Archive for October, 2008

Chick Wins a Million Dollars on Wheel of Fortune – What?!

Attention all people who thought Wheel of Fortune was no longer on the air! Last night this chick won a million bucks on that show! Wheel used to be the lamest of TV game shows with contestants rarely winning more than 50K on an episode. All that changed this year with the addition of an extremely complicated million dollar space on the big wheel.

I imagine that I am one of the only people who still watches Wheel of Fortune, at least one of the only ones under 65 years of age. I understand that it is comically boring, the contestants are typically half-wits, and the Pat and Vanna shtick is definitely dated. But I am really good at solving their puzzles, and sometimes a little ego boost is just what I need in my 6:30 time slot.

So anyway, they added this new piece on the big wheel that is a normal size piece divided in thirds. The two outer thirds are bankrupts and the middle part is a million dollars. Okay, so if you happen to land on that middle part, you get to pick up the piece and put it on your little podium. You then have to not get bankrupted for the whole rest of the show. Then if you manage to get the highest money total, you get to go to the bonus round and spin the mini wheel (which has sealed envelopes containing prizes like a trip or a car or 30,000 dollars, there is one slot on the big wheel with 100,000 dollars). If you have the million piece, then they replace the 100,000 envelope with a million dollar envelope. If you happen to have picked that envelope (1 in 25 chance) and you solve the bonus round puzzle, then you win the million. When Pat first explained this a couple weeks ago, I assumed no one would ever win it because it’s so complicated, but sure enough last night some lady beat the odds and took home the million.

Way to go Michelle, it was awesome to see the explosions of confetti and her Vanna hug. But seriously, it would have been even more cool if she hadn’t been able to solve and then opened up the envelope. The whole world would have wept. At least the senior citizens of the world. And me.

Below I pasted the video of her bonus round from youtube. See if you can solve the puzzle and win a million. If you can’t, there’s something wrong with you.

Time Stands Still

I think the Hallidron Collider did in fact create some kind of distortion in the fabric of space time when they turned it on last month, it just only got to Iowa City last week. Last week was one of those weeks that I will forget before the following Monday is over. Seriously, almost nothing of significance happened. Granted I spent much of last week in a strange anxiety bubble which prevented me from making anything of significance happen, but usually things at least happen to me, or around me.

My suspicions were confirmed this morning when I checked the box office results from last weekend and there it was: Beverly Hills Chihuahua is number 1 at box office for the second week in a row. There’s no good explanation for that other than a rogue black hole. Industry analysts suggest that this is evidence of tough economic times leading to increased consumption of escapist entertainment. Possible, but I looked at the other films in the top 10 and I gotta tell you, it’s all looking pretty escapist. Nights in Rodanthe? Please, Diane Lane and Richard Gere could only be coupled in the most obscene of fantasies. Quarantine? A predictably jarring trailer, but hardly high art. Isn’t another good explanation that the intelligensia has all but abandoned movie theaters, leaving the multiplex to be little more than a playpen for minors and their least-common-denominator films? Aren’t the new status symbols of a film buff the length of his netflix queue or the number of downloads on her home computer?

Anyway, it’s not just the movie world that got sucked up by the black hole. There was no elimination on DWTS last week either, with olympic volleyballer Misty May-Trainor inexplicably rupturing her calcaneal tendon in a dance rehearsal. Project Runway aired the dreaded “part 1” of the season finale, a.k.a. all the crap leading up to the big fashion blowout finale without the fashion and without the blowout.

This weekend, I even raked the carpet of pine needles threatening to choke out the grass beneath our three stately pines. I then burned them into oblivion in our sweet fire pit. Hours were spent raking, burning, staring into the thick, white, mashed potato-ey smoke and wiping my inflamed eyes. This morning, the pine needle carpet was born anew.

Here’s hoping that this week something actually happens and the mini black hole that briefly descended upon me will find its way somewhere else. Somewhere harmless. Somewhere where they need for nothing to happen for a while. How about Wall Street?