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My Current Obsessions

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I am currently totally obsessing over Night Court.

What? You expected me to say Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black?

You haven’t been hanging around here long, have you?

Yes, of course I realize that Night Court is old. I’m old too, and watched it in its original run.

A scene from Night Court.

A scene from Night Court.

If you don’t remember, Night Court is a zany comedy set during the night proceedings of a courthouse in New York City. We have Brandon Tartikoff to thank for green-lighting the show and keeping it on the air when it was still trying to find its footing. I love Brandon Tartikoff. He was the head of NBC during its golden time in the 80s and the birth of Must-See TV. He is also the one who came up with the idea of Punky Brewster, naming it after a childhood friend of his. In turn, Punky’s dog was named after him. And then when I got my Punky Brewster-inspired tattoo, a guy named Brandon did it.

Coincidence?

Tartikoff also allowed Night Court creator Reinhold Weege to hold on tight to his baby and craft the show as he felt it should be, with as little network interference as possible. When there was, Weege firmly held his ground. I think I need to take a lesson out of that for my writing.

I totally need to add Brandon Tartikoff to my list of who I would want to eat dinner with, living or dead. One of my favorite episodes of Night Court even includes Tartikoff when he comes to the rescue of a Nielsen family in court. They never go on dates because then shows get cancelled. My heart aches right along with the woman when she wails, “WE LOST PUNKY!” Of course, I also love the episode guest-starring Michael J. Fox. I can see how tall I would be compared to the other cast members (Mikey and I are roughly the same height). I also love all the episodes with hard-luck couple Bob and June Wheeler. Brent Spiner is so laugh-out-loud funny in that role. I also love the episode where the hurricane hits and they are trapped in the courthouse and must deliver a bunch of babies. Paco is in that episode, who I love. It is also where we learn that Dan’s real name is “Reinhold.” But also that is where I learned what the word “breech” meant, which would come in handy around 25 years later when my son was born.

Bob & June Wheeler & their daughter little Carol Ann. And yes, that is totally the same actor who plays Data (Brent Spiner).

Bob & June Wheeler & their daughter little Carol Ann. And yes, that is totally the same actor who plays Data (Brent Spiner).

Night Court is a show that when doled out in weekly episodes is pleasant and funny. But it is really a show that benefits from binge watching. I realized this when it first hit syndication in the late 1980s. At that time, I could watch it four times a day, five if the prime-time episode was on that night as well. Currently, we own the DVD of season one. And when I binge watch Night Court, I always fall in love with Harold T. Stone.

Or is it Harry Anderson? Hard to tell. I also own season one of Dave’s World that I watch quite frequently.

Part of it may be that the first season episodes contain more “heartwarming” scenes than later seasons. Harry gets to be the voice of reason. Anderson claims he is more of a con man than an actor, but you wouldn’t know it from those episodes.

This sent me on a search for all things Harry. I found a Showtime special featuring his magic tricks and cons from Showtime in 1986 on YouTube. This is one of those times modern technology is great. (Unless you are Harry Anderson, wondering where all your royalties for “Hello, Sucker!” have gone.)

I am eagerly awaiting getting season two, although I realize the show hit its stride and was the best when Markie Post joined on in season three.

Still no Pikachu for me :-(

Still no Pikachu for me 😦

I wanted to mention that I also tried Pokemon Go. I have never ever played Pokemon in my life. But with all the news stories about how dangerous it is and people walking into traffic while playing it and such, it was like an irresistible commercial for it everywhere. (I am the girl who used to go home from drug awareness day at school and see if any of my glue would give me a high, because the school had just opened my eyes to the world of inhalants. Everything works the opposite on me.) I had to try the game. I like it a lot, even though the camera on my phone and the game don’t seem to like each other. I do think it is cool how Google Maps (I assume) is integrated into the game, customizing it to your neighborhood. It is kind of slow. My husband and I walked for up to ten minutes sometimes without a Pokemon showing up. I love that the game is incredibly simple, because I am not good with most video games.

I’m not sure how much I will continue to play it, as I have to actually leave the house. It also eats up the battery on my phone like Cookie Monster at the Keebler factory. I can’t walk my dog while playing it. But I did take two walks yesterday, that I honestly probably would not have without the game.

