I used to tape both "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune." "Wheel" could be watched very quickly by fast-forwarding, but as my TiVo got more and more crowded I stopped recording it. Most of the time I don't even get to watch "Jeop!" before it scrolls off.
On Thursday afternoon, my former boss D e-mailed and asked if I wanted tickets to a Radio City taping of "Wheel" Friday afternoon, given to her by a mutual acquaintance in publishing. I thought, "Why not?" and arranged to meet her at 6 at the Met where she was meeting our ex-boss L. I made sure she meant the Met art museum, as opposed to the opera house (or insurance company, for that matter - though people who didn't work there don't usually think of that Met). I got the tickets, caught up with her on personal and professional doings and ex-coworkers, said hi to L, and took a bus back west only to just miss the 7 pm post office closing (I had 2 books to mail and it's always nice to fit more than one errand per trip).
I had 4 tickets but little time to find takers, and didn't try that hard. My e-mails, IMs and calls got no positive response (sorry if I didn't try to reach you and you wanted to go), but I don't mind going to events alone. The only problem with going alone is you're not forced to attend, and I almost talked myself out of it (tired, blah blah blah). But I got up and dressed and hairwashed and to Radio City around 1:30. The ticket said doors open at noon, doors close at 2. Since I didn't really care where I sat, I was on the late side.
There was no line on 51st St. where the "Jeop!" taping line had been, so I went to the main door, where I was directed to 50th St. There was a not-that-long line down that block, so I assumed most people had already been let in. After me, they let in one man and then closed the line, leaving latecomers to wait at the barriers. But then they put them in the holding area, too. Radio City is huge and I figured they'd eventually accommodate everyone. In fact, when they let us in, we were directed to a bloc of seats in the 14th row slightly right of center, better than most of the early people's seats.
Security let through my totebag with the 2 books I didn't mail yesterday, a magazine to read, and my 23-year-old stuffed lamb Lamba White. She's named after Vanna and is not the brightest bulb (I know, she's an inanimate object, but this is her persona). Once seated, I took her out and explained her connection to the people on either side. They were like, "Oh-KAY." The cameras were taking audience shots to be used for the New York shows and the woman next to me suggested I wave the lamb up high, but that would only have meaning for the few people who know what Lamba looks like and what her name is.
During a break, I folded the ticket envelope and wrote LAMB-A WHITE (the hyphen made it clearer for the pun-challenged) in dark letters and nestled this nametag between Lamba's little paws. After the first show, they moved us around to accommodate people who left, and I ended up on the aisle. I kept Lamba on my lap the whole time, and sometimes waved her in the air or stuck her into the aisle, but I don't know if she got any screen time. Yeesh, that lamb is a media whore.
In between trying to get Lamba her 15 minutes, I watched 3 shows taped. Man, the real Lamba, I mean Vanna, looks great. IMDB says she's 50. EXTREMELY well-preserved, and her figure is unreal. Well, maybe it IS unreal, I wouldn't know what help she's had, but she really can wear clothes. And point at letters that light up. What a job. Pat looked good too, for 60. The shows were Best Friends Week, and most of the contestants were from this area, so there was a homey feeling and some exciting moments. We couldn't see the face of the wheel (though the balconies - which were full - probably could) except on the monitor. Off to the side was the used letter board and running totals.
These shows air November 5-7, so look for a small lamb among the mobs at Radio City.
Afterward, I stopped at home to deposit Lamba, eat, and watch Ivan on "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" (where I SCREAMED at the TV during the final round; ouch, so close! But yay for Ivan). I went out again toward the post office but the sky was dark and rain started falling, so I went back inside. I'll mail the books tomorrow, I hope.
What a week: I was in the same room as George Clooney and Brad Pitt, and Lamba White was in the same room as Vanna White. Oh wait, Clooney was last week. Still, excitement!