Friday, March 31, 2023

In the Secret Garden

Started off the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In "Mickey's Springtime Surprise" from the third season, Mickey and Minnie want to hold an egg hunt at the Clubhouse, but that cheeky Funny Bunny Pete hid all their eggs! The others help them find the eggs with the right shapes painted on them in order to unlock a big surprise.

Worked on writing for a while after I ate. Richard, Gene, and Gary spend the next morning trying to make the one member of the Wild Rider Gang they capture talk. All it's done is make the guy curse and give them rude gestures, even with a bad hand, and make Gary threaten him bodily harm several times. He claims he doesn't know who his boss is, or why he wants these people out so badly...

Broke for lunch at 1:30. Watched The First Easter Rabbit while I ate. Stuffy (Robert Morse) once belonged to a little girl named Glinda (Dina Lynn), until she came down with scarlet fever. He's saved from being burned by Calliope (Joan Gardner), who anoints him the Easter Bunny, the symbol of spring for all children. He's sent to April Valley to get ready for the holiday celebrations, but winter wizard Zero (Paul Frees) would rather he be snowed in. Santa Claus (Frees), of all people, is the one who finally gets Zero off Stuffy's back for good.

Took the bike to work this time. It was sunny when I left, a bit breezy and cool, but not that cold. Once again, it was a perfectly normal early spring day in South Jersey...and that was reflected in it being dead for most of the night. It did get busy during rush hour, but for the most part, there were no problems. I was able to shut down with no relief and no need for one. 

I'm not happy with my schedule next week at all. I knew when I had two days off in a row this week that I'd probably only have one day off next week...and I was right. Thursday is my only day off. Not only that, but there's a very early day on Wednesday and several late days. At least the only long day is seven hours on Good Friday, which is traditionally one of the busiest days of the spring season.

Did some grocery shopping after that. I badly needed yogurt; got packs of Chobani coconut and Oiko vanilla. Made use of a coupon for $2 off bakery to treat myself to lemon shortbread cookies. Those yummy Candy Snaps red grapes were 99 cents each; bought two. Jiff peanut butter was on a good sale, too. So was Talenti ice cream. 

I decided I really wasn't in the mood for leftovers. I stopped at Crown Chicken and Gyro on the way home for a chicken gyro, fries, and a can of Diet Pepsi. Despite it being almost 7 when I arrived, they weren't busy. I saw one guy picking up a Door Dash order, and that was it. 

Ate at home while watching Match Game Syndicated after changing and putting everything away. Joyce sports a cute red-gold wig in this episode. Ginger is finally defeated by an aspiring actress who chats with Charles, himself an acting teacher, about the craft. The others try to help her with "__ Beast" in the Audience Match.

Moved to YouTube for the Hallmark Hall of Fame version of The Secret Garden from 1987. Mary Lennox (Gennie James) is sent to live with the eccentric and melancholy hunchback Archibald Craven (Derek Jacobi) after her parents die in India during a cholera epidemic. She's a sour little girl who isn't interested in much of anything at first, until her maid Martha (Cassie Stuart) lets it slip that there's a secret garden behind a wall that hasn't been seen in years. Mary becomes obsessed with finding that garden...and after she does, with keeping it a secret. Dickon (Barrett Oliver), Martha's outdoors-loving brother, helps her bring it back to life. After she discovers her invalid cousin Colin (Jadrien Steele) is just as neglected as she was, she gets him outside to enjoy their special place, too.

I believe this is the only existing feature-length version of this story I hadn't seen. It gets points for staying true to the text. This may be the most accurate version of the book I've seen, though there are a few differences. Mary doesn't spend as much time on her own before she meets the boys, and she rejects Dickon at first before she lets him into the garden. She and Colin also aren't related here. Mr. Craven takes her in because his wife was friends with her parents. There's also two short wrap-around sequences featuring an older Mary and Colin (the latter played by a very young Colin Firth) returning to the garden during World War I that are probably unnecessary. Gemmie James was also quite obviously American - her lack of an accent is rather distracting, compared to everyone else around her. 

Probably not the best version of the book out there, but it does have a few virtues if you're a fan of the story. 

Finished the night with the classic Match Game Syndicated episode I missed earlier this evening. Somehow, Ginger managed to win her first game and get through the Audience Match. The...unique...answer she gives for "Cuckoo __" in the Head-to-Head is so strange and unexpected, it literally makes everyone onstage nearly laugh off their seats. Robert Walden, whom she hit on the Star Wheel, just looks embarrassed. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Beat the Springtime Blues

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and reading The Secret Garden. I didn't have time for much else. I needed to get to Collingswood for my physical check-up. Called Uber, who thankfully arrived in a short three minutes. It was barely three or four minutes before I arrived.

I got such a slow start that I was still slightly late. No matter. I was the only person in the waiting room. It had been totally remodeled since the last time I was at Collingswood Family Medicine. There were new vinyl leather-like chairs and shiny hardwood floor...and despite there being a shelf, no magazines whatsoever. Thankfully, it only took about ten minutes for Dr. Jessica to come for me.

Long story short, my main problems at the moment are depression and a troublesome thyroid. Dr. Jessica thoroughly checked my ankle. She said it was good enough for me to ride the bike now, but I'd need physical therapy for it. I also need to go back to South Jersey Radiology and have that thyroid looked at again. 

The depression is going to be harder to deal with. I'd rather do it without medication. I'm thinking of trying yoga again. I stopped due to a lack of time and money. Classes got expensive. They were a really big help, though, and it might be good to get around other people. She suggested library volunteering, but the Oaklyn Library closed last year, and the county libraries suspended their volunteer program during the pandemic and never started it up again. Maybe I could talk to the Collingswood Library, now that I live closer to them.

The appointment took almost an hour. It was quarter of 1 by the time I headed down Collings Avenue to Haddon for lunch. Ended up at Sabrina's Cafe, which was surprisingly not that busy, despite it being just past lunch hour. I had an iced tea and tried their "five grain breakfast bowl." It turned out to be roasted vegetables with ancient grains like quinoa, topped with two fried eggs, and it was delicious, earthy and chewy, with a very yellow, runny yolk. Unlike their pancakes, it wasn't too much to eat, either. I finished it with no trouble.

Strolled down Haddon to Innergroove Records. I hadn't visited them in a while. They were also quiet. A few people came and went, but for the most part, the owner and I had the place to ourselves. It took me nearly a hour and a half of searching through all the $1 record cubes and the titles that interested me, but I came up with:

Believe In Music (K-Tel collection from 1972)

The original Broadway cast album for Jennie, a vehicle for Mary Martin from 1963

Peggy Lee - Sugar n' Spice

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra - Stan Kenton Today, a live album recorded in London

A Happy Birthday With Winnie the Pooh Disney story album

The soundtrack for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in its original plastic. This one cost me $19.99, but when am I going to find something like this again, and sealed? (The others came out of the dollar bins.)

Made one last stop at the bank to get money for my rent. Was able to use the inside ATM this time. Went in, did what I needed to do, went out. 

This time, I walked home. It was too nice to do Uber again anyway. There couldn't be a more gorgeous day in early spring. The golden sun was warm on my back, but it was neither too hot for the time of year, nor too cold. The park is really blooming now. Flowers blossom on trees and in gardens. Buttercups line the banks of the creek; every yard sports cheery yellow daffodils and jonquils. 

Pumped my tires when I got home, then went straight upstairs and did my monthly cleaning. Needed to vacuum and Swifter the floors, and I really badly needed to dust. The bedroom in particular gets horribly dusty, maybe because it's closer to the window. Wiped down the windows and electronics, too. 

Listened to my new K-Tel album while I ate. Believe In Music is the oldest of my K-Tel collections, and it sounds it. I thought songs like "Hold Your Head Up" by Argent and "Long Cool Woman" by the Hollies were from the late 60's. Other familiar numbers here include "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" by Cher, "Let It Rain" by Eric Clapton, "Sealed With a Kiss" by Bobby Vinton, "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart, "Brandy, You're a Fine Girl" by Looking Glass, and "Beautiful Sunday" by Daniel Boone. 

Did some writing after that. Marcia scolds Richard for not getting in faster, but he promises to do better next time. He got lost. Those maps gave him an idea, that he keeps thinking about, even as he hits the sack in his new home...

It was 7:30 before I broke for dinner. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I ate. This was the start of that hilarious week where Joyce Bulifant wore wigs to make her look different from the other ditzy blonde on the show, Elaine Joyce. Her huge bright orange Afro wig inspired more than a few "Little Orphan Annie" jokes. It was also the first episode to feature Ginger, the perky contestant with the very, very unique answers, like the one she gave for what an athletic caterpillar buys. 

Finished the night online after a shower with Sweet Rosie O'Grady. I go further into this 1943 vehicle for Betty Grable set in the 1880's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Dolls on a Sunny Spring Day

Started off the morning with breakfast and Match Game '75. In the first episode, Gene comes in carrying a purse that actually belongs to soap star Pat Crawley and fields several jokes about it. We also get to briefly meet Earl, the little man who works the Audience Match board, and Jack, a contestant who just happens to own a hotel in Encino. The second continues with the jokes about Brett and Gene's (supposed) trysts while the others help with "Line __" in the Audience Match.

Tattletales came on next. I was surprised to see three entirely new couples. Tom Bosley, of course, I knew well; he brought his smart wife Jean. I was less familiar with the other two. Willie Shoemaker was a popular jockey from the late 50's through the 80's; he came with his wife Babbs. They mentioned Bernadette Stanis was from Good Times. She was there with her boyfriend Tom Faultelroy. And they wound up being the big winners, over the two long-married couples.

