Monday, December 12, 2022

Busy Busy Holidays

I was so worn out after the last few weeks and having stayed up way too late recently, I didn't wake up until quarter after 11! It was past 12:30 before I finally had breakfast. Watched Match Game '75 as I ate. Bass-voiced comedian Joe Silver and warm matriarch Esther Rolle from Good Times joined in for this unusual week. Gene started off things by finally giving Esther her welcoming kiss. The others discuss Brett's new perm and try to figure out "__ Shoes" in the Audience Match.

Switched to the holiday episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while I made my grocery list. It's "Snowflake Day," the Neighborhood's big winter celebration. Daniel's excited to play the narrator in their show at the Enchanted Garden. First, though, he forgets his lines, then mid-way through, the lights go out. Daniel's friends help him remember his speech to open the play, and he comes up with a novel solution to the lost light using the snowflake-print lanterns everyone carries. 

Went for a quick walk down to the post office after the cartoon ended. It's only three blocks away, and given how large my boxes are, I figured it would be easier to carry them in my arms than on the bike. Fortunately, I just missed the crowd. There were only two other people in line when I arrived. I sent the boxes for my family in Virginia, Anny and her crew, and Lauren and her parents off and bought stamps just as a long line formed behind me. Ducked out quickly as I could.

Soon as I got in, I grabbed my backpack and the bag with the DVD boxes and a few ornaments I didn't want and headed back out. Took the long way down Atlantic and Nicholson, since it takes you closer to Goodwill and the department stores than the Black Horse Pike. Though it was gloomy, windy, and cold, it also wasn't snowing or raining. It was just chilly, probably in the mid-40's. 

Dropped the bag around the back of Goodwill before riding around front. Wanted to get one more Christmas present for a friend. Found the perfect things for her on the shelves with the glassware and kitchen supplies.  Also found a lovely small beaded wreath that resembled a green and red winter version of one I picked up for fall at a yard sale and the rare original London cast album for Ambassador, a failed 1971 stage musical version of the Henry James novel The Ambassadors with Howard Keel and Danielle Darrieux. 

Made an even briefer stop at Five Below next-door. Mainly wanted to buy the daughter of a friend a stuffed animal. Wound up getting something for their cat, too. 

Dodged cars coming from WalMart on my way across the parking lot to Tu Se Bella's for lunch. I wasn't really that hungry, so I just had a slice of spinach, tomato, and shrimp and a Diet Pepsi. They were surprisingly busy for 3 PM. A mother and her noisy and hungry children and a lady reading a book had settled down for a very late lunch at the same time as me. I ended up at a large round table near the window.

Stopped at the Acme for grocery shopping next. Bought one last gift card, two bags of cat treats, and catnip toys, but I was mainly there to buy flour, sugar, butter, and cake mix for cookies. Though the aisles weren't that bad, there was a fairly long line in the express register, and the cashier did mention it had been busy all day. 

(Incidentally, the gift card finishes my Christmas shopping. I'll start making cookies on Wednesday, my next day off.)

Hurried home after that. Put everything away and brought the laundry downstairs, then worked on writing. Gene explains that Debralee's kindness to the Nutcracker brought him to life...and it should also give her the power to help him. The Nutcracker also begs her to help. He's desperately in need of soldiers. His are being easily picked off by the Mouse King. 

Got off around 6 for dinner and to put the laundry in the dryer. Watched Match Game '74 while I ate. McLean Stevenson was a wild man in one of the craziest weeks of the year. The first episode featured comedienne and comedy writer Ann Elder showing off the Emmy "charm bracelet" Richard got her. In the second, after Charles helped the contestant figure out "__ Alive" in the Head-to-Head, McLean chased Gene all around the studio before finally planting a kiss on him when they return to the stage.

Finished out the night online after I brought the laundry upstairs with favorite holiday specials. There's a copy of the Rankin-Bass Santa Claus Is Coming to Town on YouTube that is not only uncut, but has all the commercials intact from its 1981 ABC airing. (I have no idea why someone renamed Topper the Penguin to Waddles, though.) I go further into the original special at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews entry from 2018. (It's the second review on the page.)

The Smurfs' Christmas is equally harrowing. Two children are lost in the snow when their sleigh overturns and their grandfather goes to find help. The Smurfs help them out...but it turns out their uncle is an evil magician who wants them gone. Gargamel just wants the power to destroy the Smurfs. He does get his wish and delivers the kids to their uncle...but it takes the power of the Smurfs' good feelings (and a trumpet solo from Harmony) to restore their village and return the kids to their family.

Moved to Tubi for She-Ra & He Man: A Christmas Special after the Match Game '74 and Super Password YouTube chats. These are the last characters you'd probably associate with the holidays, but they were so popular in the mid-80's, Filmation did a special anyway. Oddly, this has a lot in common with the Smurfs show. Here, the two lost human kids are accidentally brought to Eternia from Earth by Orko when he crash-lands an experimental shuttle right in front of them. They end up teaching Skeletor about Christmas and its good feelings after he kidnaps them. He's so moved, he ends up defending them from Hordak and Horde Prime. Meanwhile, She-Ra and He-Man look for a crystal that will help transport them first to find Orko, then to send the kids home. 

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