Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Angels at Home

Rolled out of bed in time for breakfast and the second Match Game '75 episode. Gene gives Esther Rolle of Good Times an introductory kiss after forgetting the day before while bass-voiced Joe Silver wonders who's gonna give him a smooch. Meanwhile, Fannie jokes about her handicap when she and Brett go golfing, and there's some fairly amusing answers as to what President Ford went down the slopes on when his skis were repossessed. 

Switched to Hit the Ice while vacuuming and dusting my rooms. I go further into this wintry vehicle for comedy team Abbott and Costello at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Had lunch and took my laundry downstairs while moving on to my first Valentine's Day special of the year. Bugs Bunny's Cupid Capers is another collection of random bits and pieces of cartoons grafted into a thin story. Bugs thinks an Elmer Fudd-like Cupid is meddling. Cupid attempts to prove how important he is via sequences involving Daffy, Pepe Le Pew, Yosemite Sam, Granny, and the Tasmanian Devil falling in or pursuing love. 

Switched the laundry to the dryer, then tried to do some job hunting. I wish it wasn't so fruitless. I go on Indeed and Linked In, and I see nothing that's right for me. Everything wants more experience and skills than I have. Am I really that worthless? I wish I could find just one simple data entry or editing job who needed someone fresh and new and were willing to take a chance on a new trainee! They all want two or three or four or more years of experience and tons and tons of skills I don't understand. 

It rained late this morning and early in the afternoon, but the rain disappeared by the time Match Game began. When I looked out the window again around 3:30, I thought it was rain, but it was snow. Fine, light snowflakes drifted past my window. They didn't stick and didn't last more than a few minutes, but at least I can say I saw some snow this season! 

Switched to writing by 5. First of all, I went back and re-wrote the opening sequence slightly before returning to Allen and Richard. Betty reminds Allen that they're going out to dinner after she finishes her cooking show. Richard admires their relationship and points out that he'll need to be home at night for his sons. Allen understands - he'd been a single parent at one time before he married Betty and knows what it's like to be the only caretaker for your children. (True in both cases. Richard largely raised his sons on his own, and Allen reared his three children alone for about three years or so after his first wife died of cancer and before he married Betty.)

Broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7 PM. Started off with a question about the strange positions an archaeologist found cave people remains in. Half-way in, Gene gets a whole musical number going with former bassist Bill Daily...and they get so into it, Gene almost forgets about the question! Bill doesn't have nearly as much luck with "__ Rolls" in the Head-to-Head. In the second episode, Charles and Brett spend the time giving each other Worst Answer Awards. The others have more luck with the Audience Match for "Hooray __" than with "__ Leave."

Finished the night with Charlie's Angels at the Roku Channel after a shower and finally remembering to take my laundry upstairs. Two wealthy sisters come to the Angels and Bosley after a con-man strung along the younger sister and took them for over $100,000. "He Married an Angel" when Kris poses as a fellow con-artist to get close to him. Meanwhile, Kelly befriends his next victim, a mousy woman who owns an art gallery...and Julie learns that they're all playing with fire, including the con man, when it turns out the lady's father is a powerful mobster. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Just a Little Bit of Sunshine

Started off my day with a very late breakfast and Scooby Doo & Scrappy Doo on Tubi. "The Scarab Lives!" is the first episode of the series, and the one that introduces Scooby's pugnacious puppy nephew Scrappy. Shaggy is horrified when his favorite comic book hero The Blue Scarab appears, threatening his creator to stop making stories about him. He robs local businesses, following the pattern set in the Scarab's newest adventure. Shaggy's despairing of his hero turning bad, but Scrappy doesn't believe it, and the others think that someone else wants to destroy the character.

Headed out to run errands after the cartoon ended. Stopped at the Haddon Township Library first. My books were due today. Found an interesting Russian fairy tale-based trilogy by Katherine Arden; grabbed the first one, The Bear and the Nightingale. Also picked up the most recent Laura Childs Tea Shop Mystery A Dark and Stormy Tea and A Step So Grave, a recent book from an Irish series about an older female detective named Dandy Giver and her family. Finally figured out where the rest of the job hunting books were. Took out one on job hunting for people with disabilities, another on changing careers for people over 40, and another on women thinking bigger and gaining confidence.

At least the weather's considerably improved. There were still a few clouds lingering when I awoke; by 3:30, the sun was out, the sky was icy blue, and those few clouds were down to fleecy bits scuttling across the sky. I dodged traffic on Cuthbert and took the long way across Collingswood to PNC Bank. I mainly wanted to take out money for the rent, but I also made an appointment to see the guy who was supposed to be helping me with John Hancock on Thursday.

By that point, it was past 4:30, way too late for a big lunch. I stopped at WaWa for a pretzel and Matcha Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie instead. I wasn't really all that hungry anyway, or in the mood for a big sit-down lunch.

Went straight home after that. Had an orange while watching Charlie & Lola. Lola wails "I Can't Stop Hiccuping!" when she starts up hours before she's to sing in a spring concert for school with Lotta. Charlie, Lotta, and her friends think of everything possible for her to get rid of them.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Allen's not sure he trusts Richard, whom he knows has larger ambitions than just being a co-host. Richard wants to be a host on his own, but Allen thinks he needs more experience first.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '74 while eating. Allen Ludden made his first appearance on the show, mainly to promote the then-new Password All-Stars. Richard and Gene admire Fannie Flag's Match Game '74 shirt...and Fannie gets Brett back when she makes a crack about Richard being the only one on the lower desks who doesn't have dark roots.

Things get even wilder on the syndicated episodes. In the first episode, Gene puts Bill Daily to sleep yammering about California...and everyone else but the contestants walks out, including the crew and camerapeople! (Which gives us an extremely rare view of behind the turntables and cameras.) Patty Duke kicks off the second saying "hi" in sign language. (Which she remained fluent in for the rest of her life after doing The Miracle Worker twice.) Bill's more interested in stripping off his beige plaid jacket for Charles to try on. 

Finished off the night with Condorman on Amazon Prime. Woody Wilkins (Michael Crawford) is the creator of the popular Condorman comic books. He won't write anything that isn't "realistic"...which is why he's visiting Paris and testing out his own version of his character's wings. His friend Harry (James Hampton), a desk clerk at the CIA, knows how much he wants something new for his comics and suggests he make a simple paper exchange with a CIA field agent. Despite Harry's claims that the CIA isn't glamorous, Woody encounters a KGB agent named Natalia Rambova (Barbara Carrera) when she tries to get the papers. He's so smitten with her, he writes her into his comics as "Laser Lady."

When she defects, he's the only one she'll meet with. Woody insists on the CIA creating the actual gadgets from his comics, including a cool car and boat and disguises for all of them. Natalia's ex-boyfriend, her boss Krokov (Oliver Reed), manages to grab her back anyway. Now Woody and Harry have to use all the gadgets and all of what little cunning they have, before either the KGB or the CIA or both reminds them that this is no Marvel movie!

This ran frequently on The Disney Channel and elsewhere on cable in the early-mid 1980's. My sisters and I loved it. Despite the superhero pedigree, it's really more of a James Bond/spy spoof, with Crawford trying for suave and coming off as adorably silly. Carrera makes an excellent Russian temptress, and Hampton has a good time reminding another would-be superhero about the responsibilities of his role. 

Too bad Disney's first try at the superhero genre wasn't a hit in 1981, and they don't really have much love for it today. The copy at Amazon Prime is badly grainy and washed out. The special effects haven't dated well at all - you can see all the wires when Condorman flies. Despite it being a comedy, it's still a little too violent and mildly dark to be on Disney Plus. I still recommend digging around for it if you love Crawford, have fond memories of catching it on cable or video like we do, or are looking for a superhero comedy for older elementary school kids who won't mind the obvious effects. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Eagles Outrun the 49ers

Started off the morning with breakfast and my original cast CD of It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman! Debuting in 1966 during the height of the Batman pop art superhero craze, this proved to be a little too campy for Broadway and fizzled within four months. It didn't do any better updated for TV in 1975, where it was dumped on late-night and barely seen. Too bad. There's a couple of good songs in this story of Superman doing battle with a mad scientist and a jealous gossip columnist. "You've Got Possibilities," performed by the columnist's (Jack Cassidy) secretary (Linda Lavin) when she tries to seduce Clark Kent, is the big standard here. I also like "You're the Woman for the Man," the columnist's unsuccessful attempt to flirt with Lois Lane (Patricia Marand), and "We Don't Matter at All," where Lois explains to an amorous colleague (Don Chastain) why people - and relationships - do matter. 

Headed off to work shortly after breakfast. I rolled into total chaos. Between the beginning of the month and the Eagles playing the 49ers in the NFC Championship game at 3, there were lines down the aisles and not nearly enough people to deal with them. Thankfully, the beginning of the game and the arrival of rain slowed the flood of customers to a trickle around 4 PM. They pulled me before my break to help with carts. I ended up spending the rest of my shift pushing carts and sweeping when the night bagger called out. It rained a little while I gathered carts, but nothing too heavy, and it was done by the time I finished.

Went straight home and online to see the game. One of my co-workers mentioned the Eagles were up 21-7. By the time I got in, the game had just ended. The Eagles scored 10 more points and apparently ran rings around the Niners. They won 31 to 7 and will be going to the Super Bowl in two weeks for the first time since 2018.

Had dinner, then did some writing. Allen explains to Richard that he'll be doing reporting for the morning show as well as hosting. Nothing too heavy for the morning, of course. Richard wouldn't mind moving on to a more important desk job, but for now, he understands that he's only to give lifestyle reports and discuss that.