Changed the dolls into formal springtime outfits for the upcoming holidays after I ate. Kit may not appreciate the ruffles, but she does look cute in her cotton candy pink Candy Making Dress. Samantha is also in a limited edition spring outfit, her elegant pink and magenta Flower Picking Dress. Josefina celebrates her just-passed Saint Day in her Feast Day Finery with the lovely turquoise skirt, white ruffled camisa, and beautifully embroidered gold shawl. Felicity is also dressed for her birthday in her salmon-pink Spring Gown with its floral pinner apron.  Molly's birthday outfit is sleeveless and has thin fabric that isn't really appropriate for early spring. She wears her aqua Polka-Dot Outfit instead. Jessa is in an authentic 90's outfit, the original Birthday Outfit with the purple fruit-print jumper and t-shirt made for the modern American Girl dolls in 1998.  

Whitney and Barbara Jean sport hand-made dresses from eBay. Whitney's is white with pastel polka-dots and lace trim. She wears it with the purple metallic shoes Lauren sent a while back and the crinoline from her eBay poodle skirt. Barbara Jean is in a pink, yellow, magenta, and purple geometric-print mini dress with velvet flower trim and a yellow ruffle on the skirt. The magenta bow headband and tights from an Our Generation outfit matched perfectly. I even got her into the kitten heeled magenta shoes with the sequin trim that originally went with the American Girl flapper costume. I picked up Julie's original white Birthday Dress with the brown, gold, and orange flower trim on eBay last week. It looks even better with Ariel's bright copper hair and turquoise eyes.

Dressed the Cabbage Patch dolls for spring, too. They both get outfits originally made for real little girls. Dulcie wears a white dress with lace trim and purple and white smocking on the yoke. Carrie's in a red and white polka-dot pinafore dress, with rickrack trim and a strawberry decal on the pinafore skirt. 

Switched to springtime music after I turned the shows off. The Music of Spring is another Columbia seasonal collection from the early 60's. Some of the better songs include "Camelot" by Jerry Vale, "April In Paris" by Leslie Uggams, "I Could Have Danced All Night" by Rosemary Clooney, the folk number "Green Green" by The New Christy Minstrels, and catchy instrumental versions of "Younger Than Springtime" by Ray Coniff and His Orchestra and "Happy Talk" by Andre Kostelanetz. I also did Winter Into Spring, one of George Benson's seasonal-themed albums. The first two, "January Stars" and "February Seas," are especially lovely. 

It had turned into such a lovely day, I just had to go for a short walk, despite my sore ankle. I needed a few things at Dollar General anyway. I can't seem to find my size underwear at Target anymore, so I got it there. They also had the Sunbelt Bakery granola bars that Acme doesn't seem to carry anymore, or at least the Oats & Honey and Chocolate Chip. Decided I'd get a head start on Easter and picked up tote bags for Finley, Khai, and the daughter of a friend, and little things to fill them like fluffy wind-up chicks, mini chocolate bunnies, bottles of bubble solution shaped like bunnies, and wooden decorations to color. 

It's really starting to look like spring in the neighborhood. Sunny golden or creamy white daffodils sprout in every garden. Some of the trees are already in bloom, with tiny white blossoms waving in the breeze. Green grass slowly replaces brown on front lawns. The wind was chilly, but the sun felt warm. It was so warm, I went out in a sweater and was perfectly fine. 

Considered eating lunch out, but decided I'd save that for my trip to Collingswood tomorrow. Went home and had a sandwich for lunch instead. Went straight into writing after I got home...when I could focus. Richard figures that if he tries to find out what Ira and the railroad are up to as the sheriff, he'll end up in the same cemetery as the previous holder of that title. He doesn't tell Marcia, but he knows he'll have to do it as someone else. He's just not sure who...or how. 

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I worked. This time, they actually did air the episode that introduced the hilarious contestant Margaret from North Jersey. I'm glad it got on. The episodes that featured Margaret were adorable. Bill Daily was thrilled when she called him cute, and even danced with her after the Head-to-Head. 

Finished the night with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Mike and the robots got their Renaissance Fair jokes on with Deathstalker and the Warriors of Hell, a sword-and-sorcery epic from 1988. Deathstalker (John Allen Nelson) is tasked with finding a magical stone owned by the despotic ruler Troxartes. He encounters the twin sister of the princess who gave him the stone (Carla Herd), who is to marry him, and two wild women who give him shelter from Troxartes' men. Deathstalker will have to go up against not only Troxartes, but his crafty mistress Camisarde (Terri Treas) to find the stones and defeat his legendary undead warriors.

Hoo boy, do we have some ripe 80's cheese here. This is the kind of thing Rose loved when we were kids, but usually baffled me. While there are a few fantasy movies from the 80's I've come to enjoy since then (notably Willow and Legend), this definitely isn't one of them. The dialogue is dreadful. The delivery is ridiculously stiff or silly. As the robots point out, Deathstalker is really an egotistical jerk who behaves so badly, it's hard for you to root for him like you should. The action scenes are laughably lacking in, well, action. And there's two earlier films in this series! The movie is a laugh riot even without the robots. Don't come here outside of the Mystery Science Theater episode unless you're a huge fan of sword and sorcery from the 80's or are looking for something so bad, it's hilarious. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Began my morning with breakfast and Daffy Duck's Easter Special. Daffy's bedeviled by an animator with a very strange sense of humor in what turns into a springtime variation on "Duck Amuck." The rest of the special is an anthology of new shorts, all featuring Daffy. The first has him and Sylvester chasing a golden egg. In the second, he has to defend a chocolate bunny factory from Speedy Gonzalez, who wants chocolate bunnies for the kids of his village. He's solo in the third as he tries to figure out how to get north without flying. 

Headed out to work shortly after the cartoon ended. At least I had no trouble getting Uber. The guy picking me up took six minutes; the one getting me at work didn't even take four. Gorgeous weather probably helped. It was still cloudy this morning, but by late evening, the clouds had vanished, and it was a lovely, breezy, sunny spring day. 

That was about the only thing that went right. Work remains a total and complete pain in the rear end. People continue to buy cartloads of water, despite Philadelphia claiming its water is safe to drink. No one wants to believe them. Today was our Senior Discount Day, too. I was dead tired and sore, and not really up to dealing with them all. We still don't have any help, either. It was me and one other cashier for most of the day. At least my relief arrived on time. 

Went straight into Match Game Syndicated when I got home. I came home in time for the second half of the first episode, which finished off the week with Robert Pine, Dick Martin, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Dick's delighted when his answer to "__ Rangers" turns up on the Audience Match after the audience gave him a hard time over it. The episode ends with Gene going out into the audience to find people willing to play a round with Charles.

None other than Dear Abby was the comedienne for the next week, joined by Bill Daily, Jack Carter, and Barbara Rhodes. Yes, Gene does give Abby a kiss to welcome "the new kid on the block." Bill Daily's more happy to hug everyone after his answer to "You Can't ___" comes up on top of the Audience Match. 

Finished the night online after a shower with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I go further into this classic comedy featuring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell as gold-digging showgirls at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Water Water Nowhere

Began the morning with breakfast and Doc McStuffins. Lambie's feeling that "Runaway Love" when she sees Doc making a banner for her soon-to-arrive baby sister and thinks she's being replaced. She tries moving to Donnie's room, but it turns out he thinks the same thing about Doc's parents and is running away, too. Doc and her parents finally tell both they have more than enough love to go around. Doc wins a doll on a bike named Stella for completing a bike race. All Stella wants to do is race, but crashing through a toy construction site prematurely ends her "Tour de McStuffins." Doc fixes her leg and teaches her lessons in bike safety and not riding recklessly.

Worked on writing for a while after I ate. Richard emerges out of the tunnel to find he's come out about five minutes from Match-Up. Marcia scolds him for coming in late. He doesn't mind. The discovery of the maps and the tunnel gave him the nucleus of an idea....

Headed off to work around 12:30. No trouble getting to or from there. It was merely cloudy, windy, and cool but not overly cold when I went out to pick up Uber. The ones going to and from work picked me up in 6 minutes, the latter despite it raining later in the evening and it being the tail end of rush hour.

Once again, work didn't start badly. In fact, we were so dead early on, I spent the first hour doing returns. Once we got to rush hour, things picked up considerably. We had so little help, we had to call people from produce and the deli to deal with the lines. And yes, people were still asking about water, despite the empty shelves and Philly declaring the water safe to drink until tomorrow afternoon. Once we actually got water in later in the day, they were buying up 6 and 7 packs at a time of it again, ignoring the fact that other people might have wanted it, too, and we only had a limited supply. Even the rain didn't stop them from coming. I barely got out on time.

Went straight into leftovers for dinner and Match Game '74 when I got home. The week with announcer Gene Wood and "Miss Kitty" from Gunsmoke Amanda Blake got kind of wild. In the first episode, a lady asked Gene to roll down his stairs for her daughter. After Richard helped the contestant with "Astro __" on the Head-to-Head, Gene grabbed Amanda for a kiss, Gary grabbed Brett, and Gene Wood looked like he was going to reach for Gene Rayburn at one point! 

A very pretty contestant turned heads in the second episode, especially Richard Dawson's. The others were more than happy to help her with "Moving __" in the Audience Match. Gene Rayburn is more than a little annoyed that Dinah Shore, who was filming her talk show next door, had a marching band over that was making a lot of noise. 

