Friday, May 26, 2023

With a Little Help from My Friends

I wanted to show Lauren Sailor Moon after she won that huge stuffed Luna on Wednesday, so we started off the day with an episode from the fourth season, "Drive to the Heavens: The Dream Car Fueled With Love." Ami jumps to conclusions when she sees Mamoru with a young widow. Turns out the woman was just repairing his car. She's working on a classic car she and her late husband were repairing before he died. Ami starts helping her, and she gets the Guardians involved. The widow is going to need more help than just car repair when she becomes Hawk Eye's next Target...and he poses as her husband to get her to give up her dream.

Jessa picked us up around quarter after 11. Our first stop of the day was the Barrington Antique Center. As I did the last two times I visited, I found something right away. A handsome teddy bear with thick velvety reddish-brown fur perched on a pretty painted children's rocking chair. Despite his beautiful fur making him look more like my collectible bears, he was only five dollars. I named him Velvet, after his super-soft and fluffy fur. I was the only one who found something here. We had to wait a little while longer for Jessa, who was sorting through bins upstairs.

The House of Fun is in Lawnside, only a few blocks down from the Antique Center. They were the same delightful jumble of vintage and collectible action figures, toys, board games, DVDs, books, comics, and stuffed animals as ever. Once again, I was the only one who came up with something. They had a nifty four-disc set featuring all of the Universal Flash Gordon serials, packaged with a small book explaining more about the comics and its characters.

Next up was lunch at the Deptford Mall Red Robin. I saw several families among the groups chattering away, making me wonder if some schools got off early for Memorial Day. We shared a tower of crispy onion rings. Lauren had sliders and a Raspberry Limeade. I had a half-tea, half-lemonade and a "Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger," meaning a basic cheeseburger with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and pickles. You get to choose your own cheese; I went with my favorite, provolone. Jessa had a "Tycoon Burger" with truffle oil and cheese and an iced tea. I should have asked for mine done medium rare instead of medium. It was slightly chewy. Otherwise, it came out just fine. Came with those yummy highly seasoned steak fries.

We walked around upstairs for a while after lunch. Jessa and I didn't find anything at Boscov's, but Lauren picked up a few shirts. Lauren and I found The Jetsons: The Complete Series on sale at FYE. I took advantage of a buy-one, get-one 50 percent off sale to also pick up the original Fletch with Chevy Chase. 

Deptford also has a Round 1 Arcade, replacing what used to be the top half of a Sears; we made our way there next. I spent the next hour running from spinning wheels to Mario Kart Deluxe (I somehow ended up playing Walugi) to Nerf Arcade to Pac Man. Had far more luck with Bust a Move than an updated, 3-D Centipede (I was never great at the original version, either) or an enormous Space Invaders. The skee ball machines are working again, so I had a couple of go-arounds with those. Did surprisingly well at the ring toss game. Tried the cranes many times, but never did win anything. 

Went back up front to check my card and see how many points I had...and got a bit of a shock when the card recharge machine showed over 6,400 points! I swear I had a little over 2,000 on Wednesday, and that was before I got Kiki. I checked three times on three different machines, and it was the same. I have no idea how I got all those points. I guess I did better at the ring toss than I thought. I chose a large, squishy pale blue stuffed dragon-like creature, a miniature video game console with 150 8 bit games, and a Felix the Cat key chain holder and still had at least 3,500 points left. I decided to save the rest for when I visit Lauren in September. 

(Incidentally, I named the squishy dragon BubBob, after Bub and Bob, the dragon brothers of Bubble Bobble and Bust a Move. He looks a lot like them. I couldn't remember which one was the blue one, so I named him after both. I looked it up later, by the way - Bob is the blue one.)

Checked out the department stores next while I got over my shock. I didn't find anything at Macy's, but Lauren came up with a few shirts. I grabbed a daffodil-yellow t-shirt to replace the one I got bleach on a year ago at JC Penney, but the other two didn't have as much luck there. 

Jessa suggested checking out a few thrift shops in her area next. The first one was basically the same deal as the Barrington Antique Center, a lot of little rooms and dealers all in one huge store. Unfortunately, we arrived 15 minutes before closing time. We all looked around quickly, but that wasn't a lot of time to do any real searching. 

We had more luck at the Woodbury Goodwill down the street. They still had an hour left, giving us plenty of time to look around. I did really well, too. Picked up a good pair of khakis with pockets for interviews (the ones I ran into at the department stores had no pockets) and a nice Lands End yellow print tank top, along with a CD set and two records I've wanted for years: 

Remembering the 60's (A four-disc Reader's Digest set of easy-listening 60's hits. Most of my 60's music tends towards harder rock and pop.) 

A Sondheim double feature - the original Broadway cast of A Little Night's Music and the original London cast of the revue Side By Side By Sondheim

(And the CD set was one of the tag colors of the day, so it was half price.)

Jessa finally dropped us off in Oaklyn around quarter after 7. We had a quick pannini dinner while watching Match Game Syndicated. None other than Dear Abby made her first appearance as a panelist in this episode, prompting a kiss from Gene she seemed to enjoy. Brett didn't do as well with "St. Louis __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished off the night online with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Robot Holocaust is one of the many post-apocalyptic movies of the 1980's. Robots staged a rebellion in the near future, enslaving half of mankind in the one remaining city. The other half live a hard-scrabble existence in the wastelands outside the city. The entire world is run by an entity known as the Dark One, whose followers include the fanatical Valaria (Angelika Jager). Neo (Norris Culf) and his clumsy robot sidekick join Deeja (Nadine Hart), one of the outsiders, to help rescue her scientist father from the Dark One and break his hold on the slaves. 

Hooo boy. This is the most obviously cheap 80's action flick I've ever seen. Of the actors, only Jager comes across as the nasty lady who will do anything at all for the Dark One. Everyone else is either bored or just doesn't want to be there, the dialogue is either stiff or way too silly, and the story is a mess of cliches seen in other sci-fi films of the time. Mainly recommended for fans of low-budget sci-fi films or those who like their films entertainingly bad. 

Checked my schedule when I got home. Surprisingly, not many hours next week. On one hand, we'll be past Memorial Day, and we're not usually busy the week after a major holiday. On the other hand, it is the beginning of the month, and there's a lot of events coming up, including Father's Day and high school graduations. I did ask for Thursday off for several appointments, but I got Wednesday off as well. At least I'll be able to rest and clean up the rooms from my vacation. 

Speaking of vacation, tomorrow is Collingswood's annual May Fair. Lauren is a big classic car fan, and I thought she'd get a kick out of the Car Show. Jessa mentioned there's a new retro arcade in Haddonfield, too. We'll check that out and have lunch there after we hit the Fair. 

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