Took a shower after I finished and spent the rest of the night watching Game Show Network shows. Game Show Network debuted in 1994 as the home for re-runs of older game shows. The re-runs were usually accompanied by live variety shows often featuring commentators or surviving hosts. These went over so well, they began filming their own original game shows around 1997. 

The earliest Game Show Network program I could find on YouTube is Inquiztion from 1998. The sarcastic, gray-haired host, seen only from the back, drills four contestants in colorful smocks with a (fake) hangar behind them in difficult multiple-choice questions. The contestant with the least points in end of each round bowed and dropped out. The winner was told they won $500 and their freedom. 

Dang, this was a weird one. The quiz aspect was almost annoyingly boring. What works here is the air of mystery and formality. The Inquizitor calls everyone "Mr." or "Ms," and you never do learn their name. In fact, to this day, no one knows who the host was. 

Russian Roulette from 2002 was equally creative and a lot easier to take. Contestants stand on four circles within a circle, called "drop zones." They each get $150 to start. Host Mark L. Walberg reads a question, and the contestant has to challenge another contestant to answer it. If they miss it or run out of time, they pull the Roulette lever. If the lights stop on their circle, they drop through and are eliminated from the game. The second round ups the money amount, and in the third, the challenger can now answer it themselves or toss it to the other contestant. The bonus round has the survivor answering multiple-choice questions for $10,000; if they avoid being dropped one more time, they can win $100,000.

This one was surprisingly fun, with its intense game play and challenging questions. It's too bad like many early Game Show Network programs, it didn't last a year. 

They did somewhat better with revivals of earlier shows. Their biggest hit revival was Lingo, which started in 2002 with Chuck Woolery and went over so well, it ran until 2007. Lingo originally turned up in syndication in 1987, but barely ran a year. Here, contestants play what amounts to a cross between Bingo and Chain Reaction. They're given a card on the screen with letters filled in and have to spell out the words. After they correctly guess the word, they draw balls from the machine in front of them. The balls have numbers that correspond to numbers on teach team's board. Red balls stop the game entirely.

I can see why this was so popular, it's still well-remembered by many who grew up watching it. In fact, it had a brief revival on GSN in 2011, and a third revival with RuPaul on CBS just started last week. It's a breath of simple, colorful fun during an era where most game shows tended to be tension-filled neon quizzers.

Chain Reaction has an odd history. It started on NBC in 1980 with Bill Cullen hosting and celebrities making chains of words with contestants. That didn't even last a year, thanks to then-head of programming Fred Silverman clearing it and two other shows to make way for David Letterman's daytime show. A Canadian revival with Geoff Edwards hosting and no celebrities did far better on USA Network, running from 1986 to 1991. GSN is so fond of the format, they had two short-lived revivals in 2006 with Dylan Lane and 2015 with Mike Catherwood. I found an episode of the current revival, which started in 2021 with Lane again and seems to be doing a bit better.

GSN also acquired programming from elsewhere. They continued Hollywood Showdown in 2000 after it was dropped by PAX TV. Seven contestants spent a week answering media trivia questions. One winner would continue on, while the others held cards with a dollar amount or "Box Office" in them. The "Box Office" card allowed the current champ to choose one category from two to answer questions from. If they guessed all five questions, they would win the current pot. Missing one question added their winnings to the pot. Despite its short run, it was one of the network's earlier successes and was constantly re-run throughout the 2000's. 

Camouflage from 2007 has more in common with the 70's flop Now You See It. Contestants figure out words from jumbles of letters as host Roger Lodge reads a clue. The "Final Camouflage" has the remaining contestant solving as many puzzles as they can in a certain amount of time; they may or may not get some help depending on their performance in a speed round. While not the most exciting show, this is at least a lot less complicated than Now You See It, and a bit more challenging. 

Bingo America is what it says on the tin. Basically, it's "bingo, with trivia." Host Richard Karn calls the numbers and reads off trivia questions. The first person to fill their board and spell BINGO on their card wins. The winner moves on to the bonus round, where they select numbers in a row and hope that they win prizes and don't run into a "wrecking ball." Not bad, but once again, it didn't last a year in 2008-2009.

In fact, GSN became notorious in the 2000's for focusing on endless versions of blackjack and poker and less on their own game show programming. They would have been far smarter to put their money on wacky originals like Cram. Here, a man and woman pair stay up all night studying for the show. They start off by reciting a paragraph for 40 seconds while running in a hamster wheel. The second round is more like Make the Grade, with them doing non-messy stunts while answering trivia questions. For the third round, one partner would do a running or fitness test, while the other answered questions. Winners went on to take a nap while a Miss Pickwick read them information. If the could answer questions based on the info while doing some activity, they win $10,000. 

Goofy and cute, this feels more like a college version of Nickelodeon's BrainDrain than a GSN original. Once again, the sets are colorful and creative, and host Graham Elwood is having a great time with it.

Test your knowledge, outrun your opponent, and challenge your friends with these shows from the early years of GSN! 

(Oh, and the Eagles are going to play the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. They barely beat the Bengals in the last minute of the fourth quarter 23-20.)

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Memories In the Dark

Started the morning with breakfast and the Doc McStuffins episode I wasn't able to get to on Thursday. Emmie, Doc's best friend, is delighted to be sleeping over Doc's house. Her new squirting elephant Hazel isn't as thrilled. Turns out she's worried about her trunk leaking. Doc reassures her that leaking happens, and she needs to clear out the water so "Hazel Has a Sleepover" that stays dry all night. Donnie's brontosaurus toy Bronty is also scared to tell Doc his problem when he gets syrup on his legs during "My Breakfast With Bronty" and is worried Doc will be angry. Doc's more worried that he didn't tell her what was wrong right away.

Spent the rest of the morning writing. Allen Ludden admits he's heard that Richard has a temper and is prone to egotism...but so is their morning show host Gene Rayburn. Richard assures him he can keep up with Gene...just as Allen's wife, cooking show hostess Betty White, pokes her head in to see if he wants to go out to lunch.

Had a really quick lunch before heading out. Got to work in plenty of time for once. That turned out to be a very good thing. We were busy as heck for most of the afternoon and evening. We're almost at the beginning of the month, and the Eagles play their big championship game against the 49ers tomorrow at 3 PM. We frequently had lines down the aisles because there wasn't nearly enough help to deal with them. Thankfully, it slowed down enough by 7 for me to shut down without a relief. I even treated myself to a container of Acme generic ice cream on sale in Mint Moose Tracks (aka, mint with chocolate cups and fudge ribbons).

After I got home, I went straight into dinner while watching Charlie & Lola. "Can You Maybe Turn the Light On?" Lola asks after Charlie reads her a book about a scary ogre before bed. Trouble is, Charlie needs darkness to sleep. He finally finishes the ogre book to show Lola the dark isn't so very scary after all.

(Wish that worked with my sisters. I know exactly where Charlie's coming from. I still can't sleep in anything less than total darkness...and Rose always needed a nightlight. It drove me crazy when we shared a room.)

Finished the night with Breaking the Ice on Tubi. I go further into this odd vehicle for boy soprano Bobby Breen at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Flip Your Wig

Started off the morning with breakfast and PAW Patrol. "The Pups Save a Melon Festival" when the giant beach ball Mayor Humdinger painted gets out of control and starts bouncing into everything. The pups have to stop the ball, then prove it's not a giant melon like Humdinger keeps protesting. Farmer Al and Yumi are taking their prize cow home when their truck gets stuck on a bridge that broke while opening. "The Pups Rescue the Cow" when Skye has to keep her from falling out, while Chase, Marshall, and Rocky get the truck down.

Switched to Match Game Syndicated while I got organized. Today was Buzzr's "Big Wig Day" marathon, with episodes of shows featuring wigs or toupees all afternoon. This much later episode from 1981 featured McLean Stevenson wearing a blonde wig in imitation of the sweet older contestant and Leslie Easterbrook from the Police Academy series, who sat next to him that week. 

Tattletales was one of the earliest episodes from 1974, when they still had the celebrity couples try to figure out which spouse related a long story to a certain subject. They started doing the "Quickies" questions that involved all the couples permanently a little later that year. Bert was a little mean here. He wanted a cameraman named Curly to show how he got that nickname...then grabbed off his toupee and mustache when he refused to! (And he wore the mustache - or tried to - for the first question.)

Made the bed during Body Language. Comedienne Phyllis Diller was known for her wigs, and fitness guru Richard Simmons was known for his big curly hair. They lent their own brand of lunacy to this charades show that has celebrities acting out words that the contestants guess. If they get enough words, they'll be able to guess a puzzle. Though Phyllis is great at physical comedy (and actually looked pretty good in her cherry-red wig), Simmons wasn't a well-known exercise teacher for nothing. He easily led his lady to the bonus round. Tom Kennedy kept things from getting too wild. 

The What's My Line shows from 1968 and 1971 dealt with several folks who had crazy hair in one way or another. The first episode featured a wig salesman who showed off his product on Gene Rayburn and Alan Alda. (Gene actually looked pretty good in his Beatles-esque longish brunette wig. Alan just looked silly as a blond.) In the second, Gene, Arlene Francis, and Anita Gillette were joined by a panelist who has some pretty wild hair himself - critic Gene Shallit of the bushy eyebrows and mustache. We also had a young woman who was a men's barber, and another who owned a gas station. Wally Bruner made a rare appearance on Buzzr here. (They tend to run the later episodes with Larry Blyden more often.)