Match Game Syndicated continues the episodes Kirstie Alley appeared in as a contestant. Despite her playing very well, she seemed a little bored and actually a bit above it all. Robert Pine tried to help her in her first game with "__ Starter." Charles did better with "__ Paw" in the second round.

Finished the night with The Count of Monte Cristo on Kanopy. Robert Donat plays the title role in the 1934 film version of the Alexandre Dumas novel. Edmund Dantes is unjustly sent to prison by three men who conspire to take his job as a seaman and his fiancee Mercedes (Elsa Landi). In prison, he meets another man (OP Heggie) who was also imprisoned unfairly, and they escape. He bequeaths him a vast treasure, which he unearths with the help of pirates. The pirates also help him kidnap Albert (Douglas Walton), the son of Mercedes and the traitorous Mondego (Sidney Blackmer). Edmund appears to "rescue" him, getting him into society. He's determined to bring down the men who sent him to prison...but it's Mercedes who reminds him that revenge is a dish best not served at all, and sometimes, even the best of intentions can have unexpected and damaging consequences. 

Shortened version of one of Dumas' most complicated novels works due to Donat's delicate and devious performance as Dantes. He's equally at home as the naive young sailor who innocently delivers a letter for his boss and the calculating Count who cares only about justice. This movie was such a huge hit in 1934, it made the studios see that swashbucklers could work in the sound era after they went out of style in the late 20's. It's still a bit on the talky side, with an unnecessary trial finale, but this is still recommended if you love Dumas, swashbucklers with French flair, or other versions of this story. 

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Water Panic

Got a quick start this morning. Read The Adventures of Robin Hood, wrote in my journal, grabbed breakfast, and hurried out. Considering I got going a bit late, it's a good thing it took me only a minute to get a ride, and they arrived in less than four minutes. For some reason, they went around behind the Acme and almost missed it all together. I had to direct them to the front of the store.

That was only the beginning of a very long day. It was a fairly normal, even quiet Sunday until around 2:30. Then suddenly, we were overwhelmed with people buying bottled water. People bought nine or ten 35 packs of bottled water at a time! They pushed two or three carts loaded with water jugs and grabbed piles of loose water bottles. Our shelves were stripped of every inexpensive bottle of water within two hours. The lines got so ridiculously long, they had to call people from the bakery, floral, and produce to help deal with them all.

And why did all of those people want water? Apparently, a company accidentally dumped chemicals into the Delaware River, where Philly gets its water supply, and the city told everyone to only drink bottled water. While some parts of South Jersey do use Delaware River water, for the most part, we get our water from upstate. Our water was perfectly fine. After South Philly was stripped of bottled water in record time, they all drove over here...and the Audubon Acme is the first decent grocery store for many people coming off the bridge. 

(Things got so insane, I heard stories of fist fights breaking out over bottled water in South Philly. I later read online that Philly had regrets for causing mass panic. They eventually claimed the water was fine for now, and everyone could fill up on tap water until tomorrow.)

I had a hard time getting home, too. It took me a while to get a ride. Thankfully, they came in 9 minutes, and the very nice gentleman had no trouble getting me back.

Finished the night online after a shower with dinner and YouTube. Today is the 50th anniversary of the very first Pyramid series, The $10,000 Pyramid on CBS. After their success with The Price Is Right, Gambit, and The Joker's Wild, CBS quickly ordered more star-studded game shows with elaborate sets. Producer Bob Stewart had been perfecting $10,000 since the late 60's, after he split from Goodson-Todman. He set up the board on the lines of a pyramid, with monitors showing six categories. A contestant and a celebrity has to guess seven words that make up a category. If they get to 20, they make it to the Winner's Circle, where they guess six categories with increasing difficulty and monetary value. 

The game was a hit straight off the bat, at least for a while. When it faltered in the ratings on CBS, ABC grabbed it. It eventually jumped up to The $20,000 Pyramid while on ABC. Dick Clark hosted the daytime versions, while Bill Cullen was in charge of the nighttime $25,000 Pyramid in syndication. Clark took over for the syndicated $50,000 Pyramid briefly in 1981. 

CBS brought back The New $25,000 Pyramid in 1982, and it's this version and the subsequent $100,000 Pyramid in syndication that I remember best. I loved watching both as a kid, on CBS and later in syndication and on USA. It was so exciting when they beat the Winner's Circle, especially in a good time. Dick Clark was associated with the daytime versions; John Davidson briefly took over $100,000 in 1991. 

Several attempts at revivals didn't do nearly as well. At least three pilots (one with Chuck Woolery) that made radical changes to the format failed to sell in the late 90's. The Donny Osmond-hosted Pyramid was hit with the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire bug, with cheap and dull industrial neon sets. It being a PAX TV show is probably the reason it dropped down to $10,000 as it's highest offering. Osmond's attempt at excitement seemed forced, and all the bonuses were dropped but a "Secret Six" board. Despite all this, the show wound up being a two-year hit for PAX. Another revival on Game Show Network, The Pyramid, barely lasted three months in late 2012. 

Pyramid didn't really find its groove again until 2016, when it was picked up by ABC as part of their "Summer Fun & Games" series of game shows. Once again titled $100,000 Pyramid, it's played pretty much the same as before. Only change is, it's now an hour, with two full games with two different sets of celebrities playing. The episode I have here features current game show hosts Ken Jennings, RuPaul, and Ross Matthews. 

Climb to the top of the Pyramid with the first 50 years of one of the most beloved game show franchises! (Sorry for the lousy tape on $10,000, but episodes from the show's early years are rare. Bob Stewart Productions would continue erasing tapes into the early 80's, and the late 70's syndicated $25,000 is just plain lost. And thanks to Wink Martindale for the debut episode of the original $100,000!)

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Rain and Magic

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola claims "I am Completely Listening and Also Hearing," but she doesn't listen to the instructions when Charlie reads the manual on how to build their new puppet show, and it falls apart. That's not the only time Lola doesn't listen. She forgets her umbrella and gets wet, gets paint on her elephant puppet, and loses his ear. She finally gets the message about the importance of listening to directions when she mishears the time for a friend's party and misses it. She's now ready to listen to her brother and put the puppet show together the right way.

Worked on writing for a little bit before work. Richard emerges from the cave with his pony Esmerelda just outside of town. He studies the maps on the way home and realizes they're of the area and the mines around the caves. They could be useful for him if he's going to stop the Wild Rider Gang without losing his life like the previous sheriff...

I would have been calling Uber, even if my ankle was fine. The weather was terrible today. It rained off and on all day. Thankfully, it was in a lull when I went to and from work. Left a little bit early to pick up lunch; they arrived in 4 minutes. Took 9 minutes to get home late and after another storm.

Work was a royal pain in the rear. If we weren't dead, we were busy with long lines and no help. At least ten people either went on vacation, quit, or decided they'd rather focus on their studies or spring break. I couldn't do anything right, especially in the express line. I just get so nervous! I never know what people are going to say or do, and I just can't get the right words to come out of my mouth. It's so embarrassing. 

Not happy with my schedule this week, either. In good news, more hours and two days off in a row, one for my physical check-up. In frustrating news, I have two 8 hour days and three late days, none of which I'm looking forward to. I'd give anything for a more consistent schedule!

Went straight upstairs and into dinner after I got home. Finished the night with the second My Little Pony: The Movie from 2017. I go further into the film based around the Pony series Friendship Is Magic at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

School Daze

Awoke to a gray, dreary morning, with pouring rain out my window. Maybe it's just as well that Karen texted me and said she had to do something at home and would be late arriving. It gave me the chance to eat breakfast and watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel is excited for his baby sister to experience "Margaret's First Chime Time" and see all the timepieces in the Clock Factory go off at once. On the way, they learn about what other families do together. They share their "Tiger Family Fun" with Lady Elaine, Miss Elaina, and Music Man Stan when they encounter them picking fruit at the Enchanted Garden. 

Karen didn't pick me up until 9:30, but maybe it's just as well. The rain had gentled down to a shower by then. We mainly took the highway past Deptford and Woodbury. With this being just after the morning rush hour, this was pretty busy. We arrived at the very full parking lot of Rowan University's gym around a little after 10 AM. The parking lot was so full, we took a cute little golf cart-like jitney to the main building. 

Turns out I was right that this was primarily for healthcare. The majority of the businesses were either local hospitals or local assisted living companies. That doesn't mean this was a washout (pardon the pun with the weather). We walked around together for nearly an hour. Karen spied the owner of several county newspapers; I saw the owner of I read the latter on a fairly regular basis, mainly for their coverage of newly-opening local businesses. Talked to both and learned that they do need freelance writers. Might consider it as a side business. I also saw several local banks, Walgreens, Shop Rite, Goodwill, two construction companies, three steel mills, and four warehouse businesses. 

After Karen wandered around to talk to businesses for other clients, I looked around on my own. It was so busy, and there were just so many people and so many booths! It took me over a half-hour to build up the confidence, but I did talk to the Gloucester County Library and Comcast. The former said there were only assistant librarian jobs open to people without library masters degrees; the latter nicely said to check their website for openings. 

Almost every booth gave away a little something. Most of them at least had pens, tote bags, and jars or baskets of candy. Others had string backpacks, small foam balls, snacks, pencils, travel chargers, water bottles, and note pads. I must have grabbed at least one thing from nearly every booth. Karen says they want to give all this away; it beats having to carry it back to headquarters. 

