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. 

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