I moved into the bedroom to do some work after that. Richard Dawson also tried on a wig in a syndicated episode of Family Feud. His bright red curly wig made him look more like a clown, but it didn't stop him from helping a family get to the Fast Money.

By far the funniest episode of the afternoon came from Super Password in 1988. Bert Convy returned, this time joined by Patty Duke and Rip Taylor for an episode that went off the rails in spectacular fashion. About mid-way through the show, Rip had no idea how to describe "testimony" to his contestant. He went for "Episcopalian," which, as you can imagine, didn't work. Patty outright blurted out the word...and not only was she terribly embarrassed, Rip got so annoyed, he tore off his toupee and threw it across the desks! Bert grabbed it and held it to his chest, saying he always wanted chest hair. 

(Oh, and they ran commercials for their next marathon during the later shows. For Valentine's week, they'll be running marathons of the late 90's Newlywed Game in prime time. I'm not the biggest fan of that show. I think I'll pass on that one.)

Focused more on job hunting and writing after that. Marcia, secretary to Match Up Network manager Allen Ludden, finally lets Richard in. Allen's a lot kinder than his secretary or his boss. He's impressed with Richard's work, despite the stories he's heard about his temper and tendency to show up late. He wants someone to work with long-time host Gene Rayburn on their morning show.

I also went on the Acme's website to get next week's schedule. I have slightly more hours than this week...which is to say, not enough. Thursday is the only weekday I work this time. I'll hit the library and talk to PNC this week, plus my rooms desperately need to be swept and dusted. 

Broke for dinner at 7. Returned to Buzzr for more Match Game Syndicated, this time from 1979. When Patty Duke complains about banging her knee on the desk in the first episode, Gene gets the physical therapist contestant to help fix it. Patty stuck around for the second episode, joined by Donna Pescow, Bill Daily, and Joe Santos. Patty's delighted to get a kiss when she helps the contestant with "Smash ___" in the Head-to-Head, while Joe argues for his weird answer to whom the world's oldest reporter interviewed. 

Finished the night online after a shower with Murder She Wrote. It's "Murder With a Jazz Beat" when Jessica is in New Orleans to promote her book and she witnesses a popular jazz clarinetist drop dead onstage during a show. While the host of the show squabbles with his manager for showing the death footage on his network, Jessica tries to figure out if the man was done in by a certain rare poison, and how the poison got into him. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Up, Up, and Away!

Tried to start my morning with breakfast and Doc McStuffins, but the Disney Plus on my TV would go two minutes into the episode and reset. After it did it three times, I gave up and moved onto Buzzr for Match Game '75. William "Captain Kirk" Shatner and Broadway star Julie Harris help give some unique answers to "__ Nails" in the Audience Match.

For some reason, Buzzr wasn't working terribly well, either. They got the episodes switched. The next episode introduced the young man seen during the first half of the previous one. He claimed to be a missionary for the Mormons who wanted to strengthen "family unity," despite not having children himself. Richard Dawson really called him on that one.

Headed out even before the second episode ended. Though it remained windy, it was otherwise sunny and relatively warm for this time of year, in the mid-upper 40's. I took the longer way across Newton Lake Park, dodging a few other people going for strolls on the lovely day. It's certainly winter now, with trees bare and grass a crackly butter yellow. 

Headed across Cuthbert to the Westmont Acme to do this week's grocery shopping. I mainly wanted to restock granola bars. They were having a 4 for $1.99 each sale on Nature's Valley. I like their Fruit and Nut bars - they're less sweet and sugary than most of their products. Those yummy jam grapes were still on sale for $3.99 too, as were the Voortman's sugar-free wafers. The Acme's generic disinfectant wipes were buy one, get one. Had a coupon for a free Dannon Fit & Light yogurt. They were on sale too, so I bought two more. Treated myself to a container of red velvet-chocolate chunk cookies on the bakery clearance racks.

Went straight home after that for lunch and Iceland. I go further into this romantic wartime ice skating comedy from 1942 featuring John Payne as a Marine whose flirtation with Sonja Henie gets them both into a lot of trouble at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Took a look at What Color Is Your Parachute? I took it out because I've begun to realize how little I really know about myself. I'm not sure what my skills are, what I value, or how to make the weird stuff I enjoy turn into a job for me. This didn't really help me much. The charts and graphics are way too complicated and confusing. All I know is I want a job that requires real skills that I'll actually want to do. 

Went online to look up jobs after an hour, but...it's hard not to be discouraged. There has to be something I can do that people will hire me for. I wish I could find something truly entry level. I keep seeing "entry level" and finding "but we need three years of experience at this and two years at that, and you need to know Microsoft Office and all these programs." And I don't know how to explain to the writing jobs that I have no real portfolio to speak of, just three blogs and a bunch of articles and fanfics to my name.

Switched to working on said fanfics around 5:30. Having stalled on the Nutcracker Story (and it being way past Christmas), I decided to give the Match Game superhero fanfic I started last year another shot. I just like that opening with Richard as the Batman-esque "Ace" too much. Richard just came to Goodson Network looking for a job at their morning show...but he's really the Shadow-like "Ace" looking for the mysterious Master Magician. He has his suspicions that restaurant critic Brett Somers and theater critic Charles Nelson Reilly are also a lot more than they seem...

Broke for dinner at 7. Ate while watching Match Game Syndicated. In the first episode, Charles was so sure his answer of "Cold" for "__ Shoulder" on the Audience Match would be on top, he strutted up to the Star Wheel to take a bow! (And he was wrong, as it turned out.) The second started with everyone teasing Gene about his dull brownish jacket that didn't really go well with a bright green tie. While Charles teases Brett about her age (and what comes with it), Debralee Scott did her old cheerleading routine in answer to who got hurt during a football game at a really tough school.

Finished the night online with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Pumaman was a fairly typical 1980 Italian-American superhero film. Paleontologist Tony Farms (Walter George Alton) discovers he's Pumaman, the ancestor of a race of aliens revered by the Aztecs. He's mentored in his abilities by the Mexican strongman Vadinho (Miguel Angel Fuentes), who teaches him how to fly and be aware of danger. Good thing, since he's pursued by the evil Kobras (Donald Pleasance), who has stolen the aliens' gold mask that lets him control anyone. He wants to use it to control the minds of world leaders, starting with the daughter of the Dutch ambassador Jane Dobson (Sydne Rome). Now Tony has to figure out how to use his powers and reverse the magic on that mask, before it's too late.

Hoo boy, is this one cheesy! It's a good example of a low-budget sci-fi imitation from this era, with an unintentionally hilarious script and truly ridiculous special effects. There are some interesting ideas, and Pleasance is as much fun as ever as the bad guy, but most of this is only for those who love snarking along with bad movies as much as Mike and the robots do. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Out and About In the Rain

Started off a off-and-on sunny morning with Charlie & Lola. Lola's frustrated when her library book has "Too Many Big Words" and she can't read it. Charlie encourages her to practice everywhere she can. Before long, she's able to read the whole book, appropriately a story about a little bird who also needs to learn how to sing.

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. I considered walking, but though clouds moved in by the time I left, they hadn't yet burst. I actually got to the Collingswood Library five minutes early. Karen arrived shortly after 10, having had a hard time finding parking. We went straight upstairs and into their study room.

We didn't get as much done as I would have liked. She couldn't get into my Indeed account on her laptop. We had to reset the password. Indeed's never done much for me, anyway. I look at listings, see they want more experience or skills than I have, I go to the next one, I get frustrated that there's nothing out there for me and give up. I wish job hunting wasn't so scary! Why do they have to make things so complicated? Isn't there anyone who just needs someone to write or type? 

We finished at quarter after 11. She had another appointment. I told her I'd keep looking later in the day, after I'd rested. While I do want to do data entry, medical work sounds boring as heck. I doubt local theaters would need secretaries or would be hiring, and I'm not sure I could handle the fast pace of television. I don't really know what interests me, beyond media history. I know I shouldn't be picky. I know I should take the best job that's available with my skill level, but I'm just so tired of doing work I hate.

Cheered myself up with a stroll down Haddon Avenue. I did most of my shopping in Collingswood back in late December, but the thrift shop Time Lapse was closed twice when I was there. I finally caught it on a day when it was open. After much-searching through shelves of toys from the 80's and 90's, board games of everything from Monopoly to Barney Miller, books, comics, and records. I came up with the Strawberry Shortcake Christmas Album and the inspirational book The World According to Mister Rogers

Since it's a block away and i hadn't eaten there for a while, I had lunch at Tortilla Press. It was 11:45 when I went in, just fifteen minutes after opening, and there was no one there but the staff. I was likely their first customer. I sat at a table next to the wide window that opens onto Haddon Avenue. It wasn't open today. It finally started to rain as I enjoyed sweet potato fries dusted with cinnamon sugar and an enormous chicken burrito with fresh salsa and cilantro slaw, but the rain didn't last long. By the time I finished, so was the rain.

Stopped at Dollar General on the way home. My left arm between my shoulder and my elbow has been sore for days. I think I pulled a muscle. I needed a new container of roll-on Icy Hot. The old one expired last year. 

Headed home after that and went nowhere else. I was so worn out when I got in around 1:30, I went down for a nap. Got up at 3:30 to hear rain drumming on the roof. Sometime between 1:30 and 3:30 it started pouring and blowing like crazy. The storm's been off and on, sometimes heavily, for the rest of the night.

I tried to do job research, but it was the same old thing. I'd look at a job, only to see even so-called entry level jobs required a year of experience or more. I tried for two hours, but saw nothing. I tried data entry jobs, and I tried writing jobs. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '74 while I ate. Fannie opens the show with a close view of her unique sequined stop sign sweater. There were also the odd answers to what the Mission: Impossible crowd would do to Brett (some of which she wasn't too happy with), and to "__ Johnson" in the Audience Match. 