Karen took over the Abilities Solutions booth for a while around 11 AM, so I sat down in a narrow opening near the entrance to the men's locker room to sip a cup of hot tea and get organized. I ended up with twenty pens (counting a pack with three pens and a box with two), ten tote bags of various sizes, a large chip clip and a jar opener pad from Citizen's Bank, a foam ball from Comcast, a foam green light, a soft pretzel from a local snack food company, two granola bars, three note pads, a note book, a folder from Abilities Solutions with information on their programs, three mini-bottles of water (four if you count the one I drank earlier), a bag of microwaveable popcorn, a gel compress for tired eyes, a Chapstick, and a flyer for a newspaper job fair at the Cherry Hill Mall on May 10th. Grabbed two muffins from the refreshment stand for lunch later and a beautiful selection of purple and pink carnations for Karen and a friend from a florist who gave away samples of her wares.

They finally started to wind down around noon. We stepped outside to discover the rain had slowed, too. It still fell, but not heavily. The jitney was nowhere in sight, but it turns out we probably didn't need it, anyway. We got back to Karen's car in less than ten minutes and were barely damp. 

Karen did stop at BJ's next to the Target in Deptford on the way home to get gas. Otherwise, we went back the way we came, on an even-busier highway. She finally pulled up around 12:30; I gave my friend the carnations, then headed for my rooms.

(And I'll be honest - right now, I'm more and more considering going back to school. I need to get a better job, not only to make money, but to boost my confidence. I don't belong in retail. It isn't appropriate for my personality or what I want to do. It does seem that what I want to do requires more training...but I'm worried about the cost and how long it'll take. I need to do more research.)

Had the muffins and a blood orange for lunch while watching Match Game '76. Isobel Sanford and songwriter Marvin Hamlisch joined in for the first week of the new year. Richard fusses at Gene over his tie being over his vest in the opening. The others have more trouble with "__ Port" in the Head-to-Head. Hal "Barnaby Miller" Linden and his wife Fran won Tattletales, over songwriter Sammy Cahn and his wife Tita and Scoey and Claire Mitchelll. 

I got an early start this morning, so I went down for a nap around 1:30. Tried to, anyway. I was too excited to do much more than doze. I got up around 3:30 and was still tired. 

Checked out Comcast and briefly, then worked on writing for a while. Richard looks over the maps, which turn out to be of the entire area. They detail the mines in particular, showing where all of the local strikes were; they also outline the local ranches. He ends up following his horse through an opening in the cliff, coming out of a cave on the other side near several ranches.

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I ate. They're back up to the first of two weeks to feature Oscar-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis, along with Robert Pine, Dick Martin, and Betty White. Gene has to fix the contestant's chair in the first episode, In the second, Gene passes out when a contestant takes too long answering in the second episode, then they all welcome a young Kirstie Alley, long before her stardom on Cheers, to the show. 

Took a shower, then finished the night with The Love Boat at Paramount Plus. In the seventh season, it's "Long Time, No See" for the owner of a carnival Julie's putting on for the cruise (Howard Keel) and the pretty girl who has caught his eye (Jan Smithens). But there's a lot more to this young lady than he thinks. A comedy team (Michael Lembeck and Dean Butler) learn about the "Bear Essance" when they nearly let a pretty girl (Randi Oakes) come between them, and the bear in their act gets loose. The carnival's fortune teller (Crystal Bernard) is worried that it's all "Kisses and Makeup" when her new husband (Christopher Meyer) is shocked by what she looks like without tons of makeup and a wig. They both finally realize that she's much happier dressing like herself. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thunder In the Spring

Started off the morning with breakfast and Sheriff Callie's Wild West. Peck's worried that he's never stopped a bandit before. Callie holds "Peck's Deputy Drill" and poses as a bandit with Toby to help him practice. Things get a lot more real when actual bandits rob the bank, and Peck is the only one who can stop them. Priscilla needs "A Fistful of Flowers" to make her cousin Stinky feel better. Despite her fear of mud and Callie's fear of getting wet, they brave a storm to drive into Gully Washer Canyon to pick the only Get Well Flowers left for miles around.

To my disappointment, the job fair at Rowan tomorrow is mostly for healthcare companies. I'm not really interested in working for healthcare companies. I may just end up asking questions about the school itself. They don't have library sciences, but they do have other courses that may interest me, including for television studios, writing, and data science. 

Worked on writing for an hour next. Richard hears the cries of coyotes coming closer. He decides he doesn't have much of a choice and pulls Esmerelda into the cave entrance...which turns out to lead into the mountain...

Broke for a quick lunch at 1 PM, then headed out. I would have been taking Uber even if my ankle was fine. It rained all morning, and other than it was in the upper 60's, the weather still didn't seem promising when the lady arrived. It took me 7 minutes to get a ride there and 9 to get back, not bad given the latter was during the tail end of rush hour.

Work was slightly busier than yesterday, possibly due to the weather. We had a few problems, not with cards this time, but with people not checking the right prices before they bought something. I'm tired of hearing about the high prices, too. I still can't do anything about inflation. I was very happy when my relief was on time and I was able to get out of there.

Since I'm off tomorrow with other plans, I did my grocery shopping today. I was hoping to find less sugary granola bars. I ended up with the Special K fruit bars, which are on sale. Grabbed blood oranges and those tiny little shortbread cookies from the bakery. The cranberry trail mix is the only generic Acme fruit and nut bag with just dried fruit and nuts, no candy or chocolate-coated pieces added. Bought a Propel for a drink.

After I got home, I watched Match Game '74 while eating dinner. Towards the end of the episode, Allen Ludden had such a bad answer to a question, Gene handed it to Betty White in the audience to tear up...and later on, Fannie Flagg gave Betty her answer, too. 

Finished the night with Muscle Beach Party. I go further into the second movie in the Beach Party series at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Oh, and by the way, though it was actually sunny when I left work, the clouds returned shortly afterwards. We had a rather nasty storm around 9 PM, and while the noise is long gone, it's rained off and on ever since. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Way Out West

Began the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Space Captain Donald" is very angry when Minnie accidentally bounces Pluto's ball clear to the moon, and he can't have his turn to bounce it. He leads the expedition to retrieve it from Moon dwellers Pete, Chip, and Dale.

Looked up colleges in New Jersey with library science degrees. Stockton is actually one of the few universities in New Jersey that doesn't have it. As a teen, I also considered Montclair and Monmouth up north, and the almost-as-close College of New Jersey in Trenton. College of New Jersey wound up being my second choice when the two North Jersey M schools proved too far to get  home on the weekends and too expensive. There's also Rampapo, William Patterson, and Rutgers New Brunswick. 

Switched to writing around 12:30. Richard quickly hides himself and Esmerelda in the shack. From the outside, it looks barely big enough for the two of them. When he takes a look around, he discovers old maps of the area, some abandoned cloth and mining equipment...and a hole in the back of the cliff...

Broke for lunch at 2 PM. Ate and got ready for work while watching Charlie & Lola. Lola wonders "But Where Completely Are We?" when Charlie takes her "exploring" in the back yard. It's exciting at first, as they set up a tent and imagine they're in the jungle...but then it starts raining. Lola wants to go in, but Charlie would rather keep exploring. They finally come up with a dry solution that makes them both happy.

No trouble getting to or from work today. The guy going to the Acme picked me up in 8 minutes; the one coming home got me in 6. In the case of the latter, I was even able to admire a lovely blue and pink sunset. 

As it turned out, I could have been infinitely late. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. It didn't even really pick up much during rush hour. We even had plenty of help. It's the middle of the week and the middle of a month without much going on to begin with besides March Madness. Not to mention, there was the gorgeous, sunny, 60-degree weather. It was too nice for shopping. The only reason I was almost late getting out was because no one seemed to know whether I had a relief or not. The other guy went in for the lady in express. 

Went straight home and into Match Game Syndicated. Gene initially isn't impressed by how the audience responds to a question about how a mean eye doctor put his patient's contact lenses in, until they nearly yell his ear off! Meanwhile, Charles complains about the bell that sounds when they get an answer right sounding different, the others try to figure out "__ Jump" in the Audience Match, and Judy Landers does much better than you might think with "__ Gravy" in the Head-to-Head. Richard Paul gets to play a round with the audience to see which of them can pick up fifty dollars.

Finished out the night online with another B-western, The Phantom Rancher. Ken Mitchell (Ken Mayard) comes home to his uncle's ranch, only to find his uncle dead under mysterious circumstances. Most of the county believes his uncle tried to driver farmers off their land, but it was really the work of the respected Collins (Ted Adams). The farmers, including pretty Ann Markham (Dorothy Short), believe that since his uncle was driving people off his land, he must be, too. Ken seemingly joins Collins and his gang, but he really dresses in a mask and cape and calls himself The Phantom Rancher to expose Collins and sabotage his plans.

An interesting Zorro-as-a-cowboy story is brought down by the cheap production and Mayard being a bit over-the-hill for this sort of swashbuckling. Harry Harvey as Joe, the old codger foreman for Ann, has his moments, but this is mostly interesting to those of you who love masked hero stories like me. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Signs of Spring

Started off the morning with breakfast and Match Game '75. Started off with the tail end of that year's Christmas Eve episode. The gentleman who owns a hotel in Encino (prompting many jokes from Brett and Gene) does equally well with "G.I __" in the Audience Match. Richard's then-girlfriend Jody Donovan sits next to him in the ingenue seat in the next episode...and he's not too happy when Gene plants that "new kid on the block" kiss on her!

Worked on looking up library science programs in New Jersey for the next hour. My two biggest concerns are the time and the cost. I don't want to spend 20 years paying for school again, and I don't want to spend four years taking classes and living in an attic. New Jersey colleges are expensive. And if I do take classes, they have to be useful ones that will lead me to landing a decent job, not something that won't do anything for me. 

