Posts Tagged ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Our first TV set I remember as a kid was one of those big brown cabinet boxes on four legs. This one:

That’s me and Tracy sitting in front of it. All those times Mom told us not to sit too close to the TV, and just look at where they propped us. Anyway, I am apparently gorging myself on candy from my Easter basket, along with the candy in both mine and Tracy’s rolling-toy-basket-things, while eyeing the candy in her basket. Hmm. I wonder why my Mom was making Friday Night Casserole on Easter Sunday …

In later years, that TV had rabbit ears on top that one of us kids often had to adjust and hold for my Dad when he was trying to tune in “Hogan’s Heroes” or something. And of course, we had to get up from where we were sitting on the floor to turn the TV on, to switch between the three only channels or to turn it off.

Once we moved to Napa, we got cable which gave us a few more channels. They were mostly local stations from San Francisco or Oakland, and gave us a few more options, but we’d always complain that “there’s nothing on.”

When I was in Junior High, we got HBO, which was awesome, because we could watch actual movies that actually played in the theater recently – or not-so-recently as was often the case. Anyway, to get HBO, you had to attach an A-B switch thing to your TV. You’d have to switch to ‘B’ and put the TV on a certain channel to watch HBO. I remember watching the movie “It’s Alive” about 40 times, because back then it was scary-cool, and plus, it was about the only movie playing on HBO for about three solid months. The A-B switch was also a ‘lock box,’ so if our parents were heading out for the night, they could ‘lock’ the switch so we couldn’t turn the box to ‘B’ and watch R-rated movies on HBO. Or so they thought. Even with that lock thing on, we could push that switch hard enough towards ‘B’ to tune in HBO and catch moments of scary or racy flicks like “The Man Who Fell to Earth” and “The Omen.” Of course, we had to take turns standing by the TV to push that switch towards ‘B’ and hold it in place. But that was okay, we were kinda used to doing a similar task, the one where Dad needed us to keep our hand on the antenna so a local station wouldn’t fade in and out.

Yeah, TV was a lot of work back then. Plus, you couldn’t just grab a remote and scroll through 500 channels to find something to watch. You had to find the TV Guide, flip to the current day and then scan through the listings to find out what to watch. And if you wanted to watch your favorite sitcom, you had to make sure you could dedicate 30 entire minutes to being in front of the TV, at the exact time that show came on. And the thought of watching one of your favorite movies any time you wanted? Well, that was just make-believe.

Before I left for college, video cassettes came out, and holy crap, you could go to an actual store stocked full of all the latest movie releases on tape. Well, some of them. But you had to own your own video player, which back then cost about a million dollars. My Dad, being the tech-gadgety guy, obviously went out and bought one. But he bought a Beta player, which at the time was fancier than standard VHS, and there was a smaller choice of videos to choose from at the store. Like five.

If you didn’t have a video player, you could rent one at the store. In college, I remember going into the big, popular liquor store where you could pick up a six-pack of Coors Light or California Coolers, AND grab a video cassette player and a few movies. So you or one of your roommates had to put down like a hundred-dollar deposit to rent a big, bulky video cassette player, along with all the necessary cables and plugs. Then you hauled it home, hooked it up to the TV and watched your movie. Then the next day you had to unplug that thing and haul it back to the liquor store. Which was no big deal since you had to pick up more alcohol anyway.

These days you can find just about anything on TV to watch. Literally. Anything. But even with hundreds and hundreds of channels available, we still complain that “there’s nothing on.” Well, at least nothing we want to actually watch.

Jay and I finally stuck it to the Man and cancelled our Cable TV. Hundreds of useless channels at hundreds of dollars a month was getting old, and besides, all we ever do is watch our favorite shows that we’ve taped or binge-watch Netflix. So we switched to Hulu Live TV since it’s one of the few choices for our area that includes both ABC (gotta practice “Wheel of Fortune”) and the Golf Channel (Jay’s best friend) for a decent, low price. We’ll start binging our way through Hulu shows now, too, I imagine, but we’re still working through Netflix.

Last night we were binge-watching “Arrested Development” and the mom, Lucille, did something my Mom used to do; a fancy skill my sisters and I inherited. We’ve never seen anyone else do it. My mom would close her left eyelid completely–usually while laughing, or while saying or hearing something funny–and her right eyelid wouldn’t move. With this superpower, she could just drop her eyelid without affecting the other one. And my sisters and I can all do it. It’s kinda like winking, but when you wink, you have to scrunch your eyelid. And if you try to lower one eyelid, you can’t help but kinda squint the other one. (You just tried it, didn’t you …)  My sisters and I still do it, sometimes when talking about Mom, but usually when we just want to indicate “yeah, whatever.” It’s our secret code. Umm. It was our secret code.

Anyway, I saw Lucille do this last night on TV and I immediately wanted to show my sisters. Back in the day, I would’ve only been able to call them and tell them what I saw on TV … after waiting till after 7:00 pm to save on long-distance charges, and then walking into the kitchen to dial 10 digits into the rotary phone, three separate times, and hoping their lines weren’t busy, and that they were home to answer the phone. Today? I grabbed the remote, rewound the show, paused it on the frame were Lucille was dropping her eyelid, took a picture with my phone, then attached the pic to a group text and hit ‘Send.’

Gotta love modern technology; it helps us accomplish so many important things.


