Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Who Is Pecos Bill, or How I Outsmarted Myself Yet Again

Tuesday, I took my second shot at Trivia Night at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern in Herndon.

As with last time, my tablemates were quite good in getting us past the written-answer qualifying round, where they could use their Internet-enabled cellphones to look up the answers (although I did my part in the tiebreakers), and then clammed up to the point of near-uselessness during the Jotteopardy portion, where it was my butt on the line onstage.

After a slow start, I worked my way into first place, cleaning up in the American folklore category (notably, I remembered that it was Pecos Bill who used a rattlesnake as a lasso).

And I discovered that my teammates' true role was not to help me, but rather, to hurt the other contestants, by yelling out incorrect and distracting answers ("Paul Bunyon! Paul Bunyon!", which was wrong even for the relevant question).

Going into the final round, I had a slight lead, though not enough to place a safe, boring bet. The category was "This Day in History/Magazines", so I felt pretty confident. However, the question was, "On this day [March 3] 1923, this magazine was the first weekly newsmagazine in the US."

At first, I thought Newsweek. Then I thought Time. Then I thought, "Aha! Time is far too obvious, it's got to be something more obscure... like, say, The Saturday Evening Post!" So I went with that.

Of course, the correct answer was Time. Or at least, the answer they were looking for, especially in the "This Day in History" bit of things. (One might be able to make a case for The Saturday Evening Post, though it wasn't exclusively a news magazine.)

Anyway, it was a good time. Smoky, though, which is par for the course -- we'll see how the smoking ban legislation changes things in December.

Oh, and I came up with a working name for our Spring kickball team: Package Stimulus. We'll see if it sticks.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Friends Are a Bunch of Useless Drunks

And yet, Tuesday night, I still managed to eke out a win at "JOTTpardy," a flavor of Jeopardy at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern where crowd participation is not only allowed, it's encouraged. Without a single correct answer from my compatriots.

I got there late during the qualifying rounds, so I was thoughtfully volunteered to go up, but I made up for it in the tiebreaker (movie quotes -- easy ones, too: The "census taker" bit from Silence of the Lambs and the "mad as hell" bit from Network).

Now, going in, I had pretty low expectations. In high school, I was on an "Academic Challenge" quiz show team. We were smart. We practiced. We got stomped.

(Just like in the Voight-Kampff test, reaction time is a factor.)

I did OK in Heroes (song titles) and Spam Trivia, got blown out in Canadian Provinces (spelling) Carls, and, um . I managed to steal enough points that I was in second place going into Final Jeopardy, which was Bush Cabinet members.

I bet it all (less one), and as it turns out, got it right (I mean, really -- the Secretary of which Cabinet Department would you expect to make an appearance on Jeopardy?).

It would have been all for naught, though, since the guy in first place got it right, too... except he forgot to answer in the form of a question.

Hey, I'll take what I can get:

Jimmy's Old Town Tavern Gift Certificate

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Social Roundup: Kickball, Over the Rhine, Jimmy's and Liberty Tavern

Our first kickball game of the spring season was this week; I'm playing Thursday nights with the David Hasselhoff Fan Club. Our color is brown:

Jason Pitches
Jason pitches.

We didn't win.

I hung out at Carpool for a bit, then bolted for Jammin' Java in Vienna, where
Over the Rhine was playing a show rescheduled from December.

I got there a little late, a few songs into their set. It was a seated show and I was in the back, but I was eventually able to work my way up to the side of the stage:

Over the Rhine's Linford and Karin
Over the Rhine's Linford and Karin

It was a good show. I bought 2 CDs (though one was a compilation album). You can see the full Over the Rhine photoset here.

I also ran into my friend Mike, who's a photographer and shoots there a lot.

After the show, I made it back to Carpool (at about 11pm) to hang out with the holdouts.

My back and legs were really sore the next day, which is kind of sad, since I only made it to bat once, so there wasn't really any running to speak of. And, of course, it was only tonight that I realized that an over-the-counter painkiller might help with the soreness. Duh.

Friday, went to Jimmy's for the fish fry, where I had a very large piece of fish.

The crowd seemed a lot more college than I remembered, and it wasn't just because of all the Virginia Tech shirts. I'd just gone to get something to eat, so I left before the fire-breathing bartender show at midnight.

Saturday, I was woken up by the credit card company, calling to check on some suspicious charges on my card. Boy, that got me up in a hurry -- I fell out of bed going for the phone.