At least counseling went better. Mrs. Stahl likes that Karen is taking it slow. I just wish I knew where to go next. I need a job, but I also need to find a home of my own, and I don't even know where I really want to live. I want to be some kind of librarian, curator, or archivist, but how can I become those things, take those classes, get out of the Acme, and still buy a small dwelling of my own? 

At least some things are going well. I'm considering taking a weekend off to visit my mom, brother, his wife, and their baby daughter down in Virginia sometime this summer. Maybe. It's not the train ride that concerns me. It's finding a hotel. They live in a tiny apartment, and I doubt they have room for visitors. I haven't stayed in a hotel since I went up to Queens in 2001 for a Remember WENN convention. 

And I'm glad I bought Kit. Collecting for the American Girl dolls makes me happy. Just seeing the dolls on their bench when I get home always cheers me up. I've been wanting to buy her for years, but I never got to it until now. I'm glad I found Barbara Jean last year, too. I've wanted a vintage 18-20 inch 50's or 60's doll to be an older sister to the AGs for years. 

After we made our appointment and I finally got off the computer, I had lunch while watching Sheriff Callie's Wild West. Nice and Friendly Corners is usually too nice and friendly for bad guys, but there were three especially nasty ones in these episodes. "How the Water Was Won" has Sheriff Callie trading herself for Peck, Toby, and Mr. Dillow when they try to stop Jolene and Jethro Beaver from damming up the creek and forcing them to give up their gold. It's up to ever-fearful Mr. Dillow to come up with the best way to save Callie and catch those bandits. It's "Double Trouble" when Tricky Travis dresses himself as bandit Wildcat McGraw in order to get the reward. He seriously regrets it when McGraw thinks he's a real wildcat and decides to make him his new partner!

It was also too nice to sit inside and do nothing, despite my sore ankle. The weather was sunny, breezy, and in the lower 60's. I finally went to a short walk to WaWa. They were surprisingly quiet for 4:30 in the afternoon. I had no trouble buying a soft pretzel and a small chocolate banana smoothie. 

There's signs of spring all over the neighborhood. Every lawn sports fresh, new green grass. Brilliant yellow daffodils waved in gardens. Houses had flowery or Easter wreathes on their doors, or Sixers and Phillies banners flapping on poles or wires. I saw a family with small children and a large, happy dog playing in the sunshine as I passed them. 

Went straight into writing and resting my ankle when I got home. Richard and Esmerelda hide in a small shack leaning against a cliff side. It's little more than three walls and a roof against the cut rock side, but it's shelter, and large enough for Esmerelda. There's even a small cave in the back, with maps to the mines that must have originally belonged to the owner of the shack.

Broke for dinner at 7. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I worked on crocheting and ate dinner. I turned it on just in time to see a lovable older British woman who wrote poetry win the round. The others try to help her with "__ Jackson," but it doesn't work out so well. Patty Duke gets the last word - or hand sign - in the next episode when Brett and Debralee toss out their dueling Mae West impressions on a question. They try to get Patty to read the question too, so she does - in sign language, which she was fluent in after doing The Miracle Worker twice. 

Finished the night online celebrating spring break season with Where the Boys Are. I go further into the original 1960 version of this seminal comedy-drama about four young women whose lives change while on their vacation in Ft. Lauderdale at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Younger Than Springtime

Got a faster start than anticipated this morning! I heard the alarm, opened my eyes, closed them for five minutes...and then it was a half-hour later. I finished Wings of the Falcon, had breakfast, wrote in my journal, and rushed to get changed. Called Uber quickly...and of course, they took almost 14 minutes to arrive. I was almost late. 

That's the worst thing that happened all day, other than my break was slightly late. We were on-and-off quiet for most of the afternoon. We had plenty of help for a lot of the time, too. I spent most of the time standing around on one foot, lining up the soda in the coolers, and putting away candy best I could. It died so quickly by 5, I was able to shut down with no relief and no need for one. 

Had far less trouble getting home than I did coming to work. Got a driver in 3 minutes, and he hit no traffic. I arrived home in less than five. The absolutely gorgeous weather may have played into that and our lack of customers today. It was sunny and cloudless, breezy but not too hot or too cold for the first day of spring. 

When I got in, I changed and went straight into something I'd been putting off for a while - making the bed. I sleep under six blankets, and they were starting to slide off. I usually just spread out the sheet and the comforter and fold up the rest, but this time, I spread them all out but the huge magenta plush blanket. That one is so big, it would have overwhelmed the bed and possibly knocked my two stuffed My Little Ponies off again. (I need to find a better place for them. They're on the edge of the ledge between the bed and the wall, and Bow Tie in particular keeps tumbling off.)

Listened to my Tune Up for Spring album while I worked. This is one of the seasonal-themed albums Columbia put out in the 60's. It sticks with the spring theme a little bit better than my similar Music of Spring album does. I like the bouncy instrumental Ray Conniff Orchestra version of "Younger Than Springtime" that features on both records. Other good songs include Al Jolson's iconic version of "April Showers," Jo Stafford's lovely "I'll Remember April," and two from Polly Bergen, "Spring Is Here" and "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year." 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '74 at 6:30. Richard ran into some major trouble during the Head-to-Head when his answer to "__ Canyon" wasn't at all what the audience or the contestant...or probably anyone outside of the Los Angeles area...expected. Though Richard had been in America for over a decade by that point, he was still learning about North American geography. (Richard and the others would refer to this incident several times over the next few years whenever he gave a particularly bad answer.) 

(Oh, and according to the commercial tonight, it looks like Buzzr's next big week-long marathon will have a college theme for spring break. It'll also make use of several shows that don't turn up on their schedule that often anymore, like Sale of the Century and the 1988 Family Feud. It's even going to run the week of my birthday! I'll absolutely be looking forward to that one.)

Finished the night on YouTube celebrating the official start of spring with some fond memories. In the 1980's, the arrival of spring meant the debut of new specials that were basically advertisements for either a brand-new toy line or additions to an existing line. For all the mercenary nature and obvious cheapness of these programs, my sisters and I loved the whimsical story lines and gentle characters. They're also a reminder of forgotten or lesser-known toy lines. For every Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears that are still well-known today, there's a Herself the Elf that's remembered by collectors and nostalgia fans, or a Peppermint Rose even they've forgotten.

The Charmkins holds a special place in my heart. We didn't have the tiny sweet-smelling jewelry charm toys, but the video was one of the first two movies we ever rented, and we'd take it out many times over the years. I'd never forgotten the story of how Brown-Eyed Susan and Willie Winkie rescued dainty ballerina Lady Slipper from the evil Thorn. This is also one of the few specials to have something like an anti-hero in mischievous Poison Ivy, who delighted in turning her friends into anything she wanted (and was adorably played by Sally Struthers to boot). 

(Incidentally, the other movie we rented with Charmkins was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which we'd eventually tape off cable.) 

Peppermint Rose came out in syndication in 1993, which was a bit late in the day for this sort of frilly fantasy. I kind of regret that these didn't go over better. I remember seeing the dolls in stores, and they were really lovely in their lacy Victorian striped bloomer dresses and huge flowered Blossom hats. This tale of a pre-teen who is brought to a destroyed land to rescue a magical rosebush from an angry queen beetle is actually pretty fun. Rose starts out as an annoying kid who thinks she can solve everything by handing someone a check; her delight in doing things herself for the first time is genuinely sweet. 

I suspect this and fellow late-comers PJ Sparkles and the stuffed animal line The Yum Yums were really the last of their kind. The Yum Yums was actually a big enough deal to turn up rather surprisingly and without fanfare on CBS during a Saturday morning in the summer of 1990. (And although they never made much of a splash in the US, they apparently remain popular in Japan to this day.) 

If you also don't remember a spring without sweet-smelling kitties, nature-loving elves, and rapping teens in Victorian bloomers, here's a fruit cart load of fond memories for you! 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Wheels, Letters, and Lingos

Started the morning with breakfast and writing. Richard can barely hold on when Esmerelda bolts. She literally heads for the hills, winding up in a decaying shack leaning against a cliff. Richard manages to calm her there...and make an even bigger discovery...

Broke to call Uber. Had a far easier time getting them at noon, when they came in 6 minutes. It took them 12 minutes to arrive after 7. At any rate, they both got me where I was going and avoided traffic. At least the weather could have been worse. It was windy and the lower-mid 40's, probably about what it should be in late March. It was also sunny, without a cloud in the sky.

Work was surprisingly off-and-on busy for a Sunday. I expected it to be busier, but I guess it's still a little early for people to be thinking of Easter and Passover dinner, and there's not much else going on besides March Madness. We'll probably be seeing more of that the week after this one. I did get really frustrated with myself a few times and I wasn't happy that I got stuck in express again, but other than that, there were no problems.

Went upstairs and into finishing that chicken cheesesteak from yesterday for dinner while watching game shows featuring Chuck Woolery, whose birthday was Thursday. Woolery is a bit controversial today due to some political remarks he made online, but most people know him as one of the longest-running game show hosts. His first appearance in the genre was with his then-wife Jo Ann Pflug on an early episode of Tattletales, when he was still mainly a country singer. Too bad they divorced in 1980, because they were really very funny here, especially against long-married couples Betty White and Allen Ludden and Bill and Ann Cullen.

Merv Griffith liked what he saw of Woolery on The Tonight Show and hired him to host his new game Wheel of Fortune. Woolery remained with the show from its beginning in 1975 until 1981, when he left in a contract dispute. Sadly, not much of his run (and the early years of his successor Pat Sajak) remains today. Griffith continued wiping tapes into the mid-80's. I managed to dig up two episodes, part of a tournament of champions in 1976 and one of his last shows in 1981.

