lost and tried to ask everyone where Dean Martin's show was. Sandy Duncan played a hapless bank teller who had no idea how to do her job. Charles Nelson Reilly used very bad accents to sell used foreign cars. Dan Rowan had no more appreciation for the weird dinners Jean Stapleton made him than he did for his partner playing golf in the NBC Commissary. 

I'm going to say your mileage may vary on this one. If you're a fan of wacky sketch humor and have fond memories of when it was the hottest thing on network TV or of seeing the re-runs later like I did and can handle some of the non-PC jokes, it's still worth looking up in your Funk & Wagnalls. (It's also very easy to find. Many streaming services run it in full for free, including Tubi and YouTube.)

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