Had vanilla wafers for dessert while watching Match Game Syndicated. Once again, they skipped an episode, taking us to the end of Nipsey Russell's last week. He gets to toss out his last great poem on Congress as a response to a question as to what kids who wanted to be clowns join in 1979. Nipsey wasn't happy with Brett's answer to that question...and Gene wasn't happy with Charles'! (Loved Dick Martin's answer, though.) 

Alfie Wise, best known for 70's and 80's comedies like Hooper and Cannonball Run, made his first appearance the next week. Gene even gave him a kiss on the cheek. I like Alfie, He was funny and cute, and I really wish he'd been on the show more often. Patty Duke and Debralee Scott were also funny and cute, even when they tried to hide their bad answers.

Ended the night back on YouTube with another favorite childhood comedy that's currently free there, License to Drive. Teenager Les Anderson (Corey Haim) is obsessed with cars and with school beauty Mercedes Lane (Heather Graham). Mercedes, however, is going out with a handsome, if controlling, older Pakistani man (Michael A. Nichols), and Les flunks his driver's exam when he sleeps through driver's ed class. Even worse, his nerdy, anti-capitalist sister Natalie (Nina Siezemasko) passes, and his parents ground him for lying about it. 

He's over the moon when Mercedes agrees to go out with him in order to make her boyfriend jealous. He'll borrow his grandfather's beloved 1972 Cadillac, then take his girl for a spin for an hour or two. What could be more harmless? As it turns out, anything. Mercedes gets drunk after her boyfriend dumps her, and then his buddy Dean (Corey Feldman) talks him into a night on the town. After that night on the town results in everything from a local gang chasing them to a drunk stealing the car, Les comes to realize that while it can be nice to step out of your comfort zone, they're also teens, and there are just some things they're not ready for yet. 

I thought this movie was hilarious as a 9-year-old. My family taped it off cable around 1989-1990 and ran it constantly. On one hand, there are some very funny lines (I still have some of them memorized) and a  unique cast. Goofy Carol Kane definitely makes an interesting pregnant mother (check out what she eats that grosses out her family), Richard Masur is great as Les' strict but largely loving dad, and there's also James Avery as the driving examiner from hell. I also appreciate that, unlike Ferris Bueller during his day in Chicago, Les retains some charm during his wild ride through the LA suburbs and doesn't come off as a total jerk. 

On the other hand, the movie hasn't dated terribly well. The story is cliche and can come off as cheesy, and the treatment of its few female characters isn't always the best. There's also the ending. Mr. Anderson forgives Les a little too easily for getting his mother to the hospital, despite lying about his license and wrecking the car. I hope he was still grounded for two weeks. Not to mention, I suspect a lot of teens would actually agree with some of Natalie's anti-Capitalist statements nowadays, but in the 80's, they were brushed off and played as silly. 

I'm going to say your mileage may vary, depending on your tolerance for teen shenanigans, 80's comedies, and Feldman and Haim. If you're a fan of either of them or comedies from the late 80's-early 90's in general, jump in this Mercedes. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

It's a Sunny Winter, Charlie Brown

Started off this morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. "I've Got Nobody to Play With," Lola laments. Charlie's over his best friend Marv's house, Lotta has a cold, and everyone else is busy. Lola finally creates a whole world of felt sticker forests and pillow tents with her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson.

Worked on some things for my appointment tomorrow. I tried to print out a list of questions I have for Karen, but it didn't come out very legible. A list of jobs I wouldn't mind having was even less-so. I finally replaced the colored ink, but that didn't seem to do much. I ended up just ordering more ink of all colors off Amazon.

Switched to My Lucky Star while I worked. I go further into this college-themed vehicle for Sonja Henie at my Musical Dreams Move Reviews blog. 

Broke at 1 for lunch. Put on She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown as I ate. Peppermint Patty gets up early to practice for a big skating show. Snoopy's her demanding coach. Patty thinks Marcie will make her costume, but she ignores her best friend's protests that she can't sew. Snoopy ends up doing that, too. He has less luck handling her music at the competition. Good thing Woodstock comes through with his own bird whistle!

Returned to Charlie & Lola briefly as I got ready for work. "Charlie Is Broken" Lola wails when her brother breaks his arm while playing soccer with Marv. He's disappointed he won't be able to juggle for the circus act they're creating for their grandparents, but Lola's determined to find a way for him to join in.

Headed out to work soon as Charlie & Lola ended. It wasn't busy at all when I came in. The weather was too nice, sunny, bright, and in the upper 40's. It picked up later in the night as people got off work...which wasn't a good thing. We're short on help, thanks to those cut hours, which made for long lines. And of course, I ended up in the express line again. Thankfully, the lady in charge of the self-checkout line came in so I could get out on time. 

Went straight home after that and into dinner and Match Game Syndicated. The panel finished out a wild week with Joyce in a light brown wig that made her look rather like Mary Tyler Moore (which was commented on several times). Bill freaks out at a noisy audience several times, while Elaine waves to them when she switches positions with Gene. Robert Walden has far more luck with "__ Cooker" in the Head-to-Head than he did with Ginger.

I don't know why they skipped the next two episodes. We picked up mid-way through the next week with Dick Martin, Loretta Swit, Nancy Lane, and in his last appearance on the show, Nipsey Russell. Nipsey was very interested in a lovely and funny lady who admitted she was a construction worker. In her honor, everyone wore hard hats, and they even gave her one of theirs. 

Finished out the night with an old favorite that's currently free at YouTube, Adventures In Babysitting. Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) is looking forward to what she thinks will be the best night of her life...until her boyfriend Mike (Bradley Whitfield) cancels their big date, claiming his sister is sick. Desperate to get out of the house, she ends up babysitting for Marvel fanatic Sarah (Maia Brewton), love-besotted Brad (Keith Coogan), and his annoying and hormonal best friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp). 

Her best friend Brenda (Sarah Jessica Parker) calls from a bus station in Chicago and frantically begs Chris to drive her back after an aborted attempt at running away. Chris has no choice but to bring her charges along for the ride. It turns into more of a nightmare when first her car breaks down, then they end up in a stolen car, then they have to get enough money to pay off fixing the tires on Chris' car. There's also the gangsters who stole the car and want information the kids inadvertently took, and the fact that Mike wasn't exactly telling the truth about why he called off their date to begin with...

The girls and I loved this one when we were kids. We actually had the video when it came out. All four kids are absolutely hilarious, especially Brewton and her obsessive love of Thor. By far the most famous sequence - and my favorite - is the performance of "Babysitting Blues" in the blues club. The kids look like they had a ball with that, and even Shue would years later call it one of her favorite experiences making a movie. While I'm not sure I'd recommend it for kids Sarah's age today, due to violence and some bad language, it's still a hoot for teens Brad and Daryl's age on up. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Taxed Out

I was so worn out, I didn't wake up until noon. Finished Blood Orange Brewing in bed and wrote in my journal until almost 1:30. Had brunch while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The gang is looking forward to "Mickey's Art Show" held at the Clubhouse, but Goofy doesn't know what type of art he wants to make. Minnie and Donald try to teach him how to sculpt, Daisy to paint, and Mickey to draw. Goofy's art never seems to come out the way he wants...but it's Clarabelle who finally teaches him that the important thing is to make your own style and have fun with it.

The rain continued to come down, even as I ate breakfast. I finally decided I'd sat inside for way too long. Grabbed my umbrella and my now-dry winter coat and went for a walk. The walk was a good idea. The umbrella...was not. Not only was the rain slowing down even as I took out the trash, but the wind was insane. It kept trying to snatch my umbrella away or blow it inside-out. Thankfully, neither happened. The worst was my hands were cold when I arrived at CVS.

For some reason, CVS is the only store where I can find the brush pick refills I use. I also grabbed a Diet Mountain Dew, since I don't often see those around, either. I hoped they would have Valentine's decorations, but they only had candy-filled hearts, bags of candy, and stuffed animals. They were having good sales on Nature's Valley granola bars, but they were out of the ones I like. 

Considered ordering lunch somewhere, but while the rain ended by the time I got out, it remained cold, cloudy, and windy. It was no day for lingering. I just went home, joining a few groups of children and their parents on their way back from school crossing over the White Horse Pike thanks to a crossing guard. 

Went straight upstairs when I got home and into lunch. After I ate, I did my taxes. I had a little trouble getting into TurboTax. I changed my laptop since I did my taxes last year, and I no longer had the password saved. I had to reset it. After that, it was smooth sailling. Took me an hour. I have no dependents, own no property, and work at one job. I don't even have the interest on my school loans anymore. I paid them off in early 2021. 

Broke for dinner at 7 PM and to finally take the laundry downstairs. Watched one of the best episodes of Match Game Syndicated while I ate. Ginger, the contestant from Friday, gave such a weird answer to "Cuckoo __" in the Head-to-Head, it sent Gene Rayburn spinning the Star Wheel, yelling "Run for your lives!" while the panel fell over each other laughing behind him. Poor Robert Walden, who was supposed to match her, just looked embarrassed. According to Bill Daily in Match Game 101, everyone laughed so hard, they had to stop taping. (And not only did Gene remember the incident for the rest of his life, but Bill recalled it pretty clearly too, even 40 years later.)

