Friday, February 17, 2023

When the Rains Came

Awoke to a phone call. Karen, the counselor for Abilities Solutions, called to see if I wanted a ride to our appointment today. Rain fell heavily even as we spoke, and the wind howled. It was no day for the bike, no matter what condition my ankle was in. I told her I'd appreciate it, but to give me an extra half-hour for breakfast. 

Watched Doc McStuffins as I got ready. "The New Girl" is Keiko, an action figure Doc's grandmother sent from Japan. She's supposed to do karate kicks, but she can barely stand. She was in the package so long, her legs are weak. Doc teaches her how to stretch and flex to build them. Donnie's crane has no problems when Doc tells him to "Wrap It Up," but he's afraid to take off the bandages (duck tape), and they've gotten dirty. Doc assures him that he'll be fine, and that you have to change bandages over time.

I was almost late getting out the door...and then I walked down the street a block to find Karen. Turned out she misheard the number I gave her. At least the rain had stopped temporarily by that point. She let me out at the Collingswood Library, and I told the lady in charge that we were borrowing the study room.

The trouble with trying to get a writing job is a lot of the proofreading requires taking certification classes. I was really hoping to get out of the Acme soon as possible. Yes, I know I'll be giving up my health insurance, if only temporarily. I just can't stand it anymore. All of these college kids are leaving and getting better homes and jobs. I just wished something jumped out at me or seemed right. I don't know what I want, other than something that's not retail. I'm a writer, but I don't know how to apply that outside of my blogs. I feel completely, utterly worthless. 

I don't know why people say I'm too hard on myself. If anything, I'm not hard ENOUGH on myself, or I'd have a job already. I should push myself harder to look in the right place and find me a decent job that'll make me happy and earn me enough money for a condo of my own. I wish I knew how to give myself a kick in the right direction.

Karen was nice enough to let me drop my library books off quickly, since the Haddon Township Library is only about two or three minutes from the Collingswood Library by car. I slid them into the slot and went back out. I don't know when my ankle will be up for an errand run again. 

Soon as I got home, I made lunch, then ate while watching Match Game '75. A wild episode began with everyone looking for Gene's spare microphone and ended with the introduction of Carol Bartos, a contestant who would go on to win many more matches in the days ahead. 

Worked on crocheting while finishing the All-Star Family Feud set. A 1981 special pit shows set in the country - the good ol' boys of The Dukes of Hazard and Dallas' rich oil drilling family - against the hard-working city-dwelling waitresses of It's a Living and the "movin' on up" Jeffersons. Even the Ewings and their wealth and dysfunction couldn't stop the Jeffersons on a roll. (And the Dukes group represented the later cast with the two "cousins" who came in when the Dukes left the show and were later replaced.) 

The very first special from 1978 pit four of the most popular shows of the time - Three's Company, The Love Boat, Soap, and Eight Is Enough - against each other. John Ritter managed to be adorably goofy, even while playing game shows, as he led his team to victory. Norman Fell returned in 1979 with the cast of his spin-off The Ropers, including a young Jeffery Tambor. They played a far more interesting Dukes of Hazard group that included Tom Wopat and Catherine Bach, the Depression-era family of The Waltons, and the cast of the short-lived sitcom Angie. Anyone who's seen Debralee Scott on Match Game knows she's terrific at game shows. She did so well on her second fast money game, Robert Hayes didn't even need to come out - she got it all in one go. 

Too bad there's still specials missing. It would be nice if they included the entire "Adventure Heroes and Heroines" and "Hollywood Walk of Fame" weeks - they did for the 50's Sitcom Reunion week. Wish they could have convinced Warners to let them use the Batman/Lost In Space episode. As mentioned, the final two "Battle of the Perfect 10s" shows aren't on the set, either. Other specials not included on the set include one that Love Boat crew members as captains with team members made up of actors who had guest-starred on the show and the 8th All Star Special with Benson, Angie, WKRP In Cincinnati, and Dallas. 

Honestly, if you love game shows like me, the sitcoms and shows playing each other, or remember when these were on the air, I still recommend the set for a blast from the past and some great play-along fun. 

Worked on writing around 4:30. Gene's eager to meet Richard and hopes he'll be able to help him lift the ratings. Richard does too...but he also gets the same type of power off Gene that he got off Charles. Here, however, it's a small burst of air from his hand, rather than water...

Broke to make dinner at 5:30, then watched Match Game '74. In the first episode, Gene jokes about sweet contestant Janet Finn wearing a checked vest very similar to his jacket. Patti Deustch and her equally strange comedy writer husband Donald Ross turn up in the second. Patti insists that she has nothing to do with the strange bright floral tie-and-shirt combos her spouse favors. 

Switched to F-Troop as I finished dinner. This spoof of western cliches has Captain Wilton Parameter (Ken Berry) being mistaken for a hero and sent to Fort Courage. This is pretty much the repository for any soldiers the army doesn't want. The Native tribe is friendly - in fact, they hate war. They'd rather make souvenirs for Corporal Agorn (Larry Storch) and O'Rourke (Forrest Tucker) to sell illicitly. In the first episode, Parameter shows up as the "Scorge of the West," but when a genuinely nasty Native tribe attacks, it takes his reputation and some excellent shooting from Wrangler Jane (Melody Patterson) to get rid of them. "One of Our Cannons is Missing" because Agorn and O'Rourke lent them to the Native tribe for their Moon Festival...but the moon hasn't risen yet. 

Finished the night on YouTube with Hero at Large, which is free there. Steve Nichols (John Ritter) would do anything to land an acting job. He takes what seems like a routine job when he poses as a superhero in costume to advertise the latest blockbuster. It becomes far more to him when he stops a robber from harming two elderly store-owners. They're so grateful, he decides to become a superhero for real. He even lets the mayor of New York hire him to win over votes for the upcoming election. Trouble is, now everyone thinks he's a fake, something created by the media. It takes an act of real heroism after his girlfriend Jolene (Anne Archer) encourages him to not give up to prove that anyone can be a superhero, if they have a truly heroic heart.

Strange little film lets Ritter go to town, looking ridiculously skinny in a goofy superhero costume. The story doesn't always make a lot of sense, and the moral about how anyone can be a hero is pounded home with all the force of Steve trying to show off. Still, it's an early attempt to show a normal person emulating the superhero life, and is worth checking out once if you're a fan of Ritter or the comedies of the early 80's. 

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