Woolery appeared on other people's shows, too. He joined fellow game show legend Arlene Francis on a very funny week of The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in June 1984. He honestly didn't do too badly on either one.

After leaving Wheel, Woolery bounced back two years later with another word-based game, Scrabble. This version of the board game has contestants trying to "build" on a crossword-style letter on a playing field. Each word is accompanied by a clue that helps the contestants solve it. The contestant who had control could either guess it, or draw two tiles from a "rack." They're shown on screen, and the contestants have to play one letter. Once they guess, they win $500. The last games were the Scrabble Sprint, where the contestants call letters on a rack to guess words thrown up quickly, and later, the Bonus Sprint.

Scrabble was a five-year hit on NBC, outlasting several of their other hit shows, including Sale of the Century and Super Password. It proved so popular, it briefly returned in 1993, once again with Woolery. 

He went over even better on Love Connection.  It's basically The Dating Game if it allowed its couples to keep choosing mates and see what they pick. I think it's a snooze fest, but it must have had its fans. It was a huge success for syndication, running from 1983 to 1994 and becoming one of the longest-running game shows in the US. 

Woolery helmed one of the more blatant Who Wants to Be a Millionaire clones, Greed, in 2000. A team of six contestants must choose the correct answer to a trivia question from four options. The "captain" of the group then decides if he thinks their choice is right. If he rejects it, they split the money. If it's right, they all get it. If he's wrong, they're out of the game. 

Honestly not bad. Lots of suspense and challenging game play here. Despite its popularity, it ran afoul of executives on Fox who hated reality shows and wanted to focus on scripted programming that would appeal to younger audiences.

Woolery's last major hit show to date was the first Lingo on Game Show Network. This is more like a cross between Scrabble and Bingo. Instead of calling numbers for the card, teams have to call letters and see what words they form. Lingo began as a syndicated show that barely lasted a year in 1987. It became a four-year hit for Game Show Network, and one that many young people who grew up in the early 2000's remember fondly. (It was so well-remembered, it would turn up on Game Show Network again in 2011, and there's a revival starring RuPaul currently playing on CBS.)

Spin wheels, make love connections, and fill boards with letters with this southern good ol' boy song man! 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Walking On Sunshine

Slept in this morning and started things off with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Dan's frustrated when he plays bean bag toss with his friend Jodi and can't get it in the basket. Jodi and his mother encourage him to keep trying until he gets close. Likewise, "Jodi Tries Ballet," and isn't nearly as good at it as her friends. Henrietta helps her get better. "Daniel Tries Something New With Grandpere," a game where he uses a magnet tied to a fishing pole to catch stars on metal paper clips. He has a hard time with it at first, but he eventually gets the hang of it. 

Did a few chores around the rooms while I worked. I knew I had a couple of Kit's outfits around. Molly had her original blue School Outfit and her cheery yellow Floral Print Dress. She originally had her lavender "Meet" outfit, but I gave it to Barbara Jean. Whitney originally wore her pink Candy Making Dress for Easter, but I like her better in the pastel polka-dot dress I found on eBay. Whitney never wears Rebecca's School Outfit with the blue and black cardigan anymore either, so I gave that to Kit as a cold-weather school outfit. 

After I'd dug out Kit's things, I went back into the other closet for the box of spring decorations. It was time to take down the St. Patrick's Day things and put up most of what I have for Easter. I did manage to find a place for a few cardboard hangings. The vintage-looking artwork of the duck and bunny with the eggs and ribbons and the bunny in front of the house watering her garden went on my bedroom door. The more modern Easter bunny and chick are on the window. 

Flora the rolly-polly toy bunny and Freddy the frog went on one of the long IKEA shelves. The other has a stuffed Build-a-Bear chick, the nifty Sees Chocolates box my mother sent for Easter in 2020, a toy chick with long legs, and a lop-eared calico bunny I found at a yard sale. The Easter Beanie Babies, plush Peeps, and dark chocolate-scented bunny went on shelves in the living room. The only garland that went up was the one with the bright-painted eggs tied to raffia Mom made in the 90's; one of the Mylar garlands surrounds the TV. The porcelain bunny figures flank the TV set.

Watched game shows on Buzzr while I worked. Dorothy was finally defeated on Match Game '75 by a cheerful young man with sunglasses and a wide white smile. Richard was delighted to give him the best answer on "Hook __" in the Audience Match, but had less luck with "Virginia __" on the Head-to-Head. The challenger didn't do as well figuring out what a doctor brings home and leaves on his wife's pillow. 

The second episode brought in a sweet but super-nervous contestant who kept drumming her platform-heeled feet on the shag carpeting and crying. Poor thing cried so much, she could barely answer her questions. Everyone did their best to joke with her and make her feel better.

Let it move onto Tattletales as I put the bins with the decorations away. This time, we had gossip queen Rona Barrett and her husband Bill Trowbridge, Pat Harrington and his very sensible wife Marge, and Adrienne Barbeau and her then-boyfriend Michael Malone. While everyone missed several questions, it was the unmarried couple who did the best. Adrienne and Michael got a big question in the end that let them pull ahead and win the game for the red section.

Headed out shortly after the show ended. I wanted to test my ankle with a few small errands in the neighborhood. First stop was the book kiosk near the Lutheran Church to drop off two novels I didn't want. After that, I made a quick run to Dollar General for electrolyte drink mix and cards for Mom's birthday on Monday and Rose's on April 7th. I forgot the gift card for Mom at home, so I went back, got her card together, dropped off the drink mix, and then went down the street to drop her card in the mail box. 

Had lunch two blocks down at Amato Bros. This combination bar, deli, and Italian restaurant is on a busy section of the White Horse Pike across from Family Dollar and Aunt Berta's and next to Dunkin' Donuts. Despite it being past quarter of 3, they were pretty busy when I arrived. I've had their "Cousin Angelo's Chicken Steak" before. It's chopped chicken with bruchetta, sauteed broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone on a hoagie roll. Yum! Messy - I ended up eating the first half with a fork - and huge, but very tasty. The basket of wavy fries she brought was huge, too. I couldn't eat the other half of the sandwich and took it home with me.

Headed to Dunkin's next to honor their official re-opening. Tried their Frozen Matcha Latte. It's what it sounds like - frozen matcha tea with milk. As such, it's not bad. It's much less sweet than a Coolatta, with an earthy flavor.

I really went out today because it was too nice to stay inside. Though it was windy, it was also fairly warm, in the lower 50's. The sun peeked behind fluffy white clouds, and the air felt fresh and clear with the scent of daffodils and new grass.

Tried to work on writing when I got home, but I really got caught up in reading research. Richard's very nervous when he hears coyotes on the mesa...and so does his mare Esmerelda. She bolts, taking him down to the mines, where a little shack leans precariously against a desert cliffside...

Broke for dinner at 7. Finished the night with leftovers and My Little Pony: The Movie. I go further into the original 1986 version of this beloved franchise at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Tales of Old Ireland

Top o' the evenin' to ye! I started off my St. Patrick's Day with the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology. They only have one piece for the holiday, but it's a biography of St. Patrick himself. I didn't know much about him until I read that. 

After I wrote in my journal, I moved on to breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When "Minnie's Rainbow" appears at the Clubhouse, she and the others follow it to see where it leads. Donald's more interested in that famous pot of gold. Leprechaun Pete plays every trick he can think of to keep them from his precious gold!

Doc McStuffins celebrates the holiday with "A St. Patrick's Day Dilemma" in the third season. She brings home a paper doll in an Irish step costume for the holiday. Fiona teaches the others step dancing, which inspires them to put on a St. Patrick's Day parade. Doc's brother Donny accidentally draws on Fiona's dress. Doc wants to change it, but Fiona's upset she can't wear it for the parade. Doc "cleans" it and admonishes Fiona in the importance of wearing clean clothing and keeping clean. Professor Hootsburgh is delighted when Gillian, a doll version of the legendary giant in her story, comes home with Doc. She's such a big toy, though, she keeps knocking everything over. Gillian nearly runs away until she makes "A Giant Save" and realizes it's not so bad to be a big girl.

Worked on writing for a while after breakfast. Richard gets turned around on the wide open prairies going home. He's hoping the horse knows her way home...until he hears coyotes growling awfully close-by...

Broke with enough time to change and grab everything for work. I had a harder time getting Uber, despite the continuing nice weather. They must have been busy with folks who imbibed slightly too much green beer and needed rides. It took me 14 minutes this morning and I was almost late arriving, 9 minutes tonight, and there was some traffic on the White Horse Pike both ways. 

Work was off-and-on busy, and that was with enough help for once. Considering I had a few grouches in the express lane, I wonder if a few people came straight from celebrating at Rexy's Bar and Applebee's and into shopping. Not everyone was feeling the effects. One lady burst into laughter at my Irish accent and said I was "a delight." 

Mixed feelings on my schedule next week. Slightly more hours...and also slightly longer and later hours, including a 7 hour day  until 7 PM on Sunday. I asked for Tuesday and Friday off for counseling and the job fair with Karen respectively.

Did some grocery shopping after I got my schedule. The granola bars weren't on as good of a sale this time, but I still wanted them; picked up two boxes. Grapes were on a good sale, so I also got two large containers of reds. Had online coupons for the Acme's generic bag of almonds. I originally wanted Irish soda bread for my St. Patrick's Day treat, but by the time I got off work, they were sold out. I went with a small box of Irish potatoes - a candy made of coconut and cream cheese rolled in cinnamon - that was on sale. Went back and bought Mom a gift card - her birthday is Monday.