Things were only slightly more sane in the second episode. In the opening, they discussed how Robert had been Charles' student in acting class, and how much Charles did for him. (Charles' other students included Lily Tomlin, Gary Burghoff, and Liza Minnelli, whom Robert mentions. And interestingly, research revealed that Walden himself is now a well-regarded acting teacher.) There's also the production assistant who models what a high slit skirt is to the panel, and Elaine Joyce helping the winner with "Give __" in the Head to Head. Joyce Bulifant made a rather nice strawberry blonde here. 

Finished the night with Hollywood Cavalcade after a shower and putting the laundry in the dryer. Mike Connors (Don Ameche) is struck by Molly Adair (Alice Faye) when he sees her in a Broadway play in 1913. He invites her out to Hollywood to make a movie for him. Turns out he's a glorified prop boy, but what he really wants to do is direct. He coerces the producer Lyle P. Stout (Donald Meek) into giving him his chance. The planned action drama turns into comedy when a pie lands in Molly's kisser. Now Mike and Molly are making wacky comedies that end with her being covered in custard.

Mike, however, is full of himself and his talents and hard to deal with. After he gets fired for filming bathing beauties instead of melodrama, he and Molly start their own studio. Now he can film pratfalls and custard pies to his heart's content. Seeing Molly's talent, he finally puts her into a drama. She's in love with him, but is tired of his obsession with films and ends up marrying her leading man Nick Hayden (Alan Curtis) instead. Mike loses both his studio and his talent. After he's fired from every major studio in Hollywood, Molly and Nick insist he direct their latest picture. He's just as impossible there as he was in his own place...until tragedy and the release of The Jazz Singer makes him reassess his relationship with her and with the art form they both love. 

The first half, with the spot-on recreations of Keystone Cops, custard pie fights, and bathing beauties sunning on rocks, is both hilarious and a fairly accurate recreation of the era. The Technicolor production is gorgeous - it even fades into black and white during the Keystone Cops shorts. It's in the second half, when the melodrama comes to the fore, that this loses momentum and interest. 

It's also where it becomes painfully obvious that they're not going for realism. No one's clothes, male or female, reflect the 10's and 20's in any way, and other than some of the background songs from the time, it looks like it could have been set when it was made in 1939. Too bad, because Faye and Ameche are decent as the Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand-esque director and star, and J. Edward Bromberg is excellent as Mike's devoted assistant Dave who later becomes Molly's manager.  We even have Buster Keaton and several real-life Keystone Cops taking part in the comedy sequences and Al Jolson recreating a scene from The Jazz Singer. 

(Oh, and this is not a musical. No one sings a note, not even Faye. I think they lost a major opportunity here. This might have made a rather nice musical, an early Mack and Mabel with a happier ending. The plot isn't that far removed from some of the later Faye and Betty Grable films.)

I'm going to say this is really only for fans of Faye, Ameche's early work, or silent films. Everyone else is better off sticking with the musicals that featured this pair or the action drama In Old Chicago

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Rainy Days and Slime

Started off the morning with breakfast and the original London cast of Sister Act on CD. For some reason, they reset the story in 1978 Philadelphia. Dolores is now a disco singer in her gangster boyfriend's nightclub, and there's more emphasis on the relationship between her and the cop who is supposed to keep an eye on her in Witness Protection. Some of the late 70's pastiche songs aren't bad. Too bad my favorite, the nuns hilariously explaining "How I Heard the Calling," was dropped before the show moved to the US. 

Worked on writing for a while as the CD ran. Betty can't stay for too long in the castle. It's much too warm. She leaves them with the king's grumpy majordomo (Richard Deacon), who reminds Gene that he and the Nutcracker need to release the Princess from both their spells, or they'll be forever banished.

Broke for a quick lunch around quarter after 1. Switched to the Reader's Digest Treasury of Operettas set. The Desert Song may be one of my favorite American operettas. The story of the French governor's son Pierre who masquerades as the head of the Riffs in North Africa smacks of everything from The Scarlet Pimpernel to Superman. My favorite songs are "Romance" and "Then You Will Know" as Pierre and Margot, the object of his affections, discuss their ideas of real love.

It was only gloomy and gray when I left for work. It started showering slightly on my way, but didn't amount to anything. I rode the bike and basically just ran into some very strong wind.

Work was off-and-on busy, though it could have been worse on a Sunday. The Cowboys played the 49ers tonight; the Bills went up against the Bengals this afternoon. I did have some trouble with people not understanding about only being able to buy the same brand of soda 12 packs, and I got stuck in express because another cashier didn't want to do it. I didn't want to, either, but someone had to. 

No wonder we cleared out so fast. When I headed out, it was showering heavily. I ended up riding home in it and getting wet. My coat is still drying. (And it's just as well that I didn't wait. It's rained off and on, sometimes heavily, for the rest of the night.)

Soon as I got in, I put my coat aside to dry, grabbed dinner, changed, and went online. First of all, Match Game Productions has been running marathons of Betty White's best episodes all week in honor of her birthday. Tonight, he did her later syndicated and PM episodes, along with three of her best appearances on Match Game '90 and the Match Game episode of Game Show Marathon she starred in (where she sat in her original sixth "comedienne" seat). Along with the rare Game Show Marathon episode, my favorites here were Betty and Allen's last appearance on TV together in a PM episode, and Betty turning up on a syndicated show wearing a bright red dress and making a smashing entrance. 

In addition to Betty, I threw on game shows made by kids' cable favorite Nickelodeon. They resisted game shows until 1986, when Double Dare debuted. Two teams of kids play stunts to earn money. After the stunt, they answer a series of trivia questions. One team can answer, or dare the others to. They can dare them back, and the kids who were dared can either answer, or take a Physical Challenge. The Physical Challenges and opening stunts mainly involved throwing things at each other or a lot of slime or splashing water and could get very messy. Winners went on to an obstacle course, where they'd have to drag their way through even messier and bigger stunts.

My sisters and I loved this show in the mid-late 80's, and we weren't the only ones. Kids across the country were hooked on watching people dump slime on each other. Every kid badly wanted to be on the show. In our case, it helped that the first two seasons, including the episode I chose, were filmed at WHYY PBS studios in Philadelphia, and kids from the Philly suburbs and South Jersey frequently appeared. Harvey, the announcer, was even a former Philly disc jockey.

Double Dare was such a phenomenon, almost every Nickelodeon game show that came after it involved stunts in one way or another. Think Fast debuted in 1989, and was more-or-less a Double Dare clone with no daring and slightly less messy stunts. The difference was in the bonus rounds. Two kids would open locker doors and try to figure out which strange person or object in one locker matched another on the other side. Kind of fun, but also very strange. No wonder it didn't last a year.

Make the Grade did have stunts, but placed more emphasis on the trivia. Three kids would have to guess answers from questions from seven categories and six age levels on a flapping board. If they hit "Fire," they'd take part in a "fire drill" stunt. The winner went on to the "Honors Round," where they had to answer seven questions from three categories correctly. I remember really enjoying this one as a kid. I liked the tough questions and the nifty if lo-fi board. 

Legends of the Hidden Temple did better with integrating its trivia and stunts. In fact, this may be the most popular Nick game show along with Double Dare. It's certainly one of the most creative. Six teams compete to get across "the Moat" (a swimming pool) on boogie boards and pulling themselves across the water. The four teams who win get to hear the temple head Olmec tell them whatever legendary object, real or fictional, they're searching for today. They answer a series of questions to test their memories at the Steps of Knowledge, then play "The Temple Games," aka stunts. The team that wins the stunts moves on to running through the Temple. If the guards grab the kids or they run out of time, they don't get the grand prize. 

Oooh, no wonder this one was so well-remembered, an adult version played on the CW in 2021. Even Double Dare can't claim to have a movie based after it. This is just plain fun, and possibly the most creative of Nick's game shows. 

Nickelodeon Guts did away with the trivia all together. Here, three kids take part in four extreme sports events. In the episode I chose from 1993, they run an obstacle course, have to use a paddle to pull them along in a pool, dodge assistants throwing balls at them, and climb up the treacherous "Aggro Crag." Winner gets 300 points, second gets 200, and third gets 100. The simple game play was a lot of fun to watch and made this one of Nick's biggest game show hits, running from 1992 to 1995.

Figure It Out from 1997 is basically Nick's version of I've Got a Secret. Four kid-friendly celebrities try to guess a kid's special talent or something unusual they've done. No one on Secret ever had to deal with being slimed if the contestant stumped them, though!

BrainSurge from 2009 put knowledge and memorization front and center. Six kids start out guessing a series of puzzles for an increasing amount of points. The two kids with the lowest points at the end of the round had to ride down the messy "BrainDrain sewer pipe" back down to the audience. The remaining four contestants have to answer questions from a book host Jeff Sutphen reads to them. The two contestants who come out of that have to remember which pieces from the previous story matched. That winner moved on to the bonus round, which involved memorizing light patterns on a large board. Fun and challenging, despite a rather creepy set; no wonder this one ran until 2011. 

Play along and dodge slime with some of the smartest and bravest kids ever to appear on cable!

And here's Betty's marathon, too! 

Oh, and the Bengals beat the Bills 27-10 in the 3 PM game; they'll play the Chiefs next week. The Eagles will play the 49ers, who just got past the Cowboys 19-12. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

The Eagles Smash the Giants

Got a quicker start than I planned this morning after I overslept! Had just enough time for breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel's ready to enjoy "A Snowy Day" with Miss Elainia. They want to go on an astronaut mission in the snow, but Dan learns to wear the right equipment when the cardboard helmet he wears isn't warm enough. Katerina wants it to be "Tutu All the Time" at school, until she spills paint on it while doing art and can't get it through the entrance to Daniel and Prince Wednesday's bear cave.