It turns out that my payment to my French-based domain name registrar triggered the alert, which was a bit odd, since I've used them for a few years now.

Saturday night, went to Liberty Tavern (after reading this blog review); as Metroblogging DC notes, it was very loud. Plus, the bartenders were slammed (a situation not helped because they didn't have a door guy and they had to check IDs); hopefully, both of those things were just part of the opening commotion.

I didn't take any pictures (didn't have the camera, but had the new phone, which has a 2-megapixel camera). There was lots of eye candy in the bar; there was also a lounge area that we didn't get to sit in. The space is a lot like Harry's Tap Room or Boulevard Woodgrill -- any of the newish, mostly-interchangeable places in Clarendon that cater to suburban professionals.

Sunday, just read the paper, messed around with some kickballers in the park, bought some groceries, and cooked some chili. That was about it.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Show Report: The Raveonettes at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 3/16/07


Last Friday, I went to see The Raveonettes at the Rock and Roll Hotel (and I have to thank either Brightest Young Things or Pandahead, since I didn't know about the show until I saw an entry about it in the DC Blogs Live feed).

Here's the full Flickr set photo set.

Getting There = Significantly Less Than Half the Fun

This was my first time going to Rock and Roll Hotel, and I almost didn't make it. I got a super late start in, and I misplaced the directions at least 3 times. (Apparently, putting them in my pocket instead of my laptop bag -- which then went into the trunk -- was too difficult a concept to grasp.)

Then, I hit a snag following the directions from the site (E St NW, Left on 17th St NW, Right on H St), because police cars were blocking the intersections where I needed to go.

I parked and looked around -- I finally figured out why: The damn communist hippie antiwar protesters were gathered around the White House. And they were going to make me miss the show.

Eventually, between the suggestions of a helpful MPD motorcycle cop and the compass on my mirror (head northeast), I got to the club at around 11pm. I'd already made it that far andLink the ticket was paid for, so I figured I'd catch the tail end of the show from the back of the room.

Thank You, New Jersey Turnpike

In a fortunate turn of events (for me), the band had hit some snow and ice leaving New York, got stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike for 16 hours, and didn't take the stage until midnight.

The club feels very much like the Black Cat, especially with all the yutes running around (it's all-ages). So I was pretty much surrounded by children (literal and actual).

I was able to snake my way up to the front and squeezed up against the right speaker stack, so I was able to rest my camera on the monitor (which is why most of my photos are angled up slightly).

The Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner sets up.
Sune Rose Wagner sets up.

Now, I had a 50-50 shot, but I just happened to pick the side closest to Sharin Foo, who is hot. She's got the Danish thing going, of course, and has great gams (see how most of my photos are oriented portrait-style? That was a choice.) And her last name is "Foo." Score.

Sharin Foo

Anyway, because I couldn't move, all the photos pretty much look like this. I took over a 100, (whittled down to 88 in the set), and these are probably the best of the bunch (damn rock stars won't stay still for a photo).


There were a lot of cameras going off, and a lot of camera flashes. I only used mine a few times.


For some of the later shots, I tried the Auto ISO (1600) setting, and bumped down the exposure level a bit. Just playing around.

One of the few flash shots I tried.

Sune generates some feedback. Note: Legs.

So, it was a good show. Afterwards, I skipped the "Sharin Foo & Sune Rose Wagner DJ Set" (the floor of which showcased some of the worst dancing I've ever seen), and went to the bar upstairs to look around.

An interesting space, though I'll have to try harder (and be less drunk) do get some decent pictures.

There was also a gaggle of Gallaudet students (I'd noticed the stage manager downstairs using ASL to talk to the sound tech during setup, which seems like a useful club talent) and various other flavors of young hipster. I hung out for a bit, then left around 2am.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cheap New Year's Eve Fun

Unless something changes dramatically, I'll be ringing in the New Year at a house party. No word whether Kid n'/or Play will be there.

I'm not a super-h00g New Year's Eve, all-you-can-drink-type (it usually takes forever to get a drink from the bar and besides, trying to get my money's worth from the cover would put me in the hospital). But I've found a couple of nice (not to mention free to get into) local celebrations:
  • Galaxy Hut
    -- Like I need another excuse to go to Galaxy Hut.

    This was also mentioned in the Post's New Year's for Less feature.

  • Guajillo -- I guess I have the credit the Post on this one; I think it was a Going Out Gurus chat from a few years back -- I've still never eaten dinner there, but it was a good party.

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