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I was going to skip a blog post this week, because I’m in mourning that the Wheelmobile passed me by last night on the way to my Dad’s place. It was heading south on Hwy 5 and we were heading north. Apparently my Dad said they were in a town about 40 minutes away last week or so for contestant auditions. And I didn’t know it. Because he didn’t know how much I want to be on that show. I kick a*s on that show — at least from the comfort of my own living room. And now I don’t know where they’re headed because you can’t find any information about the Wheelmobile’s next destination. At least I can’t. So my dream to be on Wheel of Fortune and win the million dollars is on hold again. Sigh.

But then I found some inspiration. Today I asked my Dad, “Hey, what’s fun to do in Coos Bay?” And he laughed. I guess not much. But Jay pulled up the local paper on his phone and discovered there were “zombies” invading the Coos Bay area today. And the article encouraged people to dress up as zombies or as zombie fighters and come on down to the city center for some fun. And the article encouraged the zombie fighters to bring weapons, well, toy weapons. Imagine an innocent Oregonian traveling through deserted downtown Coos Bay and spotting a few zombies limping along. A lot of Oregonians around here have gun racks in their trucks. Hence the title of this post.

I had to see this. Jay told me just to watch it unfold on the news tonight, but I don’t watch the news. We headed down there, and it turns out there was an actual Zombie Festival with a band and vendors and everything. These people love themselves some zombies:

And zombie-related appetizers:

I must admit, I do love a good finger food:

Ah…a zombie scooby snack:

I think I recognize this guy from the original “Night of the Living Dead”:

Here’s Papa Don at the Papa’s Doggs vendor, unknowingly being stalked by a zombie:

Fortunately, he survived. Which is more than I can say for me. I just found out Phyllis is making Porcupine Balls for dinner. I don’t make this stuff up, folks.

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When I was a little Camp Fire Girl in Napa, my group had a special craft project each year that we’d sell at the big Camp Fire Christmas Craft Fair where all the little Camp Fire Girls and Blue Birds (that’s a younger Camp Fire Girl in case you didn’t know) would sell their crocheted wonders and hand-painted paper maché pieces of crap to innocent Bay Area holiday shoppers. And we’d each bring our own money to buy fancy gifts for our families like knitted dish soap dresses or reindeer ornaments made out of toilet paper rolls and used Christmas light bulbs.

One year we made Beer Can Hats. You heard me. These were crafted from pieces of beer cans: holes were punched into them and the pieces were then knitted together into fancy hats. No, this isn’t a joke. Though most of these stylish accessories were probably thrown in the trash by New Years, you might still catch a glimpse of one on “My Big Redneck Wedding.”

Our Camp Fire Group Leader, Sue, set out skeins of red and blue yarn to match ever so nicely with the Americana beer cans of the ‘70s. She’d cut out the pieces from the beer cans, because really, who wants to see a little Camp Fire girl running around with a pair of scissors in one hand and a beer can in the other? She’d punch holes in the beer can pieces and we would “sew” them together with colorful yarn … ouila! Move over Coco Chanel!! I think I actually only put one hat together, while the other girls each made about six. Gimme a break, I was very detailed in my craft. But I contributed my fair share — all the beer cans probably came from my house.

So each holiday season, all six of us Camp Fire Girls would pile into the lucky chaperone’s station wagon and head down to San Jose for the annual Craft Fair. It actually was pretty cool as far as your fourth grade fun goes; tons of crazy Camp Fire girls, lots of tables and crafts decorated in red and green, and Christmas carols piped in from a turntable playing a scratchy record somewhere. I remember walking into the big expo building and smelling that heavenly aroma … the enchiladas. Some groups made food, and one of the groups made chicken and cheese enchiladas every year. They were glorious. On my lunch break from working our busy Camp Fire Crap table, I would follow my nose to the enchiladas. I would savor every bite in that little foil container and burn the experience into my memory so I could recall it during Friday Night Casserole night. Muchas gracias Senoritas.

What? You’re still here? Why, you’re waiting for the famous Craft Fair Enchilada recipe? Sorry, I don’t have it. Hmmm, I guess I can give you my Lazy Ladi recipe (Enchilada Casserole). I figure what’s the point of rolling the tortillas for enchiladas … sure, I know that’s how you do it DAVE. But let’s face it … it all goes on your plate, you start chewing it and it all goes to the same place. These are delicious no matter how you make them, so just make it easy on yourself. And just be glad I didn’t post another of Mary Ann’s or Jay’s fancy dishes.


1 package of flour tortillas-at least 6
1 pound of cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 pound cooked ground beef or turkey or no meat at all. That’s right, I said it; you can live without it. Be crazy and substitute 2 cups of sliced mushrooms instead like I do
1 large can of Rosarita enchilada sauce, or make your own. Sorry, that recipe is highly classified.


Okay, lightly oil the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish and just start throwing stuff in. I recommend starting with some of the sauce and then just layer everything else. Pour sauce here and there and everywhere. Don’t roll stuff up in the tortillas, just tear the tortillas up into pieces and layer them in like you were putting together a lasagna. Don’t be such a snob, no one will be able to tell once it’s all cooked and melted in together with the cheesy deliciousness.

Bake at 350 degrees for as long as “Wheel of Fortune” is on.

Let the dish rest for about 10 minutes, then serve with some avocado and diced tomatoes. Oh, and the most important thing: zest a lime or two and sprinkle the zest into some sour cream.  Mix that up and top off your enchiladas with it. You’re welcome.

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