Headed off to work even before the episode ended and barely got there in time. We weren't busy when I got in. I spent the first hour and a half doing returns. It picked up around 12:30 and stayed busy for the rest of the day. I'm still having trouble with people who can't figure out those new government benefit cards. One lady threw a fit because it didn't cover her whole order and she didn't bring enough money for the rest. I wish the government had explained that card better! At least it slowed down enough by 5 for me to shut down without a relief. 

Went straight into writing when I got home. They pull into the stables as the Nutcracker helps Debralee out of the sleigh. Gene and Betty are greeted by Betty and the King's majordomo, who reminds Gene that he's so far failed to aid the Princess. Gene insists that they brought the man who can save her.

There was a package waiting for me when I got home. I ordered one last late Christmas gift for myself. I found a set online with the Alice Faye comedies Hollywood Cavalcade and The Great American Broadcast on silent film and radio history and the musicals Down Argentine Way, That Night In Rio, Greenwich Village, and The Gang's All Here. I already have the last-named, but I've wanted to pick up the others forever.

Broke at 6:30 for dinner and The Secret of Mulan on Tubi. I go further into this late 90's direct-to-video animated movie "inspired" by the Disney Mulan at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Finished the night online after a shower with the Eagles-Giants game. Now this is more like it. The Eagles dominated the game full-stop. They were up 21-0 by half-time. The Giants couldn't get anywhere near them. While they did manage to get a touchdown in the third quarter, the Eagles picked up two more in the fourth to win the game 38-7. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Fantasy Stars

Started off the day with breakfast and Doc McStuffins. The Wicked King meets his match in snobbish Queen Amina, who is just as nasty and stubborn as him. When "The Wicked King and the Mean Queen" refuse to share their royal ball, Doc holds a scavenger hunt to see who gets the privilege. The Wicked King may be a jerk, but he also knows when to be a good sport, and risks losing to help Amina after she gets hurt. Alma's baby doll Tiny Tessie loves her comfy stroller so much, she never leaves it. She'll have to learn to "Take a Stroll" and stretch her legs if she wants to compete with the others in an obstacle course.

Worked on writing for a little while after breakfast. Debralee is surprised to find a castle made of gingerbread and candy that's somehow still standing in a snowstorm. She's even more surprised to see that Gene's known in the area when they land...and not everyone's thrilled with him being back...

Broke for lunch and Match Game '75 at 12:30. Mary Ann Mobley recalls the old Phillip Morris yelling bellhop radio commercials from the 30's and 40's with  her answer to "Call for __" in the Audience Match. She also has the habit of taking way too long with her answers, making Gene fall asleep and Richard give her strange looks.

Hurried out to work as Tattletales began. Work was supremely boring for most of the night. There's just not a lot going on, other than the Eagles playing the Giants tomorrow. And when it wasn't boring, it was annoying. A lot of people are in plain bad moods, and there was another Instacart order that didn't work. And I had to shut down in the express line with no relief. Got out just on time. 

My schedule next week is barely a schedule. We've been so dead, I have four days off, three in a row, and barely any hours when I do work. Good thing I heard from Karen at Abilities Solutions. We're going to meet at the Collingswood Library to discuss my employment options on Wednesday.

I did need to pick up a few things after work. Bags of oranges, containers of those "cotton candy" grapes, and Fiber One granola bars were all on sale with digital coupons. Grabbed more sugar-free wafers on sale, too. 

Went straight home and into dinner after I finished. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I ate. Buzzr just moved into one of the single funniest weeks of the entire Match Game 70's-80's run. Joyce Bulifant spends the week sporting weird wigs in an attempt to distance herself from the other goofy blonde on the show with a similar name, Elaine Joyce. I caught the infamous episode where the very sweet contestant Ginger gives an amazing strange answer to "what a jock centipede wears, 99 sneakers and a __." Let's just say she didn't give the answer you'd anywhere near expect. 

Finished the night online, starting with Cinderella and the Secret Prince at Tubi. This version of the fairy tale starts out fairly normal, with Cinderella (Casssandra Lee Morris) attending the ball thanks to the feisty fairy godmother's apprentice Crystal (Kirsten Day). Things go off the rails at the ball, where the Prince (Stephan Mendel) turns out to be a stuck-up jerk. The real Prince Alex (Chris Niosi) was turned into a mouse by an evil sorceress (Wendee Lee) who wants to take over the kingdom. Cinderella, Crystal, Alex, and their two mouse friends go into the dark forest to find the ring that'll change Alex back, then return him to his rightful throne.

Oh, how I wanted to like this! The premise is a genuinely interesting twist on Cinderella, and until the end, I actually like what the movie does with it. But the actors are stiff, the dialogue is dull and cliche, and the cheap CGI animation is dreadful. Prince Alex is annoyingly indecisive. Even though the whole story revolves around him being changed to a human, he keeps holding back and hemming and hawing about doing it. And there's a surprisingly depressing ending for a Cinderella story, too. As one character points out, it really means almost the entire movie was pointless. I'm afraid unless you or your child are huge fans of Cinderella or princess stories, this is one ball I'd dance on by.

Finished the night on Buzzr with the last of their Lost & Found marathon. To Tell the Truth saw its second syndicated revival in 1980. This time, it lasted less than a year, and while it does apparently exist in full, it doesn't turn up often. The first two segments, with people guessing which former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader was also a rodeo clown and which man had escaped a sinking two-man submarine, are identical to earlier versions of the show. The difference is in the third segment. They bring back the four people who weren't the contestant in question earlier and asks the panel to figure out which of them were more likely to have done a certain thing, in this case spend a record-breaking amount of time in a tub of something. Robin Ward is the amiable host here.

The remaining three episodes were all failed pilots. Star Words was one of three shows considered to replace Child's Play on CBS' schedule in 1983. Nipsey Russell hosts this variation on Match Game. Here, Charles Nelson Reilly and Patty Duke choose two words from a board and try to figure out what the contestants will say that will put them together. Truth be told, while it had it's good moments, the game play went on for too long, and the bonus round that had Nipsey throwing out answers and them trying to guess which words went with it, was dull. CBS did the right thing by going with Press Your Luck instead.

On a Roll came from 1986, when game shows were peaking on daytime TV. This complicated cross between High Rollers, Password Plus, and Wheel of Fortune had people rolling dice in order to guess three rows of clues to the identity of a famous person. If you rolled doubles, you lose your turn. The Lucky Seven bonus round has the winner guessing seven words or phrases linked by a theme.  Uh, yeah, I can see right away why this one didn't make the cut. It's way too convoluted, with too many rules to figure out, and the dice and word games don't really work as a whole. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Rainy Day at Home

While I didn't feel quite as bad as I did yesterday when I got up this morning, I still didn't feel great, either, including a really sore throat. After nearly a half-hour of debate, I finally called out again. Better give myself one more day to rest and not spread germs.

This time, I slept until almost 12:30. Stayed in bed and read and wrote in my journal until nearly 2. When I did get up, I had brunch while watching the 1946 musical mystery Murder at the Music Hall. I go further into this vehicle for Czech figure skater Vera Hruba Ralston at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Went online to work on writing after the movie ended. As the sleigh glides through the air, Debralee wonders why the Nutcracker is so devoted to the Princess. He thinks she's the most wonderful girl ever...or at least, he did. As he gazes as her, he wonders if there might not be someone else. Gene's more interested in reminding them that they're about to land at the Gingerbread Castle.

Ran Beat the Clock as I worked. The one Buzzr showed for their Lost & Found marathon is the 1969 - 1974 series mainly shot in Canada. Announcer Gene Wood took over hosting by 1972...and he honestly did a good job, leading couples through wacky stunts ranging from catching Frisbees with limbo sticks to popping balloons with cymbals tied to a couple's hips. This series also included a guest star celebrity who would do stunts with the couples, then do one on their own to win the couples extra money. Singer Gisele McKenzie of Your Hit Parade helped the couples out in these episodes. 

(Buzzr also ran commercials for their next marathon during the later episodes and Match Game. Apparently, next Friday, we'll have a salute to crazy hair and wacky wigs that'll include Match Game Syndicated and episodes of Body Language featuring two celebrities who know a little about strange hairstyles, Richard Simmons and Phyllis Diller.)

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game Syndicated as I ate. They open the first episode with seeing if Dear Abby's purse matches her lavender ensemble. Bill Daily actually has some pretty decent answers, including one about the best underwater pen. 

For some reason, they skipped the next episode. Which is too bad, because it introduced one of my favorite contestants from the syndicated episodes. Margaret was a hilarious older lady from North Jersey who really seemed to enjoy her time on the show. Bill Daily loved it when she called him "cute" and "intelligent." He was so delighted when she chose his answer for "They'll Be __" in the Audience Match, he grabbed her for a lovely little dance, accompanied by the (alleged) singing of Jack Carter and Gene Rayburn.

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower, figuring out why Buzzr hadn't run that missing episode. It turns out Jack Carter answered "midget" to a question. Buzzr is overly sensitive about that particular word, but they usually bleep it out, not cut the episode. Barbara Rhodes was more nervous helping out Margaret with "Wise Old __" for $10,000. 

(And maybe it's just as well that I did call out. It poured almost the entire day, from when I got up the first time to just a few hours ago. I would have needed an Uber ride.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Diagonosis Cold-Itis

Woke up around 8:30 this morning...and I felt awful. No fever or chills, and my stomach was fine, but my throat remained sore and my nose is still stuffy. I ended up calling out. I just couldn't face my customers sneezing all over them, even just for four hours. 