Another box awaited me when I got home. I picked up the second version of Kit's Reporter Outfit released after American Girl started calling the historical characters BeForever. I'll probably get both of them eventually, but I'm going to wait on some of her older clothes until I see what gets released. This one is an adorable red and white polka dot skirt and vest over a white blouse with turquoise rickrack trim. It came with the felt cloche hat with the huge red bow from Kit's BeForever accessories. 

Went straight into Match Game '74 when I got home. This one ends with a question about what the Mission: Impossible crew would do if Brett was a part of that impossible mission. They have a harder time with "___ Johnson" in the Audience Match.

Since Buzzr is still repeating last week's Match Game Syndicated episodes, I returned to Match Game PM on YouTube.  There's technical difficulties in this early episode when the toaster slides out of Gene's reach during the second round, and he needs the contestants' help to retrieve it. Richard doesn't have much more luck with "Fine __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished off the holiday with a St. Patrick's Day double feature, starting with Darby O'Gill and the Little People at Disney Plus. Darby (Albert Sharpe) is the caretaker for wealthy Lord Fitzpatrick (Walter Fitzgerald) who spends most of his time chasing King Brian of the leprechauns (Jimmy O'Dea) and his pot of gold or regaling the men in the taverns with his tall tales. Tired of his neglect and aware of his advancing age, Fitzpatrick replaces him with the younger and more dedicated Michael McBride (Sean Connery). Darby begs Michael not to tell his pretty daughter Katie (Janet Munro) that she's about to lose her home in the caretaker's cottage. When Darby does finally trap Brian, he keeps him in a bag until he can make three wishes. He learns a lesson in what really means the most to him when Janet is hurt during a storm, and he'd give up a hundred pots of gold to keep her safe from the banshee!

Disney's charming take on Irish folklore is one of their better movies from the 50's. Spunky Munro makes a delightful couple with a young Sean Connery (who even sings, and rather well), while Sharpe and O'Dea have a blast playing off each other as the chatty old codger and the king of the legendary wee folk. Speaking of, the special effects remain darn good to this day. The leprechauns are integrated so seamlessly you think there's really tiny people dancing with Darby, and the banshee remains a truly frightening sight. 

Some violence, plenty of drinking, and that spooky ending with the banshee makes this for families with older kids and young teens who'll enjoy the romance and Darby's banter with Brian.

Left the leprechauns and fairy stories behind for a slightly more realistic take on Irish culture, The Quiet Man, at Paramount Plus. Sean Thornton (John Wayne) returns to the tiny village of Innisfree in County Mayo, Ireland to live a peaceful life in his family's ancestral cottage. Big Will Danaher (Victor McLaughlan) wishes he'd get out - he wanted the land for himself. Thornton's more interested in courting Will's fiery sister Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara). 

He does manage to win her, but things go south when Danaher learns they tricked him and the Widow Tilane (Mildred Natwick) has no interest in him. Danaher does finally let her have the furniture left to her by their mother, but not her dowry. Mary Kate is horrified Sean won't fight her brother for it. Sean has his reasons for not fighting...but when Mary Kate almost leaves him, he finally decides he's had enough. He faces down her bully of a brother in an epic donnybrook that gets so wild, half of Ireland comes to see it!

This love letter to Ireland and its people was a favorite of Wayne, O'Hara, and director John Ford. It was a real passion project of Ford's for years; he won one of his four Oscars for it. The stunning color cinematography of Ireland in all its emerald green shamrock glory also won. O'Hara and Wayne are backed by a terrific supporting cast that also includes Ward Bond as the local priest obsessed with catching a legendary fish, Barry Fitzgerald as the town's matchmaker, and Arthur Shields as the town's other priest. Though the treatment of Mary Kate and Irish stereotypes are slightly dated and once again, there's several brawls (including that huge fight in the end), this is mostly a delightful look at what happens when cultures based on older and newer traditions collide. 

(And interestingly, despite - or maybe because of - the mild stereotypes in these films, I've read that they're both wildly popular in Ireland.)

Tossed in one more animated short from the Looney Tunes. We return to the leprechauns for "The Wearin' of the Grin"...but these little fellows are far less benevolent than King Brian. They think Porky Pig is after their pot of gold and sentence him to wear green shoes that dance forever. Porky finds himself in a surrealistic Irish nightmare where he just can't seem to escape that emerald foot wear, no matter where he goes!

(Oh, and it was actually pretty nice this morning, breezy, sunny, and in the lower 60's. It clouded over by the time I got out of work, but the rain didn't arrive until I was long online and chatting with Lauren.) 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Try a Little Tenderness

Began the morning with breakfast and research on the computer. Rutgers is the closest college in New Jersey to have online library science classes. Otherwise, most of them are up north, including Ramapo and Thomas Edison State University. Online classes still apparently take 1 to 2 years. I was hoping to get a good job a lot sooner than that. How can I take classes and still make money to buy a place of my own? I really do need to buy myself a place soon.

Had no trouble with Uber today, maybe because the weather was too gorgeous for rides. It took 6 minutes going there and 9 going home during the height of rush hour. No problems or traffic either way. While I waited, I enjoyed soft sunshine and far warmer temperatures than we have been getting. It's still windy, but the wind's not as chilly.

The weather was also too gorgeous for grocery shopping. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. The only time it got busy was, of course, right as I finished. And of course, my relief was late, which meant I barely got out on time. Otherwise, no really major problems. 

Two packages on my steps when I got home went a long way towards making me feel better. My new Kit doll arrived, and she's gorgeous. I believe she's one of the more recent dolls made after the revamp of the historical line in 2014. Her hair is shorter, she's a bit thinner than many older dolls, and she has the most intense dark blue eyes. She may be as recent as between 2018 and 2020. She has a tiny marker spot on one hand and a V marker slash on the bottom of her foot, but they're not that noticeable and could probably be removed. Her blonde bob is messy, but that's not as much of a problem as it would be for dolls with longer hair like Samantha or Josefina. 

Good thing one of her outfits also turned up, as she came totally naked. I bought a naked one on purpose. I already have a few of her outfits I bought for Molly. Wanted to grab some of the outfits that were released with that revamp, which I suspect probably won't be included in Kit's re-release next month. The one that came today is her current "Meet" outfit, a teal sundress with bright magenta floral trim, cute flower buttons, and red shoes. One shoe looked like they were slightly chewed by an animal, though once again not enough to be a deal-breaker. Otherwise, the colors were gorgeous, and she looks cute in them. The teal leans enough to the green side to be perfect for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. 

Worked on writing for a while after I got Kit dressed and settled on the pale blue bench with my other dolls. Gene offers to take Richard home, as it's getting dark, but Richard insists he'll be fine on his own. Of course, he gets lost in the mesa, with howling coyotes all around him, and predators of the human variety, too...

Broke for dinner at 7. Since Buzzr's still running the same episodes they showed last week, I did another one from Match Game PM on YouTube.  The show opens with Gene discussing how Orson Bean and Patti Deutsch both have a son named Max. (Patti just had Max a few months before.) Charles finds a highly amusing way to answer "__ Poker" in the Head-to-Head!

Finished the night with The Commitments. I go further into this classic musical about an Irish soul band at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Working Harts

Got a quick start this morning! I woke up at 8, closed my eyes for a second...and opened them a half-hour later. I read Wings of the Falcon and wrote in my journal fast! Ironically, I heard from Karen as I was getting dressed. She had to take a long call and would be slightly late. That gave me just enough time for breakfast before she arrived. 

We talked at the Haddon Township Library again. We did apply for a job at a senior center in Philadelphia. On one hand, it's data entry work and sitting down, and it's not retail. On the other hand, the pay isn't any better than it is at the Acme, and I have a hard enough time dealing with the seniors at work. 

I really don't know where to go next. I want out of the Acme because I'm going crazy and it's getting me nowhere...but if I'm going to buy an apartment or condo, I need to make more money. I'm just brainstorming right now. This is one idea. Trying to go back to college is another, but I'm worried about the time involved there. I really want to go back to being on my own and get all my stuff out of storage, but most decent jobs need more education and experience.

Went online briefly to write when I got home. Gene also mentions at this point that every rancher in town is worried about the outlaws. Brett Somers, who runs the Bar K Ranch on her own, is afraid that she may be next in line to lose cattle after the bandits hit her neighbors. We also learn that she's currently boarding the local school teacher, Charles Nelson Reilly, who boards with his students when school is in session.

Broke for a quick lunch and Match Game '75 around noon. Ed Asner appeared on his first week, joined by singer and actress Julie London. Dorothy's still around, too, and gets help from them on "Better __" in the Audience Match.

Had no problems getting Uber going to work. They picked me up in under five minutes. Getting one home was more of a problem. The original one canceled, and the second one took 11 minutes. He really cheered me up going home, though, so much that I tipped him a little extra. 

Work didn't start out badly...but by 2 PM, the lines were down the aisles again. We just don't have enough help. And of course, twenty minutes from when I was supposed to be finished, I had someone with one of the government cards that give us trouble. I asked the head manager why we don't have any books for them. He told me the books for stores and people were eliminated when everything was moved on cards and online. People are supposed to read an app and know what they can and can't buy, and we aren't supposed to have anything to do with it...but each store has different things that can be bought, and not everyone reads the apps or reads them all the way.

