Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Party Like It's 1999

Had a quick breakfast this morning, then spent the next few hours checking out the newest American Girl historical dolls. Nikki and Isobel Hoffman are Jewish twins living in Seattle in late 1999. Nikki is a quiet tomboy who loves skateboarding, creating a 'zine for local girls, and the Seattle grunge scene. Isobel is a noisy, girlie partier and major Spice Girls fan. 

Now, you'd think I wouldn't relate to these two at all. By December 1999, I was half-way through my second year of college. I still remember a lot of what's represented here, though. For one thing, I adore that they have an accurate Pizza Hut "Book It" set, even though Pizza Hut hasn't done that in years. I did "Book It" in the mid-90's when I was in the Special Services Middle School. Cheap chokers like the ones in both girls' accessory sets were very popular in the mid-late 90's. I wasn't big on them myself, but I don't like tight collars or things that are too tight around my neck.  

I had a pillow seat like Isobel's. Mine was a chintzy pink flower print that I finally wore out by the time I went to college. I'm pretty sure we had inflatable chairs like Nikki's, too. They were even purple. Anny had a pair of platform strap shoes like Isobel's, only hers were black. I used to borrow them a lot, even though they were a little too big for me. I actually still have a purse that looks like Nikki's, only it's quilted instead of having a skating decal, and I use it for my digital camera. I was a bit old for Tamagotchi by 1999, but that didn't stop my sisters and brother from asking me to look after theirs. 

My family's first...and looked and sounded very much like Nikki and Isobel's. (The first one died during an especially hot and humid mid-90's summer in West Cape May.) I think 1999-2000 is probably around the time I bought my first laptop, too. It cost me over $900, but I could also finally connect to the internet at home and at my dorm, instead of having to hike all the way to the computer labs. 

Truth be told, while the dolls themselves are quite pretty - I love their bright green and blue eyes and Nikki's chunky highlights - I already made my Asian-American doll Jessa into my designated 90's character. She'd probably turn up her nose at Izzy's florals, but I could see her in Nikki's Skateboard Outfit without the helmet and pads, and she might get a kick out of her alien-themed pillow, too. (And ironically, they have the opposite problem from AG's previously-released historical doll Claudie. They have play clothes and regular clothes, but no formal outfits. I'm wondering if AG will release their holiday formals closer to Hanukkah in December.)

Broke at 1 for lunch and Doc McStuffins. View Master toy Viewie Stewie wonders if he needs glasses when he seems to see dinosaurs in Paris and polar bears on a pyramid. Doc and the toys help him to come "Fully In Focus" and figure out why he's seeing two images at once. "Picky Nicki" is a piggy bank who only likes shiny coins and won't take Doc's green dollar bill. After she accidentally loses Doc's money, she learns the importance of trying new things.

It rained for a lot of the morning and was a bit chilly. Though the rain had ended by the time I left for work, I still would have called Uber regardless of how my ankle felt. The guy picking me up came in about 6 minutes; the woman dropping me off took less than 3. No trouble anywhere on the road, not even when I left during rush hour.

No trouble at work, either. We were off-and-only steady, but not overwhelmingly busy. I still got frustrated when things went wrong. Someone who's worked at the same place for fifteen years should know what she's doing. Other than that, everything went very well. My relief was late coming back from her break, though. The self-checkout manager came in so I could (barely) get out on time.

Went straight home and into Match Game '74. Sweet Janet Finn was finally defeated in the previous episode by sophisticated Italian Sylvana. The others spend the beginning of the episode making jokes about Brett having joined the West Hollywood Olympics (and done very well, according to her.) Meanwhile, Gene tries to get Sylvana to calm down, but she can say the names of the Italian actresses he mentions better than he can.

The rest of the Match Game Syndicated week after Ginger left continued to be completely nuts. This was probably the single best week of the syndicated series. Joyce Bulifant continued to show off different wigs. She made a rather nice strawberry blonde in the first episode and had a very cute Mary Tyler Moore-style brunette wedge style in the second. One of the contestants being an acting student leads to a discussion of how Charles was an excellent acting teacher, and Robert Walden had been among his students. Brett also makes an attempt to imitate Zsa Zsa Gabor for a question.

Finished the night after a shower on YouTube with the 1974 version of The Mark of Zorro. This adaptation of the novel was made for TV, and is surprisingly very good. Frank Langella does better as the foppish Don Diego than he does as Zorro, but Ricardo Montalban is excellent as his adversary Captain Esteban. Apparently, it was intended to be a pilot for a series ABC didn't pick up, which is probably why it's relatively lavish for a TV movie in this era. It features period-accurate sets and costumes and a great supporting cast that includes Gilbert Roland and Yvonne DiCarlo as Don Diego's parents, who worry their son has turned into a buffoon while away at school. Not the best-ever retelling of this story, but worth checking out if you love Zorro, the cast, or desert swashbucklers. 

1 comment:

Linda said...

Frank Langella would have been a perfect Zorro. He played pirate Jean Lafitte on a two-part episode of Swiss Family Robinson (the version with Martin Milner), and, wow!, was he gorgeous in that role.