Went straight back to bed after that. I really must have been worn out, because when I opened my eyes and checked my bedside clock, it was quarter of 2! I read in bed and did my journal until almost 3. My blankets felt much too warm and cozy to get out of bed right away.

After I did finally get dressed, I grabbed something to eat, then put on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel Goes to the Hospital" to get an ear infection cleared out. He's nervous at first, but the nurse and doctor show him everything that'll happen when he's there, and his parents read a book about hospitals to him beforehand.

Doc McStuffins knows all about helping dolls with illnesses and boo-boos. "Kirby and the King" get stuck together after Doc's brother Donnie brings them upstairs while the glue on his paper monster is still wet. They have to work together to get Doc's attention. Doc brings her friend's bubble blower toy Bubble Monkey over when her brother is sick with a cold. He's not the only one. Bubble Monkey's sneezing all over the place, too, including on the other dolls. Doc tells her "Bubble Monkey, Blow Your Nose!" and get rid of that gunky soap. 

I had something to cheer me up today, too. My last item from my Amazon gift cards arrived. I decided to switch my DVDs to books, rather than binders. The binders are just too flimsy for all the DVDs I have. Moved all of the musical DVDs, including Lady Let's Dance! and another I bought for review next week, to the new book. 

Switched to Buzzr's Lost and Found marathon while I worked. Buzzr returned to black and white for two shows and a pilot from the 1950's. They already ran an episode of the 1955 summer replacement show Make the Connection back in 2021, but they must have come up with another one. This imitation I've Got a Secret shows how different people are connected to one another. Betty White, Gloria DeHaven, Bennett Cerf, and Eddie Bracken try to figure out how a lady can help a group of fathers with expectant wives and what comedian Fred Allen wanted from songwriter and band leader Meredith Wilson. It ends with everyone performing three songwriters' works.

Play for Keeps was a 1955 pilot for a trivia game that was almost identical to Winners Take All. Here, though, they get to choose which subjects to answer. Sonny Fox, later known as the host of the New York kid's show Wonderama, helps two women through their paces. (The champ, a female cab driver, was awesome.) 

Mel Griffith received early game show exposure as the original host of Play Your Hunch in 1958. This was sort of a variation on To Tell the Truth. Here, though, people would have to choose which of three objects or people, labeled x, y, and z, had something different about them or were different from the others. Unlike the bland Play for Keeps, I can see why this was a four-year-hit despite bouncing between networks and hosts. (Gene Rayburn took over when Griffith left to do his talk show; Robert Q Lewis finished the run.)

Moved to writing even before the show ended. Debralee asks if she really does look like the princess. The Nutcracker admits that she does, when the Princess is human. The Princess, however, is sweet and kind, if a bit...demanding...

Broke for dinner at 7. Ate while watching Match Game Syndicated. The last day of the week Kirstie Alley appeared ended with Gene wandering among audience members, finding people who were willing to match with Charles for $50. None other than famous syndicated columnist "Dear Abby" turned up the next week, along with Jack Carter, Barbara Rhodes, and Bill Daily. Bill revealed he'd gotten married in the interim between the end of the CBS show and the start of syndication, and that his pretty new wife was in the audience.

Wasn't up to more than Doc McStuffins after dinner. Doc's brother Donny thinks his fire truck Lenny is broken. Doc reminds him that he needs to constantly replenish his water supply on a hot day, and then he'll be "Engine Nine, Feelin' Fine!" Stuffy has "The Right Stuff" when he rips his tail, but doesn't want to go to Doc to get it fixed. Brave, tough dragons aren't supposed to need help. He learns a lesson in real bravery when his tail goes flat and Lambie finally convinces him to talk to Doc about it.

Doc's doll Dress-Up Daisy is smitten with handsome male fashion doll Dress-Up Declan and his spiffy wardrobe. She can't figure out why he dons scrubs to be "The New Nurse" and help Doc out when Hallie gets hurt, until he reminds her that men can be nurses, too. "Chilly's Loose Button" is hanging by a thread after he crashes with Lambie. He's afraid to tell Doc, but the others finally remind him that he won't get fixed if he doesn't tell her. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Shocking Tooth

I overslept slightly this morning. Did get some reading in, but there wasn't much time for anything else. Ate a small breakfast quickly, dressed, brushed my teeth, and hurried down to Westmont for my dental appointment. I got there slightly late, but I didn't have to wait long before they came for me.

As it turned out, I could have been indefinitely late. I wish the dentists at this office would get their stories straight. The dentist I had today told me that the tooth wasn't worth saving or putting a crown on. It apparently has an infection that just won't heal and they want to pull it out! Oh no. Not after the last large tooth they pulled hurt like heck. I was ready to have a crown put on, not to have the tooth yanked out. Plus, it doesn't hurt at all. The broken wisdom tooth hurt more. I made an appointment for my regular cleaning in early March, and then we'll see how I feel.

Ran to Target next for cold medicine. I've been sniffling and sneezing for days now. I haven't had a fever or loss of appetite, and I don't have Covid. I think it's just a regular old cold. Thankfully, since it was relatively early, the teenagers weren't out of school yet, and there were no lines. 

Had a quick but tasty lunch at the bagel shop on the other side of the Westmont Plaza. All of the ladies and college students chatting in booths sat in the front; I opted to sit in the back. Had an egg white and vegetable omelet with provolone cheese and a tasty "rainbow" bagel.

The weather wasn't any more pleasant than the news about my tooth. I rode to Westmont under gloomy gray skies. Felt the first raindrop as I made my way up the hill to the shopping center. It showered while I had lunch, but stopped before I finished. The rain would return again briefly - and much harder - less than a half-hour after I got home, but I don't think it's been back since. 

Messed around online for an hour until counseling. Told her about my busy and largely pleasant holiday season. Christmas and New Year's actually went very well under the circumstances, certainly better than they did in 2021! I had fun with my friends, with Rose and her family, and with the preparations. I thoroughly enjoyed my week off and seeing the Mummers Parade. 

On one hand, I am glad Rose is speaking to me again...but it may be a long time before I can really trust her. Her dropping me the way she did hurt. Mom says I should just forgive and forget, but it's not so easy to let go. I need to get my own lawyer and find other ways I can do things on my own and put less burden on Rose and others in my family.

And I certainly won't ever trust Jodie again. All she did those four months I spent looking desperately for an apartment was complain to her friends on the phone, whine to me about how terrible Rose was being and how she didn't want to lose the sale of the house, and talk about Rose and me behind our backs on her side of the house. She also refuses to take responsibility for anything that happened and continues to blame Rose for it all, when she was just as much at fault for not communicating with Rose or treating me like a real tenant. I'll talk to her if she calls me and even visit her if she asks, but I won't be calling her anymore.

Mrs. Stahl says I'm too hard on myself...but I still have a hard time believing that. If I were hard on myself, I'd do better. I don't think I'm being hard enough on myself! The Acme job is sucking the life and soul out of me, but every job I look at just seems to require more skills and experience than I have. I haven't used Microsoft Word or Excel or Power Point in years. I really need to talk to Abilities Solutions and see what they say about whether or not I'll be able to transfer my skills to a real job. 

After I got off with Mrs. Stahl, I sat down with Lady, Let's Dance! I go further into this surprisingly enjoyable low-budget ice skating musical featuring British figure skater Belita at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Did some writing next. Betty's able to fly over the ice sleigh and Gene falls asleep, giving her the chance to chat with the Nutcracker. Yes, he says, she does look like his Princess Marie. He's hoping to return to her and crack the nut, before the Mouse King or anyone else tries to take it again.

Broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated around 7 PM. Though she did seem a bit bored with the whole thing, Kirstie Alley played very well in her two games, winning both. Robert Pine tried to help her with "__ Starter" in the first episode's Head-to-Head. Charles did better with "__ Paw" in her last appearance. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

The Great American Chase

Started off Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology book. King was still alive when the book was published...but the material for United Nations Day works just as well. King and the United Nations both worked towards peace for all people. I read the first three declarations from "World For All" by Dorothy Cannell, along with "Prayer for a Better World" by Stephan Vincent Benet and several poems.

I was in so bed so long, beginning Night of the Four Hundred Rabbits after that, it was noon before I really got moving. Had breakfast and made my bed while watching Match Game '75. Buzzr featured the week with tough-guy producer and actor Sheldon Leonard and Cuban bombshell Louisa Moritz (and Louisa's increasingly strange - and brief - blouses). The first one features a contestant who has no idea who Zorro is, making a question about where he puts his Zs rather difficult. The second has everyone trying to figure out "Spirit of __" in the Audience Match.

Headed out to run errands next. It was too nice outside to sit around all day. The sun felt warm on my shoulders, and the wind died down to a soft breeze. Even the kids I saw roaming around the neighborhood on their bikes and scooters only wore heavy sweaters. 

Mainly wanted to hit Family Dollar for the first Cannonball Run. It doesn't seem to be easily found online, and they had it for $5, far cheaper than it is on Amazon. Also picked up deodorant there. Grabbed more of those sugar-free wafers at Dollar General, along with a new hairbrush and a bottle of blue Fanta Zero "mystery flavor." (Psst - it's cream soda. Rather tasty, too.)

Put Cannonball Run on when I got home as I had lunch. The "Cannonball Run" is an illegal, anything-goes East-to-West-Coast marathon car race. Anyone can enter anything. There's no rules other than speed. Race car drivers J.J McClure (Burt Reynolds) and Victor Prinzi (Dom DeLouise) drive a medical ambulance fitted with a NASCAR engine. They drag along a shifty doctor (Jack Elam) to look more legitimate, then grab the gorgeous photographer Pamela Glover (Farrah Fawcett) when she's trying to stop the race with uptight safety inspector Arthur J Foyt (George Furth). 