Here is a fun article about the phenomenon from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/gaming/2016/07/10/five-things-we-learned-pokmon-go/86928122/

And now I totally can see how people follow their Pokemon right into traffic. I might be playing it right now as I typ tis..

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Air Conditioning

It is something lots of people in the U.S. take for granted.

When I was a child, we didn’t have air conditioning in our house or our assorted cars. And I never thought anything about it. The lack of it was not hardship in my life.

Then when I started 2nd grade, my mom and I moved into a trailer (a.k.a. mobile home) in the trailer court. Crazy thing here is that it had an air conditioner–in my bedroom, no less–(and a washer and dryer) when we moved in, but she sold them, with the excuse that they would be too expensive to run. Then she spend the next 16 years that we lived there complaining about how the laundromat was so much more expensive than having a washer and dryer at home. Go figure. A lot of what she does doesn’t make sense to me. But if I ask her, she will double-talk me until it does. Until I talk to another rational human being, who points out the holes in her logic, or lack thereof.

My old hoome was just pulled out to the curb to be sold for best offer.

My old home was just pulled out to the curb, to be sold for best offer, like some used car or piece of trash.

Anyways, if you are not aware, trailers heat up faster and retain more heat than your typical wood-frame house. Actually, you can liken them a lot to the greenhouse affect that happens to your car on a hot day. You know how they say “no matter how far open you leave your windows on a hot day, it will always get too hot to leave your dog in there?” Works the same way with a trailer. No matter how many windows you open or how far, it will always heat up in the midday summer sun to an unbearable level. (And we had the old, slanted crank windows that blocked any potential breeze. And eventually became too stripped to crank, no matter how careful you were each time, and had to be propped open with a chunk of wood.)

I was that dog.

While my mom scampered off to work in an air-conditioned office, I was at home for three months every summer, with nothing but an oscillating fan.

Most days I could ride my bike outside and make a little breeze for myself. With little tricks like aiming the fan to blow hot air out the kitchen window when running the oven, then turning it around to suck in the cool air at night, we managed. Barely.

Do you remember that Married with Children episode where the Bundys were so hot they went to live in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store?

The Bundys camping in the grocery store.

The Bundys camping in the grocery store.

That may be based on a true story. I used to travel to the little local grocery store that was only a four minute walk from my house, just to loiter and absorb as much cold air as possible before my short, sweaty walk home again.

On 80 or 90 degree days, it was just so miserable. Where my current house may equalize with the external temperature, it never gets hotter than that. In that trailer, it was always at least five degrees hotter inside than the temperature outside. There was one summer where the high temp was 100 or greater for four days straight. All my mom and I could do was lay in front of the fans and sweat. Well, she was recovering from surgery, so she couldn’t do much else anyway.

And I realize I sound like I am whining, but I’m not. I actually don’t even like AC because it dries out my sinuses and makes it hard to breathe. And I know some people work construction or road crews and are subjected to high temps for hours. This post isn’t really meant for them.

I want to campaign for if you are going to live in a tin can, you need to provide air conditioning for your child. I used to ride my bike all through the trailer court (there must have been a couple hundred parked in there) and look at each and every home as I went. Some had central air, some only window units, but were all running. MY TRAILER WAS THE ONLY ONE WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING!!!

After that, I lived in an apartment and now I have a house, in both I have had access to window AC units that I rarely use, because it just doesn’t get as miserably hot as the trailer did.

My mom bought a different trailer after I moved out, and guess what it had?

Central Air.

My favorite quote from the movie The Last Starfighter

My favorite quote from the movie The Last Starfighter

I write about things that stood out in my childhood. Being HOT (and not in the leggy supermodel way) and bored and lonely all summer long is something I will never forget until the end of time. It indeed felt like I was in hell.

If I win the lottery, I think it would be awesome to start a fund that would help poor people living in trailers to get an air conditioner, and maybe supply a stipend to help offset the increased electrical usage annually. Maybe that is silly. Food and medicine and such are always looked at as more pressing necessities for the needy. But heat can be dangerous. That is why NOAA has heat advisories and there are community cooling centers on really hot days. It can be a danger as much as any forest fire or volcanic eruption.

Individuals who live in trailers have enough issues to deal with. There is the stigma of being trailer trash, white trash, or redneck. Then their is the fact that Mother Nature has it out for you in other ways as well.

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

Johnny freaks out over a tornado on WKRP in Cincinnati.

It is funny because it is true.

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