And of course, one of my last customers argued that the large bowls of cut up watermelon were on sale when they weren't. I looked at the shelves of cut-up fruit twice and didn't see the sale. She kept insisting it was there. It must have been on another shelf, because she found it later. I never saw it. She was so upset, and it got me upset when I was already frustrated from the line that built up behind the man with the card. Despite everyone saying I had every right to be upset, I behaved badly and was very unprofessional. And because I had two large orders with no relief in a row, I got out ten minutes late.

At least the weather improved. While it remains gale-force windy, it was also sunny and much warmer, a more typical upper 40's. Not a cloud blew across the pale blue sky. 

I went straight upstairs and into leftovers and Match Game '74 when I got home. With the final two episodes of the previous week currently lost, they skipped ahead to the first appearance of Arte Johnson and the only week for Michelle Lee. This was also the last week before Charles Nelson Reilly left to direct a play on Broadway, and there were quite a few jokes about him, including his wearing a flowered bucket hat to cover his lack of toupee. 

Since Buzzr's still re-running the same episodes at the 7 PM hour that they did last week, I watched Hart to Hart. Prostitutes call on Jennifer, who did an article on prostitution in LA, to help them find out who killed one of them. The police aren't that interested in the case and don't want Jennifer and Johnathan meddling...but they learn it's a "Cop Out" when a vice squad officer is getting a little too close to his work.

Finished the night on Shout Factory TV with some much-needed Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is one of Joel's better early episodes. The Phantom Creeps is the first episode of a serial with Bela Lugosi playing a scientist who intends to become a dictator when his wife dies and his ideas are ignored. Jungle Goddess is a campy adventure with Steve Reeves as one of two hunters who find the white woman of the title (Wanda McKay) being worshipped by natives. He wants to escape with her, but his partner accidentally shot one of the natives, and they want retribution. Dated colonial references and stereotypes abound here. The kitsch value and future Superman Reeves' earnest performance actually gives this one a bit of a lift. And yes, jungle jokes and Superman references abound from the robots here. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Cast Your Fate to the Wind

Got a later start than planned and had just enough time for a few cold-weather cartoons on The Roku Channel before work. Started off with breakfast and Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Adventures. Raspberry Tart wants to have a spring fashion show and regatta at the water fountain, the same day construction worker Berrykin Bruce planned a big water show. Strawberry gets them to compromise, first alternating rehearsals, then putting their shows together. When the fountain freezes over during a sudden cold snap and their plans are put "On Ice," they figure out how to work with the weather they have.

Switched to the original My Little Pony and Friends as I got ready for work. Strawberry and the residents of Berry Bitty City aren't the only ones dealing with surprisingly chilly weather. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" when a blizzard hits Paradise Estate in the middle of summer. The ponies enjoy it at first, until a little prince penguin tells them the snow is a plot by his father the Penguin King to freeze the world and eliminate any creature who can't handle the cold. They join him on a quest to convince the cold-hearted bird that penguins aren't the only creatures who deserve to live.

Picked up Uber slightly early...and nearly got blown into the car. It never snowed here, it but it remains cloudy and gray. The wind howled like the angry Penguin King, and it was almost as cold. At least there was no trouble than Uber. The drivers both ways took about 10 minutes to arrive and less than 5 minutes to get me to and from work.

Picked up a few things at work I missed on Friday. Used a $2 bakery items online coupon to get Irish scones for lunch and try some caramel pecan shortbread cookies. Grabbed yogurt for breakfast and a $1.99 carton of Acme generic mint cookies and cream ice cream, too. 

Work was busy almost the entire afternoon. Not only are we coming up on St. Patrick's Day at the end of the week, but today was our Senior Discount Day. And of course, we had absolutely no help whatsoever. They had to shut down the deli around 4 PM because the entire afternoon and evening shift called. They called a guy from the bakery to come in so I could go home.

Went upstairs and into dinner when I got home. Watched the second half of the Match Game '74 episode as I ate. Some of the answers get pretty wild in this episode, including Charles' weird response to what a psychic gazes into instead of a crystal ball. Jimmie Walker is far happier with the top answer for "__ Times" in the Audience Match. (And it's too bad the last two episodes of this week are currently lost. The first three were really fun, and I believe this was the last week for ever-laughing Kaye Stevens.)

Since the 7 PM Buzzr Match Game is still running the same shows they had on last week, I opted to go way back and watch one of my favorite episodes of Match Game '73 on YouTube. McLean Stevenson turns up in his seat shirtless, claiming the other men wouldn't lend him any clothes. Gene gives him his jacket...then his other one when McLean claims the first is itchy. Richard makes a crack about having to get him to the Largo, a then-popular strip club in LA.

Finished the night after a shower with Paddy O'Day. I go further into this vehicle for 30's child star Jane Withers about an Irish girl who hooks up with Russian immigrants and a shy scholar when she arrives in America at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

Rainy Day Swashbucklers

After staying up way too late last night, I badly needed to sleep in today. Barely got up in time for the second half of Match Game '75. Came in just as Clifton Davis and Rona Barrett helped the regular figure out "__ Indians" in the Audience Match. There were also the varying answers to what a guy who loves pain uses to floss his teeth.

Had breakfast and crocheted during Tattletales. Chatty Orson Bean and his sensible wife Carolyn joined game show host Wink Martindale and his darling new bride Sandy and Whitman Mayo of Sanford and Son and his very funny wife Gail. Orson and Carolyn just couldn't get anything going and lost in both episodes, although they did better in the second one. Wink and Sandy got the win to themselves in the first episode; they shared with Whitman and Gail in the second. (And interestingly, both couples stayed together. Gail and Whitman were apparently married until his death in 2001; Wink and Sandy remain together to this day.) 

Went online and spent the next few hours job hunting. I wish education didn't take so long. I really badly want out of the Acme. It's driving me crazy and is doing nothing for me. I don't belong there. I could get health insurance at most major companies. I need to find a place of my own, too, and I need that NOW. I can't stay where I am forever. If I take classes, they have to be online, for less than a year, and will allow me to get a job and not be in debt. 

I looked at Indeed, too. I wonder if there are any local magazines who need a writer, or if a local book publishing house needs some kind of an assistant. I've seen some ideas, but...I'm just not sure. There's been ideas, but I don't know if they're right, or if I'd really be able to handle them. I can't even handle the job I have. 

Broke for lunch at 3:30 and browsed eBay. Apparently, American Girl is continuing to rerelease their older dolls. I'm guessing those "35th Anniversary" versions of the original five dolls did so well two years ago, they're going to eventually put out more with their original meet outfits and collections. 

Sounds like the next doll to re-emerge will be Kit sometime next month. Unlike Molly, she was never really retired, but almost everything of hers but the doll and her accessories and books were eliminated in 2019 to focus on newer characters. I've considered buying Kit for years. I love her story and can at least somewhat relate to it, being a writer myself whose family has also endured hard times. I almost bought her in 2014, but went with the more unique modern #58 instead. 

I found a naked Kit on eBay for under 40 in good shape who would work nicely. I already have her original meet outfit and a smattering of her dresses for Molly. Molly has plenty of her own clothes; I'm sure she won't mind giving up Kit's. I also picked up Kit's current meet outfit (which I suspect will be retired when they put out the new doll) and a really cute polka dot "reporter" dress American Girl put out in 2015 that I doubt will be among the outfits in the rerelease. I think AG is trying to distance itself from that big revamp 9 years ago that maybe made a few too many changes for their persnickety fan base. 

(Incidentally, this is the last doll I have any interest in or intention of buying. Claudie is the only other one I have any even mild interest in. Pretty as the Pearl Harbor doll Nanea is, I already have Molly for World War II and Wildwood doll Whitney for beach stuff. I appreciate Addy and Kaya's stories, but their time periods don't do much for me. Likewise, I created my own 50's, 60's, 70's, and 90's dolls in Whitney, Barbara Jean, Ariel, and Jessa respectively and don't really need Maryellen, Melody, Julie, or the twins. And I like 80's character Courtney's stories and her nifty accessories a lot more than the doll, which looks too much like other dolls I have.)

Tried to focus on writing after I ate. Richard's so busy thinking, he almost misses Gene telling him they're going to question the bandit they caught before they go to the saloon the next day. Richard wonders if there's a way to be a sheriff in the background, under Goodson and Ira's noses. Gene doesn't think that way's been invented yet...

Broke for dinner, then took forever to figure out what to watch. I was going to watch Match Game '79, but they played the exact same episodes they did on Friday. Ended up finishing the night with Swashbuckler. This 1976 pirate flick was an attempt to resurrect the epic nautical action movies that were popular up through the 50's. Robert Shaw played Irish buccaneer Ned Lynch,  who opposes the evil rule of tyrannical Caribbean governor Lord Durant (Peter Boyle). He has the previous governor arrested and his daughter Jane (Genevieve Bujold) thrown out of their home. Jane hires Lynch and his men to kill Durant, but they're ambushed and end up losing men and Jane instead. Now they have to band together with the local rebellion leader Cudjo (Geoffrey Holder) to rescue everyone and eliminate Durant and his silent lute-playing killer (Mark Baker).

Wow, was this fun. Shaw and James Earl Jones are having the most fun as the head pirates; Bujold is feisty and tough and can even take on Shaw in a pinch. Great cinematography in Mexico and on a real replica galleon, too. Yeah, the story is convoluted and the script isn't the best, but if you love a good campy pirate adventure like I do, you'll want to swing on over and check this one out. 

Oh, and it's just as well I was off with no plans today. It rained and blew hard almost the entire day. It was showering lightly when I took the trash out early this afternoon, but picked up later and has been off and on ever since.