Former driver-turned-drunk James Blake (Dean Martin) and his con-artist partner Morris Fennebaum (Sammy Davis Jr.) dress as priests and drive a Ferrari. Marcie Thatcher (Adrienne Barbeau) and Jill Rivers (Tara Buckman) start off in a Lamborghini and use their considerable...assets...to frequently distract cops. Two Japanese designers (Jackie Chan and Michael Hui) make use of the many gadgets on their Subaru to drive at night. A pair of cowboys (Mel Tillis and Terry Bradshaw) spend the race drunk in their Hawaiian Tropic car, while a sheikh (Jamie Farr) has a much classier Silver Shadow. Two best friends (Alfie Wise and Rick Avilies) drive a truck they can't stop...literally, as the breaks don't work. There's also the British playboy with the Astin Martin and the rotating collection of pretty girls who thinks he's Roger Moore (and actually is played by Roger Moore). 

Hoo boy, is this a wild ride. This is even more of a random collection of skits and car chases than the second movie. And that said...I think I actually like the second movie a little bit better. Silly as the plot there is, at least it has something to tie it together, and the cast is better. This one is barely held together by Foyt and the various local highway officers trying to chase everyone down. Once again, this isn't great art or a critical darling, but it is a guilty pleasure if you like the cast or are a fan of all-star comedies or direct Hal Needleman's other car-oriented movies. 

Switched to Buzzr's Lost and Found marathon as I put up what little I have for Valentine's Day. Normally, they hold this on a Sunday in late September, but they skipped it last year...because they now have way too much material to squish into a random fall weekend. They're running "Lost and Found" episodes between 4 and 6 all week. 

I arrived just in time to see a guy dancing with two men in an obvious horse costume, doing a vaudeville sketch for the 1953 quiz show Winner Takes All with pioneering radio talk show host Barry Gray. Next up was the pilot for the 1956 kids stunt show Choose Up Sides, featuring energetic baseball player Bob Kennedy having a great time leading cowgirls and spacemen through wacky stunts like being human bowling balls. The last was It's News to Me, a 1951 panel show hosted by John Daily featuring panelists guessing if the information given by a newsmaker is true or false.

(Honestly, the winner by a long shot was the hilarious and adorable Choose Up Sides. I liked it with the less-likely Gene Rayburn hosting too, but Kennedy worked better with the kids and seemed to really like running around with them.) 

Worked on writing after that. Snow Queen Betty explains as she leads the group to her ice sleigh that the Mouse King is holding Sugar Plum Queen Brett and her cavalier Charles hostage, hoping to force them to give away the precious nut that will release the princess...the one the Nutcracker currently has. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Match Game '74 featured the episodes with Richard Deacon, Betty White, and Gunilla Hudson. The latter shows off the word "skol" printed on the rear of her jeans, years before young women wore words printed on their rears in the early 2000's. The Match Game Syndicated episodes were the ones leading up to the arrival of Kirstie Alley and her first round. They were funny even before she came in. In the round before hers, the lady took so long to figure out an answer, Gene lay down and took a nap!

Finished the night online with Murder She Wrote and the first season episode "Birds of a Feather." Jessica's visiting her niece Victoria (Genie Francis), whose fiancee Howard (Jeff Conaway) seems to be MIA. Turns out, he's been working in a drag club, trying to earn extra cash. He seriously regrets this when he's found holding the gun that killed the club's nasty owner Al Drake (Martin Landau). Howard's not the only one who had issues with the guy. His wife Robin (Carol Laurence) was having an affair with the club's top headliner (Dick Gautier). The drumming comedian Freddy (Gabe Kaplan) wanted recognition for his talents. His agent (Bart Braverman) would do anything to make his client a star. Jessica's hindered by the San Francisco cop (Harry Guardino) who doesn't believe her at first when s he points out Howard couldn't have done it. 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

The Queen of Games

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola loves watching her brother work on the tricks from his new magic set. "I am Extremely Magic" she says, and tries her own tricks. What she doesn't realize is those tricks rely on a lot more than waving a wand and saying magic words. Charlie finally shows her how they're really done.

Worked on writing after that. The Queen of the Snowflakes looks a lot like Betty White. She greets Gene as an old friend. He explains that she's the head of the snowflakes, who keeps wintry parts of the world white every year. She also knows about the disappearance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Brett) and her cavalier (Charles) and has been searching for them.

Went straight to work after I got off. I seriously regret it. Work was nothing short of a royal pain in the rear. At least four people had trouble with that new government benefit card that's supposed to let you buy basic food. Yes...but you have to use your food stamp card before you use the benefit card. Most people use the benefit card first, not giving me the chance to explain that it doesn't work that way. One woman and her husband threw such a fit over it, they called the young manager who tried to talk to them a "little girl." That got her mad and she walked off, leaving me to deal with them. 

I also had trouble with two Instacart customers whose clients didn't give them enough money for their orders. They took so long, they eventually canceled, and all that food had to go back. And they held up long lines. And were just plain off-and-on busy, despite the cold, windy day and the Eagles playing next week. My anxiety was so bad, my stomach is still in knots, even hours later. 

Rushed home fast as I could. Soon as I got in, I changed, grabbed dinner, and watched Match Game Syndicated. Brett's nervous when she has to help the contestant with "__ In-Law" in the Audience Match. Everyone else has some interesting answers about what's wrong with the show's infamous mythical sleazy country Nerdocrumbesia.

Finished out the night after a shower on YouTube with game show episodes featuring Betty White, in honor of her 101st birthday Tuesday. Betty goes way further back on game shows than anyone probably knows. She filled in for Peggy Cass on an episode of To Tell the Truth from 1959. She has an easier time figuring out who's a security guard than which of the three people are the host of a horror show called Nightmare and a ping pong champion. 

Betty's probably most associated with Password. She married its original host, Allen Ludden, in 1963. During the early 70's ABC series, the two even changed places for a week, letting Betty host while Allen played as a panelist...and they both did very well, too. Too bad the episode seen here is the only one known to exist from that week.

She continued playing Password, even after Allen died of stomach cancer in 1981. Betty was a frequent panelist on Super Password with Bert Convy in the mid-80's. Bert even called it "her" show. I don't think they would have allowed anyone else to get away with destroying the question holder used for the hated "Ca$hword" mini-game in the last episode!

Betty appeared on Password straight into the new millennium. Million Dollar Password reworked the game into an overly-complicated Who Wants to Be a Millionaire clone, complete with a winnings ladder and dark neon-lit set. In mid-June, she turned up with comedienne Susie Esseman from Curb Your Enthusiasm to help a lady navigate the new rules. Regis Philibin was on hand to make it as close to Millionaire as possible.

Of course, she did many other game shows, too. She made frequent appearances on the various Pyramids over the years, including an early week of The New $25,000 Pyramid with Charles Siebert. She played well in the regular rounds, but had no luck with the Winner's Circle. Charles did much better there.

My favorite Betty appearances are by far on Match Game. She was by far one of the best players in the sixth "comedienne" seat, never failing to have a funny answer or come up with a great bit with Richard Dawson, who sat next to her. She also had a fondness for mock-stripteases, as we see in this hilarious episode from 1978. Richard wasn't as cheery by this point - Gene point-blank tells him to smile - but he seemed to perk up for Betty's bits. 

Climb pyramids and strip down with the Queen of Game Shows! (The copy of Password '75 is rough, inverted, and in black and white, but it seems to be the only version of that rare episode online at the moment.)

Saturday, January 14, 2023

A Rather Blustery Day

Got a quick start today with breakfast and hurrying out the door to work. Brr! Blustery winds made it the coldest it's been here since Christmas Day. It also made it hard to ride to work. I got in just on time.

Work didn't start out badly. I spent most of the first hour returning items. It picked up around 11:30 and stayed busy off and on through the rest of the day. They kept sending me in for breaks, then stuck me in a register. I did have a few annoying customers, but not on the line of earlier in the week. Even the one family who got mixed up with the buy two, get two 12 packs of soda sale just put one back and got the right brand. I did get flustered several times, especially early-on. I know I shouldn't, but it's so frustrating to cause trouble when you've been there for so long and should know better.

I got my schedule online yesterday, but confirmed it today. While I have fewer hours, that's not an entirely bad thing after the way people acted this week! I'll take the hit on hours to be able to sleep in and call PNC and Abilities Solutions and catch up with them. The longest I work is seven hours on Sunday; the earliest is 11 AM on Saturday. Monday and Tuesday off, the latter for a dentist appointment and counseling.

Picked up a few things after work, mainly to take advantage of sales. I had a free online coupon for two Greek yogurts. Had a coupon for $.50 off two Nature's Valley granola bars and Special K crisps, and they were already on sale. Grabbed Cara Cara oranges to try.

Went straight home after that for dinner and Match Game PM. One of the funniest episodes of the entire nighttime series made its debut on Buzzr tonight. Goofy Avery Schriber and future Dynasty villainess Joan Collins joined the regulars for this rare episode. Gene is once again reminded that you never bet against Richard on the Audience Match when he questions his answer for "Burns and __." 

The second show re-ran the first episode of the syndicated series. They kicked off with hilarious gags right from the get-go. After Charles criticizes the camerapeople's work, they focus on the top of his head or to the side of him...anywhere but on him!

Finished the night online with Soul Power. I go further into this 1974 concert documentary featuring the Spinners, James Brown, and B.B King, among others, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.